Istiqaamat ~ Steadfastness


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised. ~ Surah Fussilat 41:30


In the 24th Para of the Quraan Shareef, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala mentions, in Surah Fussilat :

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا   Those who say Allah is our Rabb ….

Rabb literally means one who makes our Tarbiyah (one who nurtures a person), and brings him up from the time he is a little baby and grows him up and guides him. In fact, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala is our Rabb, our Nurturer, our Cherisher, our Sustainer, our Provider, from before we even came into this world. From the time we are in the womb of our mother, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala is already nurturing us.

One has to have this firm conviction embedded deep down in his heart, that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala is the One who is nurturing me, and every breath i take, i am totally dependant on Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala! I cannot do without Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala … He is my Rabb, my Sustainer, my Protector, my Guide … He is the one who is showing me so much of Compassion, Love and Mercy..

So, any person who believes that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala is his Rabb, then he ‘obeys’ Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala …

What is Istiqaamat?

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala then mentions in the same Ayat :

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا

Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course (steadfast)

~ Surah Fussilat 41:30

Istiqaamat is Luzoomut Taa’ah … where a person ‘clings’ onto the obedience of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.

Ulema say : “Al Istiqaamtu fauqa alfi karamah” … Istiqaamah ie : Being steadfast on Deen, by following every injunction of Allah unwaveringly, bringing Deen into his life in totality and obeying all the (Awaamir) commands and all the (Nawaahi) prohibitions consistently, is greater than performing a 1000 (karamah) miracles.

A person can perform one thousand Karaamah (miracles) but that means nothing! In our understanding of piety and Taqwa, we look for miracles being performed by the pious ones … Indeed Karaamats do take place, but what should we look for?

We must look for complete Sunnats in a persons life … Look for Taqwa in a persons life … See whether the person is following the Shari’ah or not.

Hazrat Umar Radiallahu Anhu : used to say :”Steadfastness is Amr bil maroof wa nahi anil munkar (enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil) and not being deceitful like the deceitful nature of the fox ……
One should follow Deen unwaveringly and not look for escape routes …… like a cunning fox that is very sly and suddenly slips out …

When following Deen, we must be steadfast and take the straight path, constantly and continuously, performing pious deeds even if it may be little … until we perfect ourselves. Do not look for escape routes, eg : One day we perform Salaah and for the next ten days thereafter, we make feeble excuses and we miss it.

Analogy ~ “Josh” (Initial Ebulience/Exuberance) and then … Inconsistency

A person, at certain times gets some “Josh” (initial effusiveness, zeal, ebullience, exuberance) to do good deeds. Like the month of Ramadaan or when a person goes for Hajj, or when a person is in the company of his Shaykh, then a person gets a sudden burst of exuberance and extra enthusiasm and eagerness to do good deeds. But, we find that this does not have a lasting effect. This gradually dies down … It comes to an end after a few days. Lethargy and laxity sets in …

By way of an example : if a person takes a sealed Coke bottle and vigorously shakes it. What do you see happening when you open it? The pressure causes the liquid to overflow out of the bottle forcefully! All the gas starts coming out … and after that everything just fizzes out … and then? … … there is laxness …

Similarly, we should not have “Josh” when doing righteous deeds. Any Amal (deed) done with Josh, will not have consistency in it.

Angels at the Time of Death

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala further mentions, that those who believe and have a firm conviction that Allah is their Rabb, and are steadfast on Deen, then :

تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ

the angels will descend upon them

أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

[saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised

~ Surah Fussilat 41:30

Ulema explain, that, these Angels will descend, at the time of Maut. The time of Maut (Sakraat) is not an easy time. Shaytaan appears and offers the person water (one can get very thirsty at the time of Sakraat), sometimes he comes in the form of the persons father, and he (shaytaan) prompts a person to leave this Deen of Islam saying that this Deen will not give success … Shaytaan tries to persuade him at that moment to forsake his Deen. And if he (shaytaan) fails, then he comes to the left hand side as a mother, and again tries desperately the same.

And this is when Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala sends the ANGELS down to assist this dying Believer and they drive and chase the Shayaateen away from him…

The angels come in …. and they will say, “Do not fear regarding the journey that is coming ahead of you” ie the Qabr, Hashr, Qiyamah, the standing before Allah etc … AND do not grieve over your family and children … Allah will take care of them.

Allah says we must have firm Imaan and Istiqaamat (steadfastness on Deen), then at the time of our death, Allah will send down Angels to come to our assistance and grant us the beautiful Jannah that Allah has promised us.


Dua for Steadfastness on Deen

Hazrat Shahr bin Haushab (RA) says: “I asked Ummu Salamah RA :

‘What was the Dua most often read by Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam in his house?’

She replied that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam used to read :

يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوْب ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِىْ عَلٰى دِيْنِكَ

O Controller of hearts! Make my heart firm on Your Deen ~ Tirmidhi