Seeking The Most Of The Good Pleasure Of Allah
A believer is one who has been purified
of idolatry and other forms of ignorance, such as placing his hopes on imaginary
deities or seeking their approval, thereby becoming subservient to them. He serves
Allah alone and seeks the approval of Allah alone. As mentioned earlier, he does
this by "striving with all due striving."
The key to "striving with all
due striving" on Allah's way is to seek what pleases Allah most. In the face of
several choices, all of which are legitimate, a believer must choose the one that
pleases Allah most.
This can be briefly described as follows:
believer must spend his entire life doing what is "lawful." The Qur'an makes clear
which actions are unlawful, and these are indeed very few in number. Anything
other than these unlawful deeds is lawful.
- In addition to this, what
a believer must do is attend to the deeds and thoughts that please Allah most.
In this endeavour, his wisdom and "foresight" guide him.
The example of
"spending in the way of Allah" (infaq) will make this concept clearer. A believer
is a person who has sold his "property and self" to Allah. He should put whatever
he has to use in the way that pleases Allah most. However, he may frequently encounter
many choices. Let us assume that he has a considerable amount of money with which
he could buy a new suit for himself. This is indeed a legitimate and lawful thing
to do; being meticulous about one's appearance is surely something in conformity
with Allah's will. However, there may be other things to do with this money which
would please Allah better. Giving it to a needy person might well please Allah
more. However, this is a decision that rests entirely with the person himself.
Considering the specific conditions and environment he is in, he must establish
his priorities by consulting his conscience.
Another example will lead
to a better understanding of this concept: A believer is responsible for "enjoining
good and forbidding evil," communicating Allah's religion and carrying out a struggle
on intellectual grounds against the tyrants in the world. Shouldering this all-important
responsibility is one way to earn the good pleasure of Allah. Such a responsibility
means that certain duties always take precedence. Since there are so many duties
demanded by such an important responsibility, it would be incorrect to give priority
to any other deed, albeit a legitimate and lawful one. For instance, a man is
responsible for taking care of his family; he is the one who provides security
and sustenance for the family members. However, using this as an excuse to avoid
the responsibility of "enjoining good and forbidding evil" would be conduct unbecoming
to a believer.
Indeed, upon reflection, we can see that the "soul" (an-nafs)
is involved when one prefers what is less valuable in the presence of Allah. Preferring
the less valuable to the more valuable in the presence of Allah is a consequence
of setting aside a "share" for one's soul. In this sense, what one needs to accomplish
is not to be guided by one's soul, but to go all-out to seek the total approval
of Allah. Seeking Allah's consent by a ninety nine percent effort and setting
aside a one percent share for the soul may not be acceptable in the eyes of Allah.
That is because the person in question has associated his soul with Allah. A mere
one percent of idolatry may render his services unacceptable. The situation of
those who ascribe partners to any being other than Allah is described as follows:
They assign to Allah a share of the crops and livestock
He has created, saying, "This is for Allah,"-as they allege-"and this is for our
idols." Their idols' share does not reach Allah, whereas Allah's share reaches
their idols! What an evil judgement they make! (Surat al-An'am: 136)
a person risks his life to protect his family in the event of some injustice done
to him, but remains heedless and involves himself with his own business when there
is oppression and slander against other believers, we can say that he does not
seek Allah's approval. Such an attitude indicates man's inclination towards and
submission to his soul (nafs), which is entirely against the Islamic goal of "serving
Allah alone." Furthermore, acting in compliance with the desires of the soul is
defined in the Qur'an as setting up partners with Allah:
you seen him who has taken his whims and desires to be his god? Will you then
be his guardian? (Surat al-Furqan: 43)
A believer, on the other hand, devotes
all his possessions and his entire life to Allah. This superior attribute of believers
is indicated in the Qur'an as follows:
Say: "My prayer and
my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds."
(Surat al-An'am: 162)
As for seeking what most pleases Allah, the attitude
of believers in wartime in the days of the Prophet (saas) is related in the Qur'an.
In the face of two groups of enemies, believers preferred to fight against the
weaker of the two. Yet it was Allah's will that there should be a fight against
the stronger. These events are related in the verses as follows:
Allah promised you that one of the two parties would be yours, you would have
preferred the unarmed one, whereas Allah sought to fulfill His promise and to
rout the last remnant of the disbelievers. This was so that the Truth should triumph
and falsehood be discomfited, even though the evil-doers hated that. (Surat al-Anfal:
Finally, Allah made the believers confront the stronger party and led
them to the one thing that would please Him most. Ultimately, they triumphed with
the help of Allah.
