So how can we achieve success in this Dunya? The answer is simple- following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) which he taught us in his 23 years of Prophethood. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has clearly stated us to follow him in order to be successful in this world and next. The Quran instructs us:
Say, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away – then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged. And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification.”
Surah An-Nur, Ayah 54, (24:54) Translation: Sahih International
When we obey Allah and the instructions of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), we need to follow their commands fully and are expected to enter Islam fully. The Quran says:
O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 208 (2:208) Translation: Sahih International
And those who fear Allah properly, they do not need to fear anything regarding the Hereafter as they will be considered as friends of Allah during the Day of Judgement.
Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve
Those who believed and were fearing Allah
For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah. That is what is the great attainment.
Surah Yunus, Ayahs: 62-64 (10:62-64) Translation: Sahih International
When we die, the Angels of Death will greet the righteous believers and will give Salam on behalf of Allah. Just imagine, they will send us the Salam from our Lord. This is more than any honor existing in this world.
Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (Rahmatullah Allaih) said:
“Those whose lives the angels take while they are in a pious state (i.e. pure from all evil, and worshipping none but Allah Alone) saying (to them): “As-Salamu Alaykum” (peace be on you) enter you Paradise, because of that (the good) which you used to do (in the world)” [Surah Al-Nahl, Ayah 32; 16:32 –interpretation of the meaning].
The angels of mercy take the souls of the pious and lift them up to heaven with great care, coming with glad tidings, calling them by the most loved of their names, so they feel joy, blessing and happiness which makes them steadfast.
The Quran guarantees high position to the best of the believers, namely the Mujahideens:
Degrees [of high position] from Him and forgiveness and mercy. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
Surah An-Nisa, Ayah 96 (4:96) Translation: Sahih International
To be the friend of Allah a person needs to exhibit these 5 characteristics:
- Being with the Pious People:
In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.”
References: Sunan Abu Dawood & Jami At-Tirmidhi
Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Verily, Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: Where are those who love each other for the sake of my glory? Today, I will shelter them in my shade on a day when there is no shade but mine.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim
- Does Dhikr in Remembrance of The Creator
Mu’adh ibn Jabal (Radi Allahu Anhu) narrated, “The last thing upon which I parted from the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is that I said to him, ‘Which actions are better and closer to Allah?’ He answered, ‘That you die while your tongue is moist with the remembrance of Allah, mighty is He and majestic.’
Reference: Ibn Hibban, Hadith 918. This Hadith has been graded Sahih.
The Quran states that:
O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance
Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 41, (33:41) Translation: Sahih International
- Cleanses Oneself from Sinning
This is by far the most important characteristics. A Muslim should be wise enough to prevent himself/herself from sinning. Broadly we can classify sins into two categories:
- Batin sins: The sins caused by the heart or soul
- Zahir sins: The sins caused by the external parts of the body.
Batin sins are more severe in nature. In fact it is the disease of the soul which gets us indulged in external sins when our Imaan is weak. When we leave Batin sins, the Zahir sins are automatically cleansed.
One of the most popular Zahir sin is bad gaze. Unlawful gaze ruins our Imaan and we must make amends to protect our eyes. Only the first gaze on a non-mahram is Halal, the gazes which follow after that are prohibited in Islam. Hadith narrates that:
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “O Ali, do not follow a glance with another, for you will be forgiven for the first, but not for the second.”
References: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2701; Sahih al-Jaami’, Hadith 7953.
The unrestrained glances on a non-mahram women has been classed as being a poisonous arrow by Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
It is reported in a Hadith Qudsi, “The (evil) gaze is a poisonous arrow from the arrows of Iblis. He that abstains from it out of my fear, I will grant him in return such Imaan (faith), the sweetness of which he will experience within his heart.”
Reference: Hadith Qudsi narrated by Imam Ibn Kathir (Rahmatullah Allaih).
The unauthorized gazes slowly lower down the Nur of the Imaan, the enjoyment of doing an Ibadah eventually dampens. Today our society is in a chaos. We have our women going out with non-mahram men at the middle of the night, the unauthorized hanging out, making out, every rule set up by our Lord is being violated by people who come from Muslim households. In the end we all blame Allah for any misfortune that touches us. What miserable creature we truly are…
The second most significant Zahir sin is the usage of swear words. This has indeed been classified as a major sin in Islam as cursing is in fact a characteristic of a hypocrite, not a Muslim.
It is reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The believer is not given to cursing, slandering or obscene and foul speech.”
References: Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih), Hadith 3948 & Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1977.
- Maintains the Best Behavior towards Others
Good deeds will be of no value if one does not maintain a decent behavior. One Hadith states:
One time the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was asked about a woman who performed lots of prayers, fasted and gave charity but she used to harm her neighbor by her speech. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that she is in the Hell-fire. Then the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was asked about a woman who did not fast, pray or give in charity much [more than what was obligatory upon her] but she would not harm her neighbors. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that she is in Paradise.
