July 24, 2012

Ramadan Musings: What do you want with life?

Posted in Islam, Knowledge, Quotes, Sufism, Taqwa, Tazkiyah tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:10 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

I was at Taraweeh and I left a little early because I had to come home and write this post. Like, I actually grabbed paper towels and started writing this post on it. I guess when you have to write, you have to write!

I visited a friend and we had a very interesting conversation. She was having some personal concerns and at one point, she was talking about how she is unhappy with multiple things in her life. For the past few months, she has been struggling with many personal spheres of life, but something has been bugging me that I have always wanted to ask her, so I did:

“What is it that you want with life?”

The reason I asked her that (and decided to write this post) is because I firmly believe we cannot, **cannot** be happy with life if we don’t know what we want to do with it. As a Muslim, Allah swt gave me a body, a soul, physical and mental faculties, and all the potential in the universe. God did not create me to be a plant, a tree or a rock (as lovely as they are). God decided to make me a human being. And for those of you who may follow other faiths or are non religious, you were still born a human. You have all the potential in the universe to do good, no *great* things. A Christian friend of mine once said that if God did indeed create everything, then the pinnacle of His creation would be the human mind. There is nothing like it. It is capable of so many things, that the possibilities are truly endless.

With that said, we are human beings–capable of infinite progress. We cannot be happy unless we know there is something we want to do with our lives and we set ourselves to do it. I have a ton of different dreams, aspirations and hopes. Trust me, I feel like I have had a lot of setbacks in my life and I know life is hard, but that doesn’t mean it will stop me. I want to be a good Muslim, a good person, and live a good life. My passion for life is greater than the setbacks that keep coming my way.

And these big questions:

–What do I want to do with my life?

–What kind of person do I want to be when I die?

–What will I do with my relationship with the other (myself, God, nature, society, etc.)?

–What do I value? What will I stand for?

–What will I do with my time on earth that has any meaning? (be it to me or others)

These questions matter. And if we have not sat down and really thought about them, then we are not really using our minds to the fullest. We aren’t living life to what we can live them up to be. We are selling ourselves short and therefore, not completely satisfied.

With all that said, those questions cannot be simply answered. If you answered them in two minutes, I would be kind of concerned. These questions take time to answer, but at the same time (from an Islamic point of view) we cannot answer them by ourselves. God guides us. God shapes the answers to those questions with us. But we have to make that effort, that mental journey too.

And Ramadan is the perfect time to be thinking about these big questions. Shaytaan is locked up. Angels are everywhere. Blades of grass are saying more praises to God. Mercy is raining from the sky. The scent of Ramadan is permeating everywhere–the environment is perfect for change, for getting closer to God. I say that to myself as well as I also need to get closer to figuring out what I truly want with life while also taking steps in that direction.

If you make intense supplication
and the timing of the answer is delayed,
do not despair of it.
His reply to you is guaranteed;
but in the way He chooses,
not the way you choose,
and at the moment He desires,
not the moment you desire.

–Ibn Ata’llah

Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars.

–Carl Sagan

 

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1 Comment »

  1. MuslimAtHeart said,

    These are good questions to ponder – thank you for sharing them so that I may also think about them.
    Oh, and I love the quote at the end by Ibn Ata’llah !:-D


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