Jesus went into the wilderness beyond Jordan with his disciples, and when the midday prayer was done he sat down near to a palm-tree, and under the shadow of the palm-tree his disciples sat down. Then Jesus said: 'So secret is predestination, O brethren, that I say to you, truly, only to one man shall it be clearly known. He it is whom the nations look for, to whom the secrets of God are so clear that, when he comes into the world, blessed shall they be that shall listen to his words, because God shall overshadow them with his mercy even as this palm-tree overshadows us. Yes, even as this tree protects us from the burning heat of the sun, even so the mercy of God will protect from Satan them that believe in that man.'
The disciples answered, "O Master, who shall that man be of whom you speak, who shall come into the world?" Jesus answered with joy of heart: 'He is Muhammad;, Messenger of God, and when he comes into the world, even as the rain makes the earth to bear fruit when for a long time it has not rained, even so shall he be occasion of good works among men, through the abundant mercy which he shall bring. For he is a white cloud full of the mercy of God, which mercy God shall sprinkle upon the faithful like rain.'
Reference: The Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 163
If there is a phrase that can describe the world today, it has to be "Competing in Sin!"
Many Muslim governments, groups and individuals have taken an un-Islamic path and are trying to do what non-Muslim governments, groups and individuals are doing. It is a competition in sin and Muslims are losing. About fourteen hundred years ago, one of the most beloved person of the Muslim ummah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to a military commander and said:
Sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got. Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.
1496. Usamah bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who is favoured by another and says to his benefactor: `Jazak-Allah khairan (may Allah reward you well)' indeed praised (the benefactor) satisfactorily.''
Commentary: If one is unable to return someone's kindness with kindness, he should say, "Jazak-Allahu khairan (may Allah reward you well).'' This means: "I am unable to reciprocate your kindness. May Allah grant you the best reward for it.'' Obviously there is no match for the reward that one gets from Allah. For this reason the Prophet (PBUH) said that it was the best of the praise for a benefactor.
1497. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Do not invoke curses on yourself or on your children or on your possessions lest you should happen to do it at a moment when the supplications are accepted, and your prayer might be granted.''
Commentary: Almighty Allah always listens to everyone's prayer but He has fixed certain times when He grants more prayers addressed to Him. Therefore, one should never curse oneself or one's own children or one's own business, etc., lest this is done at the time when prayers are accepted by Allah and then one has to regret it all his life.
1498. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "A slave becomes nearest to his Rubb when he is in prostration. So increase supplications in prostrations.''
Commentary: This Hadith points out the exellence of supplicating while prostrating in Salat, as one gets closer to Allah in this position.
1499. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH), "The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): `I supplicated my Rubb but my prayer has not been granted'.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The narration of Muslim is: "The supplication of a slave continues to be granted as long as he does not supplicate for a sinful thing or for something that would cut off the ties of kinship and he does not grow impatient.'' It was said: "O Messenger of Allah! What does growing impatient mean?'' He (PBUH) said, "It is one's saying: `I supplicated again and again but I do not think that my prayer will be answered.' Then he becomes frustrated (in such circumstances) and gives up supplication altogether.''
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that one should continue beseeching Allah without ever thinking that in spite of praying for a long time, his prayer has not been granted. One should never allow frustration to overcome in his mind. If a person's supplication is not granted for a long time, there would be certainly some good for him in that delay the reason of which is known to Allah Alone. It is, therefore, essential that he should never cease to pray whether his prayer is granted or not. Persistence in prayer is certainly beneficial to him.
1500. Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked: "At what time does the supplication find the greatest response?'' He (PBUH) replied, "A supplication made during the middle of the last part of the night and after the conclusion of the obligatory prayers.''
Commentary: "Al-'Akhir'' is the characteristic of "Jauf'' and in the present context it means the late hours of night. "Jauf'' can also mean here "middle'', that is in the later-half of the night.
In other words, if the night is divided between two equal parts then it (Jauf) would be the middle of the second part. In either case it is the time of the night which in other Ahadith has been termed as the third part of the night. It is the time when Almighty Allah comes to descend on the sky of this world.
Prayers are also granted by Allah after the obligatory Salat.
1501. `Ubadah bin As-Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whenever a Muslim supplicates Allah, He accepts his supplication or averts any similar kind of trouble from him until he prays for something sinful or something that may break the ties of kinship.'' Upon this someone of the Companions said: "Then we shall supplicate plenty.'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Allah is more plentiful (in responding).''
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that prayer (supplication) is beneficial to us in any case, because Almighty Allah either grants the prayer we make, or if the supplication is not being accepted, He removes some future trouble that was destined for us, or He grants us in full in the Hereafter.
A Muslim should never feel shy of praying to Allah. In fact, he should persistently pray because there is no end to His Treasures.
1502. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to say when he was in distress: "La ilaha illallahul-Azimul-Halim. La ilaha illallahu Rabbul-`Arshil-`Azim. La ilaha illallahu Rabbus-samawati, wa Rabbul-ardi, wa Rabbul-`Arshil-Karim. (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Incomparably Great, the Compassionate. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rubb of the Mighty Throne. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rubb of the heavens, the Rubb of the earth, and the Rubb of the Honourable Throne).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The only medicine in a time of distress is the remembrance of Allah Whose Help alone should be sought. This Du`a contains words which glorify Allah and exalt Him far above all else. It is desirable to recite these words when one is in distress as this is exactly what the Prophet (PBUH) used to recite in such situations.