Islam literally means peace. It is a religion practised by all the Prophets that came before Prophet Muhammad, including Prophet Isa (Jesus). May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon them. Each prophet came with guidance and miracles that were relevant for his time and for his people. But the message was the same: there is only one God and worship is for Him alone. Islam is, therefore, the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (May peace of Allah be upon them).
Allah expects Muslims to live their lives according to the Qur’anic injunctions and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad so as to excel in this life and in the hereafter. This is, therefore, hinged on patience, tolerance and steadfastness as exemplified in several verses of the glorious Qur’an. In this regard, this year’s annual pre-Rammadan lecture of Jammatul Ta’awun Muslimeen, Lagos chapter, was tagged: “Steadfastness and patience in the course of Islam”. It was delivered by two scholars from Ojodu and Ketu zones within the state.
In his welcome address, the Naqib, Ojodu branch of the society, Uztaz Abdur-Rasheed Abdul-Wahab Owonikoko, said Allah had promised paradise for those who control their evil desires and keep steadfast on the religion. He added that whosoever keeps steadfast on the religion of Allah has chosen the path to paradise and whosoever follows his or her desire will go to hell. “If you encounter problems in the course of your religion, you must not be distracted in what Allah has commanded you to do because Allah has told us in several verses of the Qur’an that He tested those before us to know whether they were true believers or not. I want to say that for any student to excel in his academic pursuit, he or she has to pass through hell, not to talk of passing before our creator,” he said.
Quoting from Qur’an 3 vs. 138, the cleric said, “Allah tries mankind to understand his level of faith because all prophets of Allah equally passed through one difficulty or the other. We must be steadfast in whatever we do or experience in the course of Islam.”
In his lecture, the Naqib, Ketu branch of the society, Mallam Aliyu AbdulAhmed Tella, said Prophet Muhammad was humiliated and persecuted for proclaiming the oneness of Allah.
He added that most of his companions were killed in the course of propagating Islam, but they did not denounce their faith. He said, “During the battle of Hud, the Prophet of Allah and the best of mankind was seriously injured to the extent that he lost his front tooth. The battle was so tense that it was rumoured that the Prophet had been killed as not less than 70 of his companions were killed by the unbelievers. It was in this battle that Hamzah bin AbdulMutolib, the Prophet’s cousin, was killed. Yet, the Prophet and his companions stood firm and didn’t allow the situation to make them jettison what Allah had commanded them to do. What they passed through was a test from Allah not that He forsook them because Allah changes things the way He likes.”
He further stated that steadfastness and patience are key to success in life and hereafter, stressing that people should not derail from the path of Allah but seek His guidance so that they could be pious believers. “Our predecessors were sanctioned economically and the unbelievers ordered that nobody should sell food for them because they believed in Islamic monotheism. But they still held firmly to their faith. It was in this turbulent period that most believers died. But despite the oppression, they remained in Mecca until they were ordered by Allah to migrate to Medina. But Allah made them victorious over their enemies because of their steadfastness and patience,” Tella said.
He also identified fear, sickness of heart and weak faith as factors inhibiting mankind from being steadfast in the course of Islam, saying that Allah has commanded His creatures in the Qur’an to fear Him alone in all situations.
According to him, “Fear of harm from someone other than Allah or fear of losing treasured possessions can prevent one from living according to the doctrine of one’s faith and keeping steadfast. This can also imply fear of fellow human beings either because of their spiritual power or physical power such as arms and ammunition. Anyone who is afraid of his fellow human being will find it difficult to fear the creator of the whole universe. It is advisable for all the believers to expunge all forms of fear and concentrate only on the fear of Allah.
“One should contemplate on the following verse in order to dispel the fear of human beings over Allah from one’s hearts. ‘If Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it, except Him; and if He intends any good for you, there in none who can repel His favour, which He causes to reach whomsoever He likes. He is the oft-forgiving, most merciful.” (Qur’an 10: 106). This verse explains that good, evil, benefit and harm come by the will of Allah alone and none shares in His power. Therefore, fear of harm from someone other than Allah is futile and forbidden.
“Allah is all-knowing. He knows what is beneficial for His servants and what can be harmful to them; and accordingly, Allah decrees for them pleasures and calamities. What Allah has pre-ordained for His servants is bound to happen, whether it is hardship, loss or pleasure and affluence. What He has decreed to miss His servant will never be achieved by him or her. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whatever hits you was never meant to miss you and whatever misses you was never meant to hit you. The fear of human beings is, therefore, followed by sickness of the heart, which is characterized by depression and weak faith,” he added.
He also urged the Muslims, especially the members of the organization, to continue praying for the conquest of the Aqsoh Mosque in Jerusalem from the Jews which, according to him, is one of the important three mosques in Islam as narrated by Prophet Muhammad.