Steadfastness on the Truth

People who abide by what is right are most resolute in terms of keeping to their words and beliefs, despite the afflictions they may experience – this is exactly what “steadfastness on the truth” symbolizes. Staying firm on what is upright has been a characteristic of the righteous since the initiation of the blessed propagation of Islam, when the Prophet ﷺ began preaching Islam publicly. Few responded to him and those that did, suffered and were tortured for it. Antagonists tried to entice them to renounce their religion, but this only increased them in their firmness and adherence to what is right, which Allah The Almighty guided them to.

Their enemies, let alone their allies, testified to their steadfastness in this regard. When Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with him, about the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ saying: “Do any of those who embrace his religion become displeased with it and renounce it afterwards?” , the latter, who was still a polytheist at the time, replied, “No.” So, Heraclius said, “In fact, this is a sign of true faith; when its delight enters and infuses the hearts.’”

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “None among the scholars or the virtuous people of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah (the people of the Sunnah and Mainstream) ever forsook his sayings and beliefs. To the contrary, they were remarkably persevering in that regard, even if they were exposed to various sorts of affliction and trial.”

Such was also the state of all Prophets and their followers from previous nations, like the people of the trench [who are mentioned in the Quran in the chapter The Great Stars]. Also, it was a quality of the righteous predecessors of this Ummah (nation), including the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, their successors and other senior scholars such as Imam Malik, who used to say, “Do not envy anyone who is not afflicted for the sake of this matter [i.e., for their adherence to true Islamic ideals]. Certainly, Allah The Almighty tests the believer; if one shows patience, He raises his [or her] rank, as He Says (what means):
{Alif, Laam, Meem * Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? * But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.} [Quran 29:1-3]
{And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs.} [Quran 32:24]
{ By time, * Indeed, mankind is in loss, * Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.} [Quran 103: 1-3]”

Nowadays, believers are undoubtedly subjected to numerous and various trials, such as malicious allegations, vain desires of the self and the evils associated with wealth, status and fame. Moreover, there is the tribulation of the domination of aggressors and their tyrannical offenses against believers, like imprisonment, torture, and other such ordeals, from which we ask Allah The Almighty to save us.

Hence, given the fact that hearts, particularly in such circumstances, waver, the Prophet ﷺ would beseech his Lord, “Ya muqallib-al-quloob, thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenik (O Controller of the hearts, make my heart firm on Your religion).”
Scholars have described factors that help a person be steadfast on the truth; some of them are:

1- Seeking refuge with Allah The Almighty by proclaiming one’s need for Him and supplicating to Him: the slaves can never dispense with their Lord, even for a second. Thus, if Allah The Almighty does not make them firm on His religion, they will deviate and go astray, as He Says (what means): {And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little.} [Quran 17:74]

Hence, as mentioned above, the Prophet ﷺ would implore Allah The Almighty to keep his heart firm on His faith and would swear by His Name, saying: “By the Controller of hearts.” By being conscious of one’s need for his or her Lord, a person remains connected to and inclined towards Him. Consequently, Allah The Almighty will protect him or her from all evils and trials.

2- Reflecting on the Quran, studying it and applying its teachings: Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{And those who disbelieve say, "Why was the Quran not revealed to him all at once?" Thus [it is] that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly.} [Quran 25:32]
{Say, [O Muhammad], "The Pure Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth to make firm those who believe and as guidance and good tidings to the Muslims."} [Quran 16:102]

The Noble Quran contains encouragement and admonition, promises and threats, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I Who am The Forgiving, The Merciful. * And that it is My punishment which is the painful punishment.} [Quran15:49-50] Hence, studying it and listening to it increases one’s faith, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And whenever a Soorah is revealed, there are among the hypocrites those who say, "Which of you has this increased faith?" As for those who believed, it has increased them in faith, while they are rejoicing.} [Quran 9:124]

He also describes believers, saying (what means): {The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His verses (this Quran) are recited unto them, they [i.e., the verses] increase their faith.} [Quran 8:2]

Furthermore, the Quran is a remedy for the diseases of desires and doubts, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{And We send down of the Quran that which is healing and mercy for the believers.} [Quran 17:82]
{Say, "It is, for those who believe, a guidance and cure."} [Quran 41:44] If a person’s heart is free of whims and distrust, it will be stronger in the face of trials and be more steadfast on the truth.

Additionally, the Quran includes stories of previous nations, which give believers glad tidings of victory and empowerment, and show the fate of the oppressors, criminals and disbelievers. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers is that by which We make firm your heart.} [Quran 11:120] Thus, studying the Quran is among the greatest enablers of keeping a person firm on the path that is upright.

3- Obeying Allah The Almighty and avoiding His prohibitions: acts of worship are like food for the heart, while sins are like poison that kills it. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.} [Quran 8:24]
{But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position [for them in faith].} [Quran 4:66]

Thus, obedience to Him makes a person firm and strong when facing tribulations, whereas negligence and disobedience of Allah The Almighty weakens a person in confronting temptations.

4- Frequent remembrance of Allah The Almighty, as He Says (what means):
{O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance * And exalt Him morning and afternoon. * It is He Who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful.} [Quran 33:41-43]
{Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured."} [Quran 13:28]

Allah The Almighty even ordered Mosa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron), may Allah exalt their mention, to evoke Him regularly when He sent them to Pharaoh, Saying (what means): {Go, you and your brother, with My signs and do not slacken in My remembrance.} [Quran 20:42]

Therefore, He also commanded believers to do the same when contending with disbelievers, Saying (what means): {O you who have believed, when you encounter a company [from the enemy forces], stand firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful.} [Quran 8:45]

The frequent remembrance of Allah The Almighty, then, strengthens the heart and body in the face of temptations, trials and enemies.

5- Keeping company with virtuous scholars who practice what they preach: learned men are the heirs of Prophets and they guide their followers to the way of Allah The Almighty.

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, relates: “No sooner had we finished burying the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that we felt something unusual in our hearts [i.e., trepidation and lack of assurance].” Why would that not be so, when, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.} [Quran 3:164]

Shaykh Sa‘eed Hawwa explains the sentiments of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him: “This indicates that the improvement of the heart depends on keeping company with those who adhere to what is right and being spiritually associated with them. Therefore, we stress the importance of being attached to upright scholars and the devout.”

Similarly, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim wrote, describing his teacher Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah both: “Whenever we panicked and started having ill thoughts about Allah The Almighty, we would go to him. Once we saw him and listened to him, we would no longer feel that way; instead those emotions would transform into strength, happiness, conviction and confidence.”

There are many other factors that help a person remain steadfast on the truth, but we will suffice with these here.

2017-12-20T11:48:30+00:00 November 6th, 2017|Beliefs, Islam, Muslim|