All praise belongs to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allah guides, none can lead astray, and whomever Allah leaves astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is His slave and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except as Muslims.” Al Imran 3:102
O you who believe! The message is clearly directed to us as believers. It is not a general statement but addressed specifically to the believers and hence the emphasis – O you who believe – Fear Allah. Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not but as Muslims. This ayah from the Surah Al Imran (3:102) states a simple and straightforward message that forms the basis of our Iman i.e. having Taqwa. .
The word Taqwa, having the fear of Allah, has been mentioned in the Qur'an 251 times as an indication of the importance of the subject and the dimension that the concept of Taqwa – the fear of Allah swt.
Today as Muslims - both in America and beyond our Iman is weak and this fear that we should have for the creator today is displaced by the fear for the created. The created, people, wealth ... We fear people, we fear poverty, we fear humiliation, we fear death and we fear and fear everything but Allah swt as He should be feared- the most prominent fear and only fear that we should have is deficient. This overpowering fear of created things rather than for The Creator of all has subjected us (as a collective Ummah) to one humiliation after another with subsequent loss of our pride, our dignity, and our self-respect.
As the Messenger of Allah Ta'ala prophesied:
"It is expected that nations will call other nations to share against you, as the feasters call each other to eat from the food in front of them in a large wooden plate. One of the companions asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, will this be because of our small number on that day?' And the Prophet said, 'No. Your number will be great. But you will be without substance, like the foam on the face of a river; and Allah will remove from the breasts of your enemies the fear of you; and Allah will throw wahn into your hearts.' One of the companions asked, 'What is wahn, O Allah's Apostle?' And the Prophet responded, "Wahn is to love this life, and to hate death!'
Wahn results from the weakness of Iman or the lack of Taqwa and there is literally no English translation for this Arabic word wahn. There is no concept of wahn and it does not exist. So when we love this life and hate death we suffer from a sickness in our hearts, a sickness in our Iman. This weakness of Iman is what I would like to share with you today.
The phenomenon of weak faith has become so widespread among Muslims today. So often we feel this hardness in our heart, in that we do not find any joy in worship, reading Qur’an does not move us and we fall into sin so easily. It is unfortunate that this entity of weakness often goes by our entire existence without us being consciously aware of its destructive nature – and how it is detrimental to the spiritual and the moral aspects of our lives. As Muslims this is not acceptable. We need to recognize and acknowledge this weakness and make a sincere effort to channel this weakness to become our strength to serve Allah swt and His cause.
What causes weakness of faith:
Three broad categories include
1.Failing to seek knowledge on a constant basis.
Many of us have abandoned reading the Qur’an and Hadith on a daily basis and when we do we seldom reflect on its message or seek guidance. Our minds are not focused on the virtue of its message. We starve ourselves in the knowledge of deen by allowing our attention to be diverted by feasting on daily talk shows on TV, or other forms of destructive activities for the passing of time. We miss out on that breeze of Iman that softens hearts.
2 Living in an environment surrounded with sin is conducive to weakening the faith.
In this environment temptation exists, continuously at every point. We need to guard our prayers and our Iman. We are not as Allah conscious as we ought to be, we allow ourselves to be swayed and distracted by temptations. We have been devoid of a faith-filled environment for too long. We’ve become de-sensitised and lost sight of the world of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). We are oblivious to the good as taught by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). -- Moral and spiritual values that elevate man are replaced by the worldly pleasures of today’s society. We fail to protect our families and ourselves from acts of disobedience and often we accept them as the norm.
And seldom do we turn to Allah swt in repentance (taw bah). This is our ignorance, our weakness.
And last but not the least,
3. Preoccupation with our worldly life, while neglecting the hereafter.
Our day to day activities centre around our material world - our business, our work, our money, our bills, the sizes of our homes, our cars, and so on. These take preference both in our minds and speech. This preoccupation with the world enslaves our hearts.
We have allowed the diseases of the heart to flourish such as vanity, pride, fame, glory. We tend to get lost in these illusions, fooled by the worldly glamour and fail to illuminate our hearts with Allah’s Noor.
We remain pre-occupied with our worldly life.
Allah says in
Surah Al Hijr 15:3
“Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!”
And Allah swt created us only for His Ubudiya, for His worship alone, as His slaves but today we have become slaves to this duniya, this world, slaves of our desires and ambitions, slaves to wealth.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He is doomed, the slave of the dinar and the slave of the dirham” (Reported by al-Bukhari, no. 2730).