“I lost it. I lost the moment. I was so close to doing this act of obedience, and now I’m no longer there. I’m so far away. I don’t know what happened or how to get back there. Please pray for me…”
Have you heard this before?
Many of our brothers and sisters find themselves in this situation. It comes to their knowledge that there is a certain aspect of the deen that they should be doing. They get encouraged and feel motivated to do it. They delay taking this step. They think of all the obstacles that could face them. They weaken and become hesitant. They end up not doing what they should be doing. Life absorbs them again. They get back to square one… regretting how they were once so close to an act of obedience and now they’ve become so far away.
The issue is, Allah gave us the answer to this in the Qur’an.
“…But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position [for them in faith].
And then We would have given them from Us a great reward.
And We would have guided them to a straight path.
And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.
That is the bounty from Allah, and sufficient is Allah as Knower.” (Qur’an 4: 66-70)
The problem is that people delay or postpone doing the right thing. When you have a moment of clarity or a moment of light or a big feeling of encouragement to do an act of obedience -especially if it’s fardh (obligatory)– then this is a gift from Allah and you should seize it, you should not drop it or let it go. As Allah mentioned, the way to do that is to do what you were instructed to do. This shows your trust in Allah, strong faith in Him and keenness on obeying Him despite challenges or fears or obstacles you may have.
This is what Ibrahim (peace be upon him) did when Allah gave him the instruction to slaughter his son. Of course, you could wait and think of all the negatives of doing so and all the obstacles… but you could also submit. And when you submit, Allah shows you the wisdom and teaches you the meaning and the depth and the beauty of what He asked you to do, and He opens doors and He descends peace upon heart.
So try not to delay doing what’s right… be it learning more about the deen, reading/learning/memorizing the Qur’an, dressing modestly as instructed, leaving bad company, leaving impure activities….. follow what increases your light, and Allah will help you. But remain in darknesses, and you won’t be able to help yourself.
Remember that your heart has light. So think about it: if you have a lamp that emanates light, but you forget or neglect to clean it for days, months or years… what will happen? Dirt will accumulate over it and it will be covered under layers of darkness. So what you need to do is to actively engage in cleaning the lamp constantly to maintain the light. Similarly with our hearts. They have light. But when we neglect to work on cleaning and purifying it as we are instructed, then our hearts will be burdened and covered under layers of darkness. Maintaining the light needs work. It doesn’t happen with passiveness, it happens with taking actions. Throughout the Qur’an, Allah keeps talking about the successful outcome of those who believe AND do good deeds. Not those who believe only. Belief has to be accompanied with submitting and doing good deeds. But when we don’t, this faith and belief weakens. And if we are not actively engaging in good deeds, we are being absorbed in bad ones… this is how we lose faith. When we leave good company and remain in bad ones, faith weakens. When we neglect learning about the deen, faith weakens. When we abandon studying the Qur’an, faith weakens. When we neglect reciting the adhkar, faith weakens… and so on.
Faith won’t come back by sitting there and asking people to pray for us. We are the ones who have to take action by doing good deeds and leaving bad ones. And we should not delay. This isn’t in our advantage.
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous
Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;
And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.
Those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers” (Qur’an 133-136)
Written by Dina Mohamed Basiony