بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
فَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ36
وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ37
وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ38
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْبَغْيُ هُمْ يَنتَصِرُونَ 39
So whatever thing you have been given – it is but [for] enjoyment of the worldly life. But what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely 36
And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive,37
And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend. 38
And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves, 39
Point 1, 2, 6, and 8:
At first glance, I would have ticked some of the above in the positive Masha’Allah. I do believe in Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) and have faith, Alhumdulilah. I strive to pray regularly and also try to give in charity.
However, my next thought and immediate action must be to further improve the quality and quantity of these acts that I already do. My faith needs to be nurtured regularly through the Glorious Qur’an so as to prevent it from fluctuating. My salah needs to be completed in a more timely manner and with much more spirit rather than focusing only on ritualistic actions. My charity needs to be a lot more generous and with the goal of purifying myself each time. I should aim to please Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) and only Him. If the slightest bit of “arrogance” or element of “showing-off” creeps in these actions, they will be in vain.
Point number 5 on the above checklist makes me want to weep with frustration . Be it my family, my kids, my tailor, or that random driver who almost hit my car, one thing or the other keeps making me angry! This is something I definitely need to work on very hard. I must condition and train myself and make du’a for it sincerely. I need to look in all those tactics given in ahadith that help contain the anger.
The trait of consultation is what I need to improve on. Istikharah is consultation with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) . It is seeking khair (goodness) with His help. My Istikharah frequency needs to increase Insha’Allah. Because, no other consultation is better than that done with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى).
Point 3 and 4:
A couple of weeks back I watched a TV serial after a long time. It was interesting and all episodes were available online and it was absolutely free of cost! It took up all my time and consumed all of my mind as well. The serial had such a strong effect on my mind, that I kept thinking about it till much later. I was performing my salah but the khushu and khudhu was gone. The extra du’a and dhikr I had started doing was gone.
It became crystal clear to me that small sins do lead to big ones. The best way to stay on the right path is not to test ourselves and think we are strong enough to overcome the inciting of Shaitan. It is best and to stay away from these activities. The web of Shaitan is very beautiful and alluring. It is better not get entangled because then getting out of it later is not an easy task.
This is a very important point about forgiveness and taking revenge. And if we choose to take our revenge the extent of it that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) has deemed fair.
With this ayah, a startling revelation about myself came through. As I am reflecting and pondering deeper on this ayah, I know and realize that I never really let go of my grudges. A person may have wronged me and yes I have maybe gotten even with them by being rude or saying what I thought should be said at the time, but I never believed that the feud is over. The so called ‘enmity’ will stay in my heart and mind for a long time. Being rude or cold is also a form of revenge. Whereas, when I first read this ayah, I only related it to people who take revenge for murder maybe in form of qisaas (legal retribution). The kalam(speech) of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) is very deep and meaningful and we can find all concepts and answers if we venture deep enough.
An amal (action) point for me is to paste this checklist somewhere where I can constantly see it and be reminded of what I have to do in order to become beloved in the sight of my Creator Insha’Allah.