THE Prophet ﷺ said: “There will come a time of patience when the one who adheres steadfastly to his religion will be like one who holds a burning coal.” [Al-Tirmidhi, no. 2260, authenticated by Al-Albani]
Strange, strange times we are passing through. In one part of the world, a man may grow up in a land where he has never heard of anything except Islam; while in another place, a woman may struggle and face isolation while trying to adhere to this ‘strange’ religion. The former may spend his life praying, fasting and giving charity, while the other may even die in persecution. Most of us will lie in shades of gray between these two black and white realities.
Without doubt several Muslims around the world are going through severe trials. They are being pressured to accept beliefs, systems and lifestyles that other societies have termed ‘ideal’ instead of the Islamic ones.
A man sporting a beard may become an ‘extremist’, women should remove their veils to either be ‘liberated’, and youth cannot ‘fit in’ unless they drink in pubs to socialize.
What do you do when the world tells you to be ashamed of your identity and your path that you know with full conviction is true? What do you do when holding on to your faith is akin to holding on to burning coals?
Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid has written an excellent book, translated into English, “Means of Steadfastness: Standing Firm in Islam” that I recommend everyone to read. A simple google search will give links to the several sites that have published this book online, including his official website IslamQA.com.
First thing we should do when we face such – or any – trouble is turn to Allah for help. Address your du’aa to him. He has heard us and answered our prayers in our most difficult times in the past, He provides us and has given what we didn’t even ask for, so to Him we need to turn – and expect – help.
Realize how futile and weak their system is. Ideas, values and beliefs keep changing in today’s world. What was good yesterday, is bad today; what is bad today, is good tomorrow!
A fine example is that of views toward multiculturalism. Yesterday, the idea of diversity and respecting people’s cultures, religions and backgrounds was in fad. Yesterday, they loved and welcomed immigrants. Today they are expressing and voting for opposite beliefs. Their system of democracy allows them to change the truths they so claimed to hold dear – leaving the immigrants, who left their lands behind, scratching their heads as to how a nation can renegade on its promises.
This is what happens when man is left to decide on what is good and bad. Man is in need of divine laws and man is in need of submitting to the Divine.
Islam is Allah’s religion. Its principles never change and its pure teachings always remain the same. Islam is the only way for success. Our history proves this. When Muslims ruled the world, we provided stability, safety and prosperity for a long period of time. Unlike other empires or world powers, our rule spanned for centuries and centuries.
This was undoubtedly due to the blessing of Islam. Any path that is different from that of Islam’s is bound to fail. Those who stuck to Islam, despite what people around them said in their time, have always emerged victorious.
The examples are too many, but the point is: don’t be weakened. Be strong and stand firm, because, by Allah, you are upon the truth.
At work and at social gatherings, your adherence to Islam may be questioned and ridiculed, but that should not deter you. Practice Islam with confidence and depend only on Allah. He is your provider and protector, not the people.
Allah will surely make you victorious.
“So, do not become weak, nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers.” [Qur’an, 3:139]
What is required of us is to be true believers. He will test us to see if our faith is truthful. But the victory in the end is ours. We fail, not because of our enemies, but because of our sins.