- Who are the Minority?
- Uniqueness of the Minority
- Virtues of the Minority
- Challenges Faced by the Minority
Alhamdulillah infinitely. All praise and thanks are due to the Almighty Allah, who created mankind with diversity, so to subject them to a test that determines their righteousness and submissiveness. I send peace and blessings upon the most righteously obedient servant of Allah, Ḥabībī Muḥammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path till judgement day.
This is the third article of the series, “Everyone is doing it… Why not me?” The first article, The Du’a That Sayyidinā ‘Umar Learnt At The Market, presented the incident, which occurred to Sayyidinā ‘Umar raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu at the market, and led him to learn a unique du’a and a great wisdom. The second article titled The Majority: Its Definition, Characteristics And Influence defined majority, and then highlighted its characteristics and the influence it poses on the minority within the context of the article. The objective of this series is to present sample verses from the Qur’an which discusses the majority (of people) and the minority in the contrary. This series aims to help the Muslim reader to realize that he is worth more than just living and following others blindly, without allowing himself to reason before embarking on his choices in life. After all, in the hereafter, only he will stand to answer for himself, a fact that should create enough awareness for him to make his choices responsibly.
Today’s article defines minority, and then highlights its uniqueness. It further presents the virtues of this category of people and the challenges they face. To start, who are the minority?
The Oxford Dictionary of English defines minority as “a small group of people within a community or country, differing from the main population in race, religion, language, or political persuasion.”
In the context of this article, minority is the small group in mankind which strives to submit totally to the commands of Allah. This minority is very diverse in nature, as it comes from all ethnicities, political persuations, economic background and geographical locations. However, it has something in common; its population all embraces Islam. Thus, you will find a Muslim community wherever you go. And you will find the minority we are discussing within these communities all over the world.
When Satan rebelled in heaven, he pledged himself to destroy the children of Adam, ‘alaihi al-salam, as long as he lives. He however admitted to the resistance he shall face from a few of them. This few represents the minority. With reference to that, Allah says in Surah al-Isrā’:
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ قَالَ أَأَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا ﴿٦١﴾ قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَكَ هَـٰذَا الَّذِي كَرَّمْتَ عَلَيَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ﴿٦٢﴾ ـ
“When We said to the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam,” they all prostrated themselves except Iblis. He said, “Am I to prostrate myself to someone You have created out of clay?” and [further] said, “Do you see this being whom You have exalted above me? If You reprieve me until the Day of Resurrection, I will bring all but a few of his descendants under my sway” (Qur’an, 17:62).
Unfortunately, in response to this promise, the children of Adam, save the minority, are blindly following Satan with total obedience. This is despite the fact that Allah has provided them with all they need to appreciate His blessings, and to fulfil the objective of their existence.
In order to understand why Iblis can’t bring the minority under his sway, we must understand the uniqueness this minority possesses, followed by its virtues.
We’ve agreed in the previous article of this series, that Muslims, although they represent 23% (1.7 billion) of the world’s population, they are the minority in this world. Still remember that? Yes… Islam is the second largest religion in the world, but it’s the only religion with the smallest number of adherents, because all other religions are the same, as a (true) Muslim will never replace Islam with any of them.
When we come to Islam, however, there is a few of its adherents, who wholeheartedly appreciate Islam and applies it to all aspects of their lives. This is the minority we are talking about. The minority is made up of the lucky ones, who have chosen to submit to the commands of Allah in easy times as well as in difficult times. Regardless of their ethnicity, intellectuality, wealth or fame, and regardless; whether they are in public or private.
The uniqueness of this minority is that, they (their īmān) do not change with the change of circumstances and situations. Their faith, faithfulness, submissiveness, contentment and determination do not shake, no matter what they encounter. These are those, even the Prophet, ṣallā Allāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam, admired and praised. Imām Muslim reported a ḥadīth from the narration of Sayyidunā Ṣuhaib ibn Sinān raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, that the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ؛ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لأَحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ. إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ. وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ
“Amazing is the affair of the believer (Mu’min). Verily his entire affair is good, and this is not for any one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that becomes good for him. And if something of harm befalls him he is patient and that becomes good for him.”