The example related above is an event shaped within
the conditions of that period. Yet the fact remains that in every age Muslims
are put to the test through different events. Today, for instance, Muslims must
engage in a struggle on intellectual grounds against those who deny the Qur'an
and the facts of creation and who strive to sow immorality in society. Muslims
should determine the best course to follow in this struggle they take upon themselves
and then carry it out with commitment. Yet, even if one has the strength to shoulder
this responsibility, if one involves oneself with issues of no great urgency only
to satisfy one's own desires, that will only incur the displeasure of Allah.
any case, such a tendency does not conform to a Muslim's sense of right conduct.
He is someone who has been chosen by Allah and to whom faith has been granted;
he is held responsible for extirpating wrongdoing from society, replacing it with
peace, and establishing an environment where everyone lives by Allah's religion.
He is responsible for struggling for those men, women and children who are oppressed
and who say: "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants
are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!..." (Surat
This concept is not confined to an intellectual struggle
only. Throughout his life, a Muslim must maintain this standpoint in his daily
life, his worship and in all the events he encounters.
Meanwhile, we need
to bear in mind that the expression, "doing what is most pleasing to Allah" is
used to make the concept more comprehensible. Turning away
from what pleases Allah most and involving oneself with tasks of secondary importance
is in fact displeasing to Allah. Hence, that one thing that pleases Allah
most is, under all circumstances, whatever is in accordance with His will. To
put it another way, there is no alternative to what pleases Allah most.
seeking what will please Allah best, and being contented with less, is actually
a consequence of a flawed outlook on the hereafter. Such an outlook is formed
because one thinks one deserves paradise. However, nobody can be assured of such
a reward. In the Qur'an, Allah warns even the Prophet (saas) with the verse, "…If
Allah willed, He could seal up your heart…" (Surat ash-Shura: 24). This
being the case, it is obvious that no one is guaranteed paradise.
case, a sincere believer, as described in the Qur'an, never thinks that he or
she definitely deserves paradise or becomes carried away by this feeling. The
true believer typically prays to Allah in "fear and hope."
(Surat al-A'raf: 56)
Those lacking real faith also think they deserve
paradise because they do not fear Allah as they should and assume that the deeds
they do are good. With their flawed rationale, they say, "We will be forgiven
anyway." However, this is an attitude peculiar to those who do not fear Allah
as He should be feared. Of the situation of these people Allah states the following:
evil generation has succeeded them, inheriting the Book, taking the goods of this
lower world, and saying, "We will be forgiven." But if similar goods come to them
again they still take them. Has not a covenant been made with them in the Book,
that they should only tell the truth about Allah and have they not studied what
is in it? The Final Abode is better for those who have fear of Allah. Will you
not use your intellect? (Surat al-A'raf: 169)
There are also those who,
deceived by the material wealth granted to them in this world, arrive at the erroneous
conclusion that Allah loves them, thereby believing that they too will be welcomed
into paradise-although they harbour doubts about its existence. The Qur'an gives
us a relevant example:
Give them this parable. Once there
were two men, to one of whom We gave two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded
them with date-palms, putting between them some cultivated land. Both gardens
yielded their crops and did not suffer any loss, and We made a river flow right
through the middle of them. He was a man of wealth and property and he said to
his companion, which conversing with him, "I have more wealth than you and my
clan is mightier than yours." He entered his garden and wronged himself by saying,
"I do not think that this will ever end. I do not think the Hour of Doom will
ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something
better in return." (Surat al-Kahf: 32-36)
A Muslim, contrary to people
with such a mindset, fears "going astray after being guided to the right path."
The prayer of believers in the Qur'an is as follows:
Lord, do not cause our hearts to go astray after You have guided us. And grant
us mercy. You are the Ever-Giving. (Surah Al 'Imran: 8)
However, it is also
worth mentioning that this is not the kind of fear that arouses dread or uneasiness
in a believer's heart. On the contrary, fear of Allah motivates believers to have
zeal in striving to be servants who deserve to enter Paradise and ensures that
they spend the life of this world in the best way possible.
A Muslim aims
at earning the approval of Allah in the life of this world, which is inherently
temporary and short. His thoughts concentrate on a single great event that will
happen soon: He will certainly die one day and give an account of his deeds in
the presence of Allah. This will lead him either to eternal terrible ruin or to
eternal salvation. It would certainly be unwise to pursue some other course or
to remain heedless while there is such a great event ahead of him.
his salvation, a believer is responsible for seeking "what pleases Allah most."
