Determination is the most significant attribute of a believer. A believer never loses his enthusiasm and devotion. He engages in his struggle only to earn the pleasure of Allah. That is why, no difficulty proves to be a hindrance to his endeavours. A believer never attaches importance to what others think or say about him. His only goal is to deserve the favour of his Lord; and he shapes his life accordingly.
Allah certainly puts the determination of believers to the test in various ways; either by periodically giving them trouble, or making them undergo suffering. Details of the test are given in the verse below:
We shall test you with fear and hunger, with loss of life and property and crops but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. (Al-Baqara, 155)
However, a believer with total commitment displays his patience under all circumstances. Allah praises this attitude of believers in the following verse:
How many of the prophets fought (in Allah’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast. Their only words were: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty; make us firm of foot and help us against those that resist faith.” (Al-Imran, 146-147)
Lack of commitment, on the other hand, is not a trait attributable to believers. The following verse confirms this fact:
Only those ask you for exemption who do not believe in Allah and the last day, and whose hearts are fieled with doubt, so that they waver. (Al-Tawba, 45).
Besides hardships, trouble and distress, prosperity and affluence also shake people’s determination. Comfort dampens most people’s enthusiasm and excitement. Becoming insolent and turning one’s face away from Allah after receiving His favour is characteristic of unbelievers. Allah explains this in the following verse:
When trouble touched a man, He cried to Us (in all postures)- lying down on his side, or sitting, or standing. But as soon as we relieved his affliction, he pursued his former ways, as if he had never cried out to Us for Our help! Thus do the deeds of transgressors seem fair in their eyes! (Surah Yunus, 10:12)
However, this is not the case with believers. Prosperity, grandeur, money or power never change the attitude of a believer. He is well aware that all favours are bestowed on him by Allah and that they can be taken back at any time. Hence, he never falls into exultation over his own prowess.
Desiring the hereafter and striving for it with all their might, as well as avoidance of extravagance in daily affairs are indications of determination demonstrated by believers. Those who “strive with all their might” are thus described in the Qur’an:
Those who wish for the hereafter, and strive for it with all their might and have faith- they are the ones whose endeavours are acceptable (to Allah). (Al-Isra, 19)
Never losing heart, demonstrating an unceasing enthusiasm is a command of Allah:
Neither lose heart, nor fall into despair: For you must gain mastery if you are true in faith. (Al-Imran, 139)
Determination, consequently, is a significant attribute of believers. Those who seek an “immediate gain and an easy journey” (At-Tawba, 42) fail to show an unyielding determination. Believers, on the other hand, accomplish what is expected of them and display an unchanging determination until they meet their death.
“Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: of them some have fulfilled their vow to the utmost, and others still wait: but they have never changed their determination in the least”. (Surat’al-Ahzap, 23 )
Hypocrites, on the other hand, display inconsistent behaviours and attitude, and change according to the type of people they socialize with. When believers win a victory, hypocrites want to share this success, while in times of trouble, they stay away from the community of believers. This is indeed a sure indication of their hypocritical nature.
The community of Kahf, into whose hearts Allah put courage, (Al-Kahf, 14) sets the best example for believers in the sense of determination. Continuity in worshipping is also important in the sense of consistency. Only death puts an end to the determination of a believer. A believer is responsible for showing patience and fulfilling his pledge to Allah until death comes.
Truly, those who plight their fealty to you do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the hand of Allah is over their hands: then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and anyone who fulfils his pledge to Allah, will soon be granted a great reward by Allah. (Al-Fath, 10)