Those who trust Allah never lose hope

Updated 26 February 2015
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Those who trust Allah never lose hope

One of the important characteristics of a Muslim is that he remains in a positive state of mind, whatever the circumstances. He tries for the best and look for wisdom.
A Muslim is never in despair, not even in most difficult moments. That is because they believe that Allah is the Creator of all things; that He has the power to create whatever He wants by saying it to “Be!”
The faithful knows that any trying times, he finds himself in, are a God-sent test. He takes things in his stride, recalling what Allah Almighty has advised him: “...it may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” (Qur’an, 2:216)
Everything turns positive for a Muslim with such a depth of soul. Whether it be trouble or difficulty, it is Allah Who bestows them on that person. He is believers’ Helper and Guardian. Any thing and everything that Allah Almighty has created is for the best and which contains much wisdom.
Allah teaches the souls of those believers who have a sincere and unsullied belief in Him throughout the life of this world to be worthy of Paradise.
Every stage in this instruction is, by Allah’s will, a means whereby Muslims can take another step toward Paradise. Having faith does not mean making no mistakes. Allah creates human beings to be fallible, flawed and weak.
Muslims make mistakes the same way as everyone else. But the difference between them and those people who base themselves on the criteria of the society of the ignorant is that when Muslims realize the correct course of action by way of their consciences, or even if they do not but are reminded of it by others, they do not deliberately insist on continuing with their errors.
It is immediate repentance and sheltering in Allah and an intention not to repeat one’s error but to learn from one’s mistakes. This is a major indicator of a Muslim’s sincerity. Allah tells us how Muslims should behave in the face of their own mistakes: “Those who, when they act indecently or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their bad actions (and who can forgive bad actions except Allah?) and do not knowingly persist in what they were doing.” (Qur’an, 3:135)
Muslims are valuable entities bearing the Spirit of Allah. According to the Qur’an, it is improper for such people to exaggerate their mistakes and regard themselves as worthless because of them. It is Allah Who creates mistakes and causes people to commit them in destiny.
Even before a person is born it is already ordained in destiny at what time, on what date and where they will commit that error. Even if a person were to experience that moment a thousand times over they would still make the same mistake at the same time, on the same date and in the same place.
It is therefore wrong for people to lack self-confidence because of errors they have committed. Muslims never, under any circumstances, pay any heed to the approval of other people. They never become preoccupied with such doubts as “I wonder what people will say? What will they think of me? Will they love me any less? Will their trust in me be damaged?” Muslims seek to earn Allah’s approval alone.
In the event of an error or imperfection, they beg Allah to forgive them and hope that He will forgive their sins. They know that He is infinitely forgiving. What matters is whether or not He approves of that person. The Prophet Abraham’s (peace be upon him) prayer, “[It is] He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning...” (Qur’an, 42:82), is an excellent model on this subject.
Since Muslims have faith and trust in and rely on Allah, they always regard themselves as virtuous and valuable. They always have respect for themselves.
They always remember Allah’s verse “Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be uppermost if you are believers” (Qur’an, 3:139), which represents the way they look at themselves. Muslims want to be loved and trusted by other Muslims.
But they also know it is Allah Who will create that love and bestow that feeling of trust in other believers’ hearts. Muslims’ errors are instrumental in strengthening the love felt for those people. That is because the important thing is not the mistake, but the behavior in the face of it of the person committing it. Since Muslims fear Allah, they have uneasy consciences when they make an error. They immediately think as they are shown in the Qur’an and thus see the truth.
They then feel regret for their mistakes and strive to make up for their mistake and to improve their moral values by seeking shelter in Allah. The more errors people commit, the more they are able to realize how weak they are.
They attain a deeper understanding of how much they need Allah. This mindset increases a person’s submission to Allah and humility. And Allah creates feelings of sympathy and affection for that person in the hearts of other believers.
The responsibility incumbent upon believers is to ensure that the moral values of the Qur’an rule their lives as much as possible and to seek the greatest amount of Allah’s approval in all they do at every moment of their lives.
It is impossible, according to the moral values of the Qur’an, for anyone harboring such an intent and who lives for Allah in a determined and fixed manner, not to be loved or trusted. Faith requires that Muslims know this and that other Muslims will love them because of that faith.
It also requires that they have trust that only Allah can create that love in others’ hearts. As Allah tells us in another verse from the Qur’an: “As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love on them.” (Qur’an, 19:96)


• The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.