Believers: Their signs and quality - 12.
Believer(s) are expected to remain firm and united. They are to be a homogenous community, with aims of common good. 'Hold fast, all together by the Rope, which Allah stretches out for you, and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you, for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace ye became brethren..'. It follows therefore that a believer cannot sow seeds of discord amongst men; on the contrary, he has to display with conviction and faith, feelings of love towards his fellow men. Believers, when glued together will always remain, a force to reckon with; in supple words, Holy Quran guides that believers must know that there is only strength in unity.
It is incumbent for believers to strive towards upholding of what is good for society and what is not! 'let there arise out of you, a band of people, inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they (believers) are the ones to attain felicity (III:104). It is significant to remember here that the 'invitation to good' and 'abhorrence to wrong' is to be exercised within the ambit of the methodology employed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the propagation of Islam. The merciful prophet invited by highest standards of personal excellence of character, we must remain cognizant of the fact that prophet acquired from the 'Makkans' the title of Al Amin and Al Sadiq; much before he proclaimed being a messenger. Hence for furthering a righteous society, believers within the meaning of this verse cannot resort to force; they are first and foremost called upon to use the power of inspiration, through their own good conduct and behavior.
For such believers, Allah says, 'on the day when some faces will be lit up with white' (III: 106) they will be in the light of Allah's mercy...' (III: 107). Believers are assured of receiving His mercy, only if their character pronounces the attributes of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in their everyday life. At another place in the Holy Quran, believers are mentioned as, 'in the case of those who say, 'our lord is Allah,' and further 'stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them..' (XLI: 30). The angels give the believers glad tidings of the Garden of Bliss and they (angels) say, 'We are your protectors, in this life and in the Hereafter, therein they shall have, all that your souls shall desire..' (XII:31), the later verse XII:32 confirms, ' A hospitable gift from One oft forgiving , Most Merciful.'
Believers are expected to disassociate and distinguish themselves from those who sit and ridicule religion, through unwarranted discussions. 'When thou seest men engaged in vain discourse about our signs, turn away from them unless they turn to a different theme' (VI: 68). This is an ordinance and duty is of immense significance, since the verse goes further to say, '...if Satan ever makes thee forget, then after recollections, sit not there in the company of those who do wrong' (VI:68). This commandment is straight and clear, believers must only choose the company of those who do and enjoin only that which is right. 'To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward...'(v:9).
For those believers who may have sinned, Allah assures them of forgiveness, 'O ye who believe turn to Allah with sincere repentance, in the hope that your Lord will remove your ills and admit you to the Garden...'(IXVI:8). Another major characteristic of a true believer is his Taqwa (Piety) or fear of Allah. The Quran mentions 'for believers are those who when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts'. (VIII:2). Such believers are regular in their prayers they spend freely from the bounties and gifts bestowed by Allah and put their entire trust in their Lord Almighty- 'such in truth are the believers, they have grades of dignity with their Lord and forgiveness.. (VIII:4). Amongst the believers, the Prophet established a code of brotherhood, this concept was of critical value in holding subordinate every mark of distinction relating to race, colour, creed etc. for it established that none is superior to other except on the basis of piety and God fearing element.
The Prophetic traditions and sayings relating to superior qualities of believers are several. In response to a question the Holy Prophet (PBUH) remarked, 'That you (a believer) provide food and extend greetings to one whom you know or do not know'. The Prophetic sayings are: 'He (believer) will not enter paradise, whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct'; 'the believer is the one from whose tongue and hands the believers are safe' and most significantly 'none of you believes truly till one likes for his brother that which he loves for himself' and 'he is not perfect believer, who goes to bed full and knows that is neighbour is hungry.'
Allah and His Messenger, have put upon us, to imbibe and infuse within our personalities, such traits of honour and nobility. Today and now, why is it that our hearts do not tremble and why is it that it does not bleed on seeing the distortion and distance between holding such values and practicing them. From the shores of Atlantic to Indonesia society, where 'believers' abound possessing the 'quality' that Allah and His Messenger have set! O! Allah guide us towards correction and rectitude!