Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Polytheism & being distant


O son, I am going to be brutally honest with myself and with you today. There is a label called Muhasabah (self accounting) in Lisan al-Din, so this is one of them.

Woe unto me, I had missed my obligatory prayers and daily wirids yesterday. As I was feeling restless, which is natural for one who has been absent from Divine mercy, I flipped one of my books and saw this saying by Fudayl bin Iyad:
"To abandon action for the sake of men
is polytheism (shirk)."

I was guilty of shirk because I had abandoned my duties to my Lord for the sake of men.

Men here refers to others and me. I had taken the obligatory prayers lightly. I had regarded myself (my preference/inclinations to do other things) as higher and greater than the Lord. Astaghfirullah alAzim.

Missing one's prayers in itself is a punishment. It means that one is not invited to the Divine Banquet for the Soul. That the Divine did not want to see my face. Astaghfirullah. Consequently, it means that I was kept distant. Being distant from the Divine Beloved is akin to hell. So I suffered from both polytheism and being distant.

If I may add to what Fudayl bin Iyad had said:
To abandon spiritual/religious actions for the sake of self and men is polytheism.
It is tantamount to shirk khafi (subtle) - that one bows to another ilah (god) which is oneself because one prefers to do something else than what God has made obligatory from His servants. This implies that one regards oneself as greater than Allah who is Akbar (great). It is like saying my decision not to pray (or pray yet), not to bow to my Creator is all right as I wish to fulfill my own desires so I am putting myself first before my Lord. Astaghfirullah. A'uzubillah min shirikil khafi. I seek refuge in Allah from shirik khafi. I seek refuge in Allah from my bad actions. Allahu Akbar!

One who has missed a prayer is distant from His Mercy. He, the Almighty does not lose anything but he/she is on the losing side because what it means is that one is being dishonored by Him!

So learn from my shortcomings, O son.
Let us humbly pray as Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi prayed in his Monday morning prayer.
"O Allah grant me compassion from You,
reestablish harmony in my disorder,
perfect me where I am lacking,
restrain me when I am astray,
and guide me when I am perplexed."

O son, take from Lisan al-Din only that which is good and leave all that is bad from its writer. 

Pic credit: Sis Tasneem Abd Haqq

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