Sake of Allah, Haya of Allah, Powerful Energy
Issue 747 » July 19, 2013 - Ramadan 11, 1434
Living The Quran
Sake of Allah
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2 : Verse 207 (partial)
"And of men is he who would give himself away to seek the pleasure of Allah."
We should strive to become Allah's sincere devotees. There should be no worldly act that is not done as an act of servitude to Allah, not even such acts as sleeping, eating, dressing, speaking and laughing. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, engaged in all these acts. But he was God's devote par excellence. As a consequence of that, every aspect of his life, even the most ordinary of chores, was an act of devotion to Allah. It is important that every act of life should be for the sake of Allah, and for His Pleasure alone, as the above verse says.
Without such spirit, even the most religious of acts - prayers, reciting the Quran, martyrdom, and infaq (spending in the way of Allah) - would all be merely worldly acts. Imbued with this spirit of total dedication, even the smallest religious act, and all acts of worldly life, would stand heavy in the scale of Divine Justice. If we are able to achieve this state of sincerity, even a little effort would suffice in imparting the colour of Allah in our lives and souls. All the evils of the world - in men's souls, in their lives, in their mutual relationships - have their roots in lack of sincerity. Lack of sincerity in matters pertaining especially to religious activities leads to very ill effects.
We should designate our niyyah (intent) purely for Allah and strive always to keep it so. This brief and simple prescription is the gist of true religious faith and of the desire to shape our lives completely according to that mould. It is also the most effective formula to remember Allah at all times. This is the perpetual dhikr (remembrance), one that suffices for all occasions.
"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad, p. 37
Understanding The Prophet's Life
Haya of Allah
If a person has a complete haya of Allah, he would not think of or perform any act that is displeasing to Allah. He would be too ashamed of ever doing something of that nature. In fact, he should have more haya toward Allah than toward any of the creation. This is because everything he possesses has come to him as a blessing from Allah and He knows that Allah is aware of everything he does.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, has ordered Muslims to have the proper haya towards Allah. He said:
"Have haya towards Allah in the correct manner of haya." The Companions said, "O Messenger of Allah, we are bashful towards Allah, and to Allah is the praise." The Prophet then told them, "This is not what is meant. The haya towards Allah which is the true haya is for a person to be mindful of his head and what it contains, and of his stomach and the [bodily parts] close to it, and to remember death and disintegration. And whoever desires the Hereafter abandons the beautification of this world. The one who does that has had haya toward Allah in the proper manner of haya." [Tirmidhi, Ahmad]
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, pp. 814, 815
Even if you are not a religious person by nature or training - even if you are an out-and-out skeptic - prayer can help you much more than you believe, for it is a practical thing. What do I mean, practical? I mean that prayer fulfills these three very basic psychological needs which all people share, whether they believe in God or not:
1. Prayer helps us to put into words exactly what is troubling us. It is almost impossible to deal with a problem while it remains vague and nebulous. Praying in a way, is very much like writing our problems down on paper. If we ask help for a problem - even from God - we must put it into words.
2. Prayer gives us a sense of sharing our burdens, of not being alone. Few of us are so strong that we can bear our heaviest burdens, our most agonizing troubles, all by ourselves. Sometimes our worries are of so intimate a nature that we cannot discuss them even with our closest relatives or friends. Then prayer is the answer. Any psychiatrist will tell us that when we are pent-up and tense, and in an agony of spirit, it is therapeutically good to tell someone our troubles. When we can't tell anyone else - we can always tell God.
3. Prayer puts into force an active principle of doing. It's a first step toward action. I doubt if anyone can pray for some fulfillment, day after day, without benefitting from it - in other words, without taking some steps to bring it to pass. Call it God or Allah or Spirit - why quarrel with definitions as long as the mysterious power takes us in hand?
"How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" - Dale Carnegie, pp. 208, 209