Furthermore, these people are not affected by “minority stress,” as being minority to them is not out of abnormality. It’s natural that whoever takes Allah seriously will be tested that way. And because their existence is normal and natural, we find them in different races, educational backgrounds, and social classes. In fact, Allah has mentioned about some of them in Sūrah Fāṭir:
مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوا مَا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِ، فَمِنْهُم مَّن قَضَىٰ نَحْبَهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَنتَظِرُ، وَمَا بَدَّلُوا تَبْدِيلاً
“Among the believers are men who are true to that which they promised Allah. Some of them have paid their oath by death, and some of them still are waiting; and they have not altered in the least” (Qur’an, 33:23).
That was the uniqueness of the minority. It emerges as a result of the virtues developed by the individual members of this category of people. It’s evolves gradually, and subsequently, it becomes a routine in the lives of the individuals. The following section discusses its virtues.
Here, I find it important to replace the term minority with Mu’min/Mu’minin (the believer(s)). But why? Every quality or virtue observed in the minority (as defined earlier) is certainly found in the Mu’min. And there are many other qualities, which the Mu’min may possess that we don’t know, and such qualities remain as secret between him and Allah. Of the known virtues, I’m highlighting 7, based on evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The Minority Is God-Conscious
God-consciousness (Taqwā) is to observe the company of Allah with you in all you do. Successfully achieving this virtue leads to attaining most of the virtues of the Mu’min (minority), as possible. Taqwā is so important that Allah uses it to give a perfect description of His allies among His servants. This can be found in Surah Yūnus:
أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّـهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ ﴿٦٣﴾ لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ
“The allies of Allah shall certainly have no fear, nor shall they grieve. For [they are] those who believe and are mindful of Allah. There is good news from them in this life and in the Hereafter” (Qur’an, 10:62-64).
It’s important to indicate that the virtue of God-consciousness (Taqwā) is not measurable. Thus, it’s only judged by the Knower of what are hidden in the chests. It’s however attained after one has fully believed in Allah as the One and Only. To be steadfast with this requires constant du’a for guidance to the straight path [See: Surah Al-Fātiḥah in Its Simplicity]. Attaining it requires a lot of sacrifice and that leads to success.
The Minority is Successful
One of the outstanding virtues of the minority is that they are the successful. This success however is achieved after undertaking some deeds as a Muslim. Although everyone is enjoined to these deeds, only the Mu’min (the few) among the children of Adam embark on them.
Among the deeds one needs to observe are to equally believe in the unseen and the seen. That is why Allah has also made it clear that believing in the hereafter (after death) is part of īmān. This is found in Surah Al-Baqarah:
ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ، هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٢﴾ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ ﴿٣﴾ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ ﴿٤﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ، وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٥﴾ـ
“This is the Book; there is no doubt in it. It is a guide for those who are mindful of Allah, who believe in the unseen, and are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided them with; those who believe in the revelation sent down to you and in what was sent before you, and firmly believe in the life to come — they are the people who are rightly following their Lord and it is they who shall be successful” (Qur’an, 2:2-5).
In the pursuit of success, everyone sets targets for himself and assumes that achieving those targets grants him success. This step could be partially correct, but the ultimate success is that which Allah has enjoin us to. At the end of the day, when we compare the targets He’s enjoined us to with ours, we find ours to be nothing but deception, and hence, loss. This is what Sūrah al-‘Asr has outlined in 3 short verses, in one of the shortest chapters in the Qur’an. It reads:
وَالْعَصْرِ ﴿١﴾ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ ﴿٢﴾ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ ﴿٣﴾ـ
“I swear by the passage of time. Man is surely in a state of loss. Except for those who believe and do good deeds and exhort one another to hold fast to the Truth, and who exhort one another to stead-fastness” (Qur’an, 103:3).
