Diminished Faith? 4 Easy Steps to Recovery

Diminished Faith? 4 Easy Steps to Recovery

By Raiiq Ridwan

At times, it is best to just talk to someone. Not anyone of course but someone whom you trust, someone you know will help you rather than hinder you.

At times, it is best to just talk to someone. Not anyone of course but someone whom you trust, someone you know will help you rather than hinder you.

You recently made the biggest decision of your life.

You have decided to leave years and years of your past behind and to embrace a life-changing ideology from God.

In spite of what others may think, internally this was a long arduous journey.

The final leap was a leap so big that it was almost as if you crossed the Atlantic.

There were people while you were taking the shahadah.

Lots of smiles, hugs, and laughter.

You had made the best decision of your life.

Having accepted, now you started to try and practice. Taking the baby steps to learn how to perform ablution, do the ritual prayer, and for probably the first time in your life really truly experiencing inner peace. Goosebumps and tingling down your spine as you marvel at what an amazing blessing that God Almighty had gifted to you.

However, soon things just turn out slightly different. You miss a prayer and feel absolutely devastated about it. You want to kill yourself for doing something so sinful! Add to that, you are also struggling to concentrate on your prayers anyway.

A million different things run through your head. You feel alien to the community of Muslims that you just joined, and your friends and family from your past life don’t really understand what’s going on either! You feel your faith slip slightly, and are worried. Worries envelop you so much that your day to day life is affected as well.

What is happening? Have I actually made the right decision?

Is God even listening to me?

Why is God doing this to me? Haven’t I just given up everything for Him?

No, no, God is so Merciful and Kind, it is me with the problem. Why am I so ungrateful?

He has given me so much and I can’t even say a prayer without thinking of something or someone else? I am so hypocritical! So on and so forth.

Among the toughest parts of the New Muslim journey is dealing with that “Iman dip”, that phase when your faith seems to slightly crumble, your prayers seem a bit all over the place, and your connection to God faltering.

So, how does one deal with it?

We will discuss 4 spiritual, social and personal ways of dealing with that dip!

Understand That It’s OK

In your early journey into Islam, it is normal to feel a bit intimidated…

Yes, it is!

The best of Prophets was our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). After the Prophets, the best of humanity was the companion of Muhammad (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr.

One time Abu Bakr asked another of the companions Handhalah how he was doing. He answered that he was committing hypocrisy.

He explained that by saying that when they are with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and reminded of Heaven and Hell, they are as if they are seeing Heaven and Hell. Then when they retreat to their families, they forget much of what they felt earlier. Abu Bakr stated that he also experienced the same.

When they went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) for clarification, he clarified that it was a natural thing for the faith to increase and decrease.

So, yes that dip in faith is OK, it really is! You are not becoming a hypocrite for it!

On the contrary, it is a sign of your faith that you even care about that dip so much! Rather than be worried about it, try working on it, and increasing your faith!

Talk to Someone, Preferably a Convert

At times, it is best to just talk to someone. Not anyone of course but someone whom you trust, someone you know will help you rather than hinder you.

In your early journey into Islam, it is normal to feel a bit intimidated of all these really committed Muslims. You tend to compare yourselves to them and feel very poor about yourself! But know that theirs has been a long journey to where they are today, and yours is just fresh and new!

It is also tough to trust someone with the very intimate thoughts of your soul. You might fear getting judged. You might fear that your questions or thoughts might offend a practicing Muslim as well! But overall, it is still best if you talk.

Talk to someone who will accept you for who you are and share your feelings. Share your fears, share your emotions, your questions, and the uncertainties. It will help you feel a lot lighter, and there is a good chance that you will get some invaluable advice too.

And that is why it would be best if you talked to a convert. It is a journey they have gone through as well, and perhaps they know something a person born into a Muslim family may not know!

Understand the Greatness of God, and Turn to Him

If you are worried that you are failing in your prayers, know that God is Al-Ghaffar, the Perpetually Forgiving. If you feel the deeds you are doing for Him are not up to the mark then know that He is Ash-Shakoor, the Tremendously Appreciative.

If you feel that you have wronged God, then know that He is At-Tawwab, the Acceptor of Repentance.

If you feel that life is constricting upon you, know that He is Al-Fattah, the Opener who can open new pathways.

