Self DevelopmentVictory v Defeat series


If we spread the message of Islam, we are in the highest level of the victorious on earth. Spreading the message of Islam is a deed comparable to the tasks of the Messengers and Prophets, only without the revelations.

Anyone actively engaged on this road will be placed under trials and tribulations. As has been the case with the Messengers and Prophets, spreading Islam is not an easy task, but it is an extremely noble one. To gain this victory, the first step is to cut loose from all attachments which you have above Allah – man, woman, situation and money – all of them should be subordinated to Allah and His Messenger.

Your message, and your status of victory should be so high in your heart to the exclusion of all else. Yet today, our envy, jealousy and love of material life, overpower us. Whereas all the victory and enjoyment of the material life will eventually disappear. Ultimate joy and victory on earth, is when Allah chooses you to spread and carry the message.

Holding tight to the message is victory for you now, in the grave, on the Day of Judgment and in jannah, even if you don’t see the evidence of it. Hold tight to your love, faith, devotion and thinking. If everything is for Allah, you are victorious, even if you sleeping on the street and everyone is against you. Many of the Prophets, Companions and early scholars were tortured and died for their belief, but all this didn’t mean anything to them, because they knew that victory was theirs.

All the Qur’anic stories have a common theme – the chosen Messengers and Prophets have to undergo a lot of hardship until they are purified from their own weaknesses. Stories of their lives demonstrate that the certainty of faith, trust and belief that they had in Allah were absolute and unconditional, despite the dire situations in which they were placed. Their belief was not tainted by a shred doubt.

The elements of victory are iman, faith in the qadr (predestination) of Allah and His ability and the belief in the victory of Allah, as promised to the believers.

Any deficiency in iman would correspond to the deficiency of the outcome. This is what is happening today. The whole ummah is concerned about the external circumstances and what others are doing, instead of working on themselves first. Nothing in the Qur’an or Sunnah advocates such an attitude.

Regardless of what we do, the sunnah of Allah (Allah’s fixed method and sequence) will certainly take place. Yet, our daily behaviour demonstrates that we are not fully convinced of this concept. Our belief is so shaky and deficient that we only evaluate the external circumstances without understanding that external circumstances are not within our control.

A few of the signs of defeat are slavery to desires, lack of obedience and lack of consultation. Collectively, these elements make us arrogant, stubborn and emotional. They make us act according to what we want instead of how we should. Arrogance is perhaps the most hazardous disease to our souls. An arrogant person acts the way he pleases, not according to the Qur’an or the teachings or promise of Allah.

Iman is opposite of the above, and to conquer our inner self we have to capture our nafs first. For this, we need to develop and practice obedience. One of the key factors of the ummah losing unity across groups, communities and even countries, is due to the lack of obedience, caused by arrogance and lack of discipline. We hate entitling someone to take charge and be superior to us. A good teacher or mentor is hard enough to come by, but even if we find one, we are not interested to obey him.

The result is that decisions and reactions are according to nafs, not knowledge, long term goals or principles. This leads us to internal and utter defeat.

We also need to break the cycle of blaming and complaining. In domestic lives today, there is a culture of husbands complaining about wives, wives complaining about husbands, parents blaming the children and children blaming the environment. It is one cycle of blaming and finger pointing after another, with none taking responsibility for those he deals with. Our behaviour is in contradiction to the Qur’an, which teaches us that we are not allowed to complain about anything except about our own deficiencies.

If we are believers, we can see the truth, even against ourselves, and are willing to humble ourselves and admit our mistakes. If we can do this, we have developed another strength, which to turn our backs from what we desire. Our salvation as a mu’min overrides all else. However, if everyone remains stuck in his own cycle, then there is no agent of change for improvement! The change must come from within, and Islam has shown us that in many cases, all it takes is a single individual to make that change.

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