Bismillahi Rahmaanir Raheem
The word “watch” brings to mind “time” and a “timepiece”, since a watch measures time, and we often check it to see the time.
On another level, it is a verb and indicates to a person who is viewing something, who is on guard, on the look-out, or who is looking after something.
A friend mentioned some lessons to be learnt from each letter of the word, “watch”. Inspired by those lessons, and considering the different meanings attached to the word, “watch”, other lessons and thoughts came to mind as well, with the Fadhl (grace) of Allah Ta’ala.
Each letter of the word “watch”, 'W' 'A' 'T' 'C' 'H', directs us to watch and be vigilant on various matters:
We have to watch our worst enemies, lest they get the better off us, harm our Dien and Aakhirah or even worse, destroy our Dien and Aakhirah. We have been told that our worst enemies are shaytaan and nafs. Allah Ta'ala identifies them for us and informs us.
إِنَّ الشَّيْطٰنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِيْنٌ ◌
“…Verily shaytaan is an open enemy unto you.”
[Surah Al-A`raaf 7 : 22]
إِنَّ الشَّيْطٰنَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوْهُ عَدُوّاً ط
“Surely shaytaan is an enemy to you, so treat him
as an enemy…”
[Surah Fatir 35:6]
And Allah Ta’ala directs us to turn to Him, and seek His protection when confronted with the whisperings of shaytaan.
وَإِمَّا يَنْزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطٰنِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللّٰهِ ط إِنَّهٗ سَمِيْعٌ عَلِيْمٌ ◌
“And if an evil whisper comes to you from shaytaan then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is The All-Hearer, All Knower.”
[Surah Al-A’raaf 7 : 200]
We are told to read “Ta-awwuz” اَعُوْذُ بِاللّٰهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْم or “لَا حَوْلَ وَ لَا قُوَّةَ اِلَّا بِاللّٰه ” to overcome the attacks of shaytaan.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Your worst enemy is your nafs which lies between your sides.”
Not only are these the worst enemies, they are hidden enemies. Therefore greater precaution needs to be exercised.
We need to watch our actions. They must be in conformity with the Qur’aan Sharief and Ahadith!
They must be undertaken with sincere intentions; otherwise they will not be accepted in the Court of Allah Ta’ala. The rewards will be lost and Allah Ta’ala will say: ‘Go to those who you showed off your actions to, in the worldly life, then see if you can find any reward with them!’
On accomplishing righteous actions, it must not be that the nafs inclines to vanity, conceit and pride. A sincere Saalik keeps a watch on his nafs and constantly reminds himself that all good actions, all achievements and all spiritual attainments are due to the Grace and Kindness of Allah Ta’ala.
From another perspective: Our actions must also not hurt anyone wrongly, nor must they cause an obstruction to anyone, etc.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands other Muslims are safe”
We have to watch our thoughts because thoughts give birth to actions. If thoughts are evil and they are given attention to and entertained in the mind, evil actions are likely to follow. If thoughts are good and pure, we can expect good actions to follow!
We need to watch our tongue! There has to be care and caution when using the tongue.
Hadhrat Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said: Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When the son of Aadam gets up in the morning, all the limbs humble themselves before the tongue and say: `Fear Allah for our sake because we are with you: (i.e., we will be rewarded or punished as a result of what you do). If you are straight, we will be straight; and if you are crooked, we will become crooked.'''
Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) would say that the tongue is small, yet its sin is big.
On being asked how salvation can be achieved, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Guard your tongue, let your house be enough for you, and weep for your sins.”
On another occasion, when advising the Sahabi, Hadhrat Mu’adh ibn Jabal (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), took out his tongue, held it with his fingers, and said: “Guard this.” – emphasizing by action as well, that we have to carefully watch our words, lest they are a means of punishment and ruin. May Allah Ta'ala protect us all.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) related that the Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realise, and for which he is sent down into the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west."
From the letter “t” we take lesson that we need to also watch our time and make use of it constructively and productively, in preparation for the Aakhirah.
In the Qur`aan Sharief, Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu takes an oath by time, bringing attention to its importance, greatness and excellence.
وَالْعَصْرِ ۙ إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِيْ خُسْرٍ ۙ
إِلَّا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ لا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ ◌
“I swear by the Time. Man is in a state of loss indeed, except those who believed and did righteous deeds, and advised each other with the truth, and advised each other with patience.”
Allah Ta’ala is guiding us as to how to capitalize on the bounty of time – with good deeds – which are to be sent ahead of us, for our stay in the Hereafter.
We must watch whose company we keep. You are and become, and you are judged by the company you keep.
Rasulullah (Salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) captured the influence and consequences of company in a beautiful analogy, saying:
"A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least, you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace."
Allah Ta’ala directs us to the company of the righteous and pious ones; those who are truthful in their relationship to Him:
“O You who Believe, Fear Allah and join the company of the Truthful ones
(the pious, the Auliya Allah).”
[Surah Taubah 9 : 119]
Moreover, a good friend is he who speaks to you about Allah Ta’ala, and when you are not there, he speaks to Allah Ta’ala about you – that is, he makes Dua for you.
We should also ask ourselves, if we offer good company to others – if we are good friends and influence others in a good way, which will profit them in Dien and Aakhirah? We should analyse if we are good companions, in the light of the Hadith where Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was asked: “Which of our companions are best?”
He (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of Allah, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”
We need to keep careful watch over our hearts. Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) would say that the heart is like the capital of a country and if it is not well fortified and protected, the enemy will easily infiltrate – and when the enemy, shaytaan, infiltrates – he shows no mercy.
When a government is overthrown, the enemy forces invade and capture the capital, to assert their control. Similarly, if the spiritual heart is weak with sins, the person will be vulnerable to the attacks of shaytaan. He will not have the security forces of Taqwa and Allah Ta’ala’s Special Protection that comes on Taqwa, to offer a shield against those attacks. …And if the heart is not guarded, shaytaan easily invades and captures that heart – and sometimes, Dien and Aakhirat is lost. (May Allah Ta’ala protect us all).
From another viewpoint, the Muslim is watchful in keeping his heart sound and clean. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “There is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good (reformed), the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled, the whole body gets spoiled – and that is the heart.”
A true Muslim would never want to deliberately disobey his Kind and Beloved Master, Allah Ta’ala. …However, when any sin is mistakenly committed, he immediately resorts to Taubah and Istighfaar, because he “sees” and feels, the black spot of sin, staining his heart – and he is never at ease with a heart that is dirty.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) explained: “When a Mu’min (believer) sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart.”
May Allah Ta’ala guide us to complete obedience and grant us the Taufeeq of keeping a careful watch with regards to our worst enemies – nafs and shaytaan, with regard to our actions, our thoughts, the usage of our tongues, the valuable gift of time, our company, as well as our hearts – and grant us Najaat and salvation in the Hereafter.
By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
 Kanzul Ummal
 Musnad Ahmad
 Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
 Sahih Bukhari