Genuine Effort


Just a few days back I was reading an article on repentance. While casually checking out the comments that followed I came across one that really had me thinking. The individual would use a credit card to pay the rent of his apartment. Normally credit cards have interest on them but it has to be paid only if one fails to pay the bills on time. Due to some financial difficulties that came his way he was compelled to pay interest on the credit card he possessed. You must know that paying, taking or dealing with interest is prohibited in Islam and is considered a major sin. The man realized this late but he did what most of us fail to do. Any guesses? Well, he immediately stopped using his card. He still was in need of money and he obviously didn’t discover any hidden treasure, nevertheless, he did stop. He didn’t want to go against the command of Allah (swt) in order to pay them off. Despite the grave situation he had gotten into, he took a bold decision. He was extremely ashamed of his act and turned to Allah for forgiveness and guidance. This is what he said, “I want to repent to Allah. I could die before this happens. Death comes unannounced.”

Just look at the unwavering concern of this believer. Normally, this is not what happens.

Credit cards.

Possessing one is a matter of pride. It makes you feel proud. It makes you feel rich. You feel as if you have the key to your happiness; you can purchase anything and everything you want to without worrying about how much it costs. Be it those extravagant designer outfits or the latest phones or the lavish furniture, every single thing is just a swipe away. Now it is quite obvious that it’s not just greed that drives people to issue a credit card, rather in most cases it’s their need that tempts them into getting one. But you must know that there is no greater need than gaining our Lord’s approval and pleasure. Surely we’re not sent on this earth to just somehow manage to survive?

What each one of us should possess is the sincerity exemplified by our fellow Muslim here. He is being exceptionally true to himself, yes, his sincerity will solely benefit him. I and you will not gain anything through his repentance. All the reward that awaits this genuine effort of his is only for him. In the same vein, if you repent for the sins you’ve committed, it will only benefit you.

Prohibition of interest (usury/riba) in the Quran: “Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitan (Satan) leading him to insanity…” (2:275)

“…Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest.” (2:275)

There are various hadith that exactly describe the punishment of those who deal in interest. This following for instance:

Al-Bukhari recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said in the long Hadith about the dream that the Prophet had, (We reached a river -the narrator said, “I thought he said that the river was as red as blood”- and found that a man was swimming in the river, and on its bank there was another man standing with a large collection of stones next to him. The man in the river would swim, then come to the man who had collected the stones and open his mouth, and the other man would throw a stone in his mouth.)

The explanation of this dream was that the person in the river was one who consumed Riba. (Tafsir ibn Kathir)

If you are using a credit card or are dealing in any other form of riba (home loans, life insurance) then stop immediately and repent to Allah. This applies to any sin that you commit. Never think that you have enough time to repent and easily postpone it to a later date, because as simple as it sounds you really can’t tell.

With the blessed month of Ramadan just around the corner by Allah’s grace, don’t you think it’s about time you make genuine efforts to assess your deeds and try to better your soul?

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