Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. Alhamdulillah ala ni’matil Islam.
If we truly do reflect, we would continually thank Allah for all His favors on us.
The favor of life.
The favor of sight.
The favor of taste.
The favor of hearing.
The favor of good health.
The favor of knowledge.
The favor of wealth.
The favor of love.
The favor of the numerous blessings (Known and unknown).
We may continue counting on the favors that Almighty Allah has been ushering on our humble souls to date and we will most probably feel that we have not really thanked Him enough in the past.
Such is the extent of the benevolence of the Most Merciful Creator of all that Exist in the Heavens and the Earth.
The favors of Allah on us are so enormous that we can never finish counting everything till the end of time!
Are you doubting it?
Is it the protection He gave us when we were still in the womb of our Mothers that we want to mention?
Or The miraculous survival. He granted some of us when we mistakenly ingested poisonous/deadly substances as we were playing around as young kids.
Oh! You may want to say—I was a very gentle kid while growing up and I didn’t play dirty at all and so I never got myself hurt, which is quite odd.
There are other numerous ways we have enjoyed and we are still enjoying the favors of Allah, knowingly and unknowingly.
If that is clear, then…….
Why do we still think our survival is because of the existence of someone we know?
Someone we know who has a magnificent portion of the World’s wealth.
Someone we know who holds a revered position in the League of men.
Oh! In your case, it is not even someone but a country whose name sends cold chills to the knees of many other powerless countries.
Oh no! That’s not the case for you.
Yours is that you fear that an organization with an array of Powerful public figures recognized in the world and a stupendous debit bank statements can just fire you from that ladder of success you are just trying to climb!
So, you don’t want to say the truth.
So, you don’t want to forbid haram because you think your survival on earth is tied to their being pleased with you?
Even, if the job keeps drawing you away from Allah. Even, if the job keeps pushing you to tackle and twist the words of Allah. Even if the job keeps taking you away from your firmness on the path Islam?
Now, let’s do some mathematics. There is no doubt that no one is perfect on earth.
So, let’s say, your Iman shuttles between 60% to 80% as a conscious Muslim lady striving amidst fellow Muslims.
Let’s say at the beginning, you were still very much youthful and had the time to research, learn, and know more about Islam. In the beginning, you didn’t have to worry so much about working to make a living.
Alhamdulillah! Your parents were wonderful and caring. They had just enough to cater for your needs and even encouraged you to keep studying hard in school so that you can try your best to excel in school and find a good job after school to sustain yourself.
Also, to take care of them too.
Such a sweet set of parents you have—Maa shaa Allah! So, you studied hard while in school and also you tried your best to increase your knowledge about Islam.
You were truthful with implementing what you know to be the true teachings of Islam and you even encouraged people to be good Muslims.
You strived so innocently in the path of Allah when you were in school as there was no obstacle and no worry of bills to pay. Then, you finished school. You made a beautiful grade—Maa shaa Allah!
You landed a good job, not quite long. Just before you got the job, you were informed about the etiquette of taking interviews.
- You have to dress smartly.
- You have to comport yourself with confidence.
- You need to be attentive.
- You need to be able to express yourself in an interesting and job-fitting manner.
So, you were informed that dressing smartly has to do with taking off that Khimar that you had started wearing out of clear conviction.
You were told:“You know this is a secular country and we just have to compromise a bit if we want to be successful too.” You thought about it in your mind…Hmmm…
That’s the right point! So, without thinking twice about the true definition of success—you succumbed and dropped your Khimar for a “Neck and head covering”.
You didn’t stop there
In order to be accepted as the best candidate for the job, you also ensured to wear a tight -fitted long skirt that covered the whole of your legs but showed the whole of your shape!
You didn’t even stop there again. You ensured to put on a pepper-them office kind of makeup to show that you are not “an unexposed Muslim Candidate” but one who is well suited for the job.
At the end of the day, YOU GOT THE JOB!
You were so happy and elated that poverty has been dropped from your list of worries.Do you forget that your status in the sight of Allah also dropped with the magnitude of your deviance?!
On your first day in the office, you got showered into your beautifully organized work station and you were really wowed at the comfort you are about tasting due to your compromise and also your competence.
