Feb
6
2012

Signs of faith

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Claiming faith and the reality of faith:

Dear brothers, first of all, I want to draw your attention to the fact that everyone claims to be a believer, and making claim is too easy, like when the poet said:

All claims to have close relation to Laila
While Laila denied all of that

To differentiate between the claim of faith and the reality of faith, I will give you this example, those who said:

(We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.)

[Al-Maida, 5:18]

This is their claim; however, did Allah accept their claim? He did not, because if He had believed their claim, He would not have tortured them. This ayah is very precise, those who said:

(We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.)

[Al-Maida, 5:18]

Allah responded to them saying:

(Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins?” )

[Al-Maida, 5:18]

This means that Allah has refuted their claim, and punishing them for their sins is the evidence of that, Allah the Almighty says:

(Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created)

[Al-Maida, 5:18]

This means, you do not have any preference among other nations which Allah has created. Likewise, if Muslims said: we are the nation of (Prophet Muhammad PBUH) the master of mankind, the most beloved one to Allah, and the Seal (the last) of the Prophets, they would receive the same reply:

(Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins?” Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created)

[Al-Maida, 5:18]

Allah the Almighty says:

(And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad ) are amongst them)

[Al-Anfal, 8:33]

Which means it is impossible, or even thousand times impossible that Allah will punish Muslims while the messenger of Allah is among them. What is the meaning of ‘the Messenger of Allah is among them’ (after his death)? It means that his Method (the teachings of Islam) is applied in their lives.
So, as long as the Method of the Prophet (PBUH) is applied in our lives, we are safe from the punishment of Allah. In contrast, when we are afflicted, this means that Allah has not accept us to be the best of people, Allah the Almighty says:

(You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah)

[Al-Imran, 3:110]

That means were are not the best of peoples in the sights of Allah, because we do not enjoin what is good and forbid what is bad. Actually, man should not flatter himself that he is at a high degree of faith, while in fact he is not, as the bitter truth is a thousand times better than the tranquillizing illusion. So, when man thinks that he is in a high degree of faith, Allah the Almighty, according to His Profound Wisdom, reveals the reality of human’s faith by putting him/her in a difficult situation, then he/she becomes displeased with Allah (he becomes resentful of the Divine Predestination), So where is his/her faith? Prophet Ibrahim was a role model to us:

(O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha’ Allah (if Allah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.))

[Al-Saffat, 37:102]

Thus, whenever anyone claims having a deep faith while he/she really does not, Allah reveals his/her real faith, Allah tests his/her faith through a difficult situation, but he/she fails that trial. So Allah’s trial is very critical, therefore you should know that there are signs for faith, and you should be brave enough to compare them to yourself; if you find yourself own these signs according to the Qur’an, then you should thank Allah the Almighty, but if not, you should beware not to think that having faith is just a matter of claim.

(The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail* Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)].)

[Ash-Shuara, 26:88-89]

What is the clean heart? The scholars said: The clean heart, is the one that does not long for a lust which does not please Allah the Almighty, does not believe any transmission which seems contrary to Allah’s revelation, does not appeal for other than Islamic law for a legal decision, and does not worship other than Allah the Almighty, this is the real standard:

(The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail* Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)].)

[Ash-Shuara, 26:88-89]

There is another standard when man is in a bad situation:

(Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah))

[Ar-Rad, 13:11]

If you do not start the change from within, from your thoughts, and tendencies, the change (of your situation) will never happen. Thus, the standard of the (clean) heart is an internal matter, not an external one, and the critical point is that the human’s heart is centered in the human soul:

(They have hearts wherewith they understand not)

[Al-Araf, 7:179]

The Prophet peace be upon him said:

Indeed there is a piece of flesh in your body that, if it be sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it be corrupt then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart

[Al-Bukhari from An-Nu'man bin Bashir]

One of the greatest lessons which can be derived from this Sahih (authentic) Hadith is that it could be applied to the heart of the body and to the heart of the soul, so righteousness starts from within, and it is about good intention, inner serenity, and being good to other creatures, not to mention that it is about having a heart free of grudge, hatred, envy, or hate, in addition, it is about showing no superiority or discrimination. Pay attention to these words: when someone thinks that he/she has rights that others do not have, or imposes duties for himself on others while he thinks that there are no duties imposed on him, then he is a mere discriminator, and he has no value in the Sights of Allah. For example, when you do not treat your daughter in law the same way you like your daughter to be treated by her in-laws, then you are a discriminator, also when you impose duty for yourself on your wife while you think that no duty for her is imposed on you, and when you think that you have rights on your wife while she does not have any, then you are a discriminator. Therefore, faith is a very high moral level. The first sign of faith is:

(Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)].)

