Choice

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A variety of sumptuous meals are presented before you. You choose some and decline to partake from others. The reason for doing so? You do not prefer the dishes you declined, though others find them to be most appetising. Thus your choice was based on your preference — on what you liked.

The same applies to a host of things that we do daily, from buying our daily needs to choosing our marriage partner. We choose what we like and we leave what we dislike, or at least do not prefer.

While there is much latitude for us to exercise our choices in daily mundane issues, as believers and followers of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), our choices must be within the boundaries of Deen. Deen is that way of life which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) lived and demonstrated. It is the way of life that Allah Ta’ala has chosen for us. Allah Ta’ala declares: “And I am pleased with Islam as your Deen (religion/way of life).” (Surah 5; Verse 3)

 
CLOSEST AND MOST BELOVED

Furthermore, the way of life which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) lived is indeed perfect. Allah Ta’ala says: “Indeed for you, in the life of the Messenger of Allah is a splendid example.” (Surah 33 Verse 21) Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is also the closest person to us. The Qur’an testifies to this: “Verily the Nabi (Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is closer to them than their own selves.” Hence Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the most beloved to any believer. Such love is indeed the dictates of his Imaan. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “None of you is a (true) believer until I am more beloved to him than his parents, children and all of mankind” (Mishkaat). In short, we follow Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who is closest to us and most beloved to us, his way of life is perfect and has been especially chosen for us by Allah Ta’ala and it is the only road to success in both worlds. The critical question that then begs to be asked is: “Do we follow the most perfect way of life of our most beloved? If not, why? What makes us choose to follow the way of life of his enemies?”

PAINFUL TRUTH

The simple, honest but painful answer is that our love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is not to the level that it propels us to follow him only. When we are faced with choices between his way of life and the ways of others, we often choose the “other” way and, Allah forbid, do not give preference to the way of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is a question of love. True love blinds a person to all else. Unfortunately, due to our deficient love, we sometimes choose what Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) disliked.

MODESTY

Consider for instance the emphasis that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) placed on hayaa (modesty). “Hayaa is part of Imaan,” he declared. Yet, what do we choose? Do we prefer to dress modestly – in accordance to the modesty taught by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) - or do we choose the hayaa-destroying garments of the west? If we prefer the latter, why? The painful truth is that our love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is deficient!

Similarly, marriage in the perfect way of life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is a simple affair. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “The Nikah with the greatest blessings is the Nikah wherein the least expense is incurred” (Mishkaat). The western marriage ceremony is an extravagant showpiece. All the stops are pulled out to make it a “memorable, star-studded occasion”. What do we choose? Is our love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to the degree that we wholeheartedly choose his way over the way of the West? Or do we prefer “pulling out all the stops?”

BUSINESS FUNCTION

Take another simple example. At a business function, do we sit and eat in the manner that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has emphasised or do we stand around and eat in the manner of the disbelievers? Do we have sufficient love to ignore everybody else and to follow our beloved?

The same question should be asked with regard to the way we conduct our business; our private and social lives; our appearance and the dressing we choose; the character we display and even with regard to our ambitions and aspirations. Are our ambitions and aspirations those which will please Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) or are they no different from the aspirations of the materialistic West?

FUEL OF LOVE
 
Our honest self-analysis will make it evident to us whether we choose what Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) likes or what he dislikes. If it appears that we prefer the ways of the West over his mubarak way, then we urgently and seriously need to generate true love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in our hearts. The fuel of love will propel us towards the obedience of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and instil within us the true desire to follow him in every aspect.

Some of the very basic things that can be done immediately to generate this love are the following:

► Daily read about the life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Do this together with the family at a convenient time. Read about his sacrifices and the sacrifice of his family and Sahaaba (R.A.). This is sure to increase our love for him and make us want to follow him. The book “Stories of Sahaaba” by Sheikul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakaria (R.A.) is ideal for this purpose.

► Increase the recitation of Durood Shareef daily. Consider how many times in the day we talk about non-entities – cricketers, soccer stars and many other falling stars. How often do we remember the brightest, ever-shining star who illuminated our lives with the noor of Imaan?

► Learn on sunnah daily, or even one sunnah a week. Make every effort to make that sunnah a part of one’s life.

► Speak as often as possible about Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to one’s family, friends, associates and anyone else. Speak about his physical perfection, his character, his sacrifices, his noble habits and all aspects of his mubarak life. ► Spend one’s time, energy and wealth in uplifting his Deen.

► Constantly adopt the company of those who truly love Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and are ardent followers of his Sunnah. This is the easiest and most effective way of inculcating the love of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in one’s heart.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the true love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and enable us to choose his way of life above all else. Aameen. 
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