It is a terrible weakness to be deceived by the illusion of temptations and it is amazing how these illusions can trap even the most intelligent or the most righteous people.
I used to think that after I pray regularly then this act of worship will automatically save me from all the things which Allah doesn’t approve of… but the fact is that every time I want to stay away from some evil, I have to make a conscious decision to do so… and sometimes it requires a lot of struggle against my desires… because apparently something might seem very innocent but I have to convince myself that it is not so in reality.
But if I am not careful and I let my “self” have its way… just a little tiny bit… then it is enough to make me lose my focus. And so the same “me” who is conscious of her minutes and seconds… will easily throw away hours on activities which will neither benefit me in this world nor the next.
But why does it have to be so? Why cannot I have some “permanent” guard sitting inside me to ward off these distractions?
Well one answer that comes to my mind is that if my righteousness was “automatic” and I had no inner or outer enemy to fight against then why would I be rewarded for it?
Secondly these “accidents” happen for a very good reason… they happen to let me see my reality… so that I can realize that I don’t “own” my faith… I am not the owner of my “good deeds” even… they are gifts from Allah which I must protect against all burglars and thieves… whether they live outside or inside me.
On the other hand the frequency of my lapses serves as an indicator whether I am taking the required dose of zikr or not… because zikr or remembrance of Allah is my strength against all desires and temptations. But our mistake is that we assume a certain amount of zikr as “enough” whereas in reality we might need more of it to cure our heart’s diseases.
So whenever some negativity seems to sap your energy and optimism or acts as a hurdle in your path to Allah’s pleasure then it’s time to increase your zikr… which includes recitation, duas, tasbeeh… and namaz which encompasses all of these and therefore it is the highest form of remembering Allah.
May Allah help us to remember Him in all times and make us strong against all the forces which distract us away from Him… ameen