Causes of weakness of Faith – Part 2 by Sr Qadria
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Causes for Weakness of Faith
24 August 2014 – 28 Shawwal 1435
Causes for Weakness of Faith – Day 2
o The world and its allurements
o Associates / companions
o Heedlessness, aversion and forgetfulness
o Committing sins
o The soul that commands to evil
We discussed previously one of the internal causes of weakness of faith is ignorance. Just as knowledge is the basis for all good – ignorance is the basis for all evil. That is why it is important to seek knowledge. If Allah (swt) wants the good for His slave, He will make him understand the deen. It is important when attending study circles to seek the correct knowledge – nowadays people are interpreting the Quran on their own, rather it should be interpreted through the Quran, sunnah, companions, and tabi’een – these are the sources for the interpretation of the Quran. We should also refer to the early interpretations like At Tabari / Al Baghawi.
The knowledge will not be beneficial unless you write it, revise it, act upon it and share it with others, then it will settle in our hearts. We will be accounted for our knowledge – this is the attitude of the predecessors and the true seeker of knowledge. May Allah (swt) open for us and keep us firm. Ameen.
Internal cause – Heedlessness (غفلة )
When people are heedless, they just can’t be bothered. Now we are in the month of Shawwal, the next month is Dhul Qu’eda, what is special about this month? It is a sacred month, but most people are heedless about this, may Allah (swt) protect us. Ameen.
Surah At Tawbah 36:(Verily, the number of months with Allâh is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allâh on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islâmic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh) collectively, as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allâh is with those who are Al-Muttaqûn)
o Allah (swt) decreed to have 12 months before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of those 4 months are sacred months. Allah (swt) chooses what days to be blessed, Allah (swt) chooses who from the humans to be messengers – He chooses Whom He wills according to His wisdom and knowledge.
o What is the command of Allah (swt) during these 4 sacred months? These four months are Dhul Qu’eda, Dhul Hijjah, Maharam, Rajab – every Muslim should know this, why? Because we have been specifically commanded about these months – ( فلَّ تظۡلِمُواَّ فَِّيہِنََّّ
أنفُسڪُمََّّۡۚ ) do not wrong yourselves in these months, what does this mean? It means you should not violate the prohibitions of Allah (swt) and the sanctity of these months by committing sins in these months. And whoever commits sins in these months it means the punishment will be greater, don’t make the lawful unlawful, and the unlawful lawful. The abandonment of obedience of Allah (swt) is also wronging yourself, especially if done during the sacred months. For example, matters have been made easy for you to attend a lecture, but you turn away.
o On the other hand, the reward will be doubled for a good deed you do during the sacred months. So how do you overcome heedlessness? By remembering Allah (swt), by offering prayers, the Prophet (pbuh) said if you establish the night prayers with just 10 verses, they you will not be written of the heedless.
Internal cause – Aversion (إعراض )
Aversion means to turn away, shun, desertion – meaning to turn away from His remembrance, His signs, the Quran, the admonitions.
Surah As Sajdah 22:(And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.))
o Who is more unjust than one who is reminded of ayat Allah (swt) and then turns away? He is considered a criminal, Allah (swt) will take revenge.
o Who is (المعرض ) – the one who turns away, what is their description? It is different levels:
There are those who do not listen at all. They are told to come, listen and they completely turn away. This is aversion by heart.
A person may come and listen, but they will not accept, they will say my mentality is different, this is aversion.
A person may come, listen, and accept, but I cannot act upon it, I cannot do it. She hears that a woman cannot travel alone without a muhram, she does not act upon it. They have knowledge, but they do not act upon it.
There are those who will call upon the law of the Quran and Sunnah to judge, but they will not accept it – for example, laws of marriage, sunnah, inheritance, etc.
The worse is disbelief of aversion ( كفر اَّلإعراض ) – does not accept Allah (swt) as their Lord, does not believe in the Day of Judgement, angels, etc.
What is the evil consequence for aversion?
Surah Al Kahf 57: (And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, but turns away from them forgetting what (deeds) his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this (the Qur’ân), and in their ears, deafness. And if you (O Muhammad SAW) call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided)
o Allah (swt) will put a veil over their hearts and they cannot hear the truth, meaning they will not be able to understand. They will sit in a lecture and say I cannot understand, something is wrong with the heart, because Allah (swt) made the deen easy to comprehend. Allah (swt) never oppresses His slaves, as He says in a hadith qudsi “I have forbidden oppression on Myself’, if you see a good deed in your records on the Day of Judgement, then praise Allah (swt), and if you see a sin in your records, then blame only yourself. Allah (swt) is sending us signs constantly – He is your Lord, obey Him, this is halal, haram, etc but you are the one who turned away by not accepting and not acting upon the command of Allah (swt).
