Excerpts from ‘The Invocation of Allah”
By Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
When the servant is tested by what he is tested, it is said to him, “Do battle and strive against your Foe. Here are troops: take of them what you will. Here is armour: wear of it what you will. Here are fortresses: seek safety in any you wish. And hold your post to the death, because the outcome is near, the defence easy.” It is as if you were with a great king who sends you messengers to lead you to his home, where you will find rest from the struggle. He separates you from your enemy and lets you roam through his noble abode wherever you wish. Then he imprisons your enemy in the most tightly sealed cell. And there you see him in the very prison he had hoped to place you, its doors locked – beyond rescue or relief. You, however, find yourself in a place containing all that your soul had longed for and all that gives you delight to your heart. Such is the recompense for your endurance and constancy during the brief period – no more than an hour has come and gone, and then it was as if adversity had never existed. One of the early believers said: “Child of Adam, you are in need of your worldly portion and your portion in the hereafter, but you are more in need of the hereafter. If you put your worldly portion first, you shall lose that of the hereafter and threaten your worldly one. But if you put the hereafter first, you will succeed in your worldly portion and put it in its rightful place.”
Umar ibn Abdul Aziz used to say in his sermons: “O ye people, you were not created in negligence, nor have you been left alone. You have a destination where Allah, Most High, will judge among you and sort you out; ruined indeed and damned is the one whom Allah, Most High, puts outside His Mercy, ‘which envelops all things’, and outside His Heaven, ‘the breadth of the heavens and the earth’. But safety will be his morrow who fears and reveres to Allaah, who barters what is small for what is vast, what is ephemeral for what is eternal, what brings suffering for what brings joy. Do you not see that you are in the ranks of that which perishes and that you will be replaced here-after by those who shall remain behind? Do you not see that each day you take to the grave a traveller journeying towards Allah, his term fulfilled, his future hopes cut short, you put him in a place burrowed in the earth, neither smooth nor cushioned – stripped of means, friends departed and a reckoning ahead?
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The Muslim is a unique Ummah among the whole of mankind: Their Land is ONE, their War is ONE, their Peace is ONE, Their Honour is ONE and their Trust is ONE.” (Ahmad)