By Sister Mary
Remember when you were a child and it was so tempting to steal that cookie when Mom wasn’t looking? And later in life when you were trying so hard to close that business deal and just that one tiny lie would have clinched the deal for you? Ah, so tempting. Nobody would know…surely they wouldn’t even notice… what’s the harm? And that’s assuming you had some form of internal moral compass. What if you didn’t (and we know many in this world who apparently don’t)?
One of the core beliefs of a Muslim is that he is never alone and nothing he says, does or even thinks ever goes unnoticed.
He is “the All-Seeing, All-Hearing” [2:137].
Allah sees and knows everything. Nothing escapes Him, even what is in our hearts and on our minds. Even if nobody saw you do it, He did. Even if you said something kind but meant otherwise, He knows what was really in your heart. Even if you gave secretly in charity and nobody else knew about it, He knows.
“And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. ” [6:59]
“They conceal [their evil intentions and deeds] from the people, but they cannot conceal [them] from Allah.” [4:108]
A person is accountable for whatever evil that they do, so while they may think they “got away with it” in their lifetime, their punishment awaits in the Hereafter (this concept will be covered in a later lesson).
“Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you about what you used to do. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.” [39:7]
Thus, remembrance of Allah is the moral compass that Muslims carry - a compass that gives them HOPE for all the good they do (that they will eventually receive their due reward, even if it isn’t always appreciated by those around them) and FEAR for all the wrong they commit (that they will have to pay for it in the end, even if they get away with it in this life).
What good is an amazing machine if the inventor doesn’t provide a manual so that others may understand how to use it? If used well, it can bring about much benefit for the user and those around them. If used wrongly, the machine serves no function or breaks down, benefitting no one.
Likewise, Islam teaches that having created us, Allah did not simply leave us without a “manual”, expecting us to go through life aimlessly and without a sense of purpose or understanding. He has (through His revelations and Prophets) sent down His guidance to us so that we may optimize our time on earth. Whether we read and follow the instructions in the manual, read but choose to ignore the instructions, or not even try to read it at all - the choice is ours to make and the consequences will be ours to bear.
“…And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [2:38]
“…And whoever is guided is only guided for (the benefit of) himself…” [27:92]
What then is this manual of Guidance, how do we establish its authenticity and what is answer to the all-important question of “What is the Purpose of Life?”.
Next lesson: The Purpose of Life.
[Islam 101 is specially brought to you by sister Mary, Vice President of MRM]
Resource: Facebook (Multiracial Reverted Muslims)
24 May 2016