|The trials of our Deeds|
Very often we ask ourselves the questions: Why are we here? What are we doing here? Or again (we ask) the reasons of our existence.
Ever since man has acknowledged that he is alive, he has set himself out to decipher the reasons behind his coming to the world. He uses his senses to discover what is around him.
Man gleans his first feelings and his development with the help of his limbs and his senses, particularly hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell. His ears, eyes, fingers, tongue and nose provide him with concrete information with exactness. However, these senses have their limits.
Where data given by the senses are limited, man is the only creature who has received from his lord a gift which other creatures have not obtained, that is, intellect and reasons. His brain and his feelings enable him to gauge and control different things and even the way of thinking.
So the senses and reasons have made of man what he is today. However, we should know that both senses and intellect have their limits. Where human intellect stops, there divine revelation takes over, and where intellect cannot move forward, there revelation brings light and proper orientation.
Since human intellect is endowed with spiritual gratitude, the latter is our objective in this nether world. Our lord has revealed Holy Scriptures in order to remind man of the real purpose of his creation. Allah Ta’ala has stated: “I have not created the jinns and man except that they should worship Me (alone). (Az Zariyat: 56). Worship or religious service implies obedience to Allah Ta’ala by both the heart and the body.
When faith springs from the heart, the body starts to execute divine commands. Man then accomplishes the ultimate objective of his creation, that is, offering the best actions to the Supreme Master. The Koran explicitly defines the purpose of life: “Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed.” (Al Mulk : 2).
The objective behind the trials of life is to enrich further our faith by means of lessons we learn from them. Allah Ta’ala uses wealth and poverty as a means to test our faith. Allah Ta’ala has stated: “We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good” (Al- Anbiya :35).
If you obtain wealth, then thank Allah Ta’ala through good actions such as Swalaah (prayer) and charity, and stay away from ignoble and unjust deeds. The Qur’an mentions the example of Sulaiman (A.S) who bowed before his Lord: “This is by the Grace of my Lord-to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful.” (An-Naml : 40). Unlike Pharaoh or even Korah who disobeyed with arrogance.
And if you are plagued by poverty, then seek patience in Swalaat and make a lot of istighfaar (seeking forgiveness). It has been reported, as narrated by Musannaf Abdur Razzaq, that, whenever food was not available, the Prophet (PBUH) would recite the following verse: “And enjoin prayer on your family, and be patient in offering them (the prayers). We ask not of you a provision; we provide it for you. And the good end is for the pious” (Twaha : 132).
The favours of Allah Ta’ala should be reflected in good actions. If the favours are of a scale which affects the family, then the latter should strive (to do good deeds): Allah Ta’ala did command the family of Dawood (AS): “O family of David! Strive with gratefulness” (AS-Saba :13).
The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) used to spend whole nights in ibadah in order to be a grateful servant (Bukhari).
In fact, the ultimate objective of our deeds is divine satisfaction. It is also important to seek forgiveness. “And who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning.” (Al-E-Imran : 17). The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) used to recite ASTAGHFIRULLAH three times after every farz Swalaah, so as to keep himself free from sin.
During this great and holy month of Ramadan, let us try to increase our account of good deeds through fasting, taraweeh, zikrullah (Remembrance of Allah) and reading of the Qur’an in abundance.