بسم الله الرحمان الريم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
~May these personal reminders be of sincere beenfit to you and reach you in the best of unwavering emaan, exemplary taqwa and polished health always, ameen.~

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Has the knowledge of Allah (Swt), about you, ever made you cry?

Isn't it ironic? How we plan for things, in which lay no certainty and neglect the one essence of our existence in which there is no doubt.
I remember the first time qadr ever crossed my mind - approximately six years ago, whilst reading an article in an Islamic magazine. It seem to shed some light on the topic, however I was still left, somewhat, unsure as to what exactly my stance was suppose to be. Since that time, the most profoud explanation that I've come across touched me about ten weeks ago, at a weekend course I was priveleged to attend.
In an explanation of the hadith:
A servant may have spent their life living as a person of Paradise
until there is no more than a hand span between them and it.
And then what has been decreed for them comes into affect;
they start to behave like a person of the Hell-fire and thus they enter it...
By Allah (Swt) this very hadith, though one that undoubtedly brings immense hope for some, fills me with nothing but utter fear. The shivers that trickle down my spine have only but increased over the years, when reading the same hadith.
. . . Last week (six years after reading the first article in an Islamic magazine) I came across two beautifully simple and yet heart-provoking articles on qadr - or to be more precise: 'Feeling face from the plan of Allah(Swt)' and the other entitled: 'Dealing with disappointments'. What can I say? SubhanAllahi wa bihamdih. How amazing, that something you've read so many times before can have such a profound effect when read at a different time in one's life - doesn't it amaze you? As I sat reading the articles, one after the other, I could feel my heart becoming somewhat unsteady, my palms begnning to shake and sweat, and my eyes very quickly swelling with tears. It suddenly dawned on me: What would I do if Allah (Swt) were to take this blessing away from me? How would I ever survivie if it were to be decree that my realisation, my deen, my everything could no longer be 'mine'? What would I do? Allah (Swt) Alone knows the fear that filled me in that single moment. How can any of us feel safe from the plan of Allah (Swt)? How can we plan, plan and plan some more, forgetting the very fact that Allah (Swt) plans may be completely different? How can we feel contently secure that we have a 'ticket to Paradise', thus we'll be saved? All of these questions hurriedly filled my thoughts, invading my soul. It all made perfect sense and the saying of Sufyan ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) conquered my heart:
'Has the knowledge of Allah, about you, ever made you cry?'
Well, if it had never done so before, now it had.
I have always tried to be one that completely trusted in Allah (Swt), sometimes to the extreme. Yet suddenly, it felt as though that very feeling was being taken away from me, that maybe I had an incorrect notion of tawakkul and I'd been fooling myself all along? Or was this merely a trick of the shaytaan, tryng to contaminate my hope and trust in Allah(Swt) with overwheliming fear and dispair?
As these questions toiled around in my mind, I continued reading the article and came across a section that stated:
'When Iblis (shaytaan) disobeyed Allah (Swt),
Angels Mikail and Jibrail (as) started to weep.
Allah (Swt) asked them (and of course Allah Knows all things
and merely asks to benefit us), why are you weeping?
They replied: 'we do not feel safe from your plan'.
and what was Allah (Swt) response to them?
'That is how you should be'.
SubhaanAllahi wa bihamdih, subhaanAllahil Adheem! 'That is how you should be?' These are two honoured servants of Allah (Swt): Mikail and Jibrail, who do not disobey Allah (Swt) in any of His commands, so what about us? How should we possibly be?
Truly Allah (Swt) is so Merciful. Allah (Swt) Was fully aware of how these thoughts were beginning to effect me. Although much good came out of this experience, in my heart of hearts I knew something was wrong. If Allah (Swt) is All that I'm concerned with, The Only One I depend upon, My everything, how and why would my Lord (Swt) ever take this away from me? No doubt that what takes place in a person's life is only by their own doing, as Allah (Swt) is Al-'Adl (The Just), thus injustice is not from His way. So, alhamduLillahi Rabbil 'alameen, it suddenly dawned on me, light suddenly filled my soul and it felt as though there was suddenly hope again.
Yesterday, as I sat discussing this very issue with two of my dear companions fillah, feeling quite emotional and overtaken by the thought of my Beloved (Swt) ever leaving me, I begun repeating: 'my Lord will not leave me, my Lord will not leave me. My Lord will not let me die as anything other than a Muslim, Insha'Allah!'. . . It all came back to me, thus I continued: 'The trust has to be there, as we shouldn't think that Allah (Swt) will give us what we want, we should know that He will, as Allah (Swt) Is as His servant thinks He Is'. . . That was it! Yes we must fear Allah (Swt), for He(Swt) Knows what we know not, however that fear has to be balanced with having hope in Him (Mosh High) aswell.
You see, I assumed that I was flying gracefully towards my Lord, thus neglecting my injured wing of hope, and preoccupying myself with continuing my journey; wishfully thinking that my head of love, for my Lord, and my other wing of fear, would aid me. I had failed to realise that - remaining like that, an injured and vulnerable bird - I would never be able to complete my journey and reach my destination successfully.
"The heart, in its journey to Allah, Majestic is He, is like a bird:
Love is its head, and fear and hope are its wings.
When the head and two wings are sound, the bird flies gracefully;
If the head is severed, the bird dies;
If the bird loses one of its wings, it then becomes a target fo every hunter or predator."
[Ibn Qayyim - rahimahullah- cited in 'The Exquisite Pearl']
All Glory be to my Lord (Swt) Who Has now healed my injured wing, enabling me to continue upon my journey, Insha'Allah gracefully, towards Him (Swt).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Have you ever been in-love?

