Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Shari'ah - A lifestyle
(Post 2)

Islam, being a complete way of life as well as a religion, is not limited to beliefs and worship (towards Allah Ta'ala). In actual fact, Islam covers a wider range of worship and areas than just belief and direct worship towards Allah Ta'ala.

Previously we mentioned that Islam has five branches, equally important and weighty in the sight of Allah Ta'ala.

  • Aqaaid (Belief)
  • A'maal (actions)
  • Mu'aamalaat (transactions)
  • Akhlaaq (moral character)
  • Husn-e-Mu'aashirat (social conduct)

    Though all five are known to be a part of Islam, it is only the first two that are given any importance at all.


    Islam encourages one to do good acts and refrain from bad acts. Anything that is against the Shari'ah (Islamic law) is classed as a bad act. In the same manner, anything that is done in accordance to the Shari'ah, or anything bad which is avoided, is classed as a good act.

    The general misconception is that of thinking of Salaah, Sawn, Zakaah, Hajj, Sadaqah etc to be good acts whereas the day to day activities hold no value of weight.

    These acts, although being very rewarding, are usually strenuous upon the soul and other acts do not even occur daily; whereas, Islam is a way of life, a religion that caters for our everyday needs. Many Ahadeeth have come in regards to these daily chores that we regard as 'worldly' activities as opposed to worship and reward.

    Everyday, we eat our fill; and we strive during the day and exhaust all our energy in order to fulfil this need of filling our stomachs. Whilst doing this, we sometimes look towards that person who is fasting and feel remorse and regret that we cannot be as obedient and pious as such a person due to our lack of strength and the fatigue that we acquire through our daily striving. Yet we fail to perceive the many sayings of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam that place us in the same rank as the fasting people if we fulfil the requirements:

    "A thankful person who eats is on the same status of a fasting person who is patient"

    [Sunan ut-Tirmidhi]

    In the above Hadeeth, the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has clearly mentioned that a grateful person who eats his fill is similar to that fasting person who observes patience. These are the individual qualities Allah Ta'ala likes and looks for in his servants; Gratefulness and Patience. Adopt any of these throughout one's life and our abode will be the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala.

    Similarly, throughout the day, we meet people, Muslims and Non-Muslims. It is also a reward to meet these people with a happy and smiling face, showing them compassion, mercy and care. This action is one of many that allow us to reap reward upon reward.

    "Do not think small of any good deed, even meeting your brother with a smiling/cheerful face"

    [Saheeh Muslim]

    We are told by the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam that we should not think small of any deed, for indeed these small deeds accumulate at the end of the day as a great amount of reward.

    In another Hadeeth it is stated:

    "Safeguard yourselves from the Hellfire even though it is through a portion of a date, and for he who does not find (a portion of a date) then through good words"

    [Saheeh al-Bukhari]

    Here, emphasis has been placed on 'good words'. It is the aim of every believer to save himself from the fire of Hell. The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam commands us to do this through giving charity, even though it may be a piece of date (due to poverty), and if even this is not possible, then we are advised to speak good, as this will enable us to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala and save us from the fire of Hell.

    In conclusion, Islam is not only limited to direct worship, it is a combination of both direct and indirect worship. In fact, at times, the rights of fellow Human Beings have been given greater importance. Therefore, to neglect the rights of these fellow beings whilst thinking that they are not a part of our worship is a totally incorrect notion. It is through the service of the nation in which we can attain the pleasure of our Lord.

    May Allah Ta'ala give us the understanding to the importance of Human Rights. May he incline us towards serving Him through the service of His servants.

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