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Islamic Education- Madarij Assalikin- Lesson(019-100): Watchfulness
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

The secret of having a successful relationship with Allah

 Dear brothers, this is the 19th lesson of Madarij As-Salikin (the Ranks or Stations of the Seekers), and we are speaking about the station of watchfulness, which is crucially important in your way to get closer to Allah, because when man really believes that Allah is watching him, he will remain upright upon His Straight Path which leads him to happiness in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. With regards to the Noble Ayaat which are related to this station, Allah the Almighty says:

"And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself, Allah knows that you will remember them, but do not make a promise of contract with them in secret except that you speak an honourable saying according to the Islamic law (e.g. you can say to her, "If one finds a wife like you, he will be happy"). And do not consummate the marriage until the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing."

[Al-Baqarah, 235]

"And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him."

 You should know for sure that Allah knows everything, and when you know that, you will avoid disobeying Him, which is the secret of having a successful relationship with Allah the Almighty.

Believing that Allah is watching you, controls your deeds

 Consider the following Noble Ayah about Allah's Watchfulness in which Allah the Almighty says:

"It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives even though their beauty attracts you, except those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses. And Allah is Ever a Watcher over all things."

[Al-Ahzab, 52]

 Undoubtedly, when man feels that someone is observing him, he will go to extremes in disciplining himself, and he will go extremely far in observing his own words and actions. This is related to the human limited observation i.e. and although he can write whatever you say, or he can record all your actions, nevertheless, he cannot know whatever you hide in you, and he cannot know whatever you hold in your mind, so it is just limited human observation, then how will it be when the One Who watches you is Allah, the One, the Judge, Who knows the secret and what is more hidden, Who sees you, Who knows your secret and what you make public, Who knows what you hide and what you announce, and Who knows what you conceal and what you reveal. "And Allah is Ever a Watcher over all things." Which means not only over you but also over your opponents and all other creatures.

The kind of Allah's Company in this Noble Ayah:

 Consider the following 3rd Ayah which is related to Allah's Watchfulness:

"He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do."

[Al Hadid, 4]

 Which is the general company; i.e. Allah the Almighty is with each creature (by His Knowledge); whether he is a believer or a disbeliever.

Allah knows everything about you:

 Consider the 4th Ayah in which Allah the Almighty says:

"Knows he not that Allah does see (what he does)?"

[Al-Alaq, 14]

 Allah is well-acquainted with all your matters.

 What is the meaning of this Ayah:

 Consider this 5th Ayah in which Allah the Almighty says:

"So wait patiently (O Muhammad PBUH) for the Decision of your Lord, for verily, you are under Our Eyes, and glorify the Praises of your Lord when you get up from sleep."

[At-Tur, 48]

 Being (figuratively) under the Eye of Allah means that Allah sees and protects you, exactly like when you say that this son is under the eye of his mother, it means that she surrounds him with her care and attention, in other words she knows where he is and what he does, and she really cares about him.

Who knows the fraud of the eye?

 Consider the last Noble Ayah related to this subject:

"Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal."

[Ghafir, 19]

 Actually, no one on the surface of the earth can reveal the fraud of the eye except Allah the Almighty, it is only He Who knows that. To illustrate this, the doctor, according to the teachings of Islam, is allowed to look at a female patient’s body, but his look should be restricted only to the place of the illness, but if he looks at another place, no one can know that except Allah the Almighty.
 "Allah knows the fraud of the eyes" For example, consider that you sit alone in your house, then your neighbor's window opens and a woman stands in front of it, no one is fully acquainted with this sin; i.e. that you have not lowered your gaze, except Allah the Almighty. So, Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.
Allah the Almighty says"

"And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him."

[Al-Baqarah, 235]

"And Allah is Ever a Watcher over all things."

[Al-Ahzab, 52]

"And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be."

[Al-Hadid, 4]

"Knows he not that Allah does see (what he does)?"

