Rehabilitation: the road to change. (Part 1)
Every so often you may find yourself in a place where you are down, lost, and so inevitably depressed. You may notice that even when you worship Allah swt, for example in your salaah and in your dhikr, you can’t concentrate, and your salaah feels meaningless. One may then wonder how to go about changing this dismal state of theirs, wanting to find a so called peace. You keep looking, you keep waiting for this peace to come and find you, and unfortunately this search can ultimately come to no avail… and why so?
I speak of how one may wish to find peace. What I’m saying here is that you would like to get from one state of mind to another, in other words, I’m speaking of change. Through a short series I’d like to speak about some practical steps one should take in order that they go about changing themselves inshAllah, because that my dear my brothers and sisters, can be something quite difficult to obtain, merely because of the fact that human beings are too limited in their senses to fundamentally know by themselves how to go about doing this competently, which is why we take help from the Divine, because help from such a source will not only benefits us, but it will also help us in such a way that it changes our character, strengthens the personality, and that will enable us to make those changes that last a life time.
Now, imagine you decided you’d go on a hunt for gold. So in order for you to find gold, you need to first of all find a place that will have gold, and then pick a spot to dig at. After which you dig out the ground, dig out the dirt, soil and sand, and you keep digging until you hit some gold. There is no way you could have got the gold if you didn’t search in the correct place, and if you didn’t get rid of the ground that it was buried in. If you’d like to acquire this change I speak of, this strengthened state of mind, you need to quite frankly, eliminate the dirt that’s in the way, for otherwise you’re never going to get it. Because if your life is full of things that hold you back from worshipping the creator, then this is definitely dirt and the hindrance towards your change. The things that may hold you back in this way can amount to many things. I’ll give you a personal example; over the past few weeks my workload became very heavy, on top of that my health was also going down, as a result, I have been thinking of my work much more than I was thinking of Allah swt. I could feel this play out in many areas of my life, and sadly my relationship with Allah swt was deteriorating. This was evident in my state of mind; the fact that I was getting stressed out (which for those of you that know me, know that I am not one to stress about my work Alhamdulillah) and in my khushu (concentration) in salaah. Alhamdulillah I realised my state of mind, and understood the dirt I needed to rid myself of, which is that nothing in this life is greater than Allah swt, and every time you say “Allah hu Akbar” should be a reminder of that. I came back to realisation that education is not my dunya (world), it is simply the means to get by in this dunya, not the end point; it is a vehicle that will help carry me to the real end, Jannah inshAllah.
So when you feel that your relationship with Allah swt is deteriorating, that you do not feel close to him, that there is no khushu in your salaah, then understand that if other things in your life hold a greater meaning to you than Allah swt, that your qalb (heart) is full of things that is not inclined with your Lord, then know that is no way Allah swt will grant you khushu in your salaah. And this (fulfilment) will apply to many of the ‘good’ deeds you do, if your heart is currently full of dirt. So what you need to do is get rid of the dirt, the stains, by seeking sincere repentance. Sincerity in that you wholly eliminate the stain, that you’ve taken it away from your life, so that you don’t go back to doing it, praying to Allah swt at each step to keep you firm and strong, adhering to His way inshAllah.
After you’ve done that, you should then go about doing your good deeds. Because good deeds will not hold much meaning if it is done by somebody who’s heart is filled up with crap. You may find that many a time, people who haven’t corrected or purified their insides, will find it difficult to maintain the outwardly notions, which makes sense does it not? If you have filled your heart with particular desires of beautifying yourself, to the point where your desire will go to the extent of displaying this beauty whereby it is apparent to the public in non-permissible ways, even though Allah swt has ordained that you stay modest, or that it’s filled with the desire to please other people, even if they’re your non-mahrams and again you do this in non-permissible ways, then surely you will find it difficult to maintain a modest attire, or to refrain from mixing with the opposite gender. You cannot correct these actions without correcting the insides of your heart first. So even when you try to do these deeds, it will be difficult to maintain them, as the qalb is not inclined to the deeds you wish to carry out.
Once you have been able to get rid of the stains, then performing good deeds will not feel oppressive, and as the heart becomes purified, quite naturally you will be more closer towards doing the things that bring you closer to Allah swt, and why so? Because the fitra (natural disposition) in its’ pure form only wants to worship Allah swt. So once you’ve purified the fitra, it will most definitely tend towards Allah swt. Also a sign of the fact that the fitra in its pure form is inclined to Allah swt is this; when you partake in bad deeds (so not wearing hijab, swearing, giving worldly things more importance than to Allah swt, free-mixing etc), temporarily you feel pleasure, but after that you end up feeling really down. You feel pleasure because your heart is full of thought processes, customs and habits, whereby doing the bad deeds actually give you pleasure, but it is ‘temporary’ because it displeases the soul, the true part of your fitra, which is the part of you that only wants to worship Allah swt. Even if you may not see your bad deeds having a direct link to you feeling down, just the mere fact the bad deeds displease the soul part of you is enough for you to easily be led to feeling crap, overwhelmed and stressed out when the work load becomes heavier, when family problems occur, when you’ve become ill, or when you’ve lost your job. So once you purify the heart, fill it up with the Islamic way of thinking, and therefore you are not inshAllah doing those continuous actions that displease the soul, then you should be in a state where you’re able to handle anything.
InshAllah anyways, and Ameen~