Special Rabi ul Awwal Series (Part 1 of 4)
How to live in this world with Allah
Now, what do we need to do? First, we need to intend to focus on Allah. We need to do some work and then there is a lot of things involved in this work, a lot of features and a lot of dimensions. Why do we need to work? The answer is so Allah will know who is sincere and who is not. He is not going to give access to His nearness [qaraba] so easily. People have to work for it. He did that before and people did not appreciate it. This time around, He wants to make sure only the deserving, the most deserving can get there. As the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was created as prophet, he still had to go through his thing to deserve the position. So if you think you went through enough, compare yourself to the Prophet what he went through. If you think you have financial difficulties, would you like to exchange places with the prophet or his sahaba [companions] of that time or anyone? They were hungry for days. They used to tie a stone on their stomach, to press on it so they would not feel the hunger.
How does Allah work
Now, how does Allah work? In order to be able to be with Allah, you have to know how He works and it is not easy to understand Allah. But I will try to explain it to you as simple as I can. Try to understand. Now first of all, Allah has the qadr. Qadr means the measures, in other words, formulas for everything. He created the universe and whoever is in it according to certain formula. So qadr does not mean destiny, it means measures, formulas. In one hand, these formulas are set forth. For example, if you take two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, it becomes water if you put some energy to it. This will always happen like that each time you do it, it is going to happen. If you drop a pen from high, the gravity will work each time you drop it, it is going to fall. It is not going to change. And as Allah, He has to monitor the relationships in between all these formulas and the object and the beings that have all these formulas. He has to monitor all that. And then comes the human being. There is the culprit, the human being. Human beings can be as high as they can be in the presence of Allah or lowest of the low, lower than any lowest animal. If you go up to your nafs, no animal is lower than you, hyenas, wolves, this that. But if you surrender and love Allah, nobody can be higher than you.
It is important that you read the Qur’an and see what it says about this so that you will not have any confusion. The Qur’an has many references on this subject. In the Qur’an Allah instructs Muslims to make peace and instructs that when a community makes peace, you cannot attack them. Yes, throughout history, people at different times have tried to interpret the Qur’an in order to justify actions which are against Allah’s instructions.
For example, in the Ottoman Empire the kings had shaykhs of Islam and they checked with them to see if their actions would be in accord with the Qur’an-i-Karim. The decisions that were made in these situations were called fatwa which means “permission given.” This worked for a while but then the Ottoman Kings began to decide what they wanted to do and they would threaten the shaykhs of Islam to give them a fatwa saying that what they wanted to do was sanctioned by the Qur’an in order to justify their own actions. Under threat of death, the counselors interpreted the Qur’an in a way that would justify the actions of the king. As a result of this, Allah took the Ottoman Empire down.
We need to pay attention to Allah’s justice, which lies in the middle of His jalal and jamal. Do not think that we are free to do anything we want. Allah will not stop you from doing something because you are free to make choices, but after you do it, you will get the consequences of your actions in this world and in the hereafter.