Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whatever suits you best


O son, someone asked how to cleanse the heart. We are afraid we are not in a position to advise anything more than what we ourselves practise. And our practice is not only little but unconstant as we too struggle to apply what we have learned, that we could scrub the rusts in the heart by doing zikrullah and going to majlis 'ilm InshaAllah. Of course we all know the Prophet's hadith about cleaning the heart by remembering death and reciting the Qur'an. 

We understand that one who is trying to revert to the practices of Islam may feel overwhelmed by the amount of obligatory duties. Not many of us can confidently say they perform solat out of love and gratitude, not because it is compulsory therefore do it with a heavy heart.

So how best do we reach out to Allah? The answer is really up to the individual. This morning we came across a relevant story about Jesus and John the Baptist. It is from the discourses of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi in Fihi ma Fihi.

"Jesus laughed a lot. John the Baptist wept a lot. John said to Jesus, "You have become mighty secure from God's subtle deceits to laugh so much."

"You," replied Jesus "are mighty heedless of God's subtle and mysterious favor and grace to weep so much!"

One of God's saints who was present at this exchange asked God which of the two was more exalted in station. The answer he got was to this effect: "The one who thinks better of me," that is "Wherever my servant thinks of me, I am there. I have a form and image for each of My servants. Whatever each of them imagines me to be, that I am. I am bound to images where God is; I am annoyed by any reality where God is not. O my servants, cleanse your thoughts, for they are my dwelling places. Now try yourself and see what is more beneficial to you - weeping, laughter, fasting, prayer, or retreat. Adopt whichever of these suits you best and causes you to advance more."

Wallahu a'lam.
May Allah guides us to Him. He is the best Teacher. He grants hikmah to whomever He chooses.
Publisher Credit: Treshold Books & SA Majeed

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