Saturday, March 28, 2009

We strive for the love of Allah

The mindset of the Islamic culture stems from the conviction that Allah Ta'ala is our Creator and Sustainer.

Hence in this short stay on earth, we are to serve Him alone in the manner taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Thus Islamic culture revolves around the firm belief that our mission in life is to serve Allah Almighty and His creation or our community.

With this mindset, one will sacrifice one's wealth, energies and time as much as possible for the purpose of life. Indeed one will acquire the necessities of life as well, but our faith will be the guiding light and driving force. Our faith or Taqwa (righteousness) will dictate and all else will follow. Life will be regarded as a journey wherein the traveler is not too concerned about the luxuries and comforts enroute. The traveler is focused towards his final destination in the hereafter. Yet, as a result of one's obedience to Allah Ta'ala, one will be blessed with true The Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, has explained that the desired destination for each Ahmadi is to achieve nearness of Allah Almighty and gain His pleasure, and we must strive to attain this state till the last breath of our life through our actions, by obeying the teachings of the Holy Prophet (saw).

Many a people form emotional bonds with worldly leaders and make many sacrifices to achieve material goals, but how many make sacrifices for Allah and His Prophet (saw)? These sacrifices for worldly leaders have no significance whatsoever because they do not follow Islamic teachings.

For those who are incarcerated, you should strive hard to form a pure and unique relationship with Allah Almighty by shunning all sorts of evil (greed, dishonesty, deceit, arrogance, pride, self-indulgence, etc.). Unless and until such a bond is developed with God, one is extremely weak and is confined to spiritual obscurity and incapable of facing any adversities. Therefore, make every effort to become the bearers of spiritual light as opposed to darkness, so that you are protected against the evil machinations of Satan.

Despite every adversity within this environment, we are told to constantly seek help from Allah and develop a direct relationship with Him. This can only be done if we put forth the purpose of our creation before us, as described in the Holy Quran "I have not created the Jinn and men but that they may worship Me" (51:57).

If we bear this in mind at all times, then our efforts to shun the vices and adopt the virtues described by Allah will be fruitful. These actions will further enhance our relationship with Allah Almighty. Remember, If we seek the blessings of Allah in our life, then we must always keep the purpose of our creation in mind.

The most fundamental way of worshipping God is through offering the five daily prayers. Every man, woman, young and old should remember that if they are lagging in observing Salat, then they will not be able to meet the standards prescribed to achieve the state of the righteous people. After the belief in One God, Salat is the most important pillar of our faith and therefore, you should perform it as if you see God before you. When one presents himself before a great leader, a type of fear prevails over him. God Almighty is the Most Supreme, therefore, visualizing God during Salat will eventually make us devoted worshippers.

The Holy Prophet (saw) said that one should offer Salat as if you see God before you. But if you are unable to do so, at least recognize the fact that God, Who has power over all things and is aware of the condition of every heart, sees you.

If we practice this, then our attention will be directed to improving our standards of worship, freeing them of worldly thoughts. Those who feel that they do not and/or cannot meet these standards should not despair. Remember, these are the standards you should strive for as this is the only way to make progress and attain additional blessings of Allah. Allah Almighty says "My mercy encompasses all things" (7:157).

Since we receive everything with Allah’s blessings, He will strengthen our efforts if we advance towards Him. When we strive in this way, the entire Jamaat will benefit. By the Grace of God, there are many in the Jama'at who offer prayers during the night and are far advanced in their love for God, but the Promised Messiah (as) desired to see the majority of the Jamaat members to reach these standards, and as the numbers of those who improve in Taqwa (righteousness) increase, we shall witness the dominance of the Jama'at. Our good actions will also attract others towards us and become a source of “Dawat Ilallah” (propagation of Islam).

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