Friday, March 22, 2013

What Holds us back (part 2)


Continuing our discussion on what holds us back in gaining nearness to Allah swt let's discuss some more of Shaitan's tactics, that he uses to deceive us and convince us:

3. Forgiveness for All

This is the prime reason why many of us are so laid back when it comes to our obligations towards Allah (swt). Shaitan tells us that no matter how much we increase in sin the door to forgiveness is an easy escape. You can always turn back and say sorry, Allah is so Forgiving, He wont deny forgiving you. There is forgiveness for all. 

Its important to remind ourselves that while Allah (swt) is The Most Forgiving , but forgiveness is hard earned through sincere taubah and actions thats reflect that you have changed your ways and don't plan on repeating the sin. Of course Allah knows that we do err time and time again but the important thing is to realize the seriousness of sin and truly repent.

 In Surah Baqarah, we find that the people of Bani Israel were under the false impression that they are favored by Allah and that there is limitless forgiveness for them. They thought that since we are Allah's favorites even if we go to Hell , its fire will not touch us except for a few days other then that we are destined for Paradise regardless of what we do.

We find a a similar attitude in our Ummah today. Muslims think that just because they know the Shahadah they are destined for Paradise, regardless of what they do, Allah will forgive everything . People are also of the opinion that because of their Muslim lineage they will get into Jannah easily, because Allah has promised them forgiveness, if to no one else. 

We should not be viewing our Allah's Forgiveness as a "Get out of Jail Free" card. Allah will hold every soul accountable for what they have done in this world and while in this dunya you may bend the rules and get away with it, in the Aakhirah the check and balance is so perfect that even the smallest of sins will be recorded and you and I will not be able to deny it. May Allah make out accountability easy. Ameen.

4. Intellectual Arguments

Shaitan comes up with many so called "intellectual arguments" to counter Allah's Commands. He tries to convince us to adopt the attitude that when it comes to my Islamic obligatons, it should appeal to my intellect, I should understand 100% what good there is in a certain command and then only I will follow it, or else it's not for me.

 Some people go so far as to try to prove that Allah's commands have become redundant with the passage of time and no longer apply to us. Citing false historical contexts for when certain commands were revealed to the Muslims they look for excuses that justify their actions. For example : Some people say that Hijaab is not obligatory and cite the false claim that back in the time of the Prophet (pbuh)  the people were in such a bad state (audubillah) that they didn't have enough cloth to even cover themselves properly so how can Allah command them to cover themselves from head to toe. 

In reality, we find that Alhamdulillah , in the Prophet (pbuh) people were  not in such a state in fact , it is also mentioned that Prophet (pbuh) was a well- dressed man. So, how can that be if the Muslims of that time didn't have enough cloth to cover themselves? Was it just the Prophet (pbuh) could afford to wear nice clothes? No, don't get into that whole argument . Just know that Allah commands both men and women to cover themselves a certain way , knowing full well what their circumstances are, Alhamdulillah.

We need to understand that when it comes to our Islamic obligations, it doesn't always have to appeal to our sense of self or what we consider right 100%. We have to adopt the attitude of "we hear and we obey" there is no room intellectual debate , because that opens doors for Shaitan's plots to distract us and convince us not to do something that we are supposed to do. 

When we are learning about Islam we have to keep one very important aspect in mind that Allah's All Encompassing Knowledge is the best judge for what is good for us and what isn't. We can not hope to understand the hikmaah behind everything in totality and should not wait in the hope that we do. Allah has commanded something for our benefit , all we have to do is follow and leave the debates at front door and enter Islam in totality.

Another aspect to this intellectual argument is that people take the easy way out when it comes to Allah's Commands. Shaitan tells you that look don't get into the nitty gritty of everything Allah doesn't look at that stuff. For example girls are told that look its okay to pray with the nail polish on , who said that your wudhu is incomplete? Allah sees the fact that you are praying and not the nail polish on your hands.

 As a result when it comes to Islam we have the most laid back attitude: the most see- through scarf is kept for Salah and people conveniently forget that our clothes don't cover our sattar properly. Because all the while we are thinking Allah doesn't look at that stuff, at least I said my Salah!. 

The "tiny details" appear tiny because Shaitan makes them appear as such. The nail polish can be the deciding factor of whether your Salah is accepted or not. How would you feel if you went in front of Allah on the Day of Judgement expecting a good reward for all the good deeds you did. Only to find that most of them are rejected because you were too busy reasoning with yourself and discussing the so - called "intellectual" issues of fiqh but in reality they were non - issues. It was just Shaitan's way of deceiving you.

Do yourself a favor and stop thinking that you are in any way doing Allah a favor by following His Commands . He doesn't need your Salah , you do, badly. And when you pay attention to all the details when it comes to worldly stuff then why not when it comes to Islam? We are commanded to do everything is an Ahsan manner (good manner) and that applies alot to our worship. So go the extra mile for Allah and take special care in your worship with sincere intentions and do it in the best of ways. Don't let Shaitan ruin your good deeds for you.

(stay tuned for part 3 , Insha'Allah)

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