Inquiry is the basis of faith. When a person is inquisitive and questions his surroundings, his own self, his relationships, his faith, his existence and its purpose-it opens the door to knowledge and wisdom.
Allah SWT has created us as inquisitive beings and through Islam we are governed by basic guidelines and manners. We as Muslims know that we are created by Allah SWT and are not the creators. From this knowledge stems the understanding that we as creation cannot question Allah SWT, though He holds the right to question us. We can inquire the meanings and wisdoms behind certain ordainments of Allah, while being respectful and not being rebellious.
A young Muslim asked me a few questions. This is not the first time I have received such questions, but it was such a comprehensive list that I decided to share it with my readers hoping that it would answer others who might be struggling with similar uncertainties. The questions are listed below:
- If duniya (this world) is so dirty and insignificant, what are we doing here?
- Why have we been created?
- Why do we have desires?
- Why do we have feelings of love, hate, destruction, greed, lie, envy etc?
- How do we love Allah SWT in this corrupt duniya?
- How can we understand Allah's greatness while being surrounded by the temptations of this world?
- How can we sincerely worship Allah when we are surrounded by the cruelties of duniya?
- How can we obey Allah when Shaytaan (Satan) rules our mind?
- Why does it happen that every time I try to be good, I fall back and behave badly again?
- Why is it that every time I supplicate sincerely, the next moment I go back to committing sins?
- Why after each time I promise myself to respect, love and care for my spouse, I revert to shouting, screaming, and fighting?
- Why every time I feel the love for Allah, the next moment I end up disobeying His commands?
- Why am I not strong?
- Why am I not committed?
- Why am I unstable in my faith and character?
- Why am I not righteous?
- How can I become an exemplary Muslim living in this duniya?
All these questions are legitimate and all of us are living with these concerns on different levels. According to the knowledge and status of iman of a person, these questions can be diminished completely.
Once I receive questions like these, it shows me that the person is lacking basic Islamic knowledge and that he/she is in a dangerous and vulnerable spiritual state. These questions can be answered by the person himself once he embarks on the journey of knowledge and iman. Here I will try to answer these questions in brief points; though each point has its own knowledge which can further explain what the person is looking for. If you comprehend what I tell you and do your homework, it will work like medication for you, Insha'Allah.
About the question of existence; we cannot deny our existence. We have been created and already exist in this world. Since we, as Muslims, cannot question the wisdom of the Creator the question now should be, 'how do I cope with this reality of my existence in this world?' Your efforts and concerns now should be on how to be wise and productive enough to leave this world with the pleasure of Allah; but you cannot escape reality.
There are many ahadeeth about the insignificance of this duniya and life except whatever is for Allah, and the remembrance of Allah. We have been sent here for a limited time as a trial. He SWT has created us weak, vulnerable, with many defaults, weakness for duniya, temptations, and desires. Allah SWT also created shaytaan-the cursed one- and given him weapons and ability to attack us.
At the same time, He SWT sent us guidance and a book which-if we follow-contains the map, direction, instruction, wisdom, weapons, and the ability to overcome all of the above mentioned hindrances. If we take the medication properly with the right guidance, regularly and daily the way He SWT has instructed us, our weaknesses turn to strengths and this life becomes the farmland for the hereafter.
Since we cannot go to the hereafter until we pass this life and we will go to the hereafter with the crops that we have harvested here-good or bad, it is up to us to decide what kind of seeds we want to plant.
Therefore, the answers to these questions are fairly easy. If you follow the format I am about to give you, you will discover the answers to all these questions by yourself in detail.
You have to seriously start your journey of iman which requires:
- the right companionship,
- regular recitation of Quran(daily),
- studying of your faith and the purpose of life,
- reading of good books such as Men Around the Messenger by Khalid Muhammad Khalid, which gives you a glimpse of how earlier Muslims understood the message and their presence in this world.
- And above all, remembrance of Allah. Get to know your Lord and call on Him SWT!
Another advice I will give you is to read more of my articles. There are many articles which will help you answer all your questions little by little. Just be patient, the understanding will come to you slowly and step by step. Once this routine becomes a principal of your life, Allah SWT will guide you to the rest and settle all your affairs, thoughts, doubts and anxieties. He SWT will give you a new vision and understanding of life as can be seen from the following Hadeeth Qudsi:
"My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him.
"When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks.
"Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him." (Bukhari)
These questions cannot be answered in a single article. I tried to give you some understanding of the matter but the answers to these questions will only come with the journey of faith. As your faith becomes stronger, many of these questions and concerns will be automatically diminished and replaced by certainty and understanding from Allah SWT.
May Allah SWT protect us from the traps of shaytaan and allow us to overcome our faults and shortcomings. May Allah SWT allow us to establish a consistent and steady relationship with Him and allow us to devote a portion of our time daily for Him SWT.
Remember, today we can, tomorrow we cannot!
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