Bismillahi wa salatu wa salamu ala Rasulillah wa ‘ala jami’il ambiyai wal-mursalin wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahabihi ajmain, amin.
We seek from Allah a pearl invaluable
A life of Taqwa free from sins
Taqwa (piety) is the goal of life and the gold of the Hereafter. Esteem in this world comes through family, wealth and status and honours in the world to come is based on Taqwa. Your wealth accompany you as far as the door, your family follow you as far as the cemetery and only your deeds will be lowered with you into the grave. Allahu ta’ala declared in the Holy Qur’an that the one worthy of honours in His most exalted presence is the one who possesses Taqwa.
Majority of Muslims have this natural desire to live a sin free life but the best most could achieve is to sit on the fence; savouring the tastes of sins on one hand while also engaging in some religious activities on the other hand. Because they are possessors of lman, the prickling of conscience would not allow them to have a rest of mind. Sins, being what they are, keep the heart in an unexplainable tension which most of the time appears on the face. Despite the tension and pains resulting from sins, however, the attraction becomes so overpowering that the nafs (man’s ego) is only waiting anxiously for the next opportunity, Subhanallah!
Sins are poisons wrapped in candies. They are seeds of disaster which are soonest to blossom and produce bitter fruits. Persisting in sins certainly runs athwart to the dictate of wisdom because a life of disobedience is, in reality, not a life but absolute shame.
Indeed the truly successful believer is the one who makes his intelligence his master and his desires a slave, and the greatest misfortune is to suppress one’s intelligence to become a slave to desires. The saintly (alaihimu ‘r-rahma) have mentioned that desires are the main challenge of man on earth. As a matter of fact, the Angels (alaihimu ‘s-salam) have intelligence but no desires. The animals are all desires but no intelligence. Only human beings combine both intelligence and desires. Any believer who follows his intelligence giving up his desires becomes like the Angels or even higher, and the one who submits to his desires turning away from the dictates of intelligence becomes like beasts or even lower.
The challenge of sins is today more terrifying to the Muslims than ever before due to the fact that all accessories to sins are made readily available to all and evils that would take ages to plan in the past centuries is today a matter of pressing a button.
Leaving sins today requires the most sincere intention and determination and a mind constantly reflecting on the Akhirah and the eternal consequences of temporal pleasures in sins. Sacrificing ones desires is something difficult, yet slavery to passion, greed and desires are the main seeds of destruction on the Day of Hisab (accounting). One of the wise once said:
Man is made of three parts. One for him, one for his Lord and Creator and the last for worms. His soul is for Allah, his body for the worms and his deeds are the only thing for him.
Another one of the wise elders (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) also said:
The well being of the body is in moderate food and the health of the soul is in avoiding sins.
POINTS TO REFLECT
Someone once asked the saintly scholar Hadrat Ibrahim Adham (rahimahullah) what led him to an absolute life of piety and worldly renunciation. He replied:
With three things; I saw that the grave is lonesome and that I would have no companion therein, I saw the journey to the Hereafter as long while I have no provision ready for it, and I saw that Allahu Subhanahu wa ta’ala, the All-Powerful and Irresistible would be the Judge on Qiyama while I had no argument (in my defence)
If a believer reflects on the evil results of a single act of disobedience of Iblis (Shaytan) which reduced him to eternal damnation and their own weakness and inability to face the fearful events coming death, the consequences of a life without piety, they would definitely be inclined to a life of deviation and sincere abstinence from sins. The exalted Sahabi, Hadrat Anas bn Malik (radiAllahu ‘anh) said:
Everyday the earth calls out (to men) with ten things:
- Son of Adam! Your walk, struggle and divert on my surface but your destination is my stomach.
- You commit sins on my surface and you will be punished for it in my stomach.
- You laugh on my surface and you will cry in my stomach.
- You make merry and become happy on my surface and will be sad in my stomach.
- You gather wealth on my surface and you will regret gathering it in my stomach.
- You consume haram on my surface and worms will eat you in my stomach.
- You are arrogant on my surface and you will be humiliated in my stomach.
- You walk insolently on my surface and you will fall miserably in my stomach.
- You walk in light on my surface and you will be in darkness in my stomach.
- You walk in crowds on my surface but you will be absolutely lonely in my stomach.
Those who truly desire to leave sins should also take time to reflect on the fact that lying, stealing, gambling, fornicating, listening to music, dealing in interest, drinking alcohol etc means to daringly challenge the Authority of Allahu ta’ala the, sole Owner of everything. Rebellion against the Almighty is enough an enormity even if His majesty withholds the resultant calamity for the time being. The third of the most exalted Khulafa of Rasulullah (alaihi ‘s-salam), Hadrat Uthman bn Affan (radiAllahu ‘anh) said:
The believer is in six types of fear:
- That Allahu ta’ala will take his Iman (due to sins).
- That the Angels will write down things that will expose him on Qiyama.
- That Shaytan will render all his devotions wasted.
