We are excited to announce the release of a new series by our Tarbiyah Editor Sh Ali Hammuda, called ‘Sacred Truths’.
This article and video series will take you on a journey of universal principles from the Qur’an relating to the the trials and circumstances we face in our everyday lives.
Stay tuned for the release of episodes throughout the month—sign up here to get them sent straight to your inbox!
The sixth principle
An invaluable principle that, especially in times of confusion and prevalence of sin, endows the Muslim with a much-needed benchmark to measure beliefs and behaviours, trends and events.  Man, by his selfish nature, has a base inclination towards more than less, to the immediate over the delayed. This Quranic principle acts as a reality check and helps realign his evaluation of affairs towards the loftier sense of his nature reminding him, “Quantity, instant gratification and popularity are terribly crooked yardsticks when measuring right and wrong.” Consider the following examples of this principle in application:
Earnings from ḥalāl & ḥarām sources are not equal
To begin with, ponder over the effects of ḥalal earning. The Prophet ﷺ said,
مَنْ تَصَدَّقَ بعَدلِ تَمْرَةٍ مِنْ كَسْبٍ طَيِّبٍ، وَلاَ يَقْبَلُ اللهُ إِلاَّ الطَّيبَ، فَإنَّ اللهَ يَقْبَلُهَا بِيَمِينِهِ، ثُمَّ يُرَبِّيهَا لِصَاحِبِهَا كَمَا يُرَبِّي أحَدُكُمْ فَلُوَّهُ حَتَّى تَكُونَ مِثْلَ الجَبَلِ
“”He who gives in charity the value of a date from pure earnings (ṭayyib) – and Allah accepts only that which is pure – Allah accepts it with His Right Hand and fosters it for him, as one of you fosters his mare, until it becomes like a mountain in size.” 
Allah’s accepts and amplifies that which is small yet pure; these are the blessings reaped from a permissible earning. On the other hand, one may build an enormous place of worship but from impermissible earnings. As a result, Allah rejects it due to its source. So, can ḥalāl and ḥarām sources of income be compared?
The Prophet ﷺ said,
الرِّبا وإن كثُرَ فإنَّ عاقبتَه تصيرُ إلى قُلٍّ
“Even if interest is abundant, the outcome will always be a loss.” 
And the Prophet ﷺ said,
كلُّ جَسَدٍ نبتَ مِنْ سُحْتٍ فالنارُ أولَى بِهِ
Yes, forbidden sources of income may offer tempting returns, offering the user the fanciest of modern lifestyles. The perceptive Muslim however sees beyond it all, knowing that his charity will be rejected, his du’ā is undermined, his life will be miserable, and his Hereafter is at stake. Clearly, ‘good & evil are not equal, even if the abundance of evil might impress you.’
Dating & marriage are not equal
Which of the two is happier? Is it he who chases a secret relationship outside of wedlock under the cover of night to spend a short-lived moment of pleasure that is followed by excruciating guilt and piercing pain? They realise—as a Muslim—that the Prophet ﷺ had seen the fornicators suffering inside ovens within their graves. During their intimate moment, should someone knock on their door, they may both leap in fear as their conscience had already been keeping them on edge. Then, should she fall pregnant, it is further gloom, which, in many cases, is followed by abortion, a thing which only compounds gloom and deepens regret.
Is this person truly happy? Or is it the one who distances himself from the forbidden, finding strength in ṣalāh, du’ā, Qur’ān, sacred knowledge, the masjid, and good companionship, patiently awaiting the arrival of that righteous spouse whom he/she marries openly? During their wedding, families are happy, gifts are offered, smiles are exchanged, and happiness is abundant. Later on, should they be intimate with one another, their consciences are at peace, and should someone knock on their door they remain unfazed in the least. Then, should she become pregnant, their happiness is multiplied due to the prospect of children who will be an extension of their Islamic legacy. When the baby is born, an ‘aqīqa feast is arranged, and—once again—families gather in joy, gifts are offered, smiles are exchanged, and happiness abounds. Which of the two are happier?
