We are all blessed here in that we are Muslims. It is truly the greatest gift that any human being can have in the world today.
And what is better than this is that we are regarded by Allah SWT as believers as well. We can see in the world today that there are examples of those people who call themselves Muslim but in actual fact their behaviour demonstrates otherwise. Of course, Allah SWT is the judge of these people but by illustrating the example of these people, it is clear that being a believer is more than just the declaration.
A true believer is one that leaves to doubt in the minds of those who know him, interact with him or hear of him. In fact, the Prophet SAWS summarized this point perfectly when it was asked of him. The hadith is translated to say:
The Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one from whom the people’s lives and wealth are safe.”
Dear brothers, we can see from this that the most basic level of Imaan requires that people are safe from us physically and emotionally. To say both the hand and the tongue means that we, as Muslims, refrain not just from causing physical harm but also mental harm through lying, deceiving, backbiting, mocking etc.
Alongside this, we are taught that the believer demonstrates his status through keeping peoples lives and wealth safe. This means the believer isn’t a danger to others, either through oppression or recklessness and the believer isn’t someone who is going to cheat and deceive you out of money.
Dear brothers, we can see from just this single hadith, there is a lot of responsibility that goes into being blessed with being a believer. We cannot be reckless with this task.
And so, this reminder concludes 3 other signs of a true believer.
- Concentration and the love of Prayer. From performing the prayers towards the start of their allotted time to focus on the prayer, this is the foundation of our identity as our whole day should revolve around it. A sign of a true believer is where everyone knows that you are dedicated to your prayers, that plans should be made around your prayers because you are that committed to them, that if you are in a new place, the first thing you are thinking is about making your prayers and finding a place to do them. This level of dedication shows others that you are a true believer and is also a form of dawah to others as well.
- To pray Zakat. The true believer understands that the Zakat is not optional, it isn’t even a source of pride when given. The true believer understands that your Zakat is, from the moment you first earn it, the property of someone else. It is never yours, you are simply the vehicle through which it passes. You are like a bank that is holding onto the funds before passing it to the rightful owner. That’s why payment of Zakat is done with the same commitment and obedience as we pay our Council Tax or other mandatory payment, even more so because this money is never ours to begin with. This is how a true believer deals in Zakat.
- To protect your chastity. The true believer understands that your modesty is a blessing from Allah SWT. It is what separates us from animals and so we keep our modesty like we protect our expensive phones. Which one of us has a phone without a cover? We keep that cover on to protect the phone and keep it looking pristine. Same with our own chastity, we protect ourselves from the blemishes of immorality and lewdness through the company we keep, the way we conduct ourselves and the way we dress. This is a form of jihad which means to struggle and it is a true struggle in the time and place we live in and so this is yet another sign of the true believer.
Dear brothers, the declaration of faith makes us a Muslim and a believer. But the actions we do on a day-to-day basis will prove to ourselves in from of Allah SWT whether we are true believers or hypocrites. Let us use today’s examples to demonstrate to others and to Allah SWT that are not just Muslims by name, but through the everyday actions we do.