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Leson 10: Direct Obedience (Part III)

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Lesson 10




For especially my younger readers: this is a very long lesson. Here is its main idea. Arrogance or pride is one of the causes for us to disrespect one another, and it should never find comfort at all in the hearts of believers in Allah (S.W.A.); the other cause is spite which you will read about later.

Social Law

Respect One to Another

We must treat one another with respect, love and kindness. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) recommends that we should respect others of the same age like us as we would want to be respected. Then we should respect our elders like we would respect our parents, and then the young must respect the older children, but the older children must be kind to the young. Having respect for fellow men and life in general is a sign of respect for Allah (S.W.A) who created all. Allah (S.W.A) informs us that he created us differently, and ranked us one above another, and made some of us poor and others rich – all for a test and not in any way a reason to despise one another. Every human being is a noble, unique, and precious creature of Allah (S.W.A). This is what Allah (S.W.A) has to say,

“Oh mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things) (49:13).”

“See how we have bestowed more on some than on others; but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence (

“It is not your wealth or your sons that will bring you nearer to us (Allah) in degree: but only those who believe and work righteousness – these are the ones for whom there is a multiplied reward for their deeds, while secure they (reside) in the dwellings on high! (34:37)”

“Your riches and your children may be but a trial: but in the presence of Allah is the highest reward. (64:16)”

My friends let us not let the gifts Allah (S.W.A) has given us be a cause of diversion for us from the straight way. These special gifts may include wealth, beauty, intelligence, character, kindness, charisma, etc. These are tools Allah (S.W.A) gave us to serve, to obey and to worship Him. It is up to us to look for these special gifts in us and use them correctly, and never to let them be a cause for our failure.  Allah counsels us;

“And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah and make not your own hands contribute to your (destruction); but do good; for Allah loves those who do good (2:195)”

Let us consider in perspective one gift of Allah (S.W.A) which is commonly abused– beauty. If your gift is beauty, you can serve Allah (S.W.A) with it by taking care of it and maintaining it for yourself, for those related to you (but you can’t marry), and above all, for your spouse. You can obey Allah (S.W.A) with your beauty by not displaying it as if it were your own property, and thereby causing trouble for those whom Allah (S.W.A) describes as having a disease in their hearts, or simply causing temptation for the normal ones. You can worship Allah (S.W.A) with your beauty by thanking him for making you one of those many things that make the world a very beautiful place. This is the right way to use the gift of beauty. To misuse it would be to become arrogant about it and look down upon those who lack the gift; to illegally dispose of it in ways Allah (S.W.A) would not approve, and to use it to cause trouble for other people.

All our God-given gifts are a test. They are tools Allah (S.W.A) armed us with to use and relearn to obey Him. Allah (S.W.A) is going to ask us how well we used His tools for service, worship, and obedience of him. We should understand that whatever we have is from our God and should not be a cause for us to become puffed up with pride. We should not allow ourselves to descend to the level of those who would be punished for misusing Allah (S.W.A)’s gifts. Allah (S.W.A) speaks,

“That was because you were wont to rejoice on the earth in things other than the truth, and that you were wont to be insolent (40:75).”

“Enter you the gates of hell, to dwell therein and evil is (this) abode of the arrogant! (40:76)”

Being puffed up with pride instead of serving Allah (S.W.A) with our gifts would be misuse of these God-given gifts. The perfect way to cure pride is always to remember that whatever we have or whatever we are is just a gift from Allah (S.W.A), and therefore, we thank him for having passed the blessing through us by saying ‘All praise are due to Allah (S.W.A)’ (Alhamdullillah). Henceforth, we must strive and always keep it in mind that our gifts are not for us to boast about, but we must produce results with them for the owner of them.  These special gifts are just leased property. We have to return them together with what we have reaped with them. If we use these tools wisely, we would succeed by being gifted with eternal life. On the other hand if we misuse or neglect these tools, we will be called upon to pay for our misuse and neglect. Don’t forget. We are here on earth to tame our wills to abide by the will of Allah (S.W.A). In return Allah (S.W.A) will reward us with eternal life. Remember Shaitan used this eternal life prospect as a bait to make our father, Adam (A.S) to disobey his beloved creator. He is not going to let us go easy without pushing us off the right track. With the same determination he used to destroy our father, he is using it right now to make us forget our real purpose on this planet. Allah narrates,

