O, you, who believe, fear Allah for what He is worthy of and worship Him alone, not attributing partners to him. Follow the way of the prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), read his Ahadith, and perform his Sunnah as much as possible. For in this is a great benefit and good for you in this life and the hereafter.
O you who believe, Allah says which translates as: “And recite to them, O Muhammad, the story of him to who we gave our proofs, but he threw them away so Satan followed him up and he became of those who went astray. Had we willed, we would have surely elevated him, but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desires. Therefore, his description is of that of a dog. If you drive him away, he hangs his tongue out, or if you leave him, alone he still holds his tongue out. Such is the description of those who reject our proofs so relate these stories, perhaps they might reflect. Evil is the likeness of the people who reject our proofs and used to wrong themselves” (Al-A’raf: 175-177).
Allah also says which translates as: “And if the people of the towns had believed and had the piety certainly we should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and earth, but they belied the messengers so we took them with punishment for what they used to earn.” … “Is it not clear to those who inherit the earth in succession from its predecessors that had we willed we would have punished them for their sins and we seal up their hearts so that they hear not” (Al-A’raf: 96-100).
Allah also says which translates as: “And A ‘ad and Thamud indeed their destruction is clearly apparent to you from their ruined dwellings. Satan made their deeds fair seeming to them and turned them away from the right path though they were intelligent” (Al-Ankabut: 38). There are many other verses in the book of Allah that clarify that those who take the verses of Allah, (believing in and living according to them) as well as the Sunnah of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), is promised a good life in this world and complete pleasure in the hereafter. If the servant of Allah is among the believers, the pious, and the righteous, and whenever he receives commands or read the verses he accepts, practices and implements it without rejecting, and takes everything sincerely starting with himself, then he is one of those who is promised by Allah with the same promises Allah gave to the righteous before him.
However, as for the one who hears the verses of Allah and the message of the Prophet and he prefers his desires and whims and clings to the earth then he is promised to be deprived of the blessings and bounties of Allah. He will be hard hearted, he will not recognize good, nor forbid evil and then horror will be replaced for him instead of security. He will have a miserable life instead of a blessed one, sickness instead of health and hardship in himself and the people around him. That is why Allah encouraged the entire nation, individuals, groups, leaders, and followers all to be among the people of faith, Iman, and piety. If they were as so, then their problems would be solved and Allah will open for them good from all its sources. As the prior verse mentioned, in which Allah says which translates as: “And if the people of the towns had believed and had piety and certainty then surely we would have opened for them blessings from the heavens and earth…” (Al-A’raf: 96).
If they were true believers then they would have had many blessings from Allah, but if they were partial believers, and partially righteous and pious, then he will only get part of these good promises that Allah has promised. He will be blessed according to the level of his faith and piety. This is of course other than the times when Allah tests people in general with hardships.
O believers, there is no doubt that faith increases and decreases and there is no doubt that some individuals have more faith than others do. Some even have partial faith. Some are in the middle, and some have weak faith. Likewise, with piety, some people are extremely conscious and fearing of Allah. They think of the pleasure of Allah in all that they do. Others struggle against themselves and Shaytan sometimes they repent to Allah and turn back, and sometimes they fall into mistakes, while another category are weak in their piety,Taqwa, and righteousness. Shaytan wins them most of the time. This is the situation of people of different communities. Allah has promised those who try to perfect their practice and raise their level of faith, that he will replace fear with security for them. As He says which translates as: “Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous and good deeds that he will certainly grant them succession in the land, to the present rulers, as he granted it to those before them” (An-Nur: 55).
O believers, one of the prerequisites of this succession is that the Muslims must practice their faith in their own places and countries. That is why the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) in clarifying this said in a Hadith reported by Udid ibn Hatim, in the books of Al-Bukhari and Ahmed: “By Him in whose hand my soul is in, Allah will make this matter complete and fulfilled (the spreading of Islam) until the woman would be able to walk from such and such a place, in one narration says Yemen, all the way until Makkah, and she will not fear anything but Allah from the level of security that has resulted from the perfection of faith and piety in people.” Let us ponder upon Allah saying which translates as: (Al-Ankabut: 38) “In A ‘ad and Thamud, indeed in their destruction is clearly apparent to you from their ruined dwellings. Shaytan made their deeds fair seeming to them and turned them away from the right path though they were intelligent.”