Failing to do so means being unaware of the danger waiting ahead. In the face
of the humiliation one will face in hell and in the presence of Allah, it is surely
essential to seek "what pleases Allah most."
A few examples of the attitude
one displays in the face of dangers that one may encounter in this world and the
efforts one makes to deal with them will lead to a better understanding of how
one seeks what pleases Allah most:
- Assume that you are face to face with
a giant torrent and the water level is rising rapidly. In this situation, would
you run to the top of a ten-storey building to save yourself, or remain on the
fifth-floor and say, "This place is high enough to save me"?
- Let's assume
that there is a lift that can take you to the top floor. This lift is not free
of charge and it will operate only once. You have just the right amount of money
to take you to the top floor. Would you give all the money you have to go to the
top, or remain at a lower storey which is vulnerable to the torrent?
Again, let's assume that there is a party being held on the sixth-floor, where
you have taken refuge. Would you attend the party or strive to find a way to the
- As another example, let's assume that one of your close friends
has had a heart attack and he or she should immediately be taken to the emergency
room. In this situation, would you drive as fast as you can or not drive so fast
and say, "This is fast enough, he or she must bear up."?
As is apparent
from the examples above, in the face of danger, a man becomes vigilant and does
his utmost to be saved from it. The biggest threat to man is hell. One of the
most important goals of a person who seeks what pleases Allah most, is his inner
inclination to avoid this danger.
For a moment, let's assume that you are
on the edge of hell, around which people will be gathered on the Day of Judgement
and witness its stunning images. Having seen hell, would you not choose what pleases
Allah most out of a number of alternatives?
Once a person is sent to hell,
he will no longer have the opportunity to make choices but will only give an account
of his deeds. This being the case, one must already start acting in that light.
Indeed, a believer always acts in the light of the idea of the nearness of hell,
considering that he can, at any moment, go to the hereafter. On numerous occasions
the Qur'an draws attention to the fact that any regret felt in the hereafter will
be in vain. One of the relevant verses is as follows:
they will shout out: "Our Lord! Take us out! We will act rightly, differently
from the way we used to act!" But He will answer: "Did We not let you live long
enough for anyone who was going to pay heed? And did not the warner come to you?
Have a taste of it then! There shall be no helper for the wrongdoers." (Surah
On the other hand, just as we strive to stay away from danger,
we need to devote similar and even greater efforts to attaining blessings. It
is surely unwise to feel contented with having less in paradise. When leaving
an island abounding in gold, would you not take as much gold as possible with
you? When the time comes to depart from this world, a Muslim should not feel regret
and say, "I wish I had done such and such a thing" or "I wish I had gained the
rewards of doing a particular righteous deed." To avoid this situation, he should
be cautious to choose what pleases Allah most.
Disbelievers do their best
to "make the most" of their lives, which is nothing but "a
brief enjoyment" (Surah Al 'Imran: 197). While this "brief enjoyment" is
doomed to a bitter end, Allah promises His approval, mercy and paradise for believers.
A believer, who wishes to avail himself of these promises of Allah, must strive
hard to seek what most pleases Him.
The Key to the Approval of Allah: Conscience
In the face of several choices, a believer
must choose the one with which Allah will be pleased most. In this, conscience
is the most important criterion that will guide him to the correct choice. Allah's
Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) drew attention to the importance of conscience
during a conversation with a man:
A person asked Allah's Messenger (peace
be upon him): "What is faith?" He said: "When a good deed becomes a source of
pleasure for you and an evil deed becomes a source of disgust for you, then you
are a believer." He again said to Allah's Messenger: "What is a sin?" Whereupon
he said: "When something pricks your conscience, give it up." (Tirmidhi)
of the most important differences between a believer and a disbeliever is that
while the believer will adhere to his conscience, the disbeliever will comply
with his soul which inspires evil deeds. Consequently, a believer displays his
most natural state when he heeds his conscience.
However, it is by no means
true that a believer is immune to the temptations of his self. As the Prophet
Yusuf (as) said, "The self indeed commands to evil acts."
(Surah Yusuf: 53) Accordingly, it will command the alternatives that are
against Allah's Will.
A believer avoids the tricks of his soul by means
of his conscience. Faced with a choice, a believer initially tends to select the
one that first occurs to him, which is generally the one that pleases Allah most.
Then, the self intervenes: it tries to make other alternatives seem more alluring
and finds pretexts to legitimise them. A believer must disregard these pretexts
and comply with the initial and absolutely correct choice to which his conscience
Loving for Allah's Sake
is the good news (the promise of paradise) which Allah gives to His servants who
believe and do right actions. Say: "I do not ask you for any recompense for this
[but] only good will through kinship. If anyone does a good action, he shall be
repaid many times over. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful." (Surat ash-Shura:
A believer devotes his entire life to Allah. He lives for Allah, works
for Allah and loves for Allah's sake.
