Six of the Means that lead to Firmness in the Religion (Thabāt): “Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in the life of this world, and in the Hereafter.”
In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.
It is important that Muslims in this time especially learn the means that will enable them to remain firm upon their Religion—that is because they are faced with tribulations and trials from every direction—and especially the youth. Trials that cause them to doubt the Sunnah or doubt the truth of Islām—or trials that lead them to sins and disobedience of Allah and His Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam)—or trials that lead them to despair of the mercy of Allah and they lose hope in life and living—many have suicidal thoughts, inflict self-harm or become addicted to prescription drugs to “cope” with anxiety and depression.
These afflictions have become widespread in this age of social media, chasing the world, heightened peer pressure, and seeking to please the crowd. So, this is the age of The Strangers (al-ghurabā)! Those who remain firm and steadfast while everything around them falls apart! It is reported from Abu Hurairah from Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam):
بَدَأَ الإِسْلاَمُ غَرِيبًا وَسَيَعُودُ كَمَا بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ
“Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being strange just at it began so glad-tidings (of Paradise) is for the Strangers.”
Tirmidhi (no. 2630) reported from Katheer bin ʿAbdillāh from his father from his grandfather that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said:
فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ الَّذِينَ يُصْلِحُونَ مَا أَفْسَدَ النَّاسُ مِنْ بَعْدِي مِنْ سُنَّتِي
“Toobā (glad-tidings of Paradise) is for the Strangers―those who rectify what the people have corrupted of my Sunnah.”
So, among the means that will bring about firmness (thabāt) in our Religion and protect us from weakness in Imān are the following:
ONE: To learn the Religion and act upon what you know—that is to study the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam), his Seerah, the path of the Sahābah, their life-stories, and those who followed them from the Salaf—and they are the Jamāʿah.
Whoever follows their Path is guided and whoever opposes them is destroyed. the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “I have left among two affairs, if you hold on to them, you will never go astray: the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.” Imām Mālik Ibn Anas (d. 179 H, rahimahullāh) said: “The latter part of this Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified its first part.” And He (rahimahullāh) said: “The Sunnah is like the Ark of Noah, who embarked upon it was saved, and whoever refuses was drowned.” The Path of the Sahābah and Salaf, that is the Sabeelul-Mu’mineen and whoever is shown it and then strays from it is destroyed in this life and in the Hereafter.
TWO: To have true Imān (Faith) in Allah and to perform righteous deeds, taking the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) as our example. Allah (the Most High) said in His Book:
يُثَبِّتُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا بِٱلْقَوْلِ ٱلثَّابِتِ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ ۖ وَيُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ ۚ وَيَفْعَلُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ ٢٧
“Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in the life of this world, and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause to go astray those who are the wrongdoers—and Allah does whatever He wills.” (Ibrāheem: 27)
Qatādah (rahimahullāh) said: “As for the life of this world, Allah will keep them firm with goodness and with righteous deeds—and in the Hereafter with firmness in the grave.” This is when they are questioned in it. Ibn Katheer explained that it refers to the questioning in the grave when the angels Munkar and Nakeer question the dead: “Who is your Lord? What is your Religion? What do you say about this man who was sent to you?” The one who was firm upon Imān and performed righteous deeds in the life of this world will be firm in answering the questions in his grave. He will say: “My Lord is Allah. My Religion is Islam. This man Muhammad was the Messenger of Allah—he came to us with clear signs and we believed in him.”
The hypocrites, and those who did not believe in him, or in his message will not be granted firmness and they will not be able to answer—they are those who worshipped idols, worshipped Christ, worshipped the cross, followed the religions of Atheism and Darwinism, those who worshipped at the church of LGBTQ+ and took that as their religion, making halāl what Allah had made harām—those among them who deny the verses of the Qur’an and the hadeeth of the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam).
The Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) was constant in performing righteous deeds and he would encourage his Companions with the same even if they were small, yet constant. They would pray their five daily prayers without fail, they would fast the optional fasts sometimes and leave off fasting sometimes, they would be good to their wives and children, be kind to their parents and serve them in their old age, they would give charity to the poor, make dhikr of Allah and seek forgiveness many times a day, they would pray in the night even if it was just a few rakʿahs, they would be good to their neighbours, they would recite the Book of Allah, and seek the company of the pious, and so on. So, these are some of the righteous deeds that each and every one of us can also do throughout our days and nights.
