Belief requires sacrifice. It is not possible to hold on to your values and principles without giving up something in return. Religion is no different. If you call yourself religious and you haven’t sacrificed anything, well you need to take a reassessment of your lifestyle one more time.
Islam is not just a religion; it is a way of life! Does this mean that if we want to bring Islam in our day-to-day life, we would have to sacrifice on a daily basis?
Just a simple act of being honest in today’s world requires a lot of sacrifice. Even keeping up with our five daily prayers is a struggle. From finding time between classes-to taking time off work-or to attend Jummah prayers are things that need to be planned in advance and are not always easy tasks.
In fact being a Muslim and even looking like a Muslim today has become a struggle and sacrifice. And sometimes this sacrifice is not just limited to the society. You probably know of girls struggling to wear the hijab or boys who would like to keep a beard but their families disapprove and keep telling them that ”there are other ways to become a good Muslim too!”
This world is a test. A test which if passed will be rewarded by the ultimate gift of Jannah. The gift is an eternity of happiness and luxury! This test is becoming harder and harder every day. We are already in a time when to follow the smallest sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is an ordeal in and of itself.
Something as simple as the act of shaking hands with non-mahrams is so common in our society that it is considered rude to deny someone this gesture!
It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yassaar said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.”
That is why it is reported in numerous ahàdïth, praise for the one who sticks firmly to his Religion during the Last Days. And that he who does so will be like one who holds tightly onto hot pieces of coal. And that the one who acts upon it, will receive fifty times the reward more than those before him. This is because he will not find any supporters in doing good deeds. (http://www.sunnipath.com/library/Articles/AR00000258.aspx)
Adhering to our beliefs and values and trying to please Allah requires sacrifice every single day of our life! From controlling your anger, to giving away money to someone who is more needy for the sake of Allah (especially when you are in a financial crisis yourself). From doing someone a favor for the sake of Allah, and not expecting anything in return (this seems almost impossible), to going against your family traditions and customs just because now you know that those customs have unIslamic origins; all these actions require a lot of sacrifice and struggle.