"Loving for Allah's sake" might be
an incomprehensible concept for someone who is not well acquainted with true Islam.
One who has remained distant from Allah throughout his life, and who has therefore
not known Him, will be unaware of how to love Allah intuitively.
a believer who knows Allah and witnesses His mercy to him, who recognises that
everything he loves is His blessing and that he owes his existence and life to
His mercy, loves Allah and attains the noble spirit of loving for the sake of
Allah. In the Qur'an, the great difference between believers and other people
in this sense is stated as follows:
Some people set up equals
to Allah, loving them as they should love Allah. But those who believe have greater
love for Allah… (Surat al-Baqara: 165)
As is stated in the verse above,
those who associate partners with Allah and who, in their minds, ascribe all attributes
of Allah to other beings, love these beings as they should love Allah. This is
the kind of love that is based on idolatry.
Aware that everything belongs
to Allah and every being's existence is consequential upon Allah's creation, believers
love Allah most. This great feature, which is a natural consequence of the believer's
recognition of Allah as the One and Only Supreme Being, makes him completely different
from other people. This quality of believers is stated in one of the saying of
the Prophet (saas) thus:
Whoever has three things discovers the sweetness
of faith: that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than all else,
that he love another only for the sake of Allah Most High, and that he hate to
return to disbelief as he would hate to be thrown into fire." (Muslim and Bukhari)
who associate partners with Allah, on the other hand, cannot stand the remembrance
...When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur'an,
they turn their backs and run away. (Surat al-Isra': 46)
However, it is
worthy of mention that remembering Allah next to their idols does not disturb
idolaters. The rationale thus expressed: "We are Muslims, but we can enjoy our
day as well" is at the basis of their thinking. The believer, however, grasps
the following fact:
- Nothing (be it a human being, a thing or an event,
etc.) has a beauty of its own. Allah creates all things and endows them with beauty.
Since a person, for example, has not designed and formed his or her face himself,
that beauty is a beauty that belongs to Allah.
- Allah gives this beauty
to man, whom he created from nothing, for a brief time only (since that person
will soon grow old and die). Only Allah possesses the power to recreate that beauty
in the hereafter, in an even more perfect form.
- As in the case of a human
being, all creatures that deserve love are created by Allah and made "pretty."
To remind people that the actual owner of this beauty is Allah, He destines the
beauty of these beings to perish with death and ultimately with doomsday. In the
hereafter, all beings will be recreated.
This being the case, a believer
loves all the things he encounters in this world, aware that they all belong to
Allah and that he will encounter the "original" form of their beauty in the hereafter.
Consequently, his actual love is for Allah, the One Who provides him with everything
he loves: He is the real Owner of every kind of beauty.
Contrary to the
concept of love based upon faith in Allah that is enjoyed by believers, disbelievers'
love is based on idolatry. In the Qur'an, this form of love is described in the
words of Prophet Ibrahim (as):
He said, "You have adopted
idols apart from Allah as tokens of mutual affection in this world. But then on
the Day of Rising you will reject one another and curse one another. The Fire
will be your shelter. You will have no helpers." (Surat al-'Ankabut: 25)
Nursi, also known as Bediuzzaman (the Wonder of the Age), one of the greatest
Islamic scholars of the twentieth century, likens this form of love to that of
a man who looks at the sun through a mirror held in his hand. Once the mirror
is broken into pieces and light is no longer reflected from it, the man feels
profound distress at having lost a source of light. However, he is not intelligent
enough to conceive that the light in the mirror does not actually originate from
it. The light comes from the sun; mirrors only reflect it.
A believer shows
all his love for Allah. Loving Allah is to love beings, aware that they reflect
the attributes of Allah and that these attributes actually belong to Him, as in
the case of the mirrors.
Consequently, a believer shows his love for Allah
by loving believers who make "manifest" the attributes of Allah in their manner
and conduct, and who display the moral values foreseen to be good by Allah. This
form of love is not based on kinship, race or any kind of interest. Due to the
love felt for Allah, it is solely a matter of loving those who love Allah. In
the Qur'an, our Lord describes the love between believers by referring to the
love between the companions of the Prophet (saas) in his time:
who were already settled in the abode, and in faith, before they came, love those
who have emigrated to them and do not find in their hearts any need for what they
have been given, but prefer them to themselves, even if they themselves are needy.
