In Pursuit Of Allah's Pleasure


  • bookcover

  • In Pursuit Of Allah's Pleasure


  • Part One: Our Ultimate Goal

     

    To attain the Pleasure of Allah ( SWT ) by:

     

    1. Directing our sincere devotion to Him alone.
    2. Achieving the true following of His messenger, Muhammad .

     

    Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (ra) relates that the Prophet said: "Allah, the Lord of Honour and Glory, will call the inmates of Paradise, 'O Residents of Paradise!' They will respond, 'Here we are, our Lord, and all good is in Your Hands. `He will ask them: 'Are you now pleased?' They will answer: 'Why should we not be pleased, our Lord? When You have bestowed upon us such bounties which You have not bestowed on any of Your other creation. `He will then say to them: 'Shall I not bestow upon you something even better than that?' The inhabitants of Paradise will inquire: 'What could be better than that?' Allah will say, 'I bestow upon you My Pleasure and shall never thereafter be displeased with you.'" [1]

     

     Verily, our Lord, Your Pleasure is more exalted and precious than any felicity. We put Your pleasure above and before all else. By doing so we follow in the footsteps of our Prophet who sought Your pleasure before asking for Paradise in his supplications: "O Allah, I ask You for Your Pleasure and Paradise."

     

    Allah ( SWT ) is indeed more precious to us than anything else, and He is Greater than all else. His pleasure is also more valuable than any other objective:

     

    "But the greatest bliss is the good Pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme success." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 72.]

     

    Allah, Exalted is He, is the First: there is nothing before Him; and He is the Last: there is nothing after Him. He is the Most High: there is nothing above Him, and He is the Most Near: there is nothing nearer than Him. He is the Ever-Living and the One who sustains and protects all that exists. He is the All-Mighty; the All-Wise; the All-Aware; the All-Knowing; the All-Seeing; the Owner of Power; the Most Strong. He has power over all things; everything is in need of Him; all actions are easy for Him; and He is in need of nothing whatsoever:

     

    "There is nothing like unto Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the Ever- Watching." [Surah Ash-Shura (42), Ayah 11.]

     

    It is He who creates all things from nothing and provides after destitution. He gives life and causes death. He resurrects the dead from their graves; and to Him will be the final return on the Day of Judgment, when He forgives whom He wishes to forgive, out of benevolence, and punishes whom He wishes to punish, out of justice:

     

    "Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. None has the right to be worshipped but He. How then are you turned away?" [Surah Az-Zumar (39), Ayah 6.]

     

     

     

    All save Him, Exalted is He, will perish:

     

    "Whatsoever is on it [the earth] will perish; but the Face of your Lord, full of Majesty and Honor will abide forever."[Surah Ar-Rahman (55), Ayah 26-27.]

     

    So how could we not consider the Pleasure of Allah: to be our ultimate goal for which we strive and break away from whatever opposes it, so that we can have recourse to its protection and delight in it?

     

    "So flee to Allah (front His Torment to His Mercy) Verily, I (Muhammad) am a plain Warner to you from Him." [Surah Az-Zariyat (51), Ayah 50.]

     

    Our Prophet taught us that the Pleasure of our Lord is our refuge and shelter:

     

    A'isha said: "I missed the Messenger of Allah in bed (one night) so I looked for him and (suddenly) my hand perchance felt the sole of his feet in the mosque. They were upright (in sujud position) and he was saying: Allaahumma innee A'udu biridhaaka min Sakhatika, wabimu 'aafaatika min 'Uqoobatika, wa A'udhu bika minka, Laa Uhsee Thanaa'an 'Alaika, Anta kamaa Athnaita 'Alaa Nafsika." ("O Allah! I seek refuge in Your Pleasure front Your Wrath, and in Your Pardon from Your Punishment; and I seek refuge in You from You. I could never praise You enough (as You deserve], You are as You have praised Yourself.") [2]

     

     The Pleasure of Allah, Mighty is He, is an objective before which all other objectives diminish in importance:

     

    "And Allah is better [as regards reward in comparison to your reward], and more lasting [as regards punishment in comparison your punishment." [Surah Ta-Ha (20), Ayah 73.]

     

     Whoever finds and attains it has indeed found everything could possibly need; and whoever loses it or is misguided away from has lost everything. This is the person that Allah, has left astray,"...and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah? [Surah Al- Jaathiya (45), Ayah 23.]

     

    One of the mercies that Allah has granted His creation is His undertaking to realize this aim (of pleasing Him) for all those who seek it with sincerity:

     

    "Allah chooses for Himself those whom He wishes, and guides unto Himself those who turn to Him in repentance and in obedience." [Surah Ash- Shura (42), Ayah 13.]

