بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Nafsiya Reflections: Your Story
Welcome to another episode of Nafsiyah Reflections - Your Story
They ask, “what’s your story?” “Who are you going to be in the story of your life?” “Who is the star?” “Where are you going to be in 10 years?” “What are you gonna be when you grow up?” We’ve all come across such questions in our lives. As these questions were meant to raise our awareness to who we will become. In teaching us or showing us how to lead our lives. But a big part of that subtle guidance has nothing to do with what truly matters. They have missed the point.
What happens after those ten years... what happens when you have reached your ideal vision. The problem becomes you look for something else. In that way we were never truly guided. See the thing is, there is a whole other world behind these questions. To us, the believers, all these answers come from our purpose, the purpose of our existence.
See we do have a story to tell. We are people who strive for greatness, for righteousness, for the truth. These days through Ramadan life has been much clearer in so many ways. Death seems like it’s around the corner. Yet we are not fully sure what it is we need to do with our lives.
Just recently, I saw Ramadan with a whole new vision. It’s as if someone had taken off this shady veil from over my eyes (and it wasn’t the niqab). Because of all we are going through, Ramadan seemed different and made me see it in a whole new light that many others may have seen before. Ramadan seemed to be a check list. A checklist we tried to do, whole heartedly. This great month, naturally took us out of our normal states. We began doing more ibadaa’, in praying taraweeh, qyiam al leil, or just striving to do any little good deed we could get our hands on to gain reward in this blessed month. And then after Ramadan was over, ‘life’ would seem to find a way to slither back into our lives. And slowly we would begin to drift away from that check list we were hoping to keep up with.
It is only natural that this would happen.
عَنْ حَنْظَلَةَ الأُسَيْدِيِّ، وَكَانَ، مِنْ كُتَّابِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ مَرَّ بِأَبِي بَكْرٍ وَهُوَ يَبْكِي فَقَالَ مَا لَكَ يَا حَنْظَلَةُ قَالَ نَافَقَ حَنْظَلَةُ يَا أَبَا بَكْرٍ نَكُونُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُذَكِّرُنَا بِالنَّارِ وَالْجَنَّةِ كَأَنَّا رَأْىَ عَيْنٍ فَإِذَا رَجَعْنَا إِلَى الأَزْوَاجِ وَالضَّيْعَةِ نَسِينَا كَثِيرًا . قَالَ فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّا لَكَذَلِكَ انْطَلِقْ بِنَا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم . فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَلَمَّا رَآهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " مَا لَكَ يَا حَنْظَلَةُ " . قَالَ نَافَقَ حَنْظَلَةُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ نَكُونُ عِنْدَكَ تُذَكِّرُنَا بِالنَّارِ وَالْجَنَّةِ كَأَنَّا رَأْىَ عَيْنٍ فَإِذَا رَجَعْنَا عَافَسْنَا الأَزْوَاجَ وَالضَّيْعَةَ وَنَسِينَا كَثِيرًا . قَالَ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " لَوْ تَدُومُونَ عَلَى الْحَالِ الَّذِي تَقُومُونَ بِهَا مِنْ عِنْدِي لَصَافَحَتْكُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فِي مَجَالِسِكُمْ وَفِي طُرُقِكُمْ وَعَلَى فُرُشِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَا حَنْظَلَةُ سَاعَةً وَسَاعَةً وَسَاعَةً " . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ .
Abu 'Uthman narrated from Hanzalah Al-Usaidi – and he was one of the scribes of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w)- that he passed by Abu Bakr while he was crying, so he(Abu Bakr) said to him: “What is wrong with you, O Hanzalah?” He replied: “Hanzalah has become a hypocrite O Abu Bakr! When we are with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) we remember the Fire and Paradise as if we are looking at them with the naked eye. But when we return we busy ourselves with our wives and livelihood and we forget so much.” He(Abu Bakr) said: “By Allah! The same thing happens to me. Let us go to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w).” (Hanzalah said:) “So he went." When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saw him, he said: “What is wrong with you O Hanzalah?” He said: “Hanzalah has become a hypocrite O Messenger of Allah! When we are with you we remember the Fire and Paradise as if we can see them with the naked eye. But when we return we are busy with our wives and livelihood, and we forget so much.” He said: “So the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: 'If you were to abide in the state that you are in when you are with me, then the Angels would shake hands with you in your gatherings, and upon your bedding, and in your paths. But O Hanzalah! There is a time for this and a time for that.'” (Sahih)
See in Ramadan, Allah helps us to change our state from the inside out. He allows us to live without the shayateen or devils, he opens the doors of Jannah, paradise , and closes the doors of Jahanam, or hell. When I heard this hadith, even though I had heard it many times before, this time I saw it in a whole new light. We were given this state from Allah (swt), to be closer to Him, to know Him, to feel His presence in our lives. Ramadan was our ticket to do that, much more easily.
So it wasn’t the checklist but a feeling we have with Allah SWT when we are close to Him. When we do our “checklist”- as we may call it, we are closer to Him. For The Messenger, peace be upon him, said,
قَالَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ
"يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي، وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا ذَكَرَنِي، فَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي، وَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي مَلَإٍ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْهُمْ، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ بِشِبْرٍ، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ ذِرَاعًا، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ بَاعًا(1) وَإِنْ أَتَانِي يَمْشِي، أَتَيْتُهُ هَرْوَلَةً
“Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.
Being close to Him, would change our state, which in turn changes who we are to become, who we should be, what we should do, and who in the end we want to be. With every deed we do, we become closer and closer. The objective isn’t in the actual motion of the deed, but the feeling we get from it. The closeness to Allah (swt). That closeness that gives us the strength to face the rest of the year, till the next Ramadan.
In taking advantage of Ramadan, reading and listening to things that will move us closer to Allah. In doing consistent small deeds, or itikhaf for the last ten days, as the prophet peace be upon him did, we can gain the strength and guidance we need to manifest Islam, to being the strong-willed Dawah Carriers, we are trying to be. For each of us has a gift to bring to this world, a one of a kind gift that only that person has. That only that person can open other peoples’ eyes with. And as human as we are, we may move people closer to see the truth. The truth in Allah (swt), the truth in Muhammad peace be upon him, and the truth in the Khilafah (Caliphate) we have been truly parched without, today.
Taking advantage of these last 10 days, could not only change our state but the actual state around us.
Let us now ask these questions... did we strive and do our very best? did we manifest Islam all year round 24/7? did we try to work for this Deen as the prophet SAW showed us?
As we enter the last days and blessed nights of Ramadan it is truly a time for repentance and reflection. we pray Allah forgives us in this blessed month and He guides us throughout our lives till the hereafter.
So on that day.. The Day of Judgment... when we will be asked to read our books, our stories, out loud...
What will your story say?
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