Nowadays, concepts such as “Zen” and the decree of “the universe” are commonly mentioned in public discourse, among today’s mish-mash of ancient Eastern and new-age philosophies. But, while many grapple to find the truth and seek a successful belief system, Muslims already have a set of beliefs that emphasise the most important of all truths – with consciousness of Allah (taqwa) among the highest of priorities.
Being aware of Allah’s presence; being thankful for His blessings; and being careful to obey His commands and abstain from His prohibitions are all attributes that we can internalise when we have taqwa. But how do we develop this taqwa? The answer lies in striving to live our entire lives – whether eating, praying, loving, or doing other things – in Allah’s name; “for the sake of Allah”.
At this year’s South African Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, such thoughts are to be covered in one of the topics. The topic, which is scheduled to be delivered by Zimbabwe’s Mufti Ismail Menk, explains what this commonly-used phrase (“for the sake of Allah”) means, and incorporates how we can develop taqwa in various aspects of our lives, including diet, physical health, relationships with other people, and contribution towards society. It also includes brief explanations of how regular acts of worship – such as salaah, fasting, and charity – help to bring spiritual balance into the life of a believer.
The conference – to be held 6th to 8th May 2011, is just a few weeks away, and if you’re interested in attending, you can sign up or find more information at http://www.msacape.org/, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s amazing how much benefit and reward a person can get from just simple actions. For example, the following hadith (narrated in Muslim) tells of four simple words that – if recited three times – are more valuable than hours and hours of thikr.
Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with her) reported, the Mother of the Believers: The Prophet (PBUH) came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Are you still in the same position as I left you.” I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet said, “I recited four words three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are:
- Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, `adada khalqihi,
- wa rida nafsihi,
- wa zinatah `arshihi,
- wa midada kalimatihi
- Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise,
as many times as the number of His creatures,
- in accordance with His Good Pleasure,
- equal to the weight of His Throne
- and equal to the ink that may be used in recording
the words (for His Praise)].’
For a talk explaining more on this, listen to: “Levels of Submission” (19 minutes : Stream/Download) by Shaykh Hussain Abdul Sattar (Chicago).
For a downloadable version of this hadith – along with the Arabic and individual words, click here: Fourwords.doc.
Memorising and repeating little things like this – on a consistent basis – will, insha-Allah, be of immense, immense benefit to us not only in this life, but most importantly on the Day of Judgement.
Remember: the most beloved deed by Allah is the one that is consistent – even if it be small.
And please feel free to share this with others – so that you can benefit from having taught it to others.