admin on June 2nd, 2011

Often times we mix our goals and our means. “What is the difference? Any time we mix our goals with our means, we become stagnant, which is the recipe for disaster. For example, building a mosque – is it a goal or a means? It is a means. What happens is that we think that our goal is to build a mosque, and once the mosque is built, then what? Nothing. We already achieved our goal, which leads us to become very stagnant. Is giving zakah a goal or a means? It is a means, because the goal is to eliminate poverty. Is fasting in Ramadan, in itself, a goal or a means? It is a means to transform us into better people. Performing salah – is that a goal or a means? It is a means so that we become more purified.” – Sh. Yasir Fazaqa

“Of the indicators that one is relying on work is the lack of hope when one fumbles.” – Ibn Ataa’illah

“Sometimes as we work and strive (and we must), we build emotional and intellectual attachments and a conviction that our efforts/work results in fruits. We become so conscious of our efforts, we forget the deeper realities. Yet, the means, causes of the results, the cause & effect relationship, our striving, our hardwork, the resources made available to us — all of this is by the Tawfeeq of Allah, His facilitation for us.

One of the signs of whether we are truly relying on Allah or whether we are relying on the means is that in the course of striving to obey Allah when we fumble or err, we lose hope. This is a sign of reliance on the creation and not the Creator. We lack depth and purity of Tawheed of Allah. Some people might even give up the way to Allah swt or even the Deen!

For the average person, when we do something good we are happy, when we fumble or err we are afraid or grieved. This is not wrong, but a real seeker of Allah is at a deeper level completely striving to surrender to Allah. We should be afraid, but without losing hope in Allah.

We should not rely on our abilities, intellect, striving, work, means — all are necessary, but not sufficient. Our emphasis should be in our Raja’ hope in Allah. Reliance on the means leads to arrogance, ostentation, riya’, ghuroor, etc. These characteristics invalidate an act of Ibadah even though externally it seems genuine.

No one will enter Jannah on account of his/her own deeds, efforts, or struggles. Though the efforts and struggles must be there. In reality, the grace and mercy of Allah will be what enters us. The efforts are necessary but not sufficient. So our focus and reliance should not be on our efforts, forgetting Allah’s ‘hands’.”