[Ash-Shuara, 26:88-89]

If you want to change your situation, the change should start from within.

Faith and lust:

There is something called dualism (aspects come in contrast pairs); that is to say: there is Right and wrong, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, what is good and what is bad, delinquency and uprightness, courage and cowardice, generosity and stinginess, justice and ingratitude, and faith and lust.
Dear brothers, when someone does something or performs an act, he/she is either driven by his/her faith or by his/her lust and there is no third stimulus. So he/she is either motivated by his/her mind or by his/her desires, then the action reflects the real size of his/her faith or desire.
Dear brothers, when a person has a weak faith, all his wrong actions are symptoms of it, so treating these actions should not be a partial treatment to each symptom but a treatment to the origin of the disease, which is the weakness of faith. Therefore, the precise word is that what people suffer nowadays are the symptoms of turning away from Allah the Almighty, and any attempt to solve each problem away from the weakness of faith is an unsuccessful treatment, because the origin of the problem is the weakness of faith. This is exactly like if a child has a temperature, the good doctor will treat the origin of the disease which is the inflammation, while a beginner doctor will give the child a medicine to lower his temperature.
Now, the desires which Allah has installed in the human being are mentioned in the ayah bellow in which Allah the Almighty says:

(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life)

[Al-Imran, 3;14]

These desires, which Allah has installed inside each one of us, attract the person to the worldly life, while his/her faith, his/her knowledge of the reason and the aim of his/her existence, and his/her knowledge of Allah the Almighty attract him/her to Allah and to the Hereafter. Hence, either the lusts of this worldly life take over, which makes man attached to this worldly life, or his/her faith takes over so he/she becomes attached to the Hereafter.
Dear Brothers, we can summarize the whole deen (Islamic religion) by only one word:
Uprightness, Allah the Almighty says:

(And whosoever submits his face (himself) to Allah [i.e.(follows Allah's Religion of Islamic Monotheism), worships Allah (Alone) with sincere Faith in the (1) Oneness of His Lordship,(2) Oneness of His worship, and (3) Oneness of His Names and Qualities], while he is a Muhsin (good-doer i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allah’s sake without any show-off or to gain praise or fame etc. and does them in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad SAW))

[Luqman, 31:22]

Which means when man follows the Command of Allah, stands firm on His Order, and moreover spends a part of his wealth, his time, his effort, his experience, and his knowledge for the sake of Allah, then Allah the Almighty says:

(Then he has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold [La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)])

[Luqman, 31:22]

Dear Brothers, a man may be motivated by his desire, the following ayah mentioned the situation of all people, Allah the Almighty says:

(By the night as it envelops;* And by the day as it appears in brightness; * And by Him Who created male and female;* Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes);)

[Al-Lail, 92:1-4]

Everyone is either stimulated by his lust or by his faith, and moves either with a clear aim or aimlessly.

(Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes))

[Al-Lail, 92:1-4]

Where does man start? The answer to that is when his heart is awakened. Actually, there is a state of awakening and a state of heedlessness. The most dangerous situation, which is considered a kind of punishment to man, is to be heedless of Allah, of his fate, of what is coming after death, of the troubles one will face when he/she becomes old, of the fact that Allah will call him/her to account and will punish him/her, of the eternal life in paradise or hell, and about other extremely critical facts. But when these facts are revealed to him after his death, he will be terribly shocked:

(So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense and play until they meet the Day of theirs, which they have been promised.)

[Az-Zukhuruf, 43:83]

(He will say: “Alas! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my life!”)

[Al Fajr, 89:25]

The biggest disaster is when man discovers that he has lost the Hereafter:

(Say (O Muhammad SAW): “The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!”)

[Az-Zumar, 39:15]

So, the awakening (from heedlessness) is the start, in the daily actions, because day by day, week by week, month by month, season by season, one discovers after a while that he/she is approaching death, because days pass quickly, So, it is not right to live an aimless and purposeless life like eating , drinking, sleeping, waking up, going to work, going back home, eating, sleeping, staying awake at night, talking, listening to the news…etc until death comes. Instead of that, you should know the reason for your existence in this life. In fact, when is heedless person awakened? It is after death, Allah the Almighty says:

(Now We have removed your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!)

