Life is full of tests and challenges. There are times when it will upset us or it will not go our way. Look at Nabi ﷺ, when Allah asked him to stand on Mount Safa to give dawah for the first time in his life. He must have put so much thought and effort into preparing his first speech, but the people dispersed and ignored his call. Was this the reaction Nabi ﷺ was hoping for, or was it the total opposite? He tried so hard yet it did not go according to plan, the people refused to listen. At another stage in his life, He invited His whole family over for a meal and before they left, he invited them to Islam. He asked them that who will help me? No-one responded except Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه.
Yet again, His efforts did not go according to plan. In Taaif He was stoned by the street urchins until He bled. He experienced boycotts against Him, moments when there was no food at home, loved ones passing away including His own children whom He buried with his own hands. A time came when He even got upset with His wives and separated from them for a month!
The point that I am trying to make is that the conditions of life will not be favourable at all times. However, as Muslims, our character is expected to be favourable at all times. We must be patient with the trials of life. Some days life will go well, other days it will not. When you return home, some days your favourite meal will be ready on the table, other days you may return hungry or in a hurry, but the food is still getting cooked.
Regardless of the situation, we are expected to rise above and display good manners. And who expects this from us? Allah himself. And how do we manage to act favourably during a difficult moment? How is it possible? By being in love with Allah. One who is in love remains unaffected because he is on cloud nine. He is so immersed in his own happiness that nothing can phase him.
When we have deep hearted love for Allah, he will rectify our hearts. Then in Salah, tilaawat and dhikr, we will feel peaceful and tranquil. This tranquillity immunizes the heart against all the adversities taking place. Now, though adversities will continue to occur, he will be able to manage due to the peace emanating from his heart.
However, when we remove religion from our lives, all of sudden, everything and anything becomes a cause of sadness for us. These adversities were happening all along but now we are feeling it because we forgot to take our immunization. If we neglect deen, our spiritual arteries become clogged, our hearts suffer, we no longer experience peace inside and therefore everything begins to irritate, upset or hurt us.
But when our relationship with Allah is strong, our spiritual arteries become unblocked and the noor of ibadah will light up our lives. When one is in a game park where predators are roaming freely, then one will not be seen strolling casually. However, in a zoo where the predators are caged, notice how people stroll through relaxed, calm and happy with an ice cream in their hands and a smile upon their faces. Because in this zoo, he knows that there are walls and cages. Therefore, although he is in the midst of predators he remains peaceful because he knows that they cannot affect him.
Likewise is the case of a believer. We all face adversities which prey on our weaknesses, but those who are immunized are unaffected. They stroll cheerfully down the thorniest of paths because the thorns cannot affect him. Whereas those who neglect deen neglect their own souls until every trail causes restlessness and worry.
Allah gave us dhikr and Salah for our own benefit and spiritual nourishment, they have great worldly benefits too. Nabi ﷺ said that the coolness of my eyes is Salah. That is a property of Salah, provided the Salah is performed properly. When one wakes up for Fajr and speaks to Allah, makes dua and reads the Quran, by the time morning comes he is mentally ready to face the jungle (i.e. work). Slowly he loses his stamina and by the time Zuhr Salah comes in, he cannot take it anymore.
Now he needs to reset, he needs a detox to refresh himself and get his sanity back. So he goes to pray Zuhr. Now he returns to the jungle again, mentally equipped and ready to work. But again he loses himself, so he returns to the Masjid for Asr. In the evenings at home, the day-to-day pressure of family life can be difficult to bear but rather than losing himself by displaying anger and bad character, yet again he returns to Allah for Maghrib and Ishaa.
A lady’s situation is similar. Every day brings with it a series of challenges, but praying Salah in the way it should be prayed will enable us to cope. Rather than losing it she also turns to Allah, her first love. She turns to Allah, He turns to Allah and Allah sees both, He sees that they are both turning towards him. So now Allah cements their hearts together.
This is deen: a soothing balm for hearts blistered with sins, an oasis for travellers of the spiritual world, ever-ready to quench our thirst for peace, ever-ready to calm our worries, silence our fears and eliminate our stresses, but we lack the sight to see it, the ability to recognise it and the motivation to act upon it. May Allah enable us to return to Him and to realise the reality of life, Aameen.
— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s dhikr majlis yesterday. Once the full audio is uploaded on taqwa.co we will link it here inshaAllah.)