Touchstone of Faith
I had explained to you in my previous post that according to the Quran there are men who go astray in three ways. One is to leave aside the law of Allah and become slave of corporal desires. The second is to give preference to family customs and ways of life of forefathers over the law of Allah. The third is to ignore the system enunciated by Allah and His messenger and follow the ways of fellow-beings who either be big personalities of their own nation or dominant nations of the world:
Real definition of a Muslim
The real definition of a Muslim is that he should be immune from these three ailments. That person alone is called a Muslim who is a slave of none but Allah and a follower of none but His beloved Prophet ﷺ.
He alone is a Muslim who sincerely believes that the teaching of Allah and His beloved messenger ﷺ is Absolute Truth, and that whatever is against it is false, and that whatever is good for man in this world and in the Hereafter is all contained in the teaching of Allah and His beloved Prophet ﷺ. One who has complete faith in these verities always seeks guidance at every step in his life from the relevant injunction of Allah and His beloved messenger ﷺ, and on knowing the injunction submits to it. Having done that, he will never bother if his mind felt uneasy about it, or his family members upbraided him, or the worldly type of people opposed him, because in each case he will clearly reply: “I am the slave of Allah ﷻ not yours; I have affirmed faith in His beloved messenger ﷺ, not in you.”
Signs of Hypocrisy
- Servitude of ‘Self’
If, contrary to this, a person says: “May this be the injunction of Allah and His messenger, my mind does not accept it because I consider it harmful. So I shall put aside the directions of Allah and His messenger and act according to my own opinion.” Obviously the heart of such a person is bereft of faith. He is not a Momin but a hypocrite because while he verbally asserts that he is a servant of Allah and a follower of His messenger, in reality he is a slave of his own self and a follower of his own opinion.
- Adherence to custom
Similarly, if a person says that whatever may be the injunction of Allah and His Prophet, how can a certain custom be given up when it is practiced from his forefathers’ time or how can a usage be discontinued which has been in vogue for long in his family and kith and kin. Such a person too will be reckoned among the hypocrites, though he might have grown on his forehead any size of knob due to profuse prostration in endless prayers and might have made his face very religious looking because the actual reality of Deen has not permeated his heart. Deen does not consist of Ruku, Sajdah, Fasting and Hadj nor is it found in the face and dress of a man. In fact Deen means obedience to Allah and His messenger. One who refuses to obey Allah and His messenger in conducting his affairs, his heart is in reality devoid of Deen. His Salat, his fasting and his religious appearance is nothing but a fraud.
- Imitation of other nations
Similarly, if a person, not caring for the Book of Allah and His messenger’s directions, urges that certain custom be adopted because it is prevalent among other nations, and a particular thing be accepted because another nation is making progress because of it, and a certain point be conceded because an prominent person is advocating it, then such a person should guard himself against losing his faith. This type of talk is irreconcilable to Imaan. If you are a Muslim and want to remain one, then throw overboard every suggestion which is contrary to the injunctions of Allah and His messenger. Should you be unable to do this, it does not behove you to claim adherence to Islam. To assert verbally that you believe in Allah and His messenger but to set aside their injunctions in the affairs of your life in favour of other people’s dictum is neither Imaan nor Islam. In fact it is downright hypocrisy.
Allah has clearly stated in the 24th surah of the Quran:
We have indeed sent down (in this Quran) manifest Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, lawful and unlawful things, and the set boundries of Islamic religion, etc. that make things clear showing the Right Path of Allah). And Allah guides whom He wills to a Straight Path (i.e. to Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism). [24:46]
They (hypocrites) say: “We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and we obey,” then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers. [24:47]
And when they are called to Allah (i.e. His Words, the Quran) and His Messenger (SAW), to judge between them, lo! a party of them refuse (to come) and turn away. [24:48]
But if the right is with them, they come to him willingly with submission. [24:49]
Is there a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt or fear lest Allah and His Messenger (SAW) should wrong them in judgement. Nay, it is they themselves who are the Zalimun (polytheists, hypocrites and wrong-doers, etc.). [24:50]
The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Quran) and His Messenger (SAW), to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise). [24:51]
And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW), fears Allah, and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones. [24:52]
Ponder over the definition of Imaan set forth in the above verses. Real Imaan consists in dedicating oneself to the Book of Allah and directions of His messenger. Whatever order is received from there, must be implicitly obeyed and nothing against it should be listened to, may it come from one’s own mind or from the family members or from the worldly people. Only that person is Momin and Muslim who develops this state of mind. And whoever is devoid of it is no more than a hypocrite.