As an Ummah today we are all focused on changing our sinking condition. We are suffering, being massacred and tortured in all corners of the world. Yet, we are unable to rise up to this challenge, and fix it. Sometimes I wonder, why? Why is it that we are willing to change the conditions of our brothers and sisters, and we know the solution, but we cannot implement it? We want major change amongst the ummah, we need it, and many of us aspire for the return of Khilafah, and maybe even the arrival of the Mahdi to lead us. But this begs another question, why rely on others? Why can we not be the change that we want to see?
Indeed we have become like a feather in the wind, ignorant of where we came from and our glorious Islamic roots, and ignorant of where we are heading. We have become like the foam of the sea, our numbers are plenty, but our abilities, are virtually nil. We are dormant, and thus we find eruptions every now and then, from deviant parties who are seeking the glory of Islam. Sadly, those who erupt are ignorant of the teachings of the deen, and thus they are astray and lead others astray.
1400 years ago when the world was cloaked in darkness, Allah sent guidance for us and instruction.
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:11)
So what are we waiting for?
Indeed, we are unwilling to change those small incidents in our daily lives because we deem them insignificant.
We want a major change, but that major change in the state of the ummah will not happen until we fix ourselves, even if it be in regards to something seemingly small.
The Prophet advised us countless times, that the small consistent deeds the best of deeds,
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Take on only as much as you can do of good deeds, for the best of deeds is that which is done consistently, even if it is little.” (Ibn Majah, Sahih)
My brothers and sisters, if we cannot perfect ourselves, how can we expect the Ummah to be perfect and rise to its former glory? The words of Allah are true, and the help of Allah is near, but we have to fix ourselves.
The Prophet warned us, that Satan would lead us astray in small matters. In the farewell sermon he (peace be upon him) said, “…Satan has despaired of ever being worshiped in this land of yours, but he will be obeyed in some matters which you regard as insignificant, and he will be content with that…” (Ibn Majah) Indeed they appear to be insignificant, but are they really?
Small mistakes eventually pile up to a mountain of errors. On the Day of Judgment we may be astonished to find a burden of accumulated sins from things we considered small. It was narrated that ‘Aishah said, “the Messenger of Allah said to me: ‘O ‘Aishah, beware of (evil) deeds that are regarded as insignificant, for they have a pursuer from Allah. (i.e. accountability).” (Ibn Majah, Sahih)
Every deed we do is being recorded, and Allah forgets nothing. On that Day, when we stand before our Lord, we will have to account for every single deeds, no matter how big or small. We will have to answer for our deeds. What will we say to Allah? ‘Oh, it was only small…I didn’t think it was important.” Subhanallah!
Thus, the Prophet advised us to save ourselves from the hellfire, even by giving half a date in charity (Bukhari). Let’s ponder upon this. Why did the Prophet mention half a date? When you think about it, will half a date satisfy anyone’s hunger? No, and so many will disregard it. Half a date is barely enough to chew! Rather it is the intention, and motivation behind it. Such a person who donates half a date will have hope of Allah’s reward, and pleasure and fear of Allah’s punishment, and thus he will do any good deed that occurs to him to ransom himself from the punishment of Allah. It is small deeds like these that will help us to change our personal condition, as well as changing the state of the ummah. How often do we overlook these deeds!
Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported, the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not disdain a good deed, (no matter how small it may seem) even if it is your meeting with your (Muslim) brother with a cheerful face.” [Muslim]
Forget pointing fingers. Forget all others and focus on yourself. On the Day of Accounts you will not have to answer for them, rather you will be asked about what did you do? And if you spoke about them, backbiting or slandering them, then you will questioned about that deed. If you blamed and pointed fingers at them unjustly, they will exact their rights from you, and you may well end up bankrupt. The change begins with you.
Whether your brother smiled back or not, that’s not your concern. Be concerned with yourself, did you make the effort to smile? Don’t wait for others to change before your act; you may never live to see it. Be active, not reactive!
Just as we will have to answer for every little mistake, every good deed counts, and will help to make our scales heavier.
I leave you to ponder upon the translation of the last two ayahs of Surah Zalzalah;
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Surah Zalzalah 99:7-8)
Remember the change starts with you, so be the change you want to see.