REMAINING MUSLIM THIS FESTIVE SEASON
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REMAINING MUSLIM THIS FESTIVE SEASON

As the “festive season” (Christmas/New Year) fast approaches plans to celebrate are underway by many across the globe. In fact wherever one goes the mood has already become festive. This preparation more often than not includes many practices that are unacceptable in not just Islam but many other religions, such as alcohol, illicit drugs, music, dancing, partying into the early hours of the next day, fireworks, free intermingling of sexes, adultery and many other acts which all smack off immorality and shamelessness. We as Muslims need to ask ourselves a very fundamental question in this period which is are we going to jump the band wagon and join the festivities or would we simply stay clear of them realising that more important than anything and everything else is the preservation of our Imaan and identity? The true Muslim would immediately do the latter.

Temptations will always be there. And when everyone around you is doing it the temptation becomes even more intense. If there was no temptation, then there would have been no such thing as Taqwah which translates into ‘being conscious of Allah Ta’ala and His laws, Who sees and hears and fully knows what we do. The demand is to resist, to stay away, to abstain. Not to commit sins is so much easier than ‘committing’ sins and besides engaging in evil causes harm to our Deen and Aahkirah. As Muslims we have an in-built moral compass which should able to deter us from all that is prohibited unless of course that compass is not working. The Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam alluding to this states, “Sin is that which troubles your conscience and that which you dislike coming to public notice.” (Muslim)

A pious scholar has aptly said: “…For temptation will lead you into trouble and make you cry.”

Indeed, this is exactly what happens when one gives into the temptation to engage in any Haraam (act of disobedience). Many Muslims have been led astray by the dazzling attractions which feature even more strongly during this festive period, never to return there from…Many lose their identity during this “festive period” and sometimes even their Imaan and suffer the irreparable loss of their Aakhirah (Hereafter). It is more in these times when many go astray and we need to up our guards, keep our restraints and stand our grounds should we desire the mercy of Allah Ta’ala which would ultimately admit us into Jannah. The Qur’aan clearly outlines the requirements of admission into Jannah when it says:

“And for the one who fears standing before his Lord (accountability) and he restrains himself from giving in to his base and carnal desires, then verily Jannah will be his abode.”

Every muslim should distance himself from the dens of vice and sins and endeavour to participate in good, Deeni programmes and associating with the pious. Deen and Shari’ah do not stifle us, do not deprive us of pleasure and enjoyment, do not deny us happiness and celebration in no way. Our beautiful Deen and Shari’ah accommodate leisure and pleasure but within limits as set out by Allah Ta’ala and His beloved Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Islam is indeed Most Beautiful. Islam is not ‘dry’ and “a buzz killer”. It is “cool” and enjoyable. Our beloved Allah Ta’ala has only placed certain limitations through HIS Divine prohibitions for our own benefit, safety and well-being in this world as well as the hereafter.

“Beware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way, do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it.” (Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi)

The holiday or festive period is a time of great test and trial for every Muslim for it will measure the levels of Imaan within each one of ourselves. Don’t let Salaah become a forgotten duty and discard Islamic dress and identity so that there is freedom to engage in these haraam celebrations. Those who celebrate this day will surely invite and secure Allah Ta’ala’s wrath and displeasure. What would be the condition of that person whose soul is extracted whilst he is caught up in an act of disobedience and who comes face to face with the Angel of Death whilst engaged in drink, dance, adultery or fornication? How does one who has just incurred the wrath and anger of Allah Ta’ala face him?

Immorality and shamelessness is a sin and and is a direct threat to Imaan. The Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam has said: Modesty and shame and Imaan (faith) are two inseparable entities. When one of them is removed the other ceases to exist” (Bukhari) Therefore, a dearth of modesty is a reflection of the absence of Imaan.

Which Muslim wants to return to Allah Ta’ala in a state of sin? Of course no one in a sound state of mind would want this. In this festive period when all and sundry bear the marks of misguidance and unconsciousness of Allah Ta’ala we need to fervently pray to Allah Ta’ala to adorn our souls with the armour of Hayaa as a protection from the lures of the fitnah (evil), and ask HIM to make what time we all have left profitable for the life after death and let us live as true Muslims thereby gaining success in this life and the next. Let’s live our life according to the Sunnah (practices) of our beloved Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) so that ALLAH TA’ALA will look on us favourably when we will meet Him. Most importantly…

►Let us not forget that we are Muslims all the time.

►Let us not forget our relationship with Allah Ta’ala and those things that can come in between and break or weaken this relationship.

►Let us not forget that death can visit very unexpectedly.

►Let us not forget that there is accountability.

►let us not forget Jannah (Paradise) which we all want to get to.

►Let us not forget Jahannum (Hell) which we all are fearful of

The Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said, “The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever.”(Muslim). What will be ‘good’ for the disbelievers will not always be good for the Believers. If they find enjoyment and pleasure in Haraam (evil), the Muslim will find pain and harm in that same Haraam. We must seek refuge in Allah Ta’ala from the Evils of this festive season. Death seeks us all. Prioritize your Deen. If we adopt Taqwah, we restrain and abstain from disobedience to Allah Ta’ala, then when we leave this world, we leave behind a prison, we leave free. When the disbeliever leaves this world, he leaves behind his paradise. When he leaves this world, he enters a prison; wherein there is no escape.

The signs of Qiyaamah are looming before our eyes and we are closer to it than we think! We do not know what the next day will bring, will the next day be our last or will it bring happiness, this only Allah Ta’ala knows. With no guarantee of this, we should realize that our lives are in the hands of Allah Ta’ala and we should do only what He has prescribed for us, and that is to be obedient to Him regardless of what time or period we find ourselves in.

Imam Sha'afi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) summed up this life very simply and aptly:
“This worldly life is a just a moment; let it be a moment of obedience.”

May Allah Ta’ala protect and guide us and grant us the ability to celebrate our happiness in the way that He and His Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam have approved of, Aameen.

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