What Can’t Be Said

I long to write to you,

To establish a connection again.

I value connections with other believers,

Especially the ones who think like I do.

But you want to take a break,

And I can’t figure out why.

I can guess but there’s no way to know.

I can ask, but that would be impinging on your space,

And crossing the boundaries you want to establish.

I have this fear that I will lose you,

And then lose touch with what I care about.

But I must remind myself,

That it was Allah who brought me to the truth.

You may have been the means,

And I loved and cared for you because of it.

But now it’s time to seek out the Creator of the means.

The One who brought you to me in the first place,

And attach my heart to Him and not you.

May there be love again for the sake of Allah.

A healthy form, the best and righteous form.

And may there be opportunities for us both,

To shine and follow our dreams,

Whatever those may be.

I try with great difficulty to allow things to be.

May Allah grant me sabr,

Along with you and everyone else.

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Searching for the truth

I have to be honest, 

It was happiness I was searching for.

I looked for it in people, in books, in ideas.

But it didn’t make sense.

Why is there so much misery in the world?

And why can’t I be happy?

The problem is in the question

There’s no point in searching for happiness

It’s an illusion

Search for meaning instead

And I hope that quest leads to Allah

So you see the world through the lens of His Book

So you love what He loves,

And hates what He hates.

I’m no expert on the world,

I’m a flawed being.

But God told you how to worship Him

Free of any partners or associations.

It was just Him who created this all.

So why do you invent partners

Or follow those who do.

Pick up the Qur’an and read it

The answers are in there

I hope you are all successful

And I hope your dreams come true

But always align your dreams and your actions with the truth

For there is only one truth

And may Allah guide you to it.

An Explosive Relationship

I see the fights, the rage and the verbal attacks,

I feel helpless and hopeless, “not again” I think.

There’s calm and then the storm comes to rattle our lives.

Shaytan is an expert at pulling the believers apart.

If only they understood each other and fought off the devil

But from where I’m standing, the devil is winning.

Please, for the sake of peace and sanity, just get along.

But of course, if only life was easy to that degree

I tried to fix things once before but it was all in vain

They carried on fighting, as if we weren’t even there

The effects of harsh words stay forever,

People are weak, fragile – they hold onto pain

So is it worth getting into a huff and a puff?

Each time someone says something that you cannot stand

I pray Allah grants you both sabr and ease

Everyone is suffering and I can’t find no solution

So we must all turn to Allah and pray

That He rescues us from this misery and pain

The Stress and Sorrow Arrives

It was when I moved away from home for university a few years ago that I began to feel lonely and empty. Prior to starting university, the main focus of my life was my career, to get ahead and be successful, to make something of myself and to make myself proud. But then my eyes widened up to a whole host of other things like my society, my place in it alongside others, relationships with others, my religion and so much more. I didn’t know how to live and I continue to struggle, to find that balance to stabilise all those things that I deem as important, to serve all the people that I feel are important (for the sake of Allah, I hope).

But I can’t be everything to everyone and I can’t always be what people require. For the last few weeks I have just been enjoying my summer and reflecting and pondering as I went along. I’m happy that I set myself some goals for islamic learning and clarified to myself what my main focuses should be at the moment, giving da’wah, learning more about islam and of course continuing to learn medicine. But it is this last one that I have been having doubts about recently. It takes up so much of my time and energy and I just wonder to myself, is it worth it? Am I spending my time in accordance to how I really want to spend it? Probably not, as I will have to stand before Allah and answer to Him about what I did in this life and right now my life seems imbalanced and the scales seem tipped towards my medical degree when in fact there are so many things I care about – giving da’wah, the religious wellbeing of my family and of course, my own islamic learning.

Today I sat down and I looked at my university timetable. I realised how much time that I would have to give to medicine during the next few weeks that it made me feel stressed and sad. Stressed about all the things I have to do and sad about potentially not having time to spend on the other things I am passionate about.

And it is also the first 10 days of dhul hijjah so I’m supposed to be increasing my acts of worship, praying more, fasting, etc – but I haven’t been doing this, so I have the guilt of this laid on top of this anxiety and sorrow as well. 

I can only ask Allah to relieve me of all of this pain, to grant me clarity on how I’m supposed to live my life and to give me the strength and courage to live according to the Qur’an and sunnah. I can only pray to Him to ease my burdens, to help me with my tasks and to take care of my future as I have no idea how to steer my life or in what direction to take it. 

