To doubt your piety is the real essence of piety.
After asking Allah to guide you to the straight path, don’t just stand there … start walking!
When we help religion, we end up helping ourselves.
Look, you’re working, you’re working. Whether it’s for good or bad, you’re working hard in this life. You might as well make it count before it’s too late. Live for Him.
‘O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet Him’ 84:6
“Oh my servants, all of you are misguided.
Except whom I guide.” (Muslim)
A line from a hadith so powerful that Imam Al-Nawawi includes it in his 40 hadith collection. It begs a profound question,
“What makes you so special?”
What makes you so special that the light of faith was turned on in you?
What makes you any different than the thousands of people around you who still walk in darkness?
What made it that you are guided, and Abu Talib, the one who raised the Prophet ﷺ was not?
And when you realize that you’re not special, other than Allah bestowed on you this incredible gift of guidance, it invokes humility.
And fear. Fear that your light may flicker when you need it most. Or that it die out.
Of the Prophet ﷺ most consistent prayers was,
“Oh turner of hearts, make my heart firm upon your religion.” Even the prophet ﷺ is asking for steadfastness constantly.
Abdullah Ibn Umar, the great companion and son of Umar ibn Al-Khattab, stood in Hajj saying,
“”O Allah, You have said, ‘call on Me – I will answer you’ and You do not break Your promise. So I am asking You, in the same way that You have guided me to Islam, not to take it away from me until you take my life while I am a Muslim.”
That’s the worry of a companion who lived in the Prophet’s footsteps.
We say 17 times a day, “Guide us to the straight path.”
There is no level of service to the religion or knowledge that you acquire where you are not in need of making this request.
So let us be humble, grateful, and fearful..
but also hopeful.
Because the hadith continues with a promise.
“Oh my servants, all of you are misguided, except whom I guide,
so ask Me for guidance and I will guide you.”
These are the days of accepted prayers, may Allah gift us a guidance that illuminates us until we meet Him.
“Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,” and thereafter stand firm, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [46: 13]
Subhan’Allah, this verse is *so* apt for our current time and era. Istiqamah (remaining steadfast) is something that people struggle and grapple with in their lives. Some win, some continue in the battle, and some unfortunately will lose the fight. Sufyan (ra) once came to the Prophet (s) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I can ask of no one but you.” Imagine. The Prophet (s) could’ve told him about the intricate details of Islam, or the articles of faith, but at this particular moment, he decided to give him a lifelong lesson and advice. He (pbuh) said, ‘Say: “I believe in Allah” — and then be steadfast.‘” [Muslim]
Tell yourself to be upright. Inform your soul of its Creator. Remind yourself of where you’re going because steadfastness is everything. Islam is simple in many ways, but remaining upon simplicity is something people struggle with for some reason. So we go this way, and we go that way. We overburden ourselves, and then fall very short. We study but don’t implement. We know, but make excuses. We’re too harsh and then go off the rails ourselves. It’s a complete mess subhan’Allah – and much of it comes down to this: We lack steadfastness, particularly upon the simplicity and basics of Islam.
If ever you begin to experience doubts or weakness in faith, do everything that is in your power to escape that weakness and strive like you’ve never strove before until Allah saves you.
The righteous before us always used to say رب سلم سلم – ‘My Lord, grant me salvation. My Lord, grant me salvation.’
Sufyan was described as being like one who was upon a sinking ship because of how much he used to say this statement. Brothers and sisters, your Iman is your most prized possession. Every day, we are tested. And every day, Allah sends us signs. The heart and soul gather the blackness of evil thoughts, deeds, and intentions until they reach a state where they become an enemy to us, then it becomes a battle which only a few will triumph, إلا من رحم الله…
One of my favourite supplications is: اللهم لا تجعل المصيبة في ديننا ولا تجعل الدنيا أكبر همنا – ‘O Allah do not cause calamities to befall our Deen and do not make this world to be our greatest concern.’
Imagine if our greatest concern was the health of our Iman, and bond with our Maker? Your life would flourish in so many ways.
I find it very interesting that the verse above ends with
‘on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.’
This is actually a statement given to the believer at the time of death and in the Hereafter. Yet here, Allah links it to steadfastness in this world. In other words, remain steadfast upon belief, and all shall be easy through life, death, and resurrection insha’Allah. As the next verse goes: “Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise, abiding eternally, as a reward *for what they used to do*.” [46: 14] – And there lies many an answer.
O Allah, save us from the trials of this world and beyond. Keep us steadfast upon your Deen and upon righteousness until we meet You, ameen.