11 May Ramadan reflections
Some short reminders for Ramadan.
We are going through unprecedented times. A few months ago, nobody would have guessed that we would be in this predicament, quarantined within our homes ; yet here we are. Isolated, being secluded within the 4 walls of our homes seems like a curse yet there is beauty to be found within the situation that we find ourselves in. We’ve complained to Allah countless times about not having enough time. We’ve made countless du’aas to get closer to Allah. What if this is how Allah is answering those very du’aas? Let us delve into the depths of our souls to find out who we are… How will we get closer to the One who created us? We need to think about our purpose in life. We have the time and space now. Own the moment with your soul.
One of the beautiful habits of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم was that in his seclusion, he would go to the mountain and focus his thoughts on finding his truth – something unknown to Arabs before Islam. In our time of seclusion we can follow this example. Learn to tune in with your soul and intuition. Delve deep into our hearts and thoughts so that when we seek proximity to Allah, we can do so with our whole being, including those abstract parts of us which we have, till now, been so oblivious to. Now is the time to be at one with those innate, subconscious parts of our soul into them and to give ourselves wholly to Allah. Heart, mind and soul attached to nothing but Him.
Part of loving Allah is to have love and appreciation for His blessings upon us. And sometimes these blessings come in the form of people. We shouldn’t just have a physical love for them, which is inclusive only of our physical needs of them. Rather this love should be rooted deep within our souls. Because through them, the path to Allah is made easier. There’s a profound spiritual connection that can be made here, if the relationship is based on loving them for Allah’s sake. Because they are a gift from Allah to us. And, so, loving these gifts, in essence, leads to loving Allah as He sent us these beings to help us get closer to Him.
The self is divided into 2 components. One is the ‘nafs’. This entices us towards evil. Anywhere it senses illicit pleasure, like a dog, it is attracted to it. It is gravitational – it pulls us down. Sometimes, it wants one thing, other times, it wants another thing. It goes haywire… constantly here and there
The other component is the ‘rooh’ – the spiritual soul – which was blown into us before we came to the earth. This component pulls us to its only want – Allah. It remembers the covenant of أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ “Am I not your Lord?”,and so its path is clear – the straight path to Allah.
The path to Allah is straight. This is, in essence, istiqaamah. Staying upon that straight path. If we follow our base desires – the nafs – it leads away from the straight path. It goes everywhere but the straight path. However, if we follow our rooh – the spiritual soul self – it will lead us straight. To Allah. Through His divine help.
The question is – what part of ourselves are we following? Have we got istiqaamah? Are we on the straight path leading to Allah? Or are we following our base desires, leading us away from the only source of true happiness – Allah.
Perception and deception
The lower self is inclined towards the exterior, which may seem beautiful and lavish. When we fall into believing that the exterior is the truth, this poor judgement leads to downfall. We fall prey to shaytaan’s trick into making us assume the exterior is the haqq. Whereas the interior – which the heart is inclined to – is what matters most. Oftentimes the exterior seems beautiful but the interior is vile and repulsive. So look with the eyes of the heart, the eyes of realising and insight, rather than with the eyes of looking.
A term often connoted with negativity. Yet there is so much sweetness encompassed within it. Allah says in the Qur’aan “Say, if you love Allah, then follow me [ ie the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم], Allah will love you” .In another place, He says, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger”. When we can abide by the laws of the country – thereby obeying the rulers – then how is it that we do not want to obey the Ruler of all rulers. The King of all kings. Does our obedience benefit Allah in any way? We are only doing ourselves a favour by obeying Him. The sweetness of obedience can only be tasted when the heart is free from base desires.
Beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم was, and is, the Leader of mankind. Yet, from his life, we learn the characteristic of abstinence. Had he willed, he could have asked Allah for a luxurious lifestyle – which he would have been deserving of, too. Yet, he decided to remain abstinent from the glamour and glitter of the dunya. And we should follow suit. Through abstaining from the luxuries, we learn that from this dunya means nothing. “The dunya is a prison for the believer”. No prisoner lives in luxury. We want Allah. We want so much more than dunya… So what will this glamour benefit in that regard?
During our time in solitude…where does our mind wander? Which realm do we find our souls in? Is it where we should be? Or where we are prohibited from going to? Sometimes its easy to stay away from haram when it is physical… But what about our mental state…our thoughts… May Allah grant tawfeeq to allow our minds to only go to those places which He wants us go to. For our souls to wander in realms He wants them to wander in. Aameen thumma aameen.
A happy death
Hadhrat Abu Dujaanah رضي الله عنه, when passing away, was extremely happy. Those around him asked why… to which he replied that there were two reasons:
1) He never kept any hatred in his heart for anyone
2) He didn’t get involved in matters which didn’t concern him
Due to this –He knew he would meet Allah in a state where Allah would be pleased with him, in shaa Allah
That is the recipe to success, and it only has two ingredients.
Noor Ul Islam Aalimah Department
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The Prophet (Pbuh) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small.