- That the Angel of death will take his soul while sinning.
- That worldly treasures and pleasure will preoccupy him to forget the Akhira
- And that family and children will take all his attention until he forgets the remembrance of Allah.
Allahu Subhanahu wa ta’ala has given us everything; Iman, health, wealth, family, honours, beauty, our priceless organs, the air we breath, the honours and protection we enjoy and countless others. Wisdom dictates gratitude to the one who benefits. Then obedience and love towards Allahu ta’ala is a requirement of wisdom. A sinful life is surely negative to gratitude, wisdom, justice and common sense.
A true believer must reflect on the fact that Allahu Subhanahu wa ta’ala has hidden His pleasure in obedience and His vehement wrath in sinning. He should ruminate over the sudden disaster visited on the disobedient in the Qur’an and in day to day life and the disgrace on the Day of Rising when our organs would be witnesses against us. When the Angels, the spot of sins etc would give testimonies to our wanton atrocities, and when, wretched believers would be paraded in chains disgracefully in front of the Rasulu Karim, our beloved Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam) who gave everything to ensure our right guidance and our living a life of Taqwa.
Sinful believers will be a source of great embarrassment to the best of mankind and the Imam of Prophets (alaihi ‘s-salam) when the Angels mercilessly drag them in chain to be presented before the Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam) asking; ‘Are these terrible rebels too of your Ummah?’ Subhanallah! To the sages of Islam the torture of the Angels is nothing compared to the embarrassment the sinners would cause Allah most beloved Prophet, Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa (sallallahu alaiihi wa sallam) on the plain of Judgement.
The Hadith ash-Sharif says:
On that Day (of Qiyama), men will be in three groups: Those who came to the plain of Judgment riding, those who walk on foot and the sinners who crawl on their faces.
Rasulu-karim, our beloved Hadrat Mustafa (alaihi ‘s-salam) also said:
Allahu ta’ala created a mansion of green chrysolite. This mansion has 70,000 houses and each house has 70,000 dwellings. None shall enter this mansion except he to whom the unlawful was presented and he turns it down fearing his lord.
The poet says:
Do not be deceived by the attractions of sins
Poison wrapped in candy will still destroy
Stand against your desires whatever the cost
This life is temporal and you’ll surely be judged.
Yes, there are millions of Muslims out there who are surely reflective of the evil consequences of sins. They sin with painful hearts and weep over their errors. Yet after some respite they lapse to sin again. Cases like these are mostly due to ignorance.
Many regret sincerely when they commit zina which is such an evil that it is likened to worshipping an idol. Yet they never knew that music generates obscenity in the heart and prepares ground for zina (Hadith). They want to escape zina but they must keep the company of women and could not understand the evil effects of gazing at women, listening to their voices and looking at their pictures in movies and photo novels. The same errors affect other sins. Man hates sins but never the access ways to sins. Absolute self deception, smug fatuity.
Without the right company it is impossible to righteous. Be with the pious and try becoming like them. Make reading books about the pious a regular habit giving up all corrupting novels, love and sports magazine.
Be extremely careful about spare time which many Muslims use in this age to view television, home video etc. Times out of work should be spend remembering Almighty Allah and nourishing the soul with blessed books of knowledge and tilawatul Qur’an. We should always remember the warning of our beloved Rasulullah (alaihi ‘s-salam):
The sign of Allah ta’ala not loving a person is his spending his time in malayani. (Malayani are things which have no religious benefit in this world and the next).
One of our saintly elders (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) said:
The sign of a God conscious person are five; he does not sit except with someone who has concerned for the religion and has control over his sexual desires and tongue; if a great fortune get to him of Dunya he deems it a trial; if he finds a practice to be from the Sunnah he clings to it, though it seems insignificant; he does not fill his stomach with halal fearing that haram may be mixed with it; and he assumes that all people will be saved in the Akhirah while his own soul will perish.
With the barkat of constant reflection, good company, constant remembrance and repentance and spending time for true benefit and gradual but consistent practicing on the Sunnah can one escape the attraction and delusion of sins thus attaining to a life of Taqwa. Taqwa in turn is the goal of life and the only indication of true success. The only path to honour, temporal and eternal, in the sight of Allah is the path of Taqwa (Qur’an). The sage al-A’mash once said:
The one whose capital is Taqwa
Tongue is helpless in describing his fortunes
And the one whose capital is the worldly
Tongue is incapable describing his loss
O our Lord, Ya Karim! We acknowledge Your oneness and your absolute authority over all things. Please forgive us, have mercy on us. Correct all our defects and perfect us. Make us honourable in Your most exalted presence by making the path of Taqwa easy for us. Our precious life is ebbing away with every passing moment, and sooner than expected we may arrive the grave, lead us to a blessed life that will merit Your eternal pleasure through the rank of Your most beloved, the crown of the Prophets, Rasulullah (alaihi wa alihi wa sahabihi wa sallim), amin.