Worship and Humanity in the short days ahead.
Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Winter is the Spring of the believer. Its nights are long for him to pray in, and its days are short for him to fast in,” with ʿUmar observing, ‘Winter is the prize of the worshippers.’
The days ahead of us present a golden opportunity to increase in servitude to our Lord, Most High. The length of the days allows the believer to fast easily without suffering undue hunger and thirst, and it is for this reason that Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Fasting in winter is the easy prize.”
An early ʿIshā and late Fajr make the night long and gives us ample time to pray optional prayers in, supplicate to Allāh in the last third of the night, or recite the Qurʾān at Fajr time while still getting a full nights sleep. As such, the believer is able to maximise his worship and strengthen his personal relationship with his Creator. And give the body its due. Ibn Masʿūd would say, ‘Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it, its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in.’
The days ahead of us also present a time for introspection, an acknowledgement of Allāh’s grace, and the chance to do something else beloved to Allāh; pointed to by our Messenger (SAW) when he said, “The most beloved people to Allāh are those who help others the most.”
The nights in winter are longer, colder, darker. We have so many blessings that often go unappreciated and taken for granted; indeed, we are quite literally drowning in Allāh’s bounty, His largesse. Warm clothes are donned, the central heating is turned on, perhaps an extra blanket or two is taken out of the wardrobe; but while doing so let’s not forget those less fortunate than us: the poor and homeless. There are people out there who do not have a roof over their heads, who do not have a warm bed, who do not have a hot meal to enjoy, instead looking forward to yet another cold night on the street or cold, tinned food from a food-bank.
We should give to others, just as our Lord has given to us; be gracious to others, just as our Lord has graced us. Remember others, just as our Lord has remembered us. Our Prophet (SAW) said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for humanity what he loves for himself.” [Ṭabarānī]
Our faith makes us duty bound to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and visit the sick. Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) said, “A true believer is not someone who goes to sleep with his stomach full while his neighbour goes hungry.”
Let’s be that person who is most beloved to Allāh: a person of worship and humanity.