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“When the short winter nights seemed unbearable

And the long summer days bore anguished tears.

When I questioned my existence amongst others

And my ignorance had converted into fears. 

Merely glancing others’ happiness felt intolerable

My heart filled with immense internal pain.

For it knew too well the rhythm of agony

Having pounded with the beating of the rain …

 

But a niche in my heart remained ignited

For my Lord had been watching me from Above. 

All-Aware and All-Seeing of my sufferings

It was then that I experienced my true love.

Such benevolence had He bestowed upon me

I now knew what it meant to be ‘floating ashore’.

 

. . . So how could I ever have understood the essence of joy?

Without having tasted sorrow long before?”

 

©Aug 2007 Umm Thameenah

 

 

Salaam and Welcome to this week’s reminder …

A fortnight ago, we spoke about the importance of ‘Awakening’ to the reality of our situation: – understanding that guidance comes only from Allah (Swt) and that before we can even begin our spitritual wayfaring we must come to terms with how and why we are journeying to Allah (Swt).

This week’s reminder will touch upon the essence of receiving a slightly different kind of hidaayah – guidance. For what I shall present to you, is a brief mention of a gift … a gift of honour, bestowed, only, by The Divine, The One and Only. 

Through the grace and mercy of our Lord (Swt), He bestows upon us the opportunity to read, hear and be reminded of His blessings in a way that touches for the very roots of our soul. Have you ever been in a situation where you were reading, watching, listening, or speaking about something, when … in the space of a few seconds, a sense of comfort and ease suddenly dawned over you? Out of nowhere, you feel a load being lifted from your shoulders; a layer removed from your vision and a source of light enter into your heart like never before. And then in that single moment of time, you realise that the real beginning of your life … has just begun.

Just imagine wanting something so sacred, and yet not having to work as hard as you thought to seek it. Why?  As The Only One capable of giving it, actually, wants the seeker to acquire it more than the seeker themself.

Divine Guidance is one thing, but Baa’ithun qawi – “Inspirational Urge” is something quite different: a precious gift and an unequivocal honour for those Whom He (Swt) Wills.

Inspirational Urge:

A couple of days ago, I had the blessed opportunity to sit in the company of a dear and beloved sister-in-Islam, a companion fillah – a friend Allah (Swt) blessed me with, purely for His Sake. We sat reminding one another of our spiritual journey towards Allah (Swt) and the significant states and stations that needed to be achieved.  As we sat discussing and then reflecting upon our discussion, the topic of being inspired emerged. As my dear companion fillah sat next to me, listening so attentively, eyes focused – without the interruption of a blink – we gathered inspiration from the beautiful translation of Shaykh Abdur-Rahman AS-Sa ‘ad’s (may Allah have mercy upon him, ameen) poem – ‘The Exquisite Pearl: Journey to Allah and the home of The Hereafter’, something that had a profound affect upon my heart, was now about to touch her’s. I saw her eyes begin to widen; her posture like a frozen image and her mind begin to ponder over what was being said. The overwhelming nature of what she was hearing was clearly evident on her face; and I too sat feeling in awe of my Lord (Swt), once again.

The guidance of faith that we are fortunate enough to receive, though it is Allah’s (Swt) own doing, still requires us to have an atoms weight of want and desire to be guided, in order for it to actually take place. Similarly, receiving an inspirational urge  requires the seeker to be in the ‘correct state of self’ in order to receive the precious gift.

Someone may love Allah (Swt) ands claim to want khushoo in their salah, however; they do not approach the salah until it’s in it’s last hour, they rush through making their ablution, they hasten to the salaah and somehow manage to complete it in less than three minutes. Similarly, someone that wants to seek nearness towards Allah (Swt), finds the time to read countless numbers of books, acrticles, browse the internet, text for hours etc whilst their Qur’an – Divine Words of ‘their Beloved’ – sits ‘preserved’ at the top of their bookself, simply gathering dust, and the servant only ever referring to it when they feel the need. Such servants are not true to their claims and are most certainly not being true to themselves.

If you knew an extremely wealthy person who owned an enormous amount of wealth and wanted to distribute it to as many people as possible, but the only thing you had to do was show up at their door, which was right next door to you, would you sit at home or would you present yourself at their doorstep? And if the wealthy person called out to you every single day to come and receive more of their wealth, wouldn’t you answer their call, every single day? I don’t think we’d find it an impossible task, do you?

Thus if we are really sincere about wanting to love Allah (Swt), seek nearness towards Him and be amongst His blessed servants, let us ask ourselves two questions: have we ‘presented’ ourselves to our Lord (Swt)? and if so in what state? For such a divine gift is only bestowed upon those that truly seek its fruits, by being in the correct situation to receive it. Whether that’s being in the company of the true lovers of Allah (Swt), making tawbah (repentance), waking up for tahujjud, reading The Words of The Most High, listening to or speaking about the remembrance of Allah (Swt), making dhikr, or any other action pleasing to Him (Swt). And know that the most beloved actions to our Lord (Swt) is that which is done consistently, though it may be small.

