Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
About a week ago, as I scrolled through my Whatsapp feed, I found a display picture that caused some introspection for my illusive mind, maybe for a a few days.
Then, so it happened, some time later, I received a post that inspired me, even if it was just for a short while. Co-incidentally, just before the weekend, an e-mail appeared in my inbox, as a clear reminder of what I should have been aspiring for since the beginning of Ramadaan. I read it and thought about it, and then forgot about it, just like the other words that I had previously been taken aback by, as I was caught in the moment.
They say technology in this era is the hugest Fitnah of the time… Just as magic was in the time of Musaa (AS) and Haroon (AS). And of course, no one can deny that technology and Social Media is one of the greatest time drainers in Ramadhaan… I know. I had to, (and still have to), work really hard to kill that attachment, but that’s not where I’m going with this post.
What I’m trying to say here, is that, as I received these messages, which I know are intended to be ‘inspiring’ and ‘reflective’, I’ve come to notice that this ‘momentary inspiration’ has become a sort of trend for me. My heart softens momentarily as I get a tiny spiritual high, and I feel like I have progressed just a little. And then… Then I just fall back to where I always have been…. In that stagnant, unyielding place, where nothing I do is ‘felt’.
Sometimes, we hang onto that ‘feeling’ that we experience during the most perfectly phrased message or the most inspirational of talks. We cling to that feeling, and expect to always feel that way, during any kind of Ibaadat. Sometimes, we even go to the extent of excluding that particular form of worship, if the desired ‘feeling’ isn’t accompanying whatever efforts we are making.
And right there, is when we should be thinking to ourselves… Like how I had thought to myself on that particular spiritually dead day… What exactly am I chasing here?
We want to ‘feel’ that connection, and ‘feel’ that spiritual high. We panic because we feel dead inside, and because every effort we are aspiring towards just feels so lifeless.
And with all these thoughts, as the tiny ray of sunshine found it’s way into my rusted heart, I thought to myself…
Am I supposed to be chasing Allah, or am I just chasing a ‘feeling’? Am I looking to fulfil my Nafs, or am I wanting to serve my Lord? Am I worshipping Ramadhaan, or am I hoping to be the slave who submits to the One Who created it?
The thing is, I get it. We see people whose lives have changed, and we also want to feel that revolutionary inspiration. But it’s as if your actions have no soul and your words have no heart.
And when I read this, having received it at the exactly right time, I realised that there is Someone who appreciates everything we do, even when we don’t see the true value.
‘What is the point of all of it? Your actions are robotic. Monotone. Without soul.
You wish you could be like that person praying next to you in taraweeh who sobs during every prostration. You want to be the one passionately pleading with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) with humility. Your hope is that you can be that person whose heart is broken before God.
You know what, though? You, too, are special to Allah (swt).
You who recites the Qur’an because you know it is good.
You who prays because Allah (swt) commanded you to.
You who attends lectures on Islam because you want to feel closer to Him.
The Prophet ﷺ told us that the person who recites the Qur’an and struggles with the recitation receives twice the reward: for their recitation and for their effort and struggle. Ibn Al-Qayyim used this hadith (tradition of the Prophet ﷺ) as the basis for his statement that the person who struggles to be devoted in prayer gets twice the reward: for the parts that he was devoted, and for his struggle to stay focused.
As long as you are trying, Allah (swt) is with you…’
And Allah is As-Shakoor. He loves it. He appreciates it. And He gets you.
Because at the end of the day, the one whose opinion matters is only the One that you are doing this all for. And if you are feeling down, just think about this.
Allah (SWT) gets it.
Because when you are making whudhu, and you are so careful to not even let a drop of water go down your throat… Who exactly are you making that effort for?
And when you are praying Qiyaam, in the dead of the night, when it feels like not a single soul is awake with you, Who knows your sincere intention?
And when you pour out your heart on your Musalla, knowing that Allah hears you, even though those tears don’t want to flow… Who sees your heart crying out?
HE gets it.
Because your efforts are pure. Because they are true. And because you are not worshipping a feeling. You do not place your forehead on the hard ground, solely for that ‘high’. You submit to Him, through every action you do, because Allah sees what you do not.
Including your heart.
Know your Allah… Know that you have a Generous, Fostering, Patient and Kind Lord who is actually shy to turn away a believer when he is asking of Him.
He can bring back whatever is lost.
He can bring you back to Him.
And so, to the heart that is #Numb:
Do not give up just yet. Don’t find other things to keep your focus. Don’t get distracted because you feel that you actions will hold no weight. Don’t ever feel despondent, because you are still on a journey.
You are still trekking forward, and you are most definitely going to reach that place where you see all the rewards that have been allocated for every ‘little’ action that you did.
So, keep on doing good. Keep on with the aspirations. Push yourself to the limits. Exert yourself with all the effort you can encompass.
And for that, Allah will not only love you, but He will show that love for you. And on that day, when you eventually see your rewards, you will be so grateful for your perseverance, because only then will you see the true value of how big your ‘little’ action was, in His eyes.
Only then will you see how truly grateful Allah is for every effort you made, not for your Nafs, but only for Him.
And InshaAllah, for you, the discerning Slave of Allah, on that day… There will be no sorrow nor any grief.
That’s His promise.
“O My servants! There is no fear for you on that Day, nor shall you grieve.” (Surah Zukhruf: 68)
As these last ten days dawn on us, let us make extra effort to find that motivation and push ourselves to the limits. Indeed, Allah has not made the Night of Power in the first or middle ten days of this blessed month. He has placed in the last ten days so that we may aspire for it and aim to find it. So that we can muster every ounce of energy we have left, and exert ourselves in a way that we haven’t yet, throughout this Ramadhaan.
Find that reserved energy, and let that second wind gush forth. Drive yourself in a way that you had never thought yourself capable of. Leave the phone and time-drainers aside, and use every minute of this month wisely. Insha Allah. May Allah allow me, this humble writer, to practise on whatever I am trying to relate first, and inspire the enitre Ummah. Let’s bring alive all our Sunnahs, and make a goal chart, if we haven’t yet.
For example, per day:
1.5 Juz Qur’an
Fadhaail Amaal- 3 pages
Just a guideline. May Allah make it easy.
A Du’aa we may have forgotten.