A true Muslim is “One who loves for the sake of Allah alone and hates for the sake of Allah alone; and whatever he gives for the sake of Allah alone; and whatever he withholds, withhold for the sake of Allah alone, indeed, he perfects his Imãn.” (Abu Dã’wood).
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) explains that to be a true believer ones love and enmity, affections, relations and transactions should have only one purpose; to seek Allah’s pleasure. Without this one’s Imãn will not be complete. The greater the deficiency in this respect, the more defective the Imãn.
Supreme Loyalty to Allah
Even today we see that only those are considered real and true followers of a creed or ideology who are loyal to it with their heart and soul. Every creed in the world desires such adherents and no creed can prevail in the world except through such followers. However, there is a difference between Islãm and other creeds and ideologies. Although others demand from men total loyalty and dedication, they in fact have no such right upon him, their claims are entirely unjustified.
But Allah, for whom Islãm demands the sacrifice of life has a right upon us. Everything must be given in this way, for whatever exists in the heaven and on earth belongs to Allah. Man himself and 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 is made for Allah is in reality a payment of what is due.
Where Do We Stand?
Let us examine our lives by the crucial criteria, of Imãn and Islãm as laid down by the Noble Qur’ãn and the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
If we claim that we have accepted Islãm, have we oriented our living and our dying towards Allah only? Are we living for this cause alone? Are our hearts and minds, our bodies and souls, our time and efforts devoted to the fulfillment of Allah’s wishes?
Have we made our likes and dislikes totally subordinate to the wishes of Allah? If we love anyone is it really for the sake of Allah? If we dislike anyone, is that too for the sake of Allah? Do we give and withhold only for the sake of Allah? Are we spending on ourselves and giving wealth to other people, or withholding the same because that is what Allah wants? Is our motive nothing but to gain the pleasure of Allah?
If we find such a state of faith and submission within ourselves, we should thank Allah that He has bestowed upon us the blessing of Imãn in its fullness. And if we feel any deficiency, we must give up every other concern and worry and concentrate wholly on remedying this deficiency. For on its removal depends our well being in this world as well as success in the Hereafter.
Do not use this criterion to test or judge others and determine whether they are Muslims or hypocrites of Kãfirs; use it only to judge ourselves and if we detect any deficiency, try to remove it before we meet Allah.