Thursday, 14 December 2006

Holding On To Burning Coal

Day by day, year by year, as the human race hurtle closer to the Final Day, Yaumul Qiyamah, the conditions in the world continue to deteriorate, as per the predictions of Rasulullah SAW. Fitnahs are increasing at a frightening rate, evil is proliferating swiftly and dark, ominous clouds are enveloping the horizons. In such times, holding onto one's Imaan will become a tough ordeal - the equivalent of holding onto a burning piece of coal - as described in the Hadith. The analogy of the burning coal appropriately captures the agony of the people of Imaan. The coal cannot be dropped for that would mean forsaking of Imaan, yet holding onto it is no an easy task, for it requires maximum patience, sacrifice and perseverance, just to hold on.

What is to be done in these trying times?

The early history of Muslims at Makkah is a source of great consolation and inspiration for persecuted Muslims. The early Muslim community, living in the Makkan crucible, was relentlessly persecuted. But this only hardened their resolve to cling more firmly to their new found faith - Islam - which was an unparalleled blessing after the miserable and dark days of Jahiliyyah. Nothing in the world was dearer to them than the blessing of this new faith, not even their own lives. The contemporary Muslim community has valuable lessons to learn from them in these difficult days. The guiding principle for the Makkan Muslims was Sabr (patience) at every step of the torment, for “Verily Allah is close to the patient ones.” These are the times that call for patience and steadfastness. Allah Ta'ala shall bring relief in due course, as He had done for the Believers of Makkah, and other persecuted folk.

As was the charter of the Makkan believers, Muslims must work towards developing their personalities and morals, thereby acting as true ambassadors of noble Islamic values. Beautiful Islamic conduct and character must be displayed towards all of mankind.

In the difficult days that prevail, the way ahead lies in turning to Allah Ta'ala for help and succour, through obedience, submission and resignation to His will. Allah never disappoints those who have hope in Him, never refuses those who ask of Him, never ignores those who quest for Him, never underpays those who work for Him, never deprives those who thank Him, never fails those who strive for Him, never allows those whose comfort is in His remembrance to be estranged from Him, never surrenders to others those who surrender to Him, never abandons those who depend on Him, and never forsakes those who trust and commit themselves to Him.

This is a time for increasing in righteous A'maal (deeds) and returning to basic Islamic teachings, because A'maal alone shall determine our present and future destiny. Conditions are created by Allah Ta'ala, based on our A'maal. Part of the process is to shun all evil deeds, and to kick aside a corrupt lifestyle. Some of the powerful A'maal that bring excellent results are Solat, Du'a, Sadaqah (charity), abundant Istighfaar and Salawaat.

Now is the time for transforming the home into a spiritual powerhouse, through: Tarbiyyah, inculcation of piety and values; Ta'lim wa Ta'lum (learning and teaching); Zikrullah; Islamic Aadaab, etiquette and Sunnah practices; and Ibaadah, by all members in the household.

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