May Allah help us all in our quest for the truth and to make us all into the best Muslims, Ameen!

Love and Tawheed

I have recently been reading books by ibn al qayyim and his amazing teacher ibn taymiyyah (may Allah reward them and have mercy upon them). 

I am amazed at how much they spoke about our hearts, love and attachment. One may think that love is a fluffy, done-to-death topic that continues to baffle and break the hearts of mankind. However, love is important to know about from a tawheed perspective as we are required to love Allah above and beyond all other creatures and things, and if anything ever competes with our love for Allah or makes us compromise on our love and devotion to Allah, then perhaps that would even compromise the level of our faith.

I become attached to ideas, dreams, principles and when they don’t work out or go the way I want it to go or they are challenged in any way, I am devastated. It has happened many times during my life. I need to remind myself that my main goal is Allah. He is the one I am trying to impress and everything else is just an aid/tool for reaching Allah. Allah is the one thing I can’t compromise on, but time and time again, I put my nafs, my desires and my dreams above Allah.

I pray that Allah makes our dreams, thoughts and actions conform to what Allah taught us. 

Finding a Different Purpose

So when you reach a certain age and you’re of a certain culture, there’s this expectation that you should settle down, pick a nice location to live, get married and have children. It’s an idyllic way of life for many…but I know I won’t feel content going against my true purpose in life.

It’s funny and interesting how people see marriage and raising a family as being part of their purpose. Sure, kids might bring joy and fulfillment. A nice and loving partner might bring security. However, it might not bring any of those things, and if it didn’t, then what? One has just entered into this huge, life-changing contract/partnership, made these sacrifices and they are still not happy or content.

This holiday of mine has given me lots of thinking space and I am realising that living a life or spending my time in ways that are not in concordance with my values is pointless and it is a dead-end. It will not get me to where I want to go – jannatul firdaus. 

Sometimes I feel that my daily activities consist of me just going with the flow and going along with what the people around me want to do. I think it’s time I took charge of my life and asserted myself a bit more.

I’m trying to reach some sort of middle ground where I am being true to my values but also engaging and co-operating with the people around me. I need both to be successful. I can’t completely neglect my environment and just focus on myself and tazkiyyah. Islam is concerned about public welfare and the matters of the muslims around me. 

I tried to get married a while ago, it didn’t work out. I tried to pursue other goals like pass my exams and a friendship that I held dear to me, but those didn’t work out either. 

Everything happens for a reason and Allah in His infinite wisdom has closed doors and paths for me that I pursued. It is down to me now to figure things out how I’m supposed to spend my time, deal with the Muslims around me, etc, etc.

Sometimes I feel like my attention is being pulled in so many different directions. I feel confused and my thoughts all scattered about. Maybe I need to schedule in some peace and quiet time for reflection everyday inshaAllah. If I didn’t reflect, I’d just carry on doing the same thing day in, day out without really changing my approach nor improving upon my results. A different approach is needed inshaAllah.

In search of motivation

I want to understand my life better. Why do I do the things I do? I need a reason for it, or else my actions will be in vain. 

I feel I’ve been lacking in motivation lately. What’s the point of it all, I think? What am I supposed to do? Is Allah happy with me? Is he accepting my actions?

I want to be something bigger than what I currently am, but how will I know I’ve achieved that? I don’t know. It’s not when I’m happy (since I dont want to aim for happiness anymore), and contentment is short lasting in this dunya as you are constantly tested and challenged by Allah – to see which of the believers are upon the truth and which ones will stick to believing in Allah, despite the hardship they endure.

It will be in the afterlife when I realise where my destination will be – and I hope it is jannah inshaAllah because I don’t want to enter the hellfire. It sounds painful and horrible. It would be the worst and most unimaginable thing ever.

I’ve had a few eureka moments in my life before where things turned from confusion to understanding. I feel like I need that again inshaAllah. I need clarity for what my aims and priorities should be right now. 

It’s a hard life and I have no-one to guide me or direct me. But perhaps that is a good thing because it means I need to depend on Allah and exercise my own thinking skills. I need to do my own research too and continuously pray that Allah guides me to the best option.

