The Burden of a Muslim
Question: There is so much to know about Islam. How can I possibly learn everything to teach my children? How can I know what is right or wrong in the name of Allah, the All-Knowing? It makes me very sad that people don’t know about so many different small and big things in life.
In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, May Allāh blessings and peace be upon His Messenger.
Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear, as said in the Qur’an:
“On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.”[Al-Baqarah, 2:286]
If you study all those things said in the Qur’an and the hadith, along with all the explanations, interpretations, details of law, jurisprudence and so on and so forth, you will be one of the greatest scholars the world has ever seen.
Once you understand the fundamental principles of Islam and the practical aspects of religious duties, everything else follows naturally. But you may have doubts in certain circumstances, whether some particular thing is proper from the Islamic point of view or not. In such cases, you need to consult someone you know to be knowledgeable, that is all.
Understand that Allah will not do even an atom’s weight of injustice. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“.. I do not the least injustice to My servants.”[Surah 5:29]
“And the Book [of deeds] will be placed [before you]; and you will see the sinful in great terror because of what is [recorded] therein; they will say: "Ah! Woe to us! What a Book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof!" They will find all that they did, place before them: And not one wills your Lord treat with injustice.”[Surah Kahf,18:49]
Allah is Just and Merciful at the same time. He knows what you reveal and what you hide. He knows your strength and weakness; he knows the circumstances which compel you to fall into error. He will not punish for your errors, unless you are really responsible for such actions.
The Qur’an says Allah repeatedly, is Forgiving and Merciful. He never punishes any one for the things they do unknowingly, unwittingly.
Allah does not look at your external beauty or appearance, or into your wealth. He looks into your hearts and your actions. Or, rather He checks your actions and the intents behind the actions. It is on the basis of the intention behind the action, that every action is judged.
The foregoing means that in most cases you simply follow the dictates of your commonsense, the reason that Allah has given you. In cases where you are doubtful, you ask the opinion of someone who can help you in the matter.
But, spend a part of your time for study too. The rest is with Allah. Depend on Him and pray to Him for forgiveness, for guidance.
Of course you must have a desire to do good and avoid evil, a desire to obey Allah, and not to obey the Devil. That is all you have to do.
Allah Almighty knows best.
[Excerpted with minor modification from QA published in Islam Online -- Ask About Islam, 11Aug 2003.]