” Indeed your Lord has, in these days of yor life, divine gifts. So present yourself to them.” [At-Tabarani, al-Mu’jam al-Saghir, 19:234]

Let us turn to our Lord (Swt), not everyday, but every awakened moment of our lives, and present ourselves amongst those who are ever ready to receive, insha’Allah (if Allah Wills).

“By the soul and Him that formed it. Then inspired it with (knowledge of right and wrong. He has indeed prospered who purifies it. But he who pollutes it is ruined.” [91:9-10]

This precious gift is one that goes beyond expressions; one that surpasses comparison; and an unequivocal honour, direct from The Divine (Swt). So, be amongst the forerunners, those that strive with the very depths of their souls and yearn with every vessel in their hearts.

Fortunate are they who, ‘present themselves’ to Him (Swt), ever ready to receive one of the greatest of the Divine gifts … The inspirational urge.

The Awakening

Salaam and welcome to this week’s reminder …

Last week we wrote about the true meaning of journeying to Allah (Swt) – Siyaaha; by coming to terms with the notions: State and station and understanding what it means to be amongst His wayfarers. We pray that it served as a great reminder benefitting you throughout your week and we hope that you are ready to gain true inspiration from what this week’s reminder has to offer, bi-ithnillaahi ta’ala.

The Awakening   

As servants of Allah (Swt) we long to love Him (Swt), be near to Him and seek His Pleasure. However, more often than not we fail to remind ourselves of what it is that we need to comprehend before such blessings can be achieved. ‘Do we know what it means to be a true and devoted servant of Allah (Swt)?’; and ‘How or in what way our Lord (Swt) Has asked us to worship Him?’. Before one is able to journey towards Allah (Swt) we must understand what is meant by worshiping Allah (Swt).

Worshiping Allah (Swt) – ‘ibaadah is to serve Allah (Swt) internally and externally, with all that is pleasing to Him; have a deep knowledge of Him (Swt) – ma ‘rifahlove Him (Swt) – mahabbah; fulfil the true meaning of repentance – tawbah, by completely turning to Allah (Swt), and to seek every possible means to tread the path that will lead to the ultimate reward – Jannatul Firdaws, insha’Allah.  

A true awakening is to come to a realisation about one’s journey and one’s goal. Of which the first step is to understand that one can only be a wayfarer if Allah (Swt) – Mighty and Majestic – Has decreed for it to take place. Thus, those that wish for hidaayah – guidance – will get exactly that. But those that have chosen to turn away from the light of guidance, the blessed ‘spiritual urge’ bestowed upon those that wish to receive it, will receive a calamity like none other:

“Those who forgot Allah, so He caused them to forget their ownselves; such are the corrupt ones.” [Al-Hashr 59: 19]

A wayfarer, on the path towards their Creator is always on guard to such a calamity taking place; reminding themselves that it is a calamity enough to destroy one’s entire being. Thus they begin to reaise that the greatest loss is to be pre-occupied with anything and anyone that may take one away from the remebrance of Allah (Swt); as such a situation produces nothing but mere loss and everlasting regret. Hence why sincere wayfarers are busy concerning themselves with that which will grant them nearness towards their Lord (Swt).

They prefer the eternal to the ephermeral; the pure to the corrupt, perfection over imperfection and truth over falsehood. Due to their yearning, striving and longing for their Beloved (Swt), they simply live, like a stranger – who’s inner-self is never truly known to those who claim to know them. For the yearnings within them, forever, go unknown…

They are amongst the people, but never with them; seen with the people, but never apart of them; and loved by the people, but never a lover of them. They have sold their portion of this dunya for their Aakhira … with a heart never at rest, until it will finally meet its Lord and Cherisher – The Beloved (Swt) of All.

“Yearning for Allah and His meeting is like the gentle breeze blowing upon the heart, extinguishing the blaze of the Dunya. Whosoever caused his heart to settle with his Lord shall be in a state, calm and tranquility, and whosoever sent it amongst the people shall be disturbed and excessively perturbed.” [Ibn al Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah]

So from week-to-week as you come to read and know of these blessed servants of The Most Merciful, read with true presence of heart and purity of soul, and seek to be amongst those who have been adorned with the beauty of emaan – faith, both inwardly and outwardly… for they are those whose hearts have been awakened and whose souls have been revived.

Salam and welcome … To The First of our weekly reminders.