With this, success is when one succeeds in attaining the pleasure of his Creator. It has nothing to do with academic excellence, social ranking, financial possession or fame. All it has to do with is one’s sincere faith in the One Creator, and then living according to the command of the Creator. In the process, there will be trials and tribulations. The ability to withstand them determines the originality and genuineness of the believer (mu’min) intentions.
The Minority is Establisher of Prayers
Prayers (Ṣalāh) is the backbone of Islam. It differentiates between Muslims and non-Muslims. It also distinguishes true Muslims from the hypocrites (Munāfiqūn). It contains one of the most important forms, through which the slave truly submits to his Master. I’m referring to prostration (Sujūd). Sujūd is very important, that it’s the most repeated act in Ṣalāh. It’s also the only act of Ṣalāh which is done outside Ṣalāh. There are 14 points in the Qur’an, where one is encouraged (as Ṣunnah) to prostrate when he reaches there. That’s Sujūd al-Tilāwah.
When one of us is given a good news, or overjoys, he’s encouraged (alos also as Sunnah) to prostrate to Him, as a sign of appreciation. This is called Sujūd al-Shukr. Furthermore, it’s through Sujūd, that the slave can get closest to his Lord. Imām Muslim reports from the narration of Sayyidinā Abī Hurairah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, that the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ العَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ
“The closest a slave can be to his Lord is when he prostrates (in Sujud).
Prayer (Ṣalāh) has always been mentioned throughout the Qur’an, wherever the qualities of the believer (Mu’min/minority) is mentioned. Thus, I would say, although it’s list here (at this stage of the article), establishing Ṣalāh serves as the most significant virtue of the Mu’min. Whoever achieves this successfully will be a humbly submissive servant of Allah, inshā Allāh.
The Minority is Humbly Submissive
Since they’ve submitted themselves to Him and are determined to succeed in attaining His pleasure, the hearts of the minority tremble at awe when Allah is mentioned. Their īmān (faith) grows stronger as they listen to the Qur’an or see His miracles. Additionally, they put their trust in Him alone.
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّـهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ﴿٢﴾ـ
“True believers are those whose hearts tremble with awe at the mention of God, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations. They are those who put their trust in their Lord” (Qur’an, 8:2).
This is because they are certain they shall return to their Creator one day. They are also certain that everyone shall stand before Him for judgement.
وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ، وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ ﴿٤٥﴾ الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿٤٦﴾ـ
“And seek help through patience and prayers (ṣalāh), and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] (Khāshi’ūn). Who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him” (Qur’an, 2:44-45).
The Minority is Grateful
The point in the story of Sayyidinā ‘Umar at the market, when he learnt a unique du’a and a great wisdom, was that another companion of the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam was asking Allah to include him among the few of His servants, whose virtue is being grateful. This virtue of gratefulness is important due its scarcity, as it’s lacked in the majority. To the effect that when Allah inspired Luqmān al-Hakīm (the wise) with wisdom, the most outstanding of his words of wisdom was “Be grateful to Allah: he who is grateful, is grateful only for the good of his own soul. But if anyone is ungrateful, then surely Allah is self-sufficient and praiseworthy” (See Qur’an, 31:21).
Furthermore, realizing and narrowing our ultimate thankfulness to Allah, the Creator, strengthens the faith (īmān) of the believer.
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
“So remember Me; I will remember you. Be thankful to Me and do not be ungrateful.”
In addition to enjoining their people to worship God alone, and not to associate any partners with Him, we find that the chosen messengers of Allah commanded their people to be grateful to Allah.
Being grateful to Allah fills the heart of the believer with contentment, regardless of his condition. It also frees him from greediness. It also purifies his soul/heart from hatred and jealousy. These sicknesses and illnesses are common in the majority. Isn’t it? As a gesture of gratefulness and seeking inspirations and spiritual strength, the minority spends little of their nighttime to sleep.
