Path of Hardship, Trading with Allah, Self-Confidence

Issue 483 » June 27, 2008 - Jumada-al-Thani 23, 1429

Living The Quran

Al-Kahf (The Cave)
Chapter 18: Verse 28

The Path full of hardship
"And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His presence: and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; and pay no heed to one whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his won desires, and whose [transgressions] have gone beyond all bounds."

Muslims should never forget that they are striving for Allah, the Almighty. The path to Allah is long and full of hardship. Heaven is surrounded by unpleasant obstacles while Hell is surrounded by everything pleasant to human lusts.

The road is difficult for those who fear to lose their money and secure future. The end of the road can never be reached by those who love leisure and pleasure, by the narrow minded and weak, the impatient and stingy, the arrogant and lazy, and by those who refuse to support what has been decided in the community.

The path of Islamic activism purifies and liberates a person and teaches one to be strong. It is a path of blessings and honour, but it requires patience and endurance, honesty, and sincerity. A path with these characteristics can be traversed only by those who are confident of the truth, and who rely on Allah always and everywhere.

"To Be A Muslim" - Fathi Yakan

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Trading with Allah

"And everyone goes out in the morning and sells himself, either freeing or destroying himself." [Muslim]

Every day humans are faced with new situations. Every morning we get up to do something. Every day we are either going to obey Allah or we are going to disobey Allah. In essence, every day we are going to be setting ourselves free from the Hell-fire or leading ourselves to the Hell-fire and our own destruction. Even those who sit and seemingly do absolutely nothing are, in reality, actually leading themselves to some result.

The one who is successful is the one who sells himself to Allah or buys his freedom from Allah. Trading with Satan on the other hand can never bring about anything beneficial because, in reality, he has nothing to offer. All he can offer are delusions and promises that end up to be punishment in the Hereafter.

People sell themselves for money, power, lusts and so forth. Many times, they are willing to give up on their dignity for these things. In reality, they are simply selling themselves in exchange for the Hell-fire.

“Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi” - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, p. 894-897



Ibn Kathir reported that an influential man from Syria used to visit Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph, in Madinah regularly; then, one day, having been away for longer than usual Umar enquired after him and was told that the man had taken to drinking heavily. Umar wrote him a letter saying:

For your sake, I praise God, there is no God but He. He forgives sins and accepts repentance; His punishment is severe and His bounty is infinite. There is no God but He, and all shall return to Him.

He then turned to those around him and asked them to pray that God might accept the man's repentance. When the letter arrived, the man kept repeating the words: "He forgives sins and accepts repentance; His punishment is severe." He was heard saying: "I am being warned of God's punishment and promised His forgiveness," until he broke down sobbing, and from that day he abstained from drinking for good. When the news reached Umar, he said: "This is what you should do when someone commits a misdemeanour. Advise him, reassure him gently, never let him lose his self-confidence, pray to God for his sake, and do not help Satan to mislead him."

Today there are professed Muslims who have all but given up on God's mercy, and whose sole preoccupation seems to be to castigate and belittle others.

"A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali, p. 514