[Al-Alaq, 14]

"You are under Our Eyes"

[At-Tur, 48]

"Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal."

[Ghafir, 19]

 All of these Noble Ayaat come together to form the station of watchfulness which every Muslim should be in, i.e. he should feel and know for sure that Allah is watching him.

What is the meaning of watchfulness?

 Let's mention some Noble Ahadith which are related to watchfulness. Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

((While the Prophet PBUH was sitting among his companions, Gabriel came to him (in a human form) and asked him about the true faith (Iman) the Prophet replied: "It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His inspired Books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in destiny, its good and evil.", He asked him about Islam, the Prophet PBUH replied: "Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and to perform the prayer, give zakat, fast in Ramadan, and perform Hajj (the pilgrimage to the House) if you can find a way.", then he asked him about the perfection of faith (ihsan), the Prophet PBUH answered: "It is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you see Him not, He nevertheless sees you."

 Furthermore, the Prophet PBUH used to say in some of his invocations:

" O Allah, make us fear You as if we really see You"

 Watchfulness is when man is constantly aware that Allah the Almighty is well acquainted with what he reveals and what he hides, so the continuation of this knowledge and the certainty are the real meaning of watchfulness

A question to be asked here:

 The question to be asked here is: if you feel from time to time that Allah is watching you, are you considered to be in the station of watchfulness? The answer is: No, because this feeling should be continuous; you should feel that Allah is watching you in all your affairs, movements, stillness, activities, when you are alone, when you are in public, when you are serious, in your work, at your home, in the street, and when you travel abroad, etc… so when you continuously feel that Allah knows everything, that He is always acquainted with all your affairs, and that Allah is watching you, then you are in the highest and most important station, which is the station of watchfulness.

The results of knowledge

 Watchfulness is one of the results of knowing that Allah the Almighty is watching you. Consider the example of a man who entered a shop, and he knew for sure that there were devices, machines, and cameras which were placed in many corners of the store, and he read a shop sign on which was written: The hall is monitored by cameras., If he read that sign, would he try to steal anything in any corner of that store? Impossible, because he knows for sure that he is watched.

When are deeds mixed with showing off and hypocrisy?

  Consider the example of an employee in a company, who travelled to a foreign country, he entered a big store there, and stole a small, light yet expensive article, because he felt that no one was watching him, then at the shop door he was caught, and taken to his embassy to be punished which caused a great scandal, as he was a senior employee., He committed that mistake because he thought that no one knew. Had he known that the hall was monitored by cameras, and had he read the sign that the hall was monitored, he would not have done that. So these are simple examples, you should feel that Allah is watching you all the time, especially when you are in your own home.
 As it was said: Whoever is not pious enough to avoid disobeying Allah when he is alone, Allah will pay no attention to all his righteous deeds.
 So, all his deeds are mixed with hypocrisy and showing off. However, if his deeds in secret are exactly like those in public, and if what he reveals is exactly like what he conceals inside himself, then he is truly successful. As it was mentioned in the relic:

((Two rak'ahs performed by a pious man are better than a thousand rak'ahs of the one who mixes righteous deeds with bad ones)).

Scholars' sayings about watchfulness

 Let's mention some scholars' sayings about the station or rank or status of watchfulness, as it was mentioned in Madarij As-Salikin (the stations of seekers). A scholar said: 'Whoever does not let bad thoughts flow through his mind out of fear of Allah's Watchfulness, Allah will preserve his limbs from committing sins.'
 Sometimes man may let bad thoughts which do not please Allah flow through his mind, like committing a sin, so he may imagine himself committing a sin and being far away from Allah. Actually, when he lets these thoughts flow through his mind, in most cases they will turn into actions.