The Minority Sleeps Less at Night
When the Prophet Muḥammad ṣallā Allāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam was chosen as the seal of all prophets, he spent significant amount of his night time in night prayers (tahajjud) until his feet went swollen. He was asked: O Messenger of Allah, why do you have to do this, when Allah has already forgiven your faults of the past and that to follow? The Prophet responded with a broad smile:
أَفَلاَ أَكُونُ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا
“Wouldn’t I [then] be a grateful servant?” (al-Bukhārī).
As believers wouldn’t hesitate in following the footsteps of their beloved Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in showing gratefulness and acquiring spiritual strength, they too spare a big deal of their time at night in prayers, supplications and invocations. This is what is affirmed in Sūrah al-Dhāriyāt, when He described the people of piety who deserve the Paradise handsomely and unconditionally:
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ ﴿١٥﴾ آخِذِينَ مَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ، إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَٰلِكَ مُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٦﴾ كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ ﴿١٧﴾ وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ ﴿١٨﴾ـ
“Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs. Accepting what their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were before that; doers of righteous. They used to sleep but little of the night. And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness…” (Qur’an, 51:15-18).
The Minority is Constant Charity Giving
One good thing about being among the minority is that, you are not forced to do what you do. You’re not oppressed or less fortunate. It’s rather as a result of being loved by Allah that He guides one to the path, and helps him to remain steadfast on the path. With that, you are productive, unlike other minorities, who could be marginalized in a way that curbs their potentials. This minority feels honoured and close to the Creator.
Among the qualities of the Mu’min/Mu’minīn (believers) is that he has no problem in giving to the less fortunate in material possession. He knows that his possession is of no worth if others are not benefitting from it. He also knows that he’s entiled for great rewards from Allah when others benefit from his wealth (blessings). These great rewards are what maintain him in the category of the Mu’minin (minority) who are close to Allah.
وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ
“And from their properties, was (given) the right to the needy petitioner and the deprived” (Qur’an, 51:19).
Satan Can’t Drag the Minority to His Way
In the previous article, we discussed that, among the default characteristics of the children of the Adam is impatience. Impatience in waiting for Allah’s time leads the less fortunate to steal, the desperate to lie, the bachelor to fornicate, the strong to bully the weak, the wealthy to show off to the poor, and the bright to go arrogant. Any of these pleases Iblis, as this characteristic is built in every single one of us, and thus, it’s obviously seen in the majority of people. The good news is that, it can be overcome, when some conditions are fulfilled. Mostly the minority achieves these conditions. For that Allah says:
إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا ﴿١٩﴾ إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا ﴿٢٠﴾ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا ﴿٢١﴾ـ
“Indeed, man is born impatient: when misfortune touches him, he starts lamenting, and whenever good fortune comes to him, he grows niggardly” (Surah al-Ma‘ārij, 70:19-21).
He then gave exception to the establishers of prayers. Those who, in addition to establishing prayers, they are punctual to it. They safeguard their private parts. They also give charity out of what Allah has provided them with, to the needy. Additionally, they are trustworthy. For that Allah says:
إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ ﴿٢٢﴾ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾ وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ ﴿٢٤﴾ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ ﴿٢٥﴾ وَالَّذِينَ يُصَدِّقُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ ﴿٢٦﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ عَذَابِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّهِمْ غَيْرُ مَأْمُونٍ ﴿٢٨﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ ﴿٣٠﴾ فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ ﴿٣١﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِشَهَادَاتِهِمْ قَائِمُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾ـ
“But not so the worshippers (22) who are steadfast in prayer; (23) those who give a due share of their wealth (24) to those who ask [for help] and to the destitute; (25) and those who believe in the Day of Judgement (26) and are fearful of the punishment of their Lord; (27) for none may ever feel secure from the punishment of their Lord; (28) those who preserve their chastity (29) except from their spouses and those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock], for which they incur no blame — (30) but those who go beyond that limit are transgressors; (31) and those who are faithful to their trusts and to their pledges; (32) and those who stand by their testimony (33)” (Qur’an, 70:22-33).
