August 11, 2009
Advice for Those on the Path
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I was honored to be present in one of the greatest classes of my life. The teacher was giving a lesson on how to get closer to Allah swt and how to go on the path. A person and I were taking notes, but I am putting up all that I remember before I forget:
–The only way to start going on the path or to get anywhere on the path is to do taubah. Lots of taubah. And more taubah after that. There are hundreds of different forms of taubah and here are a few:
—-Intense contemplation on one’s faults and wrongdoings and resolving to do better, astaghfaar, prayer, muraqabah, charity (feeding and giving knowledge are biggies), reading Quran and doing more contemplation.
–Another big thing is to have a proper relationship with God. This one obviously is constantly changing, but what the teacher meant is to embrace all of Allah’s qualities, especially His Rahmah. There is such a deep wisdom in His Mercy that we can never grasp, but we must think good of Him. Being on the path can’t work very well if you think bad of Allah. You can fear Allah and do taubah, but to have despair or think that He is only the Punisher will only backfire on you.
–Adhab, adhab, adhab. (I am in trouble) How you interact with the world is only a small echo of how your spirit interacts with God. Obviously, you have tons more respect for God (or at least I hope so) but you must also respect His creation, His Divine Will, and everything that happens to you. Many people are ungrateful for their problems, but there is wisdom in times we have to be patient or in times of trial. Do not underestimate God’s Knowledge, Wisdom or Mercy.
–Contemplation. The more you think of yourself and God, the more focused you are on yourself and God. Often we think too much of the world and not enough of the grand scheme of things. Where are thoughts are is where our future goals will be. But don’t get misguided in contemplation of questioning God or Islam, but contemplate on how you can be better, how Allah is so great or the beauty of everything He does.
–Genuine crying. (Don’t start throwing salt in your eyes) Tears for Allah, renouncing the dunyah, love of Allah and His Rasul, or taubah draw you closer on the path. One who cries, his/her heart is still alive. To not cry is to have your heart hardened. (Read my COD khutbah post for more on the importance of crying)
–Calling on Allah for everything and anything and even nothing. Constantly calling Allah’s name increases your dependence on Him and less on others. Allah is with those who remember Him.
These are some of the lessons I learned and it is such a pity I did not stay longer. But another I remember is that Islam is not a complicated religion. It is simply a way of life. It is there to guide us back to God. Its purpose is not to complicate our lives or make us follow rules for no apparent reason. Islam gives us purpose, a breath of life in our bodies, spring rain to our hearts. Never doubt Allah, His Rasul or the power of the human heart to constantly turn back to Allah swt.
There was another thing I learned but I will put that in another post.