Yes, it may be true that those who are in extra-marital relationships outnumber those in married ones, and yes, those marriages that go through have shaky patches outnumber those that do not. But are they equal? Clearly, ‘good & evil are not equal, even if the abundance of evil might impress you.’
The life of sin verses the life of repentance
One of our predecessors said:
إنه ليمر بي أوقات أقول فيها إن كان أهلُ الجنة في مثل هذا إنهم لفي عيش طيب
“There are some moments my heart experiences during which I say to myself, ‘If the people of paradise are experiencing what I’m experiencing then they’re living a good life.’”
Can this “good life”—as Allah described it in the Qur’ān—be compared to its dark opposite: the life of being distant from Allah?
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكًا
“But whosoever turns away from My reminder then for him is a life of hardship.”
Are these two lives the same? Indeed, those who spend their nights in immersed in sin are, perhaps, far more than those who pass their nights prayer, weeping and yearning for their Lord. The lifestyles of the former are heavily promoted whilst that of the latter are mocked. But the question stands: are they equal? ‘Good & evil are not equal, even if the abundance of evil might impress you.’
Using the above as examples, apply this rule to everything that Allah has made permissible against its impermissible form. When weighing up a financial transaction, do not limit your assessment to “how much” but give greaterconsideration to “how pure” When choosing friends, the priority is never “how many” or “how popular” but “whofrom the many” and “how pious”. When considering the options with ones free time, the question is not “what are other people doing?” but “what should I be doing?” When your resolve is now to adopt the ḥijāb, cast aside the “what’s trending?” and replace it with the “what’s required?”
This is a principle that nurtures the believer to observe life through the lens of the Hereafter, causing him to crave what is good and pure, even if it is little, whilst abhorring the impure, even if it is colossal. What helps the Muslim develop this perception is his knowledge of the eventual fate of the ‘glittering’ khabīth (impure).
وَيَجْعَلَ الْخَبِيثَ بَعْضَهُ عَلَى بَعْضٍ فَيَرْكُمَهُ جَمِيعًا فَيَجْعَلَهُ فِي جَهَنَّمَ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُون
“He will put the impure, one on top of the other, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. It is they who are the losers.”
However, Allah is Shakūr (Most appreciative), and so a person who lives his life assessing every one of his actions according to this āyah, patiently opting for the ṭayyib (good and pure) every time over its khabīth (impure) form until the day he dies will not be left empty handed. Rather, Allah has promised such a person a series of rewards…
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً
“Whoever does good, whether male or female, whilst he is a believer, We will surely cause him to live a happy (ṭayyib) life."
High spirits, the best of moods, peace of mind, clarity of purpose, purity of conscience, Paradise on Earth!
“They are the ones whom the angels take in death, being ṭayyibīn (good and pure); the angels will say, "Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do."
Their souls will be claimed in a pure (ṭayyib) state, a gentle extraction of the soul. They will be confident in what awaits them and they will be thrilled with the prospect of finally meeting their Lord.
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
“Allah has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and goodly (ṭayyiba) mansions in gardens of perpetual residence; but the greatest bliss is Allah’s acceptance. That is the supreme success.”
In conclusion, it can, at times, be very difficult to see the khabīth for what it is because of its magnitude, popularity, glamour, accessibility, and dominance in culture. Only those of understanding, wisdom, and patience will be able to make the right decision and see through its glittering outer layer, even if they are in the minority. It is not easy, and perhaps therefore the āyah ends with:
فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“… so fear Allah, O people of understanding, that you may be successful.”
 Al-Qur’an, 5:100
 Bukhārī and Muslim, on the authority of Abu Hurayra
 Aḥmad, on the authority of Ibn Mas’ūd
 Al-Dārimī, on the authority of Jābir
 Majmūʿ Rasā’il Ibn Rajab
 Al-Qur’ān, 20:124
 Al-Qur’ān, 8:37
 Al-Qur’ān, 16:97
 Al-Qur’ān, 16:32
 Al-Qur’ān, 9:72