[Qaf, 50:22]

Dear brothers, the prudent human being is the adaptive one, and one of the most comprehensive definitions of intelligence is that intelligence is the ability to adapt, but what is the most important thing you should adapt to? It is death, which is the most serious event to come, and the prove of that is mentioned in the ayah below in which Allah the Almighty says:

(Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed.)

[Al-Mulk, 67:2]

Allah began with death first because it is more critical than life, because when you are alive, you have innumerable choices, but after death there are only two cases, either the eternal blessings of Paradise, or the eternal torment in Hell, Allah the Almighty says:

(Say (to them O Muhammad): “I exhort you on one (thing) only: that you stand up for Allah’s sake in pairs and singly, and reflect (within yourselves the life history of the Prophet): there is no madness in your companion (Muhammad PBUH))

[Saba, 34:46]

I always repeat these words: even if you have collected a lot of money, personal properties and real estates, what will happen after that? There’s death which will make you apparently lose everything, you will lose in one second what you have gathered throughout your entire life. In other word, your wealth, your achievements, your money, and your social position, depend on the pulse of your heart, which stops beating for innumerable reasons, one of which is the heart failure, which turns man from a frightening human being to a man in a coffin. Thus, man’s value, dominance, prestige, power, and greatness, depend on the liquidity of his blood, if it there is a clog anywhere, human will suffer a stroke, which most of times is fatal. Also, all man’s greatness, power, prestige, and dominance depend on the growth of the cells in his body, if they grow randomly, which means that there is a cancerous tumor, there will be a certain death. So, what is after being rich, holding the highest position, and being indulged in the pleasures of this life? It is death. Therefore, the real success in this life is to discover the truth in an early time. Allah the Almighty says:

(But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts)

[Al-Qasas, 28:50]

If you are not with believers then you are with those who follow their lust. To clarify, imagine that you are standing between two points, whenever you get closer to one of them, you move away from the other, these two points are the faith and lust; the obedience to Allah and the obedience to the self, the former brings you closer to Allah while the latter brings you closer to this worldly life. So, any movement towards one point is an opposite movement from the other, the clearest evidence is mentioned in the Noble Hadith below:

He who loves his worldly life will harm his Hereafter. And he who loves his Hereafter will harm his worldly life. Give preference then, to that which is eternal (The Hereafter) over that which is temporary

[Ahmed]

When you attend an Islamic lecture, recite the Noble Qur’an every day, perform the five daily prayers perfectly, and befriend a believer, you get closer to faith. On the other hand, when you befriend a heedless person, and when you go to markets in order to mingle with women who are exposing their bodies, you go far from faith, so, in your daily movement, either you get closer to Allah and go far away from Satan, or you get closer to Satan and go far away from Allah.

Strengthening your faith makes it overcome lust:

Dear brothers, in fact, you are living in this life, which is full of lusts that Allah installed in you, such as longing for women like a beautiful woman walking in the street while wearing in a way that exposes her beauty, longing for wealth like owning an abundant amount of money, which is a tangible thing, a luxurious house, and the high-priced newest model car. The critical point here is: can superficial faith, like believing that Allah is the creator of heavens and earth, strong enough to avoid theses desires? Imagine that you have attended an Islamic lecture which weighs (figuratively) ten grams of faith, and you have desires weighing ten kilos, can these ten grams overweight the ten kilos? The answer to that is: of course not. In this life, there are too many desires which do not please Allah, and which make you indulgent in the pleasure of the worldly life, and the deeper your faith is, the more it will overcome your desires until it becomes stronger than them. An example of this is the magicians of Pharaoh who were addressing one of the most tyrannical ruler on the earth who could kill them in one second, without any trials, nevertheless they said to him:

(They said: “We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world “Verily! We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your [Fir'aun's (Pharaoh)] reward, and more lasting (as regards punishment in comparison to your punishment))

[Taha, 20:72-73]

They said so although they were standing before Pharaoh, the most tyrant ruler, therefore when you are a real believer, you feel an incredible strength within.
Thus, the deeper your faith is, the more you will overcome your lusts, and the more superficial you faith is, the more your lusts will overcome you, so what it the aim of attending Islamic lectures? It is to increase your faith. So it is very simple, you have lusts and faith, the superficial faith never overcomes uncontrollable lusts, and the treatment of these wild desires is the deep faith. Allah the Almighty says:

(But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. * Verily, Paradise will be his abode.)

