By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
To have faith in ALLAH is to trust Him in good times and bad times, in prosperity and poverty, when we have made intelligent decisions or dumb mistakes. Things donâ€™t always go as we plan. Sometimes we can do something so stupid that we doubt our sanity. But keeping faith in
ALLAH by using our conscious minds can save us and help get us back on track.
Sometimes it is difficult to believe in the unseen, even though ALLAH says these believers are the people the book is written for. So the practice of the religion must be coupled with the faith that the obedience to the dictates of the religion will bring the desired results; that the promises ALLAH makes will be kept.
Always remember, we receive, as a result of prayer, exactly what we think. WE have to begin to think straight, as the Qur`aninstructs us and as Muhammad did by example, to receive the blessings of ALLAH.
Rote, mechanical movements of salat, will not, in itself, produce the results you desire without the conscious submission of your mind to Him.
It is a fact that our minds have to be programmed by us. ALLAH designed it that way. He gave each of us the ingredients and thus, the power to change our condition and enhance our condition–just by thinking positively. He puts the responsibility on us by telling us our condition will not change until we first change our hearts–the heart being representative of the â€œnafsâ€ or soul of the human being.
I keep putting the emphasis on we and us to underscore the fact that it wonâ€™t be done automatically. It must be done by each individual. If you donâ€™t think you can–you will think you canâ€™t–and you most certainly wonâ€™t.
ALLAH tells us in another verse of the Qur`anthat our souls must be purified by us in order for us to be successful. Again, that purification begins with a thought â€“ positive thinking. So it is important that these thoughts be clean and guided by a righteous heart. And if it is not righteous, it can be programmed to be righteous.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) has said, â€œThere is a morsel of flesh in the body which if it be whole, the whole body will be whole. And if it be diseased, the whole body is diseased. Surely it is the heart.â€ Of course we know this is the symbolic heart and not necessarily the physical heart, but it is a good example. The heart pumps life-giving blood to every cell in the body, including the brain, which houses the mind. Now if this heart is pumping good rich blood to the brain, it will thrive and prosper with the nutrients it carries. Similarly, if the â€œnafsâ€ is good, pure, and whole, it will feed the mind so it can make proper decisions for clean and positive living.
Isnâ€™t it wonderful? We actually have the ability to make ourselves whole. By practising our belief, it increases our faith, which gives us the strength to obey ALLAH, and so we become better human beings. We become more stable, more prosperous, more peaceful, and, most importantly, more spiritually connected to ALLAH.
So let us start to program our brains to think on the straight path ALLAH laid out for us. Let us make our brains purify our hearts so we can be truly successful.
As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin