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Imaan and Ibadah

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"The Shortest Distance between a Problem and its Solution is the
Distance between your Knees and the Floor.
The one who Kneels to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala
can stand up to Anything."

Ya Ayyuhan Nas! Traditions that refer to people who offer unconditional obedience to Divine Commands and without the hope of reward or the fear of punishment, relate to a particular group of individuals whose knowledge of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal’s infinite essence is of a very high degree. Those righteous souls attain to the highest degrees of sincerity and perform their Islamic duties for the sake of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen’s good pleasure, not for any reward. This group of Muhmin’s have been called “free people” in the traditions, whereas those who do worship and perform duties for the sake of reward have been called “hired workers”, and those who do their duty for fear of punishment, “slaves”. Sayyiddina Ali Radhiallahu Ta’ala Anho said:

“A group of people worship Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata'ala for the sake of reward. That is the worship of merchants. A group of people worship Almighty Allah from the fear of punishment. That is the worship of slaves. But a group of Almighty Allah’s servants worship Him Solely out of gratitude and thankfulness. And this kind of worship is special to those who are free.”

Ayyatuhal Muslimeen! Someone whose soul is full to the brim with the love of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is compelled to worship and glorify Him. He or she worships Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen neither with the hope of reward nor for the fear of punishment, but solely for the sake of Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala. One who performs a virtuous deed or abstains from a sinful act for the sake of reward or for the fear of punishment, cannot be proud of such conduct. Such a person cannot be considered a godly person. He or she is a business person who works for his or her own profit and is a mercenary who toils for a wage.

Beloved people of Imaan! The greater the faith of an individual in Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, the more visibly are his or her acts marked with sincerity, so that the effort to attain Almighty Allah’s good pleasure predominates all his or her desires and attachments. He or she performs every virtuous act without any fear of punishment or hope of reward. This moral ideal and sublime spirit is of such a great worth that there is no ideal that can equal it, and there are only a few of such moral geniuses in every era who can attain it. Hazrat Ali Radhiallahu Ta’ala Anho says this about his own position as a servant of Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen:

“My Creator, I do not glorify Thee in the fear of Jahannum and the hope of Janna'h.
Rather, I worship Thee because I consider Thee Alone worthy of being worshipped.”

The Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an quotes Nabee Sulaiman
Alayhis Salaam’s prayer in verse 19 of Surah An-Naml:

“My Lord! Inspire me so that I may be thankful for Thy blessings
wherewith Thou hast blessed me and my father and mother, and
that I may do righteousness well-pleasing to Thee.”

Ya Ibad Allah! It should be noted that ‘worship’ [Ibadah] in Islam is not limited only to those precious moments when one is performing ritual acts of worship. Rather, it has a wide and comprehensive meaning that includes all the aspects of life, and as “a way of life” covers the entire scope of life. ‘Worship’ in the ordinary sense, as well as thought, perception and the daily matters of life – all are included in worship so long as Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala is one’s goal and end. In other words, Ibadah is the principal basis on which rest all the norms and regulations of life; for brief moments of worship and fleeting rites by themselves do not have a very considerable value in life.

Ya Bani Adam! They are of significance only when one’s behaviour and conduct and all the affairs of one’s life are clearly and unambiguously based on this principle, and when we bear witness, not merely verbally, but in actual practice that no power and entity is worthy of being worshipped except the sacred Essence of the Exalted Creator and Sustainer – Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala. Similarly, ‘worship’ in the teachings of Islam does not mean that one’s heart should be filled with piety and God-fearing only when one is performing ritual duties; that once they are over, impiety and vices should dominate one’s soul, divesting him or her of all goodness and making him or her shun justice and righteousness.

Beloved Ummatal Qur'an! One’s heart does not commune with Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala in such a worship, and such a person is like a lost traveler who cannot advance towards his or her goal and destination with the help of the light that illuminates the path in the dark of night. Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen declares with words of Wisdom in verse 177 of Surah Al-Baqara:

“It is not piety that you turn your faces to the East and to the West.

Fallahool Musta'aan! True piety is this: To have faith in Allah and the Last Day, the angels, The Books and the Prophets. To give of one’s substance, however cherished, to kinsmen, and orphans, the needy, the traveler, beggars, and to ransom the slave, to perform the prayer, to pay Zakat. And they who fulfil their covenant when they have engaged in a covenant, and endure with fortitude misfortune, hardship and peril, they are they who are true in their faith; these are the truly God-fearing.” The basic principle of Islamic education is that there be a perpetual, comprehensive and unbreakable bond between man and Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala.

Alal Muslimeena Jami'ah! His or her object of love and fear, hope and reliance, is Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen. Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal is the sole authority to Whom we must make recourse in every matter and observe His ordinances, laws and commands in all moments of our lives. It is such a living and thorough link between a Muhmin’s heart and Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen that gives to every thing its wholeness and consummate perfection and without which everything becomes hollow and futile. The true Muhmin finds morality, virtue and all positive values by relying on that bond. Without doubt, the human merits that spring from faith in Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala and His eternal and fundamental law are in fact mankind’s genuine virtues and merits, which cannot be expected from anyone whose education and upbringing is not based on a real link with our Exalted Creator and Sustainer – Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen.

