‘Soon the FitnaWill become like a Portion of the Black Night’
With our levels of Faith (Imaan) taking a trajectory dip, the trials (Fitnah) we face gather together even as a portion of a dark night, haunting the one who ventures out. The darkness will prevail until we hasten towards changing ourselves for the better, writes AMATUL HAKIM.
Abu Hurirah (may Allah ta’aalabe pleased with him) narrated, our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allahta’aala be on him) said,
‘Hasten with good actions(during the time of Fitna);for Fitna is like a portion of dark night, (wherein) a man does the morning as a believer and but the evening like a Kafir, and the evening as a believer and the morning as a Kafir(so much so) that one of them will transact his religion for a portion of worldly wealth.’
Further Hasan Basri(may Allah have mercy on him) explained the hadith, ‘A man does morning as a believer and by evening he is a Kafir…’ as, a man believes in the morning that the blood, honour and wealth of another human are haram on him without any just reason, but, by evening, he considers it to be halaal.
This is exactly the situation of many Muslims today. We believe lying, cheating, arrogance, jealousy, ridiculing others, narcissism or self-love are not part of Islam, but still indulge in it.
A Muslim is one who keeps up his words and upholds the trust, but, today, Muslims are known to break their promises without even a second thought.
Repercussions? A Muslim worker is refused employment because he lacks sincerity, a Muslim auto-driver is avoided because he demands more than the actual fare, houses are not rented to Muslim families because they will not abide by the formalities of the agreement. This is so much so that even a Muslim is reluctant to transact with another Muslim.
Apparently with our levels of Imaan taking a trajectory dip, the Fitna, or the trials we face, are like a portion of a dark night, haunting to the one who ventures out. The darkness will prevail until we hasten towards changing ourselves, that is, towards good, as prophesied.
Islam is not just the outward appearance; what defines a Muslim is his character. If Kalimah of Tawheed, Salah, fasting, Zakat and Hajj are the periphery of the circle of Islam, good character is its core.
A Muslim without good character is more prone to lose his faith or Imaanduring trials, like a hollow ball tearing up when bounced on a rough surface.
The foremost aspect in character building is sincerity, for our Prophet said, ‘Religion is sincerity.’ That is sincerity towards the Creator, His creation and towards oneself.
Sincerity as Explained by My Teacher
Signs of the absence of sincerity:
- Not having any intention before doing good action.
- Not being consistent in good work.
- Wanting everyone to know about one’s good action, by blowing one’s own trumpet.
- Not having a strong connection with Allah ta’aala, and, thereby, complaining about difficulties to others. However, taking advice from a learned person regarding a problem is allowed.
- Expecting reward or token of thanks or a favour, for helping others.
Alib. Abu Talib(ra) is reported to have said,
“One without sincerity will be lazy when alone and active/ enthusiastic when in a group. He is quick in an action when praised and procrastinates when unnoticed.”
How to Develop Sincerity
- Pause and think before any action; justify your action to yourself.
- Be in the company of good people. The Companions (Sahaba) developed sincerity being in the company of our Prophet.
- Be helpful and merciful towards the creation of Allah ta’aala.
- Remain humble all the time. Allah ta’aala loves His slave when His slave shows humility towards Him and towards His creation. The more one submits to the command of Allah ta’aala, the more one is raised in status, both in this world and the Hereafter.