June 5, 2008
My Epiphanies (II)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I am in my Islam class and we are learning about Tasawwuf and Imam Al Ghazali.
And then… I began to *feel* what I read from Imam Al Ghazali’s works. He always spoke to me in different ways in his books. But I wonder….
I remember two years ago in one of my classes, my teacher was talking about pain. She was talking about how people misinterpret pain as the worst possible thing that can happen to a human. But really, it isn’t. Pain is a mode of learning. It may not be pleasant, but it isn’t an EVIL. She said that the emotion of pain was created in human beings so it was meant to be felt. But we shouldn’t harbor it. Pain should be like tides of the ocean coming to shore. We should let it simply wash over us and just let it pass through us. Just keep what is important and what we were meant to learn, but then let pain go. Allah is the Controller of Emotion and He is who we should turn to. Pain is temporary; God is eternal.
And then I remember what Al Ghazali wrote in one of his books (for the whole quote, check my favorite quotes) and he said that when people are depressed, a physicist will think it is a dryness in the brain; an astrologist will think it is a misalignment of the planets (wa al iyathubilah), or doctor thinks it is a chemical imbalance, but little did they think that Allah swt created such an environment and conditions to make a person depressed so that they may turn from the world… and turn back to God.
Pain is simply an emotion. Technically, according to physics, it doesn’t even exists. But we may not be able to control it fully when it comes, we can control the effects.
It is through pain we continue our path to find God so we should not be JUST doing tauba when it comes. We should thank Allah. Thank Him that He cared to teach us. Thank Him that we can feel pain, because through pain we progress and are more able to grasp the truth of Allah.
Pain is not a punishment; pain is a form of internal cleansing because in pain, we remember Allah.
So I now I am coming to this realization that pain we feel is just a smaller representation of the unrecognized pain we truly feel of being separated from Allah. So we should not fear pain. Embrace it, and then let it go.
Arabic Proverb: “Allah sometimes takes us into troubled waters- Not to drown us, but to cleanse us.”