If you see darkness all around you, then know that He is An-Nur, the Light of the Heavens and the Earth, and He is Al-Haadi, the Guide.

Among the 5 billion or so people who are not Muslim, God chose you to turn back on that path and to decide to be a Muslim.

The God who brought you this far, will not suddenly let you go into ruin today. He is Al-Aleem, the All-Knowing, and He is Al-Khabeer, the Best Informed. He knows your pain, He sees your tears, and He understands your struggles even when no one does.

Know that God is the best friend you can have. He is Al-Wali, the Guarding Friend, and He is Ar-Ra’uf, Extremely Kind. He is Al-Wadud, the Excessively Loving. He loves you. And He is waiting to hear from you.

Turn your hands up to the sky, knowing that Al-Mujeeb, the Responder is ready to respond. Know that As-Samee’, the Listener is there to listen, and express it all to Him.

Talk to Him, and know He will listen. Read up on His greatness and be mesmerized. Read His letter to you, the Qur’an, and be guided by the Guide.

Visualize Paradise

God says in the Qur’an that Paradise is a place where:

“you will have therein whatever your inner-selves desire, and you will have therein whatever you ask for.” (Fussilat 41:31)

Visualize that place which has been created for you, by the Master of the Universe.

How would you like your paradise to be? Let your imagination go wild as you think of anything and everything you can ask for.

Ponder over how amazing it would be to finally meet God, the One for whom you have given everything.

And then, once you have, focus on getting back to your best, so that you can get into Paradise and have a good rest!

———–

Courtesy onislam.net with slight editorial modifications.

Raiiq Ridwan is a Bangladeshi medical student at the University of Bristol, UK. He is also pursuing a Bachelors In Arts in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. He is founder of “The One Message”. He’s a certified life coach. He can write on topics related to Qur’an, dawah, depression, anxiety, achieving goals, productivity etc.

 

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9 Lessons from Moses’ Conversation with God

By Raiiq Ridwan

MosesToday we will talk about one of the greatest conversations in the history of humanity, when God spoke directly to Moses, peace be upon him, in the mountain! We will focus on one of the passages in the Qur’an even though it is mentioned in other passages. We will pick Surah Taha (Chapter 20) to be our topic of discussion!

“Has the story of Moses come to you? He saw a fire and said to his family, ‘Stay here—I can see a fire. Maybe I can bring you a light from it or find some guidance there.’ When he came to the fire, he was summoned, ‘Moses! I am your Lord. Take off your shoes: you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa. I have chosen you, so listen to what is being revealed. I am God; there is no god but Me. So worship Me and keep up the prayer so that you remember Me. The Hour is coming—though I choose to keep it hidden—for each soul to be rewarded for its labor. Do not let anyone who does not believe in it and follows his own desires distract you from it, and so bring you to ruin.’” (Taha 20:9-16)

Moses was with his family and traveling in the desert when he suddenly saw a fire in the distance. He asked his family to wait so that he may get some light from the fire or get some guidance from the people there.

Lesson One: God gives us signs

Just like Moses was given the sign of the burning fire, God gives all of us signs in this life. Sometimes it is a verse of the Qur’an that may touch our heart, or a heart penetrating reminder. Sometimes it is just a person we meet who teaches us a lot or just life circumstances. When God shows us signs, it is up to us to take them.

Lesson Two: God’s words are a light and guidance

Ironically Moses said that he would go and see if he could get a light or some guidance. God through this conversation will give him the ultimate light of His words and ultimate guidance being the guidance from God! God has given us a light and guidance through the Qur’an, how much of it have we kept?

Lesson Three: God chooses whom He wills

God tells Moses that he was chosen to be God’s Prophet, and chosen among the thousands of babies killed to be saved. God chooses whoever He wills. He chose that you would be reading this article at this moment, while most people are not. He chose that you would have a computer with an internet connection. He chose that I would be a Muslim while many are not. It is all from the blessings of God. The question is, how do you and I utilize the blessings?

Lesson Four: Prayer, prayer, prayer!

Remember the time you met someone you honored, admired or someone who was a celebrity. Would you ever forget that? Hardly doubt so! Yet, God reminds Moses to establish the prayer so that he may remember God. And yet, Moses has just heard God speak. Would he ever have forgotten? How important then is our prayers and turning to God?

