“Those who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.” [Al-Baqarah, 02:03-04]
Alhamdulillah, all of us believe in the Unseen; Allah, the Hereafter, angels,… This is the whole point of our test. This is where the ‘love-fear’ part in the relationship comes up. It’s kind of related to the points coming up next:
…Are steadfast in prayer. Here some of us tag behind. To overcome this, let’s look back and see how much we really believe in the Unseen. For example, if I’m driving on an unfamiliar road and a warden comes up to warn me of a ditch ahead, I would waste no time turning back. What does this show? That I believe with certainty in what that person told me, judging by his work authority and my equal lack of knowledge on it. So, the stronger my belief and fear is, the more I’ll work for it. If anyone wants to check his relationship status with Allah, or wants to know how much he fears or loves Him, he can check his prayers. Are they on time? Is he even observing them? Persistent on them?
My Quran professor, Dr. Farhat Hashmi, explained this loving-Allah concept in a very beautiful way, and so did M. Al-Kharraz. They say:
“There are 3 reasons which make you love someone:
1. Either because that someone is beautiful!
2. Or because that someone always deals kindly with you.
3. Or because that someone has done many favors for you.
Think of Allah now. He is all of the above and more, isn’t He? Doesn’t He then deserve to be the most worthy of our love over everything and anyone else? To truly love Allah is to truly taste the greatest love in existence! It is to truly taste the beautyof faith…”
When you love someone, you begin to love everything connected with that person. Everything that reminds you of him. Similarly, when you love Allah enough to prove it to Him through your actions, you begin to love everything He has placed around you. The people, topping the list. Perhaps that’s why the next trait is about spending on people. Anyone and everyone. From family, friends and neighbours to the beggars on the street. We probably score big here. 🙂 Only need to set our intentions straight. Just do it for Allah, and expect nothing in return. Though we’ll reap the worldly rewards all the same, keeping eyes on the everlasting joy is a way better deal than eying the temporary one, don’t you think?
And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allâh’s Pleasure. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.(02:272)
Now, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of spending (charity)? Money? Well, yes, but that’s not all. Your love, time, skills, talents, knowledge, help, a good advise… everything’s counted in charity. You’ll probably understand this point better through this hadith:
“Every good deed is charity.” [Muslim]
Next is, they (Al-Muttaqun) believe in the Qur’an, Torah, Zabur and Injil as the word of God. and above all, they believe with certainty in the day of judgement. Now, why has Allah used the word ‘youqinun‘ (assurance) with the day of judgement and not “you’minun” (believe) to follow a similar pattern?
There’s a slight difference in the meaning. Being assured of something is stronger than simply believing in it. Only those people who have the assurance of the qyamah to the point of conviction can do the actions mentioned above. People who know for sure that there will come a day when they would stand before Allah and answer for every minute of their lives, and for every blessing they received. Only such people can carry out these deeds, and not the ones with a lay-it-back attitude. This is where the definition of Al-Muttaqun clicks in properly. These people fear Allah much so they try to abstain from everything that displeases Him, and they love Allah enough to be steadfast on His commandments. This is probably why only obligatory prayers are mentioned here, not fasting, zakah or hajj. ‘Cause the rest of the pillars are not as difficult to carry out. With prayers one has to overcome his nafs (perhaps the strongest resistance), sacrifice his time and delay his work to answer the call of Allah five times a day and give himself up in total submission.
No wonder it is seemingly hard to practice but gets easier as one’s belief in the Hereafter becomes stronger. This is not my personal opinion or deduction but Allah’s (swt) explanation of it in verses 45-46 of Al-Baqarah:
“And truly it (the obligatory prayer) is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khâshi’ûn [i.e. the true believers in Allâh – those who obey Allâh with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise,) and in His Warnings (Hell, )]. They are those who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return. “
What took me a multitude of paragraphs to explain, Allah (swt) says it all in two short verses. It’s one of the miracles of the Qur’an. The depth in every word and the connections are never ending…
So, what do we get in return for going against our desires only to please the Lord?
“They are on (true guidance), from their Lord and it is these who will prosper.” [Al-Baqarah, 02:05]
Guidance in both the lives and eternal success! Imagine the effect of it. It would never wear off. We would bask in the glory of it forever. I’ve always thought ‘forever’ is a word exclusive to the after life only. Its meaning dies out when it follows anything worldly. Especially ‘friends forever’. It comes with irony stamped on it. But again, these are my views. Debatable of course.
Now coming back to the point, we need to grasp that the qualities we’ve just covered are compulsory. If we flunk in one of them, can we be promoted? Would we be eligible for Jannah?
Like if we fail our compulsory science subjects,would we be eligible for medical or analytical studies?
So we believe in the Unseen. Check. We spend on people. Check. Double check the intention part though. We believe the four Holy Books to be from Allah (swt). Check. We do not doubt the certainty of the Hereafter. Check. We are steadfast on the obligatory prayers. Err…this is something we still need to work on to be elevated to the ranks of the pious. To help get started, read this booklet ‘How to taste the true beauty of Salah‘ by scholar Mishari Al Kharraz. It’s an amazing piece of work that sure polished up my prayers. Hope it works wonders for you too. 🙂
Implement these verses:
- Be steadfast in salah. Start cutting down old habits that turn off your spirituality level
- Ask less, give more
- Do as much for this world as you are to stay here, and as much for the hereafter as you are to stay there
- Set your priorities straight
PS: The person who shared this booklet has something to say to the readers:
“A few days back my dad, handed me this book, A book that really changed my perception and understanding of Salah (namaz). I hope it does the same for all of you, if you give it a chance and read it with Dua to Allah (swt) that he gathers this knowledge in our hearts .
It is my moral obligation that I share this knowledge about Salah and help other fellow Muslims reap the real benefits of Salah and may Allah (swt) help all of us to understand our Deen in a much better and beautiful way to understand the true beauty of it completely-Ameen–”