Islamic law services to order our lives in this world and give us discipline. It also helps balance our lives in various areas, including family relationships as well as keeping us away from harmful activities or substances, like drinking alcohol.
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! In Islam, the effects of good deeds and bad deeds don't only happen in the Hereafter only. The good deeds that Allah asks us to do in this world and the bad deeds He asks us to refrain from also benefit us in this world.
In this lesson, we will look at some good and bad actions in Islam that directly affect our material lives in this world.
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Everything we do in this world, every action we undertake inevitably affects our souls. Directly or indirectly, these actions play a role in our salvation. The purpose of our lives is to worship Allah.
The Qur’an says:
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me
(Chapter 51, verse 56 of the Holy Qur’an)
This verse does not mean that the reason Allah created us was to have people worship Him, it means that the goal of our life in this world is to worship Allah. In other words, the goal of our lives is not simply believing that God exists, but it is to have a good relationship with Him.
As Allah is our Creator and Nurturer, He also wants us to live good lives in this world. A good life does not necessarily mean a life of luxury, but it does mean a life of dignity and honor. These are characteristics which either poor or rich can assume. Living a dignified and honorable life requires a certain degree of harmony in all aspects of our lives and in all our relationships.
Let’s take a look at some examples where Islamic law betters our life in this world:
Marriage is one of the foundations of faith in Islam. It is highly encouraged, and if one is prone to sinning, it becomes obligatory. The Prophet Muhammad (s) taught us that marriage is half of our faith. It is half of our faith for multiple reasons. For one, it prevents fornication which is an act that pollutes the human heart and soul.
It is also half of faith for it forces us to learn patience. Patience, as Imam Ali (as) once said, is the “head” of faith or īmān. With patience we are better able to tolerate the adversities of this world and thus grow closer to Allah.
Marriage also has worldly benefits.
One of the worst calamities to befall humans is a life of loneliness. There is only so much we can do with friends for in the end, they go back to their homes and we go back to ours.
Marriage on the other hand, if managed properly, can make us happier in life and make us live longer. According to various studies done on marriage, people who are happily married live 15 years longer than single people!!
Having children is not an easy thing. Islam encourages procreation and having offspring. Islam teaches us that our righteous children will intercede on our behalf on the Day of Judgment and possibly save us from total damnation.
However, children also have worldly benefits.
All young people will one day grow old. One of the greatest difficulties that the senior generations are currently facing at the moment is the crisis of loneliness. Many elderly people are forced into nursing homes or live alone in their homes. They seldom meet people and converse with them.
The government may provide us with financial and medical help, but they can’t remedy our social needs. Having children is helpful in that one day they will hopefully grow up to take care of us when we are old just like we took care of them when they were young. It means that we may be surrounded by family in old age and continue to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Not Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol is completely forbidden in Islam. The Qur’an teaches us that alcohol makes us more susceptible to Shaytān, forgetting Allah and committing immoral deeds. In short, alcohol, a ritually impure substance, pollutes our souls and endangers our salvation in the Hereafter.
However, alcohol also has many bad effects in this world as well. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 2.5 million people die because of alcohol related illness and injury. Nearly 4% of deaths worldwide are related to alcohol.
But this is just talking about deaths. There are countless people who are abused daily by family members because of alcoholism. Countless people make life changing mistakes because of alcohol and unfortunately, they have to live with their consequences for the rest of their lives.
An important point must be made regarding all of these examples. A big mistake that Muslims often make is that they think the social and worldly elements of obligations and prohibitions are the primary reasons for Allah’s divine commands. This is completely false.
The primary reason is always the salvation of humans in the Hereafter. It is the saving of souls through obedience to Allah. We perform deeds because we want to obey Allah and thereby establish a good relationship with Him.
Although the worldly benefits of Allah’s commands concerning good deeds and bad deeds are important in themselves and benefit us in this world, they are not primary. This is important to keep in mind as not all examples of Allah’s commands have clear cut and direct benefits in this world that everyone can see and understand. It's not that Allah doesn't have reasons, its just that our knowledge is limited!
Also, look at it this way. Our understanding of their negative or positive worldly benefits also change over time. For example, how many contradictory studies have you seen concerning the so called benefits or harms of wine? If we were to solely depend on that, then Islamic law would have to change every time a new medical article about alcohol is published!
So make sure to always see the spiritual and Afterworldly effects of good deeds and bad deeds in Islam as primary. There are benefits to these rulings in this world, but they are not the primary cause of them!
Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh
Can we abstain from making a choice in religion?
Abstaining is itself a form of choice
Does Islamic law only benefit us in the Hereafter?
No, it also benefits us in this world
What are some of the benefits of Islamic law in this world?
Our mental wellbeing, family cohesion and giving us discipline
What is the purpose of Islamic law?
It is to discipline our lives and make sure that all we do is in accordance with God’s will.
Who are the best sources for Islamic law?
Our Marjas, that is, experts in Islamic law
The Philosophy of Islamic Law by Nasser Makarem Shirazi