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Is it Difficult to Abide by Islamic teachings?

Tuesday 19-02-2013

This is a very important and pressing question. What is this mysterious illusion that prevents many Muslim women from abiding by the teachings of Islam and repenting of all apparent...

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This is a very important and pressing question.

What is this mysterious illusion that prevents many Muslim women from abiding by the teachings of Islam and repenting of all apparent and hidden sins and fully adhering to the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

Dear sister, let us talk about this issue generally. What prevents many people from repenting and following the path of the believers?

Those people find repentance burdensome and think that abiding by the teachings of Islam is something difficult. All this is caused by the devil and the soul that is a persistent enjoiner of evil.

When you advise some people to repent, they say that this is extremely difficult for them. A smoker, for instance, says, “I have been smoking for twenty years. I intend to repent and give up smoking, but how can I do this after this poison has penetrated into my body to the extent that I cannot give it up?” Another man says, “I have been gazing at women since the first time I opened my eyes and started to see. How I can repent?” A third man may say, “How can I give up lying and tale bearing?” A fourth one might say, “All through my life, I have been giving people an imaginary image of myself and I cannot destroy this image now?”

In fact, those people know deep inside their hearts that they are mistaken, but they object and say daringly, “Observant people have made everything prohibited; cigarettes, intoxicants, music, and recreational drugs… all these things are prohibited…what is left for us?”

How can one have a dialogue with such people? How can you tell them that the prohibited matters are few and they are prohibited by Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation), not by the observant people, while the lawful matters cannot be counted.
Actually, we disregard the fact that we should live for Allah The Almighty and according to His rules.

Abiding by the teachings of Islam should not be something difficult for us. For instance, we should not abstain from praying Fajr (Dawn prayer) because we are used to sleeping until noon. Is it not a loss that some people stay up all night and sleep all day? Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
„X {And We made the night as clothing. And made the day for livelihood} [Quran 78:10-11]
„X {What deity other than Allah could bring you a night in which you may rest? Then will you not see?"} [Quran 28:72]
Night is for rest and you have changed this rest to noise and music and stayed up all night, so sleeping all day would not be sufficient for you. Try to accustom yourself to sleeping early and waking up early. The Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “I wonder how those who miss the Fajr Prayer get their sustenance…?” This is because sustenance is distributed after Fajr Prayer. You sleep and do not pray, but Allah The Almighty grants you your sustenance…Are not you ashamed of yourself? You disobey Allah The Almighty and He gives you a respite.

The question is:
How can we get rid of the feeling that it is difficult to repent and abide by the teachings of Islam?

The answer is that you have to do the following:

• Avoid procrastination:

You should repent immediately and without hesitation. To repent, you should not think before doing so and submit to Allah The Almighty.
Some people, when you say to them, “Let’s pray ‘Asr (post-noon prayer)!”, they would say, “We will pray Istikhaarah (the prayer for guidance) first.” Why should they pray Istikhaarah?

You should repent now and without procrastination as repentance is an obligation.

Are you still thinking whether or not you should repent?

If you are doing so, you would be like the one who seeks the people’s opinion regarding the Legislation of Allah The Almighty, in order to see whether it is true or not.

These are the ordinances of Allah The Almighty and He has shown you the two ways, either to obey or disobey Him. What would you do?

You should know that the first solution for getting rid of the feeling that repentance and abidance by the Islamic teachings are difficult is to rid yourself of procrastination immediately and to correct your intention.

• Be truthful with Allah The Almighty

If you are truthful with Allah The Almighty, He will compensate you with what is better than what you have abandoned. For example, the woman who abandons intermixing with men for the sake of Allah the Almighty, will be granted sustenance from where she does not expect. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
„X {And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm Possessor of strength.} [Quran 51:56-58]
„X {And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. Then by the Lord of the heaven and earth, indeed, it is truth -- just as [sure as] it is that you are speaking.} [Quran 51: 22-23]
„X {And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.} [Quran 11:6]
„X {And determined therein its [creatures'] sustenance} [Quran 41:10]

Are you afraid that Allah The Almighty might leave you hungry?

Are you afraid that Allah The Almighty might not grant you a husband?

Are you afraid that Allah The Almighty might leave you insecure?

You should be truthful with Allah The Almighty first of all. Be truthful with Allah The Almighty so that He fulfills your wishes. Repent to Allah The Almighty sincerely so that He drives all your worries away. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out.} [Quran 65: 2-3]

You should know that what Allah The Almighty has cannot be obtained except by obeying Him.

• Renouncing reliance on any power or strength (save those of Allah The Almighty):

You should renounce reliance on any power or strength, seek the help of Allah The Almighty alone and have good expectations of Him. In fact, anything that is difficult becomes easy by His Power. Thus, when one seeks the help of Allah, He would help him. People’s hearts are between two fingers of Allah . He can change the hearts of people as He likes. Allah The Almighty can change your heart seemingly overnight to the extent that you might hate all sins suddenly. Renouncing reliance on any power or strength means leaving aside your power and strength, your determination and drive, and seeking the help of The King, The Omnipotent and The Subjugator.

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Said the eminent ones who were arrogant among his people, "We will surely evict you, O Shu‘ayb, and those who have believed with you from our city, or you must return to our religion." He said, "Even if we were unwilling?" We would have invented against Allah a lie if we returned to your religion after Allah had saved us from it. And it is not for us to return to it except that Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord has encompassed all things in knowledge. Upon Allah we have relied. Our Lord, decide between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who give decision."} [Quran 7:88-89] Shu‘ayb, may Allah exalt his mention, relied solely on Allah The Almighty.

“Do whatever you want”, Nooh (Noah), may Allah exalt his mention, said in the Quran in the verse (what means): {So resolve upon your plan and [call upon] your associates. Then let not your plan be obscure to you. Then carry it out upon me and do not give me respite.} [Quran 10:71]

Hood, may Allah exalt his mention, said similar words in the verses (what mean): {So plot against me all together; then do not give me respite. Indeed, I have relied upon Allah, my Lord and your Lord.} [Quran 11:55-56]

As we said previously, our forelocks and the forelocks of our enemies are in the hands of Allah The Almighty who does whatever He wants. Thus, you should deny your power and strength and feel that Allah The Almighty is with you with His knowledge, power and strength as He Says (what means):
„X {He is with you wherever you are.} [Quran 57:4]
„X {And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near.} [Quran 2:186]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Be mindful of Allah and He will preserve you, and if you are mindful of Allah you will find Him by your side.” [At-Tirmithi: Hasan Saheeh]

In order to feel that Allah The Almighty is with you, try to contemplate and compare the following verses. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

„X {Have you seen if he is upon guidance. Or enjoins righteousness? Have you seen if he denies and turns away -- does he not know that Allah sees?} [Quran 96:11-14]
„X {They said, "Our Lord, indeed we are afraid that he will hasten [punishment] against us or that he will transgress." [Allah] Said, "Fear not. Indeed, I Am with you both; I hear and I see.”} [Quran 20:45-46]
When comparing the two verses, we realize that {Does he not know that Allah sees?} was mentioned as a threat for those who are disobedient. This verse means that Allah The Almighty will punish you if you do not repent.
In the second group of verses, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {"Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see.”} This indicates the help of Allah, His guidance and blessing.

O Muslims, adhere to the teachings of Islam and do not say that it is difficult to do so.

If you feel that repentance and adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, are burdensome, drive procrastination away, be truthful with Allah The Almighty and rely on Him and you will find that easy and find it difficult to follow your own desires.

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