Friday, April 27, 2012

Take Any Road

I have been feeling like I am here:

Maybe we are always at crossroads---with every decision. 

Do you know that the Prophet Muhammad used to pray istakkarah over routine matters?  Some of us take major life decisions of marriage, moves, education, career, children, friendships, and even divorce without ever consulting Our Creator.  Astragferallah.

It's Friday and I'm listening to a khotba from Dr. Zakir Naik.   It's my goal to listen to an Islamic speech or sermon every Friday.  I want to maintain this goal of mine.  I like acknowledging that it is a goal to myself, to you and to God.  To be public about our aims is part of Islam.  It helps us stay accountable.  It's a promise and to fulfill it helps me feel better.  So without even delving into whether or not I gain from the words of the khotba, I gain from the mere fulfillment of my promise; my convenant.

These words from Dr. Zakir Naik are very meaningful.  It's hard to understand his accent at times as he's from the Indian subcontinent.  However, once you give over to the idea that you will gain from his straight forward approach to Islam, you benefit with each story he tells.

I especially like the story he tells in the beginning of the traveler who wants to know which road to take.

"Where are you going?" he is asked.

"Anywhere," he answers.

"Then take any road.  It doesn't matter," is the reply.

Time to check where you are going.  What is your ultimate goal?

Honestly, it doesn't matter so much which place you go as long as you know that you must stay connected with Allah.  With Allah SWT all things are possible.  Without Allah, you are lost no matter where you end up.

I thought today of how we can travel the earth and pray to the same spot:  the Kabba.  How?  As long as we know the direction.  We keep our focus and we continue our connection subhanallah.

I have felt lost lately.  For these last two weeks I have wondered where I am and where I am going.  It has brought me low and made sadness cloud my face.  Yet, I have kept praying.  I have kept reading Quran.  I have kept trusting in Allah.

Last night, I watched a Huda TV program, "Correct Your Recitation".  It was a live presentation with host Sheik Muhammad Salah to explain in English what was recited from Quran.  It was in depth and fascinating; like a living tafsir.  I stayed watching though I was pretty sure I was missing a movie somewhere on the satellite.  I felt some relief for renewing my connection.

Remember:  Allah doesn't go from us; we go away from Allah.  We need only to turn to Him to feel His Loving Forgiveness.  We need only to wish for His Greater Presence in our life to immediately be Graced with this reality.

This morning, I opened my Quran where my bookmark was placed and began reading where I had left off. 

"ART THOU NOT aware of those who would be friends with people whom God has condemned? They are neither of you [O believers] nor of those [who utterly reject the truth]: and so they swear to a falsehood the while they know [it to be false]."

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا قَوْمًا غَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مَّا هُم مِّنكُمْ وَلَا مِنْهُمْ وَيَحْلِفُونَ عَلَى الْكَذِبِ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

It struck me as interesting that my reading sounded so much like what was discussed last night on TV.  I reasoned that the Quran often repeats important points.  I kept reading.  Wow.  That sounded exactly like what was discussed. 

So, I read the transliterated Arabic (the Arabic sounds into English letters) and realized that it was the same.

Alam tara ila allatheena tawallaw qawman ghadiba Allahu AAalayhim ma hum minkum wala minhum wayahlifoona AAala alkathibi wahum yaAAlamoona

Subhanallah.  Once again, I felt how connected I was to Allah.  I was connected to Allah because I stopped being sad and hopeless.  I felt connected because I made an effort.  God showed me perfectly.  That program could have discussed many hundreds of places in the Quran but it didn't.  It discussed Surah 58, ayah 14 which is EXACTLY where I was.  Subhanallah.

My peace of mind depends on putting my trust in Allah.  Since Allah sent me Surah Al-Mujadilah 14-22 twice in two days, it's good to acknowledge that people will let us down.  We will not---we are GUARANTEED--- not to meet all trustworthy people.  Those around us are bound to break our trust.  When we feel betrayed it's a test.  Why be sad when Allah hasn't harmed us?  Allah has only shown us the truth.

We are also guaranteed to be the ones who hurt others.  We have been made as human beings and as such are fallible.  Astragferallah for our actions which are wrong; those we know and those we don't know.  It hurts more maybe to know that we broke someone else's trust.  It demands our steadfastness to correct ourselves and to remember our goals for this life and the next.

Don't just take any road. Take the road which brings you closer to your highest hopes; closer to Allah.

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

"Guide us to the straight path. 

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray."



khaki said...

Assalam-o-alaikum Yosra!
Mash'Allah for another amazing post. You are so very right when you say that we can only benefit and be content when we put our trust in Allah Almighty. No one else is worthy of our trust and we are bound to get hurt when we expect beyond a certain level from people. Allah bless us all with His infinite mercy and Light as He is The Most Merciful. Amen
Love to you!

MarieHarmony said...

Very interesting post Yosra, I always learn something reading you.
That's very true that whenever we put our trust in God we are fine, whatever road we take, God in our hearts, we will make it.
I tend to trust people a lot. It just believe too much in human nature, that's just part of me thought.

Hope you are feeling better. I know how it is to feel lost.
Keeping you in my prayers dear. Have a lovely evening!