Islamic Education

Keeping Your Promise

"By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power."
Basic Text, p. 43

When we were using, we did everything we could to run things our way. We used every scheme imaginable to bring our world under control. When we got what we wanted, we felt powerful, invincible; when we didn't, we felt vulnerable, defeated. But that didn't stop us - it only led to more efforts to control and manipulate our lives into a manageable state.

Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness. As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. Only gradually did we realize that our lives had become unmanageable and that all the conning and manipulating in the world was not going to put our lives back in order.

When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life - we surrender. Lacking sufficient power of our own, we seek a Power greater than ourselves, needing support and guidance, we ask that Power to care for our will and our lives. We ask others in recovery to share their experience with living the NA programme instead of trying to programme our own lives. The power and direction we seek is all around us; we need only turn away from self to find it.

Just for today: I shall not try to scheme and manipulate my way to a manageable life. Through the NA programme, I shall surrender myself to my Higher Power's care.


Once there was a man who used to drink and get drunk. At the same time, he used to attend the lectures of the Noble Prophet Muhammad saw.

One day when the Prophet was walking down the street he saw this same man in a wine shop drinking, so he went up to him and had a word with him. The Prophet saw managed to get the man to promise that he would not drink alcohol anymore.

At the same time, the man said to himself: "Ah! Who is this person? What is there in a promise? I can always make one just to please him. It would not cause me any money or trouble." So he agreed not to drink anymore. To him, making this promise was like the many he had made and never kept.

My dear readers, now ask yourself how many people do this? Have you done this too? Its sounds easy, that is if do not have a conscience! Yeah, I know, I know. I'm talking about myself here. I used to be like that before. Making promises and never kept.

Anyway, as soon as the Prophet left, the man began drinking, but everytime he put the mug of alcohol to his mouth, he remembered his promise to the Prophet. At first he ignored it but it just would not go away. Everytime his mind kept going back to the events that took place earlier. So he decided not to drink and left the shop.

The next day, as he passed the wine shop, the temptation to go in was too strong, so he went in. Just as he was about to take his drink, the picture of the Prophet talking to him and his promise not to drink once again appeared, so he was not able to drink. He then tried to reason with himself. He said that he could still drink without the Prophet knowing, but what would happen if he had to meet the Prophet or if by accident they both met one another on the street? How could he face the Prophet? What would happen if the Prophet asked him whether he had kept his promise to him not to drink? Yes, he could lie that he was not drinking but it would show on his face that he was lying. So he decided not to drink anymore."It never pays to lie. You may get away with it once, twice, three times, but after sometime people will recognize you as a liar and an unreliable person. If you want to gain honour and respect, always speak and tell the truth. People may not agree with you but at least they will respect you for what you are."

After the absence of some time, he turned up to attend the Prophet's lecture. The Prophet on seeing him stood up and announced to the whole congregation, that here was a man who had made him a promise not to drink anymore and had kept it. The Prophet saw said that for such a person there were many rewards. This was because the man had turned over a new leaf. He had repented of his past behaviour and promised not to drink anymore. Allah swt loves such people who repent and give up bad behaviour forever.

The man was surprised. He thought that the Prophet saw would not have remembered him. After all the Prophet was a busy man. Who would remember such a rotten liar like him! But the Prophet, being the Messenger of Allah swt, always promoted good, always speaking in the best possible manner, trying his best to bring people to goodness. This example of the Prophet saw should also be our way. It never pays to lie. You may get away with it once, twice, three times, but after sometime people will recognize you as a liar and an unreliable person. If you want to gain honour and respect, always speak and tell the truth. People may not agree with you but at least they will respect you for what you are.

The drunkard who stood before the Prophet saw was indeed surprised. He felt great when the Prophet recognized him and made him an example of reform to the society. This in turn made him all the more vigilant. Having gained such respect and honour, he made it a point to guard his honour and respect. He was never seen near any wine shop after that.

In comparison to the drunkard, there was a man who was a scribe of the Prophet saw. He together with many others was appointed by the Prophet to write down revelation when it was revealed to the Noble Prophet Muhammad saw. The Prophet on receiving revelation from Allah swt would recite such verses and these would be recorded down by scribes.

Now this man was a Christian and though he was a scribe of the Prophet, he had some doubts about this Message from Allah. He believed that the Prophet saw was making it up, by pretending to receive revelation from Allah.

Such was his attitude and behaviour throughout his life. The Prophet knew about this but said nothing. One day, this scribe died. He was given a burial but the next morning his body was found outside his grave. On seeing this the Christians said that it must be the mischief of the Muslims, so his friends once again buried him. They also guarded his grave. However, the next morning his body was once again found outside his grave. His friends could not do anything. So they abandoned his body.

This story can be found in the Traditions of the Noble Prophet saw in the collection of Imam Bukhari.

In both instances, it never pays to lie. It is also dangerous to reject as lies the Word of Allah revealed in the Quran. To say that such is outdated or no longer valid, or untrue, is to incur the Wrath of Allah.

If one is not able to comply with a command of Allah, then one should turn to Allah for guidance so that one may understand such and submit to His Will. But to reject or to refuse to submit to a command of Allah is actually an act of disbelief.

If cannot comply with a command, one should not seek conviction from Allah but also His forgiveness. Seeking the forgiveness of Allah at all times is equally important.

One should not only repent but also seek forgiveness, and sincerely try not to commit these sins again. But should you do - after all nobody is perfect - don't forget to seek Allah's forgiveness again, and then try once again not to commit it ever again.

And don't make a mockery of seeking forgiveness. Be sincere about it. Allah knows us better than we know ourselves. He is our Creator.

If you don't understand something about Islam, do not hesitate to ask someone who knows. Don't ask those who do not know or who do not possess religious knowledge. Also ask the opinion of several people so that you may make a comparison as to what is more logical and practical. Allah loves those who seek knowledge of Him.

That's it, folks. I hope you enjoy both stories. And to all my Muslim readers, "Minal aidzin wal faizin, taqqabballahu mina wa minkum".

I end this post by asking, is your beloved computer safe? Here's some news about computer safeguard brought to you by The News Room. Take care, my friends.

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3 Comments thus far...

Sylvia said...

I like the new look. I have not been by for a while. Wanted to say hello and please forgive me for not stopping by to say hello.

lynn ally said...

hai along,

wow!!! dah expert along sekarang ye.
kite baru nak blajar

arahman7 said...

Lynn Ally? Agak2 sapa ni? Ada blog tapi diprivatekan - camne nak follow?

Camnepun terima kasih kerana sudi meninggalkan komen, tapi yang tak bestnya tidak meninggalkan pengenalan diri.

Along dulu pun mula dari tak tahu juga. Perlahan2 kayuh, insyaAllah sampai destinasi.

Senang2 datanglah selalu, boleh berbual panjang.

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Since May 28th, 2008.