“Listen we’re family… Please don’t kill me?” Rayhan looked at him with fear in his eyes. For the first time in his life he was scared, scared of his own flesh and blood.
On the other side, Taleb hesitated. Then he regained himself and did what he thought was impossible. With one blow he struck him – the noise of the shot gun was deafening, hidden away behind the sound of waves gushing on the stones below. As he stood there, he watched his younger brother die. He heard the screams, the pain of his attack and watched, knowing he’d done the wrong thing, but unable to turn back from his crime. His heart sank, terror filled his body and grief overtook him. As he stood there next to his dead brother, his legs became shaky. He was unable to stand straight. He held on tightly to the pole next to him, and slid down slowly in pain, as the coldness of the steel seeped through his shirt he started crying, like a baby who’d lost his mother. If someone had seen his state, they would have been shocked that a man could cry with such intensity. Though, as we have learnt so many times; even in the darkest of times, the most fierce become the weakest, due to their crimes.
How could he have done this? How could he have hurt his own brother?
Can you imagine the effect of such a crime in the community? Can you imagine how much pain he caused his own family?
I’m going to share a story with you about two people, they are your family, in fact they’re related to every single one of you. Due to them, I’m going to share some amaaaaaazing lessons with you inshaAllah.
Habil and Qabil were brothers, they were family, they loved each other and grew up playing together, but something happened. Something changed. Something so deep, so bad that one of them was motivated to murder the other. Now you may wonder, what changed? Why did one of these two brothers, who seemingly loved the other – go astray? In this case it was plain old jealousy. In a future article I will address this topic in more depth inshaAllah.
Many things happen in our society that cause us pain, that go against morality – These actions are committed by people just like me and you. We may blame the upbringing of those involved, or perhaps their attitude to life, and even the company they kept.
Now, I want to add another perspective and this is; in society people go off the rails because they don’t purify their souls.
As Qabil was overtaken by a disease of the heart; jealousy – he failed to think clearly, in fact he failed to purify himself from the desire to want to kill his own flesh and blood. And today we remember him as the first murderer known to mankind. He murdered his own brother, because he was jealous. The effects remain today, as we see all around us every single day.
There are so many lessons we can take from this;
- Qabil came from an amazing family; his father was a Prophet of Allah and his mother was Hawa , a righteous mother – so we expect him to righteous, right? I‘m not sure about you, but I did! However, this didn’t avail him, and through this we learn; your upbringing has an effect on you, but the end result, and what direction you decide to take in life depends on you, and only you.So if you come from a righteous family, say Alhamdulillah and use it as a means to do good and attain the pleasure of Allah . And if your family are not excelling in the worship of Allah then don’t worry! Make du’a for them every day and remind yourself; that your father is Adam and use it as a means to aspire, higher!
- From this we also learn a lesson; just because you’re born Muslim doesn’t mean you’re safe, rather you have to consistently purify your soul every day, so you can be protected and saved from destruction and harm in this life and the hereafter.[/div]
- Qabil differed with his brother on something petty, and how many times have you seen many people fall into the same problem? A small issue causes so much trouble. We should address issues with individuals right away, so they can clarify and hopefully things can be corrected right away, inshaAllah. If they don’t wish to discuss with you on the matter, then get someone involved whom you trust, and ask them to intercede on your behalf. You have to put your ego aside and do your best to resolve the issue, and then you leave it to Allah .
The Successful Believer
Now let’s take a step back and see what Allah tells us about the successful believer, adverse to the one who has failed, Habil passed, whereas Qabil the other failed.
Do you understand my flow? One brother failed to purify his heart, whereas the other due to his pure heart survived the test, so he passed.
Allah says; “He has succeeded who purifies it, and he has failed who instils it [with corruption].” [1. Surah Al-Shams; 91:9-10]
This is a reminder for me and you; success will come from purification of the heart, turning to Him every day, asking for His help in keeping our hearts firm and clean.
Why do we need to purify our souls?
[dropcap2]A[/dropcap2] To gain the pleasure of Allah and when you gain His pleasure, you gain the sweetest thing on earth…
[dropcap2]B[/dropcap2] Which is closeness to Allah and when you seek closeness to Allah …
[dropcap2]C[/dropcap2] You seek and attain the love of Allah .
The Messenger of Allah taught us;
Abu Hurayrah reported: “The Prophet said, ”When Allah loves a slave, He calls out to Jibril and says: `I love so-and-so; so love him’. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him”. [2. Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
And why do you want to attain His love?
[dropcap2]D[/dropcap2] In order to attain paradise;
“Gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. And that is the reward of one who purifies himself.” [3. Surah Taha; 20: 76]
Don’t you desire a holiday now? Wish you were in the Bahamas or perhaps chillin’ in New York? Why? The main reason is you want a break, you want to have fun, perhaps get away from the worries in life. Jannah is the abode for the believers, full of ease and serenity. The end result of those who make time to purify their souls, and hopefully – someone like you. Though, before you attain that amaaazing abode, you and I seek….
[dropcap2]E[/dropcap2] Peace and stability in our lives; to have this firm belief that you’re not being unjust to anyone, or to Allah subhanahu wa ta ’ala and when you have this serenity you feel at ease and peace. Finally, you purify your soul so you can attain the;
[dropcap2]F[/dropcap2] Love of the people.
Note, don’t misunderstand me, this is not for their love, rather it’s for the sake of being a role model in the community so you can make an impact, it is for His pleasure. Allah reminds us that we will attain affection in this life, if we’re righteous.
“Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection.” [3. Surah Maryam; 19:96]
So you may wonder what is the formula for purifying your heart?
Whenever any temptation comes to your heart which Allah subhanahu wa ta ’ala has defined as harmful – then fight your utmost to stay away from it. In fact, sometimes I see I’m on an adventure, fighting against an enemy who is trying to catch me (okay, you don’t have to be that dramatic!). However, see it as a journey of purification and the end result is a clean heart, that you will meet Allah with, inshaAllah.
That’s it really! This was a short snippet from my recent talk in Walsall; ‘I keep on falling – Purification of the Heart and Soul’ and I hope that your journey to become a Superstar for His sake begins today, inshaAllah.
As they say; we’ll see you in Jannah, it’s a race till the end!
Alima Ashfaq is the founder of I am Alima and hopes to transform it into the forefront of assisting women come closer to Allah (swt). She is the author of a number of publications, most notably Du’as of the Superstars.