By… Ibtihal Al-Khalifin
Traveling to another country, he was lucky to have all the formal procedures of setting up a business smoothly carried out. At 23, Adam was working on launching his own project after losing interest and passion at his current workplace. After finding a good location to start selling the traditional clothes he had been designing, he decided he was ready to start his business the very next day!
Unexpectedly, his business became a huge success. Adam quickly became a notable businessman in this district, so much so that he was featured in the most prestigious magazines and newspapers. This has led to even greater publicity and he had become a prominent figure; competing with the giant industries in this field. Everything was going well for him and during this time, he had adapted well to the new environment. Nonetheless, Adam was experiencing spiritual dehydration, he was yearning for a spiritual boost; but his workload and commitments hindered any progress he made. He felt immensely distanced from His Lord.
With his business continuing to flourish, the number of events he was invited to magnified rapidly. His first public appearance was when he was invited to host a fundraising event. The purpose was to raise funds to build schools and hospitals in poorer countries, and to this, he was very excited. However, he later found out that funds were to be raised through lottery. He was utterly disappointed. How could he possibly attend an event, in spite of the cause being a very noble one, that involves a clearly haram 1 aspect to it? He was torn apart, it wasn’t more customers or greater publicity he was running after, no, he was seeking opportunities to please Allah and to give back to his community, after finding himself lacking in these areas due to stress and extreme workload. Thinking of this dilemma hurt his head, so he decided to consult a trustworthy friend:
“Salih, do you think I should attend such an event?”
“Listen Adam, I am like your brother, and I want the best for you. This event is not for us Muslims, the haram aspects you will inevitably engage in when being there outweigh any potential benefit.”
“Hmm… It’s quite a tough decision for me to take. But Salih I find that it is crucial for me to attend, this is an opportunity for me to do something humanitarian. I have been seeking such opportunities; I cannot just simply walk away now.”
“Adam, I kindly request you to keep the words I will speak now in mind, no matter what the circumstance. Nothing is worth the loss of your deen Adam, nothing! Do not compromise it or make it second to anything, for that will only lead to regret ”
With that he got up and left, his words resonating in the mind of his friend for long afterwards…
After much struggle with his thoughts, he decided this was a good cause and although the means may not be Islamically legitimate, yet the purpose overpowers that. Convinced by his own justification, he also thought that he was always doing good, surely one small mistake wouldn’t be a big deal, right? His intention was for the sake of Allah , hence, he thought he was doing the right thing. Happy with his decision, he got ready to attend the event.
As Adam stepped down from his car and entered the room where the event was to be held, he suddenly felt an abnormal heaviness in his chest. His eyesight became blurry and the sounds in the background slowly began to fade. Unable to breath, he realized what was happening, but it was too late; he fell on the ground unconscious.
* * * * * * *
Walking down the lane, he maneuvered his way left and right, warding off the thorns from the fascinating petals slyly hiding their needles underneath, ruthlessly pricking his rather soft, delicate skin…
Carefully avoiding the muddy pedals on the ground, protecting his clothes from unwanted stains, he continued on his path…
He dismissed the exquisite scenarios around him in order to remain focused on successfully reaching his destination, no distractions allowed-otherwise, game over! No, he will not allow anything to come in his way, it was almost over, he couldn’t risk it…
It hurt, it was not easy- no it wasn’t…
It was rather painful
But without a shadow of doubt, it was worth it!
He knew it, and he sure was not proven wrong.
Only a glimpse, a peek, a glance, caused him to forget the struggle he patiently endured- it was over.
The brightness engulfed him, the welcome was surreal, it was like no other…
YES! He made it!
* * * * * * *
That was the turning point.
Although he lay in a coma after the heart attack he survived, he was still able to think. He wasn’t sure what his vision meant, but he was certain of one thing; that he had been given another life and another chance. This heart attack may seem as an obstacle to others, yet Adam knew it was nothing but a mercy and blessing from Allah . If he had remained there until the event started, he would have incurred a burden of sins, as he just realized that what he was about to do was without a doubt disgraceful in the name of Islam. He was ashamed of himself, ashamed for having fallen into error so easily without considering that Allah is watching his every move. Shaitan’s wicked plots and the evil whispers of his nafs(soul) had gotten to him, but enough was enough.
He realized then why he had fallen into error, it was not because he was unaware of the prohibition of lotteries, but it was the human defect of underestimating one’s sins. We fool ourselves into believing that we are good Muslims, hence, one small sin doesn’t really affect, but who has guaranteed us the acceptance of our good deeds? And who are we to decide which sin we can commit and which one we cannot? It is these ‘small’ sins of ours that lead to the spiritual voids, and constantly repeating those leaves one less guilty each time. We become less vigilant of our actions, drawn by the tide, forgetting that Allah
the All-Mighty is the All-Seeing, All-Knowing.
The words of his friend came ringing in his ears: “ Nothing is worth the loss of your deen Adam, nothing! Do not compromise or make it second to anything, for that will only lead to regret” He now fathomed the deep truth illuminating from these words, it was he who was blinded from the truth. He was making his deen second to his wishes and desires even though he tried convincing himself otherwise, but he now understood that when one’s deen becomes the ultimate priority, the other pieces of the picture harmoniously fall into place.
* * * * * * *
His friend Salih came to visit and although Adam was unable to communicate with him, he could hear every word spoken. Salih was reading verses from the Qur’an to him. Oh how grateful Adam was to have him in his life at that moment! His soft, soothing voice was gradually healing him, calming his nerves, as though telling him that all will be fine. Salih continued to recite until he reached the verse:
“and no soul perceives in what land it will die.” (Surat Luqmān; 31:34)
It was this verse that shook him; it pierced his heart as though a spear had been aimed at him. If Allah willed, Adam could have died right then and there at the event’s hall, but Allah saved him from such a horrible death, He saved him from meeting His Lord whilst committing such an unlawful act. This was the biggest wake-up call he could have possibly encountered in his life, not even the death of a friend would have been as powerful, as it was
he who had almost died, almost lost his life in a place displeasing to Allah . He had been given a chance to repent, and for this…
He was eternally grateful!
* * * * * * *
Salih smiled: “You know, I think I may have an idea of what your vision was all about.” It was long since Adam left the hospital, and he had recounted the vision he had to his friend as soon as he met him.
“Really? You do?”
“Well, I think that was a message from Allah
. What took place in your vision was nothing but the definition of taqwa. That is what Allah expects from us – to be forever vigilant of our actions and behaviors as they are the path that would decide our ultimate destination. Our life is centered around us walking down a lane, thus we must be very wary of the thorns and needles we encounter, always remembering that Allah is watching, and will hold us accountable for every misdeed. It doesn’t matter how far we have reached, we must continue on the right path and dismiss any distractions, as it is our ending which matters. This is where the twist happens; we do not know if we will leave this world whilst prostrating to Allah or committing a sin, and so, we must strive to please Allah with every breath we take. Yes, it won’t be easy, but trust me, it will all be worth it, and Allah will pour His blessings upon us endlessly throughout this journey. This is pathway for us to have the brightness of Jannah envelope us!”
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Culled from Iou blog.