By Minahil Hasan.
When I saw the ad for the first time, the title caught my eye. But I wasn’t sure which way Speaker Raja Zia Ul Haq (CEO, Youth Club) would take this topic. Would it just be an admonishing sermon, or would it be so dry to warrant a speedy exit from the hall? To find an answer to this, I reached Majestic Banquets in the early morning on the 27th Jan 2019.
I was astonished when the talk began; believe me, it was absolutely amazing. Brother Zia not only grabbed our attention from the first instance, but he ensured, by his light comments and witty jokes, that we stayed alert and attentive.
The content itself was eye-opening. There are so many misconceptions and doubts that lead Muslims to be completely lost in their lives. What are those misconceptions and how do we dispel those doubts and renew our faith?
Here are the top 3 lessons I learnt from the LOST workshop.
Lesson 1: Do not doubt Allah (SWT)’s existence.
Be wary of the Shaitaan leading you to doubt Allah (SWT)’s existence by trapping you in a loop of endless questions about Allah (SWT)’s existence.
Focus on what does exist.
All of this is created by Allah (SWT). He has complete control over everything. That is all we need to believe in Allah (SWT) completely and firmly.
But you might be saying to yourself, ‘Well, we do need proof to believe in something’.
And you are right.
This is where sometimes we are led to believe that because we cannot find scientific proofs of Allah (SWT)’s existence, there is no reason to believe He exists. Yet we forget that Allah (SWT) has Himself laid out the proofs of His existence:
‘And on the earth are signs for the certain (in faith); and in yourselves. Then will you not see?[Surah Dhariyat, 51: 20-21]
‘Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.’[Surah Ale-Imran, 3:190]
We cannot let science triumph over our religion which is why it’s important to take in all the miracles and creations of Allah (SWT) that are around us every day to remind ourselves that there is a higher Being who is in control of everything.
Lesson 2: Engage with and learn Islam through proper and authentic sources. Do not depend on your personal opinions about Islam.
Islam is perhaps the only major monotheistic religion that encourages its practitioners to research, question, and critically engage with the study of the deen.
Do you have doubts? Islam is often portrayed as a barbaric religion with extreme commandments that are ‘incompatible’ with the modern world. And when this view is as mainstream as it is now, it is understandable to have doubts. But do not just leave those doubts to fester. Resolve them!
Study the Quran. Find out the authentic interpretations of the verses. Go to a scholar for more guidance. Find relevant Ahadith from the authentic books. Understand the wisdom and significance of Islamic commandments.
But remember that Islam is not meant to be tailor-made to a person’s personal life choices and opinions. There is one right path to Islam and we should strive always to stay on it.
Lesson 3: This life is a test of our patience, our faith, and our actions.
The age-old question: “if there is a god, why is there so much evil in this world?” continues to be raised in discussions about religion and Islam.
Yet Allah (SWT) repeatedly says in the Quran that this life was meant to test our patience, our amaal (actions), and our faith.
‘And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.’[Surah Baqarah, 2:155]
‘[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.’[Surah Al-Mulk, 67:2]
‘And We divided them throughout the earth into nations. Of them some were righteous, and of them some were otherwise. And We tested them with good [times] and bad that perhaps they would return [to obedience].’[Surah Al-A’raf, 7:168]
Everything evil or bad in this world is a test, whether it’s a personal setback or a global issue. We are being tested on how we act in and react to the bad situations in our lives and in this world.
We need to act with patience in situations that challenge us, for how else would we display the level of patience that pleases Allah (SWT)?
When it comes to global problems like the famine in African countries or in Yemen, maybe it’s us who need to do more. We need to give more in charity; we need to pay our Zakah on time and properly; we need to waste less and give away more. There are so many things that we can do to help our fellow human beings with the resources and the abilities that Allah (SWT) has given us.
These lessons were a great reminder of what should be our Number 1 priority: leading a righteous life by obeying Allah (SWT) and securing the best of the Hereafter.
Reforming our ways and our views starts at home, so why delay? Why not start at once? Start telling some of what you have learnt to your family and friends and make a difference! Find ways to get involved in the study of the Quran. Engage with the deen. And foremost, make dua to Allah (SWT) to guide you towards Him.
May Allah (SWT) help us all in our journey ahead.