The worldly life is just a temporary life. The real life is actually the eternal life that is everlasting. Only true Imaan (belief) can guarantee that one attains blissfulness in the Afterlife. Therefore, it is truly unfortunate if there are those within the Muslim Ummah that would jeopardize their Imaan purely for the sake of fulfilling their worldly needs that are only temporary.
The World is Trials
The question begs, why are there those within the Muslim Ummah that would jeopardize their Imaan for the sake of worldly life? The answer is that there are those that are impatient and unable to withstand the trials and tribulations faced in this life. This all stemmed from inadequate religious knowledge, weak faith, lack of pursuing righteous deeds, and deficiency in possessing noble akhlaq.
Truthfully, this worldly life is a trial for every Muslims. Everyone will be tested by Allah whether in the form of hardship or ease. This means that those living in difficulty will be tested, and similarly, those living with prosperity will also be tested.
Trials in the form of difficulty are those such as sickness, fear, hunger, poverty, loss of wealth, natural disaster, or death of loved ones. Allah mentions in verse 155 of surah al-Baqarah (meaning):
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Baqarah, verse 155].
While the trials in the form of ease are those such as opulent wealth, blessed with offsprings, noble stature, high position, successful business, and it is like. Allah mentions in verse 28 of surah Al-Anfal (meaning):
“And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Anfal, verse 28].
The multitudes of tribulations imposed by Allah upon us solely intends to identify whom amongst us that are truly sincere, patient, deceitful and always whining. Allah mentions in verses 2-3 of surah Al- ‘Ankabut (meaning):
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” [Al-Quran, surah, Al-‘Ankabut, verse 2-3].
The recent shooting tragedy that took place at Masjid al-Nour and Linwood Islamic Center in New Zealand that left 50 people dead and many injured, while innocent individuals were engaging in worship (ibaadah), is truly heart-wrenching to all of us. In fact, until today this tragic incident is still a topic of conversation everywhere. Indeed, this is truly a great trial, especially for the Muslim ummah, and what is for sure is that everything that happens has its own hikmah (wisdom). Click here for my deepest condolences.
For those that are truly sincere and patient, the test of difficulty endured will be embraced with solid patience and contentment, for they understood that there is hikmah behind such predicament. They have yaqeen (certainty) that such trial of distress will erase their past sins and wrongdoings. With the trial of ease, they will embrace it with full gratitude unto Allah. This is because the true mu’min (believer) will always remain cognizant that every tribulation endured, whether difficulty or ease, truly intends to elevate their faith in Allah.
As for those that are always lying and having weak Imaan upon the qadaa’ (divine will) and qadr (predestination) from Allah, whenever they are inflicted with the test of difficulty, their faith becomes jeopardized. They would plead and beg to humans or other creations just to overcome the adversity endured. As for the test of ease, it only makes them more arrogant and proud. They would not become thankful upon the favors that Allah bestowed upon them. Furthermore, they would brazenly deem that it was all due to their own intelligence, just like the arrogance of Qaroon upon the bounties from Allah that was vividly mentioned in verse 78 of surah Al-Qasas. Allah mentions (meaning):
“He said, “I was only given it because of knowledge I have.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him of generations those who were greater than him in power and greater in accumulation [of wealth]? But the criminals, about their sins, will not be asked.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Qasas, verse 78].
Al-Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned in Tafseer, which means: “Allah explained in these verses that Qaroon was bestowed with treasures of wealth, so much so that he forgot about himself. As it turned out, the amassed wealth could not even save him from the torment of Allah, as experienced by Pharaoh.”
With this, it is clear upon us that anyone living in this worldly life will definitely be faced with various trials that will shake one’s faith. Sometimes the Imaan decreases and sometimes it increases. The important question here is what is the method prescribed in Islam in strengthening our Imaan so that we are able to withstand and overcome all tribulations that would come our way.
Safeguarding our Imaan
There are many ways to safeguard our Imaan. Among them is through dhikrullaah or the remembrance of Allah through dhikr, for it is through dhikrullaah that the heart becomes tranquil, that it becomes easier to attain sincerity, patience, and true certainty upon Allah. Allah mentions in verse 28 of surah ar-Ra’d (meaning):
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” [Al-Quran, surah Ar-Ra’d, verse 28].
Likewise, there are no deeds that are most effective in preserving the Imaan from feeling despair and weak-spirited upon the trials endured, aside from hastening and earnestly performing righteous deeds. In the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, Rasulullah said (meaning):
“Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his faith for worldly goods.” [Narrated by Muslim].
Therefore, the Muslim ummah must always strive to increase its religious knowledge, diligently perform righteous deeds, and having noble akhlaaq, so as to safeguard its Imaan from getting ruined. More than that, the role of du’a (supplication) is truly vital in protecting and strengthening the Imaan. Among the du’a that was taught by Allah in al-Qur’an that is wajib (obligatory) for us to recite 17 times daily in our 5 daily prayers is (meaning):
“Guide us to the straight path” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Fatihah, verse 6].