Take a thoughtful pause

 I can tell you explicitly that Allah the Almighty never calls you to account but for your deeds, however, if you let bad thoughts flow through your mind, you may fall into error and these thoughts may turn into actions. Furthermore, those who committed major sins did not aim to commit them at first, but in the beginning it was only a bad thought, then an illicit look, a talk, a smile, an appointment, a meeting then a major sin. So first it was only a bad thought.
 Therefore, out of prevention and piety, do not let bad thoughts flow through your mind, even though you will not be held accountable for them, but lest you cannot resist them, then they turn into actions.
 So, whoever does not let bad thoughts flow through his mind out of the fearing of Allah's Watchfulness, Allah will preserve his limbs from committing sins.

A nice saying:

 Consider this following nice saying: 'Whoever leaves Shubuhat (what is suspected and doubtful), then he definitely avoids the clear sins ' Which means when someone avoids the Shubuhat (the suspected and doubtful) out of piety, then he definitely avoids clear sins, and whoever falls in Shubuhat, then he definitely falls in clear sins' which means whoever dares to commit a sin which most people consider as Shubuha, next time he will dare to commit a clear sin.

Al-Junaid's opinion about watchfulness station

 Al-Junaid (an Islamic scholar) said: Whoever is really in the station of watchfulness will fear nothing except missing one moment of being close to Allah.
Which means if you are in the station of watchfulness, if you feel that Allah is always with you, that He is well acquainted with you, and that He knows your secret and confidential talk, you will fear wasting one moment of your life.

The sign of watchfulness from the opinion of Dhu-Nun

 Dhu-Noun (an Islamic scholar) said: the sign of watchfulness is to prefer what Allah has sent (the verdicts of the Noble Qur'an), to honor what Allah has honored, and to despise what Allah has despised.
 Which means you should watch yourself, your values, and your standards, are they in accordance with the Noble Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet PBUH? You may sometimes magnify a thing which Allah the Almighty despises, which means that your values conflict with the teachings of Islam and with Allah's Orders. For example, if a man gets out of his home wearing pyjamas for example, it will considered an uncivilized behavior, while when his wife gets out dressing immodestly, it will be considered as a civilized behavior ! in this case we have honored what Allah despises, and we have despised what Allah honors. Hence, you should be sure that your standards, values and standpoints go along with the teachings of Islam which are derived from the Noble Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet PBUH. The Prophet PBUH said:

"Blessed are those who content themselves with Sunnah and is not enticed by Bid'a (innovation)"

The statement of Ibrahim Al-Khawas about watchfulness

 Ibrahim Al-Khawas said: the reality of watchfulness is to be devoted to Allah; secretly and openly, from inside and out. It was also said: that the best thing you should abide by while you are on your way to get closer to Allah is accounting, watchfulness and performing deeds according to the Islamic law.
 So, you should watch yourself, and after that there is accounting, like when you are supervising students during the exam, if a student cheats you will give him zero mark. So man should watch himself, call himself to account, then act according to the teachings of Islam.

Call yourself to account before you'll be held accountable

 It was said: when you sit among people to preach them, you should first preach yourself and your own heart, let not people's gathering around you deceive you, they just watch your outside, while Allah is watching your inside. Of course you will try to appear as a righteous man before people, but Allah, the One, the Judge, is watching your heart, so call yourself to account before you will be held accountable.

General consensus among scholars

 There is a general consensus among scholars that the feeling that Allah is watching all your thoughts is a reason for preserving the limb's acts, so the one who feels that Allah is watching him in his secret, Allah will preserve his movement, in secret and in public.
 So, when you are in the station of watchfulness, you worship Allah the Preserver, the Watchful, the All-Knowing, the All-seeing, and the All-hearing. So these Five Best Names of Allah bear the meaning of watchfulness; i.e. when you speak He is the All-Hearing, when you move He is the All-Seeing, when you conceal something He is the All-Knowing, when you get out of your home He is the Watchful, and when you perform a deed He is the Non-forgetful, as all your movements are recorded before Allah the Almighty.
 So Allah is the Preserver, the Watchful, the All-seeing, the All-Hearing and the All-Knowing, He hears your saying, He knows what you conceal, and all your deeds are recorded before Him because He is the Non-Forgetful, and He is ever Watchful over them.

