Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Remedies For Several Spiritual Maladies - Part I

Protecting Time & Making Shukr of Time

In this life, we must be extremely particular of how our time is being spent. We must be very vigilant about this. Whatever time passes in a manner that conditions were positive, we ought to make shukr to Allah Ta'ala for it. If anybody treats us with love and respect, we should regard it as the Grace of Allah Ta'ala - for the fact hat He has placed love and respect for us in that person's heart. Otherwise, it was possible that the same person could have had enmity towards us. Hence we should consider it the Grace of Allah Ta'ala that He has concealed our faults. Allah forgives all sins and conceals the faults of people.

Moderation in Treatment and Expectations

In life, we must never place absolute reliance on any person, nor divulge all our secrets to that person, nor have any enmity with any person. We must treat every person with Husnul Akhlaaq (Good Character). We must remember that the one who at present kisses our hands with great love could tomorrow be swearing at us. Therefore, we must always adopt a moderate approach in our dealings with people and be careful.

Some Ways in Improving The Quality of Worship

Indeed, if a person is truly concerned about his/her Islah (reformation), his/her concern in itself is more effective in bringing about self-reformation. However, the concern that is merely expressed with the tongue but does not exist in the heart does not have this effect. All deeds will have value with conscience. During any acts of worship, there will be full concentration towards the Almighty Creator. In preparation for all acts of worship, we should ponder over our actions, and inculcate the feeling of smallness and helplessness in the eyes of Allah SWT; as the effect of humility and humbleness by far makes all actions of worship much more superior.

So to continue, it is not sufficient to merely remember one's sins only. Sometimes merely recalling the previous sins very subtly incites the person to commit the same sin again. May Allah Ta'ala save us all. It is therefore necessary to instead visualise the Day of Qiyamah when an account on one's deeds will be taken in front of all mankind. How utterly disgraced would one be! Every deed committed would be clearly recorded in one's Book of Deeds. In this world we feel greatly embarrassed if what we had done secretly is exposed. One should therefore consider how terribly embarrassing it will be to read out one's sins in front of Allah Ta'ala.

Thus, if anyone wants to be saved from this imaginable disgrace, it is essential that the sins are washed off the Book of Deeds. The tear of regret and remorse in solitude is the water that washes off the sins from the Book of Deeds. May Allah Ta'ala grant us such tears that wash off our sins from our Book of Deeds. Ameen.

Countering Against Laziness and Whispers from Desire

The practise of sometimes completing one's Ma'mulat (daily practices) and at other times neglecting them must be completely refrained from. One cannot progress in this manner. Constancy is absolutely necessary. According to Hadith, the best of actions is that upon which one is steadfast. Without this constancy one cannot achieve the Islah of one's Nafs (the purification and reformation of the inner self).

As for the sins towards which one is inclined, we should ponder deeply with regards to the harms of such sins in this world and the punishment in the Hereafter. We should contemplate upon the end result of committing such sins. InshaAllah, by doing this - one will be blessed with the ability to refrain from them. In addition, which could read about the virtues about good actions such as Solat, Zikr, Tilawat of the Qur'an, etc, thus keeping in mind the benefits one will receive from these actions, both in this world as well as in the Hearafter.

Spiritual Exercises When Reading The Qur'an

When reciting the Qur'an, we should meditate upon the fact that we are reciting to Allah. Similar to a student reciting to his Ustaz, while the awe of the Ustaz engulfs the student. Hence, we recite the Qur'an with the state of heart and mind that we are reciting to Allah Ta'ala in such a manner as if we see Allah. By doing so, this will nourish the desire to recite the Qur'an more and more.

Also, we must remember that Du'a is the essence of Ibadah. Whether it is Zikr, Tilawat of the Qur'an or Solat - the essence of it all is in - Du'a. Keeping in mind Allah Ta'ala favours and His kindness, we engage in Du'a with much humility. Ponder that only Allah can accept one's requests and solve one's problems.

Indeed Allah SWT has commanded us:

"Call unto Me, I will accept."

Whomsoever is granted the gift of Du'a, unlimited mercies are showered upon him/her, and the du'a passes through the seven Heavens to Allah SWT.

Dedicating Time for Islah

Indeed, we should ponder - the fact that many and most of us have spent many years and even decades of our lives for our studies and professional development. For these purposes we left our homes and the comfort of our families for this long duration of time. Our days were then spent in lessons and the nights in studying and revision. Onwards, we also worked hard and sat for various examinations. Similar pursuits we make time for throughout our working lives.

Now consider that in contrast to this how much of time have we dedicated to our spiritual self-reformation? Our spiritual health? Is our inner self heallthy? The way Allah SWT wants it to be? In comparison, have we even spent at least one year for this purpose? Have we attempted to curtail our other activities in order to acquire proper devotion? If not, then the time has now come to acquire spiritual health.

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