Ever played those word puzzles and brain teasers on Facebook or any other game website? They are pretty interesting and not to forget, extremely addictive…the moment I started, I wanted to be the one with the highest points…to be number one among my friends! I believe you all felt like that…right?
Competitions, Races, e.t.c., is life i think.This quest for being the best in whatever we do, is and always will be our main objective in life. Having the best grades, the best job, the prettiest looks, the most gorgeous of dresses,…being on top in everything that life has to offer…but what about the competitions regarding our Deen? Relax, i’m not talking about the Quran memorizing competition!
I mean competing in being the best in complying with Allah’s rules and staying away from His prohibitions. We seem to be so preoccupied in worldly affairs, racing towards popularity, beauty and competing in gaining wealth and status, that we totally forget about the race in which we really should be competing!
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) instructs the believers in the most beautiful way,
“RACE [i.e., compete] toward forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is like the width of the heavens and earth, prepared for those who believed in Allah and His Messengers. That is the bounty of Allah, which He gives upon whom He wills and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” (57:21)
He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says, “And HASTEN to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden [i.e. paradise] as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.” (3:133)
He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says,” So RUN to Allah. Indeed I am to you a clear warner.” (51:50)
And, “..So RACE to [all that is] good…” (2:148)
And Allah tells us about the pleasures at the end of the race, “Indeed, the righteous will be in pleasure. On adorned couches observing. You will recognize in their faces the radiance of pleasure. They will be given to drink [pure] wine [which was] sealed. The last of it is musk. So for this, let the competitors COMPETE. And its mixture is of tasneem, A spring from which those near [to Allah] drink. (83:22-28)
No doubt, the skins shiver and the eyes become moist when we think about the real race for which we should be competing!! Actually, THIS is what life is all about…racing and competing with each other to gain the most of Allah mercy, love and pleasure. It is the supreme race to success and happiness in the Hereafter…the life after death…the eternal and everlasting life that we as Muslims and believers are heading to. It’s not the latest dress in fashion or that branded watch that we race to buy that matters to Allah…it’s actually His way of life-Islam, that we follow that makes all the difference. This life is NOT at all about disobeying Allah to please the people around you, just to fit in with them! It is about acting over the commands of Allah, humbly submitting to Him by heart, body and soul and being an example of a true ideal Muslim for others to follow!
Striving and competing to do all that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has commanded and avoiding all that He has forbidden and hastening to Him with our record full of good deeds should be our major goal in life. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives glad tidings of His mercy and paradise to the ones who fear Him and stay away from His prohibitions and ones who act upon His orders, do good deeds while fearing that they won’t be accepted by Allah.Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says,
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says,
“Indeed they who are apprehensive from fear of their Lord. And they who believe in the signs of their Lord. And they who do not associate anything with their Lord. And they give what they give while their hearts are fearful beacause they will be returning to their Lord. It is those who HASTEN to good deeds and they outstrip others.(i.e., they are foremost in them). (23:57-61)
It was narrated by Ummul Mumineen, Aisha(R.A): I asked Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) about this verse;“And they give what they give while their hearts are fearful “(23:60) whether they were people who drank alcohol and stole. He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “No, daughter of as-Siddiq, but they are those who fast, pray and give sadaqah while fearing that their (good) deeds may not be accepted from them (by Allah). They are those who COMPETE with one another in good deeds.”
(Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)
It was narrated by Uqba (R.A) : “One day the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went out and offered the (funeral) prayer for the people (i.e. martyrs) of Uhud as he used to offer a funeral prayer for any dead person, and then (after returning) he ascended the pulpit and said, “I am your predecessor before you, and I am a witness upon you, and I am looking at my Tank just now, and I have been given the keys of the treasures of the world (or the keys of the world). By Allah, I am not afraid that you will worship others besides Allah after me, but I am afraid that you will compete with each other for (the pleasures of) this world.” (Saheeh Bukhari & Muslim)
Allah ((subhanahu wa ta’ala) says,
“The believers are only ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then they doubt not but STRIVE with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.” (49:15)
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says,
“And whoever strives, only strives for [the benefit of] himself. Indeed Allah is Free from need of the worlds. And those who believe and do righteous deeds – We will surely reward them according to the best of what they used to do.” (29:6-7)
He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says,
“And those who STRIVE for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways (the means to attain the acceptance and pleasure of Allah). And indeed Allah is with the doers of good.” (29:69)
My dear sisters and brothers…let us join this noble competition too. We should start availing the multitude of oppurtunities that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) keeps bestowing on us and try our utmost in benefitting from them in order to draw closer to Allah-our Creator and Sustainer. Let us follow the example of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his companions who were always competing with each other in doing righteous deeds.
Praise be to Allah who guided us and enlightened us with this aspect of Deen. Let us be grateful to Him for this favour by planning and preparing to RACE to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)…let us read, recite, undersand, contemplate, practice Allah’s Noble Book..,
Let us COMPETE to gain His love…let us do our best to be ON TOP of the list of Allah’s beloved ones, come my dear fellow muslims, come, let us win this RACE for peace, happiness and success in this World and the Hereafter!!
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says,
“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know. He will forgive for you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence. That is the great attainment.” (61:10-12)