Surah Ta Ha 124: (“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’ân nor acts on its teachings) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”)
o Why will he be resurrected blind on the Day of Judgement? Surah Ta Ha 125-126: (He will say:”O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight (before).” (125) (Allâh) will say: “Like this, Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allâh’s Mercy).” (126))
Surah Az Zukhruf 36: (And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allâh) (i.e. this Qur’ân and worship of Allâh), We appoint for him Shaitân (Satan devil) to be a Qarîn (a intimate companion) to him.)
o Allah (swt) did not say (يعرض ) but rather (يعۡشَُّ ), what does it mean? The one who is does not see clearly, the one whose eyesight is weak, meaning he did not want to see or know the truth, subhan Allah. So a shaitan will be appointed for him as a companion, what will be the life of that person? It will be miserable, the shaitan will be guiding him to every evil, whispering every evil, may Allah (swt) protect us. Ameen.
o Allah (swt) is sending messages through people, Quran to advise you, don’t turn away, ask Allah (swt) to help you. For example, to not travel without a muharam or to wear the hijab.
Surah Ta Ha 100: (Thus We relate to you (O Muhammad SAW) some information of what happened before. And indeed We have given you from Us a Reminder (this Qur’ân). (99) Whoever turns away from it (this Qur’ân i.e. does not believe in it, nor acts on its orders), verily, they will bear a heavy burden (of sins) on the Day of Resurrection)
o He will bear a heavy burden of sin on the Day of Judgement for turning away from ayat Allah (swt).
Surah Al Jinn 17: (That We might try them thereby. And whosoever turns away from the Reminder of his Lord (i.e. this Qur’ân — and practise not its laws and orders), He will cause him to enter in a severe torment (i.e. Hell).)
o Those who turn away from the reminders of Allah (swt), then for them is a severe torment on the Day of Judgement.
Surah Al Anbiya 1-3: (Draws near for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in heedlessness. (1) Comes not
unto them an admonition (a chapter of the Qur’ân) from their Lord as a recent revelation but they listen to it while they play, (2) With their hearts occupied (with evil things) Those who do wrong, conceal their private counsels, (saying): “Is this (Muhammad SAW) more than a human being like you? Will you submit to magic while you see it?” (3))
o The Reckoning is near, but people are heedless and if they are reminded, they turn away. They listen to the Quran, but they are playing. Their hearts are occupied with anything besides Allah (swt).
Internal Cause – Forgetfulness
Forgetfulness means abandonment of what you are entrusted with. Allah (swt) has entrusted us with many covenants and obligations – to fulfill the rights of tawheed, salat, fasting, etc. There are two types of forgetfulness: deliberate and indeliberate. Allah (swt) will not account us for being indeliberate, it is human nature that we can forget. But there is deliberate forgetfulness.
Surah Al Hashr 19: (And be not like those who forgot Allâh (i.e. became disobedient to Allâh) and He caused them to forget their ownselves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).)
o What does it mean to forget Allah (swt)? They believe in Allah (swt), but they forget to work for the hereafter intentionally. They know the commands of Allah (swt), but they abandon it. He is not making the pleasure and reward of Allah (swt) his goal, this is a type of forgetting Allah (swt). What will be the result?
o Allah (swt) will make them to forget the goodness of themselves, meaning to not perform the deeds that will benefit them in this life and the hereafter, rather they will indulge in evil deeds that will corrupt their selves, may Allah (swt) protect us. Ameen. This is the result of forgetting Allah (swt), not making Allah (swt) your priority.
Internal Cause – Committing Sins
The salaf used to say that iman increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience. Sins are of different levels with different levels of evil consequence. Similarly, faith / iman is of different levels, believers are not all the same level and wickedness is of different levels.
Surah Al An’am 132: (For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do.)
o Just as paradise is levels, similarly hellfire is levels, the lowest being for the hypocrites. Righteousness is levels and degrees, and wickedness is levels.
Surah An Nisa’a 31: (If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).)
o There are both major and minors sins, if you avoid the major sins, then Allah (swt) will expiate the minors sins. What is the difference between major and minor sins? Major sins have a punishment or curse attached to it. What is the greatest of the major sins? Shirk, to associate with Allah (swt) another partner, then comes disobedience to parents, false testimony. Allah (swt) will not forgive major shirk on the Day of Judgement, we ask Allah (swt) to protect us. Ameen.
Classification of sins
Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) classified sins into four categories:
o Malikiyyah: this comes from the word (ملك ), showing signs of lordship, similar to that of firoun, who considered himself a god, istaghfar Allah
Enslavement of people
o Shaytaniyyah: this comes from shaitan, taking satanic attributes
Ordering disobedience of Allah (swt)
o Sab’iyyah: this comes from (سبع ) which means beast.
