I have two questions:
1.Now days we live in very difficult times where we do not have the prophet sallah lahu alaihi wassalam with us to inspire us and motivate us. Everywhere we turn or look there is haram, it is a constant struggle. From lowering the gaze to not listening to haram to trying to raise pious children. Is there any special reward or mention in the Quran or Hadith about people in our generation being rewarded for our efforts? It really is very hard and a constant battle. When I read about the past pious people although I get motivated I get sad because I know we will never even get close to 1% of what they did. It almost feels like just staying away from the haram is hard enough let alone striving to do extra good beyond the Fard.
2) Is there any special reward for loving and following the prophet sallah lahu alaihi wassalam even though we never met him or saw him and the fact that we have been chosen by Allah to be part of his ummah?
Inshallah your answer will motivate me and others who read your website.
May allah reward you all with Jannatul firdaws for your efforts, ameen.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Your concern is admirable. In today’s time when fitna is rampant, indeed it is challenging for a Muslim to abstain from sin. However, don’t let this concern steal your peace of mind, joy and motivation. The fact that you desire to safeguard yourself from sin is in itself a clear manifestation of Allah’s favour upon you.
As humans, we are prone to mistakes. It goes without saying that when the social surrounding offers us with something which is pleasing to the nafs, we, because of our innate nature are inclined towards wrong. We fall short, become side-tracked, as well as adapt and conform to our social surrounding and we let sin get in the way of what we ultimately want to achieve. However, as long we are willing to correct ourselves, these missteps won’t harm us. Rather, it will be a lesson one may learn from. The hardships that we face with fortitudein order to save ourselves from wrong do not go unnoticed by Allah. Rather, Allah is well aware and will be a means of reward for the life hereafter. In fact, the harder it becomes to abstain from sin, the more reward one receives and the closer one gets to Allah Ta’ala.
Consider the following narration:
إِنَّكُمْ فِي زَمَانٍ مَنْ تَرَكَ مِنْكُمْ عُشْرَ مَا أُمِرَ بِهِ هَلَكَ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي زَمَانٌ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْهُمْ بِعُشْرِ مَا أُمِرَ بِهِ نَجَا (سنن الترمذي: 2267)
Translation:“Verily, you are in a time when one who leaves a tenth of what he has been commanded is ruined. Then, there will be a time in which one who practices a tenth of what he has been commanded shall be saved.(Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: 2267)
From the aforementioned hadith, one can understand that the standard of those that came after the time of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is lower than that during his era.
As Muslims today, our duty is to do our utmost to follow the footsteps of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), the sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and the pious predecessors, though it may not be equal. One must not worry and lose confidence in not being able to reach their level, as Allah has only obliged us to make the effort in trying to be like them. So long as one strives to be like them, we can hope to be united with them in the hereafter. We must never become despondent of Allah. Allah rewardsevery individual according to the effort and sacrifice he makes. Allah Ta’ala says:
وَأَنَّسَعْيَهُسَوْفَيُرَىٰ (40) ثُمَّيُجْزَاهُالْجَزَاءَالْأَوْفَىٰ (41)
Translation: And that his effort is going to be seen. Then he will be recompensed for it with the fullest recompense. (Surah Al-Najm: 40-41)
Along with making utmost effort in abstaining from sin, one must also continuously strive in order to do good. Although one may fall short in doing so, it is hoped Allah will still reward him. Not only does Allah multiply one’s reward for his efforts, rather even if one simply had the intention of doing good but due to any reason he is unable to do so, Allah will reward him.
You alsoenquireis there any special reward for loving and following the prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) even though we never met him or saw him?
Consider the following hadith:
عَنْأَنَسِبْنِمَالِكٍقَالَ: قَالَرَسُولُاللهِصَلَّىاللهُعَلَيْهِوَسَلَّمَ:”وَدِدْتُ أَنِّي لَقِيتُ إِخْوَانِي، قَالَ: فَقَالَ أَصْحَابُ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: أَوَلَيْسَ نَحْنُ إِخْوَانَكَ؟ قَالَ: ” أَنْتُمْ أَصْحَابِي، وَلَكِنْ إِخْوَانِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِي وَلَمْ يَرَوْنِي” (مسندالإمامأحمدبنحنبل: 12579)
Translation:Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I wish I could meet my brothers.” The Prophet’s companions said, “Are we not your brothers?” The Prophet said, “You are my companions, but my brothers are those who have faith in me although they never saw me.”(Musnad Al-Imam Ahmad: 12579)
We can gauge from the aforementioned hadith the status and the love Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) held for us i.e. those who believe in him despite not having seen him.
We advise you to obtain a copy of Qaseedah Burdah by my honourable teacher, Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb Hafizahullah, for spiritual revival and motivation. You may also access it via the following link: https://daruliftaa.net/qaseeda-burdah/