     

    Allah, Exalted is He, never turns away anybody seeking His guidance. Instead, He assists and guides them to it:

     

    "As for those who strive hard in Our cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths (Allah's religion)." [Surah Al-`Ankabut (29), Ayah 69.]

     

    On the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) who said that the Prophet said: "Allah the Almighty says: `I am as My servant expects Me to be. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand's span, I draw near to him arm's length; and if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.' " [3]

     

     How could we not then make Allah's ( SWT ) Pleasure our ultimate goal?

     

    On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (ra) from the Prophet is that among the sayings he relates from his Lord, Exalted is He, is that He said:

    "O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another.

    O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you.

    O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food from Me and I shall feed you.

    O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you.

    O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.

    O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me.

    O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any man amongst you, that would not increase My Kingdom in anything.

    O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you as wicked as the most wicked heart of any man amongst you, that would not decrease My Kingdom in anything.

    O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it.[4]

    O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good (in the Hereafter) praise Allah and let him who finds other than that blame no-one but himself."[5]

     

     How could we not seek His Pleasure and aspire to be amongst His beloved friends whom he defends and assists:

     

    "Truly Allah defends those who believe." [Surah Al-Hajj (22), Ayah 38.]

     

     Allah also says in the Hadeeth Qudsi: "Whoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him... "[6]

     

     And can we not aspire to be among His beloved about whom He says in the same Hadeeth Qudsi:

     

    "My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with optional works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his sense of hearing with which he hears, his sense of sight with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.. " [7]

     

     We hope to attain His Pleasure and we wish that our Lord will admit us in Paradise on the Day of Resurrection along with the righteous people:

     

    "My worshippers! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve, (you) who believed in Our Signs and were Muslims. Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness. Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them, [there will be] therein all that one's inner-self could desire, all that the eyes could delight in, and you will abide therein forever. Such will be the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds which you used to do [in the life of the world].Therein for you will be fruits in plenty, of which you will eat [as you desire]." [Surah Az-Zukhruf (43), Ayat 68-73.]

     

    In light of all of the above, does our set goal equal other goals? "Say: Is the blind one equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to Light?" [Surah Ar-Ra'd (13), Ayah 16.]

     

    "Is he who walks on his face without seeing, more rightly guided, or he who [sees and] walks on a Straight Path [Islam]?" [Surah Al-Mulk (67), Ayah 22.]

     

    A Muslim's objective illuminates his path, outlines his endeavours, regulates his footsteps, actions and positions. You find him walking on the ground while his heart is set on the Heavens. He goes forth one instance and holds back another; sometimes hastens and sometimes slows, speaks on one occasion and holds his tongue on another. During all this he is proceeding confidently towards his ultimate goal.

     

    This objective makes the Muslim intolerant of neglecting the commands of his Lord or disobeying film in any way. For doing so would come between him and his exalted aim. It also makes him waste little of his time, lest it should come to nothing. He is cautious not to spend the fleeting moments of his life on anything that does not please his Lord.

     

    One of the merits of a Muslim's ultimate goal is that it controls the means by which it is achieved. The goal does not serve to justify the means for those who wish to attain it, nor does it allow them to justify any means with a view to achieving that goal. Rather the goal controls the means which, in its turn, is controlled for it. The goal would not be attained by any words or actions unless these are done with sincerity towards Allah and in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet .

     

    The early Muslims confined their objectives to seeking only the Pleasure of Allah ( SWT ). One of them would say: "I will make all my worries, one," that is, my only worry in this life is to please Allah ( SWT ), the Almighty. Their only concern in this life was to achieve His pleasure. Therefore they overcame any hindrance or obstacle on

     

     

    the road leading to this exalted aim and dispensed with all their desires and worldly aspirations. Their aim was to achieve all that Allah ( SWT ) commanded of them. Thus they became the most pious, most knowledgeable and most just of all people. Their Lord, consequently, granted them guidance and support and made them the mightiest of all people.

     

    The majority of present-day Muslims, however, have strayed in choosing and determining their objectives. Some have put the Pleasure of Allah behind them and set off in pursuit of their own worldly desires; paying no attention to anything else.

     

    Some even think that they can have other objectives alongside seeking the pleasure of Allah ( SWT ). Such people have become, as Allah ( SWT ) said (which means):

    "A man belonging to many partners disputing with one another." [Surah Az- Zumar (39), Ayah 29.]

