Focusing In

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim

وَ قُل رَبِّي زِدنِي عِلماً

Have you noticed how perseverant the devil is in his oath to distract mankind from the worship and servitude of the One and True Lord of all that exists? His arrogance led him to make such an oath, and he works wonders in trying to fulfill his goals.

It amazes me how we, people in general, are able to persevere in our wrong actions. I suppose we have both the support of the ego (nafs) and Shaytan that makes that path easier. As Shaykh Abdullah Al Haddad (of Fes) mentioned once, the nafs is the daughter of Shaytan. They're a lethal father-daughter tag team that are very easily sustained.

However, intellectually, I don't blame Shaytan for my wrongdoings. He probably has a portion of blame, but only insofar as delivering an invitation to follow a misguided and undesirable way. Acceptance of that invitation and execution of its requirements are all matters that sit firmly on my plate of life's choices. And this is a burden I place on myself.

If the world was like a video game that has a power bar in the peripheries of our vision continuously telling us how much we earn in terms of rewards and how much punishment we've reaped from our misdeeds, most of us would likely despair. But life is not a video game, and our ability to rectify our situation is always an accessible option. It's almost like a game that has 'cheats' but in life (since life isn't a game) there are windows of opportunity to overcome the negative effects of our transgressions.

This is simply achieved, as I see it, by directing our sincere efforts to praiseworthy endeavours and most importantly sincerely seeking God's forgiveness with the resolve not to continue nor return to our wrongdoings.

It seems quite the challenge to remain focused in the honourable pursuits of life because they are harder to sustain. I suppose a firm support system needs to be established, and often times that comes from one's home. And more importantly, I imagine that our efforts toward good are only made easier by seeking knowledge for His sake.

Shaykh Abdullah Al Haddad visited Toronto in the summer of 2007. In my absence, my friend kindly shared some of his words with me. She had asked him about knowledge and how some students of (beneficial) knowledge feel weak or lack perseverance in their studies. She said his response was lengthy but he essentially said, something to the effect, "Many people ask regarding this issue. However, if we only realized the importance of this knowledge, we would never feel this way (lazy or lacking in motivation)." He also said that if we were sensitive to the responsibility we have concerning this knowledge ('ilm), these feelings would be impossible.

We cannot worship God in fear of Hell, nor can we worship Him in anticipation of Paradise. Our entry into Paradise is only granted by His mercy. But we must strive to worship Him and to perfect our worship of Him because He is deserving of this complete servitude.

The road is not an easy one, but half the time I think most of us are looking for the actual path, never mind attempting to tread it. Again, I think it's by the light which God bestows through knowledge that the path will become clearer, God willing.

May Allah bless us with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. May He forgive our sins and help us draw closer to Him. May He protect us from deceiving ourselves and distracting ourselves in fruitless and blameworthy pursuits. And may He take us back to Him in the best of states. Ameen.

Update 19/05/09:

Narrated Dirar ibn Murrah: Iblis said: "If I am successful in persuading man to do three things, then that will be all I need: to make forget his sins, to regard his good deeds as too many, and to be proud of his opinion."

.رب انفعنا بما علمتنا... رب علمنا الذي ينفعنا, آمين

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alekium,

Thank you for your wonderful blog featuring our beautiful religion and the da'wa you spread by doing so. Keep writing--the deen needs you! :)

noorsjourney said...

Salaams again, I hit the "publish" button too soon, please visit my blog if you like!

Noor :)

Farzeen said...

Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullah sister Noor :)

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your very kind and encouraging words. I can only hope that some may find benefit in some of the things I write, though I readily admit that if there are benefits, they're for me. Alhamdulillah!

I took a peek at your blog, but haven't yet had a chance to read any of it properly. Insha'Allah I hope to do that soon. :)

Your du'as, please.

ana muslim said...

a very good reminder...you should keep writing sis ;-)

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]

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Inspiration

"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]