Allah says in the Qur’an that ‘Whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed attained the highest achievement’. (33:71) In other words, real success of man in this life and the Hereafter lies only in the obedience to the orders of Allah and in practically following and emulating the Sunnah (the advice, guidance, actions and personal conduct) of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in every aspect of life.
Every Muslim knows this, but that obedience will only come within us only when we have developed proper yaqeen (faith and conviction) in the promises of Allah and His Messenger. As Muslims, our first priority should therefore be to individually and collectively make every effort to increase our faith to the required level.
The following are some of the virtuous actions and deeds which would, according to Hadees of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), to help us to wipe out our sins and earn us tremendous rewards in this world and the Hereafter. For the better understanding of readers they have been put into a simpler form of language.
TAUBAH (Repentance): “Whoever makes taubah (repents to Allah) before the rising of the sun from the west, Allah will accept his repentance.” “Surely Allah, the Mighty and the High accepts the repentance of His slave until he last gurgles (when he is in the throes of death)”.
GOING OUT IN SEARCH OF DEENI KNOWLEDGE: “Whoever sets out in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the Way to Jannah.” ZIKR (Remembrance) OF ALLAH: “Should I not inform you about the best of your deeds, and the purest in the sight of Your Master (i.e. Allah), and that which will elevate you to the highest of ranks, and that which is better for you than the spending of gold and silver in charity is the Zikr of Allah.”
DOING OF GOOD DEEDS AND LEADING OTHERS TOWARDS RIGHTEOUSNESS: “Every good deed is sadaqah (an act of charity). And whoever guides others towards good is equal to the doer of good.” ENJOINING GOOD AND FORBIDDING EVIL: “Whoever from amongst you sees an evil act (being committed) should prevent it with his hands, If he is unable to do so, he should (prevent it) with his tongue. Then if he is unable to do so, he should do so (i.e. prevent it) with his heart. And this is the lowest form of Imaan (faith). “
RECITATION OF THE QURAN: “Recite the Quran for indeed it will appear on the Day of Qiyaamah (the Day of Reckoning) as an Intercessor for its companions (reciters).” GREETING (Salaam): “You will not enter Jannah until you have Imaan (firm faith) and you will not attain (complete) Imaan until you love one another. Shall I not show you something by doing which there will be love between you? Make salaam common amongst yourselves.”
VISITING THE SICK: “A Muslim who visits his sick Muslim brother in the morning, seventy thousand angels pray for his forgiveness until the evening. And if he visits him in the evening, then seventy thousand angels pray for his forgiveness until the morning. And he will be granted a mansion (for it) in Jannah.”
HELPING THOSE IN DEBT: “Whoever provides ease for someone who is burdened with debt, Allah will provide ease for him in this world and the Aakhirah (the Hereafter).” CONCEALING THE FAULTS OF OTHERS: “The Muslim who conceals the faults of another Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)”
MAINTAINING FAMILY TIES: “Family ties are suspended from the Throne of Allah. It proclaims: Whoever upholds me, may Allah keep good relations with him and whoever severs me, Allah may sever His relation (of mercy) from him.” GOOD CHARACTER: The Prophet was asked about the deeds which lead most of the people into Jannah. He replied, “The fear of Allah and good manners.” TRUTHFULNESS: “I enjoin upon you truthfulness for indeed truthfulness guides towards virtue, and virtue certainly leads to Jannah (Heavenly Paradise).”
PATIENCE: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick from a thorn but that Allah wipes out (some of) his sins for that.” KINDNESS TO PARENTS: “The person who finds one or both of his parents in old age, yet fails to serve them will not enter Jannah (Paradise).”
TO FULFILL THE NEEDS OF WIDOWS AND THE POOR: “He who fulfils the needs of widows and the poor is like one who strives in the path of Allah, like one who continuously spends the night in Ibaadah (worship) and like one who fasts without breaking it.” TAKING CARE OF ORPHANS: “I and the person who supports an orphan shall be as close in Jannah as these (index and middle) fingers are to each other’. BUILDING A MUSJID (MOSQUE): “Whoever builds a musjid for the pleasure of Allah, Allah will build for him (a house) like it in Jannah (Paradise).