Oppression of the weak
o Bahimiyyah this comes from (بهيمة ) which means animalistic – the concern of the animal is to eat and mate.
Desire to satisfy the lusts of the stomach and private parts in a wrong way – adultery, theft, miserliness, restlessness, impatience
It should be clear to all that committing sins decrease iman, the amount of decrease varies according to the following considerations:
o Class of the sin: for example the decrease of iman for committing major shirk is greater in the decrease of iman in committing major sins, for example whoever commits shirk, associating with Allah (swt), worshiping graves, saints, etc. The decrease of iman for committing major sins is greater in the decrease of iman for committing minor sins.
o Degree of its harm: for example killing unlawfully is greater in harm than stealing, therefore faith will decrease more with killing than with stealing. Committing adultery of a married person is greater in harm than committing adultery of an unmarried person. The punishment for adultery for a married person is stoning, whereas the punishment for adultery for an unmarried person is lashing. This does not mean to take adultery lightly.
o The amount: Committing two or three sins affects the faith more than committing one sin.
o The place and time: committing sins during Ramadan, during the sacred months are more serious than other months.
o The indifference towards it: meaning taking it lightly, the sin committed by a person who fears the punishment of Allah (swt) is less than a sin committed by a person who does not care about Allah (swt).
o The doer: a sin that is committed by a knowledgeable person or scholar is more grievous and serious than a sin committed by an ignorant or normal person. The adultery committed by an elderly person is more serious than adultery committed by a youth.
What should we do to protect ourselves from the sins?
To know the dangers of the sins, this will make you to abandon it.
Knowing what the sins can lead to – punishment, penalty, decrease in faith, the hellfire, etc.
The evil consequences of the sins, Ibn Al Qayyim mentioned some of them:
1. Lack of guidance (tawfeeq): meaning he will not be guided to the right path
2. Incorrectness of opinion
3. Concealment of the truth: Allah (swt) will not show him the true path
4. Corruption of the heart: it will not be a sound heart, full of hatred, envy, jealousy
5. Lack of remembrance of Allah (swt)
6. Wasting time: not benefitting from his time
7. Dislikeness of the people for him
8. Strangeness between him and Allah (swt) – he does not enjoy his acts of obedience, he sees a barrier between himself and Allah (swt)
9. His supplication will not be accepted by Allah (swt)
10. Hardness of the heart: the heart will not respond to any admonition, when he recites the Quran and reads of torment of the hellfire, his heart does not tremble
11. No barakah in his life: no barakah in his time, wealth, children, home, etc
12. Deprivation of knowledge: even if he is coming and listening to the lectures, he will not be able to act upon it.
13. Humiliation subjected by an enemy: he will be humiliated and overpowered, whether by the shaitan, work, family, we ask Allah (swt) to protect us. Ameen.
14. Constriction of the heart: your heart may not be happy, this happens and most people do not know it is the impact of their sins, we ask Allah (swt) to protect us. Ameen
15. Being put to trial with evil companionship
16. Anxiety and sorrow is prolonged
17. Miserable life: hardship in life
What is the solution? Alhamdulliah that we are alive and the gate of repentance is still open – ask Allah (swt) truthfully and sincerely for the help. If you know you are weak and are committing sins, then ask Allah (swt) to strengthen your faith. Ask Allah (swt) for the forgiveness of your sins – for those you know and do not know.
If you feel any one of these signs, then immediately repent to Allah (swt). I don’t remember what sin I committed but still seek forgiveness, and sins are not only of the tongue and limbs, but even of the heart.
Sunnah – Salat At Tawbah
Sunnah: if you know a particular sin that you committed or general sin, then there is salat at tawbah, you offer two units of voluntary prayer asking Allah (swt) for forgiveness of your sin. There is no particular supplication to make, just seek forgiveness from Allah (swt) whether in your sujood or before the salam.
Hadith: (It was narrated that ‘Ali bin Abu Talib (ra) said: “If I heard a Hadith from the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), Allah benefitted me with it as much as He willed, and if I heard it from anyone else, I would ask him to swear me an oath, then if he swore an oath I would believe him. Abu Bakr (ra) told me and Abu Bakr (ra) spoke the truth that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘There is no man who commits a sin then he performs ablution and does it well, then he prays two Rak’ah,’ (one of the narrators) Mis’ar said: ‘then performs prayer and seeks the forgiveness of Allah, but Allah will forgive him.’) – Sunan Ibn Majah, grade: hasan, Book 5, Hadith 1459
May Allah (swt) increase us in faith. Ameen.