By Vanessa Mullen
Certainly will the believers have succeeded. [Quran, 23:1]
What a wonderful sentiment this is, masha Allah! Allah (swt) promises the believers a beautiful reward in the next life, and how simple it is to follow His guidance! Each Quran surat offers the best of advice and guidance to the believers and even gives us a simple yet eloquent message on how we can live, act, speak, and worship as true believers!
Surat 23, Al-Mu’minun, is translated as “The Believers,” and Allah (swt) provides for us the very definition of a true believer, whose character should be demonstrated through acts of worship, charity, speech, modesty, and trust.
Let’s now walk through the beginning portion of Surat Al-Mu’minun so that we can fully understand, contemplate, and put into practice these simple yet important instructions for Allah (swt)!
Prayer is the most important act of worship; prayer truly defines a believer and if what I read is correct, prayer will be one of the first things Allah (swt) will hold us accountable for on the day of judgment. Let’s stop the world around us when we pray and be devout and humble while remembering Allah (swt) so that on the day of judgment He will remember us, in shaa Allah.
They who are during their prayer humbly submissive [Quran, 23:2]
We must hold the intention in our hearts during prayer, desire to talk to Allah (swt), and devote that time to Him, making prayer the only thing that matters in our hearts, minds, and souls. Feel your prayer, ask mercy of your creator, and pray as if this will be the last prayer you will ever pray in this dunya.
Haya, or modesty, encompasses many things, as does ill speech. Ill speech is more than just words, as these words most often turn into back-biting which then leads to gossip and the possibility of slander— all this because of words that come from one mouth!
And they who turn away from ill speech . . . [Quran, 23:3]
Allah (swt) reminds us here that ill speech is a bad habit from which a believer must turn. We must speak in kindness, be patient, and offer words that are comforting even at those times when the words of others are ugly and unrelenting. A virtue mentioned in the Quran many times over is patience. If we strive to be more patient we’ll find that we can bite our tongues to prevent our tongues from biting and hurting someone else!
Charity is another characteristic of the believer. Anyone who believes in Allah (swt) and the last day will know that any amount of money or abundance in material things means nothing in the sight of Allah (swt). Zakah is the third pillar of Islam, something that the prophet (saw) took very seriously.
And they who are observant of zakah . . . [Quran, 23:4]
The prophet (saw) was so kind that he would offer someone the garment off of his back if they asked for it! So how foolish should we feel when we turn away from someone who is in desperate need? Be sure to give to those who ask, to the orphan and the beggar, the traveller and the destitute. Remember, we’re tested in many ways and Allah (swt) is the All-Seer, All-Knower, so let’s not fail the test because of greed and selfishness.
Another aspect of Haya that’s necessary for a believer to follow is guarding one’s private parts through not only dress, but also through action and intentions. To prevent fitnah, men and women should both lower their gaze, dress in a way that does not attract attention from the opposite gender, and not act in a flirtatious or lewd manner.
And they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed but whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors [Quran, 23:5-7]
Allah (swt) provides very clear guidelines from which we should not deviate, as the punishment for lust and temptation is very severe! Let us be sure to guard our souls, bodies, hearts, and minds from temptation by remembering Allah (swt), making dua for strength to resist evil, and striving for Jannah. You can read more from me about Haya here.
Allah (swt) has put many people in our lives either as a blessing or as a lesson, and He knows best. As believers, Allah (swt) commands us to uphold promises, fulfill our obligations, and trust others and act in an honest way that will allow others to in turn, trust us.
And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive [Quran 23:8]
Of course it can be difficult to keep every promise, which is why my grandmother, may Allah (swt) have mercy on her soul, always told me never to make promises you can’t keep. When we make a promise, we should do so with the very best of intentions to keep it, since we will be held accountable for our intentions when we meet Allah (swt).
Salah is mentioned for the second time, further demonstrating the definitive characteristic of a believer. Not only must we be humbly submissive, devout, and humble during prayer, but we must be sure to maintain our prayers by praying on time for all five obligatory prayers.
And they who carefully maintain their prayers [Quran, 23:9]
We should make time for Allah (swt) and not rush through our prayers. We should try to stop what we’re doing before the prescribed time so that we can clear our minds and realize that prayer is so much more important than the worldly affairs distracting us from it.
So now that we’ve learned, refreshed, and have been reminded of our obligations as believers, what will we sow from the goodness we plant? Allah (swt) is the best of Providers, the Most Forgiving, and clearly will not fail to reward any of us for any bit of good we’ve done in His name, whether it be the grandest of deeds or the smallest of gestures.
Those are the inheritors who will inherit al-Firdaus. They will abide therein eternally. [Quran, 23:10-11]
O Allah, have mercy upon each and every Muslim in this world and keep us on the straight path, the path on which our beloved Prophet (saws) tread his entire life, the path that he molded for us with his beautiful teachings. Ameen.
Praying you will benefit.
Vanessa is studying Islam, health, and natural healing and prays to inspire the Ummah by conveying the true message of Islam through her writing.