Shaytan made their bad deeds and sins appear good to them and beautified their sins, which resulted in that they turned away from the right path. He caused this to happen to them even though they were intelligent. They were not ignorant, nor those who did not know the truth. They were intelligent. They knew the proofs, they knew what the messengers brought from Allah’s signs, and they knew what was in the book of Allah, but they preferred obedience to Shaytan over obedience to Allah. Shaytan beautified this for them, beautified their sins for them, and turned them away from the straight path. Then, notice the verses where Allah described the man who was given the verses of Allah and the proofs, but he threw them away. In the next verse, Allah ends by saying, which translates as: “…Such is the description of the people who reject our proofs and evidences, so relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect” (Al-A’raf: 176). This is not an example for one people; it is for nations who belie the proofs of Allah and Allah gives us the description of one of them.
Allah accepts and appreciates his servants when they take His rules or commands completely, and when they sacrifice against themselves and struggle to fulfill His commands. That is why when He spoke about the Muslims he says which translates as: “You the true believers of the Islamic Ummah, are the best of people ever raised up for mankind. You enjoin the good of monotheism, and forbid polytheism and all of the evil bad things, and you believe in Allah” (Aal-Imran: 110). He also says which translates as:“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all good, Islam, enjoining Monotheism and good deeds, and forbidding polytheism and evil deeds. It is they who are the successful.” (Aal–Imran: 104). Allah’s ways with nations when they obey Him are that He blesses them and their descendents. It is reported in the musnad of Imam Ahmad from the words of Wahab ibn Munbah, that in a Hadith Qudsi Allah says, “I am Allah, none has the right to be worshipped except me, if I am obeyed, I perform Ribah, which implies pleasure, and if I am pleased then I will bless, and there is no ending to my blessings. I am Allah none has the right to be worshipped except Me; if I am disobeyed, I perform Gubab, which implies anger. In addition, if I am angry I practice Ratim, which implies cursing. My curse will reach down to the seventh descendent or child.”
All of that could be the result of the deeds of the father. O believers, we must look at the situation of the Muslims today. We observe the situation of the common people among the Muslims, that whatever infliction or hardship that is being experienced in terms of security, wealth, economical situation, social affairs; all of which is the result of turning away from what Allah has revealed or from turning away from parts of it. Allah clarifies in His book that He gives those who believe in His verses and act righteously, succession on the earth, and replaces the fear with security. The best form of obedience to Allah is that He is worshipped alone without setting partners to Him. This is the description of the people of faith. Allah says which translates as: “They worship me and don’t associate anything with me” (An-Nur: 55).
So, the characteristics of the Muslim community who were promised by Allah to have these bounties bestowed upon them and to be protected from His punishment, is that they worship Him alone and set up no partners with Him. They should worship Him alone and command people to worship Him. They must also forbid people from its opposite which is polytheism. As for what we see in some communities who practice polytheism and are antagonistic to the people of Monotheism. Their acceptance of polytheism is the cause for the punishments, divisions, and disputes that take place.
Among the causes, which bring about good to people, is that people follow the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and comply with the book of Allah. Allah says which translates as: “And if only they had acted according to the Torah, the Injeel, and what has now been sent down to them from their Lord (the Quran) then they would surly have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet. There are from among them people who are on the right course, but many of them do evil deeds”(Al-Ma’idah: 66).
O believers, reformation of communities indeed begins by reformation of its leadership, and when the leadership complies with the command of Allah. However, as you are, so will be your leadership. Building a community starts with individuals and this is no more than families and small households. So, if people reform their homes, their families, each being responsible for those under his jurisdiction and if we seek reformation in our homes by taking the guidance of the book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger amongst ourselves as individuals then slowly but surely the good will spread and evil will diminish. The promise of Allah will not only be fulfilled in a community that is fault free but also for a community whose good is more than evil; whose evil is overwhelmed by the good. Even in a good people there will be some disobedience as Allah described mankind as fallible, so Allah is merciful by forgiving people; forgiving those who repent, and we see this in the attributes of Allah as “The Forgiver”, The All-Forgiving and “The Most Merciful” to His servants.
However, this promise of Allah to His servants is to the community whose good overweighs its evil. This reformation of rectification starts with us. Some people like to blame always those who are in charge, the leadership, presidents, governments, etc., yet they forget that these leaders did not force people to do evil, rather people approached evil and desired it. Yes, we blame both parties, but no one forced anyone to do anything. It is very possible to reform and rectify our homes and families. Struggling against Shaytan is something that Allah has promised good reward for those who do it. So, if others do wrong this does not justify Islamicaly or intellectually that we blame others, and forget our own mistakes. We see in our homes mistakes and shortcomings in some of our obligations. If you look in some of the Mosques you see that the people attending the congregation are not from the community, rather they are people outside the community. If you look at the situation of people about their compliance to the commands of Allah, we see that heedlessness has control over the hearts. This is with the exception of a few. So much in heedlessness, that when the person does a mistake or commits a sin it is as though he never committed anything, and if he neglects a command it is as though he never neglected anything important, though Allah oversees everything. If the person does not do good then he will do evil. If he does not feel that he is doing wrong, then he is warned by Allah to be deprived of good or the bounties and favors from Allah may be taken away from him. As Allah says which translates as: “Remember when your Lord proclaimed that if you give thanks or are grateful I will give you more, but if you are thankless, verily my punishment is indeed severe” (Ibrahim: 7).
