Islam does not allow a Muslim to surrender themselves to lust and desire, as in contemporary ‘civilisation’. Islam recognises the love a man has for women, children, gold, silver, and other possessions. But it provides a limit for the amount of this worldly pleasure which we require, and reminds us of the life in the hereafter.
“Beautified for men is the love of things they desire: Women, Children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life, but Allaah has the excellent return ( Paradise)”(Quran 3:141).
The inclinations and desires of the Fitrah are not to become the objective in life. Rather they are to be taken in a stabilised manner. The way to deal with them is real and Allaah (The Most High) has given us the detailed descriptions of a levelled approach. This levelled approach gives mankind the perfectly balanced pleasure in this worldly life. The method of maintaining a well-balanced life is not an endurance test to see who lasts the longest. Allah has revealed Islam, to show us how to attain this balance in a real manner. Life is not a spiritual test, where you are ordered to Iive in mountains and trees. Fasting all month or year round is not even allowed. Marriage is permissible and you do not have to beat yourself senseless to purify your soul! Rather as Muslims, we must try to follow the Prophet and his balanced teachings of life and living. As Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (saw), you have a good example to follow..” (Quran 33:21).
Islam forbids us to follow many of the rules which are held by western culture and subcultures. Yet people in the west are more than willing to obey them, because they believe that these rules will protect them. How wrong they are! Western society is obsessed with ‘safe sex’, in order to ‘prevent the risk of catching AIDS’. Despite the wide availability of contraceptives, AIDS is still on the increase, and people are dropping like flies from this killer epidemic. Do we think of these rules as being restrictive? If anything you would expect them to bring about a sense of control and order, as well as increasing the pleasure. Without realising, people are ready and willing to accept many man-made rules. Rules that are invented by one group of people and to be obeyed by the rest of society. These rules are not perfect because man is imperfect, yet people accept them and hope and believe that they will benefit from them.
Islam has a Better Offer!
So when the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is offering a reward which is high, and the Benefit is eternal, shouldn’t we at least see what’s on offer? Allah says:
“You desire the good of this world, but Allaah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allaah is Almighty, All Wise”(Quran 8:67). Again
“. . . in a lofty Paradise . Therein will be a running spring. Therein will be thrones raised high. And cups set at hand. And cushions set in rows. And rich carpets (all) spread out” (Quran 88:10-16).
This worldly life has many good things in it. Things that Allah has created for us to utilise. But the reality is all of these luxuries and benefits of the world will come to an end. For example, a person’s good looks may do them many favours during their youth, but will it hold them on good ground when they are 60. Such is the reality of old age.
Likewise with wealth. Islam allows you to gain wealth as long as you do not oppress other people, and transgress the limits set by Allaah (The Most High). An example of this is making people pay back more money than they actually borrow, through usury or interest payments.
However wealth can not benefit you when you die, as it only passes on to your family as inheritance. Such is the civility of modem society, that many people are even killed, just so that inheritance can be gained sooner rather then later!!
Thus, we should see ourselves as travellers on a journey. A traveller is one who is constantly on the move. He will only take essential provisions, and not all his life’s possessions. Likewise, a person must realise that Allah did not design the luxuries of this world to last forever. They only exist to aid our worship of Allah, which will take us to the journey’s end, the hereafter. Being human, we must one-day die, and our worldly benefits and luxuries will also perish. The true wealth is indeed with Allah in the next-life. As Allah says:
“Seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with Allah” (Quran 4:94).
So when Allaah (The Most High) revealed the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), all the details about good and bad, or right and wrong, were not left for the limited nature of mankind to define for themselves. Allaah (The Most High) says:
“And I have sent down to you the Book (Qur’an) as an EXPLANATION of EVERYTHING and a GUIDANCE, a Mercy and glad tidings for those who have surrendered (to Allaah as Muslims)”(Quran 16:89). Allahu Akbar.
So What is Islam saying?
The message of Islam fits the Fitrah of man. Allaah (The Most Wise) created man in the best form. He gave his Fitrah the ability to believe in the unseen. Thus, man’s soul and its horizons are broader and more open than that of the rest of creation – like the animals, bird’s and insects. In nature we can see the signs of Allah as Allah says:
“Do they not look at the camels, and how they were created? And at the heavens, how it is raised? And at the mountains, how they are rooted and fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?” (Quran 88:17-20).
In ourselves we can see Allah’s signs through the diversity of our languages, colours and nationalities. As Allah says:
“O mankind! I have created you from a male and female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another”
Having been told this, we must now recognise the Perfect way our Creator has chosen for us to follow, which is: “Indeed, in the Messenger (Muhammad [s.a.w]), you have a good example to follow” (Quran 33:21).
We have been commanded to worship Allah alone without partners. We must recognise and understand that He is the Only True God who deserves to be worshipped;
To help us do this, Allaah (The Most High) sent the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), to deliver and explain the Final Message of Islam, and to help us recognise and worship our Lord in the best manner. We have been told to form our lives’ according to this Message, by following and imitating the Final Messenger who is our only guide to worshipping our Lord: Allah.
This is what is meant when we say: Laa-illaa-ha il-Allaah, wa Muhammadur Rasool-Allah. “There is no true God worthy of worship except Allaah, and Muhammad is the Final Messenger of Allaah” Alhamdulillah for guiding us to Islam.
May He guide the misguided relatives and friends to Islam. Aameen.