As your male boss was about leaving, he turned back to congratulate you once more on the rare top position that you had been employed to occupy. He stretched his hands to express his heartfelt goodwill.
In your heart, you knew that it is haram to intentionally touch an opposite gender out of free-will.
Not a situation of saving his life out of an impending danger which no one else is available to do.
Again, the flashback of not wanting to lose this newly gotten job for the fear of poverty struck your heart and you succumbed once again to the compromise to keep your job.
You shook his hand with a receptive smile and life continued in the office in that mode. No more hayaa (shyness).
No more modesty.
No more raising up “high” the Islamic Identity. No more fear of Allah as the priority.
It is now fear of poverty that is the priority.
In order to be well accepted, you even hugged male colleagues on rare occasions of good news to show that you are now a Liberal Muslim!
Back to our mathematics, don’t you think that your Iman would have dropped far beyond 60% by now.
Although, I am obviously not in the best position to say exactly where you would be in the sight of Allah but I do know that it can never be the same if your priority of Submission is no longer with Allah but to humans.
Even Allah made a comparison amongst the companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) where he says in Surah An-Nisaa (Qur’an 4:95):
لَّا يَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡقَـٰعِدُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ غَيۡرُ أُوْلِى ٱلضَّرَرِ وَٱلۡمُجَـٰهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِأَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِہِمۡۚ فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمُجَـٰهِدِينَ بِأَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِہِمۡ عَلَى ٱلۡقَـٰعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً۬ۚ وَكُلاًّ۬ وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰۚ وَفَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمُجَـٰهِدِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡقَـٰعِدِينَ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا •
“ Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled, and those who strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home), by a huge reward.” Source: Tafseer Ibn Kathir.
Also, Allah tells us in Surah Al-Ankabut (Qur’an 29:2):أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتۡرَكُوٓاْ أَن يَقُولُوٓ
اْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفۡتَنُونَ“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.”
This is a rebuke in the form of a question, meaning that Allah will inevitably test His believing servants according to their level of faith, as it recorded in the authentic Hadith:
“The people most severely tested are the Prophets, then the righteous, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with the degree of his religious commitment; the stronger his religious commitment, the stronger his test.”
This Ayah is like the Ayah, “Do you think that you will enter Paradise without Allah knowing those of you who fought (in His cause) and knowing those who are the patient” (3:142)
There is a similar Ayah in Surah At-Tawbah. And Allah says: “Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you ?”
They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said,
‘When (will come) the help of Allah’ Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!” (2:214). Source: English translation of Tafsir Ibn Kathir
There is no doubt that one of our biggest tests in this present time is the fear of poverty. We don’t need to shy away from the fact that a number of Muslims have left the fold of Islam while struggling to find ends meet.
Some parents had to compromise by sending their kids to Schools with strong religious affiliation with polytheism all because of their drive for the provision of good education for their wards,with the sole purpose of saving them from ending up in penury in life.
I often wonder how the parents feel, presently. As in, do they feel fulfilled in the educational feat of their children now as they eventually lost their faith in the process?
I have personally met a number of apostates with a similar history of school influence. I had met one during Taekwondo classes in my undergraduate days. We had trained together for so long and talked in a friendly manner.
She is known and addressed with her tribal name.
Her dressing has never even depicted that of a Muslim lady since I’d known her.She was cool and nice to be with.I remember times without number when all “free” Muslim Female Taekists would leave to observe Salah in the mosque after training sessions.
The mosque was just in front of the indoor sports hall we do use for our training but my dear Sister never for once said anything about going to the mosque for prayers too.
She never even owned up to being a Muslim in the first place!
Now, to how I got to know that she was a Muslim?
I was in my final year in the University, then. I was inside my room that fateful day when a friend to my roommate came into the room and announced that a Muslim Hostelite had converted to another faith.I was shocked and inquired to know who and what happened.
When I got to know that the person was my Taekwondo colleague, I was more than shocked! I was even more dumbfounded that I saw no sign of her being a Muslim at all in the first place!
I needed to be sure, so I went to her room.
