Two Sanctuaries – Taqwa and Repentance

Everyone of us see calamities, hardships, and difficulties in our lives. We try to overcome and get rid of them to best of our ability utilizing all available resources.

Allah taala tells us that

(ظَہَرَ الۡفَسَادُ فِی الۡبَرِّ وَالۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا کَسَبَتۡ اَیۡدِی النَّاسِ لِیُذِیۡقَہُمۡ بَعۡضَ الَّذِیۡ عَمِلُوۡا لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ )
[Surah Ar-Rum 41] Calamities have appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of the people have earned, so that He (Allah) makes them taste some of what they did, in order that they may return (to the right way).

My Shaikh Hazrat Maulana Jalil Ahmed Akhoon Sb damat barkatuham says there are only two sanctuaries for the believers where they can find refuge against those calamities and difficulties.

First sanctuary is practicing Taqwa or Piety. On every occasion, under all circumstances, when alone or in front of thousands, the person who refrains from what displeases Him surely finds light at the end of the tunnel.

(  وَمَنۡ یَّتَّقِ اللّٰہَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّہٗ مَخۡرَجًا ۙ )
[Surah At-Talaq 2] Whoever fears Allah, He brings forth a way out for him

Second sanctuary is the repentance or Istaghfar. No matter if a person is a habitual sinner or a pious person, repentance will no doubt help. My Shaikh Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Sb RA used to say that while sinners repent on there sins, a religious person who is apparently pious should also repent on the deficiency of sincerity and selflessness. It is reported in a hadith

من لَزِمَ الاستغفار جعل الله له من كل ضِيقٍ مخرجًا، ومن كل هَمٍّ فرجًا، وَرَزَقَهُ من حيث لا يحتسب

The one who makes it mandatory to do repentance, Allah taala opens door for him in every difficult situation and He keeps him away from the sorrow and grief and provides sustenance from where he cannot think of it.

The above two treasures Piety as and Repentance are no doubt sanctuaries from calamities and difficulties. However, their far bigger advantage is that they create our friendship with our Lord and help us find Him in our hearts.

Patience and its rewards

Quran says that for sure Allah Taala will test us in this world by inducing a bit of sufferings and those who observe patience upon those sufferings will be awarded rewards not only in the here-after but in this world too.

(وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّکُمۡ بِشَیۡءٍ مِّنَ الۡخَوۡفِ وَالۡجُوۡعِ وَنَقۡصٍ مِّنَ الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَالۡاَنۡفُسِ وَالثَّمَرٰتِ ؕ  وَبَشِّرِ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ۙ ۝ الَّذِیۡنَ اِذَاۤ اَصَابَتۡہُمۡ مُّصِیۡبَۃٌ ۙ  قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ ؕ)
[Surah Al-Baqarah 155 – 156]

Surely We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger, and loss in wealth and lives and fruits, and give good tidings to the patient. who, when a suffering visits them, say: “We certainly belong to Allah, and to Him we are bound to return.”

My Shaikh Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Sb RA whenever recite these verses used to stress on the word بِشَیۡءٍ . He was such a great person that he would always give hope to the ummah. He says that the word بِشَیۡءٍ shows that the believers should not be afraid of these sufferings and observe patience as these sufferings will be very limited and scanty in nature and will be for a short duration.

Losses in business, low grades in academics, financial burden, illness in the family, fear of foes, car crash are few examples of these sufferings. When we observe patience, as these sufferings start pinching, believe that this is the very moment of our victory. Tidings are given on some extraordinary achievement not on ordinary labor.

My Shaikh Hazrat Maulana Jalil Ahmed Akhoon sb damat barakatuham elaborates that patience not only means to accede to the sufferings but also to believe that there must be some hidden betterment that Allah taala wants me to have in lieu of these sufferings.

Allah taala has taught us to recite اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ whenever we are afflicted by a suffering. This not only helps in reducing the heatbreaking feelings but the person will also be rewarded with a better alternative in this world, inshaallah.

Re-Embracing Islam

During the Hajj season, a small group of men and women from Madina came to Allah’s apostle (Sallalaho Alaihiwassallam) and invited him to Madina. “Don’t think that we are like Bani Israel, who told their prophet to go alone and fight with the enemies”, said one person. On another occasion they said, “We are the people who have made a promise that we will obey you in whatever situation … till the last drop of our blood”.

In those days, everybody knew that embracing Islam was not a piece of cake. They knew that they will have to obey Allah’s Prophet at any cost. AbuBakr
(RadhiyAllaho anh) knew that he might loose all his wealth, might face a social boycott and bear animosities just by accepting Islam. Bilal (RadhiyAllaho anh) knew that he would no longer be an ordinary slave; he might be subjected to a bed of red-hot coke just by uttering the kalima. These are not just two examples; every Muslim from as weakest as Sumayya RA to one from the affluent class Mas’ab bin Umair RA was more or less in the same situation. Can we visualize the horrible situation Muslims had to face at that time?

But wait a minute. Why were they getting fanatic? There could have been ways of pleasing everybody, which most of the hypocrites were adopting, but the Companions were rigid in their oath, “We have promised that we will obey Mohammad (Sallalaho Alaihiwassallam) ………..”. Why were they so stubborn?
Why they did not opt the easy way instead of sacrificing their lives? Why were they going against their society, their descendants, and even their own human desires? Was there any lust behind their actions? No.

They knew they had embraced Islam; which means now they would not pay attention to whatever was forbidden, no matter how advantageous it looked, no matter what the circumstances were, at any cost! And not only this; they would adhere to Islamic code of life; no matter how inconvenient the Islamic alternative “looked like”; no matter what the circumstances would be, at any cost! Although it is not part of
this discussion, but it is worth mentioning that in less than 25 years and by strictly obeying the Prophet (Sallalaho Alaihiwassallam), peoples from Mauritania to Iran accepted Islam and a time came when there were no recipient of dunes of gold and silver in Madina.

The holy Prophet inculcated Islam into hearts and minds of his companions. The society, which was indulged in
idolism, injustice, falsehood, alcoholism, adultery, usury, and hatred towards women etc., was completely changed in its actions and the way of thinking just because of the spirit of obedience.

After that point, men were satisfied with their apparent business losses because of telling truth and not taking interest, women were happy to observe veil, even with those who otherwise they used to intermingle freely, in the deserts in scorching sunny days. It was easy for men and women to lower their gazes against all the desires. It was easy for them to leave their ripen date trees, their only source of income, unattended when they were called for the Battle of Tabuk. Men from Arabian Desert were happily wandering into lands of China, Armenia and jungles of Africa, living thousands of miles away from their homes just to spread Islam.

Why were they all satisfied? Why were these things easy for them but not to us? Just because of the spirit of obedience. Because they knew that they had submitted themselves wholeheartedly to Islam. Now they could not do or think whatever way they wished; now they were under the shelter of Islam, which automatically prevents them from whatever was harmful to them and will provide them with all the benefits of lives of both worlds. They indoctrinated this belief into themselves.

When we claim ourselves to be Muslim why are we not ready to submit to Islam and throw away all other ideas, thinking, and philosophies?

Are we ready to submit ourselves to Islam? Ask yourself. Are we ready to mold ourselves according to Islamic values,
ideology and obligations no matter how much hardships we have to face?

نہ شود نصیب دشمن کہ شود ہلاک تیغد

سر دوستاں سلامت کہ تو خنجر آزمائی