GOING TO THE MUSJID (Mosque): “The person going to the musjid during the day or night, Allah prepares for him a special form of hospitality (in Jannah/ Paradise) for each time he goes to the musjid during the day or night.” FIVE TIMES DAILY SALAAH (PRAYERS): “Whenever it is time for the Prayers, and any Muslim carefully performs wudhu (ablution) for it and discharges it with proper concentration, then, this becomes an atonement for his past sins as long as he does not commit any major sins.”
PRAYER OF REPENTANCE AFTER COMMITTING SIN: “Whenever a Muslim, after committing a sin performs wudhu (Ablution) properly and thereafter stands up to perform two raka’aat of Salaatut Taubah (Prayer for Forgiveness) and then seeks Allah’s forgiveness, Allah certainly forgives him.”
THE FAST OF RAMADAAN: “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadaan (the month of Fasting) out of Imaan (sincere faith) and hoping to attain reward (from Allah), all his past sins will be forgiven.” FEEDING A FASTING PERSON: “Whoever feeds a fasting person at the time of breaking fast, earns the reward equal to his, without the reward of the fasting one diminishing in the least.” SADAQAH (Charity): “Sadaqah (the giving of charity) wipes out sin just as water extinguishes fire.”
STRIVING IN THE PATH OF ALLAH: “To stay on guard for one day in the path of Allah is better than this world and whatever is upon it, and a place in Jannah as small as that occupied by the whip of one of you is better than this world and whatever is upon it, and a morning’s or an evening’s journey which a person travels in the path of Allah is better than the world and whatever is upon it.”
SPENDING IN THE PATH OF ALLAH: Whoever prepares a Ghaazi (person striving in Allah’s path) gains a reward equal to that of the Ghaazi and whoever takes proper care of the family of a Ghaazi gains a reward similar to that of the Ghaazi. TO PERFORM THE JANAAZAH SALAAH ( Funeral Prayer) AND ACCOMPANY THE FUNERAL PROCESSION: “He who attends a funeral and performs the Janaazah salaah (funeral prayers) will receive a reward equal to one Qeeraat (a huge mountain) and he who goes to a funeral and remains until the burial will receive two Qeeraat.
These are just a small portion of the advice, guidance and teachings of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) that he gave to us so that we may become better and more faithful Muslims. For a non-Muslim these may be difficult to grasp and understand, hence, they have been put into an easier format.
There is a saying in South Africa which avers that, “the White man has no kin: his kin is money”. The saying rings very true considering what Mayer Amschel Rothschild – he of the planet’s wealthiest family – once said, that, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!”
To the white man, the dollar sign looms so large in his optics that it was precisely the reason he appropriated Africa towards the end of the 19th century. The idea was to develop his continent, Europe, at the same rate as he underdeveloped Africa. Yet he was driven as much by economic imperatives as by sheer greed and prejudice.
A “pagan” King violates the Jewish Temple by setting up an idol in the Holy of Holies
Why, General Atiku, has the Judean setting (present-day Israel/Palestine) being the focus of so much geopolitical fervour over the ages when it is so resource-poor and is not even that agriculturally fecund being a virtual desert? Why have all the superpowers of history locked horns over it since days immemorial?
Just a ‘teaser’: we are all complaining of the ‘hot weather’ and ‘heat’ – but think about it, is this a reminder / warning from the Almighty that if we find this weather ‘hot’ can you imagine what the ‘fires of hell’ will be like should we get there?
Let us take this as a reminder and a ‘warning’ that we should change our lifestyles so that we follow in the path of righteousness and that which our Lord has directed. Failing this we will face the ‘fire of hell’ which undoubtedly will be many times worse than what we are facing on this earth.
Because as humans we have been favoured and bestowed with the power of intellect thus we enjoy greatness over other creation, coupled with a greater responsibility. Should that responsibility be misused then only on the Day of Reckoning will he know we will live in joy or in grief forever.
Since the dawn of creation Allah has sent down thousands of messengers, dozens of Divine Books but only ONE universal Message to humanity. That message of Divine Revelation and guidance is clear, unambiguous and eternal:
Allah is One, He is Master and Creator of the universe and of mankind and to Him is due all worship and obedience.