[An-Naziat, 79, 40-41]

Therefore, you should increase your convictions about the Greatness of Allah the Almighty.
The Prophet PBUH said:

When light enters the heart it opens and expands it.” He was asked, “And how do you recognize that? he said: ‘That will be by turning away from the luring abode, returning to the abode of immortality, and preparing for death before it comes down

[Abdullah Ibn Masood]

Also, it has been transmitted to us that:

The most prudent is the one who often remembers death, and the most reasonable person is the one who often prepares to it, verily one of the cleverness signs is turning away from the luring abode, returning to the abode of immortality, and preparing for death immortality, taking along provisions (righteous deeds) for dwelling in graves and preparedness for the Resurrection Day

The signs of faith:

1. Submissiveness in Salah and when reciting the Qur’an:

Actually, I will try to put in your hands the signs of faith which are derived from the Noble Qur’an and from the Prophetic Sunnah. Pay attention to this: Allah the Almighty says:

(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone);* Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided them.* It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).)

[Surat al-Anfal, 8:2]

“are only those” implies the meaning of restriction:

(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts)

[Al-Anfal, 8:2]

This means: you feel disturbed, you feel a heartbeat, a tear is shed on your cheek, and you feel getting closer to Allah which makes your skin tingle with delight, and makes your heart tremble.

(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone);* Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided them.* It is they who are the believers in truth)

[Al-Anfal, 8:2-4]

The word ‘in truth’ differentiates between who is a true believer and who is a superficial believer (from the outside), for example, the doctor usually wears a white robe, glasses, put a stethoscope on his ear, and a thermometer in his pocket, so, if an illiterate person wear a white robe, glasses, put a stethoscope on his ear, and a thermometer in his pocket, will he become a doctor? He only looks like a doctor from outside, while the one who is Board certified, who has studied for about thirty-seven years and who has done five hundred successful surgeries is the real a doctor. So there is a big difference between being a real doctor or to look like a doctor. Allah the Almighty says:

(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone);* Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided them.* It is they who are the believers in truth)

[Al-Anfal, 8:2-4]

The word ‘in truth’ means that they are real believers.

(For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise))

[Surat al-Anfal, 8:4]

2. Not to deceive yourself, rather to face it:

One of the signs of faith is not to decieve yourself, rather to have the courage to face it. Actually, accepting the bitter truth is a thousand times better than being under the tranquillizing illusion, Therefore, I think that reciting the Noble Qur’an is completely different from comprehending it, and comprehending it is different from pondering over it, because the latter means that whenever you recite an ayah, you compare it to yourself. This is the meaning of reflection. For example, Allah the Almighty says:

(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts)

[Al-Anfal, 8:2]

You should ask yourself: do I feel a fear in my heart when I mention Allah the Almighty? This ayah describes the characteristics of real believers, so are you like them? While one of the characteristics of Hypocrites is mentioned in the following Ayah:

(And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness)

[An-Nisa, 4:142]

Also, you should ask yourself, do I stand up for Salah with laziness, if this is ture, then you share some of the characteristics of hypocrites.

(And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness)

[An-Nisa, 4:142]

I hope that you read the Noble Qur’an in a different way, so whenever you read an ayah about the attributes of the believers or hypocrites, you should compare it to yourself, Allah the Almighty said that he has descended a book:

(In which is your mention)

[Al-Anbya, 21:10]

For example, if you go to visit a sick friend of yours with another one who has bring a precious gift with him, then the son of your sick friend takes the present, so that his father does not know who has brought that gift, would you remain silent so that your sick friend may think that it is you who has brought this gift? Do you like that people thank you for things you have not done? Allah the Almighty says:

(And like to be praised for what they did not do)

[Al-Imran, 3:188]

You should explain to him that your friend has presented that gift, not you. This is the real faith, so whenever you recite a Noble Ayah, compare it to yourself, do you apply its verdict?. Verily, this is reflection.