Lesson Five: Even the best of people require sincere counsel

God went on to remind Moses that if he was to turn away, then he might be punished as well. The best of people also need to be reminded of the judgment and of hellfire. The best of people also need to be reminded that other people might turn them away from God, so do not let that happen! If Moses can be reminded about Judgement Day, who are we to act arrogant whenever we are reminded of retribution? Who are we to think we are safe by our petty deeds when this mighty Messenger of God listens silently to the warning?

Lesson Six: This is Islam summarized

God first mentions that none is worthy of worship except Him alone. He then made it clear to Moses to establish the prayer for God’s remembrance and then made mention of the Day of Judgement. This is what we need to enter Paradise! Worship God alone, establish the prayers, remember God and be mindful of the hereafter, and Paradise will be ours insha’ Allah (God willing).

“‘Moses, what is that in your right hand?’ ‘It is my staff,’ he said, ‘I lean on it; restrain my sheep with it; I also have other uses for it.’ God said, ‘Throw it down, Moses.’ He threw it down and—lo and behold!—it became a fast-moving snake. He said, ‘Pick it up without fear: We shall turn it back into its former state. Now place your hand under your armpit and it will come out white, though unharmed: that is another sign. We do this to show you some of Our greatest signs.” (Taha 20:17-23)

After mentioning the main message of Islam to the Prophet Moses, God now moves on to give him an important training.

Lesson Seven: Talk to God as much as you can

Once God gives an opportunity to Moses to talk, he takes it with both hands! He keeps going on and on about his staff! How much do we talk to God when given the opportunity? Do we like to “finish off the prayer” or are actually trying to make time to talk to God?

Lesson Eight: Everything in life can be a double-edged sword

Moses mentioned all the blessings of his staff. Then God asked him to throw it down, and it became a snake—something very harmful! Everything in this world can be such. The proverbial example of the knife which can cut vegetables versus the same knife which can kill people is one to ponder upon. All the blessings in life are blessings which can be for us or against us, depending on how we use it!

Lesson Nine: Trust in God

Another place in the Qur’an, it is mentioned that Moses ran when he saw the snake! And yet God asks him to pick it up. An order from God, and just like his mother many years ago, Moses listens to the order of God and the snake turns back to a staff! God just taught Moses and by extension all of us to trust in the command of God. Whatever He commands is good for us, even if we may not know it, and if we truly trust Him, miracles will happen!

 

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10 Lessons from Jesus (Prophet Esa)

By Raiiq Ridwan

10 Lessons from Jesus (Prophet Esa)Jesus (peace be upon him) was among the five greatest messengers sent to humanity—collectively called the Ulul’Azm.[1] He was the last messenger before our Messenger Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. According to Imam as-Suyuti, he is also counted as the greatest of the Sahabah (companion of Prophet Muhammad). This is because he was raised up alive.

Therefore, when Prophet Muhammad met him on the night of Mi’raj (Prophet Muhammad’s ascension through the heavens), he was not yet dead. One who meets the Prophet, believes in him and dies with that belief is considered a Sahabah. So what lessons then can we learn from Jesus? There are actually hundreds! We will just give a flavor of them in this article and share 10!

When the people shamed Mary (peace be upon her) for having a child outside of marriage (they did not know that it was miraculous), God gave Jesus a miracle and he spoke from the cradle.

“[Jesus] said, ‘I am a slave of God. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet; made me blessed wherever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live, to cherish my mother. He did not make me domineering or graceless. Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again.’ Such was Jesus, son of Mary.” (Maryam 19:30-34)

1. Slavery is the greatest honor

Due to the way human history has gone, the word slavery has very negative connotations and rightly so. Islam came to take people from being slaves to other people to be enslaved to God. And the greatest honor for any human being is to willingly enslave oneself to God. God is the Master, He decides, and we hear and obey. That is the contract, and God is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. He is the One who gives and gives and asks for very little from His slaves. The prophets were honored because they were the best in their slavery to God. And that is our most important identity—we are slaves of God.

2. Scripture and Prophethood lead to blessing

Jesus mentions that he has been given the Scripture and that he has been made a prophet and that he is blessed wherever he is. This is an indication to us that the closer we are to the Scripture that God has sent (the Quran) and to the ways of our prophets, the more blessed we shall be wherever we are. The key to earning blessings from God and having a blessed existence is our relationship with the Book and the way of the prophets.

