So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah . That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. [Adhere to it], turning in repentance to Him, and fear Him and establish prayer and do not be of those who associate others with Allah [Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has. (Ar-Rum 31: 30-32)
If you understand Istiqamah, you will love to achieve it
The above verses Allah has spoken about Istiqamah and how to achieve it. Istiqamah means being constant in obeying and following the commands of Allah and His Messenger while overcoming whatever hurdles come in the way and bearing them with patience. It can be summed up as holding fast and firm to the Deen. That is what we mean when we supplicate those verses in Surah Fati’ha: Lead us to straight path. Consider this: The day you offer your first prayer in your childhood you asked,” lead us to straight path”, and when you are old praying regular, you still ask in your prayer, “Lead us to straight path.” It is a supplication to be guided to remain firm on the straight path till you die.
Being a Muslim is not enough but it is essential to remain one till he dies
If you study the last verse of Surah Al e Imran, Allah gives a trait of good believers, “Pick us up among the Abrars.” They pray to die in the state of Deen. Even Ibrahim (peace be upon him) instructed his both the sons who were Prophets themselves, “Do not die except in the state of Islam.” Our own Prophet (peace be upon him) used to plead, “ Allahumma Inni As’aloka alhuda, watTuqa, wal afafa wal Gheena. O Allah bestow us with Guidance, Taqwa, Afiya and Gheena.”
Direct your face towards the Deen e Hanifa
Whoever seeks another Deen besides Islam never will be accepted from him and his end would be a destruction. (Al e Imran verse 3)
Imam Shaf’ee said, “Among the biggest bounty is, a person achieves Istiqamah.” Directing your face towards the Deen e Hanifa here means maintain your focus on religion. The way we direct our face towards Qiblah when it is the time for prayers no matter whether it is summer winter or rain. This is called focus in prayers. Thus direct your face towards Religion means look at religious injunctions when you seek for guidance. No matter which situation you pass through hardship,poverty or comfort, focus your attention on the commands of Allah and His Messenger. Islam is one which is found in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah, this is a unanimously agreed by all the people of knowledge. Therefore it is said that in order to face the Deen e Hanifa your focus should be on Qur’an and Sunnah and avoid new inventions in Deen or blind following of your forefathers’ rituals which clashes with Deen.
What is Deen e Hanifa?
Linguistically Hanif means to avoid and move. In Shariah terminology it means to bunk all types of innovations and haram and move on Qur’an and Sunnah. Hanif is one of the titles given to Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) “He was a true Muslim” (Al e Imran: 67) and also “And follow the Millat e Ibrahima Hanifa” (The Religion of Ibrahim ) An-Nisa: 125
Before the advent of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) all the three major communities that lived in the Arabian Peninsula, The Jews, the Christians and the Makkans claimed themselves to be the followers of Ibrahim. The Jews worshipped their Prophet Uzair as God incarnated the Christians worshipped Jesus as God and the Makkans had hundreds of idols in Kabah. Refuting all the claims of the three communities the Qur’an declared Islam to be Millat e Ibrahima Hanifa. All the three communities were into deep human worships whereas Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was a straightforward Muslim who never associated any partners with Allah. In one stroke Allah refuted the claims of all the three communities, Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa and he was not even a Idol worshipper Al e Imran : 67
Today many Muslims do recite the Kalima but they are not Hanif
This Ummah is honoured to be the real followers of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Surely those of humankind who have the best claim to relationship with Abraham are those who followed him (during the term of his mission), and this (most illustrious) Prophet, and those (in his company) who believe.
Doing shirk while believing in Allah is not Hanif. Appointing others parallel to the Messenger for being obeyed is not the characteristic of being Hanif. To be remain connected to Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) is through remaining steadfast on the teachings of Ibrahim (peace be upon him)
Ikhlas is connected to Hanifa
“So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone” Al Kahf:110
Ikhlas means pure Touhid. Touhid is connected with Hanifa. Without Ikhlas one cannot be Hanif. There are purities to be achieved in three matters in order to be qualified to be a Hanif
Setting your face towards the Deen e Hanifa also means to take care of your intentions as well
A man requested to the Prophet (peace be upon him) “I want to join the Jihad. It will be for pleasing Allah as well as it will fetch me some wealth from the spoils of war. People will identify me.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Your Jihad is not rewarding.” The man said, “ My main purpose is to raise the Banner of Touhid whereas the spoils of war is secondary. The Prophet (peace be upon him) again replied, “No reward for your Jihad.” he kept on repeating that his main aim was to do for the sake of Allah but he was told that his efforts were null and void.
One of the companions present there asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) as to why this man is not qualified for the reward of his efforts from whatever he contributes to promote the Deen of Allah? He replied, “Allah does not accept a deed which is not done exclusively to please Him.” (Sunan Nasai)
This person had two intentions so his deeds did not qualify to be rewarded. Therefore Istiqamah and Ikhlaas come jointly. Your focus should always be towards Allah and your intentions should be only to please Allah.
Every Ummah was given the same reminder of Deen ul Qayyim
They were not commanded but to worship only Allah, Establish prayers give Zakah and that is the Right Religion (Al Bayyina: verse 5)
Now it can be possible that a person may be worshipping exclusively Allah without getting involved in Shirk e Akbar or Shirk e Asgar but your deeds may be a mixture of your forefathers’ rituals along with Sunnah.
Umar bin Al khattab asked Muadh ibn Jabal, (Allah be pleased with them both) “ O Muadh! How long does a worshipper remains upon his Deen?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about Muadh ibn Jabal, “He is the most knowledgeable among you about Halal and Haram.”
He replied, “As long as he observes three things. First Ikhlas and it is this Ikhlas is actually Deen. Second, Establish prayers and Obeying Allah and His Messenger and your Ruler and this is through which will be the reason for your life, wealth and honour to be protected ”
Ikhlas helped Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) to remain steadfast
When Prophet Yusuf(peace be upon him) was invited by the lady, he said, “ My Lord has obliged me a lot, would I disobey Him?” After narrating the story of Yusuf, Allah announces that, “Indeed he was a Mukhlees Worshipper.” Ikhlas helps you remain focussed on Allah and reject all falsehood ideologies and innovations. Yusuf (Peace be upon him) protected his Ikhlas in other words he protected his Deen so Allah protected him and raised him to a station of honour.
When Iblis refused to prostrate to Adam and he was dismissed he pleaded to be given a chance till the day of Qiyamah. He was given respite and he challenged saying, “My Lord! Because you have put me in error I will surely make attractive to them on the earth and I will mislead them all except among them those who are your Mukhlees worshippers.” (al Hijr, verse 39)
Establishing Salah is establishing Deen
Musa (peace be upon him) was instructed by Allah, “Establish Salah for My remembrance”. In Surah Al Ankaboot Allah guarantees that “Establish Salah, Indeed Salah stops you from Fahisha and Forbiddance.”
Thus we conclude that the more a person is into disobedience the more his Deen will be weaken and the more he avoid sinning, the stronger his Deen will grow. Thus Salah is such a deed that will protect one from sinning. Today Salah is the most ignored deed. People give zakah and offer Umrah and Hajj but there are even among them who bunk prayers while they visit Makkah and Madinah .
Deen is preserved by Allah
Deen islam has been going steady since Prophet Adam has landed on the earth and in between many human designed religions too had been coming up and they got changed as time passed by. Many new gods have been introduced to humanity and been dismissed or replaced by other fresh gods but Deen Islam remains. It has to be seen if it is established in our lives too?
That is the Deen that is Straightforward