The Firm, The Steadfast
- Al-Mateen is the One of whom in addition to His unconquerable power, His nature is to be firm. This combination of possession of the perfect strength and complete firmness of nature means no one can ever object to His actions or prevent His orders from being carried out!
- The Utmost Firm, The Steadfast and Determined One
- Mateen comes from the root meem-taa-noon, which points to four main meanings. The first meaning is to be strong, firm, and hard. The second main meaning is to be solid or robust. The third to be steadfast, determined, and sure, and the fourth main meaning is to possess any quality to a strong degree. This root appears three times in the Quran in one derived form. An example of this form is mateenun (“[is] firm”).
- Linguistically, mateen means something very strong and very stable; its foundation is unshakeable. Al-Qawiyy is the One who possesses the attribute of inexhaustible strength, whereas Al-Mateen is the One whose nature it is to be firm, steadfast, and determined. He is the One who can easily overcome anything through supreme firmness and strength of determination!
- Al-Mateen Himself says: "...Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength. [Quran, 51:58]
- The Plan of Al-Mateen
Al-Mateen says: And I will give them time. Indeed, My plan is firm [Quran, 68:45]. Allah ‘azza wajal says He lets people go free for a long time, as this is all part of His plan and according to His wisdom. This way people can decide through different events to turn to the truth of Islam or not.
- Some might disbelieve and oppose Islam for years and eventually find guidance. Other times Al-Mateen gives the disbeliever a long time to live and the disbeliever carries on doing more evil, so he or she is punished more. This also means that believers have the chance to get more reward and higher ranks in Paradise through their struggles and good deeds throughout the long period of time Al-Mateen gave them. The plan of Allah is firm!
1. Be firm in following the right path.
Let the attribute of firmness inspire you to stick to your Deen at all times and be determined to follow the straight path with understanding. The means to staying firm on Islam are: to hold on tight to the Quran and strive to understand what you read so you can apply the orders and prohibitions and motivations in your daily life, and; to do as many good deeds as you can; to study the lives of the prophets, peace be upon them, follow their examples, and think about the delights of Paradise, the torture of Hellfire and the agony of death.
Al-Mateen says: Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause to go astray those who are dhalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.), and Allah does what He wills. [Quran, 14:27]2. Call others to Al-Mateen.
The soul that is not active will stagnate. Giving da’wah can save you from punishment and cause Al-Mateen to make you stand firm yourself. Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as you are commanded . . . [Quran, 42:15]
Being busy with good will help you against Shaytan’s temptations to lead you astray, plus being challenged by obstacles and stubborn people on your journey of calling others to Allah can make you a stronger person in faith.
3. Study the seerah for strength.
To strengthen your Islamic identity, follow your roots: study the seerah. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Among the people who came before you, there was a man who was taken and put into a hole dug for him in the earth, then a saw was put on his head and he was cut into two pieces, and an iron comb was used to tear the flesh from his bones, but this still did not turn him away from his religion. [Al-Bukhaaree]
4. Be confident in the plan of Al-Mateen.
Allah’s plan is mateen— know that nothing or no one can defeat His plan. Even though people might plot against you, the reality is Al-Mateen will support the believers as long as they are sincere and the ultimate victory will be theirs. So trust in Al-Mateen and strive for sincerity in each deed you do.
Al-Mateen says: And they said nothing but: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions (in keeping our duties to You), establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.’ So Allah gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter . . . [Quran, 3:147-148]5. Keep close to firm people.
Surround yourself with people who are firm upon Islam, seek their advice and be someone who inspires others to stay firm too.
6. Ask Al-Mateen.
Being able to be steadfast in good and bad times should be one of your daily adiyah (plural of dua)! The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said about your heart: It changes more than a pot of rapidly boiling water. [Ahmad, al-Hakim]
Memorize this dua the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made and ask Al-Mateen from the bottom of your heart:
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ
Yaa Muqallibal quloob thabbit qalbee ‘alaa deenik.
Which means: Oh Turner of hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion. Be determined to get into Paradise and keep reminding yourself this world is only temporary!
O Allah, Al-Mateen, we know that You are the most firm. Let us benefit from the Quran and Sunnah. Make us firm in our faith, lead us on the straight path, and make us steadfast in good and bad times. Make us of those who call others to Islam and bless us with righteous company. Adorn our hearts with a strong determination to strive for Your Paradise, ameen!