Our existence in this life is to solely worship Allah. It’s a simple statement with a huge and challenging implication. What does it mean?
It means, it’s a prerequisite to live and experience challenges at various levels of life. Everyone has to go through this accordingly. It’s more so, if you choose to live as a true Muslim. It’s even more pressing when you are a committed and practising Muslim. Therefore, if you believe you are in, or you want to join the minority, be informed, that challenges of the minority are indeed hurtful. Minorities (remember we’re talking about the Mu’minin) are the followers of the Prophets of any time. Some of the challenges they face are physical, verbal, discriminative, emotional and others more. All these can be summarized in the verse of Surah Ali ‘Imran:
لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا أَذًى كَثِيرًا، وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ ﴿١٨٦﴾ـ
“You will surely be tried and tested in your possessions and your persons, and you shall surely hear many hurtful things from those who were given the Book before you and from those who set up partners with Allah, but if you endure with fortitude and restrain yourselves, that indeed is a matter of strong determination” (Qur’an, 3:186).
Physical Challenge of the Mu’min
Sayyidunā ‘Ammār ibn Yasir raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, lost both his parents raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhumah to physical torture by the tyrants of Quraish, because they chose to embrace Islam. Don’t think about the torture he (‘Ammār) himself endured before was released to join the Prophet and his companions in Madīnah.
Sayyidunā Bilāl ibn Rabāḥ raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu was also violently tortured and put under the burning sun, on the hot sands of Makkah by his master Umayyah ibn Khalaf. The reason? He’d decided to follow the commands of Allah, and follow the objective of human existence.
Those were example from the
Muslim Islamic history. Today, Muslims are massacred in Burma for being Muslims. They are killed in Central African Republic for being Muslims. They abused in Kenya and Tanzania simply for their religion.
Verbal Challenges a Muslim Faces
Verbal challenges (abuse) will certainly come your way from non-Muslims, as stated by the Qur’an, and sometimes from some Muslims. Someone can just choose to stereotype you, or hate you for your appearance. If you ever bounced into Fox News, you’ll know how islamophobes can provoke the ordinary Muslim. What more if you are committed Muslim!
Discriminative Challenges a Mu’min Faces
Discrimination is one of the greatest challenges every practising Muslim working for a non-Muslim employer is likely to face. Sometimes, you face it when you work for a non-practising Muslim employer as well. You can go for lunch. You can have a toilet break. But you can’t have a prayer break. Even when you are productive. This happens in Muslim countries, as well as in non-Muslim majority countries.
Emotional Challenges a Mu’min Faces
Muslim girls may have problems in donning long dress and hijab to secular schools.
Also, a Muslim woman may simply be denied employment for choosing to don hijab in fulfilment to her religious duty. Many of them had to choose between their job (outside their houses) and their religious duties. Knowing that their provisions come from their Creator, they choose to please Him.
Additionally, it takes a great deal of courage to tell your boss of the opposite gender that (especially non-Muslim) that you can’t shake hands with the opposite gender.
Being a minority is certainly challenging. Especially when your faith and religion are involved. However, these challenges don’t really hurt as it may be perceived. Once your heart is occupied with the sweetness of Īmān, challenges –no matter how extreme, serve to help you score higher grades or make bigger savings for your mansions in the hereafter. Among the factors that helps to minimize the feelings of pains that may come from these challenges, is to have a constant reminder, that this life is temporal, and serves but as a stepping bridge to the next life.
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا ﴿١٦﴾ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ ﴿١٧﴾ـ
“But you prefer the worldly life. While the Hereafter is better and more enduring” (Qur’an 87:16-17).
In our next discussion, inshā Allāh, we’ll discuss the implication of our choices as human beings in the first place, and as Muslims in particular. So, stay tuned.
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Allah knows best.
Allāhu Ḥāfiẓ 🙂