#14 – The Importance of Īmān
Nov 8, 2021 – Nov 14, 2021
Rabi ul-Thaani 3, 1443 – Rabi ul-Thaani 9, 1443

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The Importance of Īmān

What have Allah and His Messenger said about

The Importance of Īmān

مَن عَمِلَ صالِحًا مِن ذَكَرٍ أَو أُنثىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤمِنٌ فَلَنُحيِيَنَّهُ حَياةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجزِيَنَّهُم أَجرَهُم بِأَحسَنِ ما كانوا يَعمَلونَ
Whoever, male or female, has acted righteously, while being a believer, We shall certainly make him live a good life, and shall give such people their reward for the best of what they used to do.

Surah Al-Nahl (16) – Verse 97
عَنْ عَلِيٍّ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَا يُؤْمِنُ عَبْدٌ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَ بِأَرْبَعٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنِّي مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ بَعَثَنِي بِالْحَقِّ وَيُؤْمِنُ بِالْمَوْتِ وَبِالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ وَيُؤْمِنُ بِالْقَدَرِ
Ali ibn Abi Talib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None has faith until he believes in four things: He testifies there is no God but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah sent with the truth, he believes in the resurrection after death, and he believes in divine providence.”

Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2145
Narrated Anas bin Malik: A man asked the Prophet (ﷺ) “When will the Hour be established O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) . said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, ” I haven’t prepared for it much of prayers or fast or alms, but I love Allah and His Apostle.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You will be with those whom you love.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6171
A Good Life

According to the majority of commentators, the expression ‘good life’ used here means a pure and pleasing life in the present world while some Tafsir authorities have taken it to mean life in the Hereafter. And a closer look at the explanation given by the majority would also show that it does not mean that such a person will never encounter poverty or sickness. Instead, it means that a believer – even if he ever faces poverty or pain – has two things with him which shield him from becoming disturbed. First comes his habit of remaining content with the available (qana’ah), the hallmark of a simple life. This thing works in straitened circumstances as well. Secondly, there is this belief of his, the belief that he is going to receive the great and eternal blessings of the Hereafter in return for whatever poverty or pain he has suffered from. Poised counter to this is the condition of a disbeliever and sinner. If such a per- son faces poverty and pain, he has nothing to hold him together and give him solace and comfort. In this state, he is likely to lose his sanity, even think of committing suicide. And in case he was affluent, his greed would not let him sit peacefully. When the drive for more wealth makes him a millionaire, the dreams of becoming a billionaire would keep spoil- ing his peace.

A Believers State

As for righteous believers, says Ibn ‘Atiyyah, Allah Ta’ala blesses them with a life full of pleasure, contentment and gracefulness right here in this world as well, something that never changes whatever the condition. That their life will be graceful while they enjoy health and ex- tended means is all too obvious, particularly so on the ground that they just do not have the greed to keep their wealth increasing unnecessarily, an urge that keeps harassing one under all circumstances. And even if they have to face lean days or sickness of some sort, they always have a strong support to fall back on. They are perfect believers in the promises made by Allah. They have strong hopes of seeing ease after hardship and comfort after pain. These strengths never let their life become grace- less. It is like the work of a farmer who has made his farm ready for crops. No matter how much pain he takes in working to see his crops grow, yet he welcomes all that for the sake of the comfort he is going to have. In a short time, he is certain, he is going to have the best of return for what he has done. A businessman or a wage earner would do the same. They would face all sorts of hardship in their job, even a little dis- grace once in a while. But, they brave through everything and remain happy and hopeful. They believe that their business will bring profit and their job, a salary. The believer too believes that he is getting a return for every hardship and when comes the life of the Hereafter, his return for every hardship will come to him in the form of blessings that are great and everlasting. As for the life of the present world, it is not such a big deal as compared to that of the Hereafter. Therefore, a believer finds it easy to remain patient against worldly variations in living conditions. Thus, these conditions never make a believer suffer from anxiety, apprehension and boredom. This is the ‘good life’ a believer is blessed with in cash, on the spot, right here in this world.

