By Safaa Alshiraida
Once Iman has been well established in a believer’s heart, he begins to realize and appreciate the great bounty Allah (SWT) has bestowed on him. If it had not been for the guidance of Allah, he would never have been guided. With this guidance, a Muslim leads a happy and peaceful life in this world; and in the Hereafter. Insha’ Allah, he will attain the eternal happiness Allah has promised the righteous.
Due to his appreciation of this grace from Allah, a Muslim tries his best to maintain it and be grateful to his Lord, and to live and die in a state of Islam.
The following is an attempt to summarize the duties that a Muslim Muslim should observe towards his Lord.
1. Fulfillment of the pillars of Islam:
This includes: Understanding and applying the Shahadah in one’s life; performing Salah with humility and contemplation; paying Zakah; fasting Ramadan for the sake of Allah and performing Hajj, if possible.
This is further classified into two kinds:
a. To submit and perform the commands of Allah; Allah says:
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find no resistance in their souls against your decisions, but accept fully with submission” (4:65)
b. Accepting, with patience, all the decisions of Allah. When Ibrahim, the Prophet’s son, died, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The eyes weep, and the heart is sad, but we say only that which pleases The Lord”
Allah (SWT) says:
“But they have only been commanded to worship Allah with sincere devotion” (98:5)
No deed can be accepted by Allah unless it fulfils two requisites: sincerity, and compliance with Shari’ah.
4. Patience and steadfastness:
Patience is half of faith. Imam Ahmad said: “Iman has two halves: patience, and thankfulness”
5. Mindfulness of Allah:
“And know that Allah knows that which is in your minds, so fear Him” (2:235)
The Prophet (PBUH) said, defining Ihsan: “To worship Allah as if you were seeing Him, since even though you do not see Him, He sees you” (B&M).
6. Voluntary acts of worship (Nafilah):
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah (SWT) has said: Whoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and My servant continues to draw near Me with voluntary works so that I shall love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.”
7. Loving Allah:
The love of Allah (SWT) is the only way you rid oneself of the love of this life and its temptations:
“Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, your kindred, the wealth you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, or the dwellings in which you delight, are dearer to you than Allah and His Apostle or the striving in His cause; then wait until Allah brings about his decision. And Allah guides not the rebellious” (9:24)
8. Loving the Prophet:
“Say: If you love Allah, follow me! Allah will love you and forgive you your sins” (3:31)
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “None of your is a true believer until I am dearer to him than his father, his sons, and all people”
In order for a Muslim to be described as having Wara’, he should not only abstain from committing Haram, but he should also avoid things which are doubtful (i.e., Shubhah). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “That which is Halal is plain and that which is Haram is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his Deen and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is Haram, like a shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions…”
10. (Raja’) Hope:
“Those who have believed and those who migrated and strove in the path of Allah,–They have the hose of the Mercy of Allah; and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (2:218)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “No one among you should die unless he is thinking well about Allah”, i.e., hoping for His reward. There is a major difference between Raja’ (hope) and (Tamanni) wishing; whereas hope is usually accompanied with work and effort, wishing is a passive state where the person making the wish does not work for achieving his wish.
11. Tawakkul (Reliance) on Allah:
A believer’s heart is attached only to Allah; he seeks help and protection, and derives power exclusively from Him. “And why should we not rely on Allah; indeed He has guided us our ways. And we shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you may cause us, and on Allah (alone) let the relying rely.” (14:12)
12. Confidence in Allah:
Musa (PBUH) led Bani Israel out of Egypt, fleeing Pharaoh’s oppression. Pharaoh and his troops chased them and came so close to them.
“So they pursued them at sunrise. And when the two groups saw each other, the people of Musa said: `We are sure to be overtaken’. Musa said: `By no means! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.'” (26:60-2)
Musa’s heart was so filled with trust in his Lord that even in such a critical moment he was sure that the One who commanded him to deliver Bani Israel should be able to save them from Pharaoh. Then Allah commanded Musa (PBUH) to hit the sea with his stick and a dry road was opened for all Bani Israel to cross.
13. Getting ready for the Hereafter:
A believer should always remember death and work to attain eternal happiness thereafter. Though death is an irrefutable fact, many are those who seem to forget about it. A believer should act like a stranger in this world; a stranger who is traveling on a road and should carry along enough provisions; and no provision helps on that road except Taqwa.
“And take a provision with you for the journey, but the best provision is Taqwa” (2:197)
14. Renewing repentance:
“O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance” (66:8)
“And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly remember Allah and ask for forgiveness for their sins. And who can forgive sins except Allah? And are never obstinate in persisting in (the wrong) they have done” (3:135)
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Turn to Allah, you people, and seek forgiveness of Him. For myself, I turn to Allah a hundred times a day” (Muslim). And for one’s repentance to be accepted, he should regret what he has done, stop doing it, and insist on not repeating it. It should be noted that one should not only repent from sins, but also from inadequately performing one’s duties.
15. Reckoning oneself:
A believer should also ask himself: “Why have I done so-and -so? Why did I say so-and-so? This way he keeps correcting his path in this life.