*Note – this is an excerpt from The Prophet’s Pulpit: Commentaries on the State of Islam

In this article, we will explore the significance of the expression “hasanat” for modern Muslims and reflect upon the universal nature of goodness. We will also delve into the importance of perseverance and patience in Islam and how they are connected to one’s relationship with God. Additionally, we will discuss the role of parents in instilling these values in their children, especially in the face of Islamophobia and bigotry.

I wish modern Muslims would reflect upon that one expression: hasanat.

Goodness is universal. All human beings smile. All respond to kindness and love. All respond to compassion and joy. We do not need sophisticated dogma and philosophy to understand the nature of goodness that should flow from our relationship with the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. How can someone claim to have a relationship with the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful and not be compassionate and merciful themselves? There is something broken there. If you want to test the state of your faith, look at yourself through the eyes of those who know you. Do they know you as a loving, compassionate, and merciful human being? Do you reflect the ethics that come from your Lord? Persevere because God does not waste good deeds.

Persevere because God knows that to focus and concentrate in prayer is difficult. Persevere because God knows if and when you want to quickly finish your prayers and run off to the next thing. Persevere because God knows that this temporal world runs at an alarming rate that is not compatible with human psychology. Persevere because God knows that many around you will attempt to distract you from the path of your Lord. Persevere because God knows that there are periods in history of raging hardship and genocide in which the average Muslim is tested, and says, “Where is my Lord?” Persevere because God knows there will be many pretenders who claim to know the Lord, but who act in cruel and ugly ways. For all these reasons:

Persevere with patience. God does not waste the results of good deeds. (Q 11:115)

Ultimately, in Surah Hud, the Qur’an ends with a proclamation and a reminder from God:

And thy Lord would never destroy the towns unjustly, while their people were reforming. (SQ 11:117)

God does not allow people, cities, countries, and nations to deteriorate and be swept away other than by their own injustice. God’s law of creation is that justice brings goodness and blessings, and injustice destroys a people. This is why we need patience and perseverance. We need to teach this to our children so that they do not despair and have doubts about the faith and their relationship with God. If you teach them the nature of patience and perseverance, and they see you as an example of this, you will affirm in them an unwavering belief in goodness and beauty. They will follow you. They will emulate you. They will do as you do. So, be an example to your children. Especially at this time, as Muslims in the West are tested by Islamophobia, hatred, and bigotry. Your children confront it every single day they go to school or college. They have nothing, and you have nothing, other than your relationship with the Lord.

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