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Islam instils honour and dignity in the hearts of Muslims, and it is only Islam that can grant such honour and dignity; therefore, those who resort to the disbelievers for support and assistance are in reality humiliating themselves. These Muslims may feel honour under the protection of these disbelievers, but in reality they are humiliated and have become slaves to them; they follow their commands precisely and cannot do other than what they are commanded to by them.
After the death of the Prophet the Muslims conquered the two most powerful forces on earth at the time: the Romans and the Persians. The Muslims ruled and commanded for a very long time after the Prophet but now they live an era of weakness, and others have power and control the world; but for how long have these disbelievers had control? Two to three hundred years. We Muslims had power for more than a thousand! Allaah has decreed that we would now be living in an era of weakness, but we must always remember the saying of Allaahwhich means: “…And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people…” [Quran 3: 140]
One who reads the narrations that address the last days before the Hour and the signs that precede them can realise that we are very close to the final confrontation against the disbelievers. This confrontation will undoubtedly occur, but the Muslims need some time to prepare, strengthen and educate themselves regarding their religion. It will take much more than a day or two, it could take years, during which the efforts of those who are sincere will appear; whether it is their teaching, calling to Islam or performing Jihaad, each in his own field, until the decree of Allaah comes for the moment of strength and power for the Muslims, and they regain control, as the Prophet said: “Allaah enabled me to see the east and the west, and the control of my Nation will reach as far as I was enabled to see.”
Al-Miqdaad ibn Al-Aswad narrated that the Prophet said: “There will not remain a house on earth, made of clay or wool, but Allaah will make Islam enter it, with which He will honour those who accept Islam, and humiliate those who reject it.” [Ibn Hibbaan]
We are currently living in an era where the Muslims are oppressed and overpowered, but will we live long enough to see and enjoy the victory of the Muslims? Allaah knows best. Allaah Says what means: “…And ever is the command of Allaah a destiny decreed.” [Quran 33: 38]
We believe that everything that takes place has been decreed before our creation, and indeed before the creation of the Heavens and earth, and having this belief is one of the qualities of a Muslim and a believer. Believing in the unseen is one of the first qualities by which Allaah describes and praises the true believers. He Says what means: “Alif, Laam, Meen. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allaah. Who believe in the unseen, establish the Prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.” [Quran 2: 1-3]
Due to the fact that Muslims have been receiving information from poisoned sources, they have started doubting many things - including some fundamentals of Islam. For example, no one could dare argue the prohibition of Ribaa in the past, but after people became exposed to untrustworthy sources, they saw no problem in arguing about some of these fundamentals. An example of this is when a man came to me recently and asked me: “What is the proof from the Quran that intoxicants are prohibited?” I replied: "Allaah Says what means: “O you who have believed! Indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allaah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” [Quran 5: 90] He said: “Yes, Allaah Says avoid it, but He does not Say 'abstain from it' as a prohibition.” This is pure ignorance, because he did not know the meaning of 'avoid' here, he did not know that the word 'avoid' in this context is stronger in conveying the meaning than the word 'abstain'; this lack of understanding is due to people’s ignorance.
One feels that the narration which mentions the estrangement of Islam certainly applies to our time. The Prophet said: “Islam began as something strange and it will return as strange as it started.” [Ibn Hibbaan] Indeed it is a strange thing nowadays to adhere to Islamic legislations because people have removed them from their daily lives, their legal rulings, and all other aspects of their lives. A Muslim is looked at as being strange when he adheres to Islam and sticks to his faith; he is looked at as extreme when he adheres to his Islamic attire and calls people to adhere to the Sunnah. Estrangement is of different levels, according to the strength with which one sticks to his religion; conversely, those who are loose in their commitment to Islam are not criticised openly, but deep inside, others degrade those who give up their principles under pressure. A Muslim is proud of his faith and would never give it up under any circumstances.
A Muslim is serious and straightforward; his behaviour is constant, regardless of which class of person he is in the presence of; he never changes his commitment, regardless of the circumstances. Conversely, some people have two scales of measure when they deal with others: when they meet righteous people, they appear as if they are committed and so they pray and perform a variety of other good deeds in their presence, but as soon as they meet evil company, they begin listening to music with them and indulge in many other prohibitions. Such people think that they are being wise and intelligent, but in reality it is hypocrisy.
Some Muslims completely change when they travel abroad; as soon as they arrive in a foreign country and leave the aircraft, their ladies take off their Hijaab, and when they return, they put it back on, as if it is a community custom and not a command from Allaah that has to be implemented during all times and under all circumstances. Our Lord is One, regardless of our location; He sees us wherever we go; He knows what we conceal and what we do or say openly.
When Ramadan arrives, one witnesses some people in that month praying, fasting and reciting the Quran, but as soon as the last day is over, their lives totally flip to the opposite; we are not suggesting that people should not perform these righteous deeds during Ramadan, but rather, what we are saying is that people should always perform such deeds, while increasing in them during the month of Ramadan. What is the mistake? The mistake is that people abstain from prohibitions during this month and adhere to obligations, whereas before and after it, they commit all prohibitions and abstain from fulfilling their Islamic obligations.
Such behaviour reflects deficiency and misconceptions in people's understanding of Islam as well as their faith. The fact that they can so easily fluctuate between good and evil, and vice versa, reflects serious problems – namely that worship has no effect on them, which means that they did not perform it with attentive hearts.
The condition of a Muslim can never change this easily between two extremes; he is rather in continuous righteousness, recitation of the Quran, the five daily prayers, spending in charity, mentioning Allaah in the mornings and in the evenings, and upon entering the mosque and leaving it; he also mentions Allaah whenever he enters his house or leaves it, before eating and after finishing, when he hears thunderstorms, or sees lightening, and so on. All day long and under all circumstances he performs different types of worship.
Islam always connects the person with his Lord, and warns against being heedless of Allaah under any circumstances. This is illustrated by the saying of the Prophet : “Any people who sit in a gathering during which they do not mention the name of Allaah, it will be as if they ate from a dead donkey, and they will bitterly regret it.” This makes the Muslim attentive and heedful of Allaah.
Additionally, a Muslim conceals his sin if he were to commit one, unlike those who openly commit sins, or, if they were not seen by others doing it, they afterwards go and boast about it to others.
Finally, a Muslim is attentive whenever he hears the verses of the Quran during a prayer or in a lecture - he endeavours to implement as much as he can from what he hears.