Has it ever amazed you? . . . The Magnitude of Allah (Swt)? Have you ever stopped to just contemplate and ponder over it?
For a while I've appreciated The Magnificence and Greatness of Allah's (Swt) Hikmah; His incomprehensible Hikmah, that encompasses all things. And although I’ve simply accepted the decree of my Lord, unfortunately that hasn't always been with a content heart; nevertheless I’ve always accepted it. Now, however, not only is it an essence that I've come to truly appreciate, but it is one that I have completely grown to love.
As I sit writing these words, it occurs to me that they are nothing more than a precious glimpse of the feelings and emotions that have rendered my heart intoxicated - with love.
How many married sisters remember the day they glanced over at their husband and realised in that single moment, that they were in love? And how many sisters remember the day they gave birth and the love and happiness that filled their hearts? Although these examples are realities of life, the true love that I speak of is one that fills all hearts, without an atoms weight being left untouched.
Imagine being kept awake as a result of such an immense love. Imagine having your mind filled for every second of your waking moment, with thoughts of The One that fills your mind. Imagine losing major desires, due to them being suppressed by your Beloved; to the extent that water no longer quenches your thirst, food no longer feeds your hunger and oxygen no longer feels like the most significant matter for one’s heart.
Imagine being so in awe of Someone that you want nothing more than to be with The One with Whom you are in love. This feeling is one that has illuminated my heart, mind and soul, to the extent that nothing else matters anymore, absolutely nothing, except Allah (Swt). For I have come to realise and understand exactly what it is that my heart and soul have been missing, thus how can I possibly resist?
This feeling; the pinnacle of my happiness and the abode of my heart, sometimes makes me feel insane – positively insane. And as if that were not enough of a rahmah, the fact that it has been specifically decreed by my Beloved (Swt) - Himself, only but increases my love for Him.
So sincerely ask yourself: Have I ever truly been in-love? If so, you'll know that such a feeling is one that cannot truly be described. It's a feeling so profound that words simply have to do without, a realisation so intense that comprehension seems too inconceivable and an honour so great that it renders it beyond worldly belief.
‘There is a servant who has left his own soul behind, who is attached to his Lord’s remembrance, who is steadfast in fulfilling His rights; who looks to Him with his heart, his heart burning with the lights of His Divine awe. Allah Has purified his draught that he has drunk, from the cup of His Divine Love. The All-Mighty Has raised for him the veils of the Unseen. When he talks, it is for the sake of Allah; when he utters, it is about Allah; when he moves, it is by the command of Allah; when he rests, it is with Allah. He is for Allah, by Allah, with Allah.’
[Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) from Abu Bakr al-Kattani, sited in ‘The Exquisite Pearl: The journey to Allah & The home of the Hereafter’, p.10.]

Friday, March 02, 2007

A reason to smile

How truly amazing I felt yesterday. . . Why? To be completely honest I wouldn't know where to begin; but I simply wanted to share my happiness with the world. . .
It has been about five months since I begun my magnificent journey. An unpredictable and yet magnificent journey, unraveling hidden secrets, silent promises and heart-provoking realities. My journey is actually one of irony, tainted with naive-ignorance and the underlying echoes of yearning. Yearning and longing for so much more. So much more than what this world strove to offer me.
The beginning of my realisation marks the beginning of this journey, my journey, our journey. For each and every one of us are travellers, lost travellers journeying towards our forgotten homes. Some of us have remembered, whilst others have chosen to forget.
Over six and a half years ago I thought my journey had begun, looking back, maybe it had, but many many things failed to be present. For how can a traveller be successful along their journey without provisions? How can they achieve their goal without knowledge of their destination or of how to get there? How can a traveller really succeed along the path of their journey, whilst remaining ignorant of what path to tread upon? Well you see, six and a half years ago, I was a new-traveller, one that merely wanted to pack their luggage and be on their way, without ever looking back; and so I did.
But there was a problem, a big problem. I had failed on all of the above questions, mistakenly believing that I was treading successfully along my journey; when rather I had been filled with nothing more than false hopes. As I sit here remembering those chapters of my life, I cannot simply rip out the pages and be done with them, no, of course not, as they are crucial parts of my life; chapters that make up my completed story - having played a significant part of my journey. However, these chapters have now been closed, not for good, just temporarily closed.
So yesterday as I awoke to another blessed day of my journey - filling another page of my life, my soul was immersed with so much happiness and contentment. Walking through my local superstore I wanted nothing more than to proclaim to all: 'Can't you see my excitement! Can't you hear my joy! Look! Look! Look at me! No I'm not oppressed! I'm not sad! And I'm certainly not mad! On the contrary, for I've been given the cure for madness - Islam!' I wanted nothing more than to have them hear my inner-screams, only to enable them to harbour within themselves, what it is that I have so grown to love and long for . . . Allah (Swt).
My Lord (Swt) has honoured me with something that, truly. . . words will never be able to do justice to; a realisation and understanding that would instantly break all hearts; a love and longing in my heart that is only sufficient for my Beloved-Allah (Swt).
So you see, as I awoke to the sound of the birds perched upon my garden tree making dhikr and my heart ever so swift in joining them; I knew, I had a reason to smile.