Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, said, “When the Qiyamah (end of the world and Rising) comes upon one of you while holding a sapling, then let him plant it.”
A clear message from the Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, about action in this world and its relation to the next. A sapling, of course, needs time and conditions to grow to its fullness and it may seem pointless to bother with it when there is no time left and no earth to grow it in. But he, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, never said anything without purpose or meaning, and he helps us understand the nature of this world and the next and their relation to time/beyond time.
Our existence in this world is completely measured by those parts of His creation put in place to remind us of its passing; day, night, months, and we recognize that our breaths are numbered, i.e. each of us comes with an expiry date, whether long or short, so we can understand that we must act until our end; we don’t retire, we expire; we work until our last breath;
When quoting the above hadith, our shaykh, Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi, added, “and the tree we are planting is Islam.” That is the deen of Islam in all its parts; Islam, Iman and Ihsan. There is a lot of speculation -and there always has been- about the end of time and many suggestions of its signs being all around us, along with the attendant Mahdism, but the Shaykh’s comment indicates that the timing of the end is not our concern, rather the continuing establishment of Islam is. It does not matter at what point on the timescale we find ourselves, the task that the Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, established with his community and their followers remains the same and the clear responsibility is to put into place those elements that are commanded by Allah.
Looking around us after a hundred years void of Islamic leadership and the consequent disintegration of the Ummah into states and sects, it looks like the end of the world, and planting the tree of Islam seems impossible, but that is why the Rasulullah’s words, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, are so important from the point of view of obedience in this world and the ultimate consequences of our actions in the next. If we look to ourselves it all seems impossible, but if we look to Allah, while fulfilling His commands, it comes to our hearts that He only has to say ‘Kun fayakun’, and on Him we rely, subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala. says, ba’d a’udhu billahi minash shaytanir rajim,
Certainly Allah has bought from the Muminun their selves and their wealth, because the Garden is theirs.
What a wonder! He, subhanahu wa ta’ala, buys back what He gave us in the first place. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, puts together in this ayah the existence of the Mumineen in both this world and the next; the expending of both inward and outward ‘fee sabilillah’, what is hidden in the self and what exists of accrued possessions. The Mumin struggles with what Allah has given him to ensure that he uses his wealth, both inward and outward, to what he perceives is its best purpose approaching Ihsan, where his existence is breath to breath, overwhelmed by the knowledge that Allah is aware of each one. The end of time for the one aware of Allah’s gaze is his last breath.
Whatever calamity Allah brings and however much man deserves it, the obligation of the Mumin remains the same, live until you die, but there is no life without the remembrance of Allah and there is no death with the remembrance of Allah.
Ya Allah! Raise up the Ummah of sayyidina Muhammad, by Your remembrance in ‘Ibadah and Zakah for the needy. Strip away all the ‘Islams’ that do not accord with what the Rasulullah brought and established among his companions, and continued by those who came after them. Purify the Muslims of what has accrued of detrimental innovation and Kafir influence. Expose the kufr of the Munafiqeen and crush the stratagems of Shaytan and his followers. Protect and help those who endeavour to restore what has gone of what pleases You and your Rasul.
Help us ya Allah, for what can be achieved is only by Your Will and Power. Raise up among us those who will take responsibility to obey You and Your Rasul, and do not let us waste the opportunities that you open for us to gain Your pleasure.
Amin, Ya Rabbil ‘Alameen.