Means to Help Keep us Firm on the deen of Allah
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on March 27, 1998)
Last Friday, we learned some of the means that help keep a Muslim firm on the deen of Allah (S.W.T.). Such as:
Reciting Qur’an with contemplation, reflection, and memorization. Abiding by the divine laws and rules and doing good deeds. Studying the stories of the prophets and reflecting upon them. Today, we continue the topic about the other means that help keep us firm on the deen of Allah:
Fourthly, supplication, going toward Allah (S.W.T.) and asking Him to make us firm on His deen, because He is the one who guides us to His deen and He alone makes us firm on it. There are so many people whom Allah (S.W.T.) did not guide them to the truth, and many people whom Allah (S.W.T.) guided to the truth but did not make them firm on that guidance. Because of a mere trial (test), they failed. About this kind of people, Allah (S.W.T) tells us in surat Al-Hajj, (Verse 11), what can be translated as, "And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. shaky in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss." The changing heart of this person mentioned in this verse was tested with a trial, but Allah (S.W.T.) did not help him remain firm, so he failed utterly and that is the clear failure and loss.
In the hadith related by Imams Muslim and Ahmad, the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "The hearts of the children of Adam are all between two fingers of the Compassionate’s fingers like one heart, He directs it in any direction he wills." In an authentic hadith, it was reported by Imam At-Timithi that the prophet (S.A.W.) used to say frequently this supplication, "O Allah, The One who changes hearts, make my heart firm on your deen. ", So, we should frequently say this supplication, and urge Allah (S.W.T.) and say, "O our Lord, do not make our hearts go astray after you had guided us." And also, "O our Lord, bless us with patience and help make our feet firm."
Fifthly, among the means that make us firm on this deen is Remembering Allah frequently, and keeping away from being forgets Allah. Remembering Allah is realized with everything that makes you remember Allah (S.W.T.) like thinking, saying, or acting. Therefore, the result of remembering Allah (S.W.T.) is the tranquillity of the heart of the believer, and firmness on the truth. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Ra’ad, (Verse 28), what can be translated as, "Those who believe, and whose hearts find tranquillity in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquillity." The best way to remember Allah is what has been authenticated from the prophet (S.A.W.).
Sixthly, among the means that make us firm on this deen is to be a companion of the righteous people, the people of obedience, and keeping away from the corrupted people, the people of disobedience. This is because a person’s deen is the deen of his companion... So, the good companion helps you increase your belief, encourages you to do good; if you forget, he will remind you and if you make mistakes, he will advise you. For this reason, Allah (S.W.T.) considers the good companionship to be equal with the righteousness for its importance. So, He said in surat At-Tawbah commanding us in (Verse 119), what can be translated as, "O you who believe! Be righteous to Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds)."
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) illustrates to us the example of each one of these two companions, so he said, "The examples of the good companion and the bad Companion are like the carrier of musk and the blacksmith, the musk carrier would either give you a gift (of musk), or you buy from him (some musk), or you smell a good aroma from his musk. But, the blacksmith would either burn your clothes, or you would smell a nasty smell from him."
Seventhly, among the means that make us firm on this deen is practicing da’wah to the deen of Allah, investing time, effort and money for the sake of da’wah till it becomes the main concern. da’wah is the mission and work of all the great messengers and their followers to the Last Day. Allah (S.W.T) says in surat Ash-Shurah, (Verse 15), what can be translated as, "To that (the deen of Allah) invite (People), and stand firm as you are commanded." So, da’wah is obligatory and its reward is great with Allah (S.W.T.). It is also an important mean that helps keep a person firm on the deen, because it is an offensive strategy that protects from withdrawal and weakness; the one who is on the offense does not need defense. So, the belief gets stronger in the person who practices
da’wah, his soul gets purified, his heart gets firm, his direction gets clear. The person who practices da’wah is in fact like the physician who treats the illnesses with his knowledge and experience by prescribing the medicine. He also learns lessons from the sick and sicknesses to become more cautious and careful.
Eigthly, among the means that make us firm on this deen is the absolute trust and confidence in the support and victory from Allah (S.W.T). And that the future is for Islam no matter how long the falsehood prevails. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Isra’ , (Verse 81), what can be translated as, "And say: "Truth has come and Batil (falsehood) has vanished. Surely? Batil (falsehood) is ever bound to vanish."
The prophet (S.A.W.) wanted to help his companions to remain firm on the deen when they were few in number and being tortured, he told them and he is the trustworthy that the future is for Islam. Imam Bukhari reported that Khabbab (one of the companions) came to the prophet (S.A.W.) and said, "O Messenger of Allah, we have experienced a great hardship and torture from the disbelievers. Would you not ask Allah for support and victory for us? would you not supplicate for us?" The prophet (S.A.W.), then, reminded him that before them, the persevering believer used to be brought and put in a hole in the ground, then a saw used to be brought and put on his head to cut in half, and his flesh used to be combed with combs of steel off his bones. But all this did not make him forsake (leave) his deen. Then the Prophet said, "By Allah, He (Allah) will complete this issue (Islam) until a rider travels from San’a’ to Hadramoot and does not fear any one except Allah and the wolf for his sheep, but you are in a hurry."
Allah (S.W.T.) reminds us of those persevering firm believers in surat El-Imran, (Verses 146-148), what can be translated as, "And many a Prophet fought (in Allah’s Cause) and along with him (fought) large bands of religious learned men. But they never lost heart for that which did be falls them in Allah’s Way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves the patient. And they said nothing but: "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions, establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk." So Allah gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. And Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).