Thoughts about My Future

Being at home sometimes makes me lazy and I wonder what I’m supposed to do. I become bored. I was advised by someone that I should make a plan of what I should do each day – in that way, I won’t be left with idle time, wondering what to do. However, sometimes in life, unexpected things happen or your family want you to do other things so you get pulled away from your own plans. It would probably make me unhappy if i was unable to do what I had planned.

So I want to plan enough to have some sort of guide, but not overplan so there is no flexibility. Sometimes plans stress me out as well, whereas I like looking at empty spaces in my diary. Not really sure what to do.

I wrote about happiness a few days ago and how the search for it is futile. People (especially in the West) expect themselves to be happy all the time, so are probably disappointed when they are not. It is not humanly possible to feel happy and joyful all the time. Sometimes our mood will just be neutral and that is ok. It is the times when we expect our emotions to be different to what they are, which leads to problems (as a recent study suggests).

So I am here today in bed, wondering what my future will be like. It can be sad when your parents want one future for you but you want a different future for yourself. It is a case of differences in values and expectations. You can’t really live your life according to what another person thinks is best for you. But you want to keep your loved ones happy too. But to what extent? That is something to reflect on. You are your parents’ children but they can’t control you. They have no right to. You have your own thoughts, dreams, ideas and ambitions. They can’t force their ideas upon you or make you behave in the way they want you to. 

We are our own human beings. We will stand before Allah alone. To what degree do we factor in our parents within our lives? I want them to be happy but I’m not prepared to compromise on what I am passionate about. It’s a hard and sad life which is why I need to develop my faith so I can withstand the trials of life with sabr, and so that I am rewarded with jannah. I have a lot of learning to do, and so here I begin with my path to become a better Muslim who is more educated and is more active in giving da’wah inshaAllah. How will I do this – I must put myself out there and engage with as many people as I can. May Allah make this path easy for us all.

Shaytan = Resistance

I have been feeling a little sick lately and have been getting headaches and I can’t think of any physical reason for why I would have these symptoms.

So I thought to myself, perhaps it is from the shaytan. I made the intention to progress in my islamic learning so that I can be a better person and also be a better da’ee inshaAllah. Maybe the shaytan is trying to stop me.

I don’t know but I do know that I won’t give up by the grace of Allah. I must continue in my aims, not overexhaust myself of course but this is resistance and I should stand firm against it. I’m not going to charge at it, but I’m going to try to remain firm. May Allah help us all, Ameen.

My Diseased Heart – Loving the Dunya

I feel like there are many diseases in my heart at the moment – love of dunya, hatred towards other believers, anger, bitterness, etc.

And I wonder to myself, how will I rid myself of these diseases?

I’ve been reading some of Ibn Taymiyyah’s book called ‘Diseases of the Heart’. A chapter that stood out to me was the one on passionate love (ishq). This type of love sounds like a destructive love that is bad for us – maybe the love that humans feel when they fall in love.

This is the type of love that is promoted by our society – through stories like fairy tales, movies, novels. People crave this type of love but this love is harmful. Our hearts should attach itself to Allah and nothing should compete with our love for Allah. 

The author says that if our heart is affected by this type of love, then if we give in to it we become sicker but if the object of our love is taken away from us in any way, we are hurt and grieved by it. 

Passionate love is a love that exceeds the proper bounds of love. It is the love that is usually described between a man and a woman. It is so problematic that if one is affected by this love, it could cause them to neglect their other commitments such as ties of kinship, cause them to be excessive in delivering their rights (such as leaving all their inheritance for the object of their love) or being extravagant and going to excesses in spending on their love.

If one holds back from this love and fears Allah, then they will be rewarded inshaAllah. The story of prophet yusuf (as) demonstrates this very well. He turned away from the love and affection that was directed towards him by the most noble and prettiest woman that existed in his neighbourhood at this time. 

Surah Naziat states that those who restrain themselves from their lust and desire, that paradise will be their abode (79:40-41).

The author then goes on to state that the love of Allah should fill our hearts and if we were tried with passionate love, then this love would diminish our love for Allah.

The cure for this love is dhikr, to constantly remember Allah, to supplicate to him constantly, to recite one’s daily adhkar and to ask for forgiveness. One should also value their obligatory actions such as their five daily prayers.

May Allah make it easy for us to rid our hearts of anything that might compete with our love for Allah. Ameen.