Fruits for the Week

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His main concern is the pleasure of his Lord

The sincere Muslim seeks to earn the pleasure of Allah in everything that he does. He is concerned with seeking the approval of others, and indeed he may incur the wrath and hatred of people in the course of his efforts to win divine favor, as the Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever asks the pleasure of Allah at the risk of displeasing the people, Allah will take care of him and protect him from them. But whoever seeks the pleasure of the people at the risk of angering Allah, Allah will abandon him to the care of the people.” (Tirmidhi)

Consequently, he measures all his deeds against his desire to attain the pleasure of Allah and will retain or discard any practice accordingly. Thus the Muslim will have appropriate standards, and the Straight Path will be clearly signposted for him. He will avoid falling into ridiculous contradictions whereby he obeys Allah in one matter and disobeys Him in another, or he regards something as halal (legal) one year and haram (illegal) the next. There is no room for contradictions as long as the standards are correct and the principles are sound.

One often notices people who pray devotedly in the mosque, then when one sees them in the marketplace, they are dealing with riba (usury), or if one sees them in the home, the street, the school, or the neighborhood, it is apparent that they are not applying the laws of Allah to their own selves, their wives, their children or any of those under their care.

These people are afflicted by a severe misunderstanding of the reality of Islam, this holistic religion that in all affairs directs the Muslim towards a greater purpose, namely the pleasure of Allah, may He be glorified. This greater purpose leads the Muslim to measure all his deeds against the standards laid down by Allah. So these people would appear to be “Semi-Muslims”: they are Muslims in name only. This split personality is one of the greatest dangers that Muslims are currently facing.

He regularly performs the duties and good deeds required by Islam

The sincere Muslim performs all obligatory deeds and adheres to the pillars of Islam, completely and devotedly. He does not slacken, nor does it halfheartedly, or seek excuses not to do it. So he establishes prayer, performing each of the five daily prayers on time, for prayer is the pillar of the faith – whenever established prayer established faith, and whoever neglected prayer destroyed the faith. (Ihyaa’ Ulumuddin)

Prayer is the best of deeds, as is made clear in the hadith narrated by Ibn Mas’ud (ra) in which he said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘What deed is most loved by Allah?’ He said, ‘To offer each prayer as soon as it is due.’ I asked him, ‘Then what?’ He said, ‘Treating one’s parent with honor and respect.” I asked him, ‘Then what?’ He said, ‘Jihad for the sake of Allah.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Prayer is so important because it is a direct link between the servant and his Lord, in which he distances himself from the concerns of daily life and focuses himself entirely on his Lord, asking Him for help, guidance, and perseverance to continue along the Straight Path. So it is hardly surprising that prayer is considered to be the best of deeds because it is the source from which the believer may replenish his taqwa (piety) and the spring in whose pure water he may cleanse himself of his sins.

Abu Hurairah (ra) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (swt) says: ‘What would you think if there were a river running by the door of any of you, and he bathed in it five times every day, would any trace of dirt be left on him? The people said, ‘There would be no trace of dirt in him.’ He said: ‘This is like the five daily prayers, through which Allah erases sin.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Jabir (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘The five daily prayers are like a deep river flowing by the door of any of you, in which he bathes five times each day.’” (Muslim). Abu Hurayrah (ra) said that the Messenger of Allah (swt) said: “The five daily prayers, from Friday to Friday, are an expiation for the sins committed in the time between prayers, so long as no major sins are committed.” (Muslim)


by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi

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