Faith and love

The other day I was visiting a friend and she asked me the usual questions… how is your health… how are the kids… their educational concerns etc but then she asked me a question which cleared a lot of confusion from my own mind.

It often happens that my mind is filled with a lot of thoughts and I can’t seem to concentrate on anything due to the scattered strings of ideas in which I go round and round in circles without reaching any conclusion… and then a strange thing happens that someone somewhere will ask me a random question and in answering that, I feel like the strings of thoughts are being straightened out and all the confusion in my mind dissolves as if it wasn’t there at all… and best of all I find the answer what I had been seeking myself all that time!!

Well the question she asked was that why couldn’t she feel khushu in her prayers? She said that if she is doing any other zikr or reading the Quran or making duas, then she felt the presence of Allah but she missed this feeling of consciousness in salat… why? What was the reason?

To this I recalled to her the Hadith of the Prophet (s.a.w) in which he said that Surely truth leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Jannah… So if our Imaan is true and we really believe that we are talking to Allah in our five times salat then how is it possible that our hearts wander in other directions and think of any other thing or any person at all?

Imagine going for a job interview… how alert and conscious we feel… all our thoughts and energy is focused on one point, excluding all other things or concerns, and that is to please the interviewer in whose hands we think lies the decision of our destiny, our job, our career…

Or imagine talking to a doctor when you are telling him about the details of your disease… are you ever distracted by any other thing? No… because your whole attention is focused on communicating effectively with the doctor from whom you are expecting to be healed from all pains…

There are several other examples from real life which we can all relate to in which we are wholly and solely focused on one individual or one project with which we have attached great importance… with which we hope for success or fear for loss..

So this means that our hearts are perfectly capable of being focused… and if we are getting distracted in prayer then the only reason is that the heart has not attached the same importance to it as it feels for other things. And if you ask why is that so?… then the simple reason is that we have not proved to our hearts that we really and truly think of Allah as the most important being in our life.

It occurred to me at that very moment that the heart is like a silent observer which perceives very deeply what we do. So even if we keep saying to ourselves or to others that we love Allah or that we fear His anger… but then we keep repeating the acts which displease him… or we give more importance to the opinions of people rather than following the commands of Allah then the heart labels that person or that activity to be our utmost nucleus of life… the one which we “practically” prefer to every other thing. And so when take our body to salat then the heart does not participate in it the way it should… it just wanders aimlessly in all directions and so we don’t feel the satisfaction and joy of prayer the way we should… that is why salat is at the most a duty which we cannot leave…

On the other hand khushu of the heart means that our heart should feel so much awareness of Allah that all other thoughts are driven away from the heart and its entire focus is on Allah to whom we are talking… And if we really and truly love Allah then imagine meeting a beloved five times a day without any distraction or disturbance… imagine the joy of a person who has a beloved and then has the free ticket to meet his beloved five times a day or even more if he wishes to… Can this person ever be depressed who lives in this constant remembrance of a meeting with a beloved and looking forward to the next one and the next and the next?

I am not a very experienced or knowledgeable person but I think that in this world the biggest gift that Allah would bestow on any person is to fill his heart with His love…

In the Quran Allah says that the people who believe in Allah are those who love Allah most passionately… why then don’t we feel this love when we do believe in Him?

The reason is that our hearts are in Allah’s hands and this greatest gift of His love can only be given to us when we stop disobeying him. Because love demands that you don’t do anything to displease your beloved. Sometimes it seems to be a little mistake but it might be a big displeasure to the one who loves you… and the other thing is that the beloved cannot remain a beloved when you give the same status or importance to any other person or activity.

Therefore to win this MOST precious gift of love we need to be extremely alert not to do anything which might displease Allah and also to involve our heart and our time in finding ways to please Him and then also practically doing those things because the heart cannot be fooled by false claims of love… it has to see the proof in actions… Surely truth leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to paradise… not only in the hereafter but also in this world…

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