3. Knowledge leads to action

Jesus was the best human at his time. He knew the Scripture and he was a prophet. And yet immediately after, he mentioned that he has been commanded to pray and to give charity. Knowing leads to action. This is Islam as a religion that teaches us to act and not just do.

4. Deeds for people and deeds for God

Another of the beautiful aspects of Islam is how it combines spirituality and practicality. God ordered Jesus to pray, for his own spiritual benefit and to have a connection with God and also to give charity to the people, also for spiritual benefit and to have a connection with both God and the people too. Islam is a very humanitarian religion and it combines spirituality with practicality.

5. Good manners are the hallmark of Islam

Jesus says that he is not domineering and graceless. The Prophet Muhammad said, “Nothing is heavier on the balance of good deeds on the Day of Judgement than good manners.”[2] Among the greatest of deeds that we can do is to have good manners. It is also particularly important here because even though the people said very horrible things about his mother, he responded with grace and authority that was not demeaning anyone. He did not respond fire with fire. He responded to ill-speech with beautiful speech.

6. The mother, the mother, the mother

In the midst of all of this hard talk, Jesus found time to mention that he has been made dutiful to his mother. There is no other person more important in our lives than our mother. No relationship more sacred. No one more deserving of our love and obedience. They are our easiest road to Paradise. They are the caravan that will always have a place for us. The watering hole that will always give us pristine pure water.

“Be mindful of God and obey me. Allah (God) is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him—this is the straight path.” (Aal `Imran 3:51)

7. Taqwa is the measure of our success

Among the many determinants that God could have chosen to judge us, He chose the one that none of us can see—taqwa (God-consciousness or piety). The Prophet said, “Taqwa is here” while pointing at his chest. That is the order from Jesus as well. Be mindful of God. How do we attain taqwa? The best and easiest way is for us to be mindful of God in our everyday dealings and at every step ask ourselves, “Will God be pleased with me for this?”

8. The straight path is simple

We do not need to complicate matters. The Straight Path is simple—God is our Lord and we obey Him. We are His slaves and we do as He wants us to. That is the straight path.

9. Number of followers is not a measure of success

It is known that not too many people responded to the call of Jesus. This does not mean he was not successful. The hearts of people lie in the hands of God. We are only asked to convey. And that is why despite the few numbers of immediate companions, he has been one of the five great prophets in history.

10. Be with the truth even if the people are few

Even if few people are practicing Islam, we should still practice. Even if the followers are few, it does not mean it is not true. Truth is based on the idea, not on the number of followers.

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] They comprise of Prophet Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

[2] Narrated by at-Tirmidhi.

———

Taken with slight editorial modifications from understandquran.com.

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Top 5 Reasons to Admire Prophet Muhammad

Top 5 Reasons to Admire Prophet Muhammad

By Juan Cole

Prophet MuhammadIn his presidential campaign, Donald Trump notoriously said, “I think Islam hates us.” As is usual with this erratic, fact-free president, the assertion is not true.

If we take Muslim-Americans, who at about 3.4 million persons constitute some 1.1 percent of Americans, over 90% say they are proud to be Americans. Does that sound like hatred to you?

The conviction that Muslims are intrinsically hostile to the US comes in part from a misconception of Islam as a religion. I have tried to put some of the myths to rest in my new book. Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires.

You can’t generalize the world’s Muslims, since there are 1.5 billion of them, and they don’t have an over-all view of the United States. Some like American freedoms and principles but dislike US foreign policy toward issues such as Palestine. People in the eastern part of the Middle East have a negative view of the US under Trump. But a Muslim country like Senegal has a majority that views the US favorably and in Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country population-wise, the favorables are 48% to 43% unfavorable. France, Sweden, Germany and Spain are all more negative toward the US under Trump than are these two Muslim countries.

The fact is that Islam is an American religion. It has been on North American soil for centuries. Some of the emigrants to the New World from Spain in the 1500s forward were secret Muslims who had pro forma converted to escape persecution by the Inquisition. (Southern Spain was mostly Muslim for 800 years, but by 1492 the Castilian Catholics, having conquered all of the south, announced that Muslims and Jews would be expelled. Some managed to stay by an outward show of Catholic piety while they secretly practiced their original religion, becoming known as Moriscos).