THREE: Keeping away from sins through the company of the righteous among the people of Sunnah and piety. In the company of the righteous, you will be busy with good and not be diverted by Shaytān. Shaytān prefers the lone believer who abandons the company of the pious, so he draws him into sin just like the lone sheep that is taken by the wolf. The Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said:
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ ذِئْبُ الْإِنْسَانِ كَذِئْبِ الْغَنَمِ يَأْخُذُ الشَّاةَ الْقَاصِيَةَ وَالنَّاحِيَةَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالشِّعَابَ وَعَلَيْكُمْ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ وَالْعَامَّةِ
“Verily, the Shaytān is like a wolf among people—he seizes the lone sheep that wanders and strays away from the flock—so, beware of wandering into the mountain passes—instead cling to the Jamāʿah and cling to the community.”
Qatādah Ibn Diʿāmah (d. 118 H) said: “By Allāh, we have not seen a man except that he keeps companionship with people who are like him and resemble him—so keep company with the righteous from Allah’s servants so that you can be with them or like them.” Al-Aʿmash (d. 148 H) also from the Tābiʿeen said: “They (the Salaf) would not ask anything about a person beyond three questions: Who he walks with, who he enters upon and who among the people does he take as friends.”
And the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said:
مَا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ فِي قَرْيَةٍ وَلَا بَدْوٍ لَا تُقَامُ فِيهِمْ الصَّلَاةُ إِلَّا قَدْ اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمْ الشَّيْطَانُ فَعَلَيْكَ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ فَإِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُ الذِّئْبُ الْقَاصِيَةَ
“If there are three men in a village or in the desert who do not establish the Prayer together among themselves, then the Shaytān has overcome them. So, upon you is the Jamāʿah, for the wolf devours the lone sheep.”
Likewise, we should be resolute in keeping away from what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited—and that we nurture our wives and children upon that. Abu Dharr (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) advised me with nine affairs:
(1) ‘Do not commit shirk with Allāh even if you are cut to pieces or burned alive;
(2) never deliberately abandon the obligatory Prayers—whoever abandons them deliberately has lost Allāh’s protection;
(3) do not drink alcohol because it is the key to every evil;
(4) obey your parents—and if they command you to spend on them from your worldly possessions, then spend on them;
(5) do not contend with the rulers even if you think you are more worthy;
(6) do not flee from the battlefield even if you are killed and your companions run away;
(7) spend from your wealth on your family;
(8) and do not cease to discipline them:
(9) and instil in them the fear of Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic.’”
FOUR: Make duʿā to Allah to protect your heart from misguidance and take the path to salvation by clinging to the Path of the Salaf. This is the way of those firmly grounded in knowledge, the Imāms of guidance and piety. Allah (the Most High) says about them:
وَٱلرَّٰسِخُونَ فِى ٱلْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّآ أُولُوا ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ ٧
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْوَهَّابُ ٨
“And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: ‘We believe in it (the Book) the whole of it is from our Lord.’ And none receive admonition except men of understanding [who say], ‘Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us—and grant us mercy from Yourself, truly, You are the Bestower.’” (Aali ʿImrān: 7-8)
We ask Allah to grant us firm hearts and steadfastness upon the Sunnah. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) would often make duʿā (supplication) saying:
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
“O You who turns the hearts, establish my heart upon your religion.”
