«قُلْ آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقِمْ»
“Say I believe in Allah — and then be steadfast”
Musa (as) – with Allah’s aid – headed to Madyan, and he asked his Lord to guide him to the straight path until he reaches his destination without becoming misguided or departs from it. Allah (swt) said: وَلَمَّا تَوَجَّه تِلْقَاءَ مَدْيَنَ قَالَ عَسَى رَبِّي أَن يَهْدِيَنِي سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ “And when he directed himself toward Madyan, he said, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to the sound way.”” [Al-Qasas: 22]
Qatada said: قَالَ عَسَى رَبِّي أَنْ يَهْدِيَنِي سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ “he said, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to the sound way.”” [Al-Qasas: 22]
This is the right path. He called upon his Lord – with his pure human nature- to guide him the way and not leave him lost in the land without having a specific destination. This is a clear indication of the seriousness of this demand and endeavour.
The true Muslim realizes true oneness and worship to Allah after searching, scrutinizing and pondering. If he is guided to the path of truth, he will be steadfast and he adheres to it. It is Allah’s mercy on his worshippers that He (swt) taught them how to worship and He legislated prayer and facilitated through it the steadfastness on the Deen. They recite in each rak’ah اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ “Guide us to the right path” [Al-Fatiha]
The prayer encompasses all the actions of steadfastness. It forbids indecency and evil, and it gathered all the pillars of Islam. Therefore, the Muslim sees the greatness in being a slave of Allah and is elevated at the moment of prostration, remembering Allah secretly and Allah remembers him and boasts of this worship. The worshipper will be with Allah (swt) and remains steadfast on that, even if he was in the cells of tyrants or in exile, and even if he suffers the hardship of this world, he remains reassured in Allah’s company. He recites His Book and freshens his breath with His remembrance and praise. He happily accepts Allah as His Lord, and Allah returns this by pleasing him in both worlds, by sending tranquility upon him that is granted only for those who are righteous (Mutaqoon) إِنَّ الَّذِين قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ * أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ “Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah,” and then remained on a right course – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (13) Those are the companions of Paradise, abiding eternally therein as reward for what they used to do.” [Al-Aqhaf: 13-14] إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ * نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ * نُزُلاً مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ * وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلاً مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ “Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised. * We [angels] were your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish] (31) As accommodation from a [Lord who is] Forgiving and Merciful.” * And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.”” [Fussilat: 30-33]
Allah (swt) ordered His beloved Al-Mustafa ﷺ to be steadfast and He ﷺ ordered the believers to be steadfast too. It was narrated that Abu ‘Umar and it is said Abu Umrah Sufyan ibn’ Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something in Islam that I should not ask anyone except you.” He ﷺ said: «قُلْ آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقِمْ» “Say I believe in Allah — and then be steadfast.” [Muslim]
From Al-Nawas ibn Samaan al-Ansari, from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, He said:«ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً صِرَاطاً مُسْتَقِيماً، وَعَلَى جَنَبَتَيْ الصِّرَاطِ سُورَانِ، فِيهِمَا أَبْوَابٌ مُفَتَّحَةٌ، وَعَلَى الْأَبْوَابِ سُتُورٌ مُرْخَاةٌ، وَعَلَى بَابِ الصِّرَاطِ دَاعٍ يَقُولُ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، ادْخُلُوا الصِّرَاطَ جَمِيعاً، وَلَا تَتَعَرَّجُوا، وَدَاعٍ يَدْعُو مِنْ فَوْقِ الصِّرَاطِ، فَإِذَا أَرَادَ يَفْتَحُ شَيْئاً مِنْ تِلْكَ الْأَبْوَابِ، قَالَ: وَيْحَكَ لَا تَفْتَحْهُ، فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ تَفْتَحْهُ تَلِجْهُ، وَالصِّرَاطُ الْإِسْلَامُ، وَالسُّورَانِ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ، وَالْأَبْوَابُ الْمُفَتَّحَةُ مَحَارِمُ اللَّهِ، وَذَلِكَ الدَّاعِي عَلَى رَأْسِ الصِّرَاطِ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وَالدَّاعِي من فَوْقَ الصِّرَاطِ وَاعِظُ اللَّهِ فِي قَلْبِ كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ» “Indeed Allah has described a parable of the Sirat Mustaqeem (straight path to Allah’s pleasure and Jannah): On the two sides of the path are walls with many unlocked doors, each door having a curtain. There is a caller appointed at the head of Sirat Mustaqeem who calls out, ‘O people keep to this straight path, Don’t look at or go on the crooked paths breaking off from it,’ When a person travelling this path wishes to open one of these doors then a caller calls out, ‘Beware, do not open it, If you open it then you will adopt this path and leave the Sirat Mustaqeem.’ The Sirat Mustaqeem is Islam, and the walls are Allah’s Hudood (legal limits), and the open doors are the Haram things forbidden by Allah, and the caller at the doors is the Quran Kareem, and the caller on the straight path is the living conscience gifted as a guide from Allah (Towfiq) to the heart of every person Allah deems as possessing faith (specific guidance).” [Musnad Ahmad]
It is from Allah’s blessings that He gave us a conscience that reminds us of the way to steadfastness and makes us go back to the right path whenever we depart from it. Man accounts himself and watches himself secretly and publicly. Allah also obliged the presence of those who protect Allah’s limits and advise one another. And Allah obliged the existence of a state that protects the Deen of the individual and the society and works on the steadfastness of the Ummah, and we become truly the witnesses to mankind, with dominance over the world, worshipping Allah (swt) as He should be worshipped. Allah (swt) did not leave us in a mess without guardians; rather, He obliged the existence of a state that protects the Deen and implements Allah’s rules on His land: A state that protects the values of Islam and preserves its pillars and propagates the worship of Allah in the corners of the earth.
It is also from the blessings of Allah (swt) on his slaves that He made the carrying of the call (to Islam) an obligation on the Ummah and gave us the actions of advising one another to remain on the truth and being patient, and to command the good and forbid the evil; He made all these from the elements of the Muslim society. The believers succeed and win if they protect it and deserve the loss and humiliation if they underestimate it. The Muslim hates sin and evil as an individual and urges the protection of Allah’s sanctities and forbids the evil as a group, and accounts those violating this. He is strong by the power of the truth that he carries without compromise and does not accept anything less.
Moreover, the Muslim does not view the commitment to Shari’ah as enslavement or imprisonment, and abandoning it as freedom. The Dawah carrier does not view that working in a group is reducing him or restricts his abilities. He does not see party work except as the only way to liberate the Ummah from dependency and colonialism. And does not view the commitment to the requirements of carrying the call, except as what is required by seriousness in thought and work to reach the path and be guided to the most valuable.
The Shaytaan does not order the Dawah carrier to leave enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, but rather draws him to make the desires of his soul prevail, and he sees himself great and the Shaytan makes him busy with trivial issues in pursuit of the steps of the Shaytan. He runs in quest of this world and temptations, so he fights with some people and is disturbed by others. And he justifies all this to himself by saying he is a reformer who does not accept injustice. Whoever has some good left in himself will blame his soul for making mistakes in secret and fears the wrath of Allah (swt), but publicly he is stubborn and fears for an idol made from dates that he built inside himself. Pride in sin takes over him, and there is no benefit in debating with him, and he does not respond to advice, but even when he is told: “Fear Allah”, he replies: “You fear Allah” as if our beloved Al-Mustafa ﷺ did not warn of this!
As for those who are tested with arrogance, that is a disaster. We ask Allah to protect us from this.
