Wednesday 21 August 2019

Understanding Islam: Who are the Wavering Muslims?

Man is generally very selfish and thankless species. For as long as his wishes are being granted, his needs being fulfilled and prayers being answered, he is happy and thankful to his Creator. But no sooner he experiences any turbulence in his life, or a experiences a major setback, he forgets about the many blessings he has had and starts lamenting for the bad days, cursing his fate and his life. This is what we really see in our everyday's life.

But in the terms of Faith, we too find many such examples wherein believers are seen thanking Allah for as long as they are being blessed and there is plentiful of everything. But when shadows start to darken and fate starts to take a turn, their faith too starts to waver and they are mouthful of complaints to Allah. 

Such believers have been described as Wavering Muslims in the Holy Qur'an: Believers who are on the borderline of belief and unbelief. This happened in the early days of Islam, in the times of Prophet of Allah when he was calling people to the Truth, and it even happens today. I have seen many believers using very harsh language on being afflicted with any calamity or when a big setback lashes their lives. Allah makes a special mention of these Wavering Muslims, for Allah does not like servants who are happy with Him so long they are recipients of His bounties and blessings and who in testing times are seen lamenting and are utterly thankless:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ يَّعۡبُدُ اللّٰهَ عَلٰى حَرۡفٍ​ ​ۚ فَاِنۡ اَصَابَهٗ خَيۡرٌ اۨطۡمَاَنَّ بِهٖ​ ۚ وَاِنۡ اَصَابَتۡهُ فِتۡنَةُ اۨنقَلَبَ عَلٰى وَجۡهِهٖ​ۚ خَسِرَ الدُّنۡيَا وَالۡاٰخِرَةَ ​ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ هُوَ الۡخُسۡرَانُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss. [Surah Al Hajj 22:11]
This type of man is a time server, who stands on the boundary line between Islam and kufr so that he may join the winning side whether it be Islam or kufr.

Such men often have a weak character and waver between kufr and Islam and becomes the slave of their self. They accept Islam for the sake of self interest. They are faithful to it if all their wishes are fulfilled and have a life of ease and comfort, they are well-pleased with his Allah and are firm in their faith. On the contrary, if their faith demands some sacrifice from them, or they are visited by some affliction, or encounters some hardship and loss in the way of Allah, or they do not have their way, they begin to waver about the Godhead of Allah and the Prophethood of the Messenger and become skeptical about everything of the faith. Then they are ready to bow down before any power from which they expect some benefit and security from loss.

"He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.": This is a great moral proposition man has been stated concisely. The fact is that the wavering man remains a loser in this world as well as in the next world, and fares worse even than an unbeliever. The unbeliever applies himself exclusively to the benefits of this world and becomes more or less successful in his object because he is not handicapped by the fear of Allah, accountability of the Hereafter and restrictions of divine law. Likewise, a true believer follows the way of Allah with fortitude and perseverance and may as well become successful in this world, but even if he loses it altogether, he is assured of success in the next world. But the wavering Muslim becomes a loser both in this world and in the next world because he is handicapped by doubt and indecision and cannot make his choice between the two worlds. As he cannot decide whether there is Allah and the Hereafter, he cannot apply himself exclusively to the worldly affairs with that single-mindedness which the unbeliever enjoys. And when he thinks of Allah and the Hereafter, the allurements of this world and the fear of the disadvantages here and the abhorrence of observing the divine restrictions do not let him apply himself exclusively to the demands of the Hereafter. This conflict between God worship and world worship makes him a loser in this world as well as in the next.

In fact they are a different kind from hypocrites. It is not fraud or double dealing that is their sin: it is a weak mind, petty standards of judging right by success, a selfishness that gives nothing but asks for all, a narrow-mindedness that does not go beyond petty mundane calculations-a "nicely calculated less or more" of the good things of this world. They fail in both worlds, and their failure in this world is patent for every on-looker.

And under trying times, one starts looking for saints, holymen or anyone religious to address their hardships. This is specially so in India-Pakistan where there is no dearth of opportunists who take advantage of such wavering believers with weak faith, rob them of whatever they are left with and assure them of miracles. But such wavering believers forget that it is Allah alone Who can redress their grievances and NO ONE ELSE:
He invokes instead of Allah that which neither harms him nor benefits him. That is what is the extreme error. [Surah Al Hajj 22:12]
To such minds religion does not mean high endeavour, self-sacrifice for noble ends, the recognition of Allah's infinite world, but just a small concession to formalism, perhaps a present to an idol (literal or figurative), perhaps attendance at worship if it can be done without trouble! It is false gods they worship, and the more they worship, the more they stray.
He invokes one whose harm is closer than his benefit - how wretched the protector and how wretched the associate.  [Surah Al Hajj 22:13]
(Verses 12-13 ) clarify two things about the deities whom the mushriks invoke. Firstly, they can do a person neither any good nor any harm. Nay, it is more probable that they do harm rather than good. For when the mushrik invokes other deities than Allah, he loses his faith forthwith. Secondly, the mushrik himself knows that there is no guarantee or probability of any good from his god who is utterly helpless and powerless. As regards to the occasional grant of his request through his god, this is done by Allah merely to test his faith.

That is, the one, who leads a person to the way of shirk is the worst guardian and the worst comrade, whether he be a human being or a satan.
Indeed, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow. Indeed, Allah does what He intends. [Surah Al Hajj 22:14]
“Those who believed and did righteous deeds” are quite different from the wavering Muslims, for they have a firm belief in Allah, His Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Hereafter. Therefore they follow the way of truth both in prosperity and in adversity. And they are very confident that Allah's powers are unlimited. He may bestow anything on anyone He wills in this world or in the Hereafter or in both, and bar anything from anyone. None has the power to interfere with what He wills and does.

We thus need to hold tightly cling to the True Faith Islam has shown us and should not waver in testing times, for it is true believers who are winners in the end. May Allah grant us strength and wisdom to understand the dynamics of our faith so that we are well prepared and steadfast when darkness start to spread, for every sunset is indicative of a bright sunrise next morning !!

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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