Friday, April 1, 2011

Something To Think About!

I came across this Hadith just now, and it made me think a few things I'd like to share. The Hadith is:

Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wasallam) said: "Whoever meets Allaah , without associating partners with Him, will enter Paradise; and whoever meets Him as one who associated anything with Him, will enter the Fire.” [Saheeh Muslim] 

My first impression on reading this Hadith was pretty joyous. I mean, how hard can it be..?  For an average Muslim, there is no God but Allah. So no sweat right?

But you see, the simplistic explanation (dil ko behlanay wali) is always the base-line - or the zeroth level... or the co-ordinate (0,0)... any way you like. The meaning always builds up in layers, on the base line. The base is 'belief in One God, that is Allah SWT' ..sure. But what are the layers of multiple and additional meanings upon this one sentence (so coherent Masha Allah. Note how compact the saying is...and what wealth of meaning it carries behind it).

Now, the following thinking I am typing down is no way supposed to imply that I am some big scholar who has grasped the ENTIRE meaning of this Hadith - no way. So just a disclaimer: This post is not the be-all end-all of the Hadith.

So now to the layers of meaning. Note the saying again.. The Hadith says, and whoever meets Him as one who associated anything with Him, will enter the Fire.

The Hadith could have said "And whoever meets Him as one who associated another GOD with Him, will enter the Fire"  - but it's saying the word 'anything' ... Hence, the layers of meaning begin to add up.

1. Wealth
We should ask ourselves this question: Have we ever equated wealth with  God ... (some might answer, outraged 'NO' ) .. *grin*. Maybe some of ustruly haven't. But this is one of the common-est entity taken to be greater than God Himself. How, you may ask?
  • Ever seen somebody making wealth/more wealth/more and more wealth by doing things that are forbidden in Islam? Like, singing ?? Movies?? Production of indecent movies ?? Development of malicious software ?? 
  • Plagiarizing others' work and submitting it in order to earn money?? Hence, indulging in dishonesty...
  • Doing/Solving somebody else's assignment/work - or writing somebody's homework - in order to earn money? (extremely common in the freelance writing world)
  • Ever seen people involved in vulgarity (on streets, on the internet, behind closed doors etc) ... all to make money?
  • Ever seen people accumulating wealth via interest - investing in modern banking schemes that are sure to earn them interest and give them 'accumulation' and 'silah' of their 'good credit history' ???
  • Ever seen people indulging in leaking out exam papers, and selling the copies for millions?
  • Ever seen sportsmen throwing a match, or doing spot fixing in order to earn millions?
  • Ever seen politicians, willing to sell out their own country-men/women, letting lose murderers, and glorifying thieves - all in the name of 'national interest' whereas it's not actually anybody's interest, but their own pockets' ??
  • I can go on here :P
So the point is... wealth is one of the biggest false-gods ever... and all the people (me included by the way) - if they do stuff that is forbidden by Allah SWT, but they still do so in order to earn money, then they're not taking Allah SWT as God, but money as god.

2. Personal Glory
This is one more pitfall where people (maybe unknowingly too) may fall into. The implication is that one is okay with doing stuff forbidden by Allah SWT, for the sake of personal glory (or self glorification). In it, there are several examples - some of which are:
  • First and foremost: Lying! Lying about events, twisting them in certain ways, adding or subtracting information, adding spicy bits, telling a tale in a much humorous manner so that one can be appreciated in a crowd.. all these fall in this category. The conclusion: One has put his/her own personal glory above the commands of Allah SWT. And btw, a lil bit of spice here and there also constitutes as lying.. so one should be REALLY careful ... :S (it's a hard thing to adopt waisay: control of the tongue to this extent.. but one should at least try their level best to practice it).
  • Backbiting : Talking bad or silly about somebody behind their backs. One of the most common ways (and most common in girls :(...) to put your own glory/personal aims in front of the command of Allah. And btw, this command (of refraining from backbiting) has come in the Holy Quran! Surah Hujarat.. That's one major sin if not obeyed! 
  • Sarcasm: One of the most subtle ways of getting personal glory. The more sarcastic you are, chances are you will be considered the 'funniest' and 'most hilarious' and 'zinda-dil' person in a crowd. But one should remember, that sarcasm is also one command explicitly mentioned in the Quran (Surah Hujarat again) and this should not be indulged in.. ever! (Girls should be cautioned more here... again :'(...) - no matter how 'dumb' the other person is, and how much 'he/she deserved it!' :S
So for personal glory, people may be all willing to diss each other, tell tales on each other, report their wrong-doings in public etc.

