A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
Muslims are urged to always ensure that the foods they are taking are Halal, which is, permitted by Islam for Muslim consumption. This is because Halal food brings blessings, while eating non-Halal food can distance oneself from conducting welfare activities. Non-Halal food could also darken and harden the heart, and make the consumer forget about the life hereafter and care only for the world.
Food can deeply affect one's personality and religious practice, because the source of Halal and clean food would make the whole body active so that one would remain devoted in performing religious deeds, and love life in this world as well the hereafter. Apart from that, eating Halal food will also bring about the feeling of gratification and devotion towards Allah the Almighty in oneself; it would enlighten one's heart and make one fully aware of Allah's might. All these characteristics will become the main reasons one's religious deeds are accepted and his prayers answered. Verily, food plays an important role in producing persons of quality, and who are ideal academically, physically and spiritually. Let others say we are fussy for being too cautious in choosing food. Most importantly, our religious deeds are accepted by Allah the Almighty and that we are safe in this world and the hereafter.
Islam is a religion quite different from its predecessor religions. It is unique and special in many ways, like no other religion has ever been before it. Almost all of the religions before Islam were meant to teach and guide a particular segment of society at any particular time and place, while Islam is the only religion chosen by Almighty Allah for guiding humanity till The Day of Judgment.
This day, I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…” (Holy Qur’an, 5:3)
Islam is also gifted by the presence of the last Apostle of Allah Almighty, i.e. Muhammad (PBUH), who also serves to be the last of messengers Allah (SWT) ever bestowed humanity with. Thus, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Holy Quran complement the religion that Islam is, with the graciousness and generosity of The Mightiest towards human beings.Now, only those people are deemed successful in the eyes of Allah (SWT) and His Apostle Muhammad (PBUH) who follow these two sources of guidance to regulate their lives with. In fact, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also once said: “I am leaving you two things and you will never go astray as long as you cling to them — they are the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.” [Reported by Al- Haakim - Sahih].
Given below are some of the basic principles and values that should be inculcated in Islamic lifestyle. They might include:
Abstinence From Interfering In Other’s Issues Have you ever tried to find the reason(s) why your life seems to be the epicenter of so many social issues? A neutral and mindful analysis would lead you to the conclusion that majority of problems we come across in our daily lives are due to unnecessarily bothering into others’ affairs. This type of issue arises only when a person thinks that he is the one with all the knowledge and wisdom, and therefore, has the right to poke into others’ affairs to guide them, which is absolutely wrong according to the teachings of Holy Quran that tells us:
[Al-Naml; 27:6} As to thee, the Qur'an is bestowed upon thee from the presence of One Who is Wise and All-Knowing.
Forgive Others And Seek Forgiveness Most of the times, it is our unforgiving nature that gives birth to so many of our daily life problems. Forgiveness is a virtue Allah Almighty beholds towards all of His creatures, and likes forgiveness Himself: An-Nisa [4:110] If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.Therefore, if we want to please Allah Almighty, we should try to follow an accommodating and forgiving behavior towards fellow human beings.
Abstinence From Jealousy Jealousy is also a very negative aspect of human character, which when overcomes other characteristics of human nature, causes a lot of problems in our social lives. Therefore, one should stay away from such negative feelings. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also advised us to stay away from jealousy, except in the following situation:
“Envy is not permitted except in respect of two persons — one whom Allah blesses with the recitation of the Quran and he remains engaged in it day and night, and the other is one who given abundance of wealth by Allah and he spends it (in Allah’s path) day and night”. May Almighty Allah bestow us the character and strength to follow these principles of a successful and peaceful life.
Every Muslim acknowledges that this life is temporary and the eternal life will begin in the hereafter. Allah has promised to those who believe and do righteous deeds a more bountiful, peaceful, and fulfilling life in the Hereafter; that is if we follow the principles of Islam accordingly and live our lives pleasing Allah and abstaining from sins. How can we work productively as an Ummah to achieve Allah’s Love in this life and the next? How can we work towards a permanent abode in Paradise?
This article is aimed to establish the various ways we can work efficiently to gain the favour of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and working for our Hereafter.
1. Maintaining Our Salah
We know as Muslims that one of the main acts which distinguishes a Muslim from a non-Muslim is Salah (prayer). The importance of prayer in Islam cannot be understated. Every Muslim is obliged by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) to pray five times a day, however there are many Muslims who forget the importance of this obligation. Prayer is one of the most essential elements of obtaining a place in Paradise.Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) has said what means:
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” (Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, Sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.) Accordingly, a Muslim must consider the consequences of neglecting prayer – will his other good deeds be accepted? Will his neglecting of prayers lead him to do more evil and bad deeds? Allah knows best, but we are told that prayer is obligatory and very important. We should ensure that we maintain our five daily prayers, performing them with enthusiasm, love, fear, hope, and sincerity.
2. Zakat (Obligatory Charity)
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has made it an obligation that every Muslim must give at least 2.5 per cent of their wealth each year to benefit the poor. The payment of zakat is an aspect of Islam which should not be overlooked as Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has commanded us to give to the less fortunate from what He has provided to us.
Charity is another aspect of Islam which deals with kind and righteous deeds to the less fortunate but charity in Islam also extends to the simplest of actions. Even a smile upon greeting your sister or brother can be an act of charity and giving. Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said that, “Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is an act of charity.” How Merciful is Allah and how beautiful is our religion that even a smile is counted as charity! If you are generous and give charity, Allah will give you the same in return or more in this dunya and in the akhirah. Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) said that “The best charity is to satisfy a hungry person” and also that “No wealth (of a servant of Allah) is decreased because of charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2247).
3. Virtuous Deeds Establishing a Path to Paradise
Apart from the five pillars of Islam establishing good relationships with family and maintaining pure friendships can also help to promote good deeds. There are many ways in which we can carry out virtuous deeds which can please Allah as discussed in this article in relation to prayer and charity. Other righteous deeds include being kind to others, being hospitable to family, friends and neighbours, not backbiting or judging others. We should rush to perform good deeds before something hinders us from doing so. Working towards bettering ourselves will help us improve our eman. There are many things we need to do as Muslims to ensure that our eyes, mouth and body are in submission to Allah; we need to constantly be checking our heart and purifying it to gain a better life in the Hereafter.
Final thoughts to reflect on and take that step today to a better life in the hereafter ….
• In this life we go through many ‘ups and downs’ as Allah provides us with sustenance and loss and we should all accept what Allah has decreed for us and this acceptance affirms our faith in Allah and our acknowledgement that He is The All-Powerful.
• If you do suffer from any misfortune in life, remember to remain steadfast in your prayer as this will give you strength and Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will give you relief in due time.
• If there is something certain in life, it is death – which has been decreed by Allah. Many of us have lost our loved ones to death and this should wake us up to the fact that one day we all will have to experience death. We should be ready for death and working with it in mind; if we don’t wake up to this reality, it may too late when death does arrive
• Try to make the necessary steps in your life today to work towards a better chance of obtaining Paradise and most importantly pleasing Allah by the way of Islam.
KNOWLEDGE: When a man dies no further reward is recorded for his actions, with three exceptions: Sadqa which continues to be supplied, or knowledge from which benefit continues to be reaped, or the prayers of a good son to his dead father. (Muslim).