The meaning of "Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful"

  Allah the Almighty says:

"By the dawn; * By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah), * And by the even and the odd (of all the creations of Allah). * And by the night when it departs. * There is indeed in them (the above oaths) sufficient proofs for men of understanding (and that, they should avoid all kinds of sins and disbeliefs, etc.)! * Did you (O Muhammad (PBUH)) not see (thought) how your Lord dealt with 'Ad (people)? * Who were very tall like lofty pillars, * The like of which were not created in the land? * And (with) Thamud (people), who cut (hewed) out rocks in the valley (to make dwellings)? * And (with) Fir'aun (Pharaoh), who had pegs (who used to torture men by binding them to pegs)? * Who did transgress beyond bounds in the lands (in the disobedience of Allah). * And made therein much mischief. * So your Lord poured on them different kinds of severe torment. * Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them)."

[Al-Fajr, 1-14]

 The meaning of the following Ayah is very accurate; the meaning of 'Allah is ever watchful over them' is not restricted to punish you for your bad deeds, but it also means that He watches you and He will punish you. While it is an easy task to only catch people while committing mistakes like selling objects at a higher price, etc… Allah the Almighty says: "Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them)."
 And the following Noble Ayah is related to the meaning of the Watchful:

" Did you (O Muhammad (PBUH)) not see (thought) how your Lord dealt with 'Ad (people)?"

The nicest description of the station of watchfulness

 One of the nicest descriptions of this station is that you can get the feeling of Allah's Watchfulness when you try to get closer to Him all the time, and your situation will be changed from stunning glorification to productive proximity to stimulating happiness. For example, if one of your friends who holds a high school degree comes to visit you, then after that a university professor comes to visit you, watch yourself, you will receive the university professor warmly, you will look at him, and speak with him attentively, you will forget about the other guest, why does that happen? Because the other guest distracts you from the first one.
 Likewise, if something in your work, in your job, in your office, in your store, in your factory, or in your house, etc…distracts you from feeling that Allah is watching you, then this is a highly dangerous situation.

Some signs of watchfulness

 One of the signs of the sincerity of watchfulness is that no matter how great a thing seems to you, it does not distract you from the Greatness of Allah the Almighty Who watches you.
Therefore, the people of Allah; the people of proximity, the true believers, never forget about the Greatness of Allah, and the proof is that their glorification to Allah the Almighty never lets anything else distract their attention from Allah.
 In this situation, the believer's heart is filled with glorification to Allah the Almighty to the extent that he never glorifies anything else, like when you enter a room and find a newspaper on the table, you get totally engaged in reading it, and even if there is something valuable on the table and another person in the room you will pay no attention to anything else.
 Sometimes you may meet an important man, you sit in front of him politely, you give him all your attention, you never play with a rosary or read a newspaper in front of him because you consider him a great person who tackles a key issue, so although he is a creature who is great according to the social standard, you sit before him politely, you give him your full attention
So, one of the signs of the station of watchfulness is not to turn away from glorifying Allah the Almighty to glorifying anything else. Also, another sign is to try to get closer to Allah (through acts of worship), and to keep on doing so, while your heart is filled with the remembering of Allah and glorifying Him, and you are so absorbed in His Greatness that you forget about anything else. These are some of the signs of watchfulness, and the great glorification is the best.

