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Monday, 10 February 2014


We Know These Questions


We Have No Answers

(By: M. Javed Naseem)

يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ وَخُلِقَ ٱلإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفاً
Allah would make the burden light for you,
for man wacreated weak.” 
(al-Quran 4:28)

If your faith (Iman) is so weak that it cannot make you walk to the mosque for prayer (Salaat); or it does not make you repent for the missing prayers; or it does not make you feel remorse for the injustice you do to others; or it does not force you to regret after hurting others' feelings, how can it make you win the Paradise? You are here in this world to prepare for the Hereafter. And you cannot do it without ‘Iman’ or faith.

ٱللَّهُ وَلِىُّ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ
وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوۤاْ أَوْلِيَآؤُهُمُ ٱلطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُمْ مِّنَ ٱلنُّورِ إِلَى ٱلظُّلُمَاتِ
أُوْلَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ ٱلنَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith; from the
depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.
Of those who reject faith the patrons are the evil ones;
from light they will lead them forth into the depths
of darkness. They will be companions of the fire,
to dwell therein (for ever).
(al-Quran 2:257)

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيداً
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَظَلَمُواْ لَمْ يَكُنِ ٱللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ طَرِيقاً
إِلاَّ طَرِيقَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً وَكَانَ ذٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيراً
“Those who reject Faith and keep off (men) from the way  
of Allah, have verily strayed far, far away from the Path.
Those who reject Faith and do wrong, Allah will
not forgive them nor guide them to any way –
except the way of Hell, to dwell therein
for ever. And this to Allah is easy.”
(al-Quran 4:167-169)

And what is 'Faith' or 'Iman'? It's your belief in Allah. Here's what Allah says in the Holy Quran: 

يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ
 آمِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَٱلْكِتَابِ ٱلَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَٱلْكِتَابِ ٱلَّذِيۤ
 أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ
 وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيداً
"O you who believe! 
Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the Scripture 
which He has sent to His Messenger and the Scripture which 
He sent to those before (him). Anyone who denies Allah, 
His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of 
Judgment, has gone far, far astray (has no Faith)".
(al-Quran 4:136) 

When we don’t offer prayer (Salaat), we look for excuses. We think that we didn’t have time, we were too busy. We are working on our ‘Douniya’, then who’ll work on our 'Aakhirah' (Hereafter)? Look on the other side of it! You might have done something wrong that Allah did not like you to stand in front of Him in prayer. Do you believe in “taufeeq illa bi-Allah’? Then try to get it right! Allah is very serious about prayer (Salaat) and commands us to establish it. There are hundreds of verses in the Holy Quran about it. Here is a ‘Dua’ (supplication) of Prophet Abraham (a.s.):

رَبِّ ٱجْعَلْنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلاَةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَتِى رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَآءِ
“O my Lord! Make me one who establishes regular prayer,
and also (raise such) among my offspring, O our Lord!
And accept You my prayer.” 
(al-Quran 14:40)

Allah had instructed Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to convey to the believers His commands about regular prayer (Salaat):

قُل لِّعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ يُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَيُنْفِقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ
سِرّاً وَعَلانِيَةً مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِىَ يَوْمٌ لاَّ بَيْعٌ فِيهِ وَلاَ خِلاَلٌ
“Speak to my servants who have believed, that they may
establish regular prayers, and spend (in charity) out of
the sustenance We have given them, secretly and openly,
before the coming of a Day in which there will be
neither mutual bargaining nor befriending.”
(al-Quran 14:31)

وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱرْكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّاكِعِينَ
“And be steadfast in prayer; practice regular charity; and
bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).”
(al-Quran 2:43)

حَافِظُواْ عَلَى ٱلصَّلَوَاتِ وٱلصَّلاَةِ ٱلْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُواْ للَّهِ قَانِتِينَ
“Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer;
and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).”
(al-Quran 2:238)

يَآأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱسْتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلاَةِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّابِرِينَ
“O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance
and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.”
(al-Quran 2:153).

Everybody wants success. We are all trying to succeed in this world and forget about the next. But even in this world, when the caller calls us five times every day with the words: ‘Come to the success’ (‘Hayee-ya al-alfalah’), we ignore him and reject the offer of success. There must be something wrong with us!

ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلواَتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ قَدْ أَفْلَحَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ ٱللَّغْوِ مُّعْرِضُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَواةِ فَاعِلُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ
“Successful indeeare the believers, who are
humble in their prayers, and who shun vain conversation,
and who are payers of the poor-due,
 and who guard their modesty.”
                (al-Quran 23:1-5)

وَتُوبُوۤاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And turn unto Allah together, O believers,
in order thayou may succeed.”
(al-Quran 24:31)

ٱلَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلواَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ ٱلزَّكَواةَ وَهُمْ بِٱلآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
أُوْلَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ
“Those who establish worship and pay the poor-due
and have sure faith in the Hereafter; such have guidance
from their Lord. Such are the successful”.
(al-Quran 31:4-5).

They are successful because they sincerely obey the Almighty and become His friends. In other words, obedience to your Lord guarantees success in this world as well as in the next. When you join the ranks of 'Friends of Allah', you have no fear nor worries:

أَلاۤ إِنَّ أَوْلِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
“Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah
there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
(al-Quran 10:62).

Don’t blame your fate or luck for your failures. We make our own choices in life and our fate or luck is based on those choices. A bad choice (or decision) generates bad results for which we cannot blame our luck. It's our actions that decide our course. That’s why we are held accountable for our actions in this world, and will be rewarded in the Hereafter. What you sow, so shall you reap! Everybody has to carry his own load.

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفْساً إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا ٱكْتَسَبَتْ
On no soul does Allah place a burden
greater than it can bear. It gets every good
that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. …”
(al-Quran 2:286)

If everything in our lives were pre-determined or pre-destined, Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.) won’t ask us to invoke Him and pray for His mercy, for solidarity of faith (Iman), knowledge, bounties, provision, peace, happiness, children, success in worldly affairs, protection from evil and Hellfire, forgiveness and for compassion to enter the Paradise, etc., etc. If we can change our situation by turning to God in repentance, begging Him for His mercy and practicing the good deeds, then it is not the fate. It’s us. Yes, us and our actions!
Some people may not like this notion as they are strong believers of fate/luck. If everything was pre-destined, we are not guilty then. Accountability makes no sense. Why would then Allah punish us for our evil deeds and reward us for good deeds? I invite you to ponder over the following few verses of the Holy Quran. Allah says:

إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً فَأُوْلَـٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ ٱللَّهُ
سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً 
“Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds,
for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good,
and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(al-Quran 25:70)

There goes your theory of fate/luck out of the window. It’s your good or bad actions that decide the outcome. Here, again, is the confirmation:

وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ مَتاباً
“And whoever repents and does good, has truly
turned to Allah with an (acceptable) conversion.”
(al-Quran 25:71)

If you can convert your misfortune into good fortune through repentance and good deeds, you better stop talking about bad luck. Be practical! Here is another proof:

وَمَآ أَصَابَكُمْ مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ
“Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because
of the things your hands have wrought, and for many
(of them) He grants forgiveness”.
(al-Quran 42:30)

And in this verse of the Quran, Allah clears all doubts about bad luck or misfortune:

مَّآ أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ
“Whatever good, (O man!) happens to you, is from Allah;
but whatever evil happens to you, is from your (own) soul.”
(al-Quran 4:79)

There is a related subject of ‘Qadha’ or ‘Qaza’ and ‘Qadr’ but it is a separate issue, different from the issue of good or bad deeds or the actions we are responsible for.
Muslims (believers in general) have a duty or responsibility to ward off evil and encourage the good deeds for the sake of community. The society, as a whole, benefits from it.

                                   وَٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ                                  
يَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنْكَرِ
وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلواَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ ٱلزَّكَواةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ
أُوْلَـٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“The Believers, men and women, are protecting friends
of one another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil:
they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity,
and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will
Allah pour His mercy; for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.”
(al-Quran 9:71) 

Here is the best ‘Dua’ (supplication) in the Holy Quran that can change lives; and we are commanded to recite it. Allah always hears it and loves to answer our prayers:

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ
تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْراً كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا
وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَٱعْفُ عَنَّا وَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا
وَٱرْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَٱنْصُرْنَا عَلَى ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ
“… (Pray:) "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or
fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that
which You did lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us
a burden greater than we have strength to bear.
Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us.
You are our Protector. Help us against those
who stand against Faith." 
(al-Quran 2:286).


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