By Alia Moin Adil and Umm Isam
Freelance Writer, Certified Life Coach and Hiba Magazine Writers
During the current testing times, when we are witnessing some of the minor signs of the Last Hour, there are questions we all need to ask ourselves:
- As a Muslim Ummah, where are we headed?
- How do we reclaim our lost Muslim identity?
- How do we identify and tackle the trials we are facing today?
- Most importantly, how will we be remembered personally in history?
Seldom do we think about ourselves as characters shaping tomorrow’s history. What we choose today and the kind of life we live now will decide our future life after death and how others will perceive our contributions left behind after we are gone from this world.
We all know that some names live on as Allah (swt) Al Aziz, The Mighty grants them honour centuries after their demise, such as the prophets and the Sahabah. Some names are synonymous with evil and their disgraceful identities are remembered for the worst crimes. Some people came and conquered silently as unsung heroes and left this world reaping rewards in their graves and Allah (swt) promises them a sound resurrection. Some misfortunate ones came and left the world unnoticed, entirely wasted and long forgotten because they did not avail the opportunities Allah (swt) presented to them to make a difference that leaves behind a mark of impact. Who are you among these? What will be your legacy?
Allah (swt) states in the Quran: “Indeed it is We Who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they have left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register.” (Ya Seen 36:12)
So it is wrong to think that our life belongs to us and we may waste it whichever way we please. Allah (swt) Al Waarith, The Inheritor granted us this life, is looking after it while we live and will take it back when the time is right. However, He has granted us choices to make and decide how we want to live in Dunya and end up in the Akhirah.
The Azan Institute organized a full day conference in Karachi on 14th January, 2024 to help us find answers to many questions. The aim was to help renew our purpose and to take the next step (Agla Qadam) towards reforming ourselves on our journey to Allah (swt).
The scholars and presenters enlightened the audience with their thoughts on the next steps forward:
- Build a strong connection with Allah (swt)
Strengthen yourself and your Iman by strengthening your connection with Allah (swt) mindfully. Remember that Salah is your lifeline and know that Allah Al Baseer, is watching you and guarding you. Know that He is your provider, so take all your worries to Him. Understand Him through the Quran, Allah’s (swt) divine speech and His sublime names and attributes (Al Asma Al Husna) as Allah (swt) has introduced Himself to the mankind through them.
- Develop your character
It’s time to work on yourself. Correct manners and character building has much emphasis in Islam. Each member of the Ummah has a role to play. Every one of us is responsible for the state we are in right now. Ask yourself: “Am I a part of the problem? Am I also making the same mistakes that I point out in others? Am I following the Sunnah?”
- Attain Ilm/knowledge
Gain knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah from authentic people. The first divinely revealed word was ‘Iqra’ – read to enlighten yourself as well as your children with mercy and honour. This can be done by seeking the company of the learned. Remember that you need the Quran in your life for correct thinking, lasting guidance and true success.
- Recognize your mistakes
We are responsible for the state we are in but we keep deflecting the blame upon others. It’s time we recognize and acknowledge our mistakes so that we can reform ourselves. When others are creating trouble (Fasaad), be the one doing corrections (Islah). And the best correction is to begin with yourself and be involved in it lifelong. Hold the mirror to your soul and not just your face.
- Keep planting
Adopt the approach of a gardener. You may not see the fruits of your labour in your lifetime, but keep sowing the seeds of your good deeds. Focus on your strengths, nurture them, act diligently and feel happy when you do even if the world around you is burning. Remember Ibrahim (as)? Play your part even if people fail to appreciate you. Your motivation to plant good deeds should be for Allah Ash Shakoor, The Most Appreciative.
- Be useful to others.
Be a role model. Instead of blaming the darkness, be the light. Ask yourself: “What am I leaving behind in this world that will continue to benefit others?” Join such people, places, organizations to gain strength and become a force to reckon with. It becomes easier to contribute as a united front, stay inspired and feel content.
- Focus on growth and development
Instead of having a reactive approach to the issues around us, and gossiping about them with frustration, be proactive. Try to develop your skills and knowledge in a way that is useful to your community. Socialize with people who are well versed in the Quran and Sunnah and actively involved in socio-economic development so that you have correct role models and mentors. Work on yourself so that your children are inspired too and want to become future role models and community leaders.
Recognize your worth
Know that you are the Ummah of the Prophet (sa). You are those for whom the Prophet of Allah (swt) made extensive supplications. Your mission is to convey the truth. Speak out, write and spread awareness. Live a life of purpose. Don’t be left out or left behind on the path to goodness.
- Wake up!
In this Dajjalic (deceptive) time, be aware of how the media keeps people biased and misinformed. Learn to be an independent thinker, submitted to Allah (st) alone. One must consciously determine whether they wish to live in a world of “comforting illusion” or make informed decisions.
- Rise up!
Our issue and our trials should not weigh us down. If you are going through hardships, take a break, refresh yourself and get up again. Our Prophet (sa), Al Muddaththir, got up for us, now we need to get up for ourselves and the Ummah.
Today, when we witness turmoil, injustice and pain around us, we tend to feel hopeless and helpless. Take the current situation in Gaza- we think things are beyond us. No, there is so much an individual can do:
- Keep highlighting the issue on social media
- Donate generously
- Boycott the enemy and their allie’s commercial products
- Make extensive Duas daily, for Dua is the weapon of the believer
- Instead of waiting for a savior or the Mahdi, ask yourself: “What have I done to qualify as the follower of Imam Mahdi or Isa (as)?” It is time for introspection.
- Most significantly remind yourself and others of Allah’s (swt) power, knowledge and final verdict: “It is Allah Who, has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. (His) command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge.” (At Talaq 65:12)