The greatest treasure in the world that Allah gives to Muslims is iman. Without iman, we are not Muslim. Being Muslim is a gift from Allah that we did nothing to earn and can not be worthy of having. We can do nothing to give iman to someone else whom we love, or take it away from anyone we don’t like. Yet we are oftentimes so careless with this priceless gift of iman.
Our character as Muslims should be the best. In America, it has become a cultural pastime to publicly proclaim ourselves to be a victim or a survivor of something, so instead of nurturing the best qualities in ourselves, we frequently excuse and justify our shortcomings.
Salat is supposed to be the jewel of the day, each prayer glittering in pure, spiritual light-our closely guarded moments of connection to Allah. Yet too often we will regard salat as a inconvenience, an intrusion upon our work and play. We end up making several prayers at once or even squeezing in a prayer or two during the tv commericial breaks. We treat salat casually like an old favorite t-shirt, we won’t discard it, but it is forever stained, buried in the dirty clothes or lost under the bed.
Our other duties that should help keep us in remberance of Allah suffer as well. The discipline of Ramadan is lost in post-sunset gluttony. Hajj comes down the list of places to go somewhere after Disney World and before the Grand Canyon. Sadaqa is given grudgingly, almost fearfully-not wanting to come in contact with the poor-as if poverty were contagious.
We hold our iman so carelessly, not thinking that if we have little regard for iman, the greatest of gifts, we are in danger of ending up in the company of those whom Allah holds in little regard-punished in the grave, thrown into the fire on the day of Judgment.
Instead we should guard our iman as the treasure it truly is, nurturing our iman daily in remembrance of Allah and as we would nurture our own precious child. We are familiar with the rewards and joys of having children. The rewards Allah offers us are even greater.
But those of them who are firm in knowledge and the believers believe in that which is revealed unto thee, and that which was revealed before thee, especially the diligent in prayer and those who pay the poor-due, the believers in Allah and the Last Day. Upon these We shall bestow immense reward. (Quran 4:162)