[Above sections taken from Maarif ul Quran]
Preserving Our Iman

The first thing is, and this should always be done with our obligations, is that we should not compromise our obligations. For a Muslim, the biggest obligation and worship is salah. This is one thing that we cannot afford to compromise. There is no good deed that can take the place of fardh salah. This is one thing that we have to really, sincerely and honestly uphold, whether someone is there to remind us or not. This is our duty and our responsibility. The other thing is abstaining from all of those things that Allah (SWT) has forbidden. We often get into this cycle where we say, “Well, is it haram? If it is not haram, we should do it.” Deen is not just about halal and haram. Islam does not just consist of these two things. Yes, there are many things that are haram, but there are many more things that lead to haram. This is why Umar (RA) says, “We left 90% of things that were not haram when looked at by themselves. Because they led to things that were haram, we left them.” This question, “Is it haram?”, and the fact that we only stay away from that which is haram is not the talk of a believer or someone with strong Iman. Someone with strong Iman is not just abstaining from haram, but they are also abstaining from that which leads to haram.

The Channels to our Heart

One of the most important channels is our eyes – our gaze. There are things that we are forbidden from looking at, but if we do, it is like we have contaminated our heart. Whatever the eyes see, it reflects directly upon the heart. If what we are looking at is from the likes of haram, right away, we are corrupting the heart and blackening it. This is one of the channels through which a person’s thoughts change. What we look at affects what we are thinking about as well. Controlling our gaze and deciding to control our gaze for the rest of the year is something that we have to decide now.
The other channel is that which we listen to. Whatever we listen to is programming us, whether we are listening to it deliberately or we just happen to be listening to it. Whatever we listen to also reflects upon our hearts and minds. This is where our thoughts and ideas take shape. It is taking this stimulus and input into our system and that input is shaping what is happening in our hearts and minds. Whatever happens in the mind and heart takes shape into actions. It does not stay hidden inside. While it is there, no one can see it, but eventually, it will come out in the form of action and deeds. It cannot be that a person is thinking pure thoughts all the time and they end up doing wrong things. Eventually, those pure thoughts will come out in the form of pure deeds. Similarly, it cannot be that a person thinks only impure thoughts all the time and the result is that they are always doing pure deeds. It is only a matter of time before those thoughts will come alive in the form of their actions. What we look at and listen to – if it is not in line with what Allah (SWT) wants us to do in life, it needs to be kept away.
The third thing is what we talk about. Whatever we speak about has a direct impact on our hearts. You will notice this in any conversation where you exchange harsh words with someone. If you fight with someone and you are yelling at each other, you will walk away with a burdened feeling. You will not walk away feeling good. If you have a nice conversation, you will walk away feeling very good. If you listen to something that touched your heart, it will affect you heart, just like if you say something that touches someone else’s heart, it will touch your own heart. There are different levels of speech; speech which is absolutely haram which we must stay away from in all circumstances, which includes lying, swearing and cursing, backbiting, making fun of other people and saying hurtful things to other people. All of these things are impermissible in Islam. A person who says things like this corrupts their own heart. The same thing happens to someone who talks about indecent things. Someone who talks like this programs their mind and heart to act in that direction.
The last thing, which is included in all of this, is what we think about. If a person is deliberately thinking of inappropriate things, this also soils their hearts.

[Above section from a talk delivered by Mufti Aasim Rashid]

Spiritual Reminders

What Is Iman?
A companion came to the prophet (SAW) and asked him a simple question; “What is Iman?” The prophet (SAW) gave him an answer through that person could tell whether he had Iman or not and to what extent their Iman was “when you do a good deed and it makes you feel happy, and you make a mistake and it makes you feel bad, you should know that you are a believer.” What is the relationship between your good deeds making you happy and Iman? Or you bad deeds making you feel bad? The fact is that there are many things about this hadith that are direct in a person’s Iman. The first thing is why a person would be happy after doing a good deed and how it reflects their Iman. This is for a couple of reasons; the first is that this person knows and believes that they are supposed to carry out the commandments of Allah (SWT) and are supposed to perform the deeds that are pleasing to Allah (SWT). The one who performs deeds who are pleasing to Allah (SWT); these people have Iman, and this is a mark of Iman because the person is connected to Allah (SWT) and they believe in him, and their ultimate goal is to please Allah (SWT). They know that the path to Allah (SWT) is all about doing the right things at the right time. This is why a person becomes happy.

