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~ Muslim by Choice ~
"Allah! None has the right to be worshipped, but He." Surat Al-Baqarah: 255

Struggling to Stay Faithful - Ramadan 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Bismillar Ir-Rahmaan Ir-Raheem:

Note: This post was written prior to Rammadan, but sat as a draft all this time. Had the chance today, so I thought I'd post it.

You'll have to forgive if this is not put together too well - I wrote this yesterday and then hit submit only to have it time out and delete the entire blog entry. I thought it might be important, so I tried writing it again . . . so here goes:

Why is it such a struggle to stay faithful to Allah? What is wrong with our hearts? We find ourselves living our lives day in and day out and paying little attention to what is truly important - our relationship with Allah. We have something happen to us . . . or we hear of tragedies happening to other people and then we start to reflect . . . only to return to our previous state of forgetfulness once things calm down.

When we become stressed . . . we go play a game . . . we go watch tv . . . we need to relax . . . we need to take a break from everything. However, when the Prophet (saw) and his companions became stressed for any reason, they would turn to the Qur'an - read it and reflect upon it. It calmed their hearts. In times of stress they would also pray and feel great comfort. Why don't we use these great gifts that Allah has given us to improve ourselves and to uplift us? Why do we always have to turn to worldly comforts? The Qur'an is a great blessing that only those who truly recite it daily and reflect on its lesson will truly ever know. I want to become one of those people, insha'Allah.

For more on this topic: "Modern Stress and Its Cure from Qur'an"
and "Dealing with Worries and Stress"

There are many things ailing us these days . . . causing dissention amongst ourselves . . . causing division . . . not to mention the bad habits and ailments that plague our very own hearts. When are we going to wake up and realize that we are becoming our own worst enemy? There are many things that we do these days . . . there are many things about the way in which we think these days that are going to harm us if we don't WAKE UP and realize our current situation.

Think about it - during the time of the prophet (pbuh) and the time of the righteous predecessors, people took seriously even the small sins and strived to cleanse their hearts of them. Nowadays, we just swat the small sins away as if they are bothersome flies around us that are of little importance. Don't we realize that the small sins make room for greater sins? Besides that - the small sins, when gathered up, can amount to a whole lot.

For more on this topic: "All Virtures, Big and Small" & "The Danger of Taking Sins Lightly"
and "Abandoning Disobedience" & "Importance of Abstaining from Sin"

What's worse, many of us have not yet properly educated ourselves about what constitutes great and minor sins and we commit great sins without even knowing their impact on ourselves and society. We can't claim ignorance when we have all this knowledge before us . . . we just need to take the step and start looking for the information!

For more on this topic: "25 Great Sins in Islam" & "The Major Sins in Islam"

What about those of us who say certain actions are "just Sunnah". I've heard people explain that they don't follow a certain sunnah action (wear hijab, grow the beard, etc.) because they don't want to be a hypocrite. They don't want their outward appearance to show that they have great iman while they do not. Yet, how do we expect to ever gain this iman when we aren't willing to sacrifice and work for it? If it were so easy, then everyone would be a Muslim! The way to increase our iman and the way to improve our standing with Allah is to do what is pleasing to Him. Whenever we make a step closer to Allah, Allah will make that next step even easier.

A hadith Qudsi states, "...Whoever draws near to me a handspan, I will come to him the extent of a forearm. Whoever draws near to me the length of a forearm, I will come to him the length of two outstretched arms. Whoever comes to me walking, I will come to him at speed. And whoever comes to me with the Earth’s weight in sin without associating anything with me, I will come to him with forgiveness of equal measure.” [Sahîh Muslim]

With that promise . . . don't we realize the great achievements we can make in just moving one step closer to Allah (and then another) by following that which He has provided us . . . the Qur'an and Sunnah? What exactly does it mean when something is "just Sunnah" anyway. According to Allah, we are supposed to follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). The way I look at it . . . the Qur'an is a Map and the Sunnah is our guide. We follow the map and refer to the guide to make sure we are not going astray. Otherwise, we may never make it to our destination.

For more on this topic: "Vilifying the Sunnah"
and "The Status of the Sunnah in Islam" & "Following the Messenger of Allah is a Must"

In the long run, we need to realize that the first step to improving our condition is repentance - true repentance. There is no greater promise than the promise of Allah in Surat Al-Zumar:

"Tell them (O Muhammad): 'O My slaves who have wronged their souls, do not despair of Allah's mercy, for Allah will forgive all the sins. He is indeed very Forgiving, very Compassionate, Turn to Him then, and obey Him (in all your affairs).'" (Al-Zumar:53,54).

and in a Hadith Qudsi: Allah, the Almighty, has said:

"O Son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O Son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins as great as the earth, and were you then to face Me ascribing no partners to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it."

For more on this topic: "Repentance" & "I Would Like to Repent . . . But"

We need to start working on these issues now . . . we cannot wait until tomorrow because there is no promise that tomorrow will ever come. Let's take this time . . . this Ramadan to improve our relationship with Allah . . . We need to walk out of this Ramadan a new person . . . and we need to take with us the good habits and practices we have learned this Ramadan to improve our condition.

"The Wisdom Behind Fasting"
"Reaping the Benefits of Rammadan"
"Impotant Lessons from Rammadan"
"Repentance in Rammadan"
"Sunnahs Neglected in Rammadan"
"How the Prophet Fasted in Rammadan"
"Reading the Qur'an in Rammadan"

And, my final words of advice can be found in this article:

"It's Time"

10:53 PM :: ::
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