Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) says something incredibly profound and beautiful in his book – Madaarij-us-Saalikeen. He says:
Sometimes, I have a certain need (that I wish to ask) Allâh, so I ask Him earnestly. Then, I find that the door of dialogue opens up for me, and I recognize Allâh more (I become more aware of Him), and feel humbled before Him, and feel a great sense of joy & happiness, due to which I prefer that the answer to my prayer be delayed, so that this joyous state may continue.
I read this quote a few months ago as I was reading through some notes on tazkiya, but at the time, I simply glanced over it without much reflection. Now that this [insert adjective] month has passed, words cannot describe the level to which I experienced the essence of what Imam Ibn al Qayyim has said above. SubhanAllah, we humans are so unthankful. We ask and we get, we ask and we get, but our ability to brush over the countless ni’am Allah sends upon us each and every second of our lives is something that even fascinates our Rabb. How many times does He, subhanahu wata’ala remind us of the favors we deny? How many times..
With Ammi away and much time to think, I spent my break talking to Allah for long periods of time. Yes, talking. I instilled in myself a habit of taking time out each day to sit in solitude and contemplate the fact that I was indeed, in front of Allah. That He, ‘azzawajal is watching me and listening to me. I told Him everything. My past mistakes, present difficulties, and apprehensions about my future. I cried almost as much as I did in Ramadan, but this time, it was more out of a feeling of impoverishment than anything else. I realized that the best way to get through a trial is to make mention of the bounties of Allah and to deem yourself unworthy of them. When you think of Allah’s blessings this way, dhikr becomes a much deeper process. It affects every part of you. When you say ‘Alhumdulillah,’ you actually begin to reflect on a specific blessing and the khair that came from that blessing over the course of your entire life. It really helps trivialize whatever you’re going through.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that the reason many people fall hard when they are faced with something difficult is because they rely on their own capacity to deal with that challenge. They don’t realize their weakness. When we struggle through the means we have while sincerely acting on the belief that Allah’s will and power are all-encompassing, it becomes easier to accept a presenting challenge. Allah ‘azzawajal says that the human being is created weak. Our insistence on trying to prove the little strength that we have is not going to help the situation; rather, it’s the yaqeen in our inability before Allah ‘azzawajal in combination with our efforts that can bring us closer to His infinite merc bi’ithnillah.
Patience itself is such an interesting phenomenon. It’s very easy to talk about but subhanAllah, there’s a reason Allah mentions it over 90 times in the Qur’an. There’s a reason Allah says He is with the sabireen. There’s a reason the Prophets are remembered for their patience. It’s not easy, but the reward for patience makes it all worth it. The humbling words of our Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) teach us exactly how we should respond when a calamity strikes. When his son Ibrahim passed away, he said, “The eyes shed tears and the heart is saddened, but we only do that which pleases our Lord. Indeed, Oh Ibrahim, we are grieved at your departure from us”. SubhanAllah, even as the mushrikeen were championing this great loss, he, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam had patience from the start. And that’s the meaning of sabrun jameel – knowing from the get go that everything (seemingly) good or bad is from Allah and He is Qadir over everything. How did Ya’qub (‘alayhis salam) respond when he was first informed about his son? He didn’t complain and think of “What if..” or “If Only..” scenarios. Rather, he remained patient from the very beginning. And this is something few people can actualize, because only a handful of us work on developing our tawakkul in Allah when times are good.
Now that Ammi is back home and on her feet again, I’m being even more cautious by engaging in muhasbah and working to make sure my ‘ibadah only increases now that this trial has passed. Because really, this is the test. Everyone turns to Allah in their time of need. Everyone. But those who maintain their connection with their Rabb when all is well are the ones who have the ability to reach the ‘arsh of Allah by having their names mentioned in gatherings of Angels before Allah subhanahu wata’ala. This is why the youth who grew up in the worship of Allah have such a high status – SubhanAllah, they have so much at their disposal, so many fitan to indulge in, but they choose to make Allah their concern. May Allah make us from them, Ameen.
Alhumdulillah, by the mercy of Allah, and the du’as of my family, friends, and you all, my mother is finally home after 21 days in the hospital. May Allah keep all our loved ones healthy and increase them in iman and taqwa. Ameen.
Allahumma Innī As’aluka Ladhdhata an-Naẓari ilā Wajhika wash Shawqa ilā Liqā’ik.
O Allah, I ask You for the delight of gazing at Your Countenance and the eagerness of meeting You. Ameen