3. Time
Time is another entity that becomes a major reason for not obeying the commands of Allah SWT. Simple examples include
  • Not praying namaaz (fardh salah!) on time because of lack of time
  • Not reading the Quran regularly cuz of lack of time ( :((  )
  • Not educating one-self with knowledge of deen, because there isn't enough time 
  • etc
This is an easy trap to fall into and no wonder Allah SWT Swears by TIME in Surah Asar, that man is surely in great loss.

4. Entertainment
What don't we do in the 'name' of entertainment ? Think about it:
  • Total disrespect of Islamic traditions when our television sets (or PC) is on...
  • When we're watching hilarious comedy stuff on TV/internet and that comedy involves some pretty seriously vulgar stuff
  • When TV shows and dramas involving 'extra-marital affairs' and 'mum-and-daughter-running-after-same-man' become commonly accepted and even 'loved' because they're so entertaining
  • When shows like 'Friends' and some Urdu version of it too become totally hit - even though their content also involves some blatant disobedience to rules set by Allah SWT
  • When April Fool's day becomes 'just a joke yaar' - not caring about the fact that 'just a joke' might be taken seriously by somebody (hence, it can be dangerous) and dishonesty isn't really permitted by Allah, no matter how 'hilariously entertaining' it is...
  • When celebrating 'Valentine's Day' becomes 'just a day to express some love yar, it can be b/w mum and child too!' -- when everybody knows the real entertainment value comes from the prohibited kinda love and not the permitted kinda love..
  • I can go on here :P

May Allah Prevent us from falling into the traps of Shirk - in any shape, form and texture. Ameeen

Lastly, an inspiring close to this post:

"If you desire Allah to be persistent in granting you the thing you love, be persistent in doing the things He loves." [Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal]

[So .. :) one implication of the above is that how on earth could we expect our duas to be accepted for this semi-final when we were involved in so many things which Allah Does NOT Love , wrt this game? Namely: waste of time, mixed functions where girls and guys could dance and cheer the team etc etc]

16 comments:

Moon said...

Beautiful post .. The closing hadith is an absolute marvel ..

Just to add to your list: To accept the democratic system of governance in which sovereignty to legislate is assigned to the 'people' is also Shirk that we, rather generations of us, are commonly involved in.

Uni said...

@Moon
JazakAllah khair :)

I agree to your addition - but not completely. This is because currently, if you scan the government systems ALL around the world, there is no country or government where Muslims might turn to - in the hope that they can find 100% sovereignty belonging to Allah SWT alone. The system was destroyed in (& corrupted much before) 1921 [if im not wrong]. The system WILL Insha Allah be established again - with the coming of Imam Mahdi - if not before, and THEN there should be a conscious and serious effort to live in this system, rather than pledging an oath to any other state entity/human.

The effort of establishing such a state, can of course be made. In a non-violent but pro-active manner. Sure.

Thanks for dropping by!

Moon said...

Oh! So you don't completely agree. And the reason being that all the existing systems all around the world are based on principles that lead to Shirk and so it justifies for us to accept them as they are. I see!

majworld said...

gud post..bt with respect, i bit disagree abt money, personal glory, time, entertainment..they r sins, but they dun come under shirk in my opinion unless u r not doing shirk in allah's zaat and safat..a muslim can fall into trap and move towards wrong path..i saw this video few days back frm zakir naik abt shirk..may b its a better definition..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg120UfnfF8

Uni said...

@Moon
No you don't. What I meant was, that the people right now (due to the correct alternative not being available) are not classified as 'Shirk-practicing' out of their own choice. If there was such an alternative available, and they would have preferred to pledge to a 'state', then your point would have been understandable. That's why I am reluctant to include this point in one of the categories of shirk.

Consider this. If I were to move to France (from Pakistan) knowing that wahan per hijaab is banned in universities, etc. That would be a wrong decision.. but if I were to move to say, Switzerland.. from Pak.. it wouldn't make much difference, because the system of govt. is same.

So a/c to Quran, you're supposed to travel and live in a place where you can practice your deen best. In today's scenario, if we want to improve this 'system of govt' factor in our deen, there is no place to go to!

