Life is a test. It will always be full of trials, tribulations and afflictions. Life is not a mere game for you to enjoy. Did you really think you will be allowed to just live without being tested? Allah says:
“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving”. [Qur’an 67:2]
The environments and the atmosphere we live in are risky, unsafe, dangerous and volatile. No matter how defensive you drive, a drunkard may collide into you. Your next step could be on a potential sink hole. The next breath you inhale on your commute to work could be the beginning of a disease or ailment leading to a life of misery. The country you assume has reached the epitome of financial success shatters into a recession before the sun sets. The country you assume to be safe explodes into an abrupt and furious war overnight.
The avowed enemy from amongst mankind and Jin-kind is plotting and planning against you unwaveringly with no mercy; whispering and knavishly taking advantage of you. Their main goal is destroy you and see the destruction of your offspring. Allah says:
“(Iblis) said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You)’”. [Qur’an 7:16-17]
Mankind’s constant and consistent pursuit of evil has become a norm in our societies. The backlash or consequences of sin falls upon all whether they are guilty or innocent. Allah says:
“Evil (sins and disobedience of Allah, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon)”. [Qur’an 30:40]
The results of your evil and sinful actions in isolation on the other hand are cooked up by your own hands. Indeed, its consequences are to be tasted by at least your own self as long as they are kept hidden. Allah says:
“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your own hands have earned; but He pardons much”. [Qur’an 42:30]
And finally, we are not free from the evil of magic and the evil eye. For even if a righteous one looks at something good out of envy, then witness the destruction of that good thing very soon.
However, in addition to all of the above, there is yet to occur, the greatest calamity, the Day of Judgement, the Day of Resurrection. Allah says:
“If you, disbelieve, how will you be able to protect yourselves from the hardships of the day which would even turn children grey-headed?”. [Qur’an 73:17]
Nothing! Absolutely nothing and no one can guarantee protection to us on that Day, a day in which we will not even recognise our mother for whom we would sacrifice everything today because of the severity and intensity of the punishments.
How do we protect ourselves first and foremost on that Day? And if we secure protection on that Day then everything else will fall into order.
1. Develop a close relationship with Allah.
Once you have Allah with you then know that everything is well. How can one attain a close relationship with Allah if the heart is void of Tawheed (the Oneness of Allah)? So it’s incumbent upon us to attain a proper and authentic understanding of Tawheed and then wholeheartedly live by it.
2. Hold fast onto the Quran and Sunnah.
Doing this not only allows us to fulfil our purpose which is to worship Allah and follow in the footsteps of the Messenger (peace be upon him) but it also allows us to do many good deeds, simple yet powerful and great in the sight of Allah. Allah says:
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do”. [Qur’an 16:97]
Who from amongst us doesn’t want a blissful and a goodly life? It’s what we strive for and run around on the face of the Earth seeking and yet, here, Allah is offering it with such ease.
3. Be Allah-conscious and have complete trust in Allah.
For Allah says:
“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him”. [Qur’an 65:2-3]
4. Repent to Allah, turn to Him, and seek His forgiveness.
Allah loves you when you come back to him. Allah says:
“And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad – peace be upon him) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) Forgiveness”. [Qur’an 8:33]
5. Always remember Allah at every available moment.
Learn the adhkar (phrases of remembrance) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would always do. Such as, the invocations at specific times (morning and evening invocations), at actions (sleeping, eating and drinking etc.) and at places (entering and exiting). These will protect you from the evil of the devils, magic and the evil eye. (See links below to good sources).
6. Remain upright and steadfast.
Sincerely search for the true message of Islam and once you have found it, wholeheartedly implement it; build your life around it and not the other way around. Then remain upright, balanced upon it with consistency and contentment. Consequently, when you’re on your deathbed; at your final moments, inhaling your final few breaths, true success will be guaranteed for you. Ponder on the words of Allah:
“Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone),” and then they remained steadfast to their belief, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!. We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask for. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful”. [Qur’an 41:30-32]
By Khalid Alef
Notes: A good source of prayers and invocations – http://www.islamawareness.net/Dua/Fortress/