Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lacking Means to Advance in Way of Allah

Question

Assalamu alaykum.

If you want to move forward and progress in Allah's way but the necessary factors are missing, could it be a punishment or that you are getting no further guidance? In Islam, we are told that in order to be successful on this path, we need certain things. The need to be around people, whether by being married or having a family, to avoid being alone with Shaytan (the devil), who will then attack you more. To have good pious people in your life who guide you; correct the environment you live in; the means to seek knowledge; the ability to do things if it is in an Islamic way, such as daily work, shopping, charity work, attending a gym, etc. However, doing these things always leads to some fitnah (temptation), as mixing will occur between genders or there will be other sinful things there. As women, it is hard to go out and keep busy in these ways, yet if one stays alone or without support, one becomes idle and sinful. So what if you do not have those necessary factors and fear how you will spend the rest of your life in this way, especially if marriage is not possible for some reasons? How can a person possibly achieve safety from Allah's punishment and progress forward in his path then, as even the Prophets and Companions had each other's support, and so on? It is clear that being alone causes one to fall back, as I find myself doing each time I try. This leads to questioning about whether one could be receiving the punishment of not being helped and could possibly be among those who are not guided. "Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright." I want to know whether there is a way to then be guided again? If a person is blinded further into misguidance due to what he deserved, then in the same way, is there a way that one can become deserving of being guided again according to Islam? Similarly, can one get out of Allah's punishment if this is what's happening?
May Allah reward you for your help.

Answer

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. Your letter shows your dedication and proper concern for how to be guided and receive the pleasure of Allah. Understanding this life is crucial to know what is a punishment and what is not. The only way to understand this life is to refer back to the Creator of this world; Allah, the Most High. He informed us that this life is a test for all of us, we are being tested to see whether we worship Allah at all times and in every situation or if we will turn away from the purpose of our life totally or partially. As a Muslim who understands her purpose in life and that it is to worship Allah alone by following the final Messenger, Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, you should take all the means that are permissible to please Allah and follow His Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. One of the pillars of faith is to believe in fate and that everything is by the will of Allah. He ordered us to do the best we can in whatever situation we are in, and the results are in the control of Allah. You should take the means to associate yourself with those who seek the pleasure of Allah, even if you would have to sacrifice something. Life is a struggle, try to get married to a pious individual who fears Allah, and supplicate for that. If you use all the means and you seek help from Allah and your situation is difficult, that means that Allah wants something from you at that moment, which is to be patient and to continue to be pleased with Allah as your Lord. Life is a test, and Allah showed us in the Quran that we are being tested with good and evil and that we all shall return to Allah.

Be patient, stay away from haram, and if you fall in haram and you were weak, then repent to Allah; He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. With tawheed (pure monotheism) and tawbah (repentance), you complete your faith.

Allah, the Most Merciful, does not put a burden on a person that he is not able to bear. Furthermore, the mandatory acts become non-mandatory if a person has a valid excuse. Therefore, you as a Muslim are ordered by Allah to do the best you can. If you fall short because it is beyond your capacity, then there is no sin on you, and Allah knows best what each human being's capacity is.

My advice to you is to be hopeful and have good expectations about Allah, that He decrees for you nothing less than what is beautiful and good, for you to worship Him with different acts of worship like patience, being grateful, humbleness, etc. What really matters is to enter Paradise and be saved from Hellfire, and this path – the path to Paradise – is the path that contains tests and trials and tribulations, but the final destination is beautiful, so it is worth it to be patient, bear witness to the mercy of Allah, and then take the proper means for happiness according to the Quran and the Sunnah.


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