20. THE QUR’AN AS OUR GUIDE
In Surah Hajj, verse 41, Allah tells us: “[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.”
Allah emphasizes that the ending belongs to Him. We do not know what that ending is, and we are not in control of it. We pointlessly worry, dread and second guess. Before long, we become over reliant on our actions and lose our trust in Allah. If so we need to develop respect for Allah first, and overcome the lack of iman which makes us become emotional.
To perform da’wah to Allah, we should emulate the best teacher of all – Rasulullah SAW and be guided by our scripture, the Qur’an. All the knowledge we need to comprehend and have the right constitution to live our life is already contained in the Qur’an. The question is whether we trust Allah enough to regulate our lives according to the contents of the Qur’an.
Surah Al Anam verse 38 confirms – “Nothing have we omitted from the Book…”
“And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.” (An Nahl 16:89)
Surah Al-Baqarah at verse 151 says: “Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know.”
If we were convinced about the Qur’an, we would not seek solutions from any other source. Yet, many of us feel that we are smarter than Allah, and seek knowledge from different sources which contradict the knowledge in the Qur’an. Those who read the Qur’an without iman or guidance also draw their own ill judged and wrong conclusions, interpreting its words in the way they like and not in the way it was intended. Truth and misinterpretation is blended into a confusing mass of nonsense. This in itself is a defeat.
What is in it for us who spread the message? Surah Al Ahzab, at verse 39, gives a clear answer to this: “Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And Sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.”
On the flipside, those who distort the message or conceal it will have a very different ending in store for them: “Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse.” (Al Baqarah 2:159)
So many of us forget the message, and trade our place in Paradise for an insignificant slice of dunia. We compromise our faith for the sake of a job, or a beautiful woman, or some form of worldly status. This is the worst bargain we can ever broker. Of this, the Qur’an says:
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], “You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it.” But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased. (Al Qur’an 3:187)
Rasulullah SAW has advised us in an authentic hadith to convey the Qur’an, even if it is just one verse. We are also asked to: “… cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” (Al Qur’an 5:2) The rewards are immense, for we are reminded time and again that this world and all it contains is so temporary and insignificant in comparison to what awaits us in the Hereafter.
Allah chooses and gifts to whom He wants. He will give us dunia, money and status to check the extent to which we are willing to relinquish this for the sake of Allah. Today, we mix all of these elements and we lose our purity. We enslave ourselves to our jobs, wives, money and kids and forget the message. Whereas the sunnah of Allah requires purification first, or else the journey will plummet into failure.
These are neither just empty words, nor something that we impose on others to do without performing it ourselves. Surah As-Saff 2 and 3 state: “O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.” We should carry the maximum we can in our actions, and not simply preach what we do not practice.
The journey or iman is so liberating, because it releases us from our temptations and captivity to dunia. Yet, one of our main hesitations against this journey relate to provision and income. Again, we place our hopes and fears of remuneration on others, and compromise on our belief because we do not trust Allah enough. That is why so many Muslims are indulging in haram jobs, for they lack trust for Allah to provide for them if they were to seek lawful means of sustenance.
However, a believer would not be concerned about this, for he knows that Surah Al Dhariyat, verse 22 promises: “And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised.” Surah Al Ankabut, verse 17 reminds us: “So seek from Allah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned.”
Provision belongs to Allah alone, and He alone distributes it. The ones that you worship instead of Allah has no provision for you. Again, it is a challenge to how much we trust Allah. In Surah Ta Ha, verse 131, Allah tells us: “And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.”
This world itself is so insignificant and valueless that authentic hadith states that “If the world to Allah were equal to a mosquito’s wing, then He would not allow the disbeliever to have a sip of water from it.” Yet, mankind was created with hasty attributes: we are impatient and many of us fail to look beyond our myopic need for instant gratification. This is why it is exceedingly difficult for us to focus on the unseen and the Hereafter – they are neither visible nor immediately accessible. By extension, that is why mankind is also impatient with the decree of Allah. We are like children who just want to eat the sweets in front of us, without any restraint or patience, not appreciating the damage and decay it will cause us.
We have to trust that whoever fears Allah, no one will hurt him and whoever fears other than Allah, no one can benefit him. There is no greater victory than having the fear of Allah ingrained in our hearts. This is the greatest pillar of victory. This God consciousness will regulate all our actions and cleanse our hearts. Yet, today, because of this lack of taqwa, our fear stems from people, status and money. Again and again, we only see the short term attractions and have no patience to strive for the bigger picture.
We need iman (faith), yakin (certainty of faith) and consistency. We need the right companion, the person who acts as a doctor for us and we also need to develop the ability to obey him, instead of sporadic obedience as and when we feel like it. We need to cleanse our heart, perform salat on time and to remember Allah to the maximum of our abilities.
Surah Ta Ha, at verse 135 reminds us to do zikr day and night, and maybe then we will be contented. The mu’min is constantly performing zikr and dua, which are both the fruits of iman and yakin. These are the spiritual barricades that keep the fear, worry, weakness and illusion at bay.
We need a comprehensive knowledge about our deen, ourselves, the sunnah of Allah, how to cleanse ourselves, who we are and where we are going. This is what gives us the victory, strength and power, because this is what puts us on the road to Allah.