What is your bank balance today? – Part 2
Qarun (Nebuchadinezar or Korah) was one of Musa’s followers (a.s), but he rebelled against them… When his people said to him: “Do not exult, for the Almighty does not love the exultant. Rather seek, by means of what Allah has given you, to attain the abode of the hereafter, while not neglecting your share in this world. Be good to others as Allah has been good to you, and do not seek mischief in the land, for the Almighty does not love the mischief mongers.” He replied: “All that I have been given is by virtue of the knowledge that I possess.” (Quran 29: 76-77)
Thus Dear Brethren, I woke up today to confront the question: how much do I worth? Permit me to ask you too: How much do you worth? This question is not actually targeted at an invasion of your privacy, at least in material terms.
In fact I usually take flight from doing self assessment using currency as the denominator; I abhor the temptation to view life mainly through the prism of material provisions at my possession; I always pooh-pooh a reading of life which glories in the valorization of the temporal over the eternal.
Rather, I desire to ask you my sister and brother what you think you worth in the estimation of your creator. To know your worth in the estimation of your creator is very simple. Examine the way you treat His injunctions. Reflect on the way you serve Him.
Ponder the way you relate to His creatures, men and women, animals and the environment. Ask yourself whether you are a righteous servant of his, In doing that bear this in mind: “righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in the Almighty, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle.
Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous (Quran 2: 177)
Let us take our daily prayers (salat) as an example. According to Ibn Qayyim in his book “The path to guidance”, there are five levels of Muslim worshippers.
“The First is that of the one who is negligent and consequently wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing ablution properly, in performing the prayer at its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.
The second level belongs to the one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and performs his ablution with care. However, his striving (in achieving the above) is wasted due to whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas from achieving the fullest rewards.
The Third level is that of the one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (shaytaan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and jihaad.
The Fourth level is that of the one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord, the Exalted.
The Fifth level is that of the one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah.
The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, delighted with Him.
Ibn Qayyim suggests that the first worshipper will be punished, the second will be held to account, the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated, the fourth will be rewarded and the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye.
Whoever makes observance of prayers the delight and pleasure of his eye will enjoy nearness to his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic on the day of resurrection.
Conversely, those who trifle with their prayers are like the dregs and scum that follow a downpour in the reckoning of Allah. Let me ask you once again: what do you think you worth? Are you still busy counting the countables? Spare a thought this Friday for that which you cannot estimate: the remaining days you have in your account with your creator!!!
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