As human beings, we are driven by our expectations, desires, and goals. Most often, these are governed by one common factor: convenience. We are well acquainted with the term “convenience”, which means “suitable for your purposes and needs and causing the least difficulty”. We tend to base our decisions on the easiest or least difficult options based on our desires.
This aspect has become the driving force of all things in human life, which can, sometimes, hamper our growth and hold us back from achieving excellence.
You may be wondering what Islam has to do with convenience since it is not vocalized often. The answer lies in picking and choosing certain aspects of Islam at our convenience. We tend to approve of things forbidden by our religion when it conflicts with our interests and desires, but quietly disregard the rules and regulations of Islam when it contradicts our choices.
Nowadays, religion has taken a backseat as our desires and preferences have taken the forefront. This is nothing but one of the numerous tricks of Satan to misguide us and take us astray from the path of Islam.
What gives us the audacity to pick and choose certain aspects of Islam to practice at our convenience?
The answer is multi-faceted, but some common denominators rule all individuals.
First: The lack of much-required dedication, devotion, and submission to the commands of Allah ﷻ and understanding of the Quran & Sunnah
This is the ugly reality of the ummah. We learn to read the Quran but do not understand and act upon it.
How many of our day-to-day actions are perfectly upon the guidance of the Quran? Barely any. This is because learning how to read the Quran in Arabic has become a norm, but understanding its meaning is a task that not many want to take up. Rote learning the Quran for a few years is easy, but giving much-needed time and dedication to learning tafsir is difficult and time-consuming.
Sadly, we are not able to compromise on our materialistic lifestyles and spare a couple of hours to understand the message of Allah ﷻ. We are just not as dedicated and devoted to learning the Quran as other worldly things. Naturally, when we are not adequately aware of the commands of our Lord, we will not be able to follow them diligently.
The day we understand the Quran and act upon it, we will become better Muslims, In Sha Allah. But alas, we, as an ummah, have our priorities in the wrong places. We can spend hours reading novels, but sitting down with the Quran for even thirty minutes is an exceedingly difficult feat to achieve. Ever wonder why? The answer lies in a simple word and emotion: attachment.
We have become so attached to the temporary pleasures of this frivolous world that we have almost forgotten the purpose of our creation. We have completely erased from our memories that we were created to worship Allah ﷻ in the best manner possible. We must devote ourselves to the worship of Allah ﷻ. We must dedicate our precious time to understanding the Quran and acting upon it. If we fail to practise this, we will surely be amongst the losers on the day of judgment.
Second: Practising Islam by twisting it to suit individual needs
We are living in an age where people consider themselves supremely intelligent and infallible. This attitude leads to the misinterpretation of the religion, which is a grave error. Human beings are so blinded by their misconceptions that they think they are intelligent enough to interpret the Quran and hadith on their own. Such people disregard the Quran, the hadith, the opinion of the scholars of the past, and the ways of the companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them) and the Prophet ﷺ himself.
How can we consider ourselves wise enough to contradict the commands of Al-Hakeem, The Most Wise? Will our intellect be of any aid to us on the day when eyes will stare in horror, when we will be questioned for every single deed of ours?
The need of the hour is to understand that however wise we may be regarding matters of Islam, our wisdom is incomparable, even a patch, to the wisdom of Allah ﷻ, nor is our understanding of religion at par with the Prophet’s ﷺ.
We must set aside our frail egos, humble ourselves, and accept that our interpretation of Islam to suit our needs is nothing but a means to earn Allah’s ﷻ wrath.
Third: Focusing on the wrong goal
To achieve some benefit is the primary motive behind every human act. Benefits are of two types: long-term and short-term. We often focus on the short-term benefits, which are the joys of this world, overlooking the long-term joys that await us in the afterlife.
We no longer care about Jannah; if we do, we consider it so easily achievable that we don’t consider working hard for it. We indulge in acts prohibited by Islam, not caring about the ramifications. We are so deeply entrenched in this cruel world and its materialism that our eyes are blinded and can’t see beyond this world.
Is this why our Prophet ﷺ suffered pain and misery while spreading the word of Islam, that his ummah will become so hungry for this world’s benefits that practising Islam to perfection will become a burden upon them?
The path to righteousness is straight and simple, and the guidelines laid down for us are precise. The purpose of our creation is to worship Allah ﷻ, and we cannot deny this at any cost whatsoever. We are slaves to Allah ﷻ, and we must submit our will to Him completely, with utmost dedication and devotion. If we wish to attain a beautiful akhirah, there is no choice for us to pick and choose aspects of Islam that suit our needs and circumstances
Constant reminders to ourselves that this world is temporary, Allah ﷻ is the only truth, and our actual life is beyond this world is the only way we can follow true Islam to perfection. We must prioritize Allah ﷻ over our convenience, because that is the only way we can achieve Jannah and a beautiful everlasting akhirah.
The next time we are in a situation where we are torn between choosing our convenience over obeying Allah ﷻ, we must obey Him, for it is Allah ﷻ who grants us ease and comfort. There can never be any goodness in His disobedience.
Always remember that we have to face Allah ﷻ on the day of judgment. The excuses we give to ourselves and the world for practising the religion as per our distorted ways are not going to make sense on the Day of Resurrection. So, whatever we do and wherever we go, always prioritize Allah ﷻ and practise Islam as it should be practised, and not at our convenience.
May Allah ﷻ make us His humble enslaved people and make us worthy of His love and a beautiful afterlife. Aameen.
Written by: Iram Atiqulla
Edited by: The Editorial Team
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