If one secludes himself from the tension and disturbances of this capricious world, freeing himself from the shackles of its materialistic domains, and spends a moment or two pondering over the bounties of Allah Taa'la, this alone will be sufficient for him to rationally absorb the notion of completely submitting oneself to the will of Allah Taa'la.
Allah Taa'la states in the Holy Quran:
“If you try to calculate the bounties of Allah Taa'la you will fall short of counting them.”
Subconsciously our bodies inhale and exhale gases, keeping us alive. This process, known as respiration is invaluable to us. Only by sharing the pain of those with breathing problems, such as patients suffering from severe asthma, can we apprehend the enormity of this blessing.
We perpetually commit sins. However this does not result in the decrease in Allah's compassion. He continues to feed us and provide us with water to drink. This is why our beloved Prophet, Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam taught us the following Duaa which clearly highlights this point:
“All praise is due to Allah Taa'la who from his mercy gave us sweet water to drink and did not make it salty or bitter due to our sins.”
Many of us have built this awareness in ourselves and have opened our eyes to the loftiness of the almighty Allah Taa'la. However, we find that this has not materialised into complete submission. This will only be achieved when we make an effort to build a connection with Allah Taa'la. The Quran says:
“Verily the most noble one amongst you in the eyes of Allah Taa'la is the most pious.”
This verse clarifies that this connection and spiritual proximity can only be achieved through adopting Taqwa (God fearing) Taqwa is one of the most misunderstood terms in Islam. Many of us are deluded in terms of its meaning, failing to understand its simplicity and the diligence required to achieve it. This is why we fall short of tasting the spiritual ecstasy enjoyed by the Awliyaa (the true friends of Allah). Sheikh Muhiyuddin Abu Zakariya Nawawi Rahmatullahi Alayhi has written that Allah's name sweetens every heart, but there are those lovers of Allah, those seekers treading his path, those Aarifeen who physically experience the sweetness of his name.
The word Taqwa is derived from the root noun Al Wiqayah which means ‘to guard', to safeguard and shield. The literal meaning is heavily adopted in the term Taqwa because it concerns safeguarding oneself from all types of sin. Allama Aloosi Rahmatullahi Alayhi elucidates this in a poem:
“Abstain from sin, big and small-that's surely piety. Don't underestimate small sins; mountains are from pebbles after all.”
Many are mislead into thinking that ‘Taqwa' lies in excessive ‘ibadat' (worship) such as lengthy rakaats of Ishraaq and Tahajjud. This leads to neglecting and overlooking the importance of abstaining from sins. Thus, many Muslims engage in excessive ibadat without realising that their reward is eradicated by their sins and disobedience to Allah Taa'la. An analogical explanation of this would be the example of one who fills a bucket with water until it is brimful, then pierces small holes at the bottom of the bucket. This person would be regarded as a fool because the water in the bucket will seep/ooze through the holes of the bucket, leaving it empty.
If one simply adheres to the Faraaidh (fundamental duties) of deen such as Salaah, Saum, etc, along with the Waajibat and Sunnah and at the same time strives to Abstain from sin escaping the displeasure of Allah, he will not only protect his righteous deeds but will also gain the proximity of Allah Taa'la. His every heartbeat will pump with the ‘Dhikr' (remembrance) of Allah Taa'la. This person will be granted ‘ITMINANE-QALB' (contentment of the heart). Hadhrat Aqdas Hakeem Muhammed Akhtar Saheb (Damat Barkatuhum) mentioned in one of his lectures that, “Everyone desires peace and contentment in this world. No person desires misery and wretchedness. Is there any person in this gathering that wants misery? It is a universal desire to have peace. Even a Kafir desires peace. Both the poor and the rich deserve it. There cannot be anyone besides one who is insane, who desires restlessness. The citizens and the ruler, the learned and the ignorant all of them desire peace. Anyone claiming enjoyment in the life of wretchedness will surely be referred to a doctor to have his head examined.”
An important point to keep in mind at all times is that it is imperative to abundantly repent and literally beg Allah Taa'la to forgive us and grant us the capacity and the strength to abstain from sins, for merely it is only through his mercy that we will find the strength to evade the evils of Shaytaan and Nafs. Two Duas we should recite excessively are:
“O Allah forgive and have mercy-you are the best of the merciful.”
“O Allah have mercy upon me by giving me the inspiration to leave sin, and do not make me unfortunate through disobeying you.”
May Allah Taa'la bless us all with this bond which can only be truly understood by his Awliyaa (friends of Allah).
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