Allahu Hu Allah, I really don't know how to begin addressing the questions and remarks made by a reader of Lisan al-Din who had approached me on another social media platform. I feel obligated to reply because he has been reading this blog for many years, long enough to notice that this space has evolved, that my postings have evolved and that he seemed to respect and understand the evolution. I am obliged to reply because I understand how it feels to be a Muslim who yearns to know more about our raison d'etre vis-a-vis the Lord. I can only write from my own experiences, needless to say. And often times the person who tries to answer, might end up learning more from the questioners.
So it all started with hard rubs LOL. Rumi said, "If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" Initially, I felt like the Lord rubbed me really hard and I felt overwhelmed. The moment I started feeling overwhelmed, I began taking major actions. No, I shouldn't say "I" was the initiator, it was the state itself that moved me as a mere actor. I remembered feeling engulfed by a strong desire to wear hijab, I was overtaken by a strong power that couldn't possibly be me (my own will). I remembered feeling overwhelmed about starting this blog and naming it Lisan al-Din, it was like telling me "Hey you, I am going to make you do it", I was shaking, feverish in fact. It just had to happen, no two ways about it. What I'm trying to say is that we are weak and we can merely respond to a stronger force that controls us. Who is in control of us who holds us by the forelock? Let's say it's He. He made me thirsty for books on Sufism for many years, He sent it to me through a vessel of His choice, He made me read them feverishly, and He imparted some understanding into my heart. All we could do is embrace His actions and motivations on us. La hawla wala quwwata illah billah.
Dr. E, (the questioner), if you were able to notice how I have changed over the years, I mean since you're able to observe the changes, the evolution of my soul through my sharing/postings which I had knowingly or unknowingly exposed to the public for the past 10 years, then you have seen Him, for He is Time. It was all a manifestation of His af'al (actions) and attributes (Names/Sifat). We are merely a receptacle. Yet He wants us to know Him. We should not just be a dumb passive receptacle, we should be one who has a discerning heart to notice His gestures, to notice His presence, His omnipresence and subsequently glorifies Him.
I remembered Shaykh Yaqoubi and a few more shuyukh elucidating the real meaning of a Quranic phrase about the obligation to worship Allah. Worship, as I understood from them is wide and beyond the physical acts of worship. One important aspect of it is to know Him through His asma', sifat and af'al (His Names/attributes and actions). Yes, in our search for better understanding or rather better realization of who He is, we walked and we walked, we met so many teachers, some were genuine, some were fake, some were riding the religion, few actually supported the religion, some were attracted to my appearance and keen to marry me, some were interested in collecting funds and support for their ongoing religious projects, some had reps to woo people so we belong with their fraternity and not others, and there are as you know it, so many religious WhatsApp groups out there. We learned from them, we learned about them and about ourselves too. It's easy to get tired along the journey. But let's not be fooled by misunderstandings or the complexities that some religious people try to impose on the religion because He has made the deen easy for us. So don't let anyone complicate it for us. Take it simply as it is.
For the past two years or so, it was clear to me, that it was time to re-prioritize my time, to spend more time reading and reflecting on the Quran, making plenty of selawat and focusing on one route to Jannah through my dear mother, to attend to her as best as I could.
Dr. E, do not fret, do not worry about knocking on so many doors or finding which path to take, just focus on the opportunity that is before your eyes right now, that is to serve others through your field. I understood the wise words of the mu'aleem, the shortest way to the Lord is through khidma (service). So serve right there where you are. Because He is so near, we tend to not see.
I think the best antidote when the vision gets fuzzy is to reflect upon a verse of the Quran:
"We will show them Our signs in the horizons and in their own souls until it becomes clear to them it is the truth. Is it not sufficient that your Lord is witness to all things?"
So let's keep looking out for His signs until it becomes clearer.
On a lighter note, that's why lately, I'd like to take it easy and love going to the beach to enjoy the horizons, laze on a hammock and contemplate on my own soul.
But on a serious note, whenever my mother calls on me for a favor I take it as my ticket to Heaven. Likewise, you, whenever someone seeks your medical service, consider it your shortest route to Him. If you happen to have the time to visit some majlis ta'alim, or you don't, so be it. Should we bump into something that doesn't seem right to our heart, we say next! Because it is sufficient that He is our witness to all things.
8 September 2018
|Remember: On the horizons and in yourselves!|