In The Name of Allaah, The Most Exalted in Might, The Most Dependable.
All praise belongs to Allaah, Exalted is He above all they associate with Him as partners; The Most Knowledgeable, full of eternal Wisdom, Who has created man out of His boundless mercy, and set the criterion for right and wrong, that He may be worshipped within His limits, as a test for those who claim to believe.
May the peace and blessings of Allaah Ta’ala be upon the prophet (PBUH), his household, his sahaabah and the generality of the muslims.
If you’ve ever wondered to what class you belong, as a muslim, then now’s a good time as any to assess yourself.
The everyday life of the muslim should revolve around an endless struggle for the pleasure of Allaah SubhanaHu wa Ta’ala. As He has said in suurah adh-Dhariyat, verse 56 (Interpretation of the meaning);
“And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).”
Despite this clarity in purpose, there are, unfortunately, muslims who live without realizing the consequence of their actions. The call of the adhaan kisses their oblivious ears so they do not respond to it. Lies and deceits are easy upon their tongues and they feel not the least affected by their utterances. They are surrounded by like minds and almost weighed down by the chip of arrogance on their shoulders. They are those who live daily in negligence, forgetting the purpose of their existence. They are driven so much by their desires that these desires become their gods.
As Allaah Ta’ala says in surah Al-Jathiya, Verse 23 (Interpretation of the meaning);
“Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god)?…”
Their love for the dunya equals, if not surpasses that of a disbeliever. They are so driven by their need for more that the remembrance of Allaah Ta’ala is the last thing on, if at all it ever crosses their frozen minds.
They know nothing of the deen so when they are teased by the disbelieving people, they hide in shame, hating that they are associated with muslims. In ignorance they blossom and if perhaps a little encouragement comes from someone they call ‘friend’, they immediately become renegades, embracing disbelief.
In the end, they indulge endlessly in pursuit of their worldly affairs, even though Allaah Ta’ala has said in Suurah Al-Muhammad, verse 36 (Interpretation of the meaning);
“The life of this world is but play and pastime…”
Indeed, they are oblivious of the consequence of their heedlessness.
Then there is a class of muslims who know the truth but recoil from it. They notice the call of the adhaan but delay their solah till the last possible moment. When they get too engrossed, they neglect the solah and combine hastily with the next, as though they believe they were doing Allaah (Glofified and Exalted is He) a favourl. And when they are too tired? They turn completely away from it with little guilt, forgetting that Allaah Ta’ala has said in Suurah Al-Maun, Verse 4-5 (Interpretation of the meaning);
“So woe unto those performers of Solah (prayers) (hypocrites), who delay their Solah (prayer) from their stated fixed times.”
They have large, worldly dreams and are surrounded by like, unreflective minds, forgetting that the prophet (peace be upon him) is reported in Jami’ at-Tirmidhi to have said;
“A man will follow the way of his close friends, so let one of you look to whom he takes as a close friend.”
In ignorance, they fear that the confinement of Islaamic principles would hold them back, so they are driven by the man-made principles such that they fear increasing their knowledge in the deen, for indeed, knowledge comes with the burden of a prickling conscience. Hence, when the truth comes to them, they pick that which suits them and leave that which is “uncomfortable”. But they do have a highlighted sense of obligation.
Na’am, they are riled when they see an injustice on the ummah but they are too self-consumed to dare to do something, even when they may be able to, for they are constantly considering how their actions affect their business dealings and connections! They may be seen as the ummah with the face-value. They have the physical characteristics of the muslims but act only based on personal gains. Sometimes they deal justly and sometimes they sell their conscience for a little price; a little chip on their shoulders and a little humility to acknowledge their wrongs – somewhere in the middle, even though Allaah Ta’ala has said in suurah al-Baqara, verse 208 (Interpretation of the meaning);
“O you who believe! enter into Islaam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the shaytan, for he is to you, an avowed enemy.”
