Today’s reminder is on the rise and fall of Imaan and the acceptance of acts of worship
This life is a time of our existence where we are constantly bombarded with shaitaan attempting to take us off the path of Allah SWT as taught to us by the Prophet SAWS.
And this battle between our imaan and our nafs, the battle between what is right and the temptations to do what is wrong is ever present in this world we live in.
What this does though is that it affects our level of imaan. Some days we find ourselves elevated in the deen, our acts of worship are on point, we feel connected to Allah SWT and we feel the love of Allah SWT and we love being Muslims and following acts that we know will please Him.
Other times, we are caught in the traps of Shaitaan, our imaan suffers and we begin to feel low, we feel disconnected from Allah SWT and unfortunately, this sometimes has the danger of spiralling out of control as we then move further and further away from blessed acts and fall more and more into acts that are against the deen of Islam.
The first point to make in regards to the rise and fall of Imaan is that this is not unique to you and it is not unique to the cursed. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. Allah SWT tells us that He designed us to in this way and that the pleasure comes from His slave returning to Him asking for forgiveness and mercy.
Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. However, remember that the ultimate goal of Shaitaan is not to have you commit the sin but it is to make you believe that there is no forgiveness from Allah SWT.
Shaitaan is determined to make each and every one of us convinced that we are beyond forgiveness as this then leads us to depression and despair which then leads to further and greater sin without any hope left in the person. We must all be mindful of this strategy and avoid despair at all costs. Allah SWT is the most forgiving and the most merciful and He will do so if we ask Him of it and repent with sincerity.
And this leads the reminder nicely onto the way in which we know that our worship has been accepted by Allah SWT.
The point here is that we must ask ourselves, for what purpose are we taking the actions that we are taking in this life. For example, if we are giving to charity, are we doing that for Allah SWT’s pleasure or are we doing it to make ourselves feel good or to show others that we are charitable.
Another example is, when we come to the masjid to pray. Are we doing it because we are prominent members of our community and we pride ourselves in making an appearance in the masjid, to socialise with others only or to demonstrate to ourselves and others on our level of imaan. Or are we coming to the house of Allah SWT in a state of humiliation, of humility and of yearning to seek His mercy and pleasure alone.
The imam reminded us of the following ayat from Sura Al-Bayyinah in which Allah SWT is addressing the stubbornness of the disbelievers around the Prophet SAWS at the time and the ayat is translated to say:
though all they are ordered to do is worship God alone, sincerely devoting their religion to Him as people of true faith, keep up the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms, for that is the true religion.
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah does not accept any person’s work in prayer, fasting, zakat, hajj, ummah, good deeds and charity if this work does not come completely and with the sole intension for Allah SWT’s sake. We need to be mindful of this if we are to gain the reward of our actions and have them in our account on the Day of Judgement.
The other condition, which is even more important than the one just mentioned is highlighted by the imam as he reminded us to ayat 65 of Sura Az-Zumar which is translated to say:
It has already been revealed to you [Prophet] and to those before you: ‘If you ascribe any partner to God, all your work will come to nothing: you will be one if the losers.
And so dear brothers and sisters, we must remind ourselves of the importance of the key statement of belief. As Muslims, we bear witness, that there is only one God worth of worship and that Muhammad SAWS was his messenger.
But we are not being asked to believe that just or to say it just, we are being asked to bear witness to this fact.
When someone bears witness to something, it is not saying it to be true but it practically demonstrates that something is true. When we are bearing witness that we only worship one God and that we believe Muhammad SAWS is His messenger, we need to be mindful of this.
We have to practically show this in our actions, our words and our manners. There is no point being a Muslim by name if we don’t demonstrate it in our every day lives. And there is no point to being a Muslim if our lives go against the teachings of the Prophet SAWS.
Therefore we need to align ourselves with the meaning of bearing witness because without this we run the risk of becoming hypocritical in our faith.
Dear brothers and sisters, imaan is not something which will always be at 100%. We know that we will have dips and falls in the levels at times. What we need to protect at all costs is the manner in which we recover from those dips and that is to continue to practice, with sincerity, the acts and behaviours taught to us by the Prophet SAWS and the mindset brought about being a Muslim that bears witness to the truth.