It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who
are successful. (Surat al-Hashr: 9)
The Qur'an makes it clear that the love
felt for believers has been specially granted to them by Allah:
for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love
on them. (Surah Maryam: 96)
observe the Book with firm resolve." We gave him judgement, tenderness and purity
while still a child, and he went in fear of Allah. (Surah Maryam: 12-13)
love only Allah and those who place faith in Him. This being the case, they have
no love for anybody who rebels against Allah. This subject is emphasised in the
following verses of the Qur'an:
You who believe! Do not
take My enemy and your enemy as friends, showing love for them when they have
rejected the truth that has come to you, driving the Messenger and yourselves
out of your city simply because you believe in Allah your Lord. If you go out
to fight in My Way and seeking My pleasure, keeping secret the love you have for
them, I know best what you conceal and what you make known. Any of you who do
that have strayed from the right way. (Surat al-Mumtahana: 1)
have an excellent example in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their
people, "We wash our hands of you and all that you worship apart from Allah, and
we reject you. Between us and you there will be enmity and hatred for ever unless
and until you have faith in Allah alone…" (Surat al-Mumtahana: 4)
who believe, do not befriend your fathers or your brothers if they prefer disbelief
to faith. Those among you who do befriend them are wrongdoers. (Surat at-Tawba:
You will not find people who believe in Allah and the
Last Day on friendly terms with anyone who opposes Allah and His Messenger, even
though they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their nearest kindred...
(Surat al-Mujadala: 22)
As the verses above make it clear, the love of a
believer rests on no criterion other than the "love felt for Allah." Setting aside
all factors such as kinship or material wealth, this love is deeply rooted in
faith and noble values. A believer has love for those whose faith is assured rather
than for those possessing fame, money or social status, which are only seemingly
Having purified his feelings of love of factors other than "the
love felt for Allah," a believer loves the one who fears Allah most and who is
most attentive to seeking His pleasure. The more one has of the attributes peculiar
to a believer, the more one is cherished by believers. In the Qur'an also, we
witness believers holding most dear the Prophet (saas)-the one who is nearest
to Allah and the one who fears Allah most:
The Prophet is closer to the believers than they
have to each other… (Surat al-Ahzab: 6)
Since a believer's understanding of love is based on faith, he will also
establish his marriage on the same grounds. At this point, too, there emerges
an all-important difference between believers and disbelievers: disbelievers often
base their marriage on mutual material benefits. This is especially true of women,
who try to find a "prosperous man" in the expectation of a high standard of living.
For such a purpose, a young girl may easily agree to be the life-long spouse of
someone for whom she has no affection. This is, in fact, similar to a commercial
agreement from which both parties derive benefits. The only difference is that
this agreement is purported to be a life-long one.
The examples of such
marriages are legion. There are many young people who marry people who are rich
or old or who are known for their immorality, solely because they are wealthy
Marriages of disbelievers are not always based on purely material
benefits. There are also many young people who seek "good looks" or attractiveness
in the person they want to marry. Such girls marry men who have nothing but physical
charm, who they assume to be a "knight on a white horse."
Yet the rationale
behind this viewpoint neglects one crucial fact: all these physical traits are
eventually doomed to perish. All human beings will eventually grow old. Furthermore,
Allah can take back the fortune, good looks or health of a man in a moment. Similarly,
it takes but a few seconds to have an accident and become paralysed, bed-ridden
or to lose one's good looks. Under such conditions, what would become of such
What would a woman do when her husband was blinded in an accident,
for instance, if she married him because he had beautiful eyes? Most probably
she would only then realise the unreasonable basis upon which her most important
A believer aims at eternal paradise in the hereafter.
His life is intended to gain the approval of Allah and to attain "salvation and
happiness." Having devoted all his prayers and his entire life to Allah, he will
surely also devote his marriage to Allah.
A marriage entered into to gain
Allah's approval is surely entirely different from one based on "idolatry." In
such a marriage, the criteria can by no means be money, fame or beauty. The sole
purpose in marrying will be to gain Allah's approval. The true believer would
like to marry someone who will be most instrumental in making him or her earn
Allah's approval. Consequently, he or she only marries such person as displays
a deep loyalty to Allah and is superior in faith and piety (taqwa).
