Supreme loyalty to Allah
This is not a phenomenon peculiar to Islam. In fact, no way of life can ever prevail in this world if its followers accord their faith and commitment a subordinate position in their lives. Or, if they live and die for causes other than their faith.
We see even today that only those are considered real and true followers of a creed or ideology who are loyal to it with their hearts and souls. Every creed in the world desires such adherents and no creed can prevail in the world except though such followers.
However, there is an important difference between Islam and other creeds and ideologies. Although others demand from men total loyalty and dedication, the y in fact have no such right upon him, their claims are entirely unjustified. The objects they place before men are not the kind of objects for which a human being should sacrifice anything. But the God for whom Islam demands the sacrifice of life has a right upon us.
Everything must be given in His way, for whatever exists in heaven and on earth belongs to Allah. Man himself, whatever he possesses, and whatever lies within him, all belong to Allah. It is therefore in perfect harmony with justice as well as reason that whatever belongs to Allah must be reserved only for Him.
Whatever sacrifice man makes for others or for his own benefit or to gratify his desire is indeed a breach of trust unless it is with the permission of Allah. And whatever sacrifice is made for Allah is in reality a payment of what is due.
But, one lesson Muslims must learn from those who are sacrificing everything for the sake of their false ideologies and false gods; how strange it is that, while such unimaginable dedication, sacrifice and fidelity is being shown for the false gods, not even a thousandth part of it is shown for the True God by those who profess faith in them.
Where do we stand?
Let us examine our lives by the crucial criteria of Iman and Islam as laid down by the Quran and the Prophet, blessing and peace be on him.
If you claim that you have accepted Islam, have you oriented your living and your dying towards God only? Are you living for His cause alone? Are your hearts and minds, your bodies and souls, your time and efforts, being devoted to the fulfilment of Allah’s wishes? Is that mission being accomplished through you which He wants to be fulfilled by the Muslim Ummah? And again, do you obey and serve only God? Have you eliminated from your lives subservience to selfish desires and obedience to family, brotherhood, friends, society and state?
Have you made your likes and dislikes totally subordinate to wishes of Allah? If you love somebody, is it really for the sake of Allah? If you dislike somebody, is that too for the sake of Allah? Is no element of selfishness involved in this? Do you give and withhold only for the sake of God? Are you spending on your own selves and giving wealth to other people, or withholding the same, because that is what God wants? Is your motive nothing but to gain His pleasure?
If you find such a state of faith and submission within yourself, you should thank God that He has bestowed upon you the blessing of Iman in its fullness. And if you feel any deficiency, you must give up every other concern and worry and concentrate wholly on remedying this deficiency.
For on its removal depends your well-being in this world as well as your success in the Hereafter. Whatever success you may enjoy in the present life will not compensate you for the loss you will suffer in the Hereafter due to this deficiency. But if you make up for this deficiency, even if you gain nothing in this world, you will benefit immensely in the life to come.
Do not use this criterion to test or judge others and determine whether they are Mu’mins or hypocrites and Muslims or Kafirs; use it only to judge your own selves and, if detect any deficiency, try to remove it before you meet Allah. How a mufti (religious jurist) or a court judges you should be at least concern to you; it is only the judgement of the Supreme Ruler and Knower of the seen and unseen which matters. Do not become happy merely on seeing your names registered as Muslims, but remain anxious about how and where your names are entered in the Register of God.
Real success consists in your being judges as Mu’mins and not hypocrites, obedient and not disobedient, faithful and not unfaithful, by that God who is the final Judge.
Source: Let Us Be Muslims by Abul ‘Ala Maududi, edited by Khurram Murad.