“He said (Shaitan): ‘Because you have thrown me out of the way, Lo! I will lie in wait for them on your straight way: (7:16)”

“Then will I (Shaitan) assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor will you find in most of them gratitude (7:17)”

Allah (S.W.A) warns us,

“Let not the evil one hinder you for he is to you an enemy avowed. (43:62)”

Don’t expect Shaitan to come swooping down from the sky in a black cape. The evil one is much closer than we think. He can come in the form of a person who encourages us to disobey Allah (S.W.A), who teaches us harmful habits, who creates false desires in us for things we really don’t need. Shaitan can even use us by inflating our egos, by making us fall in love with vanity, by blinding us to Allah (S.W.A)’s gifts and thus we become ungrateful. Shaitan is laziness that binds us in our beds or on the computer or on the T.V. and prevents us from performing our salah, helping others or ourselves. Watch out for these – vanity, ungratefulness, false hopes and desires, destructive behavior, shame, filth, nakedness, stagnancy, negativity, pride, being spiteful, anger, hate, and grouchiness are some of Shaitan’s marks. It is almost impossible to win the battle with the evil one because as Allah (S.W.A) says, he watches us from a position we can’t see him. This means that while we can’t know what he is planning for us, he knows our plans and our needs, so he uses them against us. However, the only way to defeat this sneaky whisperer of evil is to hold on tightly to Allah (S.W.A) by doing His duty sincerely with the gifts He gave us.  Also trusting Allah (S.W.A) with our lives’ needs and keeping our hopes alive for his deliverance of us from whatever difficulties we may encounter is also another formidable block to keep the evil Shaitan at bay and from reaching us. Then the evil one will have no power over us, either to cause failure of self or causing hatred among us. Allah (S.W.A) warns us,

“Oh you who believe! Follow not Shaitan’s footsteps; if any will follow the footsteps of Shaitan, he will but command what is shameful and wrong; and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah does purify whom He pleases, and Allah is One who hears and knows all things. (24:21)”

Here Allah (S.W.A) admonishes us,

“Oh you who believe! Do your duty to Allah. Seek the means of approach onto him, and strive with might and main in his cause: that you may prosper. (

”No authority has he (Shaitan) over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord (16:99)”
“(Shaitan) said: ‘Oh my Lord! Because you have put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong – (

“Except your servants among them sincere and purified (

“His (Shaitan’s) authority is over those only who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah. (16:100)

is not a joke. Shaitan is real as is Allah (S.W.A). For us to win we have to kill the base desires we may harbor in our souls, for these lead to Shaitan’s way – the way to destruction. Guess what, not one man apart from Prophet Noah, Prophet Adam and Hawa (A.S) has lived more than 200 years. This simply means that we have a very limited time to save ourselves from this catastrophe.  Allah (S.W.A) explains the point clearly to us:

“Do men think they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe’, and that they will not be tested (29:2)?”

“We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false (29:3).”

“Do those who practice evil think that they will get the better of us? Evil is their judgment! (29:4)”

“For those whose hopes are in the meeting with Allah (in the hereafter, let them strive); for the term (appointed) by Allah is surely coming: and He hears and knows (All things) (29:5).”

“And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls; for Allah is free of all needs from all creation (29:6).”

“Those who believe and work righteous deeds – from them shall we blot out all evil (that may be) in them, and we shall reward them according to the best of their deeds. (29:7)”

Allah (S.W.A)’s testing is not to trick us to falling into sin, but He leaves us freedom of choice between doing right or wrong. The only logical way to succeed with our God-given gifts in face of many of Shaitan’s temptations is to cooperate together and use our gifts for the maximum benefit for one and all.  Allah (S.W.A) guarantees his help for us if we do this. He says,

“To each is a goal which Allah turns him: then strive together towards all that is good. Whosesoever you are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah has power over all things. (2:148)”

This cooperation is only affordable by those who treat one another with respect.