By Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
O you who believe, fear Allāh and be with the truthful. (9:119)
There are three commands given in this verse: īmān, taqwā (safeguarding oneself from sin) and adoption of the company of truthful, god-fearing people. In this verse Allāh ta‘ālā teaches us that if we want to safeguard our īmān we have to save ourselves from sin by adopting taqwā. After accepting faith, failure to safeguard ourselves from sin means our īmān will not strengthen, and instead will weaken. And by continually weakening, the chances are that īmān will be lost altogether and be replaced by disbelief. So the rule is this: in order to safeguard your īmān, it is necessary to protect yourself from sin. And in order to be able to stay away from this, we need to adopt the company of the pious. Through the company of the pious, a person attains the ability to refrain from sin and becomes a Walī of Allāh ta‘ālā. Thereafter, the company of pious, god-fearing people assisits towards more progress in taqwā.
So Allāh ta‘ālā is telling us that if we wish to safeguard our īmān, we need to protect ourselves from sin, and if we wish to integrate the practice of refraining from sin into our lives and if we wish to illuminate our hearts with the light of taqwā then we must remain connected with the pious, i.e. those who are truthful in word and deed, and whose inner condition and external condition are the same. If the company of the pious is not adopted, then the standard of taqwā that is required will not be achieved. And if the standard of taqwā is not achieved, then the standard of īmān that is required will not remain. And it is possible that as the level of taqwā decreases, and sinfulness continues to increase, a time will come when īmān itself will diminish. (May Allāh ta‘ālā save us all. Āmīn)
This is an extract from the booklet ‘Time to Change’ published by At-Tazkiyah.
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