Among the most compelling contemporary challenges, are the alarmingly increasing temptations to compromise on one’s basic beliefs.
When a person loses focus of what is important in his/her life, then to sell off the most valuable asset becomes easy. In so doing, he/she is the biggest loser.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam warned the ummah of a time when people would put their worldly aspirations ahead of their religious obligations.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: ‘Hasten in increasing your good deeds, before such trials arrive in which a person who was a believer in the morning will become a kafir (non-believer) by the evening, or one who was a believer in the evening would become a non-believer by the morning; because of him selling his Deen in exchange of the acquisitions of the world.’ (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 309)
When a man’s priority is his worldly assets, then to compromise on his religion is not considered serious anymore! The increasing number of such opportunities is scary.
For this reason, we find it has become so easy for people to say (or do) the wrong just to satisfy certain individuals, or merely to attain particular positions/possessions etc. We may not realise it, but this is actually a form of ‘selling one’s religion’.
These are people who were actually given a subtle choice; either stick to your religious practice and be deprived of the worldly gain that’s on offer, or vice-versa. Those who choose wisely will not regret their decision.
Allah Most High says regarding those who chose unwisely, ‘Those are the ones who have purchased misguidance in exchange of guidance. Their trade was not profitable, and neither were they guided. Their example is like that of a person who lights a fire. When it brightens his surroundings, Allah removes their light and leaves them in darkness, unable to see.’ (Surah: 2, Ayah: 16-17)
A Lesson from History
Imam ‘Affan ibn Muslim As-Saffar was a reliable Muhaddith (Hadith Master) but he possessed little of this world.
His condition was so dire, that he once had to ask his associate; Imam ‘Amr Al-Fallas for some food as he had nothing to feed his household; who numbered close to forty!
When this illustrious Imam was asked to support the innovated view of the then leader regarding the Holy Quran, he refused. He was threatened that his monthly pension from the public treasury – which was a hundred silver coins -, would be withheld.
He responded by reciting the verse: ‘And in the sky is your sustenance and whatever you are promised.’ (Surah: 51, Ayah: 22)
When he returned home, his family (who were nearly 40 in number) reproached him for this.
A few moments later, he heard a knock on the door. It was a person who seemed to be a hard labourer that had come to hand him a bag of one hundred silver coins saying: ‘O Abu ‘Uthman! May Allah preserve you like you preserved the Deen (religion). I will be giving this to you every month.’ (Adabul ikhtilaf of Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah, pg.105)
Those who value their religion are actually valued by their creator.
The one who forsakes his religion in any way, may be forsaken by his Creator when he needs Him the most.
History is filled with proofs for both of the above.
We ask Allah Most High to save us from such trials, but in the event that they cannot be avoided, may He inspire us with the strength to withstand the temptations of this world, especially when it results in serious damage to our Deen.