A comparing process

 Actually, the hypocrite feels that his sin is as light as a fly, and after he commits a sin, he feels that nothing has happened at all, as well as those who disdain the Islamic values. So, he never lowers his gaze when he sees something Haram, he justifies that to himself, and it is too easy for him to commit a sin. On the other hand, the higher your level is in the Sight of Allah is, the heavier you will find the sin is, to the extent that you will find it as heavy as a mountain on your chest. So, the smaller you consider the sin is, the lower your rank is in the Sight of Allah, and the greater you consider the sin is, the higher your rank is in the Sight of Allah, hence is it a very critical matter.
 How could a man who has committed a sin sleep comfortably without worries, while the man who has spoken a word, and it was recorded against him will have a sleepless night? Do you feel that Allah is so Great to the extent that if you turn away from Him, or if you commit a sin, you feel as if you fell from heaven to earth? Actually, this is the situation of the true believer.

The influence of Watchfulness over the believer's feelings

 I hope that you do not find the following idea unrealistic: when you feel that Allah is watching you, when you feel that He is with you By His Knowledge and when you feel that you remain upright upon His Straight Path, you will feel your heart overwhelmed with great happiness and pleasure which you do not find anywhere else.
 You can ask the people who were engaged in the pleasures of this world, who ate best foods, in the most luxurious places with breathtaking scenery, who ate indescribable food, who covered themselves in glory, who have not known Allah before and who have not yet felt the pleasure of being close to Allah, but after they repent to Allah, they feel that all those pleasures which they had experienced do not equal one moment of being close to Allah the Almighty.

When the believer's oath is never broken?

  When the believer makes an oath that no one on the surface of the earth is happier than him except the one who is more pious than him, then his oath will never be broken. Actually, every beautiful thing; such as good food, drink, cool air in summer, warm weather in winter, and stunning views, etc…is granted beauty from Allah the Almighty, because Allah is the Beautiful.
Actually, sometimes Allah reveals His Name the Beautiful on the sea, like when you have an unforgettable evening by the sea, with gentle waves, soft breeze, you board a ship in the sea, you feel pleased with the crystal-clear water that you almost see the bottom of the sea, and the surface of the sea is as shiny as oil, so Allah has revealed His Name the Beautiful on the sea, while when He reveals His Name the Compeller on the sea, you will feel scared to death.

Some of Allah's Acts:

 Allah reveals His Name the Beautiful on some of His Acts; for example, look at the face of an innocent child, you find it the most beautiful face on the surface of the earth, it is full of purity, innocence, and subjectivity, while some people have such unpleasant faces. When a volcano erupted, 80 thousand people became under the rubble, and it became a city of ghosts, in this event, you feel the Name of Allah the Compeller is revealed on it.
 In spring, you hear the birds tweeting in the forest, you feel the Name of Allah the Beautiful is revealed in it. So, Allah the Almighty has many Beautiful Names, and He reveals some of His Names on His Acts, for example you feel the Name of Allah the Subtly Kind is revealed in this incident when someone tells you that a bulllet passed over his head, his hair was burned, nevertheless he was not harmed. As it was said: Everything has a reality, and man will never reach the reality of faith until he believes that what had afflicted him would not have missed him, and what has missed him would not have afflicted him (because everything happens according to Allah's Will).

What does the incident below indicate?

 Once, a man told me that his car stopped at the top of a deep valley, he had very little experience in driving a car, the steering wheel was set towards the valley, and before he ignited the engine, he slackened the brake, so the car went towards the bottom of the valley, he, his wife and his children were not affected except with bruises, and some light fractures, but whoever saw their car thought that all the people inside it were dead, so the Name of Allah, the Subtly Kind is clearly revealed in this incident.

