Purity of Intention
“Thee alone we worship and of Thee alone we seek help.”
All creatures, from the highest order to the lowest one are alike in their subservience to Allah’s will, and in their dependence upon His help. When a Muslim declares that he will worship his Creator only. He makes the great commitment to remain faithful to him not in words and deeds but in thoughts also.
There is no danger of any Muslim falling into the pitfall of polytheism. But there are some impurities of thoughts, which are called ‘hidden polytheism’ against which he must vigilantly guard himself. When a man worship the only God. But at the same time likes the people to know that he is worshipping God. When he wishes his fellows to appreciate how pious he is, then he is committing the sin of ‘hidden polytheism.’ Such a worship, such a piety, such a generosity is called polytheism, because the worshippers intention is not pure, he wants to please two master with one act of worship: God and ‘the people.’
The Holy Prophet of Islam said: “verily, the deeds are by intention.” It means that the value of a good deed depends upon the intention with which it was done, if it is purely for God, it is priceless; if it is to show the world, it is worthless.
Not only the prayers, but the social service also should be based upon the love of God. While helping our less fortunate brethren, we must remember that we are passing on the property of God to the dependants of God. It should be done without any shade of worldly motives. A help given with a motive of gaining worldly advantage is a body without soul. A charity done with a secret desire to enhance one’s social standing destroys the fibre of that charity.
Have a faith in Allah; and do every good work ‘for love of Allah.’ That is the basic teaching of Islam.
Aim of Life
“And did you think that we created you aimlessly..?
No man likes to be accused of working aimlessly. Acting without purpose is against the accepted norms of sanity. Therefore, we are confident that God never does any work without aim and purpose.
And what is the purpose of our creation, our life?
A group thinks that materials well being is the sole purpose of the human life. Their creed: “Every man should work according to his ability and he should get according to his nee.” It is ultimate goal of their life. They see no other purpose beyond it. Alas! These people do not know the difference between means of life and aim of life.
Let me explain. A farmer grows maize. He cultivates the land; mixes fertilizer in the earth; sow seed; irrigated the shamba when necessary. Go and ask him; what is the purpose of cultivation? He will never say: The purpose of the cultivation is to sprinkle fertilizer and irrigate the land. He has sense enough to know that these are the means of cultivation, not its aim. Its aim is to produce maize for human consumption.
A dairyman keeps cows. He feed them, looks after them and protects them form harm. Ask him and he will explain that these are the means of keeping the cows alive. But is it the purpose of keeping the cows in the farm? No! The purpose is something else-milk.
So we see that even in the worlds of maize and cows the difference between the means of life and purpose of life is fully recognized. Is it not strange to forget it when it comes to human life? When a philosophy teaches us that bread and butter are the aim of life it cease to be a philosophy. It becomes a fallacy.
In fact, we are alive for a higher purpose and nobler aim. The Creator himself has made it clear : “And I did not create Jinn and human beings, but so that they may know and obey me.”
Forget this basic purpose of your creation and you have degraded yourself to a level far below than that of cow and maize.
Trust in God
“And put thy trust in God; and enough is God as a disposer of affairs.”
The word used in Qur’an is “Tawakkal” which is derived from “Tawakkul”. This is not an excuse for idleness. “Tawakkul means that you should bind the camel with its rope, then say that you have trust in God that He will protect your Camel. You should not have confidence in the rope only, because many camel has been stolen together with it rope; and, likewise, you should not neglect the rope, because binding with the rope is a part of Tawakkul.”
6 Shamba= Farm
So this is the spirit of Tawakkul. We are try our best; and then we should have trust in the God that he will make our work succeed.
It is a sheer nonsense to sit idle and say that Allah will do all our work for us. He says in Qur’an: “And that man can have nothing but what he strives for.”
A high standard of Tawakkul was set when Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali (a.s) asked some idle persons who they were. “ We are those who have confidence in Allah”, came the answer, ‘Ali asked: “How is your confidence in Allah?” They said: “We eat when we get food; and we have patience when we do not get it.” ‘Ali retorted: “Yes ! That was very nature of a dog. "Stunned, they asked him to explain the true meaning of Tawakkul in contrast to their own belief. ‘Ali (a.s) said: “When we get, we give to others; when do not get, we thank Allah.”
It means that you are try your best to improve your condition; but you should not trust your own power and wisdom. Have confidence in Allah that he will make your efforts fruitful. Then, if you succeed, try to help your fellow brethren with the fruits of your labour; and if you fail; then also be thankful to Allah.
But why should you thank Allah even when you do not succeed? Because success or failure is not your responsibility. You were expected to do your best and you did it. Be thankful to Allah that you were able to perform what was expected from you. It is your efforts, which matter. Success or failure is not your province.
Code of Conduct.
“Verily, the religion before God is Islam
Islam has given mankind a perfect code of conduct. Men from every walk of life have been clearly instructed how to perform their duties, how to behave. Islamic law is based on justice: Islamic ethics on love and grace.
The most strict rules have been laid down for those who enter the public life, like judges, governors etc. The Holy Prophet once sent a man as a Qadi (judge) to Southern Arabia. When he came back, he brought many gifts given to him during his stay there. When the Holy Prophet came to know about it, he demanded that all the gifts be brought to him to be distributed among the poor. The ex-judge protested that it was his personal property, as it was given as gifts. The Prophet said: “ Had you gone there in your private capacity without any official credential, these gifts would have been your private property. But as long as you were my Qazi, the things presented to your were not “gift”; it was ‘bribe’ to please you so that they might benefit from you.” The man had to return all his “gifts”.
Hazrat ‘Ali (a.s) was informed of a dinner attended by the Governor of Basra,. He at once wrote him a long letter, some sentences of which are sufficient to show how Islam expects its officers to behave.
“I have been told that a young man of Basra invited you to dinner and you hurried to it. Fine dishes were brought for you; luxurious plates were served. I never thought that you would accept a dinner to which only rich were invited, and from which poor were excluded... See that I, your Imam, am satisfied from this world with two old clothes and two daily bread. I know that you cannot do as I am doing, but at least you should try to help me with your efforts, your fear of God and your behaviour; because, by God, I did not collect from this world of yours any gold, nor did I a mass riches...
“Should I remain content that people call me ‘Amir al-Mu’minin’ (leader of the faithful) without sharing with them their hardships, without setting for them a model to be followed...”
Many of his letters to governors and officers show this trend when he exhorts them to live as ordinary men, without erecting barriers between them and the people; to behave in such a way “that big people cannot use you to oppress poor ones, and poor are not discouraged from obtaining justice even against the richest and biggest man.”