When someone wants something REALLY badly, he’ll do anything to get it. For example, if he wants a six-pack (abs – not a six pack of coke) he’ll diet and hit the gym, pumping the iron until his dream comes true and his abs come through.
Sadly, many people want the bad things in life and ‘make a plan’ to do all the wrong they can. How many of us have heard of underage teens that were so desperate to get into the club that they tried sneaking past the bouncers? This, together with other examples, shows that for many sad souls, the appetite for sin is stronger than the appetite of the stomach. When someone is hungry, his stomach burns. When he is hungry for sin, the hunger burns his head until his brains are ‘braaied’ and he does the most stupid things. Ask friends if they want to go to a movie and most of them will be ready. Ask them if they want to go to the musjid for salaah, and many of them will suddenly ‘remember’ that they have an assignment to complete.
The youngsters of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were hungry for the rewards of Jannah. For them, the things of this world were mere ‘tidbits’, like candy floss, that are sweet but barely satisfy. What they truly craved was Jannah.
When it was time for the Battle of Badr, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) noticed his younger brother, ‘Umair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), trying to hide! When he asked him why he was hiding, he explained that he wanted to fight in the battle and earn martyrdom, but he didn’t want Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to see him, because if Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saw him, he wouldn’t allow him to fight due to him being under age.
Eventually, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did notice him and wished to send him back. However, the hunger for Jannah was so great in ‘Umair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that he began to cry in disappointment. Seeing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) took pity on him and allowed him to join the battle. At the time, ‘Umair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was only sixteen years old and ultimately won his prize of martyrdom. (Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 3, pg. 149)
Let us look around us, at ourselves and other sixteen year-olds. If we cry, it’s probably because our soccer team lost in the Premier League. Sometimes, someone will cry because he was dumped and his haraam beloved ‘launched’ him. Basically, for many of us, it is these baseless or haraam things that matter most and almost rule our lives. If we miss salaah, on the other hand, it won’t bother us at all! How far we have drifted from the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum)!
The remedy is to put ourselves on a diet from sin and hit the spiritual ‘gym’ aka the musjid. If possible, we should even try to spend some time in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. By training in the ‘gym’ of the musjid, we will develop more than our Imaan – we will develop our ‘six pack’ (the six points of imaan, salaah, ‘ilm and zikr, sincerity, kindness to people and inviting to Allah Ta‘ala). With the strength of the ‘six pack’, Allah Ta‘ala will assist us by creating the motivation for Jannah and hatred for sin within us.