We pray that these will serve as great benefits to all who read; inspiring and motivating you to seek nearness towards The Beloved – Allah (Swt). This week’s reminder is the first of many, insha’Allah; on the beautiful topic of ‘Journeying to Allah (Swt)’, by means of ‘purifying our souls’ .

What does it mean to journey to Allah(Swt)?’

Journeying to Allah (Swt) is something that every servant partakes in, though, the nature of each of our journey differs from servant to servant. We are all journeying towards The Master; The Creator of the Heavens and the earth, whether we acknowledge this fact or not. This journey is one that is real and yet ironically surreal. Do you feel your body physically moving towards your Lord (Swt)? No. As that will only occur when the Angels (as) claim our souls. So, what exactly is journeying, if not our bodies?

Our souls; spiritual-self; inner-self; true self-being continues to travel towards our Lord (Swt) every single second of our lives. Our soul is the entity that gives life to our body, hence when a person is considered deceased, it is when the Angel of Death (as) has extracted their soul from their body. Our soul is a spiritual entity that needs to be nurtured, just as our physical entity (or body) needs nourishment. However, the nourishment or lack of it will ultimately affect our relationship with our Lord (Swt); our happiness or destruction in this world and ultimately our success (gain) or downfall (loss) in the Aakhira (Afterlife).

Thus, when we speak of spirituality, it is the extent to which one seeks nearness towards Allah (Swt). By merely ‘internalising’ concepts known in our Aqeedah (belief). One example of this is: it is a common and agreed upon concept that a servant must utter the words “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Greater) at the beginning of every prayer (and rakah – standing). Saying these words plant in our hearts that fact that there is absolutely nothing as great as Allah (Swt) – our Creator and Sustainer; thus nothing else and no one else is worthy of our attention and focus during our salah (prayer). Thus our salah is only worthy of acceptance when devoted solely to Allah (Swt), seeking His Pleasure Alone.

Spirituality is to observe a deep understanding of the concepts (aspects) of our belief, to the extent that one is able to make a beautiful connection between the heart and the limbs which, as a result, enables an unimaginable nearness towards Allah (Swt).

A spiritual journey to Allah (Swt) is to travel with our inner-selves, from state to state and station to station, until the ultimate station of stations has been achieved: Ihsan

 What is the difference between a state and a station?

A State: is when we feel, behave and react in a particular manner, though, the manner has not yet settled in our hearts. So one may feel ‘patient’  or ‘grateful’  at times, without having permanently arrived at these stations. Thus, a servant may continue to move from state to state with Islamic qualities clearly evident in their lives, however, impermanent qualities still remain within the heart.

A Station: is when our character or self-being arrives at a particular ‘place’. Without wavering between states, a servant at a particular station lives the desired quality inwardly and outwardly. They have settled there; so as opposed to it being a ‘fleeting state’, it becomes a permanent quality of the heart, clearly evident in their lives.

These concepts are crucial for us to understand in order to know whether we are moving from state to state or station to station. Ask yourself these question: “Do I feel like this sometimes (on and off)?” or “Do I feel like this most of the time (consistantly)? Asking yourself these question will enable you to decipher what characteristics you need to purify within yourself in order to be strengthened along this journey; striving with complete devotion, to gain nothing but The Pleasure of your Lord (Swt). 

The pleasure of Allah (Swt) should be the epitamy of our lives; the reason for why we live and do as we do. Remember that It is His love that we yearn for, to carry us through, what will at times be, the loneliest and yet enriching journey we’ll ever make.

He (Swt) is our Supporter, our Protector and our Guide (Swt). May our lives be witnesses for us and not against us and may our hearts strive, not merely to love Allah (Swt)… to be completely in-love with Him (Swt), ameen Allahumma, ameen.   

“Travellers”

Everyday is a day of magnificence, journeying towards our Lord.

And as we near towards the reality of existence, the inevitable is left unsought.

Truly we are strangers travelling, pacing blindly towards the unknown.

So take provisions and hold onto them tightly, as our destination are soon to be shown.

©Umm Thameenah 2007

In the middle of the night you fill a moment, a precious moment from my moments of time.

And though I awake from seeing you in ‘reality’, you remain distant from the realms of my life.

As our return to one another remains unknown, I continue to miss a sacred piece of my heart.

So in the middle of your night allow me a moment… a precious moment from your moments of time.

 

 © Umm Thameenah 2007

Salaam and Welcome dear sisters! To the blog-site just for you…

We have compiled some of the most inspirational and beneficial blog-sites and websites chosen by you … sisters, to aid you in your path towards Allah (Swt).

Here, we pray, insha’A, that we will be able to provide you with wonderful reminders to inspire you in every way, AMEEN!
With love and du’as…
Your sisters
Akhawaatul Qalam‘Sisters of the Pen’