Every so often, I find that it is useful to remind ourselves of some basic facts of life.
These are as follows:
- One day I will die and stand before Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and will answer for what I did and what I failed to do of His orders and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam.
- This is the Reality and will not change whether I and all the humans and jinn choose to believe it or not.
- Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is Ghani and does not need me or my Ibaadah.
- If the entire world and all who live in it collectively deny Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and refuse to worship Him, His Greatness will not decrease by a single iota.
- If the entire world and all who live in it collectively become obedient to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and worship none other than Him, His Greatness will not increase by a single iota.
- We need Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). He does not need us. He said:
Nisa 4:170 O Mankind! The Messenger has now come unto you with thetruth from your Rabb: then believe in him, for your own good! And if you deny the
truth – behold, unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and
Allah is indeed all-knowing, all-wise!
- All good begins and ends with obedience to Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and in the following of the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam.
- All evil begins and ends with disobedience of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and in the denial of and refusal to follow the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam.
- If we follow the orders of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam we do it for ourselves and not as a favor to Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) to His Messenger sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam we do it for ourselves and not as a favor to Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) to His Messenger sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam.
- Anything in life that is begun with the disobedience of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) will lead to pain and suffering and evil results for us in this world and the Aakhira.
- Anything in life that is begun with the obedience of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and in accordance with the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam will result in Baraka and goodness for us.
- Our job is to continue to remind ourselves and others, whether they listen to us or not.
The big issue of course is with the business of obedience, which is the essence and the meaning of Islam in the first place. The willingness to subordinate our
own wills and desires to the Will of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and the Sunnah of Rasoolullahsallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam.
The realization that the ‘pleasure’ of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is superior and more important
than the opinions of all and everyone else. The acceptance in our minds and hearts that the way of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam is superior to all other ways.
As Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) described this spirit of obedience in His Blessed Book:
Baqara: 2:131 When his Rabb said to him (Ibrahim), “Submit !” He said, “I have
submitted myself to the Rabb of the A’alamin (all that exists) 132: And this
(submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim upon his sons and by Yaqub
(who said), “O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion; then die not
except in the Faith of Islam (as Muslims)
The life history of Ibrahim (alaihi salaam) is a wonderful example of this spirit of obedience and its consequences. It is a story of not only one man but his whole family who subjugated their desires and wishes to the Will of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). When Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) was ordered to take his wife and child and leave them in the valley of Makkah, he did that without question. It was an order that simply does not make sense in terms of our worldly logic. After all if he had been ordered to go and live there and start a settlement, one could understand this. But to leave his wife, a lone woman, and her little baby, the one for whom he made dua and who was born to him after so many years; alone, defenseless and without any resources, without so much as an explanation of why he was doing this?
How difficult it is for us in today’s world to even understand this level of obedience. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) open our eyes before it is too late.
But see the spirit of obedience of Hajar (radiallahu anha)…….she asked him, “Is this the Will of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)?” He nodded in confirmation.
So she said, “Then you can go. If Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) ordered us to be here, He will not allow us to perish.” She said this without even knowing if she will ever see him again.
When Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) left them and reached a place where they could not see him he stopped and made this dua:
Ibrahim 14: 37. “O our Rabb! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an
uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’aba at Makkah); in order, O our
Rabb, that they may establish As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), so fill some hearts among
men with love towards them, and (O Allâh) provide them with fruits so that they may
See the dua of the Nabi; his first concern is to establish the worship of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).
That is why Rasoolullahsallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam’s first action when he made Hijra was to establish
the masjid. He did this while he was himself homeless and a guest of Abu
Ayub Al Ansari (ra). So also Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) is talking about the establishment of
Salah before anything else. Then he asks for influence for his family, that
people may love them and obey them and then he asks for sustenance. And
that too, in a barren waterless place, he asks for fruits. This is the dua of the
Nabi who understands his Rabb and knows that one must first obey and
worship his Rabb if one wants influence in the world. And that his Rabb is not
subject to any conditions. He is the creator of the conditions. So when he asks
his Rabb, he asks with his sight on His power, not on his own infirmities or
weakness. So he asks for fruits in a barren waterless desert.
