The Foundations And Concepts of Islam
O you man! The wise person loves lofty matters and abhors debased ones. He loves to emulate every righteous and magnanimous among the Prophets and pious people and yearns to join them even if he cannot reach their status. The only way to that is what Allaah directs us to when He says,
"If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (Muhammad) Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins."
If man can do this, Allaah will make him join the rank of the Prophets, the Messengers, the Martyrs and righteous people. Allaah says,
"And whosoever obeys Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace of the Prophets, the Siddiqqeen, the Martyrs and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!"
O you man! I advise you that you go into a seclusion with yourself and think deeply of the truth that has come to you reflect over the proofs and evidences; if you find it to be truth hasten to follow it and do not be a slave of customs and traditions. Know that your own soul is dearer to you than your friends, companions and heritage of your fore-fathers. Allaah has admonished the disbelievers with this and called them to it. He says,
"I exhort you to one (thing) only; that you stand up for Allaah's sake in pairs and singly and reflect. There is no madness in you companion (Muhammad). He is only a warner to you in face of a severe torment."
O man! When you accept Islaam, you stand to lose nothing. Allaah says,
"And what loss have they if they had believed in Allaah and the Last Day and they spend out of what Allaah has given them for sustenance? And Allaah is Ever All-Knower of them."
Ibn Katheer said, "What would have harmed them had they believed in Allaah, followed the praiseworthy way, believed in Allaah hoping for His promise in the Hereafter for him who did good deeds and spent out of what He has given them in ways which He loves and is pleased with? He knows their good and evil intentions; he knows who deserved success among them so that He might give him success and show him guidance and appoint him for good deeds with which he is pleased. He also knows who deserves disgrace and expulsion from His Divine Affection which whoever is expelled from the door of Allaah has failed and lost in this world and the Hereafter."
Your Islaam does not stand between you and anything that you want to do or to have among the things that Allaah has made lawful for you. Rather, you will be rewarded for any good deed you do in which you seek the pleasure of Allaah even if that is in the interest of your worldly life or increases your wealth or portion or fame. Even the lawful things that you use, when you make do with only the lawful and abstain from unlawful, you will be rewarded for that. The Messenger of Allaah said, "There is an act of charity in satiating your sexual desire." The companions said, "O Messenger of Allaah! Will anyone of us satiate his desire and still get reward for that?" He answered, "Tell me, if he satiates it in an unlawful way, will he be committing a sin by that? Likewise, if he satiates it in the lawful way, he will have reward for that."