The second reason why this is an indicator of faith is because this person believes in the reward that Allah (SWT) has promised when a person does a good deed. Allah (SWT) does not just tell us to do good deeds, but he promises us immense rewards for every good deed. In fact, by default, every good deed is multiplied in reward by at least ten times, and that increases on the average up to 700 times. So, for doing one good deed, a person could get the reward of doing 700 good deeds. Doing one good deed with sincerity or in times of difficulty grants immense reward. Another reason is that this person is ultimately prepared to face Allah (SWT) and wants to present the best deeds that they possibly can when they do have to go in front of Allah (SWT), and this also indicates a person’s faith in the hereafter. When a person realizes that they have been able to do something that captures all of these blessings, then of course, they have to be happy, and underlying all of this is the happiness that Allah (SWT) gave them tawfiq to do this. So, there are four reasons why a good deed should make a person happy.
The other indicator that the prophet (SAW) mentioned is that, when you commit a mistake, you feel bad about it. This can involve feelings of guilt, sorrow and regret. This is also directly linked to a person’s Iman, because when a person makes a mistake, they realize that they did something that Allah (SWT) did not want them to do. This shows that they believe in Allah (SWT), and that when Allah (SWT) tells them to believe in something, they should probably abstain from it. Then, when Allah (SWT) tells us not to do something, he also warns us of the consequences, and when a person feels bad or guilty, it means deep inside that they are worried about those consequences coming true for them. This is a cause of worry and sorry for a person. It means they believe in the warnings of Allah (SWT). The next thing is, again, the hereafter. A person realizes that they have to give account for the deeds that they have done, and if this deed is incorrect and displeasing to Allah (SWT), they realize that they have to answer to Allah (SWT) for this. This is how the feelings that you have after doing a good and bad deed are connected to Iman. They are either a reflection of a person’s faith or a reflection of a person’s weakness in faith. All of this is only going to happen for someone who is a true believer. Someone who does not have true belief may do a good deed and not care about it. They will not feel happy about it. Similarly, they may make a mistake and not feel any guilt about it. This is a sign that the Iman is very, very weak. In these two sentences, in such a beautiful way, the prophet (SAW) gave us all a gauge of which we can take stock of where we are in our Iman. Our responsibility is to strengthen our bond with Allah (SWT), strengthen our Iman, and try to do as many of these deeds that are pleasing to Allah (SWT) as possible. In the process, we will actually be increasing our self satisfaction; we will be happier with who we are and with our lives, and this will make it so much more enjoyable to live life. As it is mentioned, “Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” (Quran 16:97) This excellent life is coming because of the good deeds they are doing. Every time a person does a good deed, Allah (SWT) enhances their life and adds joy and meaning to their life. This is a quick summary of this hadith. May Allah (SWT) put us on the path where we are able to do good deeds and enjoy life from those good deeds. May Allah (SWT) let us abstain from what is displeasing to him so that we can also avoid that sorrow and pain that comes after committing a sin.

[Above section from a talk delivered by Mufti Aasim Rashid]

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF

Sirah

What is Iman?
Abu Huraira reported: One day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) appeared before the public so a man came to him and then said: Prophet of Allah, what is Iman? Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Messengers and that you affirm your faith in the Resurrection hereafter. He said: Messenger of Allah, what is al-Islam? He replied: Al-Islam is that you worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him and you establish obligatory prayer and you pay the obligatory alms (Zakat) and you observe the fast of Ramadan. He said: Messenger of Allah, what is al-Ihsan? He replied: That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and for if you fail to see Him. He said: Messenger of Allah, when is the Hour (of Doom)? He replied: The one who is asked about it is no better informed than the inquirer, however I will narrate some of its signs to you. When the slave-girl will give birth to her master, then that is from its signs. When the naked, barefooted would become the chiefs of the people, then that is from its signs. When the shepherds of the black (camels) would exult themselves in buildings, then that is from its signs. (The Hour is) Among one of the five which no one knows but Allah. Then he recited (the verse): “Verily Allah! with Him alone is the knowledge of the Hour and He it is Who sends down the rain and knows that which is in the wombs. And no soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and a soul knows not in what land it shall die. Verily Allah is Knowing, Aware.”
He (Abu Huraira) said: Then the person turned back and went away. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Bring that man back to me. They went to bring him back, but they saw nothing there. Upon this the Messenger of Allah remarked: he was Gabriel, who came to teach the people their religion.

[Reported in Sahih Muslim]

Sunnah Acts

Building Iman
Narrated Abu Musa:
Some people asked Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), “Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 11]


Narrated Anas:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 13]


Narrated Anas:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
1) The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
2) Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.
3) Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.

[Sahih al-Bukhari 16]

Adhkar/Dua

Dua to Guard One’s Imaan
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْوَهَّابُ
Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower

Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba’da ith hadaytana wahab lana min ladunka rahmatan innaka anta alwahaab

Quran Surah Ali ‘Imran Verse 8

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