Moreover, many of those enslaved and brought to the Americas by slavers were Muslim, in places like Brazil as well as in the United States. To the extent that the US was built in part by slave labor, it was built in part by Muslim labor.

From the 1880s, a significant emigration to the United States began in what is now Lebanon and Syria. Tens of thousands of Arabic-speakers came until the racist immigration law of 1924 stemmed the flow. About 10% of these immigrants were Muslim, and some founded mosques in the Midwest, in places like Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Dearborn, Michigan.

It is since 1965 that the Muslim-American community has grown to several million. The last 50 years of American history has seen substantial economic and cultural contributions to the US by Muslim-Americans. Just for an example, Elias Zerhouni served as head of the National Institutes of Health and presidential envoy for US scientific and medical exchanges with other countries. It is often forgotten just how many Muslim-American physicians there are, contributing mightily to the health and well-being of the nation.

The founder of the Muslim religion, the Prophet Muhammad, is someone whom you would think Americans would admire.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. Muhammad was a businessman, a long distance merchant who went up from western Arabia for trade in the Near Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, to Palestine, Transjordan and Syria. A quarter of Americans have thought about forming a business, and a majority view even big business favorably.
  2. Muhammad encouraged people to practice spirituality. Here is what the Qur’an says about the subject: “Righteousness is not determined by facing East or West during prayer. Righteousness consists of the belief in God, the Day of Judgment, the angels, the Books of God, His Prophets; to give money for the love of God to relatives, orphans, the destitute, and those who are on a journey and in urgent need of money, beggars; to set free slaves and to be steadfast in prayer, to pay the religious tax (zakat) to fulfill one’s promises, and to exercise patience in poverty, in distress, and in times of war. Such people who do these are truly righteous and pious.” (Al-Baqarah 2:177 [Muhammad Sarwar) Some 75% of Americans say they are spiritual.
  3. Muhammad praised people of other religions as well as of his own. The Qur’an (Al-A`raf 7:159) says of Jews, “And among the people of Moses is a community which guides by truth and by it establishes justice.” It says of Christians (Al-Ma’idah 5:82) “you will find the nearest of them in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” It could be critical of both communities for their political positions or what it sees as doctrinal lapses, but it also contains high praise for them. Americans have increasingly warm feelings toward members of other religions, and even their warmth toward Muslims has increased in recent years.
  4. The Qur’an insists on freedom of belief and condemns coercion of conscience (which it terms ‘fitna‘). The chapter of Jonah 10:99 addresses a Prophet Muhammad who despaired of getting through with his monotheistic message to the pagans, saying “And had your Lord had willed, whoever is on earth would have believed, all of them, all together. Then, [O Muhammad], would you coerce the people such that they become believers?” Elsewhere, in the chapter of Al-Baqarah 2: 256, the Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. Whoever rejects false idols and believes in God has taken hold of the unbreakable, firm handle. God is All-hearing and knowing.” Famously, the First Amendment of the US Constitution forbids Congress from making any religion the official religion of the state and then imposing it on Americans, ensuring their freedom of conscience.
  5. The Qur’an urges turning the other cheek and wishing peace on persecutors who orally harass the believers. The chapter of the Gilded Ornaments (Al-Zukhruf) 43:89 says of the militant pagans who rejected the Prophet’s message, “yet pardon them, and say, ‘Peace!’ Soon they will know.” (Arberry). When, however, militant pagans launched aggressive war on the early community of believers in Medina, the Qur’an permitted them to defend themselves by taking up arms. But it warned against engaging in aggressive, expansionist warfare, holding that only defensive war is legitimate. The chapter of Al-Baqarah 2:190 says, “And fight in the way of God with those; who fight with you, but do not commit aggression: God does not love aggressors.” A majority of Americans also feels that sometimes war is necessary but that it would be wrong to launch a war if the US were not first attacked by the other side (the Iraq War seems to have strengthened this sentiment).

1400 years of Christian polemics have demonized Muhammad, but a dispassionate consideration of his life and message makes it clear that there is much for contemporary Americans to admire in his life and teachings.

———

Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment and Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires.

Taken with slight editorial modifications from Informed Comment.

