Saturday, December 18, 2010
What is your objective in life?
"And I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me. I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of power, the Most Strong." [Noble Quran 51:56-58]
Allah reminds us in the above Ayahs that we were created solely for the purpose of worshipping Him alone, in return for ALL the provisions and Blessings from Him, AND Eternal Bliss in The Hereafter. And He balances His Mercy, by reminding us that He is The Owner of All Power, He is Able to do everything, inclusive of being The Owner of the Day of Judgment when He will judge and decide man's fate depending upon his deeds and intentions.
Our ultimate goal is Paradise. To reach this goal, we need to find contentment with Our Lord, and the way of life He has commanded us to live. Being content with Allah means to have no complaints with whatever has been decreed for us, and submitting to Allah's will in obedience, with out questioning Him and His Commands. Being content with your Lord is the belief that He wants only good for His creation (mankind). Allah is also content with His servant who is content with his Lord- it is mutual, and we ask Allah for a heart and soul that is content and filled with tranquility.
"O tranquil soul! Come back to your Lord, well-pleased and well-pleasing! Enter then among My servants, And enter My Paradise!'' [Noble Quran 89:27-30]
Just like a host inviting an honorable guest into his home, Allah calls the servant to The Paradise that He created, and prepared for His righteous servants.
Keep renewing your goals and evaluating yourself:
We have to keep using that goal sheet of ours.
"Nay! I swear by the Day of Resurrection. And nay! I swear by An-Nafs Al-Lawwamah. Does man think that We shall not assemble his bones." [Noble Quran 75:1-3]
An-Nafs Al-Lawwamah is the self-reproaching soul that keeps questioning itself, and keeps itself on track. And this is the soul that helps us in consistent work-out to higher grounds. It questions us:
"Is that enough?"
"Did you do it with the right intention?"
"Did you do the right thing?"
"Shouldn't you ask Allah to forgive you for your sins?"
"Ask for forgiveness and don't repeat this mistake!"
"How can you be satisfied with doing just this much, when the Sahabah used to do much more?!"
....and so on...This soul pulls you back when you feel proud of yourself, and keeps you on track.
In the first Ayah, Allah swears by the Yaum-al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection) and then He goes on, to swear by the Reproaching soul that we must have, which in turn reminds us of the Yaum-al-Qiyamah. The reproaching soul reminds us each time we do something that we will gathered on the Day of Resurrection and our bones will be resurrected and assembled after our death.
We have to develop this reproaching soul within us by constantly renewing our intentions, reminding ourselves by listening to good lectures as often as we can, indulging in only beneficial talk and good deeds and being around people who care about their Hereafter and ours. These are the food and nutrition for the reproaching soul. Feed it! The main food is installation of deep-borne fear and Taqwa of Allah and the Hereafter.
We have to set practical goals by carefully prioritizing them. For example, if we are habituated to reciting 1 page from the Quran daily, lets raise the bar to 2 pages; if we are regular with our Salah, then consider starting the habit of Salatul Duha (morning prayer after sunrise) and/or Witr. If we feel our weakness is in judging or making assumptions about others, rectify it by listening to the reproaching soul within each one of us- "Isn't Allah the judge over His creation, why don't you judge yourself before you are judged?" If one has a problem in over-spending his money, once again, listen to what the reproaching soul has to say- remember the poor, remember what the Quran has to say about over-spending!
The worst type of soul is the Nafs-al-Ammarah- the wretched soul. Allah says in the Quran:
"Verily, the self is inclined/urged to evil." [Noble Quran 12:53]
This is the soul that in unattended, neglected or not fed properly. This soul has Shaytan as an ally- sometimes it realizes that, sometimes not. Sometimes, the owner of this soul is so happy about it, and he is the one for whom Allah appoints Shay tan as his Qarin (friend/ partner). Allah says:
"And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him Shay tan to be a Qarin (a companion) to him." [Noble Quran 43:36]
And this is the soul that, even in Ramadan when the Shayatin are chained and when the gates of Hell-fire are closed, tempts one to fall into disobedience of Allah and sin. The reproaching soul pulls us up when we fall into mud. But the wretched soul pulls us in, like falling into quick sand. It beautifies our sins, makes us feel that it is okay to bend rules and encourages us to the traps of shay tan till we lose sense of what is right and wrong. It magnifies some little good that we may do, and overlooks the voluminous sins we commit. This soul follows its desires. This soul does not remember Allah often. May Allah show Mercy upon us, protect us from all evil, and guide us always.
Reflecting Upon Allah's Names & Attributes:
We should always ponder deeply upon Allah's most perfect names and attributes, His names are perfect in every sense.
When we say Allah is Al-'Alim (The All-Knower) it should be with such firm belief that it will lead us to be conscious of Him while doing anything, since whatever we do, He is aware! He is aware of all our thoughts, so we should purify our intentions. He is aware of what we do in our homes privately, and what we do in public; so we do not be good just to impress the public. If we lie, He is aware; if we backbite, He is aware.
When we say Allah is Al-Ghafur (The Oft-Forgiving) we have to realize that Allah loves those who seek forgiveness, and so, we should constantly remember Allah, and seek repentance from Him The Almighty.
Similarly, we should know Our Lord by All His perfect names, and ponder upon them, call Him by them, and supplicate to Him by calling Him by His names.
There is no better time to start than today.