So this was the topic I chose in “On The Spot Essay” writing competition at Shifa Interscholastic Tournament 2013, held at Faisal Mosque on the 9th and 10th of February. Alhamdulillah I came 3rd in this. So I thought maybe it’s worth sharing in sha Allah.
Why do I need to strictly follow the commands of Allah? Why do I need wear Hijab? Why do I have to pray 5 times a day? Why this? Why that? – a million questions surrounding Islam. Some of them pop-up in our heads sometimes and some of them put forth by Atheists. As Muslims our usual reply is that because Allah is the creator and HE created us. So consequently we should do whatever HE tells us to. But even those who are saying this are sometimes not so sure themselves about it, or they’re unable to give sufficient reasons for following the commands of Allah and returning to HIM. As a result, we are unable to properly convey this message most of the times. So let’s see some of the basic reasons, through logic and rationality, which would make our Emaan stronger and would in’sha’Allah help us convince more people to follow Islam. Allah SWT has told us many times in the Quran that why do you not give thought?
We are living on the planet earth. A small planet compared to some of the giants of the solar system. The solar system being a small part of the galaxy Milky Way, and this galaxy being a small part of the universe we live in. Funny thing is scientists say we are only able to see about 4% of the universe, and the rest is still a mystery. Then why is it that man does not ponder over this amazing structure of the universe, the order present in it, and the very origin of it!
We know that everything that begins to exist has a cause. It is now an established FACT that the universe does indeed have a beginning, since the concept of infinity does not apply to even a SINGLE real situation in the universe. So if the universe has a beginning then it must have a cause. Now what is the nature of that cause? The universe is finite, so the cause must be infinite. The universe has a beginning – so the cause must have no beginning (and no end, since the universe is indeed going to end one day). Finally, that “cause” must not be a part of the universe, for the Creator cannot be a part of the creation. Just like a piece of cake cannot create a whole cake. These are just a few examples among the millions of others including the amazing order of the universe, the fine tuning of the universe, the mind blowing design and so on. When we ponder upon these, we come to the conclusion that there HAS TO BE SOMEONE who created all this. There are other reasons through which we can prove that this Creator, whom we know in Islam as Allah, has to be ONE, but let’s not get into those right now.
Now comes the question that if there’s a Creator then what does He want from us? That is where the Quran steps in, this absolutely amazing book – the only book that has never been changed. This is the only book that has no flaws and which no human can create. This is a challenge from Allah SWT Himself. As Allah says in the Quran that if you think that this Quran is the work of some man then produce a verse like it! And if you cannot, and surely you will not be able to, then fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones. People in the past have all tried and failed. The Quran is just too amazing. People have died trying to prove the Quran wrong but haven’t been able to do so. This is the only book that has been memorized cover to cover by millions of people around the world. Look at it from any perspective, be it linguistic, historical, cultural, or any other for that matter, the Quran never ceases to amaze you. Allah says in Surah Yousuf, “We have sent this down as an Arabic Quran, that perhaps you will give thought.” So if we know that Allah is the Creator and we know that the Quran is HIS word, then it’s only sensible to follow the commands of Allah given in the Quran.
Many Muslims now-a-days are in a state worse than the disbelievers. They say we believe but their actions do not prove it. That is because we have abandoned the Quran. We have forsaken the book of Allah. We have failed to realize HIS favors upon us and so we are ungrateful and are suffering today. Allah says in Surah Ibraheem, (the interpretation of the meaning is) that if you are grateful to your Lord, He will surely increase (HIS favors upon) you…
Allah has mentioned HIS favors upon man and then Allah says, in the same Surah
“And He gave you all that you asked of HIM. And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is Unjust and Ungrateful.”
It’s true that when you start walking on the path of Allah you have to face some difficulties, since that is what most people are afraid of. But Allah always tests the believers, to see if they really believe. Allah says in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do people think that they will say “we believe” and they will not be tested?”
Allah also says in Surah Al-Baqarah:
“Surely We will test you with something of Fear, loss of Health, Lives and Fruit. But give Glad Tidings to the Patient (As-Sabiroon). Who, when disaster strikes them, say “Indeed to Allah we belong and Indeed to HIM we shall return.”
The life of this world is temporary and it is going to end. Allah has said in Surah Rehman (interpretation of the meaning):
“Everything will perish…”
But the life of the hereafter is forever. So brothers and sisters do not let the Shaitaan fool you, as that is his job! Allah mentions what he would say on the day of Judgement in Surah Ibraheem (interpretation of the meaning):
“And Shaitaan will say when the matter has been decided, Indeed Allah promised you a promise of truth and I promised you too, but I deceived you. But I had no authority over you, I only called you and you responded to me. So do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot come for your aid and you cannot come for my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me with Allah before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.”
And what would be the reward of those who believed in their Lord? Allah says in the Quran, that their reward is
“..Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever..”
Is it not enough proof for us to change our lives? Are the words of Allah SWT not clear enough? Do we still have any doubt about it? No, I believe not. It is only the tricks of Shaitaan that a person falls into. It is inevitable that human beings would fall into sin. As according to an authentic Hadith of the Prophet PBUH, if we did not sin, Allah would remove us and would create a creation that would sin and then repent to Allah. This is how much Allah loves repentance. So it’s never too late. The doors of Jannah are still open for us. We are still alive and breathing by the Grace of Allah. According to another authentic Hadith of the Prophet PBUH, when a slave repents and returns to Allah, Allah is happier than a person who is travelling with a camel and he lies down for a while and his camel wanders away. He searches for it desperately and tries to find it but he cannot. Then when he has lost all hope he sees the camel strolling towards him. He is so happy to see this sight, for his life has just been saved, that in his joy he says “O Allah, I am your Rabb and you are my slave.” The Prophet of Allah PBUH said that Allah is HAPPIER than this guy! SubhanAllah! This is how much Allah loves us! This is how much HE wants us to return to HIM and gain Jannah! Allah is the most merciful, the especially merciful. But HE is also Al-Jabbaar! HE is also THE JUST. So we need not take Allah’s mercy for granted and leave our lives hanging on a thread hoping that Allah would forgive us. We need to work hard. We need to do all that is in our power and THEN put our trust in Allah! That is what Allah requires from us and that is what we need to do.
All good is from Allah SWT and only the mistakes are mine.