By Dr. Sonia Mohsin
When you see the world through the Quran, it enlightens your whole life. It’s like a new pair of glasses which make things much clearer than they were, and puts everything in its right perspective. That’s why it is so important to make it a part of your daily routine. When you give the Quran its due share of attention, you will witness miracles! That, my friends, is guaranteed!
Today, I challenge you to read a verse of the Quran and ponder over its meaning.
Let me share with you some insight that I gained in the taraweeh prayer, yesterday. I heard this ayah from Surah As-Saff, which struck me hard:
“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know.” (Al-Quran 61:10-11)
These verses are a game changer for anyone who wants to make a change in this world. Allah is talking to you and I– the people who have believed, who are already Muslims. Then he talks about saving them from the painful punishment of hell-fire. But wait! Weren’t all Muslims supposed to go to Jannah? Guess not! This verse proves that saying the kalima e shahadat (testimony of faith) alone, doesn’t save us from punishment. There is something more that needs to be done.
Allah calls you towards action – towards a cause. Life is meaningless, if it has no goals or missions. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life tie it to a goal – not to people or things”. Having a goal is what gives life meaning. The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal, it lies in having no goals, to reach. So, stop letting other people hire or dictate you to build their dreams. Have dreams of your own. How? Allah tells you that too. It is the mission that is described by Allah for every Muslim. I’ll put it in bold in the hope that you never forget. Paste it somewhere you can see it every day!
STRIVE IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH WITH YOUR WEALTH AND YOUR LIVES
This is the true meaning of jihad – this is the true purpose of this life. It doesn’t matter if you are a teenager or an adult – there needs to be something so big in your life, that you wake up jubilant every morning and sleep with the contentment that you have achieved something, every night. Allah calls you to put in just a portion of your life into striving for the cause of Allah. A few practical ways of doing this are:
First Step – Gain Beneficial Knowledge: No matter how little or how much of your time you can spare, dedicate it to learning and understanding parts of the Quran or hadith. Remember, Allah loves consistency, so it is the key to success.
Second Step – Understand: Eventually, as the knowledge starts to seep in, you will start seeing the world differently, things will start to make sense. The systems of life, the truth & justice in it, will all start getting apparent. View the world from Allah’s perspective and you will see it is so much more beautiful than you thought!
Third step – Self Implementation: Soon, if you are true to yourself, you will start noticing disparities between what you understand and what you do. This is the time to make a change. Remember that change always begins from within yourself. You need to be the change you want to see. Implement the Quran, one step at a time, on yourself. This is the hardest form of jihad (struggle) – to strive against the nafs (self).
Fourth Step – Social Implementation: When you feel like you have aligned the disparities as much as you could, or at least are in the process of it, that’s when it’s time to look around you. Do not to raise fingers at everything that’s wrong, but step in to make the change yourself. Involve people into a cause that you personally believe in, like going green or beginning a cleaning drive. Invite people into study circles, create a community of harmony and of as many people as you can. This is what Islam is all about. Don’t be disheartened if you are all alone, initially. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was also just one man – who changed the entire course of history. Maybe we can at least be a fraction of what he was. After all, he is our beloved Prophet (ﷺ)
Fifth Step – Find Your Niche: Every individual has his own unique talent. As Allah says in the Quran: “Say, “Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way.” (Al Quran 17:84) Our salvation lies in recognizing that hidden talent or interest that can best be used for the cause of Islam and then investing into it. Maybe you are a good graphic designer and can make amazing posters with Islamic messages on it. Maybe you are a good writer who can start a blog for the awareness of Islam. Maybe you are a good speaker and would like to tell people about Islam through it. Whatever it maybe, you need to work on it and improve it. This is what will lead to guidance and salvation from the punishment of hell-fire. At the end of this step, go back to step 1 and start all over again. This is the complete circle of life.
In the end, you see, life is too short to be wasted on games, movies and music. There is more to life than what the eye can see. These tough times upon the Muslims require our collective efforts.
We need to stretch ourselves and strive harder, because if we don’t, we will sink into the ocean of darkness, without the safe boat of Islam to relax on. As long as we are swimming (doing jihad), we have hope.
I pray that this Ramadan opens the door for the reawakening of every Muslim, and helps us strive towards the cause of Allah in the best way possible! May Allah accept all our efforts!