CERTAINTY IN THE HEREAFTER
Addiction and sinfulness is very much about being lost in this worldly life and becoming detached from Allah. Recovery, or embracing Islam, is about detaching from this world (dunya) and focusing on the life to come in the Hereafter (akhira). We realise that this life is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the eternity of the akhira. In recovery, we realise that this world is not for play but for work. We begin to work, strive and dedicate ourselves to achieving the ultimate success – to enter Paradise and see the beautiful face of Allah.
Accountability: We are the authors of our Book of Deeds
In our addiction we would lose our sense of Allah Watching us, mainly through the denial process. We tried to shove thoughts of guilt around sinning in front of Allah away and then Shaitan suggested a way for us to justify our actions, that somehow meant it would be okay to carry out that sin. In recovery, we increase our awareness of Allah as The All-Seeing and All-Hearing and this means we are increasing in ‘taqwa’ (God-consciousness). As our taqwa increases we begin to become more aware of the things we say, or do, being counted for us or against us on The Day of Judgement, when all the actions will be weighed and our Book of Deeds will be brought out for us to read. Allah tells us about this in the 15th Juz. He says;
“And we have fastened every man’s deeds to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a Book which he will find wide open. It will be said to him: “Read your Book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.” (17:13-14)
On that Day, there will be no editing for us. We cannot change what is written and some people will beg Allah to be sent back to the world so that they can write a new one, start again. But there are no second chances. We only get one chance at this test of life. As Allah explains in the Verse above, we will not even be able to deny what is there. That book will either be the means for us to enter into Paradise or be a ticket for The Hell Fire. May Allah help us all to be mindful of our actions and that we receive our Books in our right hands, being pleased with what is written. Ameen.
In recovery, being mindful of accountability will help us to stay on The Straight Path. It will be a relapse prevention tool that will help us to combat the urge to sin. Being aware that we are the authors of our owns Books will help us to take responsibility for our ownselves and stop blaming others for our downfalls. Realise NOW, we are solely responsible.
“Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger” (17:15)
This life is just a mirage of amusement
Allah is very clear in the Qur’an about stating our purpose of creation. He has put us here on this earth so that we may strive to please Him. In return, He will grant us contentment in this life, no matter what hardships we have, and contentment in the Hereafter by way of Paradise. This is our main focus for our recovery. When we realise this purpose, we will stop chasing this dunya and strive for His Pleasure and ultimate reward instead. Allah says
“Whoever desires the quick-passing enjoyment of this world, We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, aftewards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will burn therin disgraced and rejected (by Allah)”. (17:18)
If we reject Allah in this world, by refusing to submit to Him, how do we expect Him to accept us into Jannah? As we give up on sinfulness our intention must be out of seeking Allah’s Pleasure. And in doing so, Allah will make the path to Paradise easier for us.
“And whosover desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is a believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated (by Allah) (17:19)
Allah is calling us to strive for the Hereafter. Let us think about how much we strive for this world. The amount of effort that goes into executing our plans to engage in sinfulness is often massive. The drug user must make excuses to his family to leave the home, get the right amount of money together to purchase the drugs, ring up a number of dealers before he finds someone in the area, hang about waiting for the dealer to turn up. Then he needs to find the necessary paraphernalia to use the drugs and find somewhere private to use them. Once he has done that, he may soon need to repeat that process again, as more drugs are required. By that time the family are calling up, wondering where he is. He needs to execute more excuses, and so on and so on. The amount of effort required to indulge in our addictions are enormous. We must put in as much, if not more, effort into staying clean. Suddenly as we become abstinent we lose motivation, feel tired and lethargic. That’s not recovery on The Straight Path. That’s a one way ticket to relapse. Allah is calling us to strive hard, put in the effort and then He will help us to achieve Paradise!
This life is short – YOLO or YOTO?
As pop singer started a new craze when she sang ‘You only live once’ people started getting tattoos of YOLO. Kids started writing YOLO all over their text books, cheap jewelry stores started making necklaces with YOLO. Yes, she was right, we do only live once. We only get once chance to do the actions that will effect our Hereafter. So how about YOTO? You are only tested once! This life is short. People say, enjoy it while you can. The Prophet Muhammad saws said;
“The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever.” (Muslim, 2956)
Anyone who has experienced the depths of addiction or sinfulness, will realise that eventually the harms and the consequences of those sins begin to destroy us. As we chase a false happiness we realise we are continually trying to reach something that does not exist. Inside our souls are miserable. Fleeting enjoyment, that never lasts and only hurts us. The believer, who strives hard to please Allah sacrifices this world in the hope of ever-lasting enjoyment in Paradise. A place where there is no pain, hurt, headaches or tears where we can play without guilt or remorse.
“On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer with His prasise and obedience (come out of the graves), and you will think that you have stayed in this world but just a little while!” (17:52)
Spend time with people who strive for Paradise
Our company plays a huge part in the kinds of goals and aspirations we have for ourselves. If we spend time with people who are focused on reaching high status at work, naturally we will want to do well in our places of employment. If we spent time with friends or family who constantly remind us of Allah, who talk about Paradise and how to get there, naturally we will strive for the same goal too. In recovery, we need to look closely at our friends. Maybe, we need to join a local study circle in our nearby mosque in order to find new friends. We need to be the one to make the effort to reattach ourselves to good companions that we may have lost touch with over time. Shaitan will try to keep us away from such people but we must ignore his whispers and rush to be by their side. Allah says;
“And keep yourself patiently, with those who call on their Lord, morning and afternoon, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, and who follows his own lusts, and whose affairs have been lost.” (18:28)