Have you ever stopped and wondered, wondered why certain things occur in the manner in which they do? Do you ever wonder why you keep being tested with the same situation again and again? Sometimes these thoughts cross my mind and then I have to stop, take a deep breath and revaluate. . . To be completely honest, the answer is really quite simple, thus I put myself to the test: Do you ask Allah (Swt) to forgive you your sins? All of them? Are you amongst those that ask Allah (Swt) to protect you from committing future sins? But then what? What do you do? Do you make every effort to make tawbah (repentance) every single night before going to sleep? No, for you probably exert extra caution in ensuring that you don’t displease your Lord in the first place? (Hmm?) Dear readers, if we really think about it – who are we fooling? Certainly not The Lord of the Worlds, for it is our soul alone that we are gambling with.
Why do we forget the effects of our trials a mere a few days after having experienced it? Were the shed tears not sufficient to remind us of the ache our heart painfully bore? When I think of my situations: tests; trials; as well as the blessings from Allah (Swt), I can’t help but wonder if my ‘re-living’ the actions again and again is as a result of my failure to produce worthy outcomes.
I recently brought myself to admit this reality: the beguilement of the soul by my very own pretences: ‘sweet hope’. I thought my wishful thinking had gained me true hope, but rather, maybe, it just simply covered my eyes with fake, often too familiar, wool. So as I sat, pondering; feeling sad and on the brink of despondency, something, not quite sure what or how, but something hit me and the heavy grey cloud hanging over my head begun to slowly disperse, with sudden beams of ray seeping through my thoughts. No! I refuse to believe that my Lord wants me to be filled with despondency. Of course we must ponder; reflect; and most certainly call ourselves to account, but to begin to lose hope – no, for verily that is tantamount to disbelief. So yes, I must continue to reflect and question – my own self – whilst simultaneously resting my heart assured that things will never be exactly as we want . . . and that’s okay, for we do not live for ourselves, we live for our Lord (Swt). Thus as long as we continue to strive and seek His pleasure wholeheartedly, with no corruption of the heart being present, then what could possibly be more comforting?
Well, of course a sign or indication that one is heading in the right direction would be great, however how exactly is one to know when that sign or indication arrives? So as I bring myself back to reality, I must remind my soul that this journey must still go on. Over the rocky hills and mountains, through the deep ice-cold lakes and oceans and upon unpredictable terrain. . . the journey must still go on. So as I sit wiping away at my tears and thanking Allah (Swt) for the trials that go experienced again and again and again, I feel a sense of contented victory at the fact that He (Swt) Knows me, not as I know myself, but far greater.
“If they repent then I am their beloved friend, for I love those who repent and I love those who purify themselves. If they do not repent, I am their physician (tabeebuhum), and I will try them with afflictions to cleanse them of their faults.”
[Ibn Qayyim (rh), ‘The Invocation of God’, p.83]
Alhamdulillah (all praises are to Allah), for my heart has once again found contentment - sweet and peaceful contentment. Thus I pause, reflect and sigh . . . Alhamdulillah . . . for my tears have now gone dry.