Challenges of Working for Allah
Islam means submitting to Allah. And that means giving all you have to Allah. Knowing, of course, that every little thing that you have -- health, wealth, name, fame, family, job, business, home, every single thing -- is given to you by Allah.
And given to you without charging you a penny for any of it in return. Totally and absolutely free.
People need to stop and think about this. All that everyone of us has in this world is what God Almighty gave us. And he did so free of charge.
So, where is the surprise if we say that Islam is placing everything that God has given us back at God's disposal. And that means doing his bidding and doing his Work.
And that is what Islam means: Working for Allah. And it is a 24-hour job. The work never stops.
Just as the sun, the moon and the stars never stop doing Allah's work, and they work 24 hours a day, we Muslims also cannot stop Working for Allah.
And that is what Islam is: Submitting to Allah and Working for Allah 24 hours a day.
And part of that Work -- part of Working for Allah, part of being a Muslim -- is to invite everyone everywhere to come and Work for Allah.
That is what we call Taking the Qur'an to every home and heart that needs it -- and which one does not?
But then Working for Allah is not without its challenges. And some of those challenges can be quite severe.
All we have to do is to look at the life of Hazrat Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam, and all the troubles he went through during the course of his life, trying to invite his people, including his own family, to Allah.
His father threw him out of his house and his people, headed by their king, took him and hurled him in a pit of flaming fire.
And then you look at the life of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, all the trials and tribulations he went through in the course of inviting his people -- and the whole world -- to submit to Allah and to work for him.
He was by far the nicest human being on earth. And everybody loved and honored and cherished him. But that was till he started to tell people to submit to Allah: to become Muslim.
And the moment that happened, the same people who loved him yesterday, turned against him today.
But that did not stop him or slow him down. He kept going, no matter how severe and disheartening the rejection that he encountered along the way.
When one person rejected him, he went to the next person. When one door slammed shut in his face, he walked over to knock at the other door.
And when one town like Makkah totally rejected his call, he walked over -- literally walked -- to the next town in the mountain and invited the people of Taif to come Work for Allah.
To embrace Islam that is.
Our own little tests and troubles are not this severe or extreme. But we too, such as we are, and such as our Islam and our Iman are, run into difficulties when we set out to practice our Islam and invite people to come and Work for Allah.
We discover that people -- our own friends and acquaintances -- are now all of a sudden busy. They are busy doing something. Or they have to go somewhere. Or they have to watch a show. Or they have a family commitment.
And they literally have no time. Poor souls! The time that Allah gave them free.
And what is it we are asking them to do: Come and read the Qur'an a little bit, maybe. Come and sit down and study the Hadith a little bit, maybe.
Or come and be part of a very nice discussion on Qur'an and Hadith and Islam and Muslims for a little while, maybe.
And come and see how being a Muslim requires us all to reach out to everybody else in this world and invite them all to Allah and to Islam -- and to Work for Allah.
No sirree, now all of a sudden they are busy and they don't have time for any of this.
And that is where one of the biggest challenges lies: for those of us who claim to be Working for Allah. It is frustrating, it is discouraging and it is demoralizing in the extreme.
We want to quit and run. And we want to go and hide somewhere where nobody will find us.
But then we realize we cannot run. For, the feet Allah gave us -- gave us free, mind you -- would not carry us faster than the forces of Allah that are in hot pursuit of us.
And we realize that we have nowhere to hide. For, nothing in Allah's universe will give us shelter or refuge from those indomitable powers and are tracking our every move on their radar and read exactly where we are and doing precisely what.
Hazrat Yunus, Alaihis Salam, tried it, didn't he? He took rejection hard, and he let his frustration get the better of him, and he quit his post and tried to run away. And it did not turn out very well for him, did it?
He ran away from Working for Allah, because nobody listened to him, and everybody turned a cold shoulder, and tried to escape, only to end up in the belly of a whale, as the Qur'an tells us, where he might have stayed till the End of Time, if he hadn't repented and begged Allah to have mercy.
That is when we realize that disappointment and pain caused by rejection by people comes nowhere near being thrown alive in a pit of fire as happened with Hazrat Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam, or being pelted with stones till streams of blood clog your footwear, as happened with Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, on his Da'wah trip to Taif.
And that is what Working for Allah is all about: Da'wah! A direct and unconditional mandate from Allah on all those who submit to him and consider themselves Muslim.
The Qur'an says:
Ud'u Ilaa Sabeeli Rabbika!
"Go, invite people to come to the path of Allah."
The word "Ud'u" in this Aayat Karimah means: "Give Da'wah; give invitation; invite; call; ask!"
So, we do everything in our power to continue to Work for Allah, in the midst of all frustration and heartbreak that may come our way, and say to ourselves how fortunate we are to have been placed by God Almighty on the right side of this most perilous equation.
And we say Thank You God Almighty! that you made us a part of those who invite to your Deen, and not a part of those who turn and walk away from that invitation.
For, you are the one who controls and manages all human hearts, at all times, guiding whom you please and misleading whom you decide.
As you say in your Qur'an:
Yudillu Man Yashaa'
Wa Yahdee Man Yashaa'.
So, in the final analysis, all we can say is:
"If Allah had not chosen to guide us and put us on the right track,
we would have been lost too."
Alhamdu Lillahil-Ladhee Hadaanaa Li-Haadha,
Wa Maa Kunnaa Li-Nahtadiya,
Lawu Laa An Hadaanallah!