Monday, February 20, 2012

Working Productively in Dunya for Akhira

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.

by Tasnim Nazeer
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