Ayyuhal Muslimoon! The Call of Islam, which was realized in the objective world and became practical on the Doonya, opened a brilliant chapter for itself in history. It is a call based on calling the souls of people to the Source of legislation, to the sublime horizon of human felicity, on guiding and linking the hearts of the infinite Divine Essence. Does Imaan (faith) mean the continued subjugation of the Muslim masses throughout Muslim ruled states? Does Imaan stand for the disunity of Muslims and failure to take a united stand against the despotic one-eyed dajjals ruling over them?  Does Imaan stand for the approval and control of the Haramayn and over the resources, and destinies of the Muslim Ummah?  Does Imaan mean total indifference to exploitation, oppression and injustice?
Ih'watal Islam! If Imaan stands for the destruction of the political, economic and cultural independence of Muslim countries and if Imaan stands for the doctrine that the Muslim nations should have no right to govern their own destinies? If Imaan stands for the general backwardness of the Ummah in the fields of commerce, science, education and technology, then we as Muslims should learn to improve our education, our faith and commitment to the Glorious Din of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen.  Does Imaan mean subjugation of Muslims to the guardianship and lordship of oppressive rulers and the outright rejection of the oft-repeated verse 40 of Surah Al-Mai'dah?:

"Do you not know that to Allah (Alone) belongs the domination
of the heavens and the earth? He punishes whom He pleases, and
He forgives whom He pleases: And Allah has power over all things."

Ayyatuhal Muslimoon! Punishment really does not belong to mortals, but to Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala Alone. Only, in order to keep civil society together, and protect innocent people from crime, certain principles are laid down on which people can build up their criminal law. But we must always remember that our Most Glorious Creator not only punishes but forgives, and forgiveness is the attribute which is more prominently placed before us. It is not our wisdom that can really define the bounds of forgiveness or punishment, but His Will or Plan, which is the true standard of righteousness and justice.  Yes, my most beloved brothers and sisters! If Imaan stands for consumerism and destruction of the resources of Muslims and if Imaan stands for all these things mentioned, then not only I, but all genuine followers of Islam, or rather all the genuine followers of Almighty Allah’s Din, would be proud to plead guilty. We are reminded in verse 256 of Surah Al-Baqara:

“So whoever disbelieves in the Taghut and believes in Almighty Allah, has laid
hold the most firm unbreakable bond; Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”

Ma'a Sheral Muslimeen! This is because Kufr or rejection of Taghut, as something that stands opposed to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala’s sovereignty and Lordship over human society and its affairs, is the very substance of Imaan and faith in Divine Justice. Imaan means acknowledgement with the tongue, covenant with the heart, and action performed with the bodily members. All parts of Imaan are interrelated. It is said that Imaan is like a zone, and so are Islam and Kufr. Hence one may be a Muslim before he or she becomes a Muh’min, but he or she cannot become a Muh’min before he or she becomes a Muslim. Thus Islam preceded Imaan and includes it.

O you who believe! When one commits a minor or major sin prohibited by Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala, such a person goes out of [the zone] of Imaan and loses his or her title to Imaan, although the title of Islam remains with him or her. However, when he or she repents and begs for Almighty Allah’s forgiveness he or she returns to the zone of Imaan. One is not expelled into the zone of Kufr until he or she contests Almighty Allah’s Divine Commandments or is guilty of Istihlal; that is, if he or she regards something forbidden as permissible and considers something permissible as Haraam [forbidden]. So when a person does that, he or she is expelled from [the zones] of Islam and Imaan and made to enter in [the zone] of Kufr.

Ih'watal Aqida! Another beautiful way of putting it: Imaan and Islam are like the Holy Ka’abah and the Haram. One may be in the Haram without being in the Ka’bah, but one cannot be in the Holy Ka’abah without being in the Haram. Similarly, one cannot be a Muslim without being a Muh’min, but one cannot be a Muh’min without being a Muslim. Imaan is not confirmed except by action since action is part of Imaan. The Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an calls those who take a public stand against Kufr and moral corruption, crime and chaos in society as true believers and protectors of His Glorious Din, for they embody the Divine human values that have remained and survived in a bankrupt society. Today Islam is the only force on the world stage that challenges and opposes the efforts of the arrogant who have set themselves against Almighty Allah. They have been warned in verse 13 of Surah Al-Anfal:

"This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any
contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.

Fata Qullaha Ta'ala! Islam constitutes a universal and eternal programme for human life in both worlds revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. It is to be carried out in human society and to navigate the ship of humanity out of the whirlpool of ignorance and misfortune. Considering that religion is a programme for living, it must necessarily set forth a task for man in this regard that it expects him to carry out.

"In disaster, be a helper to the helpers, So that Divine Grace will come to your aid.
At all events, there will someday sprout, The seed of goodness that you plant today."

Insha'Allah - Bie Itt'Nillah! With Almighty Allah's Grace, we must continue to march on with Imaan, honour and a steady resolve and determination, with a zealous faith in Islam and express our profound gratitude to none other than Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. May the everlasting peace and blessings of Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala be upon our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Al-Mustapha Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and his family. Upon the illustrious Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajma'een, upon all the Ambiya Alayhim Salaam, upon the Mala'eeka and upon the entire Muslim Ummah in this life and in the Aghirah. Ameen - Ya Rabbul Ala'meen.

And Almighty Allah knows best.

And Peace be upon those who follow the Guidance.
The Truth is from Almighty Allah; the errors are
all mine and I stand to be corrected.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa-sal-Allaahu wa-Sallam 'alaa 
Nabiyyina Muhammad sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.

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