Because at some point in our lives, we're at risk of becoming one.
Types of Stagnant Muslims
The Disconnected Muslim. You don't see why you should get too involved with Islam. After all, religion is just a choice, a belief system your parents and grandparents adhered to. You are skeptical of certain practices, but it's too much of a bother to go in depth and find out why. Hence, you remain in the status quo because there's just much more things out there to be worried about. To you, every religion is right as long as it teaches you to do good. Quote: I'm Muslim, but I'm not very strict about it.
The Evading Muslim. You've probably stopped doing solat. Or you've taken off your hijab, because you're sinning and you can't stop. You feel too ashamed to face Allah, or you tell yourself you'll start becoming a good muslim later on when you can see yourself actually committing to it. In the meantime, you'd rather not talk or listen to anyone talking about anything related to Allah. Quote: I don't pray because I can't get away from my sinful habits.I don't wear hijab because I'm not a good example of a muslim. I don't want to be a hypocrite. I can't face Allah.
The Muslim who'd rather be Ignorant. You prefer not to find out about things you should and should not do until it gets 'accidentally' revealed to you. After all, as long as you don't know, you're not at fault... Right? Quote: The more I read, the more things I find out I cannot do. It's better to remain ignorant.
The Muslim who Just Follows. You do know most of the basics, and you practise what is needed, but that's all there is to it. Having grown up in Islam your whole life, everything's become routine and you've not felt the need to find out why you're doing the things you're doing. Quote: I'm just following, but don't ask me why I'm doing it.
The Muslim who leaves it all to Fate. You've chosen to take a backseat in all your affairs, because predestination and fate mean the same thing to you. You believe that everything has already been written down, so why should you even bother making any effort when everything that should happen will happen irregardless of what you do? Quote: Allah guides whom He Wills. (35:8)
The Problem with Stagnant Muslims
When you're a Stagnant Muslim, you are the closest to shirk (worshipping other gods besides Allah- in this case, your desires are god), if not totally committing shirk itself. Announcing that you're a Muslim doesn't mean that you are one. Actions speak further than words. If you're blatantly sinning and not feeling an ounce of guilt or wanting to repent, then you're neither a Muslim nor a Non-muslim. You've become a hypocrite.
“By Allah! I am not afraid that you will associate with Allah (i.e. idol-gods as partners to worship them) after my death, but I am afraid that you will compete with one another for the worldly things."
-- Ref: Bukhari, B23, H428
But the problem is that most Stagnant Muslims do not realise the precarious state they are in. Neither can they see how crucial it is that they get themselves out of this rut, until they actually get out of it.
And once they get out of it, and continue to level up, the benefits are tremendous. Haven't you seen how tranquil Muslims with high taqwa are? Haven't you seen the amount of rationality, wisdom and patience that only people with high taqwa are able to attain? You never see them grieving or complaining no matter how hard their situation gets. And this is only what you see on the outside. Can you imagine what kind of relationship they have with Allah? Don't you wan't that kind of relationship, too?
“…Whoever follows a path in pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather in one of houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and teaching it to one another, but the angels will surround them, tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will envelop them and Allah will mention them to those who are with Him. And whoever is hindered because of his bad deeds, his lineage will be of no avail to him.”
-- (Sunan Ibn e Majah, Book of Sunnah, Hadith no 225, Classified as Sahih By Allama Albani)
Getting Past Stagnation. And Beyond
“Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim”. ”
-- (Sunan Ibn e Majah, Book of Sunnah, Hadith no 224, Classified as Sahih By Allama Albani)
As my Ustaz always says, "Knowledge is not information. Knowledge is when information gives meaning to the soul." So knowledge can mean even the tiniest of things, like committing yourself to wear the hijab, starting to pray, or constantly remembering Allah. It can even come in the form of a person with exemplary character whom you can look up to. Because meaning to the soul doesn't just come through books, it can come through anything.
If it seems small, don't scoff. Don't think that it won't be of much use to you. Eventually it will slowly but surely dawn upon you that constantly leveling up was never a choice, it was always a necessity.
As I will be soon starting a new life in a place with a very small network of Muslims, I am constantly in fear that my iman and taqwa will be compromised. As such, this post is a reminder to myself to constantly seek knowledge no matter where I am, for the sake of Allah.