I am a simple, sincere Muslim. I try not to cause harm to any one through my words or deeds. Moreover, I do try my best to say my prayers and abide by as many other injunctions of Islam as I can. However, I like to enjoy my worldly life and would want to do full justice with it. I believe that Islam erects no barriers in the way of pursuing that objective. I also strongly believe that, given my present attitude, I am doing no wrong and, therefore, expect that Allah will not punish me for a few insignificant deviations from the Islamic shari’ah that some people can observe in my life, for which an overly religious relative of mine regularly criticises me. What’s your opinion?
If you are a sincere Muslim, trying as much as is possible to follow Islam within your means, you are already doing enough to entertain a realistic hope that Allah Almighty is going to forgive you for whatever sins you commit unintentionally and that you will, Allah willing, be successful in the hereafter. However, in responding to your question I am assuming that you are not deliberately ignoring any injunction of Allah Almighty simply because you don’t like it, or others whose opinions you value don’t like it, or it goes against your worldly interests. Remember, the shari’ah of Islam is one whole unit. It cannot be broken down into categories of wanted and unwanted injunctions. We have no right to do that. Allah Almighty has already left enough opportunities in His message for the believer to avail them and as a consequence be able to enjoy his life fairly decently. Consequently, if an individual rejects any one aspect of the shari’ah, he rejects the entire shari’ah. If you find yourself forced to do something against Allah’s guidance, as a believer you can only do so reluctantly. You would then, ask Allah for His forgivenness. Hopefully, he will oblige by forgiving you. Remember we are living in Allah’s kingdom and for a true believer there can be no possibility to imagine of enjoying even a single moment if it is to be experienced on violating His command. We can only enjoy when we have the satisfaction that whatever we are doing is acceptable to our Creator. Enjoying one’s life at the expense of the shari’ah is a Satanic suggestion. Shrug it off as soon as possible.
You have claimed that you feel fairly confident on leading a good Islamic life and, therefore, you do not worry about some of the deviations from the Islamic law you continue to make. The Qur’an tells us that the true believers, despite their commitment to the cause of Islam, remain concerned about the possibility of a failure in the life after death. They continue to seek His forgiveness, morning and evening. In fact, the more they become obedient, the more they repent. The attributes of the believers mentioned in a verse of the Qur’an begin by informing that the believers are, “Those who turn to Allah in repentence,” (9:112), while another verse ends by stating that they are the ones, “Who pray for forgiveness in the hours of dawn.”(3:17)
The truth is that, if you hold the concern for your life-after-death more important than the worries of your present worldly life, you will find plenty of happy tidings in the Qur’an for your success in the hereafter. However, if you continue to prefer the needs of the present life over the obligations of the next one, then confident hopes of success in the next life may turn out to be unrealised dreams.
Note: This response is written by Mr. Khalid Zaheer