References and Note: This hadith was recorded by Ahmad, ibn Maajah and al-Haakim. Ali Hasan al-Halabi states that its chain is Sahih. Ali Hasan Abdul Hameed, Huqooq al-Jaar fi Saheeh al-Sunnah wa al-Athaar (Amman, Jordan: al-Maktaba al-Islaamiya, 1993), p. 31. This hadith is sometimes misused. Obviously, the second woman fulfilled her requirement of prayer, fasting and so forth but she did little voluntary deeds of that nature. There are people today who do not even perform the five daily prayers and they claim themselves to be better than those who do pray just because they are good to their neighbors or others. What they claim for themselves cannot be concluded from this hadith.
We must follow the example of our Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and imitate his form of good manners.
Narrated Anas (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was the best among the people (both in shape and character) and was the most generous of them, and was the bravest of them. Once, during the night, the people of Medina got afraid (of a sound). So the people went towards that sound, but the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) having gone to that sound before them, met them while he was saying, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.” (At that time) he was riding a horse belonging to Abu Talha and it was naked without a saddle, and he was carrying a sword slung at his neck. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “I found it (the horse) like a sea, or, it is the sea indeed.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 6033.
Indeed the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) possessed the best of manners and his character was such that he would always be willing to listen attentively and never used to interrupt the speaker until that person finished what he wanted to say. Another Hadith states:
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was always the first to greet another and would not withdraw his hand from a handshake till the other man withdrew his. If one wanted to say something in his ears, he would not turn away till one had finished.
References: Sunan Abu Dawud & Jami At-Tirmidhi
If one maintains bad behavior, that person will surely lose his Shahadah since that person won’t then be considered a proper Muslim. In order to be an Ashiq-E-Rasool, we need to free our minds from making bad assumptions about others. If we are capable of doing that our daily routine will then be turned into an Ibadah even if we are not directly engaged in doing good.
- Abandons one’s Arrogance
Arrogance is a disease of the heart and in fact the most fatal disease of the heart. Arrogance is termed as being the mother of all sins. Iblis was banished from Heaven due to his arrogance and if we give in to arrogance and if we follow his path, we too will be cursed by Allah. One scary Hadith mentions the severity of possessing arrogance:
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Masood Radi Allahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah) Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “No one will enter Paradise who has pride in his heart equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and no one will enter Hell who has faith in his heart equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 172 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 4173.
One mustn’t do good deeds and then look down on other whom he perceives being weaker in Imaan than him. Here’s a story of a modest pious man, Imam Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih):
In the year 555 (Hijri) Hazrat Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih) journeyed towards Makkah for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. During his visit to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s Masjid in Medina he offered his prayers at the blessed mausoleum of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
In a loud voice he addressed the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), “Peace be upon you, my ancestor.” Then a voice from the blessed shrine replied: “Peace be with you, my descendant.” On hearing this voice Hazrat Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih) was over powered with ecstasy. Many others in attendance heard the blessed voice of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) at the same time. With tears in his eyes, Hazrat Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih) disclosed that when he was away from the sacred resting place of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), his spirit used to visit and kiss the blessed shrine of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
He pleaded with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) for physical touch and requested that the holy hands be extended to enable the lips of the devotee to kiss them. At the urging of Hazrat Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih), the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) extended his holy hands from his grave and Hazrat Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih) kissed the blessed hand. Many thousands devotees, present at that time, were honored by the sight of the blessed hand. Among them were many illustrious Sufi saints such as Ghaus E Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (Rahmatullah Allaih), Hazrat Shaykh Ali bin Musafir al Amomi (Rahmatullah Allaih) and Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Razaq Hussain Wasti (Rahmatullah Allaih).
Reference: This incident is mentioned in the book entitled Al-Hawi by Imam Al-Suyuti (Rahmatullah Allaih). There are disputes among scholars regarding the authenticity of this account.
This same man once spent forty days caring for a dog with leprosy in the wilderness. When he returned and was asked why he had spent so much time caring for an unclean beast, he replied, “When I die and meet my creator, what would I have said if He asked me why I hadn’t helped one of His creatures?”
One Friday, when Hazrat Syed Ahmad Rifai (Rahmatullah Allaih) woke up for prayer, there was a cat asleep on his robe. He asked his wife to bring the scissors, cut off the part of his robe where the cat lay, stood up and went to prayers. When he returned, the cat had awakened and left, so he asked his wife for thread to sew the robe back together. When he saw his wife’s displeasure at what he had done to his robe, he said “Do not worry, nothing but goodness happened and I did not suffer because of this; this was a good thing.”
Imagine the modesty of this man, even after getting blessed with getting the opportunity to kiss the hand of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), he was still remained humble enough to help small creations of Allah. This is how real Mumins should be like.
May Allah grant us the characteristics of a dedicated Muslim and make us among the ones who are righteous, Ameen.
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May Allah reward us for our dedication towards Islam, Ameen. Let’s all be a part of a well-refined Muslim Ummah!