Showing posts with label obedience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label obedience. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Finding ‘Balance’ in the Trials of Life


The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) is reported to have said:

'This life is the dwelling of crookedness; not straightness, and the residence of sadness; rather than happiness. Those who acquire knowledge in its true reality will not feel joy in times of ease, nor grieve in times of hardship. 

Verily, Allah the Exalted has created this life as a test and the Hereafter as the dwelling of recompense. He made the test of this life a reason behind earning the reward of the Hereafter and the reward in the Hereafter as compensation for the test in this life. He takes so that He gives and tests so that He recompenses.

The life of this world vanishes rapidly and changes suddenly. Therefore, beware of its sweetness so as to avoid the bitterness of its depriving, and beware of its delights so as to avoid the pains they lead too. 

Do not excessively build a life that Allah has decided is bound to destruction, and do not recline to (or like) it. Verily, Allah has ordained on you that you should avoid its danger. Otherwise, you will expose yourselves to His Anger and justifiably earn His Punishment."

This prophetic wisdom is, in many ways, also a summation of the Qur’anic message on the fleeting nature of our fortunes in this world, and that everything is subject to a law of nature or the Divine Law. The Holy Qur’an says, “No misfortune can happen, either in the earth or in yourselves, that was not set down in writing before We brought it into being- that is easy for God- so you need not grieve for what you miss or gloat over what you gain.” (57: 23) Long ago, Luqman the Wise counselled his son to endure with fortitude what befalls and the Qur’an notes: “Bear anything that happens to you steadfastly” (31:17).

Our Wishes and Divine Expectations

The Qur’an alludes to the wisdom behind this balanced approach to our earthly life’s contingent circumstances- fortunes and misfortunes; situations that can and will evolve in the fullness of time in the life of a believer. With a deeply flawed sense of the human self- "foolish and unjust", according to the Qur'an- man is inherently incapable of making the wise decision as regards what is harmful or beneficial for him without Divine guidance. Our wishes, desires and inclinations are to be tempered in accordance with Divine commandments and expectations wherever applicable, depending on the varied circumstances of one’s life. 

Allah (swt) encourages the believers to trust in His better knowledge of how things will turn out to be in the end, and of what benefits a person in his present life and the Hereafter. Submission to God and adherence to Divine expectations would better serve and suffice the believer's larger interests, says the Qur’an in its own inimitable style: 

“You may dislike something although it is good for you, or like something although it is bad for you: God knows and you do not.” (2: 216)

“Live with them (your wives) in a goodly manner: if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of abundant good." (4:20) 

One of the Divine revelations recieved by the Promised Messiah (as) in the previous era on the same theme is as follows: 

"God will bestow your reward in full and will be pleased with you and will perfect your name. And it is possible that you hold something dear, yet in reality it is harmful for you; and it is possible that you dislike something , yet in reality it is beneficial for you. God Almighty knows the end results of things and you do not know." [Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part IV, p. 391, UK: Islam Int'l Publications, (2016). 

Imam Ibn al Qayyim al-Jawziyya (691-751 AH; 1292-1350 CE), the medieval polymath and classical commentator of the Holy Qur’an, has left behind a deeply insightful exposition on this theme of the Qur’an, advising the believing servants on how to profit from these profound words of the Book of God.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Wisdom of Obedience to God


We are Nothing Without Allah.

Dear brothers and sisters of Islamic faith, my dear disciples, neither you nor I owe our existence to our own will. The vast universe and the many creatures it contains are the work of the one and only Creator, with a set of rules / laws for each species and creation. This Unique Creator is Allah.

At first, apart from the Creator, there was no creature. Then Allah (swt) decided to create living beings, such as the angels, jinn and humans. Among these creatures, more specifically, the jinn and humans, there are those who use their life to do good, while others use it to do evil. Allah says:

And by the day as it appears in brightness; And by that which He has created, the male and the female; Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes).” (Al-Layl 92: 3-5).

Thus, it is clear that the man and the woman must fill their days and nights with various efforts for their survival on earth and therefore they will have to face the consequences of their actions on the Day of Judgment.

But as for one whose scales are light, His refuge will be an abyss. And what can make you know what that is? It is a Fire, intensely hot.” (Al-Qariah, 92: 9-12).

Man and woman, in short the human race must fulfill their duty to its Creator, and the main duty is the exclusive worship of Allah (swt) and to make every effort to build their lives on the basis of Islam - complete submission to Allah - and to serve Him in all sincerity and piety.

Allah says: “I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Az-Zariyat, 51: 57).

And in serving Him, he must also serve humanity because the essence of God is in every human being on earth.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ramadan: Fasting and Obedience

“Fasting & Obedience”:

By the grace of Allah, we are going to enter once again in the extremely holy and sacred month of Ramadan. First of all, we need to thank Allah the Almighty who has given us this great boon and enabled us to receive this month once again. This is indeed such a month which is worth a whole lifetime. And it is Allah Almighty who gives us this assurance. To better understand the importance and worth of this month and to help us benefit from this blessed month to the maximum, Allah says in the Holy Quran, in the Surah Al-Baqara, Verses 184-187:

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil). For a certain number of days; but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man; so whoever does good spontaneously it is better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know. The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks. And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.

Let’s analyse what Allah is telling us (in these verses):

Oh you people who have faith (Iman), Oh you believers, We have made fasting (Sawm/ Roza) obligatory upon you like We made it obligatory upon the people or nations before you.

‘la-’alla-kum tatta-quun’ – so that you may guard (against evil), so that you may tread on the right path, so that you may have Taqwa (fear of Allah).

This fasting for a determined numbers of days and those who are travelling or are sick, then they shall have to replace the missing fasts afterwards. And those people who have the means, (as expiation) they need to feed a poor.