Habib Umar talks about the meaning of true life. He reflects on the story of Sayyiduna Hamza and how he attained true life through love of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)

Allah says:

He was dead and then We gave him life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men.

This is the sign of the people of truth, those whom we have guided, signs appear on them.
Life and death in this context are spiritual.
They have nothing to do with physical life and death.

“He was dead”

He was a disbeliever and We gave him life through Islam,
He was an innovator and We gave him life through the Sunnah
He was in disobedience and We gave him life through repentance and obedience.
He was heedless and We gave him life through remembrance.

There are different degrees, the soul has the capacity to attain knowledge of Allah. But before it gains knowledge it is in a state similar to death.
Then it gains essential knowledge and ascends, then it increases in knowledge until it possesses great light and becomes firm.

As Allah says:

We gave him life – he attained knowledge, We gave him life – he increased in knowledge,
whereby he can walk amongst men ­– he became firm.

Then he influences, benefits, and teaches others and shows them the way.

The Companions (May God be pleased with them) narrate different reasons for the revelation of this verse, although the meaning is general and applies to anyone.

One narration is that once Abu Jahl severely insulted the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his whole clan, Banu Hashim, while he was sitting with the nobles of Quraysh.
Then Sayyiduna Hamza, who was not Muslim at that point, came into Makkah.
The daughters of ‘Abd Manaf came to him and said to him:

“Will you allow this fool to insult your nephew?
Will you allow him to insult your clan and your womenfolk while you are present?
Do you not have any sense of honor?”

They stirred up his anger until he approached Abu Jahl while he was sitting with his companions.

“O Abu al-Hakam, what did you say about Muhammad?
Muhammad is more noble and greater than you!
You are a fool who worships something that cannot hear or see!
I follow his religion!
Take this!”

He struck him in the face in front of everyone.

“Return this blow if you are able!”

Abu Jahl said to his companions

“Leave him, for I have greatly insulted his nephew”

The Hamza went to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and entered Allah’s religion.

He was dead and then We gave him life

People like Hamza.
The beginning of life is defending Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Love for him is true life.
The Companions and those that came after them only attained life through love of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

He was dead and then We gave him life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men.

After announcing his Islam he spent the night wondering what he had done.
So he went to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) put his hand on his chest and read over him and his doubts were removed.
He then began calling people to Islam.

Once Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab accepted Islam,  the Muslims began praying openly in the Masjid al-Haram.
At one end of the row was Sayyiduna Umar and at the other end was Sayyiduna Hamza (May God be pleased with them).
So if one of the idol worshippers came and saw Umar at one end and Hamza at the other end he would be quiet and leave.

Allah brought them to life and through them He brought Islam to life.

Hamza then made hijrah and met the Prophet (Peace be upon him) when he arrived in al-Madinah. He continued to keep his company, he was with him at Badr and then Uhud where he was martyred (May God be pleased with him) and he attained everlasting life in the proximity of the Living, the Eternal and attained His pleasure.

For Allah’s sake his stomach was cut open, his liver was extracted and his body was mutilated.
When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw him he wept

Another narration states that the verse was revealed concerning Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab and Abu Jahl. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“O Allah, strengthen Islam with one of the two Umars: Umar ibn al-Khattab or Amr ibn Hisham (Abu Jahl).”

The prayer was answered concerning Sayyiduna Umar, so by him Allah strengthened Islam.

He was dead and then We gave him life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men.

 The like of Sayyiduna Hamza and Sayyiduna Umar are torches that guide people to the truth, as the hadith states:

“Allah placed the truth on Umar’s tongue and in his heart.”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, as narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari:

“O son of al-Khattab, I swear by the One in Whose hand is my soul, whenever the devil sees you coming, he takes a different path.”

 Can he whom We gave life and a light whereby he can walk amongst men be like him who is in the depth of darkness?

Can he be like Abu Jahl, who arrogantly denied the truth, even though he knew Muhammad was a Messenger sent by Allah?
His ignorance and arrogance caused him to reject the truth until the day he was killed in Badr.
He flexed his muscles and claimed that they would drink wine and gain eternal status among the Arabs and he was merely sealing his own destruction.

 He is in the depth of darkness, from which he can never come out.

Allah! He will never come out!
From the darkness to the blackness of the Fire!
We seek refuge in Allah!

Can he whom We gave life and a light whereby he can walk amongst men be like him who is in the depth of darkness?

No. The two things, the two groups, the two individuals are not equal.

May Allah bring us to life with the light of Iman and the light of Islam, the light of certainty, the light of knowledge of Him, the light of truthfulness, repentance, fear of Him.
Illuminate out hearts with the light of Quran, Illuminate our graves and give us light on the Day of Resurrection.

On the Day on which Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and by their right hands.

O Allah, place light in our hearts, place light in our graves, place light on our flesh, place light in our blood, place light in our bones, place light in our veins, place light in our nerves, place light in front of us, place light behind us, place light on our right, place light on our left, place light above us, place light beneath us.

Increase our light, give us light, make us light through Your mercy, O Most Merciful.

Give us everlasting life. Make us among the elite whom You have made felicitous. Give us a connection to your Prophet Muhammad which cannot be severed,
O Most Generous, O Most Merciful.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)