People Pleaser or God Fearer?

Have you ever felt handicapped in saying ‘no’ to people, despite the fact that you are being pulled in various directions simultaneously? You need to complete your projects to please your college professor, have to bake a cake because your best friend requested you and run late for your neighbor’s engagement party. Wouldn’t your life have been much simpler, if you have turned down any of the above commitment?

The reason you didn’t deny any of these obligations was, you wanted people to think you are a nice little fellow. You fear their repudiation or crave for their approval. You might be burdened with peer-pressure, might need to be wanted and accepted or you might dislike being outcast by others when they are mad or upset with you. This sort of mentality might provoke irrational conduct from your side.

Just review your lifestyle for a second and you will yourself realize what great doormats you are! Don’t you think that in the battle of winning the pleasure of people you are loosing the gratification of our Lord? Don’t you feel you should be a little more God fearing?

Don’t you find yourself skipping your daily recitation of the Holy Quran or shortening your prayers because you need to go to shopping with your friend? Don’t you spend your entire day in the kitchen painstakingly trying to make good food for your in-laws while skipping to go for your daily Quranic classes? Yes, it is important to be a good host, but not at the expense of incurring Allah’s displeasure.

Our lives are inundated with such examples of ignorance, in which we forget to remember Allah. Have you ever gone through consecutive sleepless nights because you agreed to do a project for your university, so that you can come in the good books of your principal? But are you a workaholic? Do you abide to all the things that your masjid’s Imaam ask you to do? Did you then do it, just to depict how nice and helpful you are?

There are various behaviors that you adopt when you try to gratify people. You feel guilty in saying no, you put other’s preferences before yours, avoid confrontation with them and so on. These behaviors provide opportunities to others to exploit you.

Some people might as the question “what is wrong in pleasing others? Shouldn’t we act nicely with others?” Yes we should as the Quran says “And no not forget to do good to one another”. But just ponder over the purpose of your life. It is to make Allah happy. If you please other people in seeking your ultimate goal of incurring Allah’s pleasure, then your conduct is acceptable. But if you favor others because you enjoy the limelight from their admiration then this means that your intent to serve Allah was not pure. If you offer your prayers with a fatigued mind and worn out body because you were partying with your friend the entire day you will have to compromise on your religious duties. And mind you, this is wrong!

If we put all our efforts in seeking Allah’s pleasure, Allah will automatically make us nice in the eyes of others. Holy prophet (S.A.W.) said “He who displeased Allah for seeking the pleasure of people, Allah is displeased with him and those people are also displeased, for pleasing whom he had earned Allah’s displeasure. And he who pleases Allah, although by it he displeased people, Allah is pleased with him, and also those people whom he had displeased for pleasing Allah become pleased with him. Allah makes him splendid and his speech and acts in the eyes of others beautiful.” If we strive solely to please others, we must realize that in doing so we earning for ourselves Allah’s wrath.

We set out for our journey of life with the final goal of gaining Allah’s blessings, but the worldly obstacles on our way tempts us and while enjoying them, darkness prevails in our heart that leaves our ultimate real objective in oblivion. It is time we should rectify our intentions and become God fearing servants of Allah, before doing anything and everything. Our every act should be directed primarily to gain Allah’s delight.