The Sahaba learnt this lesson well. When Rasoolullahsallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam told them about the
coming of Dajjal and that he would rule for 40 days, one day of which would
be like a year and the next like a month and so on; the Sahaba didn’t ask how
they should fight the Dajjal or anything else. They asked how they would pray
during the day which would be like one year. They knew that the Salah was
the source of power and so if they got that right, the rest would follow.
And what was the result of this obedience?
It was the well of Zamzam. It is the construction of the Ka’aba. And it is the
immortalizing of this noble lady’s (Peace be on her) saye’e; her running up and
down the two hills of Safa and Marwa in the Arkaan (rituals) of Haj and
Umrah. Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) made this the rule until the Day of Judgment, that if anyone
wants to make Haj and Umrah, he/she will have to imitate (do Ittiba) of
Hajar (radiallahu anha) without which their worship is not acceptable. Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) made her
running an act of His Worship and immortalized her memory.
Then there was the time when Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) saw in a dream that he was
sacrificing his son in the name of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). Subhan’Allah the tests for Ibrahim (alayhi salaam)
never ceased. It was not as if Jibraeel (alayhi salaam) came to him with this order from
Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). He saw this in a dream. Sure, the dreams of prophets are Wahi….. but
prophets are also human. They also love their children. Especially children
who are born after begging Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) for them for so many years. Yet what does
he do? He tells his son about his dream and asks for his opinion. He asks him,
‘What do you think?’ Reflect; can you ask for an opinion if you haven’t
prepared the child through Tarbiyya first? It was a test for both father and son.
And now look at that child!! Child!! Not a grown man, full of knowledge and
wisdom. Just a child! But a child brought up to be obedient to Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). What
does he say? Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) even tells us how old the child was: just old enough to
walk with his father.
Saaffaat 37: 102. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said:
“O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offering you in sacrifice
to Allâh), so what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are
commanded, Inshâ’Allâh, you shall find me of As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.).” 103.
Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allâh), and he had laid
him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering); 104. And
We called out to him: “O Ibrahim! 105. You have fulfilled the dream (vision)!” Verily!
Thus do We reward the Muhsinûn 106. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial 107.
And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (a ram); 108. And We left for him (a
goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. 109. Salâmun
(peace) be upon Ibrâhim. 110. Thus indeed do We reward the Muhsinûn
And what was the reward of this deed? Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) made this story and the words
of the father and son a part of His Word and thus made the reading of them an
act of worship. He sent a sheep from Jannah to be slaughtered in the place of
Ismail (alayhi salaam) and made that slaughter a part of Haj and an act of worship and the
means for seeking His Pleasure for any Muslim who is capable of doing it
anywhere in the world.
And thus shall this story be alive as long as the Qur’an remains on the face of
the earth and in the hearts of men and women and as long as the Haj continues
to be performed and the Eid ul Adha continues to be celebrated all over the
world. These are the wages of obedience.
Truly the rewards of obedience are great. And they are for us. And right here
in this life. And of course even more in the Aakhira. It is because obedience is
such a critical matter in Islam and because Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) was an epitome of
obedience, that Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) called the Ummah of His last Prophet salallahu alaihi wa sallam Millat-eIbrahim.
Yet we are the ones who have become the worst of the disobedient
ones and the transgressors. He said:
An’am 6:161. Say (O Muhammad): “Truly, my Rabb has guided me to a Straight
Path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrahim Hanifa [Islam] and he was not of AlMushrikun
Nahl 16: 123. Then, We have inspired you (O Muhammad saying): “Follow the
religion of Ibrahim, Hanifa (Islam) and he was not of the Mushrikun
It is in the obedience to Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) without any argument, question or delay, that
lies true success. Those who do this, operate from the basic principle that
Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) knows what is best for us. It is this small matter that is the basis of all
the problems with obedience. The question is: Do we TRULY believe that
Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) in fact knows what is best for us or not? So why do we disobey
Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) when at a cognitive level all Muslims will at least accept this fact that
in the obedience of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) lies their own success in this world and the next?
In my opinion there are three main reasons why we disobey Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and
Rasoolullahsallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam despite knowing the harmfulness of this:
- Lack of certain belief in the Aakhira and the Day of Judgment
- Tendency to follow own desires contrary to the orders of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)
- Fear of or concern for the opinions of others more than the fear of Allah(Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)
Ref: Sheikh Yawar M.B