Another painful thing was that her room was just 3 rooms away from mine, yet I didn’t know her true identity all along.
When I got to her room, we exchanged greetings the English way as usual. Although, we are from the same tribe but we often relate on a formal but cool level.
She is more like a classy but tom-boy kind of girl.
While in her room, I met her in her normal composed mood. Her signature little smile, nicely laced on her lips was there as usual.
I felt bad that I couldn’t see beyond the smiles that I took as “I’m cool and fine, girl!”
I felt bad that I didn’t see a sister battling with faith crisis earlier than that moment even as she kept putting up with the “I’m cool and fine” regular signature.
We got talking and after some while, I pushed the statement I heard forward.“I heard you converted to so and so religion”, is that true?
I never knew you were a Muslim in the first place. In her usual composed mood, she told me with a little smile—”Although, I had been a Muslim officially all through my life but I have practically been on this other religion right from my childhood.”
She continued, “I know very little about Islam as I was never exposed to any form of Islamic knowledge while growing up.”
She went on, “All my educational pursuits have been in this other religious setting’s educational establishments except tertiary level where I grew up to learn both religious and conventional knowledge in their way.”
To put more emphasis on the point, she said, “My Mum enrolled me in those schools right from childhood and she has even gone on pilgrimage to Makkah.”
Later on, she pointed at a scarf given to her by her Mum. From all indications, that was the only scarf that I had seen in her possession since knowing her and she even sees it as a souvenir to be displayed from afar while informing me that her mum gave it to her to use for prayer purposes.
When I asked her that “how will her mum feel if she eventually gets to know that she has left the fold of Islam?”
She said, “She doesn’t have a choice but to accept my decision.”My Dear Taekist colleague made her statement with such confidence and no fear.
In my heart, I thought about what her point of argument could be based on. It may turn out to be—“Mum, you didn’t expose me to Islamic knowledge from my childhood till adulthood but you intentionally enrolled me in educational institutions that taught me to be who am I today, so am I at fault now to follow the way that was taught to me?”
I don’t know about her father because she didn’t mention him throughout the conversation. At that point, I felt it would be good to involve a more knowledgeable person in the issue. I left her room to check on her later on, which she agreed to.
Later on, I informed the Amir of our set about the development and he agreed to dialogue with her to find out what exactly the problem was.I asked my Taekist friend if she doesn’t mind having a dialogue with someone on the present issue of which she agreed and a date was fixed.
After the dialogue, I asked for feedback—It was a negative one.
Her case was such that she had become a tree in her faith before it was even known at all!
Although, I don’t know her present condition but I pray that Allah guides her to Islam before she leaves the surface of the earth. I also pray that Allah straightens parents like hers on the right path.
May our continual compromise not lead us to regret on the day of resurrection (Aamin).
We all know that there are several cases of compromises on the land all because of the fear of worldly hardships.
But why? Why do we tend to forget our priority?
That which Allah tells us in Surah Ad-Dhariyyat (Qur’an 51:56):﴿ وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُونِ
And I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me.
Allah has already created us with all the provisions that we need to thrive and succeed but we have refused to think and take heed to his words.
Why do we still think that it is our fellow humans that can save us from the shackles of poverty when Allah had already dedicated a whole surah to remind us of His bounty on us?
How often do we read the words of Allah and ponder on them in the first place?
Why do we have a manual given to us by “our Manufacturer” but we reject it, only to tremble with fear at the deceit of Shaytan and his agents?
When was the last time you read and pondered on the words of Allah?
When was the last time you opened surah Ar-Rahman and pondered on it?
Sometimes, we really do have answers to our problems but our laziness remains the only factor limiting our success.
Read the Qur’an with the intent of understanding the message of Allah.
Then, you would realize that the creativity that leads to success is taught and explained clearly in the words of our Lord, to all Mankind.
That, we would realize only when we truly believe and submit to Him, and also pondering on His words to find answers to some of our amusements. That alone is enough to widen our minds to the wonders He has created and learn from them as He told us to do.
Thanks for reading through till the end.I remain that humble slave of Allah, Haleemah Bint Ahmad (Haleema Aderayo Mustapha)