Let us take a glance at one last satanic endeavour in shackling down the believer from being active and a person of high aspirations.
The “You’re sinful” approach
He’ll silently whisper: “I agree .. you do have talents .. and yes, you do have a bit of knowledge .. but neither of them will benefit you because you are a sinner! How dare you deem yourself fit for activism whilst you’re a captive of your habits?! You want to advise others?! Advise yourself and no one else!”
We slam this door shut in the face of satan as well, by responding:
Because even the sinners from this ummah were people of enthusiasm and activism!
Because their shortcomings, sins and bad habits didn’t hold them back from competing with other Muslims for paradise!”
As one poet puts it:
لئن لم يعظ العاصين من هو مذنبُ ** فمن يعظ العاصين بعد محمدُ
“If you aren’t going to enjoin good just because you are a sinner .. then who will advise the sinners after Muhammad PBUH?”
In other words, if sinlessness was a condition to work for Islam, then none of us would be worthy of working for it because .. sinlessness was buried the day Mohammad PBUH was buried ..
Dear reader .. if your situation is like the rest of ours, you have shortcomings, you have bad behaviour which you’re struggling to rid of, but you crave to work for Islam and your heart bleeds with pain when you see others sinning … then the following story is a gift for you:
The story of Abu Mihjan (may Allah be pleased with him)
Abu Mihjan was a companion of prophet Muhammad PBUH and was suffering from a particular issue, falling weak before it every time ..
“What?! A companion?! Falling victim to this?!” Yes! Put aside fantasies and do not romanticize the companions! Yes, they were the greatest human beings to ever tread the earth after the prophets and messengers .. but .. they were humans ..
Abu Mihjan was addicted to alcohol. He’d drink it, get caught and then flogged. Then again, he’d drink it, get caught and be flogged .. and this continued until the khilaafah (rule) of Omar (may Allah be pleased with him).
During the khilaafah of Omar, the famous battle of al-Qaadisiyyah, under the leadership of Sa’d Ibn Abbi Waqqaas, took place and Abu Mihjan left with the Muslim army as a soldier, seeking martyrdom on the battlefield. Yes, despite his addiction!
Amazingly .. in al-Qaadisiyyah he was brought to the commander of the army, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, why?
.. He drank alcohol.
Sa’d detained him and prevented him from taking part in the battle. Now, this detention was a harsh punishment upon Abu Mihjan and caused him great anguish. As he sat in his imprisonment, he began hearing the sounds of swords clanging, piercing spears, the bashing of shields and armour, the screaming of horses .. he knew that the battle had begun, the gates of Paradise had opened and on the other side of his cell .. Allah was taking martyrs ..
His heart was filled with pain and a longing to join them! Yes, he knew that he’d committed major sins but he thought to himself: “this doesn’t justify a lack of enthusiasm for my Deen! I must do something!” His heart was burning and he began to weep ..
Abu Mihjan calls the wife of Sa’d ibn Abi Waaqqas, Salma, saying:
“Please .. Set me free .. and I swear by Allah, if I don’t get killed then I will walk back to my cell and personally shackle my feet once again .. and if I die, then you will be rid of me once and for all”
Salma sensed from him incredible sincerity and was moved by his words. She unchained him. Abu Mihjan leaps onto a horse belonging to Sa’d and picked up a spear .. and set off like the wind!
Abu Mihjan was a known Saracen! From the moment he set foot onto the battle field, the course of the battle began to shift! He penetrated the ranks of the enemies, devastated their plans and tore down every warrior who stood in his way ..
Sa’d was ill and wasn’t taking part in the fighting, but was supervising the battle from a distance. He gazed at Abu Mihjan in amazement, not recognising who this brave Saracen was! Sa’d turns to his wife and says:
“The horse I see runs like the running of my horse! And the fighting of that warrior is like the fighting of Abu Mihjan! .. but .. Abu Mihjan is in chains”
The wife of Sa’d says to him: “You are right! That man you see is Abu Mihjan” and she told him what happened.
The battle was over, the Muslims were victorious and Abu Mihjan keeps his promise. He returns to his cell and places his feet back into the chains.
Sa’d enters the prison cell and looks at Abu Mihjan in total admiration and wonder. He finds Abu Mihjan sat on the floor having chained himself back up. Sa’d begins to cry and comes close to Abu Mihjan to personally release him from the chains and says: “Get up and go, for I swear by Allah I will never flog you for drinking wine again” Abu Mihjan replies:
“And I swear by Allah .. I will never drink wine again”
This is a message from Abu Mihjan to the sinners like myself:
We all have sins and things which were eagerly working to improve before we meet Allah .. but do not let these shortcomings stand between you and working for your Deen .. March on