Article ☁ IS IT FOR ALLÂH ﷻ?

A FULFILLING TENET

TO LIVE BY

Every gulp of air that goes out in a cause other than the cause of ALLÂH ﷻ will turn to sorrow and regret on the Day of Judgement.

Imām Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah رحمه الله

My late father رحمه الله and I used to have conversations after midnight, sometimes in the kitchen whilst munching on fruit, and during one of our talks, I cannot recall the exact conversation, he shared with me a valuable question to consider before making any choice, committing to a decision, starting a plan or taking action, or the why of deeds, which stuck with me ever since,

IS IT FOR ALLÂH ﷻ?

Now, the question may seem simple but the answer not quite so nor the application, depending on what we as Muslims want from life.

A FEW WORDS ON RELATIONSHIPS

Narrated by Anas bin Mālik رضي الله عنه, The Prophet ﷺ said,

None of you will believe

until he loves for his brother

what he loves for himself.

How much of the above applies in our lives?

For any relationship – familial, spousal. friendship, professional, etc. – to prosper, it is to be because we are in it and/or love the person for ALLÂH ﷻ.

The words seem to roll off the tongues of many with little to show for it.

A declaration of love is via ACTION, a deliberate dedication of deed.

Doers or listeners of negative and ill-talk – slander, causing dissension between people, backbiting, conveyor of negative and second–hand talk, and gossip, – would cease to exist if we loved one another for The ALL-Merciful ﷻ.

We would always greet one another, be it face-to-face, via calls, messages, texts or email, by invoking one of the beautiful and perfect names of ALLÂH ﷻ to start and end any communication right, by asking ALLÂH ﷻ, THE ONE AND ONLY, The Perfect and Ultimate Peace, for HIS Peace, Mercy and Blessings,

As-Salâmu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullâhi wa Barakâtuhu.

THERE IS NO REWARD in a mere salâm, a baseless and empty greeting of peace.

A Muslim who neglects this simple soothing greeting, or even the shorter “version” (As-Salâmu ‘Alaykum), which gains us high rewards if upheld with the right intention, unveils a little of his/her character and religious priorities. Even worse, not returning the greeting,

{وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا}

{And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allâh is ever, over all things, an Accountant.}

(04:86)

This is also true for other Islamic terminologies.

But it does not stop there. There are also other means of love.

Distance is another indication. Sometimes, it is the lesser of two “evils” because being in one another’s presence may be doing more harm than good and so time apart is a preventative measure in not distancing ourselves from ALLÂH ﷻ.

Distance is also necessary so certain relationships do not dwindle and dissolve becoming a means to maintain them; otherwise, we would grow out of them or, even worse, lose respect ending them on a bad note.

Love means accepting, appreciating, forgiving. trusting and receiving with an open and respectful ear and mind, and an embracing, grateful, kind, and merciful heart, melting away grudges, rectifying erroneous ways, not remaining silent about ills or instigating them, and expecting the same in return, if we love one another for ALLÂH ﷻ.

Any relationship detaching us from ALLÂH ﷻ is unhealthy and unhealing and needs reassessing. This may include our spouses, family, friends, social gatherings, company exuding negativity, or those who are simply holding us back hindering our self-betterment and character growth.

Ultimately, whatever relationship we are in, it is one that will bring us closer to ALLÂH ﷻ – FULL STOP!

Narrated by Abu Dāwūd رضي الله عنه, The Prophet ﷺ said,

The perfect believer is the one who

loves for the sake of ALLÂH,

hates for the sake of ALLÂH,

gives for the sake of ALLÂH

and restrains for the sake of ALLÂH.

PUBLIC, PERSONAL, PRIVATE

Whatever we are striving for – degree, career, vocation, material possessions, money, “altruism”, sharing talents, skills, learnings and experiences, disseminating knowledge, improving ourselves, guiding others, etc., – is to be solely for ALLÂH ﷻ.

To ensure we are making the right decision or choice, we should ask ourselves this simple and crystal clear question,

IS IT FOR ALLÂH ﷻ?

There are only three answers to this question:

If the answer is yes without demur:then we are on the right path inshâ’Allâh.
If we pause or are hesitant:it would be wise to reflect on why that is so and then reconsider.
Should it be a no, we deflect or cannot even bring ourselves to ask the question:we are in the wrong with our priorities misplaced.

    However, how can we know for sure it is for ALLÂH ﷻ?

    What will clarify the answer to any of the above three?

    It is really simple: Istikhâra Prayer. One of the best guiding tools to simplify choice- and decision-making, soothe the heart and ease the mind, by asking for THE ULTIMATE GUIDANCE FROM ALLÂH ﷻ in ALL matters be they minor or major and all in between.

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ

    وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ

    وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي

    O ALLÂH, verily I seek the better [of either choice] from You, by Your knowledge, and I seek ability from You, by Your power, and I ask You from Your immense bounty. For indeed You have power, and I am powerless; You have knowledge and I know not; You are the Knower of the unseen realms.

    O ALLÂH, if You know that this matter is good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then decree it for me, facilitate it for me, and grant me blessing in it. And if You know that this matter is not good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then turn it away from me and me from it; and decree for me better than it, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.

    APPLICABLE ACCOUNTABILITY

    We are to hold ourselves accountable regarding our own intentions, thoughts and actions, as well as the deeds of those we love.

    {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَن تَعْدِلُوا ۚ وَإِن تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا}

    {O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allâh, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allâh is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allâh is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.}

    (004:135)

    It may seem hard to live a life by this question but Muslims whose way of life is Islâm, who are proactive in their self-growth continuously, consistently and committedly improving in every possible way until they return to ALLÂH ﷻ, removing expectations, excuses, hesitations, justifications and negativity from their lives, and hold themselves accountable, will live by this premise.

    Those who strive for the better appreciate hard and smart work, and understand nothing worthy in life comes easy without the effort, energy and dedicated time for what we deem valuable.

    Following the same reasoning, if we want what is after this life, does not working for it, and at it, seem more impelling?

    Applying that tenet in our lives, we cannot but live a life pleasing to ALLÂH ﷻ – and we will be wiser for it.

    When we do wrong, we are human after all, we will introspect, examine our deed(s), work on rectifying it and more so on not repeating it. We will feel lighter, free from any unnecessary inner or outer turmoil.

    We need to constantly ask ourselves with transparency and openness if our feelings, thoughts, words, silences and deeds are bringing us closer to ALLÂH ﷻ or not – the how, what, when, where, who and why in SPENDING our time, health, energy, money, and gained knowledge and skills.

    The question is to have a permanent haven in our hearts and minds, at the forefront, IF ALLÂH ﷻ IS OUR FIRST LOVE and we ONLY FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM ﷻ. A profound gain, the healing fulfillment of making it easier for us to attain and maintain sakeena, removing all other attachments.

    So, I ask we mull over our lives, once again, honestly,

    IS IT FOR ALLÂH ﷻ?

    2014


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