If people in their families, tribes, and communities, start reformation and rectification slowly then good will spread and we will show Allah that we are trying hard in reform and in reconstructing ourselves. We start with the apparent mistakes in the communities and in the legal legislated ways in Islam. However, accepting to live in a situation that is not pleasing to Allah would indeed be a reason that good things are taken away from us. Allah gave us a great example in that one man who received the proofs from Allah, yet he threw them all away. Allah made him as an example for communities. He says which translates as: “So relate the stories to them, perhaps they might reflect, evil is the likeness of the people who reject our proofs and evidences and used to wrong their own selves” (Al-A’raf: 176-177).
Respected believers, we have to feel the importance of reformation and rectification. Every family has an example that they follow. So, if this example is not good, or if it is by way of practicing evil, then how would we expect this reformation? Likewise, families take other families as examples and follow their footsteps. Therefore, if we want to maintain the blessings and bounties of Allah then we must first sincerely seek Allah’s help and supplicate to Him to preserve us. Then we must strongly seek and struggle in obedience to Allah. Whatever favor or bounty Allah has can only be obtained by obedience. Then let us notice, among the greatest reasons for division and differences are those practices that have foreign ideologies and principals mixed with them. This occurs when vain desires play a major role, when questionable things are practiced, the shortcomings of people, even when they know what they are doing wrong they continue in their deviant behavior. Allah says which translates as: “And from those who call themselves Christians we took their covenants, but they have abandoned a good part of the message which was sent to them. So, we planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the day of Resurrection”(Al-Ma’idah: 14). They abandoned a part; and Allah punished them. With what did He punish? He describes the punishment as implanting enmity and hatred until the day of resurrection. Why? It is because they neglected and forsook the message and did not obey the books and the messengers. Time passed without reformation rectification, repentance, and without returning to Allah. Therefore, Allah caused them to hate one another and replaced their situation with fear after security. They were scattered in the earth and land. We ask Allah’s protection from this!
O believers, many people like to blame mistakes on the leadership. This is not completely correct. Yes, they bare some of the responsibility and blame and they have duties to fulfill. Some do indeed neglect their responsibility, but some people accept and live normally through that. That is why rectification and reformation usually starts on the individual level of communities and nations. This will not occurs until they themselves reject evil and approach. They should start advising the people in charge in a correct manner – the manner of the rightly guided predecessors. The last of this Ummah will not be rectified or reformed except by that which rectified it in the beginning. I ask Allah to make us among the repenters and those who return to Him sincerely and truly and to forgive our sins and our heedlessness.
O believers fear Allah with what He is worthy of and do not die except in a state of Islam (submitting to the commands of Allah). Know that the reasons why Allah bestows His bounties and favors and gives security and sends down sustenance to people as He promised is by their forbidding evil and enjoining good. Allah says which translates as: “Those who if we give them power in the land they order for the congregational prayer and to pay Zakaat, and they enjoin good and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the end of all matters” (Al-Hajj: 41).
Therefore, enjoining good and forbidding evil, if people neglect this Allah will curse some of them and implant hatred and enmity between their hearts, as it was done to the people of Israel. The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said in Sahih Muslim, reported by Abu Saeed, “Be conscious and fearful of Allah with regards to this world and women, for the first trial or test to the people of Israel was through women.” It is compulsory upon this nation to enjoin good and forbid evil. Some of this Ummah must do this as an obligation. Therefore, we must fulfill this as it is for the sake of Allah. It is compulsory upon those who are in the leadership to enjoin good and forbid evil. It is among the characteristics of those who were promised succession in the earth as Allah says which translates as: “Those who we give power to they will command to perform the congregational and to pay the Zakaat. And they will enjoin good and forbid evil…”(Al-Hajj: 41). They command people and help them to do so. They forbid people from doing evil, and they help those who do this.
The highest rank of enjoining good is Islamic monotheism. The worst level of evil is polytheism and then the other sins that follow it. We must struggle in doing this, and we must always be afraid that Allah will deprive us of His favors and bounties. We see what the Ummah of Islam is going through – hardships, poverty, struggles, financial problems, and weakness. The wise person would refer this to its Islamic causes. This is because the Qur’an gave us the news of the people before us and of the people after us, and Allah has given us the solution. If we take it, we will be successful, and if we neglect it, we are the losers. We ask Allah’s help and we seek refuge in Him from being among the losers and those who were destroyed.