In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
“O THE BELIVERS! BE CONSCIOUS OF ALLAH
with all consciousness that is due to Him
And do not allow death to overtake you ere you have surrendered yourselves unto Him.” [Al-Imran 3: 102]
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِۦ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ (١٠٢)
INTRODUCTION: The paramount urge of our Creator and Sustainer to those who believe in Him is to be always conscious of His omni presence, supreme authority over each and every thing, countless bounties that are spread in and outside the human frame and the constant sense of accountability about the life pattern that he or she leads on this earth to His obedience or disobedience. To attain this consciousness is a life long pursuit of a Believer. How he or she is able to inculcate this phenomenon is what Allah demands from the Mumineen. This is the subject matter of the Verse # 102 of Al-Imran. I will elaborate it but let us first examine the context in which this and the subsequent verses were revealed to Rasulullah (S).
Reference to the Context:
* In the previous verses the addressees were Bani
* What is the process which can save them form falling into ditch of blasphemy and pave the way towards keeping them on the straight path is to develop the constant awareness of His presence and lead an ever-vigilant Allah-conscious life. It would be possible only when a Mumin remembers Allah with every breath of his or her life in all respects and under all circumstances. It is a life-long exercise both of mental attitude and physical behavior of a believer. Let us see what it envisages.
EVALUATION OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS THAT IS DUE TO HIM:
1. What He has done and what He is doing for us:
* Allah (SWT) created us and created this universe for us. He placed us on earth as His vicegerent and then put the entire world and what it contains at our service, providing all and every thing that is essential for our survival.
* He is providing all that is sustaining our life on earth. That must fill our heart with gratitude and must feel always thankful to Him. The more you are thankful to Him the more He will give you [Ref: Ibrahim.14:7] Feeling and remembering always His magnanimity will bring the man closer to his or her Lord and that is His right on His slaves and through developing this habit a Muslim will become Allah conscious.
2. Evaluation of His favors and Bounties:
* His bounties are countless and limitless – they are so much in abundance in number that man cannot count them in any form. [Ref: Ibrahim. 14: 34]
* Whatever one enjoys and whatever he gets on earth he/she must express his/her heartfelt thanks to Allah and is never forgetful of this realization. Feeling always grateful to Him is the right of Allah and a Muslim must develop this habit of remembering Him through expressing his or her extreme gratitude to Him. This is His right on His slaves and developing a constant habit towards remembering His favors will make him or her Allah conscious.
3. Developing the consciousness of the situation where one is using His gifts and bounties that are trust in his/her hands. You are not their master. You are trustee only. So you are to use them the way He directs you to invest in the service of His Deen and not in the service of Shaitan, thereby feeling always accountable to Him for its proper or improper use on this earth. It will inculcate the enormous sense of responsibility along with the paramount reflection of accountability in a Muslim, finding himself or herself constantly living under the shadow of hanging sword of accountability with fear and hopes on earth. It will keep him/her always shivering and will make him/her more and more Allah conscious day by day. This is Allah’s right on His Abd and it will make him or her consciously Allah conscious, the essence of His Ubudiyah.
4. The path of righteousness is the path of struggle in the way of Allah towards establishing His authority and His Deen on earth. This path is not of bed of roses but is strewn with inevitable thorns of trials and tribulations at every step as Batil never accepts the prevalence of Haq in human society. Whenever a Mumin encounters this situation, he/she forebears it with Sabr, devotion and remembers Allah with total surrender. He/she begs his pardon, comes closer to Him and seeks His help and Nusrah at every step of his/her life. Allah responds to his humble efforts in His way as He commands: “As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and Lo! Allah is with the Muhseneen.” [Al-Ankabut.29: 69]
5. A Muslim faces a lot of pitfalls of temptations, compromises and hardship but he constantly begs the pardon of Allah and His help to come out successful from these trials. That is the right of a Mumin on his Lord and the Master in His infinite mercy comes to his help – a two ways track. This is the height of Allah-consciousness and only a Mumin who struggles in the way of Allah for the Iqamah of His Deen fulfills the truthful demand of Allah consciousness as it ought to be. That is what Allah urges in Verse # 102 of Surah Al-Imran and one must know it: “Allah is with those who are Allah-conscious and those who are Muhseneen” [Al-Nahal. 16:128.
6. In fact, this entire process as elaborated above is “Aitesam Billah” [holding the rope of Allah] which is nothing but the Qur’an itself and fulfilling the obligation of Iqamatuddeen which is incumbent upon all of us. It would be possible to attain that height of Iman only through nurturing the sense of constant fear of Allah in the heart.
7. And when the entire Ummah will go through this process, it will be galvanized into a Unified Ummah with love and affection for each of its constituent calling the people to the fold of Allah [Dawah Ilal-Khair], eradicating the “Munkar” [what is not permissible] from the society and establishing the “Maaroof” [the permissible] in its place as laid down by Allah in Verse # 110 of Al-Imran. This process of struggling for Iqamatuddeen created Unity amongst the Muslims of Aus and Khazraj. They relished the spirit of Akhuwah [the brotherhood] when they struggled for Allah’s Deen all around jointly and concertedly under the benevolent leadership of Rasulullah (S) in Madinah that is what is confirmed by the Qur’an in Verse # 103 of Al-Imran.
