This piece is dedicated to Rumi.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
To purify is to cleanse. To decontaminate that which was pure to begin with. That is the journey we take with our hearts, our vessel across the ocean of this world. But to understand this, lets go in to what our heart is, what it was made for, the relation it has with its’ associates in this world, as well as the connection it has with the Creator of itself.
The heart, an organ that has been made to worship the Creator, to be filled up with all that is in worship to Him, a reason as to why we testified and made that covenant with our Creator. We made this covenant because that is what we were made for, to be in absolute submission to Him. To be pure, is exactly that, a vessel that is full of remembrance of our Creator, so if there is anything other than that inside this vessel, it means that our heart has been contaminated.
“And remember the favour of Allah upon you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said, “We hear and we obey”; and fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts.”- Surat Al-Ma’idah, 5:7.
This covenant we made is indeed a favour upon us from our Creator, because happiness means having a heart that has served its’ purpose, a heart that lived up to what it was made for, doing that which the Creator commanded, which is what allows us to be content, even in the direst of situations. Deprivation means having a heart that is absent from the worship of its Creator, so the heart is not being fed that which gives it life, the heart is being used for that which it wasn’t made for, hence discontentment arises easily.
“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.”- Surat Al-‘Anfal, 8:24.
When we look at the ocean of this world, we see many things. We see that it is beautiful, it is full of aquatic life that we use as a means for food, the oceans have a heavy role in many of the world’s natural cycles, the ocean is a means for us to travel upon with our ships & boats. So this beautiful ocean, is in many ways our means for survival, our means of sustenance, not just for humans, but for many other life forms too. At the same time, we can travel from continent to continent through the ocean, for travel and for trade.
When we travel across this ocean, in our vessel, we ensure the journey is as smooth sailing as possible, that nothing else enters our boat. But what happens when the ocean water finds a way in? We do what we can do block the hole. To get rid of the water. But what happens if this remained unnoticed? We’d sink, to the bottom of the ocean floor, till we drown, and our life is taken away…
So the same water that we use for our sustenance, is the very thing that can take our life away. So we do what we can to ensure this water does not enter our vessel.
That is what the dunya (this world) is- the ocean water.
And our medium of travel, our vessel, is our heart.
The dunya does seem to have many beauties, many uses, at the same time, if it is given the chance to seep in to your heart, it has a devastating effect of taking away your life. But that doesn’t mean we don’t interact with it. We make use of all that is in favour of our survival, without allowing it to take over nor submerge us.
So this dunya, cannot be our end point, it is our means. Our means to survive and travel across this vast ocean until we reach our destination. The end point which is our home, our paradise in the afterlife. That is the relationship we have with this world.
For our vessels to stay afloat on this ocean, in order to strengthen the boat and keep it strong & sturdy, so the ocean water does not creep in, the measure we take to stop the vessel from sinking, to remain content and to keep our heart alive as we travel till we reach our final destination, we must remember our call to our Lord, the Being that gives our heart its life- this is our relationship to God.
“And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous, not far. [It will be said], “This is what you were promised – for every returner [to Allah ] and keeper [of His covenant].”- Surat Qaf, 50:31 & 32.
It is essential that we work to purify our hearts by being obedient to our Creator, by decontaminating it from the dunya that has the capacity to break your heart, once it enters. So stay attached and cling tightly onto the handhold that won’t ever break you, the handhold that will give you your life despite the circumstances. View the dunya with the correct pair of lenses- the lenses that allow you to see the dunya as a means for travel, until we go back home.
On the authority of Abu ‘Abdullah al-Nu’man bin Bashir, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, say:
“Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart.”- Al-Bukhari & Muslim.
May we all have the capacity to become attached to God, to feed our souls with all that is in worship to him, Ameen.
Further Reading: The Ocean of Dunya