3. Love of the believers even if they were poor:

The most trustworthy handhold of faith and the thing that attracts you to faith most is to love for the sake of Allah, and to hate for the sake of Him. For example, you love a poor man because he is a believer, and you may trun away from a very rich person because his income is illegal, while common people love the rich and turn away from the poor. Thus, real believer respects the poor believers and does not care about the rich delinquent. So, you should not seek the powerful rich person while you know that he has committed innumerable sins, and he does not perform Salah, so you should not show him great respect and cringe in front of him, because whoever cringes in front of the rich, will lose most of his faith.
Thus, this is a standard. Sometimes, a believer may be very poor, and his house is small, but he stands firm on Allah’s Order, he has a deep faith, and has good relationship with Allah, the question to be: do you love, appreciate and admire him?. On the other hand, do you pay no attention to the one who gets ill-gotten gains, who does not apply the teachings of Islam in his house, and whose daughters expose their beauty? Why do you have so much respect for him? This is one sign of the weak faith. So, the deeper your faith is, the more you will love the believers even if they were poor and weak, and the more you will turn away from the infidels and the wrong doers, even if they were rich and powerful.

4. Prefer obeying Allah to your own interest:

This is another sign, pay attention to this critical noble ayah below which is a challenge your faith:

(Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.)

[At-Tawbah, 9:24]

(Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained)

For example, if you are the exclusive agent of a large company, and there are some prohibited materials in their products, and they have obliged you to import them, you should not say: I will import them and Allah will forgive me, and when the company’s representative pays you a visit, you dread unpleasing him (rather dreading Allah) so you server him wine:

(and commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause)

[At-Tawbah, 9:24]

Then the way to Allah the Almighty will not be passable, rather it is blocked:

(Then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.)

5. Being in high spirit:

What is the characteristic of the watchful heart which has known Allah?

(So is one whose breast Allah has expanded to [accept] Islam and he is upon a light from his Lord [like one whose heart rejects it]?)

[Az-Zumar, 39:22]

The believer is happy and cheerful because he knows the secret and the reason behind his existence, therefore he does not care about this worldly life, it is sufficient to him to have house in which he dwells, a wife who satisfies him, and sufficient sustenance. Thus he has limited ambitions about this life, while he has unlimited ambition about the hereafter, while the people who are indulgent in the pleasures of this life have unlimited ambitions about it and limited ambitions about the hereafter. Allah the Almighty says:

(They know what is apparent of the worldly life)

[Ar-Rum, 30:7]

Dear brothers, being in a high spirit is very critical matter, the believer is satisfied even with a little income, a modest house, and a wife of a usual beauty, and he always thanks Allah. By Allah, Who there is no god but Him, if the happiness, peace of mind and satisfaction, which are in the believer’s heart, is distributed among all people of one country it will be sufficient for them. So the first sign is to be cheerful, which means that there are no depression, anxiety, frustration, a sense of loss or guilt, all these feelings are those of the wrong doers, while the believer is Always pleased with Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, there is a situation called the satisfaction, which means to be pleased with all what Allah ordained to you, your being, your abilities, your family, your limited income, and having no children, because as long as you are following the path to Paradise, there will be no problem

6. Fearing no creature:

You should not fear any creature (which means here human beings), because Allah the Almighty says:

(So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.)

[Al-Imran, 3:175]

One of the signs of faith is to fear only Allah the Almighty, which means: you should not become sleepless at light because of a threat from a powerful man. Actually, all you affairs are under the Power of Allah, and for that reason He ordered us to worship Him. Allah the Almighty says:

(And to Him will be returned the matter, all of it, so worship Him and rely upon Him.)

[Hud, 11:123]

If He put you under the control of other than Him, He wouldn’t have been ordered you to worship him?:

(And to Him will be returned the matter, all of it, so worship Him and rely upon Him.)

[Hud, 11:123]

Therefore, one of the signs of the attentive heart is to fear Allah alone. Allah the Almighty says:

(So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.)

[Al-Imran, 3:175]

7. Fearing no one but Allah:

One of the signs of the living heart is to fear Allah alone’ Allah the Almighty says:

(But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.)

[At-Tawbah, 9:13]

8. Putting our trust in Allah:

Also, one of the signs of the living heart is to put your trust in Allah alone, Allah the Almighty says:

(And upon Allah rely, if you should be believers)

[Al-Maida, 5:23]

9. Compliance with the Islamic rulings:

You should comply with the teachings of Islam, Allah the Almighty says:

(“(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day)

[Al-Nisa, 3:59]

10. Avoid committing sins intentionally:

One of the signs of the living heart is that the believer does not commit sin on purpose, which means he may commit mistake unintentionally, but it is impossible for him to commit a sin if he knows that it is prohibited, Allah the Almighty says:

(O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from Riba (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers.)