8. The Muslim Ummah can again get the desired Unity in its ranks and files only when it undertakes the mission of “Khair-e-Ummah” and struggles hard together towards the Iqamah of Allah’s Deen, it will relish the desired Unity for which everyone of us especially the Muslim leadership is crying day in and day out. It will always remain out of reach unless all undertake and work together for the Iqamah of Allah’s Deen in the body politics of Muslim Ummah. It is long overdue. The Qur’an is exhorting and reminding each of us who go through these verses every day but pass on with closed mind. So Allah (SWT) is also neglecting us the way we are ignoring His urge to fulfill the mark of Allah-consciousness through the active process envisaged above.
9. It is incumbent on each and every Muslim to struggle for His Deen individually and collectively in terms of Verse #110, especially when Allah’s Deen is no where in the world visible in dominant position. The Ummah is not conscious of this fact and sleeping in deep slumber. As such, it stands no where in the community of nations. However, Muslim leadership around the world cannot shelve its responsibility at all from the onerous burden that falls upon its shoulders as Allah ordains in Verse # 103 of Al- Imran that there must be a party or a group from amongst you [the Ummah] that must invite the people to the Khair, enjoins right conduct [Maaroof] and forbids indecency [Munkar]. Such are they who are successful”
* This is the right of Allah on Muslim leadership. Had they been reminding themselves with the exercise of Allah-consciousness as the Verse # 102 envisages, the affairs of Ummah would have been quite different than what we see today. The inherent obligation of “Haqqah Tuqatehi” is neither pursued by the Muslim Leadership – the Imams, the Muslim scholars, and the intelligentsia nor by the individual Muslims as it ought to be. We both individually and collectively are not holding the rope of Allah, the Qur’an. Muslims are shopping upon the Qur’an and chose its easy part to the extent of Ebadah, do it ritualistically and are contented with the notion that they are “following” Islam. What a horrible miscalculation it is!
* The Islamic Movements around the world are no doubt a few exceptions to this miserable scenario but unfortunately they all are bogged down with the ongoing socio-economic-political disarray of the Ummah and are not able to concentrate their total time and energies in building the requisite trustworthy and God-fearing teams of Da’ee Ilallah in the context of the modern world in proportion to the numerical strength of the Ummah,. As such, the fate of Ummah could not be revived in spite of their best wishes.
* Centuries have passed in this state. The world and its socio-cultural-economic-political dynamic have totally changed. Human society is eager to find the solution of its ever-increasing burning problems and the Muslims who could deliver it are just busy in offering the rituals of Ebadah alone. The Deen that came to deliver Khair and Justice to suffering humanity is lying buried in the pages of the holy Qur’an and is closed in or restricted to the four walls of mosques.
* Muslims both individually and collectively have unfortunately lost the sense of direction as: what to do and how to do. However, they can change their condition today if they start thinking Islam as a Deen and a Movement and not as religion as Judaism and Christianity are. Along with it, they develop the habit of evaluating the condition of their Iman in Allah and examining the status of their individual Taqwah - Allah consciousness as it ought to be, the central theme of this write-up in terms of Verse # 102 of Al-Imran. They can change their position, practically in no time, if their thinking process, their actions and deeds synchronize with ever vigilant Allah-Consciousness, the motivational force to keep them upright in all and every walk of life, struggling for the Iqamah of Allah’s Deen and establishing His authority on self, family and the society in which they pulsate. This is the ultimate reality of Allah-consciousness inviting His Nusrah [help] both in our individual, and collective life and it would be always there in terms of various Verses of the Qur’an quoted above.
10. Iqbal rightly summed it up the entire scenario in one of his couple:
“Tu hi Nadan chund kalyun per quena'ut kar
Tangiyeye daman bhi tha”
Translation: Out of foolishness you [Muslims] remain contented with a few petals [of Ebadah] whereas the garden has every thing in abundance (for the total needs of the Ummah and beyond)
11. Muslim Ummah has to attain the position of “Khaira Ummah” and “Ummatun Wasatun” [The best and the most moderate nation]. This is its destiny and it can accomplish its goal/mission only through the process of “Shuhadah Al-Annas”. “Allah consciousness” is its barometer. The more a Muslim is conscious of his position on earth the more he/she will devote his time, energy, talents and resource in His way towards the fulfillment of his/her goal of life. A conscious and a paramount struggle in the way of Allah for His Deen will elevate a Mumin to the category of “Muhseneen”
12. However it must be clarified at this stage that this struggle for the Iqamah of Allah’s Deen is not just for a day or an year or casual but must continue with complete and total consciousness of Allah till one breaths his or her last. That is what the concluding part of the Verse # 102 of Al-Imran exhorts: Wa La Tamutunna illa wa Antum Muslimun” [And do not allow death to overtake you ere you have surrendered yourselves unto Him]
13. It shows that it is a life-long process and program of continuously developing Allah consciousness, through keeping engaged in struggle for the Iqamah of His Deen in the body politics of the land, come what may. This is the right of Allah on every Muslim and Muslimah and this is the essence of “Haqqah Tuqatehi”, the “Allah-consciousness” that is due to Him.
14. May Allah give Tawfeeq to all of us to struggle for the Iqamah of His Deen to the last breath of our life and keep us up to the highest point of “Allah – consciousness” leading us to attain the most coveted position of “Al - Muhseneen” with Allah (SWT) through this pursuit! Amen!
April 8, 2009