     

    But Allah ( SWT ) the Most High is Self-Sufficient : He has no need of an associate. Thus, he who does an action for someone else's sake as well as Allah's ( SWT ) will be renounced by Allah ( SWT ) in favour of those whom he has associated with Him.

     

    This is why today's Muslims, despite their large numbers, have become like the foam of a torrential stream. They have fallen into myriad vices. They are divided by whims and heresies. The Muslim nation has become, as the Prophet said, a large bowl to which all the nations of the world call upon one another.

     

    The situation is very grave. As a result of abandoning the sole objective for which they had been created, Muslims will not only live in humiliation upon this earth, as is the case today. They will also face a greater danger on the Day of Judgement, each in proportion to his negligence of and alienation from the true objective.

     

    Abandoning the Pleasure of Allah ( SWT ) means nothing other than choosing Allah's ( SWT ) wrath as an objective. Let people delude themselves as they please. Let them call their erroneous objectives any modern name they like. It will never amount to any more than the wrath of Allah ( SWT ). Let them call their objective a struggle to achieve true socialism, or dress it with the false glitter of democracy, or capitalism, or Arab nationalism, or secularism. Let them say whatever they please as long as they have rejected the Truth:

     

    "So after the Truth, what else can there be except error?" [Surah Yunus (10), Ayah 32.]

     

    "Those are they who have purchased error at the price of Guidance, and torment at the price of Forgiveness. So how bold they are [for evil deeds which will push them] to the Fire!" [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 175.]

     

    "And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their souls, if they but knew!" [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 102.]

     

     We therefore warn our people saying to them: return to the right path: "Answer the call of your Lord." [Surah Ash-Shura (42), Ayah 47.]

     

    Return to the Pleasure of Allah( SWT ) let your devotion be sincere and your struggle continuous:

     

    "O our people! Respond [with obedience] to Allah's caller [i.e. Muhammad [pbuh], and believe in him." [Surah Al-Ahqaaf (46), Ayah 31.]

     

    And know that achieving this great and noble goal is extremely easy for those assisted by Allah ( SWT ), and that the road leading to it is extremely clear for those blessed by Allah's ( SWT ) Guidance, for He ( SWT ) "...guides unto Himself those who turn to Him in repentance and obedience." [Surah Ash-Shura (42), Ayah 13.] Those who choose to travel this road need only two things to achieve their objectives:

    1. Sincerity to Allah, the Almighty by seeking His Pleasure alone, and;
    2. Following the example of the Prophet.

     

     

    1. Sincerity

     

    Allah ( SWT ), Exalted is He, accepts no work whatsoever, be it great or small, unless it is intended solely for His Pleasure.

     

    On the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra), who said that the Messenger of Allah said: "Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, said: `I am Self-Sufficient. I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else's sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me in favour of him whom he associated with Me.'"[8]

     

     A Muslim is required to dedicate all his endeavours to Allah ( SWT ) in all his actions and words, remembrance and thinking, sleep and waking, worship and daily living, love and hatred, giving and withholding.

     

    "Say [O Muhammad ( pbuh)]: ` Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner.'" [Surah Al-An'am (6), Ayat 162-163.]

     

    A servant should be sincere to Allah ( SWT ) in all his activities:

     

    "Say: [O Muhammad ( pbuh)]: `Verily I am commanded to worship Allah (alone) by obeying Him and doing deeds sincerely for Allah's sake only and not to show off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship;'" [Surah Az- Zumar (39), Ayah 11.]

     

    Sincerity is isolation of the intent in obedience to the Worshipped - Glorified is He - singling Him out alone in worship, restraining the heart from turning towards creation during conduct with the Lord, and cleansing the action from every flaw.

     

    And one who knows the reality of the perfection of the Lord Most High, His Exaltedness, His majesty, His power, His wisdom, His blessings, His shielding, His gentleness, His kindness, His gracefulness, His generosity, and believes that He is:

     

    "the First [nothing is before him] and the Last [nothing is after Him], the Most High [nothing is above Him] and the Most Near [nothing is nearer than Him]." [Surah Al-Hadeed (57), Ayah 3.]

     

    and at the same time know the truth about created beings, namely that they "...cannot create [even] a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, the y would have no power to release it from the fly." [Surah Al-Hajj (22). Ayah 73.]

     

    and that they

     

    "...possess neither hurt nor benefit for themselves, and possess no power [of causing] death, nor [of giving] life, nor of raising the dead." [Surah Al- Furqan (25), Ayah 3.] and that they

    "...own not even a qitmeer (the thin membrane over a date-stone.)" [Surah Faatir (35), Ayah 13.]

     

    Those who know all these things cannot possibly dedicate their work to anyone except Allah. How could they possibly attach their hearts to any but Him?

