Giving up Sins : An Easy Prescription
There are many, many Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world, who due to various negative influences and bad elements, find themselves ‘de-railed’ from Deen. Many others sit on the fence, wanting to enjoy or benefit from both sides of the fence – engaging in sins as well as being practical on certain teachings of Deen. However, deep in their hearts is the desire to get back on track, and once again become good, practical Muslims; to jump off that fence and enjoy the green pastures of Islam. So they write, e-mail, phone and fax, seeking guidance and direction.
The main weakness is indulgence in sins; sometimes many sins and excessive indulgence in those sins. I give a standard prescription as a reply. Alhamdulillah, many who followed through with the prescription have found a whole new life – of peace, happiness, blessings and mercy. On tasting the sweetness that comes with obedience, there is no desire to return to any form of disobedience. The following is what is presented to them:
The ideal is that we abstain from sins, out of love for Allah Ta’ala.
It is the nature of human beings that we love the one who is kind and generous to us. Then what of Allah Ta’ala who has provided us with plentiful – with everything?
Who has blessed us with sight, hearing, speech, with organs that are functioning in such an amazing manner, and with limbs - all in our service – for eating, drinking, walking, sitting, etc. Who has showered upon us the bounties of clothing, shelter, transport, and so many other material comforts. Who is providing the food and drink that provides strength? …Allah Ta’ala.
And now that strength is used to disobey that Gracious and Generous Master.
Who created the means for us to be born in Muslim homes, to grow up with spiritual bounties of Imaan and Islam? Or who has guided us to Islam? …Allah Ta’ala.
Should we not then love Allah Ta’ala unconditionally, keeping in mind that the heart too is from Him, and was given to us for His Love?
Should we not be ever-willing to earn His Pleasure? Should we not be avoiding all those actions which earn His Displeasure? … Since He is our Beloved.
Developing the conscious awareness that Allah Ta’ala is with us : He is watching us, He is hearing us, He knows all and everything about us; We cannot hide from Him; We cannot conceal our actions from Him. Then should we not feel ashamed that in His Presence, we are disobeying Him?
Is it not shameless that we engage in sins in His very Presence?
My Respected Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum) says very aptly in poetry:
“If you hide and commit sins,
Someone is watching from above (Allah Ta’ala)…”
Keep in mind that the angels are witness to all our actions; that the earth is recording our behaviour and that all of our actions are being noted in our books of deeds – and that we are inevitably accountable to Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Judgement. …In this manner, we will develop that shame and modesty which will make it easy to restrain from Haraam.
Added to this, our actions are also presented to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). We should give thought to whether our actions are a source of joy or grief to him (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). …Contemplating just this should make us think a hundred times before moving in the direction of sin.
Muhasabah is taking an account of one’s actions : We should reflect over our deeds for the day and seek forgiveness for shortcomings and resolve not to return to those bad deeds. We should also express gratitude on good deeds and make Dua for an increase in them.
Ponder over the fact that the Angel of Death does not give respite. It must not be that whilst obeying the nafs in sinful pleasure, the Angel of death visits; and departure is in disgrace, and return to Allah Ta’ala is at a time when He is angry, and that death is an embarrassment to the person, the family and community who find out that death came in sin. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all from death in a state of transgression …which has become very common these days. Whereas in the past, we heard of Muslims dying in sujood, in a state of fasting, while occupied in recitation of Qur`aan Shareef, in other noble actions, today, we hear and read of Muslims dying in prostitute quarters, in rave clubs, while viewing pornography, or due to drugs and other intoxicants, etc.
…Death visits – more often, very unexpectedly, and no true Muslim would want to be seized by the Angel of death when Allah Ta’ala is displeased. I often say : We now have instant tea, and instant coffee, and instant cereal and instant pudding and so many other things on the market are instant – we are also living in times when death is instant. So any sin is too much of a risk in the face of the reality of death. …As is commonly said:
“Your resurrection will be how you have died, and you will die in the manner you have lived.”
…Would any Muslim want to rise up on the Day of Judgement in sin, for all of mankind to witness what kind of life he led?
Ponder over the fact that Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with the gift of sight, hearing, health, wealth, and so much else – and has also granted us the gift of respect. However, what Allah Ta’ala gives, He can also take away. He has clearly stated that ingratitude for His Gifts will draw very severe punishment. So is sin not abuse and ingratitude for the gifts of sight, of heart, of mind, of limbs?
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur`aan Shareef :
“…If you are grateful, I will most certainly increase for you (My favours) but if you show ingratitude, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”
[Surah Ibraheem 14 : 7]
A little contemplation on the consequences of such behaviour and a little bit of mujahada (striving) – which entails ‘not doing’ and Alhamdulillah, the sicknesses are cured.
Together with the above :
Attend the talks of the learned Scholars of Islam whenever possible, or listen to recordings of their talks and read their books to gain benefit of pious, righteous company. Join and participate in the Deeni activities with those who follow the Qur`aan and Sunnah. One will, Insha-Allah, find a great improvement in one’s condition by keeping the right company.
Make the effort to read Salaah punctually. Men should make every effort to read their Salaah in Jamaah (congregation).
Read good, Islamic literature. Abstain from magazines or books that have filthy and indecent contents and pictures.
Give up television viewing. …95% of the content is Haraam.
As an example : If a person offers a full glass of clean and pure water, and mentions that there is just one drop of urine, would any sensible person, drink it?
…When the gaze, heart and mind are consuming and digesting so much of Haraam viewing, what else would be the end result except indulgence in the same Haraam. Then when the major content of television is Haraam, what should we be doing as Muslims?
Lower the gaze from the opposite sex.
Dress as a Muslim should : Men have to wear the pants above the ankle and keep the beard, one fist in length. These actions must not be considered as insignificant. These are teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) which he has greatly emphasized on.
Although it is permissible to wear the shirt and pants, the dressing of the righteous (i.e. the kurta) has a speciality which benefits in different ways. A person with this appearance will think a hundred times before engaging in an open sin, when he is being recognized as someone who must be very pious. So this attire and appearance will offer a protection, Insha-Allah.
Women too should dress modestly as is prescribed by Shariah. The Hijaab offers protection from various sins and is a protection from harassment, which has become normal behaviour for the majority.
By doing these few things, you have won more than half the battle. And it is not as difficult as shaytaan and nafs will whisper. A little courage, a little effort and a little sacrifice are all that is required.
Of course, these are just basic aspects of Deen, which everyone can implement immediately and easily. There is a need to fulfill the Obligatory Injunctions such as Salaah, Zakaat, Fasting in the month of Ramadaan, etc. and to fulfill the rights of parents, spouse, children, family, neighbours and others.
There is a need to read the Qur`aan Shareef regularly, together with some authentic commentary – a little at a time; as well as giving time to studying some book on Islamic Jurisprudence and reading the life and teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), etc. A reading of the books of virtues of actions such as Salaah, Fasting, Haj, Sadaqaat, Zikr, etc. by Shaikh Zakariyyah Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) will create enthusiasm in the heart for practising.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us His Love and the Love of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), such that it becomes easy to give up all sins and submit to His Obedience. May He protect us all from the mischief of nafs and shaytaan. May He fill our hearts with Love for this beautiful Deen and inspire us in being practical and good Muslims and true role-models to our community.
By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel