Protecting your Imaan: A Six Point Guide.
By Shaykh Abdul Raheem Edited by Mukhtar Master
Faith and iman is without doubt the greatest blessing that each and every Muslim has. He who has lost his iman has lost everything.
However, safeguarding and protecting one’s iman has become the single greatest challenge of our time. There has never been a time in Muslim history, where protecting one’s faith is as challenging as it is currently. Every aspect of modern society is fundamentally at odds with our very faith – be that political, social, financial, technological, scientific or environmental. All these factors offer an ‘alternative’ perspective, which if not recognised or understood, will start to undermine one’s very faith.
They say that ‘prevention is better than cure’. Here I will describe six points, written by Khalid Baig, which will help a Muslim to best safeguard and protect their precious iman:
Carry out your religious obligations. Pray your salah , keep your fasts in Ramadhan, pay your zakat and perform your pilgrimage if you can afford to do so.
Make a resolution never to miss your salah. If you miss it, pray your qadha. If you don’t have much time just pray your fardh- but whatever you do, do not miss your salah
Make sure you get your knowledge from reputable people and places. Do not just get your information from a ‘Google’ search or an unknown author who happens to have an appealing book cover. Also, do not take your knowledge from tv channels. Always approach your local ulema, Imams and mashaikh. Take your knowledge from them and ask them any masaa’il (issues) that you may have.
Be very particular about halal and haram. This is important, not only from a point of ensuring that all the food that we eat is halal, but also ensuring that our income is also halal. Many have fallen into the trap of getting their money through deception, interest, fraud and cheating. We must ensure that all our income, to the last penny is ‘clean’ and halal.
If someone offered you a glass of water spiked with poison – you would refrain from drinking the water because the poison would cause you harm. Similarly, Allah and his Rasool (saw) have stated that we should avoid haram, because it is also just like ‘poison’ and will cause damage to our rooh (soul).
Develop Zuhd in you. Shun the luxuries and pleasures of this material world and live a simple life. Today the entire world is in the grip of rampant materialism.
“Money, money, money. It’s so funny in a rich man’s world”.
We needlessly hoard money and fall for the glitter of the world. We dream about things we can’t afford and make ourselves miserable. We are never grateful for the bounties of Allah which He has bestowed upon us and it makes us stingy. We find it difficult to spend upon the poor and support good causes.
Read the 70 stories of Zahideen at the end of Fazaaile Sadaqaat. (Virtues of giving charity). This will generate Zuhd and generosity in you.
Develop and maintain good character and conduct. Be a man of justice, integrity and honesty in your dealings and in your conversations. Always speak the truth and keep your promises. Never lie, backbite, and cheat – as these are the habits of a munafiq.
The tree of Islam will be judged by the fruit it produces. Our sahabah and tabi’een were the beautiful fruits of seeds planted by Rasulullah (saw). Many of our salaf travelled around the world for business purposes. The people of the far off lands embraced Islam by observing their honesty, akhlaq and good conduct.
And finally, we need to nurture our children appropriately. It cannot be that a Madressa is like an island and the rest of the world is an ocean – such that when the child leaves the Madressa, they drown in the deep ocean of godlessness. We need to make their whole lives based on Islam and its teachings. We need to create in their hearts the love of Allah and of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. We need to bring them closer to our ulema and our mashaaikh. We need to generate taqwa in their hearts do they can lead the life of a muttaqi (god fearing) person.
May Almighty Allah help us all to adopt these points into our everyday lives and protect our iman and the iman of our future generations.