FIVE: Spread this Religion, invite people to worship Allah, obey Him and obey His Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam). This was the task of the Messengers and those who followed them. Begin with your families, your relatives, your friends and neighbours. Daʿwah is done through words, through deeds and by example. Make sure that your deeds and example do not contradict the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam). Allah (the Most High) commanded the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam):
قُلْ هَـٰذِهِۦ سَبِيلِىٓ أَدْعُوٓا إِلَى ٱللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا۠ وَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَنِى ۖ وَسُبْحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ ١٠٨
“Say, ‘This is my path. I invite to Allāh with sure-sighted knowledge, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allāh—and I am not of the polytheists’” (Yoosuf: 108)
When a believer shows concern for the guidance of the people, Allah rewards him for this righteous deed—He (the Most Perfect) increases him in guidance and firmness (thabāt) upon the Truth just as Allah (the Most High) has said:
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ ٣٣
“And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allāh and does righteousness and says, ‘Indeed, I am of the Muslims.’” (Fussilat 41:33) In these words of the preacher who calls to Allah there is an expression of firmness upon the Religion, “Indeed, I am from the Muslims.” He is not hesitant, he is not shy nor does he conceal the Truth. So, Allah gives the callers to the Book and Sunnah (upon the understanding of the Sahābah) steadfastness that is not found in other than them from the people. Allah (the Most High) has said:
هَلْ جَزَآءُ ٱلْإِحْسَـٰنِ إِلَّا ٱلْإِحْسَـٰنُ ٦٠
“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (Ar-Rahmān 55:60)
SIX: Being firm requires patience in times of trial, hardship, and affliction—indeed, it is from the greatest of the means of attaining firmness (ath-thabāt). Allah (the Most High) said:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا ٱسْتَعِينُوا بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ ١٥٣
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allāh is with the patient.” (Al-Baqarah: 153)
مَنْ يَتَصَبَّرْ يُصَبِّرْهُ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ يَسْتَغْنِ يُغْنِهِ اللَّهُ وَلَنْ تُعْطَوْا عَطَاءً خَيْرًا وَأَوْسَعَ مِنَ الصَّبْرِ
“Whoever remains patient, Allah will bestow patience upon him, and he who is satisfied with what he has, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And there is no gift better and vaster than patience.”
It is narrated from Abu Umayyah who stated: I came to Abu Tha’labah Al-Khushani (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) and said to him: “What do you say about this Ayah?” He said: “Which Ayah?” I said: “Wherein Allah stated:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ
‘O you who have believed, upon you is to have concern for yourselves—those who go astray do not harm you as long as you are guided.’ (Al-Mā’idah: 105)” Abu Tha’labah said: “By Allah, you have asked the one who knows about this matter. I asked the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) regarding this āyah, and he said: ‘Verily! You will enjoin one another with good and forbid one another from evil. And when you see miserly conduct being obeyed, desires being followed, worldly desires are given preference and everyone is amazed by his own opinion, then take care of yourself—and leave alone what the people are doing because ahead of you are days of endurance and patience, in which endurance will be like holding onto hot coals. The one who acts upon the truth in that time will have the reward of fifty men among you who do the same deed.’ We asked: ‘The reward of fifty of us or fifty of them?’ He replied: ‘The reward of fifty of you.’”
The Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) would remind his Companions to be patient and that Jannah is the reward of the one who holds fast to the Religion and is patient upon the harms that come to him. Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) passed by Yāsir, ʿAmmār and Sumayyah (the mother of Yāsir) while they were suffering at the hands of the Kuffār in the path of Allah. So, he said:
صَبْراً آلَ ياسر فإنَّ مَوْعِدَكُم الجَنَّة
“Be patient O family of Yāsir—indeed your appointment is in Jannah!”
So, let us work righteous deeds, remain steadfast and firm, and ask Allah to grant us thabāt in this life and the next, ameen. Allah (the Most High) said:
۞ وَسَارِعُوٓا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍۢ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتُ وَٱلْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ١٣٣
ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِى ٱلسَّرَّآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَٱلْكَـٰظِمِينَ ٱلْغَيْظَ وَٱلْعَافِينَ عَنِ ٱلنَّاسِ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ ١٣٤
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden [i.e., Paradise] as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous. Who spend [in the cause of Allāh] during times of ease and difficulty, who restrain their anger and pardon the people—and Allāh loves the doers of good.” (Aali ʿImrān: 132-134)
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Abu Khadeejah ʿAbdul-Wāhid.
 Reported by Muslim, no. 145.
 Al-Musnad of Ima9m Ahmad, no. 22109, graded hasan by the verifier of the Musnad.
 Abu Dawood, no. 547, graded hasan by Al-Albāni.
 Reported by Al-Bukhārī in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad no. 18, graded hasan by Al-Albānī.
 Tirmidhi no. 2140, Ibn Mājah no. 3834, and graded saheeh by Shaikh Al-Albāni in Mishkāt al-Masābeeh, no. 102.
 Al-Bukhāri, no. 6470.
 Reported by Abu Dawood (no. 4341) and At-Tirmidhi (no. 3058) – also Ibn Mājah (no. 4014). See Fadlul-Islām of Shaikhul-Islām Muhammad Ibn ʿAbdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh).
 Al-Mustadrak of Al-Hākim 2/432, graded saheeh by Al-Albāni in Fiqhus-Seerah, p. 103.