the reason described above, certain women who lived during the time of the Prophet
Muhammad (saas), expressed a desire to marry the Prophet (saas). Those who preferred
otherwise are described in the Qur'an as desiring "the life of the world and its
Prophet, tell your wives: "If you desire the life
of the world and its finery, come and I will give you all you need and release
you with kindness. But if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of
the hereafter, Allah has prepared an immense reward for those among you who do
good works." (Surat al-Ahzab: 28-29)
Attributes of Believers
One who lives by the Qur'an will also love those who live by the
Qur'an, that is, the believers. Due to their faith in Allah, believers are granted
some attributes that make them worthy of love. A believer will also seek these
attributes in other believers and, witnessing these attributes in them, he will
The following are the notable attributes of believers as
explained in the Qur'an:
- Believers serve Allah only. There is no being
that they have idolised in their minds but Him. (Surat al-Fatiha: 1-7; Surat an-Nisa':
- They fear Allah. They refrain from doing anything that Allah has forbidden
or that is contrary to the will of Allah. (Surah Al 'Imran: 102; Surah Ya Sin:
11; Surat at-Taghabun: 16; Surat az-Zumar: 23)
- They trust Allah alone.
(Surat al-Baqara: 249; Surat at-Tawba: 25-26)
- They fear no one but Allah.
(Surat al-Ahzab: 39)
- They always feel grateful to Allah. Prosperity or
destitution does not lead them to be boastful or to feel sorry for themselves.
(Surat al-Baqara: 172; Surat al-Isra': 3; Surah Ibrahim: 7)
- They have
certainty in their faith. The thought of turning away from earning the approval
of Allah does not even occur to them. They unceasingly render their services with
ever-increasing zeal and ardour. (Surat al-Hujurat: 15; Surat al-Baqara: 4)
They are committed to the Qur'an. They reorient all their deeds in compliance
with the Qur'anic stance. They immediately disown an attitude once they realise
it is not in conformance with the teachings of the Qur'an. (Surat al-A'raf: 170;
Surat al-Ma'ida: 49; Surat al-Baqara: 121)
- They remember Allah continually.
They know that Allah is ever the Hearer and Seer of everything, and always keep
in mind the eternal might of Allah. (Surah Al 'Imran: 191; Surat ar-Ra'd: 28;
Surat an-Nur: 37; Surat al-A'raf: 205; Surat al-'Ankabut: 45)
- They know
their weakness before Allah. They are humble. (However, this does not mean they
are weak and thus display unconfident attitudes towards people.) (Surat al-Baqara:
286; Surat al-A'raf: 188)
- They know nothing will happen to them, except
what Allah has decreed. They do not become overwrought about anything and always
remain calm and put their trust in Allah. (Surat at-Tawba: 51; Surat at-Taghabun:
11; Surah Yunus: 49; Surat al-Hadid: 22)
- They turn towards the hereafter;
their main target is the hereafter. They also benefit from worldly blessings and
aspire to an environment in this world very similar to paradise. (Surat an-Nisa':
74; Surah Sad: 46; Surat al-A'raf: 31-32)
- They take only Allah and believers
as their friends and intimates. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 55-56; Surat al-Mujadala: 22)
They are the people endued with understanding. Never losing their consciousness
of worshipping, they remain cautious and vigilant at every moment. They always
render services which are in the interests of believers and religion. (Surat al-Mu'min:
54; Surat az-Zumar: 18)
- They strive to the utmost in the way of Allah.
They struggle with disbelievers on intellectual grounds, especially with the leaders
of disbelief. They never feel frustrated or weak-hearted in this struggle. (Surat
al-Anfal: 39; Surat al-Hajj: 78; Surat al-Hujurat: 15; Surat at-Tawba: 12)
They do not hesitate to speak the truth. They do not refrain from telling the
truth because of their fear of others. They do not mind rejecters' ridiculing
and attacking them and are fearless of human censure. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 54, 67;
Surat al-A'raf: 2)
- They resort to various methods to convey Allah's message
and to summon people to Allah's religion. (Surah Nuh: 5-9)
- They do not
oppress others. They are merciful and tender-hearted. (Surat an-Nahl: 125; Surat
at-Tawba 128; Surah Hud: 75)
- They are not carried away by their anger;
they are tolerant and forgiving. (Surah Al 'Imran: 134; Surat al-A'raf: 199; Surat
- They are trustworthy people. They impress people
with their strong personality and make them feel how trustworthy they are. (Surat
ad-Dukhan: 17-18; Surat at-Takwir: 19-21; Surat al-Ma'ida: 12; Surat an-Nahl:
- They are accused of being sorcerers or of being mad. (Surat al-A'raf:
132; Surah Yunus: 2; Surah Sad: 4; Surat al-Hijr: 6; Surat al-Qamar: 9)
They are subjected to oppression. (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 49; 167; Surat al-'Ankabut:
24; Surah Ya Sin: 18; Surah Ibrahim: 6; Surat an-Naml: 49, 56; Surah Hud: 91)
They persevere in the face of adversity. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 2-3; Surat al-Baqara:
156, 214; Surah Al 'Imran: 142, 146, 195; Surat al-Ahzab: 48; Surah Muhammad:
31; Surat al-An'am: 34)
- They have no fear of oppression or death. (Surat
at-Tawba: 111; Surah Al 'Imran: 156-158, 169-171, 173; Surat ash-Shu'ara': 49-50;
Surat as-Saffat: 97-99; Surat an-Nisa': 74)
- They are attacked and plotted
against by disbelievers; they are mocked. (Surat al-Baqara: 14, 212)
are under the protection of Allah. All plots devised against them prove to be
futile. Allah protects them against all slanders and plots and exalts them. (Surah
Al 'Imran: 110-111, 120; Surah Ibrahim: 46; Surat an-Anfal: 30; Surat an-Nahl:
26; Surah Yusuf: 34; Surat al-Hajj: 38; Surat al-Ma'ida: 42, 105; Surat an-Nisa':
- They are on their guard against disbelievers. (Surat an-Nisa': 71,
102; Surah Yusuf : 67)
- They treat Satan and his followers as enemies.