Another proof of the Name of Allah: the Subtly Kind

 Let me give you another example of the Name of Allah the Subtly Kind, the (root of the) tooth of the young child melts little by little, and no matter how successful and a merciful doctor you are, you should give him an anesthesia injection in his gum, and if it was not successful, the patient will feel unbearable pain during the process of pulling out the tooth, and cutting the nerve, isn't it? While Allah the Almighty is the Subtly Kind, consider how the tooth of the little child is pulled out while he is eating, he finds something in his mouth then he discovers that it is his tooth., How was the nerve cut with no pain? How was the (root of the ) tooth melted without any pain? This is an aspect of the Name of Allah the Subtly Kind.
 Also, the air indicates the Name of Allah the Subtly Kind, although it exists between us, it does not make any veil, however it carries a plane of 350 tons; 150 tons is the weight of the plane, 150 tons is the weight of fuel, and 50 tons is the weight of passengers, yet it is carried in the air while when the air moves violently (in hurricanes), it pulls off whole cities. I have many photos of large cities, which became totally ruined, as it was described in the Noble Qur'an:

"Then He shall leave it as a level smooth plain"

[Taha, 106]

 Once, Silicone Hurricane which speed was 800 km/h passed through a city, one of the residents of that city did not find anything remains of his house except the engine of his car 5km away from his house, he knew it from its number. When a soft breeze blows, it gives you indescribable delight, it indicates the Name of Allah: the Subtly Kind, and when speed of the same wind increases it destroys everything by the Command of its Lord the Almighty.

Some of the results of watchfulness

  When you feel that Allah is watching you, one of the results is that you will totally abide by His Order, you will do good to His creatures, you will try to get closer to Him, and you will feel such deep pleasure and happiness, which you do not find anywhere else, while with regards to those who eat the most excellent food, who live in the most luxury houses, who have the most beautiful wives, and who enjoy the highest social status, if you ask them: while you were totally engaged in worldly pleasure: did you find the pleasure like the one you find now after you got closer to Allah, they will definitely answer: By Allah, we did not.

A tourist's visit

 A tourist visited one of the Muslim countries, he was surprised when he read the death dates of the deceased on the grave-slab, all of them were young, for example one of them was 7 years old, the other was 5, the other was 17, etc… it was a strange thing! While people normally die at the age of 80, 65, 40, etc… then he was told that in that village, they record man's birth date as the day he repents to Allah, so the one who repents to Allah when he is 45, his life starts at that age, then if he dies at 55 then he is 10 years old, which means when you repent to Allah, you will be consumed by deep grief for the years you've spent in ignorance and in committing sins; how did you spend these years in sins?.

The situation of the people of Paradise:

 When you get closer to Allah, you will find pleasure, heart delight, and peace of mind incomparable with anything else, which is the situation of the people of Paradise. Furthermore, one scholar said: sometimes I feel extremely pleased (during performing acts of worship) to the extent that I say to myself that if people of Paradise find this pleasure, it is such a pleasing life for them (he feels as if he is really in Paradise).
 Moreover, Some scholars understand from the words of the Prophet PBUH: 'Abu Bakr is in Paradise' that it was not only a glad tiding from the Prophet PBUH that Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, will enter Paradise, but also these words mean that Abu Bakr was living in this world in the Heaven of Proximity (of being close to Allah the Almighty).
 I also say to you, do your best in performing acts of worship, in getting closer to Allah, in helping his servants, and dedicate all your effort, strength, time, energy, and knowledge for the Sake of Allah, then if Allah allows you to get closer to Him, and if He casts tranquility in your heart, you will find some of the delight of the people of Paradise.

A very precise piece of information

 Dear brothers, I would like to give you a very precise piece of information, if one of you met one of his old friends (who are heedless of Allah), and talked with him for an hour, you would feel that he is oppressed, lost, astray, miserable, deadly scared, afraid of everything, and he will feel that he is wronged. On the other hand, when you talk with a true believer, you will find that he has high morale, he feels that the Creator of the universe loves him, he feels that he is under the Protection and the Care of Allah and that Allah will never let him down. So you should keep away from that heedless friend who always feels that he is in desperate need of periodic checkup for his body for fear of cancer, who is always scared although he does not have it, so even if he has lived 80 years without having cancer, he would have suffered thinking of it for 80 years, because when you are extremely afraid of having something like an illness for example, it is as if you really have it.