 

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Fitrah: The Predisposition in Humans to Worship One God

Fitrah: The Predisposition in Humans to Worship One God

By Dr. Bilal Philips

fitrahWhen a child is born, it has with it a natural belief in God. This natural belief is called in Arabic the “Fitrah”.[1] If the child were left alone, it would grow up aware of God in His oneness, but all children are affected by the pressures of their environment whether directly or indirectly. The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, reported that God said, “I created My servants in the right religion but the devils made them go astray.”[2]

The Prophet also said, “Each child is born in a state of “Fitrah”, but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a normal offspring. Have you noticed any (young animal) born mutilated before you mutilate them?”[3]

So, just as the child’s body submits to the physical laws which God has put in nature, its soul also submits naturally to the fact that God is its Lord and Creator. But its parents try to make it follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of its life to resist or oppose its parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and God does not hold it to account or punish it for this religion. When the child matures in youth and clear proofs of the falsehood of his religion are brought to him, the adult must now follow the religion of knowledge and reason.”[4] At this point the devils try their best to encourage him to stay as he is or to go further astray. Evils are made pleasing to him and he must now live in the midst of a struggle between his Fitrah and his desires in order to find the right road. If he chooses his Fitrah, God will help him overcome his desires even though it may take most of his life to escape, for many people enter Islam in their old age although most tend to do so before that.

Because of all these powerful forces fighting against the Fitrah God chose certain righteous men and revealed to them clearly the right path in life. These men whom we call prophets were sent to help our Fitrah defeat its enemies. All the truths and good practices present in societies around the world today came from their teachings, and if it were not for their teachings, there would be no peace or safety in the world at all. For example, the laws of most Western countries are based on the “Ten Commandments” of Prophet Moses, like “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not kill” etc., even though they claim to be “secular” governments, free from the influence of religion.

Thus, it is man’s duty to follow the way of the prophets since it is the only way which is truly in harmony with his nature. He should also be very careful not to do things simply because his parents and their parents did it, especially if knowledge reaches him that these practices are wrong. If he does not follow the truth, he will be like those misguided people about whom God says in the Qur’an:

“If they are told to follow what God has revealed, they say: ‘No, we will continue to follow what we found our fore parents doing!’ Even though their fore parents did not comprehend anything nor were they rightly guided.” (Al-Baqarah 2:170)

God forbids us from obeying our parents if what they want us to do is against the way of the prophets. He said, in the Qur’an,

“We advise man to be good to his parents, but if they try to make you do in My name what you know to be false, do not obey them.” (Al-`Ankabut 29:8)

Born Muslim

Those who are fortunate to be born in Muslim families must be aware that all such “Muslims” are not automatically guaranteed paradise, because the Prophet warned that a large part of the Muslim nation would follow the Jews and Christians so closely that if they entered the den of a lizard, Muslims would climb in after them as well.[5] He also said that before the Last Day some people would actually worship idols.[6] Today, there are Muslims all around the world praying to the dead, building tombs and masjids over graves and even performing rites of worship around them. There are even some who claim to be Muslim and worship Ali as God.[7] Some have turned the Qur’an into a good luck charm which they hang on chains around their necks, in their cars or on key chains etc. Therefore, those born into such a Muslim world who blindly follow whatever their parents did or believed, have to stop and think whether they are simply a Muslim by chance or a Muslim by choice, whether Islam is what their parents, tribe, country, or nation did or does, or what the Qur’an teaches and what the Prophet and his companions did.

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Al-’Aqeedah at- Tahaaweeyah, (8th ed.. 1984) p.245.

[2] Saheeh Muslim

[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[4] Al-’Aqeedah at-Tahaaweeyah, (5th ed.: 1972). p.273.

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[7] The Nusayris of Syria and the Druzes of Palestine and Lebanon.

——-

Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamreligion.com.

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Happiness as Understood from the Sunnah

Happiness as Understood from the Sunnah

By Truth Seeker Staff

HappinessThe faces of the old and young – and indeed even the trees and birds around us – rejoice when they come to know about the happiness of the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). This is because his happiness is happiness for those who love him, and guidance for those who follow him. So, let us learn the perfect etiquette and the wonderful guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in times of delight.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) felt delighted at hearing news that attested to something he had previously told others about. For instance, he (peace be upon him) rejoiced when he listened to the story of Tameem Ad-Dari (may Allah be pleased with him) with Ad-Dajjal (the Antichrist), because it was a confirmation of what he had himself told his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) about the Dajjal.