(Surah Fatir: 6; Surat az-Zukhruf 62; Surat al-Mumtahana: 1; Surat an-Nisa': 101;
Surat al-Ma'ida: 82)
- They struggle with hypocrites. They do not keep company
with people displaying hypocritical attributes. (Surat at-Tawba: 83, 95, 123)
They prevent the tyranny of rejecters. (Surat al-Ahzab: 60-62; Surat al-Hashr:
6; Surat at-Tawba: 14-15, 52)
- They act by consulting each other. (Surat
- They do not long for the ostentatious lives of disbelievers.
(Surat al-Kahf: 28; Surat at-Tawba: 55; Surah Ta Ha: 131)
- They are not
impressed by wealth or status. (Surat al-Hajj: 41; Surat al-Qasas: 79-80; Surat
- They practise every act of worship in the best manner. (Surat
al-Baqara: 238; Surat al-Anfal: 3; Surat al-Mu'minun: 1-2)
- They do not
follow the majority, but rather the criteria that Allah has provided. (Surat al-An'am:
- They strive to draw nearer to Allah, and to serve as good examples
for those who believe. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 35; Surah Fatir: 32; Surat al-Waqi'a:
10-14; Surat al-Furqan: 74)
- They are not influenced by Satan. (Surat al-A'raf:
201; Surat al-Hijr: 39-42; Surat an-Nahl: 98-99)
- They do not follow their
fathers blindly. They behave in compliance with Qur'anic teaching. (Surah Ibrahim:
10; Surah Hud: 62, 109)
- They do not let women be ill-treated. (Surat an-Nur:
4; Surat at-Talaq: 6; Surat al-Baqara: 231, 241; Surat an-Nisa': 19)
avoid extravagance. (Surat an-An'am: 141; Surat al-Furqan: 67)
- They guard
their chastity, wed and conduct their married lives in the way Allah desires.
(Surat al-Mu'minun: 5-6; Surat an-Nur: 3, 26, 30; Surat al-Baqara: 221; Surat
al-Ma'ida: 5; Surat al-Mumtahana: 10)
- They are moderate while practising
their worship. (Surat al-Baqara: 143; Surat an-Nisa': 171)
- They are self-sacrificing
people. (Surat al-Insan: 8; Surah Al 'Imran: 92, 134; Surat at-Tawba: 92)
They are careful about being clean. (Surat al-Baqara: 125, 168; Surat al-Muddaththir:
- They attach importance to aesthetics and art. (Surah Saba': 13; Surat
- They do not spy on or backbite believers. (Surat al-Hujurat:
- They avoid jealousy. (Surat an-Nisa': 128)
- They ask for forgiveness
from Allah. (Surat al-Baqara: 286; Surah Al 'Imran: 16-17, 147, 193; Surat al-Hashr:
10; Surah Nuh: 28)
Oppression against Believers
attributes of believers stated above are actually of two kinds:
kind are those which believers display of their own volition; being a servant
to Allah, self-sacrifice, and modesty can be cited amongst these.
kind, however, are those which they evince in matters beyond their control, e.g.
the plots devised against them or their being mocked by disbelievers. In fact,
these are very important in enabling one to identify sincere believers. That is
because many of the attributes displayed by believers are of an "imitable" nature.
For instance, a hypocrite can also practise every act of worship or make sacrifices,
provided that he gains from doing so. But the attributes displayed in situations
beyond their control are "non-imitable," e.g. when disbelievers subject sincere
believers to oppression.
