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Friday, November 21, 2008

Iman: Protect & Perfect

Bismillahi ar-Rahman ar-Raheem

Indeed all praise is naturally and rightfully due to Allah and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His final messenger, Muhammad, and all his family and companions. May Allah forgive the sins and reward immensely those steadfastly committed to the guidance He has sent down as it was received, conveyed and exemplified by our beloved prophet, Muhammad, salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam.

Iman, or faith, to the Muslim should not be mistaken for knowledge. The pinnacle of faith, as Muhammad, 'alayhi wa-salaatu wa-salaam, as explained is "la ilaha ill Allah". But simply knowing the meaning of "la ilaha ill Allah" is but the first condition of our Iman, our Kalima, "la ilaha ill Allah". There are those who aren't even Muslim who know and understand the meaning of "la ilaha ill Allah". There are those who aren't even Muslim having more knowledge of our Deen than most Muslims themselves. So does such knowledge by itself make them Muslim? Nay, it is the implementation, sincere devotion and love of "la ilaha ill Allah" that truly makes one Muslim.

It is not sufficient that we but retain the knowledge and meaning of "la ilaaha ill Allah". It must be placed into practice. This is a reminder to myself more than anyone else. It is a reminder to me, most of all, that the preservation and development of our Iman relies heavily on our abstinence and resistance to anything that compromises or conflicts with our Iman. Even if those things are halal. If we find comfort or solace in anything to the extent that we'd rather or tend to turn to it instead of Allah than we should desist from that desire. As Allah told us, it is the Believers whose hearts tremble and find comfort in hearing the recitation of the Qur'an; not that they should prefer anything besides the Qur'an or what it calls to as a source of ease or relaxation.

It is my sincere plea to Allah that we, Muslims, ponder the lesson discussed here and by our sincerity may Allah improve us. May we continually increase and strengthen in iman, hikma, taqwa and knowledge of His Deen and may we identify and resist those things which turn us away from our obligation as Believers. May we persistently carry out His Deen and properly equip ourselves to explain His Deen and even defend it against the manifold lies, insults and misconceptions we may encounter.


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