ACCEPTING THE DIFFICULT
ACCEPTING THE DIFFICULT
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editor's note: The following is excerpted from PROGRESSIONS (Volume one. number 6). published monthly for $9.00 per year by PROGRESSIONS, Inc., 8 South Michigan Ave., Suite 2600. Chicago, Ill. 60603. Editorial Director, John Glenn Omar.)
Allah tells us in the Qur'an. "Surely Allah wants not difficulty for you, but He wants that you should be purified". Allah also says, "Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer."
In the above verse, Allah tells us that Satan wants us to have enmity and hatred between us. and that we should be taken from the remembrance of God through the drinking of intoxicants and gambling. Allah also tells us in another place in the Qur'an that we are not to go near prayer in an intoxicated state until we understand what we are saying.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a parable. "If anyone would wash in a river that came by his home five times daily, would there be left on him any impurities?" And the reply to him from his followers was. "No!" The message in the parable is that the five daily prayers cleanses us. As God says in the Qur'an, "Surely prayers keep away evil and indecency".
Prayer is a form of purity that cleanses. We also know that Prophet Muhammad said the Muslim's prayers are an ascension, meaning they lift us from the low base vulgar and degrading things. The Muslim gets a sense of upliftment or ascension, a sense of being raised up to God when he performs his prayers.
God wants us to remember Him. He says, "Establish prayer for My rememberance." God wants us to be purified, and as previously said, God does not want difficulty (hardship) for us. For many, it is difficult to get up at dawn in the morning and make the dawn (fajr) prayer. But God also tells us in the Qur'an that it is difficult except for those who are strong in their devotion to God. Yet in another verse, God tells us that after every difficulty, there is relief (ease). Thus we see that God wants ease for us, however, we have to accept some difficulty.
To make our prayers as we should, we must accept some difficulty. Taking care of ourselves as regards to the practical things, such as care of our hygiene, eating the proper foods, maintaining the proper home environment for Muslims, etcetera, is difficult. All of this is extra work and difficult, but this difficulty is given to us by God to make our life better. You have probably heard the old saying. "A stitch in time saves nine," or "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure". These old sayings are telling us that if you take care of the present things, then we won't have so much trouble in the future.
God wants us to take care of certain needs in order that we may avoid greater difficulty. If He has ordered us to do things that seem difficult, then we should understand by his Word that He wants us to be guided aright and to be purified. Thus, we should fulfill our obligations to Him, to the Prophet, to each other, and to our community.
If we are to fulfill these obligations, we must be dutiful as Muslims. And remember, that just as God wants for us ease and purity and all of the things that make for a good life, Satan wants trouble for us. Furthermore. Satan's way seems easiest. We hear people saying, "Do whatever you want. Do your own thing. Sin, corrupt your life. Have fun, and don't care about the consequences". Such is the invitation of Satan.
Satan, An Open Enemy
God tells us that Satan is our open enemy, that he is the obvious enemy of man. God gives us good advice in the Qur'an wherein He says, "0 men! Certainly the promise of God is true. Let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver deceive you about God. Verily Satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents, that they may become companions of the Blazing Fire. For those who reject God is a terrible penalty, but for those who believe and work righteous deeds, is forgiveness and a magnificent reward. Is he then to whom the evil of his conduct is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good (equal to one who is rightly guided)?"
The Muslim is not supposed to take intoxicants, such as liquor, alcohol, drugs, etcetera. There are Muslims who are very serious about not taking those things, but there are those who are weak and want to do those things, yet claim to be Muslims. This makes a division between us, especially if these weak people desire such things in their hearts.
The real Muslim, even though he is doing such things, won't desire them in his heart. He will feel hurt in his heart, and will hate for anyone to know that he is breaking the Laws of God.