It is well known that the servant, even if he believes in the Hereafter, by nature will require the necessities of this world, will require the promotion of good and the repression of harm. If such a person believes that following the True Religion, being firm upon Tawhid and the Sunnah, negates this natural instinct, that by following it he will be forced to undergo an unbearable amount of tribulation, and that he will lose out on any temporal benefit; for sure his desire to follow this religion will weaken. He will move from being amongst the ranks of the Forerunners to being amongst the ranks of those who take a medium course, perhaps even to being amongst the ranks of those who oppress themselves to the ranks of the hypocrites! The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,
“Rush to doing good deeds [before you are overtaken] by tribulation which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would awake as a Muslim and go to sleep as a disbeliever and he would go to sleep as a Muslim and awake as a disbeliever; he would sell his faith for some worldly gain.” (Muslim)
This is because if he starts to believe that by following this religion, his worldly life will be ruined, he will face adversity and harm that he cannot bear, and lose out on any chance of attaining what he requires to live; he will never allow himself to be placed in such a situation. Glory be to Allah, far removed is he from any imperfection! How many are the people who have been deceived by this false notion into not implementing this religion fully! This notion arises from being ignorant of the reality of this religion and being ignorant about the reality of blessings and bliss, and gives birth to the person turning away from the reality of the religion and turning away from seeking true bliss.
It is well known that the servant only becomes happy and fulfilled when he actually knows the bliss which he desires, loves to attain the bliss, knows those actions that lead to it and has the firm resolve to do something that does not bring that thing into being if unaccompanied by sabr. Allah, Exalted is He says,
“By the time, truly man is in loss – except for those who have faith do righteous deeds and rage each other to truth and urge each other to steadfastness.” (al-Asr 103:1-3)
The point of discussion here is that the two foundations that lead to this false notion are built upon ignorance of the Command of Allah, His religion, His promise and His threat.
When a person comes to believe that he is completely fulfilling the obligations upon him and avoiding the prohibitions; inwardly and outwardly, such a person is ignorant of the True Religion, the great right that Allah has over him and what is required of him.
Therefore he is ignorant of the right of Allah upon him and what he himself possesses of religiosity. If he believes that subjugation and oppression lies in store for the believers and victory for the disbelievers and hypocrites, he is also ignorant of the promise of Allah and His threat.
With regards to the first issue, often is a person lacking in knowledge because of which he leaves various obligations, moreover those obligations he does know of, many does he fall short of in completing or even leaves them. He leaves them either because of laziness, negligence, false interpretation, blind following, or the belief that he is doing something merely recommended! You could see a person grieving at leaving a bodily obligation yet has no concern for the fact that he a left a greater obligation of the heart; he grieves at committing the least sin yet has no concern that his heart is committing far greater sins.
Trials and Tribulations: Wisdom and Benefits (Note that this extract is taken from Aid for the Yearning One in Resisting Shaytan) Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Pages 22-24