Practicing Islam is Not an All or Nothing Attitude

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Islam Values: Manners Views: 4210
4210

A few weeks back, at an office get together, a colleague (who isn't Muslim) told me how he used to fast four days for a particular festival observed in his faith. But he stopped fasting once he started eating meat (meat is to them what bacon and pork products are to us Muslims). He believed there was no point in observing anything, as he has let God down.

There are so many among us who feel the same way. It needn't even be related to our beliefs. It could even be a diet program, where our mind faltered and we had a piece of pizza. The next thought is, "All's lost. Now let me as well have a chocolate cake and a few fried pieces of chicken."

This has happened to me. This has happened to all of us. This "ALL or NOTHING attitude" should not be the case.
Coming back to Islam, a few of my other friends who have decided it's best to let it all go, say, "I haven't prayed for the last ten years (or so). There is no use starting now. Is there?" Not to mention that we live in a society where no matter how much we do, it never seems enough, especially when it comes to religion.

If you pray five times a day, you will sure be asked, "Do you pray the sunnahs? If not, shame on you."

If you do pray the sunnah, you will be asked about the nafil prayers. If you don't pray nafil prayers, then shame on you.

We are surrounded by all too many people who, instead of making us feel included, are always trying to make us feel inferior. No accolades are given for trying. We just need to be perfect. On the other hand, if you are someone who never prays, they actually let you go. He has never prayed in his life. Period -the "ALL or NOTHING" attitude again.

Laylatul Qadr - Harnessing the Power

[During] the holiest days (and nights) of the Islamic Calendar year, Laylatul Qadr, which means the Night of Destiny/Decree. These are the night that Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed by Angel Gibreel to our Prophet Mohammed (saw). The Quran says:

"The Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months!" 

And:

"Whoever stands in prayer, in Laylatul Qadr out of correct belief and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven."

As kids, my mother instructed me and my brother to pray the Maghreb (sunset) prayer daily on time. (The five prayers aren't obligatory on children.) She did this to instill a habit in us not to forget the prayers. We also automatically transitioned to the five prayer schedule as we grew older, without my mother pushing us to do it.

I may or may not be right to recommend this method to adults, but I am going to. For those of you who feel they have wronged so much that they have no way back, or for those of you, who haven't prayed for the last 10-15 years, you need baby steps. Don't always go by the "ALL or NOTHING" rule. Starting with one prayer a day and then gradually increasing to five is definitely better than staying away altogether.

You may be laughed at by few, who might say, "Oh, when did you turn religious?" You may even be lectured by a few of those know-it-all religious pundits who say, "Five is fard (obligatory). There is no use doing just one." But, I still recommend the gradual approach.

We are often taught how God punishes those who don't follow Him, how God will curse those who sin. However, many of us forget the meaning behind the line we repeat so often in Islam:

Bismillah ir Rahmaan ir Raheem: In the name of Allah, the most GRACIOUS, the most MERCIFUL.

The Quran says, "Even if my slave has sins as big as mountains, I will still forgive him, because my mercy overcomes my wrath."
Allah is most known for His mercy. There is no sin that we can't be saved from. Ours is a religion which gives plenty of second (third or fourth) chances. Humans may not forgive us. They might not want to include us because we aren't perfect. But you don't need their permission to find your way back to Allah. All you need to do is ask His Forgiveness, and no better time to do it than on these last ten days of Ramadan.

Source: Patheos - Nasia Ullas.  Nasia is a South-Indian engineer who works at Hewlett Packard and has a diploma in creative writing. Spiritual writing is her passion. She blogs at http://nasiasramadan.wordpress.com/


  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured
  Topics: Islam  Values: Manners
Views: 4210

Related Suggestions

 
COMMENTS DISCLAIMER & RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Older Comments:
HUJRAH WAHHAJ FROM USA said:
Excellent article. Satan plays a major role in making people adopt the All
or Nothing ideology. Allah says His Mercy outweighs His wrath. Baby steps
is the perfect remedy and never wavering in Faith and Yakin (certainty) in
Allah. Love the article Mashallah!
2012-09-23

BABANDI A.GUMEL FROM U.K said:
Verily those who believe and do righteous good deeds for them are Gardens of Delight(Paradise) to abide therein.It is a PROMISE of Allah in truth and He is the All-Mighty,the All-Wise. (Allah)He has
created the heavens without any pillars that you see,and has set on the earth firm mountins lest it shake with you.And He has scattered therein moving (living) creatures of all kinds.And We send down water (rain) from the sky,and We cause (plants of every goodly kind to grow therein.
THIS IS THE CREATION OF ALLAH.Now show Me that which those (whom you worship) besides Him have created.Unfortunately the wrongdoers Zalimun are in plain error.
If all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea were ink with more seven seas to add to its supply (the ink would finish) yet the WORDS of Allah would not be exhausted.Allah is All- Mighty All-Wise.Allah (S.W.T)continued in Surah Lukman the creation of you all and the Resurrection is like that of a Sngle person Verily Allah is All-Hearer All-Seer.Don't you see how Allah merges the night into the day and the day into the night and has subjected the sun and the moon each running its course for a term appointed and that Allah is All-Aware of what you do.That is because He is the Truth and whatever you invoke besides Him is Baatil (falsehood wether Prophet,Angel human being Jinn Animal or any idol are all not worthy of worship ).So this is why if somebody embraces Islam the FIRST THING he/she will be taught is La ila ha illallah Muhammadur Rasululllah (non is wothy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger) (like Jesus,Moses Abraham Noah and all other Prophets).Say or my servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah Verily Allah forgives All Sins.Truly He is the Oft-Forgiving Merciful.And turn in repentence & obedience with true Faith to your Lord and submit to Him before the torment comes upon you and will not be helped and follow the best of that which is sent i.e QURAN &SUN
2012-09-22