This being the case, these attributes gain great
importance in one's evaluation of believers. To understand whether a community
is one of sincere believers, these criteria, the immutable laws of Allah as explained
in the Qur'an, have to be taken into consideration.
While evaluating verbal
oppression and slanders against Muslims, the events that befell Muslims in the
past should be our reference point. In this sense, the Qur'an gives an account
of the difficulties and slanders encountered by the early Muslims:
did you suppose that you would enter the Garden without facing the same as those
who came before you?... (Surat al-Baqara: 214)
In the verses in which "trials
that came to those who passed away in the past" are related, we come across a
noteworthy point. The enemies of prophets and believers did not say: "These people
believe in Allah and seek His approval" or "These people are not immoral like
us, they possess noble values." On the contrary, they tried to slander believers
and accused them in the most unbecoming manner.
Certainly, they would not
dare to say: "We are rebellious against Allah and we do not observe any moral
limits; we just want to oppress these people who do not serve to benefit us."
It would be unwise to expect these people to make confessions such as: "These
are the people who observe Allah's commands, whereas we are transgressors." On
the contrary, they would strive to legitimise their slanders by maligning believers
and presenting themselves as "decent and honest" people. In the stories related
in the Qur'an, we see the very same method being employed against the believers
of the past.
For example, the Prophet Nuh (as)-like all the other prophets-summoned
his people to serve Allah alone. A system established on the basis of serving
Allah alone surely hampered the advancement of the interests of the leaders of
the society, who acquired wealth and status through a system of disbelief. Surely
these leaders would not agree to say that what Nuh (as) demanded was not in their
interests. On the contrary, they accused him of pursuing his own interests-"status
and prestige." The Qur'an gives an account of this situation as follows:
sent Nuh to his people and he said, "My people, worship Allah. You have no deity
other than Him. So will you not take heed?" The ruling circle of those of his
people who were disbelievers said: "This is nothing but a human being like yourselves
who simply wants to gain ascendancy over you…" (Surat al-Mu'minun: 23-24)
Prophet Musa (as) and the Prophet Harun (as) were exposed to the same accusation.
Pharaoh and his close circle said to them: "Have you come
to us to turn us away from what we found our fathers doing, and to gain greatness
in the land? We do not believe you." (Surah Yunus: 78)
made against believers may reach an unimaginable scale. Throughout history, Allah's
messengers have been accused of "bewitching and deceiving" the believers around
They said, "These two magicians (Musa and Harun) desire
by their magic to expel you from your land and abolish your most excellent way
of life." (Surah Ta Ha: 63)
… The disbelievers say, "This
is a lying magician." (Surah Sad: 4)
The main ambition of those who slander
Muslims is to present an image of a Muslim who has the same vices that they themselves
display. This went to such great lengths that they dared to say of the noble Prophet
Nuh (as): "He is an insolent liar!" (Surat al-Qamar: 25).
Another slander believers are very often exposed to is that of "insanity."
In fact, disbelievers' failure to grasp one important rationale of believers accounts
for this slander. Having no concept of "earning the approval of Allah," disbelievers
have difficulty in understanding the acts of believers that are aimed at this
goal alone. They fail to comprehend why believers, who obviously pursue no interests
for the services they render, devote their lives to Allah. In their eyes, such
an idealistic attitude can be nothing but "insanity." Throughout history, they
have often employed this slander. Of the Prophet Musa (as), Pharaoh said: "This
Messenger, who has been sent to you, is mad." (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 27)
Also, when denying the Prophet Nuh (as), his people said, "He
is a madman." (Surat al-Qamar: 9).
Leaving these aside, believers
were also accused of adultery. The Prophet Yusuf (as) and Maryam (as), the role
models to follow for all faithful men and women, are noble people who were exposed
to this slander. Furthermore, disbelievers accused many prophets of "being
in plain error." (Surat al-A'raf: 60).
But it would not be correct
to assume that all these events pertain to the past. The Qur'an informs us that
other believers may have the very same experiences. Accordingly, each believer
advocating the true religion, thereby disturbing those who are far removed from
the values of that religion, is vulnerable to the same accusations and slanders.
We need to keep in mind that what disbelievers spread about Muslims may
be part of such a slander campaign. As the Qur'an advises, prior to extensive
investigation, we must avoid believing in such news spread by "deviators." Of
this Allah warns us as follows:
You who believe! If
a deviator brings you a report, scrutinize it carefully in case you attack people
in ignorance and so come to greatly regret what you have done. (Surat al-Hujurat: