How to avoid sins in Shawwal

Daily Trust - - ISLAMIC FORUM - By Yunus Sa­heb

The Holy month of Ra­madan came like sea­sonal rain and passed by. This rain did not wa­ter the plants and crops -it show­ered upon the hearts of be­liev­ers. It is sad, but true, that the hearts of the ma­jor­ity of Mus­lims are stricken with spir­i­tual drought and spir­i­tual deca­dence. It is a drought caused by ex­ces­sive in­dul­gence in unIs­lamic ac­tiv­i­ties, im­moral be­hav­iour, un­just ac­tions, un­fair deal­ings etc. Drought caused by lack of rain de­stroys crops -drought caused by lack of piety, lack of fear of Al­lah and lack of Al­lah con­scious­ness de­stroys the SPIRITUALITY of the heart.

Ra­madan’s spir­i­tual rains brought to life the Masaa­jid and other prayer places. Ra­madan had fanned the dy­ing spark of char­ity. Ra­madan had awak­ened the dy­ing spirit of tol­er­ance, pa­tience and sym­pa­thy for the less for­tu­nate.

Now that Ra­madan has passed the big ques­tion is, what to do? Did we go through all the spir­i­tual ex­er­cises in Ra­madan in or­der that we may have the free­dom to in­dulge, from Eid day, in all types of im­moral, shame­less and in­de­cent amuse­ment? Did we re­strain our­selves from ha­laal food, drinks and other plea­sures from dawn to sun­set through­out Ra­madan, so that we may re­turn with re­newed vigour to gam­bling, drink­ing, adul­tery and for­ni­ca­tion? Will the spirit of tol­er­ance, mercy, pa­tience, char­ity and sym­pa­thy be still ev­i­dent or will th­ese no­ble qual­i­ties be shelved un­til the dawn of the next Ra­madan?

Will the Masajids which were filled on most nights in Ra­madan re­main the same or will they be­come empty won­der­ing where the faith­ful have gone? Our lifet­syles af­ter Ra­madan will show whether we used the month to bring about a to­tal ref­or­ma­tion within our­selves or are we go­ing to waste the valu­able op­por­tu­nity?

The Na­tional and in­ter­na­tional po­si­tion of the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties leaves much to be de­sired. Mus­lims are lament­ing the loss of lives, de­struc­tion of prop­erty, op­pres­sion, tyranny, in­jus­tice and a host of other prob­lems all over the world. They are won­der­ing why the promised help of Al­lah to the be­liev­ers is nowhere in sight. Just one glance into the life­styles of the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the Mus­lims is suf­fi­cient to an­swer the ques­tion. Mil­lions of Mus­lims do not have much to their credit be­sides Mus­lim names.

Al­lah’s help comes with ac­tion and Is­lamic qual­i­ties -not with names or faces - Arabs or non-Arabs, African or Euro­pean, Chi­nese or In­di­ans. On the other hand every group, or­ga­ni­za­tion, so­ci­ety or in­di­vid­ual who talks Is­lam, seems to have got its own brand of Is­lam. The Is­lamic teach­ings which were left be­hind for us, crys­tal clear and pris­tine pure, have be­come so adul­ter­ated with for­eign cus­toms, alien prac­tices and unIs­lamic ide­olo­gies, that a new Mus­lim has to make an ef­fort to search for the Qu­ran and Sun­nah brand of Is­lam or re­main con­fused and ig­no­rant.

May Al­lah Ta’ala give us the guid­ance to re­solve that we shall make the Qu­ran and Sun­nah our guid­ing lights and prac­tise Is­lam as much as pos­si­ble. If the non-Mus­lim in­hab­i­tants of our coun­try see Is­lam in the lives of Mus­lims, they will not re­quire much per­sua­sion to ac­cept our beau­ti­ful deen.

When there is temp­ta­tion to sin, or some fit­nah ap­proach­ing, we must avoid it. We must take a ’round about’ route. Some pretty face takes away the Imaan of a per­son, or some other temp­ta­tion or in­vi­ta­tion to Haraam leads to a spir­i­tual crash. The en­vi­ron­ment of drugs, pornog­ra­phy, for­ni­ca­tion and adul­tery, gam­bling, mu­sic, etc. are those ar­eas.

The Mus­lim avoids all ar­eas of sins - whether the cin­e­mas, clubs, the­atres or other venues of vice. To what­ever ex­tent he can avoid, he avoids. He takes a ’round about’ route so that he can reach his des­ti­na­tion safely. And the des­ti­na­tion of a Mus­lim is Jan­nat.

Take an­other route lest he gets caught in the fit­nah and loses his Imaan and Aakhi­rah.”

There is no doubt that the en­vi­ron­ment around us is haz­ardous, dan­ger­ous and high-risk for our Imaan. De­spite the sce­nario, a Mus­lim must be coura­geous. We do have the courage. We need to only make use of that courage.

Steer the heart and body away from fit­nah if we want to reach the Hereafter safely, if we want to en­ter Jan­nat with­out de­lay; and above this, if we want to earn the Plea­sure of Al­lah Ta’ala.

How do we build up this spir­i­tual strength, whereby we avoid sins… ? We work on de­vel­op­ing the qual­ity of Ih­saan.

Ra­su­l­ul­lah (PBUH) ex­plained the qual­ity of Ih­saan as: “That you wor­ship Al­lah as if you are see­ing Him, and if you can­not see Him, then He sees you (any­way).”

The un­der­stand­ing and knowl­edge has to be deeply im­pressed in the heart and mind : “Wher­ever I am, my Al­lah is watch­ing.”

A Mus­lim works to­wards de­vel­op­ing the sifat (at­tribute) of Ih­saan in all as­pects of his life. It is not con­fined to the dif­fer­ent forms of Ibaadah (wor­ship), like Salaah, Fast­ing, etc.; rather it is a re­al­ity which should be found across the spec­trum of our lives.

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