بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Indeed Allah is praised whether we praise Him or not. Yet humbly we praise Him seeking His aid, guidance and mercy. We are penitent to Him. We seek protection in Allah from the evil in ourselves and the evil resulting from our deeds. Among us whom Allah guides, none can misguide and whomever Allah allows to tread their own path, no one among us can guide. Outwardly, inwardly, publicly and privately do I declare that there is nothing worthy of our worship, our du'a, our raka'at, our sajdah, our tawbah, our veneration except Allah, independent of all while all are dependent on Him. And inside my heart and outside my mouth do I testify that the final Messenger of Allah and perfect personification of Allah's Message whom which all of mankind should strive to emulate is Muhammad ibn Abdullah, may Allah's peace and blessings eternally be upon him.
May we continually increase in our iman, our taqwa and tawakul. May we become increasingly aware that all knowledge and ability is granted by Allah alone and that we cannot attain in knowledge beyond what Allah has made accessible. May we remind ourselves that we are not the guides of ourselves. That guidance comes only from Allah. As such, we should beseech His Guidance. And for the errors in our ways and ibadah, individually and collectively, may Allah make them apparent to us so we might have the option of turning away from them and sticking to that which is pure and straight. May we strive in adhering to al-Deen ul-Haqq purely as Allah decreed and His Messenger exemplified and not as Shaitan or our desires would influence, sway, mislead and deceive us into thinking it is. And may we act upon it sincerely and solely for the sake of Allah and His Mercy. Ameen!
Have in mind that I am not at all excludible to a single observation I should point out herein. But let's consider just how easily and comfortably we will leave what is clear and engage in that containing much doubt. Sometimes we forget that Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam lived in a time were he was enveloped and confronted by all the vices, festivities, harassment, discrimination, temptations and pleasures we witness and experience in our contemporary societies. Tenfold even. So all matters have been covered, what Muhammad ordered, did and/or would do is clear and readily accessible especially in this internet age for those sincerely seeking guidance. Yet many of us still make lousy excuses for not wearing hijab, not wearing the beard, for listening to music, for neglecting the salat, for not taking the time to advance our knowledge in this beautiful Deen, etc. Is it that we don't see by doing so we are abandoning the Sunnah? What help, forgiveness or guidance are we worthy to receive from Allah when we aren't responding to the very purpose Allah placed us here in the first place?
We say our intentions are good, fooling ourselves to thinking Allah will judge the intention and negate the action. If the act was doubtful or worse, clearly haraam, then just how good are our "good" intentions really? Instead, we should concentrate on placing our good intentions behind good deeds and leave that which is doubtful. Fear Allah and concern ourselves with only looking good in His Sight. And turning to Him in repentance when we forget. For we all forget. We all sin. But may we be among those whom Muhamamd salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam described as the BEST of those who forget and the best of sinners. Ya Rabb, Ameen!
None will attain happiness from any source other than Allah except that they will also experience displeasure and unhappiness from that very source. Even loved ones and family will at times dissatisfy or displease us. Spouses and children will disappoint us and likewise we will disappoint them. It is ONLY through the remembrance of Allah and the steadfast commitment to that which Allah called us to that we will achieve perpetual, unceasing peace and happiness. May Allah azza wa jall improve and purify our living, our affairs and conditions. May He improve us as His servants thereby enhancing in our roles and responsibilities in this life. Ameen.
We can reach but so far, so fast in satisfying the needs and desires of our bodies, but how long before we despair and border ourselves to the brink of complete mindlessness and suicide when we've neglected to satisfy the needs of our souls? Allah says of such people what means:
"Have you seen such a one who takes for his god his own passion and impulse?... They are but as cattle; nay, they are worse astray in path." Surah al-Furqan ayat 43-44
Worse than lesser animals Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala describes them. Worse because they reject and turn away even after knowledge has reached them.
"...but of NO profit to them were their faculties of hearing, sight, heart and intellect when they went on denying the revelations of Allah; and they were completely encircled by that which they used to mock!" -Surah al-Ahqaf ayah 26
What else differentiates between the Believer and rejector besides that the Believer rightfully and naturally worships Allah, Lord and Creator, alone without partners, equals or opponent? What separates them except that one loves what Allah loves and despises what He hates? Enjoins what He deems good and avoids what He warned is evil?
We tuck ourselves in bed to meet morning appointments. How many of us are waking in time for Fajr to actually pray salaat ul-Fajr? We disappoint and worry ourselves when we're late on appointments, such as work or some other engagement. How many of us experience this kind of concern when we're late or have missed the time bracket for a particular obligatory salaat? We study and prepare for school tests. How many of us, with mathced intensity, are preparing for Akhira? Have we made dunya our ultimate goal? Have we slipped into valuing dunya beyond its worth?
I think among the main, cursed habits we have to break out of is this whole "in'sha'Allah" syndrome. We keep saying "in'sha'Allah, I'll start praying", "in'sha'Allah, I'll start this", "in'sha'Allah, I'll stop doing this and start doing that." Let's be honest with ourselves, because in reality, with such an attitude, we'll only end up in our graves never having doing what we always promised to do tomorrow.
"O you who believe! Answer the call of Allah and His Messenger when He calls you to that which will give you your life." -Surah al-Anfal ayah 45