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Heading on the Straight Path

by Ammara Abid

This world is a test for us. As Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed…” (Surah Mulk, 67:2).  Tests are not easy; they are challenging and require preparation. We human beings are born with an ulterior motive. We are not just here to enjoy or do whatever we want. We are created for a purpose and that is to worship Allah Almighty. As mentioned in the Quran, “Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?”. (Surah Mu’minun, 23:115). 

There are many obstacles that hinder our progress towards paradise. Satan is our biggest enemy; his whole mission is to prevent us from going to heaven. As he said, “Now that you have led me astray, I will certainly sit for them (in ambush) on Your straight path.” (Surah A’raf, 7:16).  He will find every opportunity to attack you. He is very clever and will work gradually so that you don’t even notice. His subtle plans and evil whispers can detract you if you do not stay firm. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win. In fact, Satan is weak and can only whisper. He cannot fully control you. In the Quran Allah Almighty says, “…Surely the plot of Shaytan is always weak.” (Surah An-Nisa, 4:76).  As long as you stay strong and try to keep yourself from big sins, Allah will help you and you will not fall in the trap of Satan. 

Allah is so Merciful and Just and He acknowledges the efforts of human beings. In Hadith Qudsi Allah mentions, “ if [my slave] comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running..” [Bukhari, 7405]. That’s how merciful Allah is. Furthermore, If we do one good deed He multiplies it by ten. He has made good deeds easy for us. 

Another big obstacle can be your Nafs (Soul). This plays a huge role in the life of a human. Human beings are born on Fitrah (the natural disposition) which means to believe in Allah. They are free from the harm of society. But as they naturally progress and grow, they can fall into the wrong track by either their parents, friends, or society as a whole. In a hadith, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Every child is born on Al-Fitrah but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity, of a Fire -worshipper, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?” [Bukhari, 1385].

 There are three kinds of Nafs.  The first is Nafs Al- Ammarah, this nafs encourages us to do bad. It follows lowly desires and easily commits sins without any remorse or regret. It is easily attracted to bad things. This self cannot control itself and thus falls in sin.

The second is Nafs Al-Lawwamah, “the self-accusing nafs”. The person does the sin but soon regrets doing it and blames it on oneself. It seeks forgiveness and repentance. The person is aware of the consequence of the sin and listens to the heart that he made a mistake. 

The third and final is AL Nafs-AlMutmainnah, which is the content soul. Whatever Allah commands us to do it willingly surrenders. It is pleased with whatever Allah decides for us. It finds peace and tranquility in doing good deeds. It refrains itself from the evil and bad things. The soul is clean and pious.

As part of our nature, we err and that’s absolutely normal. As human beings are created weak. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “Allah wants to lighten your difficulties, for man was created weak.” (Surah An Nisa, 4:28).  We have desires and needs. As long as you repent right after and try to abstain from the sin you are on the safe side. We will sin. Prophet Adam (PBUH) made a mistake and repented to Allah Almighty. In fact, Allah loves the act of repentance so much that in a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah will replace you with people who would sin, and they would seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would forgive them.” (Sahih Muslim, 2748).

We should be humble at all times and admit that we made a mistake, we should not be arrogant like Satan. Who disobeyed Allah because of his arrogance and pride. Our intention should be clear to please Allah Almighty alone. 

We shouldn’t get scared from the tests and tribulations that head our way. As they are the means for us to get closer to Allah Almighty. They are a blessing in disguise. They erase our sins and elevate our status. They make us stronger and better human beings. We will surely be tested as Allah Almighty say In the Quran, “We will certainly test you with something of fear, and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits (earnings) but give glad tidings to the persevering and patient.” (Surah Baqarah, 2:155). We shouldn’t whine and complain as some people do. We should be patient and grateful for this opportunity that Allah chose us. As Allah tests those who are near to him. 

In conclusion, the path to heaven is paved with some difficulties. But with the help of Allah and some patience from us we can get there. We should try to abstain from the big sins, including shirk, disobeying our parents and so on. We should try our best to become good Muslims. With good character and patience. A willing heart to help those in need. If you make a mistake don’t take time to repent to Allah. Lastly, never lose hope. Always have hope in Allah even if you have committed a lot of sins. As Allah can forgive all your sins. As He Almighty says in the Quran, “O servants of mine who have acted recklessly against their own selves, do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Surely Allah will forgive all sins…”  (Surah Az-Zumar, 39:53).

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