I have mentioned previously that when the sweetness and ecstasy of Imaan enters the heart of a person, then his entire life changes.
When a person does something out of his love for Allah Ta’ala and His Rasool e, and not merely out of a sense of obligation, then Allah Ta’ala blesses this person with the sweetness of Imaan.
Fulfilling our Deeni obligations i.e. Salaah, Fasting, Zakaat, etc. just because it is our duty to do so is very different from fulfilling them out of love for Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) . Our weakness is that everything we do stems from ‘duty’ and ‘obligation’ and not love.
This is comparable to a person working for me and I tell him to go to the post office and fetch the post therefrom. Since no car is available, the person has to take a walk. He will not find enjoyment in his heart in having to walk to the post office.
Take a person who enjoys jogging. It is the pleasure of his life. Now if he is told to run the errand, then if the distance is 5 km, he will consider this too short a distance.
Then again, there are many of us, whose objective in fulfilling our Deeni obligations is that we derive pleasure, enjoyment and happiness as a reward for fulfilling them. We are therefore not Aashiqs (lovers) of Allah Ta’ala, rather Aashiqs of pleasure, enjoyment and happiness.
It is not Haraam to ask Allah Ta’ala for peace, contentment, pleasure, enjoyment and happiness - indeed, we should ask and continue asking Allah Ta’ala for these things. But since, most of the virtuous deeds we do revolve around a sense of duty and not the love of Allah Ta’ala, we don’t achieve this sweetness of Imaan.
For example : we render some service to Deen, but we do so because we think : “People are going astray and there is so much of corruption. It is our duty to make an effort.”
Yes, indeed, it is our duty, on which, we will Insha-Allah gain Thawaab (reward) but we will not taste of the sweetness of Imaan, because everything done stems from a sense of duty and not from the love for Allah Ta’ala and the desire to gain His pleasure.
Such khidmat (service) to Deen needs to be rendered out of love for Allah Ta’ala, with a deep-felt concern for those going astray, that some attempt be made to save them from deviation and that all the Ummaties of Nabi follow the path laid out by him and gain salvation in the Aakhirah (Hereafter).
Added to this, Deeni work should be undertaken with the understanding that it is Allah Ta’ala who has blessed us with life, with health, with wealth, with the faculties of sight, hearing and speech and He has granted us intelligence, coupled with knowledge. It is thus only befitting that a servant utilizes all these invaluable bounties of Allah Ta’ala for His pleasure alone.
Even though - the reality and essence of the sweetness of Imaan is not acquired so easily. To obtain such a precious commodity, we have to sit in the company of those whose hearts are aflame with the Love of Allah Ta’ala and who thus do everything for His pleasure alone. In their blessed company, where the lessons of Divine love are taught and where we may draw from their hearts, that fire of love, there we will reap the sweetness of Imaan.