Faith in Allah
"More than 100 fishermen in Bangladesh are missing after at least 15 boats sank in a storm in the Bay of Bengal.
The port authority in Chittagong, Bangladesh, issued an international maritime alert on Sunday, advising ships and fishing boats to remain in shelters until further notice.
Heavy seas prevented rescue operations, but the authorities said that they would start a search as soon as the weather improved.
Meanwhile, fishermen who survived said that they saw several boats sink."
Al-Jazeera English - News - Bangladesh Fishermen Missing At Sea
There is an important lesson to be learnt from the above. Those men who past the brink of death and died, all went through a phase. This phase is the most helpless moment in ones life. When they realised they had no other way but to turn to Allah for help, they most probably sincerely sought Allah's help in manner which they most probably never did before.
In that moment, they surrendered themselves completely to the will of Allah. They knew, they had no protector, save Allah. The only rescuer is Allah. The only one who could hear their cries, is Allah. The only one who could rescue them from their plight is Allah. The Most-Powerful was Allah.
This feeling of complete surrender to Allah was probably never experienced by them before.
Allah calls on us to draw lessons from this:
"It is He who conveys you on both land and sea so that when some of you are on a boat, running before a fair wind, rejoicing at it, and then a violent squall comes upon them and the waves come at them from every side and they realize there is no way of escape, they call on Allah, making their religion sincerely His: "If You rescue us from this, we will truly be among the thankful." But then, when He does rescue them, they become rebellious in the earth without any right to do so. Mankind, your rebelliousness is only against yourselves. There is the enjoyment of the life of the world and then you will return to Us and We will inform you about what you did." (Qur'an 10:22-23)
An important tendency of man is identified above. It is that when Allah rescues him, he returns to his former ways. He forgets that it was him who implored Allah helplessly and made promises of being more devoted to Allah when he was in that life threatening situation.
The Qur'an says "they make their religion sincerely His (Allah's)" when they are encountered with this threat at sea. This means that this is the the level of faith, nearness to Allah, and complete surrender we should have to Allah, at all times. We should always rely on Allah and know that it is Him who takes us into the depths of trouble, and it is Him who brings us out of it. We should remain surrendered to His will at all times through out our lives. We should remain surrendered to Allah when we speak to others, when we pray, when we do anything in life.
When encountered with a life-threatening situation, all false idols, such as wealth, children, education, spouses which some people take, are made meaningless. He realises that the only god is Allah, and he has no protector except Allah. This is identified in the following Verse:
"When harm occurs to you at sea, those you call on vanish - except for Him alone! But when He delivers you to dry land, you turn away. Man truly is ungrateful. Do you feel secure against Him causing the shore to swallow you up or sending against you a sudden squall of stones? Then you will find no one to be your guardian." (Qur'an 17:67-68 )
It should be apparent the level complete devotion and submission required of us by Allah at all times. We shall not call upon, glorify, seek the approval of or praise any being except for Allah. Once Allah removes the threat, we should remain in that state of submission to Allah, if not more. We should be grateful for removing the danger/trouble. Take the new opportunity to improve ourselves and conduct to that which would be more pleasing to Allah. Never forget that it is Allah that removed the burden from you, and He can put you in the same or similar burden again, if He wills.
"When harm touches man, he calls on Us, lying on his side or sitting down or standing up. Then when We remove the harm from him he carries on as if he had never called on Us when the harm first touched him. In that way We make what they have done appear good to the transgressors." (Qur'an 10:12)
Indeed, the word "Muslim" means to 'surrender/submit (to Allah)'. Despite the abuse the word takes, one can derive the true meaning of it by closely analysing the Qur'an and drawing lessons from it like we have done, and live by that definition of being a true Muslim to Allah.
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