Saturday July 2, 2011
It was close to midnight. While some campers retired to their beds, most of us congregated just outside the main lodge and waited for sr. Danyal to deliver her promised halaqa. I glanced at the faces around me, but all I could make were shadows painted at the flickering of flames. “They say that Islam is the fastest growing religion,” she began. I crouched down on a log beside the camp fire, prepared to pen her every word with meticulous detail. She then resumed after a brief silence: “I believe that if we really practice Islam, it would grow even faster.”
The crowd was comprised of girls from every age and background. One 13-year-old leaned on Danyal, and beside her was another sister nearing 40 in age. It still amazes me how the bond of sisterhood is enough to dissolve our differences…
She continued by relating an example from the Prophet’s seerah: “We have to become a khilafah in our own houses–our own families… The same way the Prophet (saw) spread Islam in 23-years. He began a single man with a divine message, and by the time he passed away, he had 140,000 sahabah (companions). 23 years… When he started with Khadijah, then Abu Bakr, then the poor and weak of Makkah, then in Medinah…”
Danyal emphasized how those that spearheaded this da’wah movement with Rasoolullah were the youth–the dedicated teenagers such as Abdullah ibn Umar and Ali ibn Abi Taleb, radhi Allahu ‘anhum. They overcame their desires and refused to stagger on the path of the deen. For Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.” (Surat As-Saff, 4)
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ
“Your friend who you chose over your deen won’t help you. Your job whose laws and rules you chose over your own… Allah! Wallahi the moment you believe Allah is on your side, you have nothing to fear.”
Thauban reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “It is near that the nations will call one another against you just as the eaters call one another to their dishes.” Somebody asked: “Hal min qilla ya Rasoolullah?” – “Is this because we will be few in numbers that day?” He said: “No, but that day you will be numerous, but you will be like the foam of the sea, and Allah will take the fear of you away from your enemies and will place weakness into your hearts.” Somebody asked: “What is this weakness?” He said: “The love of the world and the dislike of death.” (Abu Dawud)
Every problem our Ummah faces finds its roots in our attachment to this dunya. We are easily deceived by the ephemerality of this world’s pleasures, all the while neglecting the eternal happiness that awaits us. And herein lie the benefits of righteous companionship…
- When we surround ourselves with people in constant remembrance of Allah, we follow their footsteps in righteousness.
- When we keep our eyes on the eternal akhira (hereafter), we value the company of those who share our visions and goals. “In this dunya,” sr. Danyal said, ”it’s always temporary happiness, because Allah has saved us for something better (i.e. Jannah).”
- Always mingle with the righteous. Because when you sit with the people of dunya, you become a drop in their ocean; but when you sit with the people of akhira, the dunya becomes a drop in your ocean, and you will forever live your life in obedience.