Articles of Faith New Muslims

At the Year-End, Review Your Business with God

The year-end marks a serious point for everyone. It is a time for review, self-accountability, identification of the shortcoming and hopes for the coming years. At the end of the year, a businessman recounts his work to make sure whether he wins or suffers a loss. Also, a scientist reviews his studies and research to understand if he is going on the right path or not.


It is a time for review, self-accountability, examination of the shortcoming and hopes for the coming years.

For a believer, the relationship with God is the most significant business. It is the business of life. The winner in this business will enjoy an eternal bliss in the heavens, and the loser is going to endure a distressful torment in the hellfire unless God forgives him. As the Hijri year is going to end, one should ask himself a question, “Do I have a profitable or forfeitable business with God?”

Before you answer  question, let’s pinpoint the components of the business with God as mentioned in noble verses of the Qur’an and the hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

The Belief in Allah and Jihad

In the quoted verse below, Allah inquires of a business that saves from the painful torment of Hell. Then, Allah answers that inquiry and tells that it is to believe in Allah and His Messenger, and undertake Jihad in the cause of Allah. The reward is plentiful and huge; the forgiveness of sins and eternal residence in a lofty place in Paradise. Not only this but also the support of Allah and nearby victory are present. Almighty Allah says:

O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of `Adn (Eden Paradise), that is indeed the great success. * And also (He will give you) another (blessing) which you love, help from Allah (against your enemies) and a near victory. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad ) to the believers. (As-Saff 61:10-13)

Qur’an, Prayer and Charity

In Surat Fatir, God, the Almighty, talks about a group of people who opt to turn to a business that never undergo forfeit. It is the business with Allah. The commodities of this trade are obtainable by everyone who seeks the pleasure of His Lord.

The merchandises are three significant deeds, namely reciting the Qur’an, observing the obligatory and optional prayer and giving in charity for the sake of Allah. If a person presents these things, he will receive plentiful reward and extra bounty from Allah the Almighty. Allah (Exalted be He) says:

Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah (this Qur’an), and perform Prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them their rewards in full, and give them (even) more, out of His Grace. Verily! He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense). (Fatir 35:29-30)

Fighting in the Cause of Allah

At this time, Allah, the Almighty, makes a promise that He will give Paradise to those who fight for His sake. He states that this promise is found in the Torah, the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur’an. How blessed are the fighters in the cause of Allah!!

The verse also brings good new to those who partake in that kind of business by telling them that it is the great success. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel) and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success. (At-Tawbah 9:111)

Gaining the True Benefit

The question is: What is about our business with God? Do we have one? Is it fruitful or fruitless? Did we win in this passing year? What is about our good deeds; prayer, charity, recitation of the Qur’an, and striving in the cause of Allah? Were our deeds accepted or rejected? What is about the coming year? Do we have plans to increase the good deeds, avoid misdeeds and remedy my shortcomings?

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

The Story of the Companion Suhaib Ar-Rumi

By Aisha Stacey

Three of the non-Arabs that accepted Islam in the very early days of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, stand out.  They were Salman from Persia, Bilal ibn Rabah, whose heritage was Abyssinian, and Shuaib, known as the Roman.  These three men were among Prophet Muhammad’s close companions, they readily recognized Islam as the truth, and gave the fledgling religion a foretaste of the worldwide acceptance it would enjoy.  Prophet Muhammad is said to have predicted the spread of Islam by describing them as the forerunners of their respective ethnic groups; Suhaib from Romans, Bilal from the Abyssinians, and Salman from the Persians.

In the beginning of Islam, the fledgling Muslims could not worship openly or comfortably.  Arqam’s house was selected as a place where they could meet, pray and learn about Islam.

Suhaib’s Early Life

Suhaib was the son of a man who ruled an outlying province of the Persian Empire in the area now known as Iraq.  He was, by all accounts, a fun-loving, well educated, and intelligent little boy.  One day, when attending a picnic with his mother and other women and children, their party was attacked by Byzantine raiders who captured many slaves.  The blonde blue-eyed little boy Suhaib spent his boyhood and youth being traded as a possession.  However, his owners all recognized his intelligence and his education continued.  He was soon fluent in Greek, the dominant language of the Eastern Roman Empire and had acquired excellent trading skills.