[Al-Baqarah, 2:278]

“Give up” means when you know that something is Haram (prohibited) you should immediately avoid it, you have no other choice, Allah the Almighty says:

(It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision)

[Al-Ahzab, 33:36]

This is impossible.

Man’s choice of faith is a time oriented matter:

Pay attention to this critical point, every human being even Pharaoh has the freedom of choice, and you have the option of acceptance or rejection in most of your matters, like rejecting a job because the income is small and the working hours are too long, or like rejecting to travel to have a job in another country because the salary is less than what you have expected…etc. which means that you have the choice to acceptance or rejection. But as for faith, it is a time oriented matter; which means: either to believe within the appropriate time (in your life), or after it is too late (after death). The most obvious proof of this is that Pharaoh, the worst infidel preson on earth, and who had said to his people:

(I am your lord, most high)

[An-Naziaat, 79:24]

And who had said:

(I know not that you have an ilah (a god) other than me)

[Al-Qasas, 28:38]

When he was about to drown, he said:

(I believe that La ilaha illa (Huwa): (none has the right to be worshipped but) He,” in Whom the Children of Israel believe)

[Yunus, 10:90]

Triumph is to adjust your life according to Allah’s Method:

Consider our daily actions, we wake up, eat, go to work, go back home, eat, sleep and so forth. day after day, week after week, month after month, season after season, and year afrt year, then one suddenly becomes 68 years old, what has he prepared for the Hereafter? So, the real success is to be always alert in the respect of the hereafter. Actually, whoever adjusts his life according to Allah’s Method, he/she will have no problem when death suddenly come, because he/she had prepared for it. By Allah, dear brother, one of the most amazing things that I’ve read is the history of seventy companions, and the common denominator among them all was one thing, which is that all of them were at the happiest moments of their lives when death came to them.
In contrast, Allah the Almighty describes the (alive) infidels as:

((They are) dead, lifeless)

[An-Nahl, 16:21]

Moreover, He described them as being in graves:

(But you cannot make hear those who are in graves.)

[Fatir, 35:22]

They are (figuratively) in the graves of their desires. So the start is to wake up from heedlessness, to look for the truth, to attend an Islamic lectures, to read Islamic books, to reflect on (the creation of) the universe, and to know the secret and the reason behind your existence. Doing so, man turns from a heedless to an attentive person.
A senior Scholar, Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, wrote a book called Madarij Al-Salikin, in which he mentioned the ways you follow to get closer to Allah, each way has degree, some of these degrees are awakening, sincerity, uprightness, and the righteous deeds.
Dear brothers, awakening is the start, it is to ask yourself this big question: why I was created and what will happen after death? Consider the following example in which I liken the competition between people for this worldly life to a car racing in which there is a wide road, too many cars; large and small, ancient and modern, expensive and cheap, with powerful engine and with weak engine, and nice and ugly, and the at the finishing line there is a ditch of 50 meters depth and the first car to win the race will fall down, then the second car, then the third car..etc, until all cars fell, what a silly race! What are they competing for? All people will die; the rich, the poor, the strong, the prophets, the kings, the weak, the oppressed, the handsome, the ugly, the intelligent, and the wealthy, who will leave fabulous wealth. Glory to Allah Who defeated his servants by death! Death is the end of each creature, thus, performing your daily actions against Allah’s Method is a kind of foolishness.
To concise, dear brothers, man is either motivated by his lust or by his faith, and his deed indicates the real size of his lusts or his faith, because deed is a reflection to the level of man. Where do you start from? It should be from awakening.
Once, one of my relatives was careless student, so his father made him leave his elementary school, and he worked in a shop, but after many years he continued his studies out of jealousy of his cousin, and out of a great anxiety.
if you do not feel such a great anxiety, you will not try to get closer to Allah, this feeling is caused by thinking about death, and by reflecting upon the heavens and the earth.
In conclusion, there must be an awakening, which is the start, you should stick to Allah’s order, and you should try to get closer to Him. Then there are many signs of faith, all of which bring happiness to mankind, because the one who becomes a real believer experiences feelings which people at the highest positions lack, and the richest people in the world lack, and that is because Allah the Almighty grants health, intelligence, money, and beauty to many of mankind, but He grants tranquility only to the best real believers.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

Translation : Rana Sarakbi
Auditing : Noora Al Sharabi

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