In this series, we will inshaAllah explore the concept of victory and defeat in Islam from the point of view of Qur’an and sunnah.
Before we delve into this concept in detail, we have to define the terms victory and defeat. In Islam, victory and defeat are related to the spiritual status of the person rather than material or worldly conditions. The first topic under this series is relaxation.
Relaxation: A Milestone on the Road to Defeat
Allah SWT has made this deen very vast. The fortunate ones, according to our beloved Prophet SAW are those who are endowed with the fiqh of this deen. Fiqh means critical understanding of the subtleties of the matter, or in simpler words: a deep comprehension of things that allow a person to make the right choices at the right time.
Fiqh of Victory makes us realize that it is a status
Which is given by Allah SWT as a gift;
We cannot bring victory to ourselves.
Allah SWT says in the Qur’an:
Verily We established his power on earth,
And We gave him the ways and the means to all ends.
This ayah talks about DhulQarnain and Allah says,
He established in earth by giving him power and authority over others.
He (DhulQarnain), according to Allah, did not earn it of his own merit or wealth.
This brings us to the question... Who does Allah SWT grant victory?
The highest level of victory and elevation is given to Messengers and Prophets as they are the best people to ever walk on this earth. This elevation was given to them not based on their wealth or social status; rather it was due to their mission which was to believe in Allah SWT and spread His message on earth.
Throughout this series...
We will inshaAllah share with you stories from the Qur’an
Which establish the fact that...
Victory outside will not happen unless you achieve victory within!
What exactly do we mean by victory within?
Absolute belief in Allah SWT!
And complete belief in Allah SWT...
Will not be manifested in the heart unless all...
Attachment, love and devotion other than Allah’s is removed from the heart!
So the real victory is when a believer dies with complete devotion to Allah!
Having nothing in his or her heart except Him SWT.
The biggest obstacle in this course is the minor shirk or Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar, which is having minor form of associations with Allah SWT.
What exactly is Shirk?
Shirk is to worship anything other than Allah.
What does it mean to worship something?
Whatever a person loves too much and thinks about too much, becomes a deity that one worships. This is the ultimate defeat. Unless the heart is cleansed from all such associations with Allah, a person or nation will never receive victory. This is how it works:
No submission to the Will of Allah = No surrender to Him
No surrender to Him = No Islam
No Islam = No victory
Allah SWT wants us to have absolute belief and reliance on Him in times of difficulties and trials.
Why do we falter in tough situations?
Because our Islam and Iman is so weak, it is like a tiny layer of sand which any wind can disperse. Our hearts are infected with diseases.
Take the example of a person who gets root canal done but dentist misses a small infection. This small infection then spreads and destroys the whole tooth. The same is the case with our hearts; they are filled with diseases which eat up the Iman.
One of the stories mentioned in the Qur’an that talk about victories is of a man beloved to Allah SWT because of his character and belief.
In Surah Yasin Allah SWT mentions:
A man who hears about Allah’s messengers being denied by people
And he comes running from the other end of the city
To give his people advice!
"Then there came running, from the farthest part of the City, a man, saying
O my people! Obey the messengers
Obey those who ask no reward of you (for themselves),
And who have themselves received Guidance.
It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me,
And to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back."
This advice costs him his life.
It was said: "Enter thou the Garden."
He said: "Ah me! Would that my People knew!(What I know)
This man lost his life because he stood up for Allah which makes him a loser.
But was he really a loser?
He lost his life, but what did he gain in return?
The pleasure of Allah, and jannah, which is the ultimate victory.
Allah SWT loved him so much that...
He elevated him by mentioning him in the Qur’an.
This leads us to the character traits which got him this victory. Belief in Allah, person’s courage and commitment to the truth, and his manners while delivering the message to his people. If we look at the conversation that he had with his people, we see a high level of mercy and calmness.
While he was talking, he was being persecuted by people to the point he was killed; but he never shows his anger, neither does he despair instead he says, "Ah me! Would that my People knew (what I know)” What does he know? He knows that he has been granted victory by Allah. How does Allah grant him victory? By allowing him to enter Jannah, as well as avenging his death by destroying the entire city for killing him.
So far, we have established that victory can only come to a person when he/she gives victory to the message of Islam and invite others to it. How this needs to be done is what we are going to discuss now.
A person gives victory to his message by showing the utmost respect for it and by being willing to sacrifice his life for it, like the man mentioned in Surah Yasin. Bad character traits, bad manners, and hastiness cause a person and his message to be defeated.
First stage of invitation to Allah is to be calm and composed;We will never find any messenger who ever retaliated in the face of oppression and persecution. Da’wah can never be done with hostility because people will just focus on the wrong, and overlook the message. Meaning, one’s hastiness and bad manners will bring him defeat.
Even small retaliation such as raising one’s voice is not allowed
As it can harm the message!
Is this not Muslims current situation?
From personal life to the public, we are defeated within!
Why? Because we are too relaxed with our Islam
And allow our Nafs, Shaytaan, and situations
To overcome our Islamic principles!
A truly victorious person cares more about the message than his own self!
The man mentioned in Surah Yasin
Even while dying, makes du’a for his people!
If you have nothing in your heart except pure belief of Allah and you are busy spreading the message, then you have the highest level of victory, as you are on the path of Messengers and Prophets who as we stated earlier have the ultimate victory from Allah.
On the journey of Iman, trials and tests will surely occur. The question is how to remain steady and be continuously victorious? By having no attachment in your heart. A believer’s attachment is to Allah and the message.
True belief in Allah means that everything in life can be sacrificed for the message, but message cannot be sacrificed for anything. Why do people lose? Their temptations, envy, jealousy, or material love takes over which brings defeat.
The victory which a person receives from Allah SWT brings ultimate joy to the heart compared to which every other enjoyment is meaningless and fleeting. Even if a believer does not see any outward results, he/she will feel in the heart this sense of dignity, pride and pleasure which is a sign of victory from Allah. Often, this victory comes with the loss of material status, for Allah SWT to check which path a person will choose. A true believer, having no attachment in his heart other than to Allah, will not hesitate in sacrificing anything related to this world for the Akhirah. The ability to make the right choices requires a believer to be alert and conscious of his own self at any given time.
Therefore, first step on this road to journey of victory is...
To wake up from this relaxed slumber that we have fallen into and
To start the real journey of Iman
Which will bring the victory within and without!
Da'ee Ahmed Moait
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