June 5, 2008

My Epiphanies (IV)

Posted in Character, Epiphanies, Faith786's Favorites, Islam, Knowledge, Tazkiyah at 12:47 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

Today I was in college and I sat doing some work at a sofa. A woman came and sat to the couch next to me. So naturally, I said hi and basically we introduced ourselves to each other. She told me that I was the first Muslim girl with a head covering that actually “engaged” her in a conversation. Anyway, she asked a load of questions and I tried to answer them without being mean, biased or Islamically wrong.

And then, while I was talking/listening to her, I started thinking….

People constantly ask me that if I don’t wear a scarf, will I go to hell? If I am not Muslim, will I go to hell? If I drink alcohol, will I go to hell? If I touch a guy, will I go to hell? And I realized that I am getting all these “hell” questions, and not any questions about God. It seems everyone is living to avoid hell and/or getting to heaven. And I remember learning/reading about three kinds of people-those trying to avoid hell, those trying to get heaven, and those who live to get closer to God and finally come to “know” Him.

And yet ironically, our lives don’t reflect ANY of the three options. We live just so we can…LIVE! It seems that people work everyday for something else and after achieving that, they live for something else and it seems like this everlasting cycle that in the end, we die. To me, it looks like people are trying to eat all this food that turns to ash in their mouths-never being satisfied.

It seems so haunting because as much as I criticize that in people, I can see a shadow of that in myself. Who am I? Why am I here? What am I living for? What am I willing to die for? What is my place in this universe? What is my relationship with God? I have asked these questions to myself a billion and one times, but something keeps me from answering them. I need to break what keeps me silent. All this time we have been living so hollow inside.

There is something more than our school life, our jobs, our friends, our needs and our wants. There something that is in me that is calling me to live. To finally come alive. There was a sufi saying that a sufi must die a thousand deaths before their bodies go with them. But in today’s world, the deaths we are undergoing are not like a sufi’s in which you peel off all the other layers until you reach the core; the deaths we die are of humanity, a sense of self, and we “kill” who we are and what we were meant to be.

I guess I am in a time of life where I have to pick a career, major, and what I am essentially going to do for the rest of my life. But the reality is, all these things are just more and more veils. Veils and barriers that pull me away from who I truly am. What I am truly meant to be. God created us in such a way that it would be natural to become evolve into our higher selves. But we keep stabbing ourselves for some odd reason. Rabia Al-Adawiyah once asked why you keep knocking on the door when it is already opened? It is the same thing here except we create another door, bolt it shut, and knock on it. We really are our worst enemy.

All the things we do-eating, sleeping, helping others for the sake of humanity, making money, raising a family, we think we are doing them for the acts themselves, or maybe even to get a sense of happiness. But these are all acts with the wrong intentions. We think we know what we want, but our inner being knows better. Our spirits call out to God, but our conscious self represses that. Our spirits are being left in the dark, unawakened and I feel like that is happening to me right now.

All these people tell me what they think is best for me, all these people try to show me what I want, but little do they know that they don’t even know what they want. I want to live. Really live. I finally want to take my first breath. So now I want to step away from all those things I go to for comfort, an ilah, and turn back to God.

3 Comments »

  1. Le Mystique said,

    Beautiful. This was a very enlightening post. Thanks for sharing it.

    Yes life is more than job, family, marriage, money etc.

    I came to the conclusion about an year ago that the reason I was (still am) in the dark is that I pursue things with the wrong intentions. That is how I started to have an interest in Love of Allah.

    Love of Allah is called ‘Ishq-e-Haqiqi’ or The real Love in Urdu, compared to ‘Ishq-e-Mijazi’ which is love of anything illusory such as love of a person, love of a thing etc).

    As your thoughts are quite similar to what I expressed to a friend recently in an email when he asked me about Ishq-e-Haqiqi, I will share what I wrote to him here.

    “The issue of Ishq-e-Haqiqi is something I don’t know much about. But will try explaning my thoughts.

    They say the most painful way to learn a lesson is through experience. My experience of little bit of ishq-e-mijazi, worldly friendships/relations/associations, and the experience of going through the shock/surprise/pleasure of witnessing strange, pleasant, bitter, schokcing changes in the feelings, emotions, promises, statements, actions, behaviours,, stances, principles, of people (including my own a few times) etc etc made me realize how vain or futile ishq-e-mijazi, this world, and the mortal human being and his/her futile quests are (at least unless and until the source of this all is ishq-e-haqiqi or the love of Allah).

    If to Him (Allah) we belong and to Him we return, and if what we have is from Him, then it does not make sense to love a human being, or a person for any selfish and/or worldly and/or personal and/or superficial reasons.

    In fact, please correct me if I am wrong, but I think it would be safe to assume that in terms of strict islamic code the amount of attention, love and care we the muslims usually give to (or want to give or expect to recieve from), and the extent till which we can make sacrifices for, a life partner, siblings, parents, kids etc might even be considered as SHIRK for we usually do not do it in the love of Alllah.

    We do it due to our own needs, and at times due to what the society, the family expects of us.We follow them like a blind sheep would follow its flock without even thinking what it is doing and why and for whom and till when.

    This is, in my humble opinion, one main reason why we as a nation, as an ummah are suffering. We are not merely lost.
    We are UTTERLY lost because we are seeking the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong manner at the wrong place to the wrong extent.

    That amount of love and the source of that love should always be for and from Allah and not some own needs, wants, dreams, or supposed worldly expecations of the ones close to us. Surely these other issues do have a role but it should be secondary. And Allah’s rules for us are wide enough for anyone to enjoy his/her freedom within a sane moral circle.”

    (Our reasons for loving this all are wrong. The love of these things itself may not always be wrong. Intentions need to be corrected).

    PS: Based on the description of that woman’s reaction, I wonder if you reside in a non-muslim country..?..

  2. faith786 said,

    That was a wonderful comment. I am thinking about making it a post! The love of Allah is something so hard to achieve and yet so simple. All we have to do is let go of everything else, but to do that is difficult. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    In case you are wondering, I live in the area of Chicago, IL in the U.S. (Some of my other posts allude to it.)

    Thanks for your comment! I will be probably thinking of it for a while!

  3. Noreen said,

    Nice comments. I like this epiphany a lot. I think it reflects what a lot of people think but don’t really talk about.


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