I was feeling very angry that my children were being taken to a musical concert. I spent two days in trying to explain to everyone that it is haram and the work of shaitan and so we should save ourselves but no one was being convinced. After they went away I was feeling like totally abandoned and defeated so when I stood up to read the Isha Prayer I started crying, but the strange thing was that my tears were not cool and this thought came to me even while I was in the depth of my misery for my sweet, innocent children being exposed to such a haram act. And I was asking Allah desperately to save them and also anger for why aren’t people worshipping Allah and why are they involved in such acts. As the sobs became louder the tears became hotter and faintly I recalled the article I had once written on my observation that the tears that you cry only in front of Allah are always cool.
Anyway after the Namaz as I was still crying, I thought that maybe there is something wrong in this… some riya? (Showing off) But then I thought no it could not be so because no one is watching. Then what? Maybe this is shaitan’s trick to make me so exhausted that I will not be able to work on Quran Tafseer as I had planned. And then as soon as I held up the torch into my heart I was stunned by the voice of my zameer… (Conscience)… the nafs-e-lawwama… which said to me in a very mocking tone… “On other people’s sins you are feeling so much anger and resentment which you think is for the sake of Allah. But have you ever cried like this on your own sins?” And I sat there like a stone… simply shocked!! How deep is this deception… apparently I had thought that my anger was for the sake of Allah but during this crying I had felt someone telling me how pious you are that the rest of the people will be enjoying breaking the limits of Allah and you hate sins so much that you are crying your heart out… the same thing had happened in three-four years ago and that day too I had been proud of getting up from such a gathering and boldly told my husband to take me back home… I had thought I was so good. And until today maybe in one way or the other I am always trying to be so good and when I accomplish a target I think I am so good while the rest of the world is just wasting away their lives. This is the ego-satisfaction, the self praise which spoils all good deeds… and this is what makes me feel so restless because I had felt deep in my heart that there is something seriously wrong with me but till this episode I couldn’t identify it properly.
Now that I recognized it then I prayed extra nafals and apologized to Allah for all the mistakes and asked him to wash me to make me pure and to accept my taubah which I felt was khalis for the first time.
I am feeling so relieved now as if I have dropped a burden which I had been carrying on my back for as long as I can remember and that was the burden of other people’s sins. Now I realize that the only thing worth sobbing about and worth crying is my own mistakes. While it is certainly my responsibility to warn others of the akhirah but my primary focus should be my own self. Shedding off this burden has made me feel an immense change immediately. Now I am ready to forgive and to forget because now I want forgiveness for myself more than anything else. Who am I not to forgive anyway? Who am I except a slave…? I just hope I can remember this lesson.
My niyyat of writing this long tale is that somehow it connects to our topic of ikhlas and maybe you can explain to others too that even if we are at the height of goodness and taqwa we should keep asking Allah to tell us the right thing because just as the poor people who fall into sins without knowing; Similarly we people, who have “announced” to be Allah’s faithful servants, are human beings and sometimes we also don’t see clearly. But Alhamdulillah Allah has done intizaam for everything and placed a guard inside our hearts which will keep telling us when we cross the limits… but only if we allow it to talk and keep it alive by believing in its wisdom even if its verdict goes against us.
It is perfectly alright to be declared as wrong in this world rather than finding it out in the next world.