Unfortunately, after sowing in the desert by day, they fall into insomnia by night, plagued by their conscience but when the morning comes, they go about their aimless journey as though they never saw the signs.
Another class of muslims are those who seek closeness to Allaah Ta’ala through their own desires. They believe that as long as an act of worship is good, and the intention is good, it is worthy, whether or not these acts of worship were done by the Prophet (peace be upon him), forgetting that the prophet (peace be upon him) is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari to have said;
“Whoever introduces into this matter of ours, anything that is not part of it, will have it rejected.”
They do not believe in the constraints of worshipping Allaah Ta’ala in the exact way the prophet (peace be upon him) and his sahaabah (May Allah be pleased with them) had worshipped, when Allaah Ta’ala had said in suurah al-Ahzab, verse 21 (interpretation of the meaning):
“Certainly you have in the messenger of Allah, an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allaah and the latter day and remembers Allaah much.”
They argue and try to prove their points through rational thinking, when some matters are so sacred that only Allaah Ta’ala knows their secrets. As Allaah Ta’ala says in verse 7 of suurah al-Imran (interpretation of the meaning);
“It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad SAW) the Book (this Quran). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book, and others not entirely clear…”
So they pile up deeds in golden kettles, oblivious that they only pile into kettles with uncontrollable leakages.
And of the muslims are those few who struggle earnestly for the pleasure of Allaah. Of these, there may be those who have always striven and those who had once been lost in the depth of darkness.
When they hear the call of the adhaan, they hurry in obedience, regardless of their engagement. When they observe the solah, their attention is rapt; even if not completely, they strive consciously for focus. The remembrance of Allaah Ta’ala is constant in their dealings with others and with themselves.
When they are tested, they find solace in the perfect words of Allaah Ta’ala and in the seerah of our pious predecessors, and they are grateful. They are constantly seeking to beautify their characters and their patience can be described as “beautiful”. They are constantly seeking knowledge, calling to goodness and prohibiting evil with the best manner because they are mindful that Allaah Ta’ala says in suurah at-Tauba verse 71 (interpretation of the meaning);
“The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil…”
They are ever worrying about their souls; what evil habit to give up next and what good deeds to engage next. They are ever worried about their hearts; what deeds were done with the best of intentions and which were done with polluted intentions because they are constantly reminded of the hadith reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari, that the prophet (PBUH) said,
“Actions are but by intentions and each man will have but that which he intended.”
And they are ever driven by the need to amass; amass knowledge and good deeds for the pleasure of Allaah Ta’ala because they remember that Allaah Ta’ala says in suurah al-A’la, Verse 17 (Interpretation of the meaning);
“But the Hereafter is better and more lasting.”
They are surrounded by people of piety and strive for goodness in all sincerity. They are so humble about their lack of knowledge and imperfection as to be regarded as knowledgeable.
But they are not perfect; they fall into errors ever so often or ever so rarely, but when they do, they look at their reflections with self-reproach and layers of regret then the virtue of Tauba is re-affirmed in the way they return to Allaah azzaawajal.
When they remember sins they have left behind, their eyes would cloud with tears of regret but for the trust they have in their Lord, the light of hope would linger over their hearts like a protective armor, and they would feel the serenity that has been promised by their Lord.
Every time they see the signs of Allaah, their heart would swell up in faith and submission. And every time they fight the seducing silhouette of a previous sin, they are reminded of the possibility of going astray except by the guidance of Allaah, so they learn afresh, the virtue of humility and they do not feel secure in the perfection of their deeds because they know that only Allaah Ta’ala knows the end of His creatures.
The very obvious degrees to these classes begs the questions;
“How classy are you?”
“How classy do you want to be?”
“What are you prepared to give up to be there?”
“What do you hope to achieve, by aiming to be there?”
I hope this makes us reflect. May Allaah grant us the completeness of guidance and make us of those He is pleased with on the day of regret.
By Madinah Ize Ya’qub Musa (Umm Naml).
28th Dhūl Qa’dah, 1438 AH.