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Lesson Thirty - nine: Obstacles to Obedience
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Obstacles to Obedience
Intention and Obedience ( cntnd )

Do not be alarmed by hell-fire; it is just a way  Allah (S.W.A) disposes of His garbage; hell fire is Allah (S.W.A)’s dustbin. So, anyone who is not performing his/her duty of worship, service, and obedience to Allah (S.W.A) is dysfunctional. As a result he/she has become garbage and has to be thrown away in the dustbin (one thing to remember, though, is that Allah (S.W.A) is very good at recycling in the form of forgiveness)  . Why should anyone keep something useless to him/her? On the other hand, why should we not treasure something in good working condition? Therefore, for humans who refuse to abide by the order for which they were created, become useless and thus fit for garbage for  hell fire; for those who hearken to the command of their creator, that is they obey, they worship and they serve Him, are precious beings and are promised a very precious place of upkeep – paradise.

Even in small matters of day-to-day activities, we must keep track of our intentions. For example, suppose you give a gift to a friend, reasons for giving may be, to please the friend, to be appreciated, to be loved, to acquire a benefit and probably to please God. Generally, ' the to please Allah (S.W.A) intention will be less forceful. Our duty now is to get rid of all the former strong and impressive intentions and remain only with – to please Allah (S.W.A) by pleasing His servant ( the gift recipient). We must not give the gift if we still feel strongly about any of the other intentions. Not easy - yes, but with practice it can be done and it must be done. Being Muslims means accepting and continuously striving to conform to the discipline of service, obedience, and worship of Allah (S.W.A).

After we have confirmed our intention for the gift being wholly to please Allah (S.W.A), then we will be doing service to him. Through us, Allah (S.W.A)’s blessings of the gift will reach one of his servants ( our friend). Since the gift now is considered a service to God, the receiver owes us nothing for it – not even a thank you – though it is highly recommendable. Allah (S.W.A) speaks highly of people who do good things for others without expecting anything in return. He speaks:

Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification, (92:18),

And have in their minds no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return (92:19),

But only the desire to seek for the countenance of their Lord, Most High (92:20);

And soon will they Attain (complete) satisfaction (92:21)”

It is of great importance to be grateful, though, because when we are ungrateful to man through whom Allah (S.W.A)’s mercy descends on us, it is equally likely that we will not remember Allah (S.W.A) himself who owns the mercy.

One may ask, “What is there for me in giving a gift then?” To this I say, much, much more than one might have expected. When one makes a gift for Allah (S.W.A)’s sake, he/she is rewarded by receiving almost all the previously held selfish intentions – the to be appreciated, the to be loved, or the to be given in return etc. God may actually reward many of these intentions to you, not only through the person you gave, but through many other people who will be impressed by your generosity. Again, Allah (S.W.A) rewards a good deed with instant joy and happiness – a safe, sweet, harmless high. Above all, giving a gift is a good deed. Good deeds are rewarded 10 times to one, but the scale goes on to 700 times depending on how much sacrifice one put into the good deed. Confirmation, Allah (S.W.A) speaks:

 “He that does good shall have 10 times as much to his credit; He that does evil shall only be recompensed according to his evil: No wrong shall be done onto any of them

Not forgetting,  Allah (S.W.A) guarantees reward for a good deed done whether the recipient appreciated it or not, provided one did it to please Allah (S.W.A). He speaks:

“Whoever works any act of righteousness and has faith – his endeavor will not be rejected. We shall record it in his favor (21:94).”

The best reward of all for a good deed is Allah (S.W.A)’s good pleasure.


To Be Continued