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Lesson Forty - two: Obstacles to Obedience ( Part III ) CNTND
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Obstacles to Obedience
Forgiveness and Obedience

A personmay ask, “I am not yet considered an adult and sin is not recorded on my account by God. Can I do as I please for the time being?” Certainly not! Remember, Allah (S.W.A) recommendeds reading Qur'an often. This is because Qur’an molds our character based on its teachings. The more we read it, the better our behavior and character mirror the Qur'anic teachings. The same goes with a hedonistic life style or engaging in any other ungodly behavior. They, too, can influence character development, decisions and life in general. Man is a creature of habit – we become what we see, hear and practice. Young children must behave in ways ordained by Allah (S.W.A). When they grow up, it is more likely they will take a God-fearing stance to life; that is, they act in a certain way to please Allah (S.W.A) and they restrain themselves from certain actions to still please Allah (S.W.A) ,but also to avoid His punishment . 

Generally, we should avoid sins because of their ever-lasting consequences. Even though Allah (S.W.A) is ever willing to forgive us when we are determined to amend our ways, the consequences of our actions do not get erased. They linger and haunt us for the rest of our lives. For example, a child killing someone or an adult doing so but forgiven will forever remember that, once upon a time, he/she committed such heinous crime. 

Furthermore, another person may ask – “What if I choose to live as a normal Muslim – eating, drinking, dressing, and generally behaving like a normal person. Will Allah (S.W.A) punish me?” If normal in this context means carrying out Allah (S.W.A)’s ordinances without exaggerating them, it is very fine. Allah (S.W.A) does not like excess in religion. This is what He says:

Say: ‘Oh people of the book! Exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by – who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way (5:77)”

This verse refers to the Christians and the Jews but the meaning is general; it talks to all of us Muslims alike. On the other hand, if being normal here means following the popular ideas; the fads of the day, even though they contradict Islam, while on the side observing some aspects of Islam, then we cannot live as normal persons. It is wrong. We should aim at maintaining our identity as just Muslims without any additions or subtractions. Allah (S.W.A) explains:

“Those who deny Allah and his messenger and (those who) wish to separate Allah from his messengers saying, ‘We believe in some but reject others’: and (those who) wish to take a course midway (4:150) -

They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment

To those who believe in Allah and his messengers and make no distinction between any of the messengers, we shall soon give their (due) rewards; for Allah is Oft Forgiving Most Merciful

If we choose to be Muslims, and we believe in what the messangers of Allah (S.W.A) brought us - that is to obey, serve and to worship none but Allah (S.W.A), then, we have to behave like Muslims all the way; if there is something unislamic ( rebellious to Allah (S.W.A)'s order)  we are doing at the moment, we must be concerned about correcting it; we can not live comfortably with it for that will be living in a sin. Remember the Qur’anic verse,'… die not except in a state of submission’.  It is a stern warning and we must try to keep ourselves on the right path just in case.

To Be Continued.