Fruits for the Week

Header Last edition English

Allah (swt) said: “Indeed, those who have said: Our Lord is Allah and then remained on a right course, the angels will descend upon them saying: Do not fear and do not grieve.” (Fussilat 41: 30)

The phrase ‘on right course’ has a very comprehensive meaning. In Arabic, it is istaqamu, which means to remain firm in practicing Islam, to perform all the deeds that come along with belief, and to never waver until death overtakes you. Few men are able to accomplish this, and only Allah knows who they are.

Consistent worship does not slacken, either during times of ease and pleasure or during times of sorrow and pain. We have had the opportunity to analyze the statements of some Muslims who were convicted of armed robbery, selling drugs, and the like. Many of them attribute their downward spiral to one of two things: too much ease or too much hardship.

Too much ease causes ungratefulness and a lack of concern for the difference between good and bad. Ease can breed heedlessness in the heart if one is not careful to guard his prayers and modesty at all times.

This is because when a man feels free to fulfil his every whim and desire, he starts with what is halal. He gets married, but over time, he might become bored with his wife and befriend another woman, who eventually becomes his mistress.

Another scenario that may occur if a man takes to fulfilling each and every one of his desires is that after he has gotten his life on track, with a good job and a decent car, he cannot stop visiting an old friend. These visits are a regular habit, even though his old friend remains in a state of ignorance. Soon this Muslim is sharing a drink or a cigarette with him.

Having a wife turns into having a mistress, which leads to a lifestyle of sneaking and lying. Likewise, an old friend has a subtle influence of him, and one drink leads him back into the world of drug and alcohol abuse until he loses his wealth and soundness of mind. Then comes robbing and stealing. After all that comes the inevitable humiliation.

Humiliation from Allah is due to a lack of concern for the commands and prohibitions He has established. This humiliation may come in the form of prison terms, homelessness, life-threatening diseases, being abandoned by one’s wife and children, being ostracized by the Muslim community, and many other things.

As for too much hardship and how that can lead to crime, consider the reverse of the above process. A man starts out with loss of wealth and sound mind; consequently, he abandons worship in order to pursue a way out of his pain, namely through robbery and theft, which lead him to other vices.

The Prophet (saw) said: “The first deed for which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is complete, he will be successful and saved, but if it is defective, he will be unfortunate and a loser.” (Tirmidhi)

A man must guard his prayer, establishing it in the mosque as much as he is able to. In addition, he must have good companions. Allah (swt) said: “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (At-Taubah: 119). Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “A man follows the religion of his friend. So be mindful of who you befriend.” (Abu Daud)

What do you do when you go to the grocery store and select fruit or meat? You pick it up, smell it, turn it around in your hand, look at it, and then decide whether or not to purchase it. Why do you not do the same with your friend? You should examine their behavior and their speech: what they say, how they say it, and when they say it. Look into their private affairs; are they in order? Can you benefit from their experience, or is their friendship a liability? Learn about their dreams and aspirations, and their plans for the future, because in this lies your future if you plan on befriending them. Choose friends like you chose your fruit, and you will be far more selective.

On the benefits of consistent worship, The Prophet (saw) said: “If you have a river outside your door, and you bathed in it five times a day, would there be any traces of dirt on you?” People replied: “No.” The Prophet (saw) said: “Likewise the five prayers remove sins from the son of Adam.” (Bukhari)

Paradise is the reward for consistent worship, by the mercy of Allah. All these admonitions are not worth much to the one who does not consider Paradise to be realistic goal and the inevitable outcome of doing good. Allah (swt) said: “So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him, He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.” (An-Nisa’: 175)

by Taymullah Abdur-Rahman