The situation of the people of this worldly life

 Actually, when people of this worldly life (who are only interested in the pleasures of this life), turn away from Allah, they will have great worries, such as fearing malicious diseases, they fear the scary census in America that one in every 6 people dies of heart disease, that one third of deaths is caused by heart disease, and all women there are afraid of breast cancer, so they make periodic checkups because they are quite terrified. Also, they fear brain diseases such as Sudden Exploded Head Syndrome (SEHS), which causes coma, then man will die. If you read about all diseases, you will not be able to sleep at night !. They are also afraid of the diseases of the stomach, the intestines, the heart, the artery, the brain, and the nerve diseases, or one of them fears to be hit by a car which may leave him paralyzed.. So, when man is heedless of Allah, he will find life so scary. On the other hand, the believer is at peace of mind; when he travels he says: O Allah, You are my companion in my travels and the One Who looks after my family [while I am gone]. Sometimes a child may get burnt, and therefore becomes a source of misery for his whole family all his life. Also, you may fear deformation, but your wife may give birth to a deformed baby. Thus, when you greatly fear a disease you may have it, while if you really put your trust in Allah, Allah will reassure you. Allah the Almighty says:

"For verily, you are under Our Eyes"

[At-Tur, 48]

You should know this

 I want to tell you something: the destruction of the whole universe is less important in the Sight of Allah than to let down His believing servant, to make him go astray, or not to grant him success while the believer does his best in worship, Allah the Almighty does not do that.

Revise your accounts

 Dear brothers, I want to tell something even if you find it a little harsh; whoever does not feel this pleasure while performing acts of worship, he should doubt the soundness of his faith and righteous deeds; i.e. if his prayers and recitation of the Noble Qur'an are meaningless; if he has never shed tears, if his heart has never fluttered, or if his skin has never quivered out of the fear of Allah, if he has never felt that Allah will never let him down, if all his acts of worship are meaningless, and if he does not feel delighted while performing them, then he should suspect the soundness of his faith and righteous deeds, because faith has sweetness, and whoever does not find it should revise himself. Allah the Almighty says:

"On the Day when the hypocrites men and women will say to the believers: "Wait for us! Let us get something from your light!" It will be said: "Go back to your rear! Then seek a light!" So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment."

[Al-Hadid, 13]

 What to do if the believer does not feel the taste of faith?

 Do you want me to give you a proof that faith has a taste? Al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib reported that the Prophet PBUH said:

((One has felt the taste of faith if one is pleased with Allah as his Lord, with Islam as his religion, and with Muhammad as a Messenger))

[Muslim and at-Tirmidhi]

 The phrase 'has felt the taste of faith' indicates that faith has a taste. For example, is the taste of an expensive piece of chocolate like that of a radish?

((One has tasted the taste of faith if one is pleased with Allah as his Lord, with Islam as his religion, and with Muhammad as a Messenger))

[Muslim, At-Tirmidhi]

 If you do not find the taste of faith, you should revise your accounts; you should ask yourself: where is the fault? What sin did you commit? Is there any Shirk (is your heart related to other that Allah)? Is your heart attached to the pleasures of this life? do you neglect Allah's Orders? So you should watch yourself, and if you do not feel the taste of being close to Allah, if you do not feel love for Allah, and if you do not feel dignity and happiness, you should revise your accounts.

When is the believer's deed not accepted

 In another Hadith, Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet PBUH said:

((There are three characteristics that if one possesses then, he has tasted the sweetness of Faith; that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anyone other than them, that he loves a person and he only loves him for the sake of Allah, and that he hates to return to disbelief just as he hated to be thrown into the Fire)).

