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Allah is with whom?
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 03 - 2017

It is a saying attributed to Hussain, may Allah be pleased with him: "O Allah, what did he find who lost You, and what did he lose who found You?"

That is what I was looking for. I was searching for the qualities and the propensities of the people who Allah described Himself in the Holy Qur'an, as being with them. Because if Allah is with them, they could face any difficulty in this world with dignity, acceptance, and positivity. Because if Allah is with them, then what have they lost?

For Allah to be with you means that Allah is aware of your situation. He will support you, give you strength to endure, and He will grant you triumph at the end of the tunnel.

I wanted to explore the verses of the Qur'an in which Allah states that He is with certain groups of people. Can these attributes be cultivated and learned, so that I too may fit into this category of people? What traits do I need to acquire so that Allah will be with me?

I found only a few verses in the Qur'an that refer to people as specifically being with Allah.

The first verse I would like to mention is the following:
{Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.} (Chapter 16, verse 128)

Some meanings get lost from the Arabic to English translation. The meaning behind this verse is that Allah is with those people who have taqwah and who have ihsan.

Taqwa is often translated as piety or God-fearing, but it is deeper than that. It is a heightened state of consciousness or being mindful of Allah at all times. Taqwa is the state of hyper-vigilance against falling into sin. It is the idea that a believer is always on guard and is alert of not committing any action that would earn the displeasure of Allah.

To have taqwa means you have an internal compass which directs you to the actions that please Allah and helps you avert the actions that displease Allah.

The companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) understood very well the meaning of having taqwa.

When one of the companions, Kaab, was asked about the meaning of taqwa, he explained it with this analogy; he said that when you walk through a thorny bush path wearing a long cloak, you take your steps very cautiously to avoid the thorns so you do not tear your clothing. That is the same as taqwa, walking carefully on the path to avoid falling into sin.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people." [At-Tirmidhi].

Taqwa and ihsan are two qualities of a true believer.

Ihsan, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us, is to worship Allah as if you see Him because even though you do not see Allah, He sees you.

It is more than just doing good; it is doing the best that you can do. It is attempting to perfect your character and your worship. It is treating others as you would wish them to treat you. It means being an exceptional spouse, parent, student, employee, and neighbor. Ihsan is to perform at the best of your capabilities at work, in school, and even in your car when you're driving on the road.

In order for Allah to be with us, we need to live by the principle of fulfilling our fullest potential: in family relationships, education, work, and in our spiritual connection with Allah.

Sometimes, ihsan also means that you not only do what is required and expected of you, but that you go above and beyond. Let's look at some examples. If you are given a task and a deadline from your employer,ihsan is to complete the task outstandingly and to hand it in before the deadline.

In your spiritual life, ihsan can mean that you not only pray the five obligatory prayers, but you also pray the additional voluntary prayers.

Another verse in the Qur'an describes a group of people whom Allah is with.

{O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.} (Chapter 2, verse 153)
Allah is with the patient, and Allah loves those who are patient.

Patience is one of the noblest qualities of the believers. In almost every verse in the Qur'an that describes the traits of the people who will abide in Paradise, Allah mentions patience.

Abu Said al-Khudri relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "None is granted a greater and more comprehensive gift than patience."

It is not easy to be patient in times of hardship and to refrain from complaining and despairing; that is why the reward for patience is so great. I remind myself and my readers that true patience means being grateful to Allah even when affliction strikes, because afflictions should be viewed as expiation for sins and perhaps the cause for an increase in good deeds.

We believe in the following Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) so our responses to the stressors in life should reflect this belief.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "How amazing are the believer's affairs; all his affairs are good for him. If something good befalls him, he is grateful and that is good for him, and if he is afflicted by calamity he is patient and that is also good for him." [Sahih Muslim]

An in-depth reading of the Qur'an highlights the traits that you and I should strive to acquire. Some verses in the Qur'an state that Allah was with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his friend Abu Bakr when they were hiding in the cave, and Allah was with the believers in battle during the Prophet's lifetime. And other verses show that Allah is with the believer who is pious, patient, and does good. The key words in Arabic that we are looking for are taqwa, ihsan, and sabr.


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