He (peace be upon him) used to be glad when he saw his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) competing with each other in good deeds and hastening to obey Allah The Almighty and His Messenger. It is narrated that some poor people who were in a very miserable state came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) asking him for help. So he (peace be upon him) stood up to speak to the people and urged them to give charity to those people. Consequently, they competed with each other in this until they collected a large amount. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw this, he rejoiced and his face beamed with joy as if it were a piece of gold.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to feel happy when something good happened to any of his Companions, such as his delight when Allah The Almighty accepted the repentance of Ka’b ibn Malik and his two companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Besides, he (peace be upon him) reportedly rejoiced at meeting whoever reminded him of someone he loved, as in the story of Halah bint Khuwaylid, the sister of his wife Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she sought permission to enter upon him. He (peace be upon him) remembered Khadijah’s way of seeking permission, so he was pleased with this and said: “O Allah, let it be Halah! O Allah, let it be Halah!”

Additionally, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to be delighted at hearing words that implied supporting and backing for the religion of Allah The Almighty. For example, he (peace be upon him) felt extremely delighted when his Companions may Allah be pleased with them said to him in the Battle of Badr, “We will not say to you like the people of Musa (Moses (may Allah exalt his mention)) said to him: {Go, you and your Lord, and fight. Indeed, we are remaining right here} [Al-Ma’idah 5:24], rather, we will fight at your right and your left, and in front of you and behind you.”

His (peace be upon him) happiness never made him forget to thank the favors of Allah The Almighty upon him, for whenever he received pleasing news, he (peace be upon him) would prostrate to show his gratitude to Allah The Almighty and thankfulness for His favors.

Such was the Prophetic delight that did not overlook human needs and the psychological feelings, yet, at the same time, taught the hearts to rely on Allah The Almighty alone, and to always be in a state of servitude and worship to Him. Therefore, let us be happy and express our happiness in accordance with his manners and follow his Sunnah (Prophetic tradition).

Whenever we remember the Prophet (peace be upon him) we cannot restrain ourselves from invoking the peace and blessings of Allah upon him, for he was the one whose face was radiant and when he felt happy, he beamed with joy like the moon. His happiness was not out of arrogance or vanity; rather, he was happy when he saw the truth prevail, and when he saw falsehood vanquished. His happiness made those around him happy, and still makes those who hear about him happy; and the happiness continues forever and ever. This Prophetic guidance teaches us how to be happy, and the things and manner for which we should express happiness.

Let us bring up this wonderful incident and contemplate the joy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in it. He (peace be upon him) once entered upon his wife ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with) her and his face was lit up. This was when the truth was revealed to the people after they were in doubt about the lineage of Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him). This happened when Mujazziz Al-Mudliji, who was a genealogist, confirmed that Usamah was the real son of Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them both). ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated this incident by saying, “Once the Messenger of Allah entered upon me and he was in a very happy mood, with his features glittering with joy, and [he] said: ‘O ‘Aa’ishah! Don’t you know that Mujazziz Al-Mudliji entered and saw Usamah and Zayd with velvet covering on them and their heads were covered while their feet were uncovered? He said, ‘These feet belong to each other.’’”

Here is another image of the happiness of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which we need to contemplate. He (peace be upon him) rejoiced after the truth was revealed when Allah The Almighty sent down the acquittal of his pure wife ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) from what the scandalmongers and hypocrites had accused her of.

Then he (peace be upon him) also rejoiced when ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) chose him after the verse of giving the choice (i.e., Al-Ahzab 33:28, 29) was sent down. When this verse was revealed, he (peace be upon him) called ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) and said to her: “I am going to tell you about something and you do not have to hasten to respond until you consult your parents.” “Concerning what do I need to consult my parents?” she replied, “I choose Allah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter.” In another narration, she (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “O Messenger of Allah, do I have to consult my parents about you! I choose Allah, His Messenger and the Hereafter.”

This was the happiness of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It was in Allah The Almighty and by Him, and in truth and by truth. Thus, we should follow his example and rejoice as he (peace be upon him) used to.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamweb.net.

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