 Consider the example of a believer who abides by Allah's Orders, and he has a friend who never performs Salah, who disobeys Allah, and who is fabulously rich, now if that believer envies his heedless friend, then he seriously lacks faith, because had he felt the taste of faith, he would not have wished to be in the place of his heedless friend.
 Let me tell you that if you are severely deprived of money and good health, then you wish for only one moment to be in the place of man who has a good health, who is strong, who enjoys a high social status, who is wealthy but he disobeys Allah, so if you wish for one moment to be in his place in spite of his sins, then you should know for sure that you have no knowledge of Allah the Almighty yet, you have not felt the taste of faith, and all your righteous deeds are not accepted.
 The Prophet BUHM said:

"That Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anyone other than them,"

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At--Tirmidhi, and An-Nasai]

This is the true believer

 Once, the wife of one of the noble companions asked him for many things (which he could not afford except in illicit ways), he said to her: You should know, so and so, that there are so many fair females with wide, lovely eyes in Paradise (as wives for him) and if one of them just peeps toward the earth, the light of her face will exceed the light of the sun and the moon, so it easier for me to sacrifice you for them than to sacrifice them for you (by making illegal gains).
 The believer's life is not negotiable, because Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else, no matter how much he gets harmed in the Cause of Allah, he never disobeys Him. While you find another man who leaves performing Salah and attending all Islamic lectures because of a threatening word. Allah the Almighty says:

"And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss."

[Al-Hajj, 11]

Some signs of faith:

 "That he loves a person and he only loves him for the sake of Allah," Which means when you have a brother in faith, while there is no financial relations between you, no kinship, no friendship, and no interest, rather you only love him for the Sake of Allah, then this is one sign of faith.

"And that he hates to return to disbelief" after Allah has saved him from it " just as he hates to be thrown into the Fire "

When does the believer doubt that his heart lacks faith?

 One scholar said: if you perform righteous deed and do not find sweetness and relief in your heart then you should suspect your heart, because Allah the Almighty is the Grateful, He grants the believer sweetness in his heart as a reward for his deed. So you should perform all deeds that you will be rewarded for them. Actually the word 'Thawab' (reward) is repeated too many times in people's life each day.

What is the meaning of Thawab (reward)?

 Before ending our lecture, we should clarify the meaning of Thawab (reward). As I mentioned earlier, this word is repeated too many times in our daily life. In fact, there is a precise meaning for this word, as Allah the Almighty is the Grateful, which means if you perform a righteous deed, Allah will cast delight, tranquility, calmness and happiness in your heart as an immediate reward. While if you perform a righteous deed and feel nothing, you should know for sure that your deed is imperfect, there is either a defect in your intention, or in your purpose (you do not perform it for only the Sake of Allah) or it is not according to the Sunnah of the Prophet PBUH. In other words, if you do not feel indescribable happiness while performing righteous acts for the Sake of Allah, you should know that you have not received your immediate reward, which also means your deed is not accepted and is not raised to Allah the Almighty.
 So, when man performs righteous acts in order to please people, or to be admired or praised, then even if he performs righteous acts which are as heavy as mountains, he will feel nothing in his heart. (because he has not performed it for the Sake of Allah)

Thawab (reward) in Arabic language

  The word Thawab is derived from the verb Thaba which means returned, so when you perform a righteous deed, you will feel happiness in return. Therefore, when the true believers perform righteous deeds, their hearts will be filled with delight as an immediate reward in the worldly life in return for their deeds.

In conclusion

 The meaning of reward is the happiness which is cast in the hearts of the true believers who abide by the Order of Allah, so if the believer performs too many righteous deeds, nevertheless he does not feel any happiness in his heart, then he should revise his accounts again. Verily, this is the station of watchfulness
 In other words, when you feel that Allah is watching you, and when you abide by His Orders and perform it for only His Sake, you will feel Allah's Favor, and you will find delight and happiness as an encouragement for you in this life.
 Next lesson, insha-Allah, we will talk about another station in Madarij As-Salikin (the Stations of the Seekers) in interpreting the meaning of the Noble Ayah

"You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)."

Translation  : Rana Saraqbi
Edited by      : Ghada Homad