Many people have a wrong conception that if they practice Islam in a harder way, they will have more reward ‘thawab’ from Allah All-Mighty. The harder the practice in faith, the more the reward ‘thawab’ from Allah The Most Compassionate. Where as if an easy way is chosen, which is of course the easiness allowed by Allah, even then that way is sometimes considered of inferior position. Here harder practice means not taking ‘the easiness in Islam’ that Allah has allowed Muslims to take in special conditions. We can take the example of ‘tayammam’, which can be practiced if, 1] water is not available or, 2] due to some illness, or, 3] if one is not able to do ‘wodu’ because of any other ‘sharaee’ condition. Another e.g. can be taken of shortening the prayers if there is little time or one is too tired, we can offer only ‘farz namaz’. Still another example we can take from fasting in ‘Ramadan’. We are allowed to postpone the fasts if we are traveling or if we are sick. We can keep the postponed fasts after ‘Ramadan’, in any part of the year. Some how we have accepted that the standard of ‘taqwa’ is higher as the practical application of faith is harder for us. Usually we mix up ‘the easiness in faith’, ‘deen main asani’, with the desires of the soul, ‘khawahish e nafs ki peravee’. These are a few examples. We can take many more examples, when we start practicing Islam, as the true nature of faith demands from us. My next question is about this dilemma.
Qn no 16: Is it all right to choose and follow the easiness in faith as per Quran and Sunnah? [Choose the most appropriate one from below]
1.………..we must not follow any easiness at all, no matter what the conditions are we must choose the longer and harder way to practice faith.
2.…………we can follow easiness in faith, if all are following it.
3.………..we can follow easiness in faith if it is according to quran, traditions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH ‘ahadith’ and sunnat. It is better to practice faith consistently with easiness, than to be inconsistent in practice of faith without the easiness.
4.…………we must not follow any easiness in faith because it will decrease [to make less] the reward ‘thawab’ in the eyes of Allah.
5.…………taking easiness in faith will decrease our standard of faith in the eyes of other people who are watching us and who are not choosing and practicing easiness in faith themselves.
6.…………all of the above.
9…………none of the above.
Answer to Qn no 16 is Option 3. we can follow easiness in faith if it is according to quran, traditions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH ‘ahadith’ and sunnat. It is better to practice faith consistently with easiness, than to be inconsistent in practice of faith without the easiness.
We must respect all the scholars of our religion. All of them put a lot of time and effort to explain Quran and the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH (ahadith). The scholars explained according to the existing circumstances of their respective eras. Work is being done for the understanding of Islam now-a-days too. To perform the rituals of the religion, the obligatory acts [faraiz], as I mentioned earlier, for e.g. bathing, cleanliness, wodu, prayer ‘namaz’, fasting, hajj etc. etc. Scholars come to different conclusions about how to practice them. It is against the spirit of Islam to denounce one scholar and hail another. The scholars spent their whole lives in acquiring religious knowledge and spreading it. While they can be more particular about one thing or they may be more sensitive about another, or they may err [do mistake], as it is more human to err. So we must take, what has its explanation in Quran, traditions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH ‘hadith’ and ‘Sunnah’, and leave which does not have one. We are free to follow one scholar in one obligatory act and to follow the other in another, as long as it is supported by quran and sunnat. Our goal should be to perform obligatory acts, [faraiz] consistently and regularly. And to do them consistently and regularly, it doesn’t matter if it is explained by one scholar or the other. As long as it is within the confines of quran and sunnat it is acceptable to Allah.
At some place we may find the obligatory acts easy, while at another place we may find them difficult. So we have the choice. Sometimes we may want to do an obligatory act the harder way, just to have that experience, or thinking it, as a higher level of action. While at another time we may want the easiness in obligatory acts. So, in Islam, we have provision of both ways. It is in our own minds that we think an act is easy or difficult, bigger or smaller, as we humans are weak and have our limitations. Allah the All Powerful does not need our prayers. All the obligatory acts [faraiz] are to purify our own souls. These are for the benefit and refinement of ‘our personalities and characters’. All obligatory acts must be practiced regularly and with out fail. Even if they are practiced in an easy way, they are acceptable to Allah. Allah accepts and gives rewards to all good that we do. Allah has his own criteria to judge us. All the time we must judge ‘ourselves’ and not the others. The Muslim etiquettes, as taught by our Prophet Muhammad are, not to do comparisons with others and not to consider any person’s actions small and worthless. These were the negative ways of Dark Ages ‘jahaliya’ before Islam, which were culminated [stopped] by our Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Companions of Prophet Mohammad PBUH ‘sahaba ikram’ removed these habits after embracing Islam. Today the practical revival of these dirty customs is making us, Muslims, weaker and weaker day by day. Because of these two negative deeds i.e. of doing comparisons and thinking about other person’s actions small and worthless; we have fallen into so many divisions and lost unity among ourselves. We, individually, must all the time try to please Allah, with strong faith that all our actions have worth in His Compassionate Eyes. This is how we will unite and become one again.
In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 185, Allah tells us that He wants easiness and not hardships for us. From Hazrat A’ishah we know, the way Muhammad PBUH, used to do things, was that, if he had choice between two ways, he used to choose the easy one. Muhammad PBUH told us, to choose easy way provided it is not a sin [gunaah]. Therefore if in easy way we find haram, we must not do it. There are many easy ways which are halal, so we can follow them, with peace of mind. In all our actions we must keep strong faith in Allah, strongly believing Allah The Most Compassionate accepts all our prayers ‘ibadah’ and good deeds ‘nekiyan’ and rewards us the best way ever possible. Ameen, thume ameen.