     

    On the authority of Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra), the Prophet said: "Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger; and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that which he migrated."[9]

     

     Indeed, every action not done sincerely for Allah ( SWT ) is futile and wasted. The greatest works turn into calamity for their doers in both this life and in the next if they are devoid of sincerity to Allah. The prophet informed us that: "The first three people against whom Judgement will be pronounced will be a man who has died a martyr. He will be brought forward and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognise them. [The Almighty] will say: `And what did you do about them?' He will say: `I fought for You until I died a martyr'. He will say: `You have lied, You did but fight that it might be said [of you], he is courageous. And so it was said.' Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into the Hell-Fire.

     

    [Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Qur'an. He will be brought forward and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognise them. [The Almighty] will say: `And what did you do about them?' He will say: `I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Qur'an for Your Sake'. He will say: 'You have lied, you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you], he is a reciter. And so it was said.' Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into the Hell-Fire.

     

     [Another] will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kinds of wealth. He will be brought forward and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognise them. [The Almighty] will say: 'And what did you do about them?' He will say: `I left no path [untrodden] in which You like money to be spent without spending it for Your Sake.' He will say: `You have lied, you did but do so that it might be said [of you], he is open-handed. And so it was said.' Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into the Hell-Fire." [10]

     

     This Hadeeth shows us how the greatest and noblest of deeds turn into catastrophe due to the lack of sincerity.

     

    The opposite of sincerity is showing off (ar-Riyyaa'). It is the practice of performing any of the various forms of worship through words or actions in order to be seen and praised by people. It could take a pure form, as is the case of the hypocrites about whom Allah, the Almighty said:

     

    "And when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men." [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 142.]

     

    It could also be by devoting works to Allah as well as to other than Him; or it could be the case where the work starts off by being devoted to Allah alone but later becomes hypocritical, when it is done with the intention of showing off.

     

    Muslims are commanded to struggle against their selves and ensure sincere devotion in every action they undertake and to rid themselves of all forms of showing off. It is wrong to abandon good works for fear of showing off. One should do good deeds and be sincere to Allah at the same time:

     

    "So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord." [Surah Al- Kahf (18), Ayah 110.]

     

    Sincerity is both necessary and required in order that every soul may rid itself of whims and desires and make its objective whatever Allah ( SWT ) requires of it.

     

    1. Realizing the true following of the Prophet (PBUH)

     

     Sincerity, as mentioned above, constitutes but one of two conditions for the action to be accepted by Allah, the Almighty. The second condition is to follow the example of the Prophet . Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah says about those who observe sincerity in their words and actions and follow in the footsteps of the Prophet : "They are the true people of the saying: `You [Alone] we worship' [11] . All their works, words, giving, withholding, loving, hating and apparent and hidden interactions are devoted to Allah alone. They do not seek the reward or thanks of the people, nor do they seek the high status in society. They neither seek to be commended, nor avoid being defamed, because they consider people as the buried dead who can neither benefit nor harm, nor do they have power over life or death, or the raising of the dead."

     

    Only those ignorant of their Lord and of the conditions and nature of human kind would seek the pleasure and praise of people and aspire to high position and influence in society. Those who are aware of Man's nature and know Allah, prefer to devote themselves and their actions to seeking Allah's Pleasure and ignore the self- interested reactions of other people. All their acts of worship are concordant with Allah's commands and what He likes and dislikes. This is the type of work which Allah accepts.

     

    Allah, Exalted is He, says (which means):

     

    "Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the Dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed." [Surah Al-Mulk (67), Ayah 1-2.]

     

     He also says (which means):

     

    "Lo! We have placed all that is in the earth as an ornament thereof that we may try them; which of them is best in conduct." [Surah Al-Kahf (18), Ayah 7.]

     

    Al-Fudhayl bin `Iyyaad said: "The excellent deed is that which is the most sincere and the most correct." He was then asked: "How is that, O Abul - Hasan?" He said: "The deed which is sincere but not correct will not be accepted. Likewise, the deed which is correct but not sincere will not be accepted, until it is both sincere and correct." The sincere deed is that which is intended for Allah's Pleasure alone; the correct deed is that which follows the Sunnah of the Prophet . This is exactly what Allah ( SWT ) says in the following verses (which means):

    "And whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord." [Surah Al- Kahf (18), Ayah 110.]

    and also

    "And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah while doing good." [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 125.]

