Amana Rasul – What Ayat? What Benefits?

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FEED THE POOR

Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

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Here Allah (swt) says, “The Messenger [Muhammad (ﷺ)] believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord” but he doesn’t only mention the imaan of the Prophet, he also includes “And so do the believers” referring to the entire Ummah. In this response we are directly mentioned with the Prophet (ﷺ), we are the last Ummah on earth and he commended us for being among the believers. All the communities Allah previously sent guidance for have either perished or been led astray.

Next it mentions, laa nufarriqu baina ahadim-mir-Rusulih “We do not differentiate between any of His Messengers”.

Islam respects and honors every Prophet equally and Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was mindful to remember the struggle the other Prophets had faced with guiding their communities. This often gave him comfort knowing he was not alone during the difficulties and gave him the courage to persevere just as they had. This is also a reminder to us that we should not just study the life and teachings of Rasulullah (ﷺ) but learn about the lives of all the Prophets (may peace be upon them).

In Surah An-Nisa, it mentions those who disbelieve will say, “We hear and disobey” and “hear but not heard” (4:46). Contrast this to how a believer would respond according to this ayah, sami’naa wa ata’naa meaning, “We hear, and we obey”.

There are two parts to this, first, we must actively listen and hear the message, and the second is we obeyed. When it comes to Allah we act, there is no questioning or doubt, we listened, and we obeyed. Do we obey one hundred percent of the time? No, we are not perfect, in life we’re going to make mistakes. This is why the verse finishes seeking His abundant forgiveness, ghufraanaka Rabbanaa wa ilaikal-maseer, meaning “[We seek] Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return [of all].”

In psychology, there is a concept known as social proof that describes how we look to others to inform our own opinions and beliefs. The human condition is memetic in nature, meaning we like to copy others when we ourselves are uncertain how to behave.

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An example of social proof at work, imagine a few hundred people running down an alley you were walking. Would you join the crowd and run in the same direction, trusting that they were escaping from some fast-approaching danger? Or would you dare to step aside and let the crowd go by so that you could find out for yourself?  Chances are you would take the former approach and run, and rightfully so. This is a natural human reaction to use social cues for survival and in this situation following the crowd could be the difference between life and death. Here your gut instinct would have served you well but there are situations where that’s not always clear.

We really must grow to appreciate what Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) sacrificed for us, he risked his life for the message and if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t be where we are.

Remember he was at the age of forty when it was revealed to him by Jibreel that he was the Messenger of Allah. He was in denial himself and needed to be affirmed. When he finally accepted his role, he now had to fight against the commonly held beliefs and practices in Mecca. People were not receptive to this foreign message and began ostracizing Muhammad (ﷺ).

They began to think he was insane, we learn in the Qur’an his own uncle Abu Lahab staunchly opposed Islam and openly campaigned against him. When Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) movement began to gain traction and some high-profile conversions the other tribes viewed it as a threat. They argued if Muhammad (ﷺ) was against the traditional social and religious values of Mecca then he must be prepared to endure separately from its economy. This sanction was an attempt to put internal pressure within his clan to outlaw Muhammad (ﷺ) or force him to abandon his movement because of the effect the crippling sanctions would inevitably have (i.e. hunger and personal humiliation).

It’s a difficult task to not follow the masses, but if you followed Abu Lahab and others you would’ve been misled. In moments like this, we need to practice independent thinking rather than assuming the masses are correct just because they have the numbers.

If you existed in the Prophet’s (ﷺ) time, what you could’ve done to protect yourself is to listen with an open mind and try to be a student of the truth and decide for yourself. Learn both sides of the argument to the extent you know the other sides view better than they know it.

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