In the past few months, I have attended more janaza prayers than in any comparable time in my life. A reminder that life is short and death is certain. They have been janazas of the fathers of my friends, acquaintances and some converts to Islam. The converts included a Chinese sister named Ayeesha and another brother whose janaza prayers were in Mosques near me. As their friends and family spoke about their journey to Islam, the amazing changes in their character after Islam and their commitment and steadfastness in worshipping Allah (swt), you found yourself amazed at the power of Islam to transform these converts in such a profound way.
Many of us who are born into Muslim families sometimes look upon such transformation and think it unimaginable in our own lives. This transformation and continuous improvement of the Muslim to being a better and better worshipper of Allah (swt) should be a constant in the life of a Muslim. From year to year, day to day, Ramadhan to Ramadhan, our knowledge and practice of Islam should be forever improving in some way or the other. In other aspects of life such as our work or business, we seek improvement. What about in seeking to live this life in a way that pleases Allah (swt) knowing that our actions here are all we take to the next Life?
Like these converts of today, Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) was one of the converts in whose life we see the power of Emaan in transforming an individual. Before Islam, he was a man who buried his daughter and ate his own idol. After Islam, he was the opposite, and abhorred such practices becoming one of the strongest worshippers of Allah (swt). Of his mercy, kindness and fear of Allah, many stories abound; his kindness and generosity to Muslims and non-Muslims, to man and beast is well known. He even worried that Allah would account him if he did not make proper pathways for the mule.
سبحان الله الذي يغير القلوب وظروف الرجال
Glorified be Allah Who changes the hearts and conditions of men.
After the Sahaba, we witness many individuals through the ages and even recently who were transformed by the power of Emaan. With little resources but the strength of Emaan driving him Omar Al-Mukhtar fought the might of the Italian army in Libya. And around us, we witness many who are transformed by the power of Emaan and Islam such that they become of outstanding character and became activists working to serve their Ummah.
What enables this transformation in any of us? What enables us to witness the power of Emaan in our lives? Three things come to mind: learning, reflecting and action.
1. Learning. Constantly learning, deepening and expanding our knowledge of different aspects of Islam, Tafsir of Qur’an, Seerah, lives of the Sahaba and all sorts of other areas. These will inspire, motivate and build in us a better understanding and yearning for Allah’s Pleasure and how to worship Him (swt).
2. Reflecting upon what we learn. Comparing and seeing how close or far our understanding, character and actions are from this ideal Muslim character that we are hearing and learning about.
3. Action. Having reflected and seen our shortcomings, we are able to identify how to be a better husband, father, son, carrier of dawah etc. Now, we need to undertake specific actions to change our character and actions.
In this way, insha’Allah, we are all able to be that character which exemplifies the power of Emaan to transform, and keep transforming us to being better and better worshippers of Allah (swt) till the day we return to Him.
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain