Volume 4: The path for the identity of a Muslim

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying: “We believe,” and they will not be tested? Q 29:2. Anas bin Malik reported: The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations (Muslim).

The above Verse and Hadith (among several others) clearly define the identity of a Muslim. Life consists of ups and downs, likes and dislikes, ease and hardships, name it. Therefore, a Muslim is required to constantly struggle in GOOD FAITH to overcome tests, trials or hardships so as to REMAIN on the straight path. And the struggle has to be with patience, perseverance and steadfastness. That is to say, belief or being a Muslim is not a guarantee or insurance against trials and tribulations. Accepting and living by this philosophy is what identifies a Muslim. This is the standard of Allah.

Even the Messengers of Allah were tried. Muhammad (SAW) and his companions had to face the trial of insecurity in Makkah (Mecca). Migrating to Madinah did not solve their problem. They had to physically defend their lives, property and faith at Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Tabuk, Hunain, etc. And at each occasion, they were the weaker side with less “personnel” and weaponry. But they were steadfast, they persevered. The same situation applies to other Messengers. Yusuf was thrown into a well by his own brothers and later imprisoned for no fault of his.

The author clarifies that trials do not always come in the “negative” such as loss of family member or property, poverty, sickness, and so on; they could in-fact be “positives” like wealth, power, children etc. More so, obeying Allah’s commandments against all odds is another form of trial. He further explains, “Hence, trials should not scare the believers and they need not to be tired of struggling or lose hope in Allah. Allah is with the believers and in their aid, by His Grace and Mercy.”

Believers who cannot withstand trials, who question the justification of why those on the right path are afflicted with hardships every now and then, turn out to become hypocrites. The next section of the book identifies their characteristics with rich quotations from the Qur’an because there is a thin line between a Muslim and a hypocrite. The last part of the book drew attention to the struggle of earlier Prophets like Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Salih, Lut and Shu’aib with the unbelievers of their time. The reader should not expect to see the life history of these Prophets. Several books have already done that. The focus here is to identify their struggle and how they overcame them.

Justice Na’ibi Sulaiman Wali wrote the forward.

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