HOLDING ONTO A BURNING COAL
Day by day, year by year, as we hurtle closer to the Final Day – Yawmul-Qiyamah, the conditions in the world continue to deteriorate, as per the predictions of Sayyidina Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
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 coal – as it is 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 the forsaking of Imaan, yet holding onto it is no easy task, for it requires the maximum in patience, sacrifice and perseverance, just to hold on. May Allah make it easy for all Believers.
THICK VEIL OF SUSPICION
Besides the general fitnahs of immorality and vice that prevail, a thick veil of suspicion has been cast around Islam as an evil, extreme and destructive ideology. The sincere followers and servants of Islam, committed and faithful Muslims, are portrayed as the scourge of humanity. All kinds of disparaging epithets and labels are hurled at them. In many parts of the world, it goes far beyond labelling and calling names. They are considered fair game. Every means is considered legitimate against them. The all-pervading media is used as a dangerous tool against them. Every provocative headline, every damaging media report, serves to stoke up and fuel the raging inferno of Islamophobia. And the global Muslim community inevitably is the universal victim of this craze.
THE MAKKAN PERIOD
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 ideology – 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 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.
THE WAY AHEAD
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’amaal and returning to basic Islamic teachings, because A’amaal alone shall determine our present and future destiny. Conditions are created by Allah Ta’ala, based on A’amaal.
Part of the process is to shun all evil deeds, and to kick aside a corrupt lifestyle. Some of the powerful A’amaal that have always brought excellent results are Salaah, Dua, Sadaqah (charity), abundant Istighfaar and Salawaat (Durood).
Now is the time for transforming the home into a spiritual powerhouse,
through: Tarbiyyah, inculcation of piety and values; Ta’leem, learning and teaching; Zikrullah; Islamic Aadaab, etiquette and Sunnah practices; and Ibaadah, by all members in the household.
May Allah be our Helper and the Protector of our greatest wealth – our priceless Imaan!