By Ibna Idris
Indeed the best speech is the speech of Allah (swt) and the best guidance is the guidance of prophet Muhammad (saw). [Muslim]
Why, Why, Why?
We often feel like no matter what we do we can never find success, happiness, or tranquility. One way or another, we just seem to fail every time we get up.
These feelings are discouraging, especially when we’re striving to live life to the best of our ability.
If we look closely at the real picture we can see that the musts are getting done, the voluntary deeds are getting seen to, and the extras are being followed up. So why are we still not where the righteous people were?
Why can’t we develop that khushu in salah like they did? Why are we still not as loving and obedient to our parents as they were? Why don’t we have that eagerness to compete for eternal bliss in Jannah? Why aren’t we as passionate about the meeting with our creator as they were?
The answer is both simple and obvious.
Yes, we try our best to do what they did (the night prayers, the fasting, the smiling, the trying not to be bad-tempered, etc.), but we also, consciously or not, fall victim to the “do-nots.”
The vital difference between me and Abu Bakr (ra), me and Aisha (ra), and me and Abu Hurairah (ra) is the difference in the amount of servitude, obedience, and submission to the commands of the creator and master, Allah (swt).
They did not even think about coming close to the do-nots and the disliked deeds, and they applied their full attention and concentration to doing as much of the “do’s” and extras.
As for me, with the aid of many excuses I try to engage in the do’s and the voluntaries as well as the optionals, but I also fall into the disliked deeds— the do-not’s, the prohibitions— regardless of their quantity or severity.
So what’s the solution? How do I get there?
We’re determined to spend hours and hours cleaning our houses, our cars, our gardens, and our offices. However, when it comes to cleaning and purifying our hearts, the only thing that will actually bring us benefit when we stand before our Lord, we hardly give it a moment’s thought.
And disgrace me not on the Day when (all the creatures) will be resurrected; the Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)]. [Quran, 87-89]
5 “to be’s” to cleanse the heart
Therefore, the best way to get close to Allah and to earn His pleasure and mercy is to ask for Allah’s guidance and reach the level of taqwa.
- To be taqwa you need to be humble.
- To be humble you need to be honest.
- To be honest you need to be truthful.
- To be truthful you need to have ihlas— sincerity.
- To be sincere means to look at each and every thing with full concentration (cleanse your heart) and to remove any insincerity. Cleanse the heart of every insincere idea and intention and keep it pure for the most pure One, Allah (swt).
The Quran refers to sincerity in surah Ihlas, wherein we are commanded to purify and believe in the oneness of Allah, His absolute power, and other vital attributes.
Thereafter, whenever you want to make space in your heart for something or someone, ask permission of its owner, in the most dependent, eager, and confident way; He will surely grant you your desire.
What You Can’t Claim
When you’re chasing your desires you can’t claim that your heart is for Allah (swt) and something and someone else. You can love and have Allah in your heart and ask His permission to give place in your heart for others in order to fulfill your duty and please Him and earn His mercy. But you can’t have someone or something with or without Allah in your heart and yet ask Him to make space in your heart for Himself too.
Remember, Allah is our only God, not with someone else or something else.
There is no deity worthy of being worshipped other than Allah (swt) and that prophet Muhammad (saw) is His slave and final messenger.