The Pursuit of a Meaningful Life

Although Suhaib adopted the Byzantine customs and lifestyle he never felt completely at ease in the decadent empire and was later heard to remark that, “A society like this (Byzantine Empire) can only be purified with a deluge.” In his young adulthood Suhaib found out of the Byzantine empire and arrived in Mecca as a skilled merchant.   The stories of his return to his homeland differ.  Some say that he escaped with a significant amount of wealth and started a trading partnership with Abdullah ibn Judan.  Others believe that he was eventually sold to Abdullah ibn Judan, who recognized his skills and emancipated him.  No matter what manner is correct Suhaib did prosper and become very rich.  However, the prevailing idolatry and depravity of Mecca overshadowed his success and brought him no peace of mind.  His search for meaning in his life eventually brought him to the House of Arqam.

In the beginning of Islam, the fledgling Muslims could not worship openly or comfortably.  Arqam’s house was selected as a place where they could meet, pray and learn about Islam.  The house could be entered and exited secretly and it was in a narrow street that could be seen from within.

It is narrated that Ammar said, “I met Suhaib ibn Sinan at the doorstep of Arqam’s house when the Messenger of Allah was there.  I said, ‘What do you want?’ He asked me in turn, ‘and what do you want?’  I said I would like to speak with Prophet Mohammad and listen to his message.  He said that he would like to do the same.  Then we entered together the house and he (the Prophet) introduced us to Islam and we both accepted it.  We remained in the house for the rest of the day and left secretly in the darkness of the night.”[i]

Migration to Medina

Thus, Suhaib began his journey of piety.   It was not an easy period for him.  He was without family or tribal support and his wealth and new status as a free person did not save him from the abuses and persecution suffered by many new Muslims at the hands of the Meccan elite.  When Prophet Muhammad began to encourage his followers to migrate to Medina, Suhaib was keen to be among them.  Due to his wealth, the Meccan elite tried to prevent him, to the extent that they had guards watching over him and trying to foil any escapes.  Eventually he resorted to subterfuge.

Suhaib pretended to have a stomachache and went in and out of his house as if needing to repeatedly answer the call of nature.  The guards joked about his condition, got bored and fell asleep.  Suhaib took the opportunity to arm himself with a sword and a bow and galloped away from Mecca on his horse.  The guards arose from their stupor and gave chase, trapping Suhaib on a hill.  He stood there threatening to kill them all, but quickly changed tactics and decided to offer them money to allow him to escape.  The guards took up that offer and he continued on to Medina.

When Suhaib reached Quba, just outside Medina, Prophet Muhammad saw him approaching and said, “Your transaction has been fruitful, O Abu Yahya.  Your transaction has been fruitful.” He repeated it three times.  Suhaib was overjoyed and said, “By God, no one has come before me to you, Messenger of God, only the angel Gabriel could have informed you about this.”[ii]

Suhaib’s Generosity

Suhaib was able to recoup the wealth he gave away to the guards and continued to be generous with his wealth, giving it away at every opportunity, even feeding the needy, the orphans or the captives.  Umar ibn al-Khattab once remarked, “Why are you nicknamed as Abu Yahya (father of John) when you don’t have a child? You say that you are an Arab when you are known as the Roman, and you feed people too much, I have seen you giving out so much food that you appear to be too extravagant.” Suhaib replied that he once heard Prophet Muhammad say “The best of you is the one who gives out food.”[iii]

Suhaib leads the Muslims in Prayer after Umar’s Death

Years later after Prophet Muhammad’s death, when Umar was the leader of the Muslim nation, Suhaib learned that he (Umar) had been stabbed.  He was unable to control his anger and grief and ran to Umar’s side weeping.  “Alas! my brother, Alas! my friend!”  Even as he was dying Umar said, “O Suhaib! Are you weeping for me when the Prophet said, “The dead person is tormented by some of the weeping of his relatives?”[iv]

Umar called six of his companions to decide among themselves who should succeed him.[v] He then assigned Suhaib to lead the Muslims in prayers and undertake the interim leadership of the Islamic nation.  Suhaib is known to have narrated more than thirty hadith and three of them can be found in Saheeh Muslim.

Suhaib ibn Sinan ar-Rumi died in Medina thirty-eight years after the migration, in 658 CE at approximately seventy years of age.  Sa’d ibn Abu Waqas led his funeral prayer, and he is buried in Jannat al-Baqi, the first Islamic cemetery established in Medina.

[i] Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A.  (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 189. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.

[ii] Iman Ahmad

[iii] Imam Ahmad, Sahih Al-Bukhari

[iv] The Niche of Lamps (Miskat al-Masabih) 1-4 Vol 2.

[v] The six men were Ali ibn Abu Talib, Uthman ibn Affan, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas, Zubair ibn Awwam and Talhah ibn Ubaydullah

Source: with some modifications

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