He has sent humanity Divine Revelation and guidance through His Messengers and His Books.
As death is inevitable in this world, equally is our resurrection in the Hereafter where everyone will face the consequences of their belief, unbelief and conduct in this temporal world.
This is the basic message, teaching and belief of every religion and without doubt we will all be called to account for our lives in this world and the manner in which we conducted ourselves, will be rewarded thereafter, the consequences of which may be joy forever for some or grief forever for others.
“It is He [Allah] Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deeds and He is Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.” (Qur’an: 67: 2)
In Islam the teachings of the Qur’an and the Last and Final Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) give clear guidance to the believer on how to live a life in this world so as to achieve success in the Hereafter.
‘If any do wish for the transitory things of this life, We readily grant them, such things as We will, to such persons as We will…… those who wish for the things of the Hereafter and strive for them with all due striving, and have faith, they are the ones whose striving is acceptable to Allah’ (Qur’an 17: 18-19)
In this world when a person sets out on a journey towards our Maker (Allah), he finds two paths, one leading to God and the other path to different destinations. A sincere and faithful believer will always try to find the right path and to live by the Divine injunctions, laws and code that his religion lays down. This requires us to live in harmony with the will of the Creator, in harmony with our own selves, and with the needs of the rest of creation. Unfortunately we have a tendency at times to toy with Divine Law and to surrender it to the laws of man and in the process to translate and interpret them into what fits in with our lifestyle of today.
If we are to use the intellect and the freedom of choice bestowed to us by God Almighty and follow His guidance, we will then live consciously in a state of “submission’ to Him, thus we will be virtuous. On the other hand when we ignore our Creators injunctions we work against the natural order, we tend to create discord, injustice and evil – and we become one without guidance. Therefore it is the intellect and the freedom of choice given to us that we are fully responsible for whatever we do.
However, it would be foolish for us to think of ourselves as totally independent and self-sufficient. If a person thinks in this manner, we become proud and. We will be inclined to become ungrateful for the bounties that we enjoy – the air that we breathe and the food we eat to sustain us, the eyes and ears we use to perceive the world around us, the tongue and lips we use to express our needs, wants and our inner most feelings and emotions. And being ungrateful, we will be inclined to forget or to reject the truth of the existence of God Almighty.
Unfortunately, people have varying views with regards to what the most important characteristic of a person is: for some it is the colour of his skin; for others, it is his economic situation – whether he is wealthy or poor; others think it is his , social or political standing, whether he is ruler or ruled; for others it is his social standing as an aristocrat, middle or working class; yet for some is his birth place and the language he speaks or the tribe he belongs to, etc..
‘Do men think that they will be left alone on saying “We believe”, and they will not be tested? We tested those before them, and Allah will certainly those who are true and those who are false’. (Quran 29: 2-3)
In Islam, these have no significance rather they are merely taken as signs of the creative power of God to enable people to recognise one another. The Almighty declares “O Mankind! Indeed we have created you as male and female, and have placed you in nations and tribes that you may have mutual recognition. However, the most honourable of you, in the sight of Allah is the one who is most God-conscious” (Qur’an: 49: 13)
Hence, the most important characteristic of a person is whether he is conscious of his Creator, believes in Him and through that consciousness submits to Him at all times and in all circumstances.
According to the Islamic view man is created by Allah in a pure state, free from sin. He also created us with the capacity or power to do both good and evil. He gave us the freedom to choose between doing good or evil. The good and evil therefore is connected with mankind’s freedom of choice and responsibility for their actions. “Good” may be whatever is pleasing to Allah and therefore beneficial to us. Whereas “Bad/evil” may be whatever incurs the anger of God and is therefore harmful to man.
‘By the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right – truly he that succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it….. (Quran 91: 7-10)
Therefore one of mankind’s main tasks is to keep away from and ward off evil. This is why Taqwa, piety and God consciousness is repeatedly mentioned in the Qur’an as the most important quality a person should develop in this regard. This means one must be conscious at all times not to over step the limits set by God. It works as a defence against evil and temptation by keeping a person within the boundaries of piety.