     

    Any work which does not follow these criteria will be rejected, much as he is in need of its acceptance. It is related by 'A'isha (raa) that the Prophet said: "Any deed which is not in agreement with our teachings will be rejected." [12]

     

     And any deed which does not follow the example of the Prophet only serves to increase the distance between the worshipper and his Lord. For Allah ( SWT ) can be worshipped only in the way that He had commanded, not in accordance with someone's whims and opinions.

     

    Realising the true following of the Prophet is the evidence a servant presents to prove his true love for Allah, and by which he can acquire Allah's love:

     

    "Say [O Muhammad to Mankind]: `If you [really] love Allah, then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive you your sins." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 31.]

     

    The true following of the Prophet can only be achieved if a Muslim rejects innovations and customary practices which people have introduced into religion. A Muslim must completely adhere to the teachings of the Prophet in his creed and practices, piety and conduct, his judgement and adjudications, his war and peace, his daily life and striving, his speech and silence, his remembrance and thoughts and his sleep and waking. Allah, Exalted is He, says (which means):

     

    "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad ] you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in [the Meeting with] Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much." [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 21.]

     

     "And whatsoever the Messenger [Muhammad ] gives you, take it. And whatsoever he forbids, abstain [from it]. [Surah Al-Hashr (59), Ayah 7.]

     

     "O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away , from him while You are hearing." [Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 20.]

     

    Obedience to the Prophet is associated with obedience to Allah in forty different instances in the Qur'an.

     

    All the paths are blocked for Man except for those Muslims who follow in the footsteps of the Prophet . For such true followers, all the roads of good are open.

     

    Instances of contradicting the true following of the Prophet are numerous. Some of these instances are as follows:

     

    1. Adopting doctrines and theories and trying to reshape Islam to suit themselves.
    2. Considering men to be a criterion by which to judge the Shari'ah and a measure of truth; and referring to them instead of referring to Shari'ah.
    3. Putting words and actions before the Qur'an and the Sunnah. "O you who believe! Be not forward in the presence of Allah and His Messenger. O you who believe! Lift not your voices above the voice of the Prophet." [Surah Al- Hujuraat (49), Ayat 1-2.]
    4. Following the example of the Prophet only in certain aspects of Shari'ah and neglecting others. An instance of this is to follow the Prophet's example in ways of praying and fasting, for example, and not in ways of rule and government. Allah, Exalted is He, says: "Do you believe you in part of the scripture and disbelieve in part thereof?" [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 85.]

     

    Attaining true following is the sole guarantee of rectification on the road of guidance and success and avoidance of wrong and stray roads.

     

    "And this is My Straight Path, so follow it. Follow not other ways, lest you be parted from His Way." [Surah Al-An'am (6), Ayah 154.]

     

    In the past the Muslim nation became divided and dispersed due to the failure to act according to the Sunnah. Furthermore, the appearance of invention in religion and heresies which tear our people apart, ultimately leading seventy-two sects to the Hell-Fire are due to the absence of such true following. True guidance and salvation are only achieved through the following of the Prophet alone. Every heresy and

     

    innovation in religious matters is ugly. Its initiators are hated, their work is rejected, and their assistance is cut off.

     

    This, Muslim brothers, is your objective which you should do your best to achieve. The means to this are to dedicate devotion to Allah alone with complete sincerity and to strive to attain the true following of the Prophet .

     

    Were you to strive to this end and travel this path, you must expect to live among people as a stranger because most of them have lost the true path. It is inevitable for the people of truth to feel estranged in the midst of people of falsehood like the estrangement of light in complete darkness. The Prophet said: "Islam began as something strange and will be strange once again: may felicity be the lot of the estranged (its followers)." [13]

     

     People of this life compete for money and influence, fame and power. They consider this world their only abode and the end of their journey. It is their sole objective which they strive hard to attain. As for the people of the Hereafter, they are strangers in this life. The Prophet said: "Be in the world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer." [14]The heart of a stranger or wayfarer can hardly pay attention to anything other than his home and final destination.

     

    "For Al-Muttaqun (the pious), there are Gardens with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home)...". [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 15.]

     

    [1] Bukhari and Muslim.

    [2] Muslim.

    [3] Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah.

    [4] This refers to the minute amount of water adhering to a needle if dipped into the sea and then withdrawn.

    [5] Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah.

    [6] Bukhari and Muslim.

    [7] Bukhari and Muslim.

    [8] Muslim and Ibn Maajah.

    [9] Bukhari and Muslim.

    [10] Muslim, Tirmidhi and An-Nasaa'ee on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra).

    [11] [Surah Al-Fatiha (1), Ayah 5.]

    [12] Bukhari and Muslim.

    [13] Muslim.

    [14] Bukhari on the authority of Abdullah bin Umar (ra).

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