By AbdulWarees Solanke
Allah is ever faithful in His promise. In my Fajr reflections recently, I pondered over several aayats of the Qur’an where Allah haz wa jal speaks to believers on certain actions of life, where He gives certain mandates, instructions, warnings, promises and assurances with a view to ensuring that the believer remains steadfast, conscious, ever in His presence, relying on Him and ultimately attaining His pleasure, for the Pleasure of Allah is the greatest goal a believer can aspire. When Allah is pleased with His servant, his affairs become easy.
I take my inspiration today from the Surah of the Believers, Al, Muminun, Quran Chapter 23 and I encourage every Muslim to reflect on the contents of the early verses of that part of the Quran. They are verses that breathe with certainty, finality and assurance from Allah, assurance of success. But there are also conditions attached to success. From these verses, you see the Almighty linking success to Salaat, zakat, observance of trust (integrity), chastity, piety, and self-discipline.
In the reckoning of Islam, all these are good deeds, borne out of personal striving against the base self, the ego. For it’s the reign of the ego in man that fires his ambition. And when the ego and ambition in man rule, most often negatively, he is unable to meet, or he compromises on these virtuous prescriptions of success. So, the nexus to man’s success is the conquest of the ego and human ambition. The path of success is shown to man when he abandons his own self-defined path and follows the pathway of Allah; the path of total submission and full compliance with the mandates of Allah.
Allah in his infinite mercy declared that whosoever does good, whether male or female, and he is a Mumeen, a believer, such would assuredly be granted a life that is pure and good, HAYYATAN Toyyiban. In several other parts of the Quran, Allah promises the believer victory, authority (dominion of the earth), heritage, abundance of wealth and ultimately His pleasure, RIDWANULLAH AKBAR. The pleasure of Allah is the greatest.
So, what is the life of a believer, without gender bias? The life of a Mumeen is one of submission to Allah, of peace and tranquility (saqiinah), of fulfillment and joy. It’s a life of independence from man but of munificence in Allah, a life of contentment. It’s a balanced life, a life of hope and reliance on Allah, Tawaqqul. It’s a life of increase and progress beyond the material life. But it”s also a life of constant struggle, jihad-u-nafs, against the whisperings of Shaitaan, a life of awareness of Allah’s might which restrains from iniquities and vanities, so always doing taubah or repentance. It’s a life of productive efforts with certainty of reward from Allah even if not in tangible measures. It’s a life of altruism and sincerity, ikhlaas, solely for Allah. Indeed, the life of a Mumeen is a life of strength, courage, and voluntarism. Ultimately, the life of a Mumeen is a life of patience and gratitude, sabr wa shukr.
The life of a Mumeen is one of unquestioning obedience and loyalty to Allah. It’s complete trust in Him. It’s a life of material freedom, yet of richness of soul and patience in tribulation. It’s a life devoted to dhikr, Allah’s remembrance, a life that thirsts for knowledge of Him and love of Him. But it’s also a life that conquers the fear of death. After all, death is the beginning of transition to meeting Allah.
If a man loves Allah, he is no longer afraid of the path that leads to the presence of his Beloved. When a man is granted this life, he enjoys ease of worship and protection from dangers. He’s armored against ibliis and his hosts from among the jinn and mankind. He becomes a slave of Allah. He abhors sins, ever turning to Allah in repentance. He is assured of forgiveness and mercy from above. He attains success in all dimensions. How sweet is the life a Mumeen! How wholesome!! How rich!!!