Hope you understand.

Uni said...

@Majworld
You are right to disagree. Because I surely didn't mean that if we watch a movie with stupid scenes, we're going to be thrown straight into Hell. The maamla of going to heaven or hell is to be decided by Allah. And Allah Has Given us only one hint in the Quran, and that is that He is not going to Forgive Shirk (and that's the major kind of shirk - associating gods with Him).

The layers of meaning I meantioned, only point out the various other things, we put above the Commands of Allah ...(check all examples.. they all put the commands of Allah on the back-burner).. and do them because of reasons like 'entertainment', 'no-time' etc..

And these things, though not classified in major shirk, are nonetheless sins - which should be avoided.

Hope this was clear. Thanks very much for your input.

Have posted another post regarding major and minor sin.

Sis the Priss said...

Lovely post, Uni!

However, I think one point that precedes all the points that you have mentioned is: nafs (desires). In this day and age, people have taken their nafs as their God, instead of Allah (swt). Since they have given preference to their Nafs, the concept of Allah (swt) as ilah as taken a convenient back seat. When one is subservient to one's Nafs, then naturally one runs after personal glory, wealth and all the things you have mentioned. And that is indeed a form of shirk as the Quran says:

"Have you seen the one who has taken his own desire as his god? Would you then be a guardian over him?" [Al-Furqan:43]

Sis the Priss said...

To Moon:

As long as the basis of our constitution (even if it is only theoretically) is the Objectives Resolution, we cannot really say that following our government is a form of Shirk.

Uni said...

@Sis the Priss
Oh thank you!

And I remembered 'nafs' late at night and thought of adding it in the list. It should be number 1 in the list! You are absolutely right!

What isn't there that we don't do just because 'dil chah raha tha'. JazakAllah for the Ayah reference :) and for beautifully tying all the points together !

Thanks for dropping by.

PS: Aray haan, the Objectives Resolution ... I totally forgot. But er, the leaders don't at ALL follow it nee? Warna, we wouldn't have had the riba-based banking system (among other things) as state policy, would we??

Noor said...

bohat bohat bohat he pyari baatein ki! and we must start acting on em in order to save ourselves from Hell rather than just praying that Allah help us in it. as it is said: "Verily, Allah will not change a condition of people unless they change what is in themselves" (13:11)

Moon said...

@Sis the Priss
You may be right. But in my humble opinion, even though the Objectives Resolution begins with the proclamation that ‘sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone’, it adopts a purely secular approach in the implementation of this sovereignty. It fails to declare explicitly that Quran and Sunnah are supposed to be the source of all legislation. Consequently, the Qu’ran or Sunnah have not been used to derive any of the 280 articles of the constitution. Rather, these 280 articles are an outcome of human thinking and judgement alone, with no reference whatsoever to the Quran and Sunnah. So even theoretically, in our constitution, man is the source of legislation and not the Quran and Sunnah (which is manifestly Shirk imho).

Uni said...

@Noor
JazakAllah so much :) that was a nice cheer-upy comment!
And yes! You made a good point.. we're supposed to act first and pray along the way!

jazakAllah for the reminder!

Tauqeer said...

Lovely post.

Uni said...

JazakAllah :)

[and I can safely say a not-so-lovely-one is coming up :$]

MAK said...

@moon
I think we should do some legal case study to clarify this point as i think during the trial there must be some references to Quran and Hadith and hence they have a role.
Still you are right there are some ambiguities in our constitution, for example president can pardon any one he want to irrespective of his crime.

@uni
I agree 100 % with most of ur points.

i disagree with one point (unless u explain it to me)..."Doing/Solving somebody else's assignment/work ............"

Does this implies that every service provider is on the wrong path. That doesn't sound good.

I think only person who could be blamed is the person who cheats.

Uni said...

@MAK
By doing somebody else's work, I was referring to the wayyy common practice of getting your homework/assignment/essays etc done from other people for a fee - and then presenting the work as done by YOU - thus deceiving the teacher and getting undeserved marks..

I was talking from the person who provides such a service's point of view (halaankeh dono parties are in the wrong)... because that person is (for the sake of money) indulging in basic dishonesty and deceiving - something prohibited by Allah SWT.

Service providers aren't doing our work for a fee - that we claim as our own. They're providing services (e.g mobile communications, say) and taking a halal income out of providing that service.

Hope you understand.