1. Does the remembrance of Allah (Zikrullah) make your heart tremble?
2. Does your Faith (Eiman) increase when verses of the Holy Quran are recited?
3. Do you have complete trust (Tawakkul) in Allah Subhanuhu wa T'ala?
4. Do you establish Salah (Prayer)?
5. Do you spend of what Allah Subhanuhu wa T'ala has given you?
If you answered yes to all the five questions above, Allah T'ala has great rewards for you.
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا لَّهُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ
(8:2) The true believers are those who, when Allah's name is mentioned, their hearts tremble, and when His verses are recited to them their faith grows, and who put their trust in their Lord;
(8:3) who establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them.
(8:4) Such people are indeed true believers. They have high ranks with their Lord, and forgiveness for their sins and an honorable sustenance.
A man's faith grows as he is able to confirm and submit to the command of God which he comes across. This is especially so where he submits to commands which go against his own personal predilections. A man's faith attains great heights if instead of trying to twist and distort the commands of God and the Prophet (peace he on him), he develops the habit of accepting and submitting to all the commands of God and the Prophet (peace be on him); if he strives to shape his conduct to the teachings which go against his personal opinions and conceptions, which are contrary to his habits, interests and convenience, which are not in consonance with his loyalties and friendships. For if he hesitates to respond positively to God's command, his faith is diminished. One thus learns that faith is not a static, immobile object. Nor is every, act of belief, or unbelief, of the same quality. An act of belief may be better or worse than another act of belief. Likewise, an act of unbelief may differ in quality from another act of unbelief. For both belief and unbelief, are capable of growth and decline.
All this concerns the essence of belief and unbelief. However, when belief and unbelief are mentioned as a basis for membership of the Muslim community or in connection with legal rights and responsibilities as necessary corollaries of that membership, a clear line of demarcation has to be drawn between those who believe and those who do not. In this respect the determination of who is a believer and who is not will depend on the basic minimum of belief regardless of quality of belief. In an Islamic society all those who believe will be entitled to the same legal rights and will be required to fulfil the same duties regardless of the differences in the quality of their faith. Likewise, all unbelievers - regardless of the differences in the quality of their unbelief - will be placed in the category of unbelievers disregarding the question whether their unbelief is of an ordinary quality or an extremely serious one.
Even the best and the most devoted believers are liable to commit lapses. As long as man is man, it is impossible for his record to be filled exclusively with righteousness of the highest order and to be free from all lapses, shortcomings and weaknesses. Out of His infinite mercy, however, God overlooks man's shortcomings as long as he fulfils the basic duties incumbent upon him as God's servant, and favours him with a reward far greater than that warranted by his good works. Had it been a rule that man would be judged strictly on the basis of his deeds, that he would be punished for every evil deed and rewarded for every good deed, no man, howsoever righteous, would have escaped punishment. (Tafheemul Quran)
Compiled by Dr. Ishaq Zahid
March 28, 2008
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