Allah (swt) has blessed man with this world and adorned and decorated it, and made it also sedition to him that may hinder him from that which is eternal, so he will run behind the money, prestige and position and will fall for the false matters of life which will become an end in itself. The world becomes his greatest concern instead of seeing himself as a wayfarer who is accountable, working for the everlasting abode and Jannah as wide as the heavens and the earth prepared for the righteous. The believer works in the land with great vigour and is charged with building the land and ruling it according to the Divine system. The Dawah carrier works under the direction of a Mas’ool and follows the Islamic approach to self-discipline and adherence of the law and discipline at work. He does not see that any action reduces his status but views the greatness of the goal and the importance of achieving it. He does not care for the posts – whatever they are- and he carries the work like any work that requires seriousness and proficiency and diligence. He views the responsibility as an assignment, not honor, and a great burden that he will be asked about on the Day of Judgment. The intelligent person must not underestimate it or dazzled by.
With the length of the road and the many temptations some may deviate from the path, one of them begins to work to obtain the highest degree so that his title helps to carry the invitation, but then the compass changes and the degree becomes a goal in itself. And another works among people to spread the ideas of Islam and find acceptance, by Allah’s grace, among the people, so he suddenly attributes the good to himself, so Allah will test him from where he does not know. And the one who travels to distant lands to carry the call of the Khilafah in a land known for the love of people for Islam, with the length of his stay under the rule of secularism disguised by Islam, he returns with nothing, humiliated after selling his Hereafter for the duniya of others. He returned bankrupt like the one who undone the yarn after weaving it.
It is the duty of the Dawah carrier while carrying the torch of enlightenment for the Ummah of Islam to be watchful of Allah and follow those who know Allah and who seek steadfastness. Proclaiming the truth high without admiring the echo of his voice, and fighting the thought with thought, without drifting behind the ways or wandering in the traffic of life. The Muslim must have a living conscience in his heart that makes him firm on the right path. The true Muslim is at a permanent and continuous struggle with himself to deter the self from evil and push it on the right path. In order for this conscience to be alive, we must irrigate it with Allah’s remembrance and seek knowledge and the company of a true friend who will bring you back to the path, not fearing the blame of anyone.
This steadfastness on the path of Allah (swt) means the Dawah carrier the safety of the heart and self-purification and forbidding it from desire. Part of steadfastness is the satisfaction with what Allah has decreed and the patience in adversity and the avoidance of sedition that emerged from them and the hidden ones. This strengthens the steadfastness and makes the Muslim as the solid mountain not moved by the wind. He surrenders all his matters to Allah Al-Aziz Al-Jabar. The believer’s matter is all good, either he thanks or is patient; perhaps Allah will reward him for it in the Hereafter. The believer hopes in Allah’s reward in all his matters and realizes that above all who has knowledge is the more Knowledgeable. To Allah belongs all matter; He (swt) sends wind with His torment or with His mercy, and turns the hearts how He wills. The Muslim is patient because all the personal battles in the world will perish, and all that remains for man is a healthy heart and good work.
Part of the seriousness in carrying the call that the Muslim realizes is that maintaining the work with the group and being patient on the challenges of collective work is from steadfastness. So the Dawah carrier works with the group to establish the law of Allah in His land and restore the Khilafah Rashida (rightly guided Caliphate) on the method of Prophethood. What purpose and what adversity and what personal attitude with weight when he recalls the goal he is seeking.
There may be obstacles in the way and human estimates may differ, and some people may lose the way. But there is a constant truth in the mind of a Muslim remains; that working with a group that fulfills the conditions of Shariah is obligatory and “that which leads to an obligation is itself an obligation.” We took on this work because it is a duty and we ask Allah one of the two victories, either to witness the allegiance of the second Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of Prophethood or to be the ones who meet Allah on the straight path, and having fulfilled our promise to Him… Ameen
The road to steadfastness that is full of temptations, diversions and obstacles needs pondering, work and duaa. Those who remain on it will win and those who divert will lose. We ask Allah (swt) to guide us to the straight path and make us steadfast in words and deeds.
وَمَا كَانَ قَوْلَهُمْ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ * فَآتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَحُسْن ثَوَابِ الْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
“And their words were not but that they said, “Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” So Allah gave them the reward of this world and the good reward of the Hereafter. And Allah loves the doers of good.” [Ale-Imran: 147-148]
Huda Muhammad (Umm Yahya)