بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
It's been a while.
Last Winter break, I have been given the chance to watch and listen to Reviving Islamic Spirit (RIS) conference with my PhD senior. This conference involves many Islamic scholar from North America.
So just an hour ago, I came across my notes again and I feel like I want to share it here.
What I want to share is about the quest of desiring Allah.
If you don't want (desire), it will never happen. The drive is important, the desire of Allah is pertinent so that you will have effort to fulfil that desire and the path will begin.
There are 4 characteristics that need to be met
Let's talk about Zuhud. Zuhud can be divided into 7 types
1) Against haram things: Some of us deliberately fall into haram, we should avoid that.
2) Against makruh things: Stay away from it.
3) Against mutasyabihat: Choose to stay away from it if you desire Allah.
4) In halal things: Restraint personal desires, only take what you need necessarily
5) In speaking: Speak only when needed
6) In emotion: Use emotion accordingly
7) Ultimate zuhud is the zuhud qalb: Process of empyting qalb from other than Allah -> Tazahhud
Zuhud = Restraint. Ultimate zuhud = Zuhud Al-Qulub
Question - How can your qalb glows and radiates?
it can only glow and radiate once the divine light shone on it
before that, you have to prepare the heart for radiance
Analogy - how can your physical self be clean, glow and radiate?
we are dirty, so first we need to take off our dirty clothes
then we need to take a bath
than we wear a clean new cloth
but we are faqir, we can only wear a new, clean, glowing cloth if the King gives us ‘persalinan diraja’
but if we refuse to take off the old dirty cloth, we wont be able to wear the King’s cloth
Question - How can you start cleaning your qalb?
by being alone - khalwah/uzlah
this is the sunnah (e.g Prophet Muhammad saw in Hira’)
by being alone, you are entering the realm of reflection and contemplation
Analogy - You are in a rock concert, with music blasting. Would your qalb be able to focus and remember Allah? probably not. The physical noise will create a spiritual noise. Once there are noises inside the qalb, your qalb cannot contemplate, it will be distracted
The sound of the divine is always around us, but we cannot hear because of the artifical noises. If you go into the forest, and stood still, you’ll start hearing sounds inside the forest that you’ve never been aware before. Sounds in the forest that are always there but got drowned in other noises. Even when you walk in the forest, your steps on leaves or on branches can drown the natural sound of the forest. You have to stand still to hear the sound.
That's why I love camping and be with the nature.
The concept of travellers.
Each of us are travellers. This is not the physical travel, but a spiritual travel. But a lot of people did not realize that they are a traveller. They think that they are a tourist.
Traveler needs to move forward to a destination. The qalb need to move forward in its spiritual journey to Allah.
As we move closer to a place nearer to Allah in our journey to him, the more beautiful we will become spiritually, which will translate to more beautiful adab, emotion, worship etc.
As a traveller, we need to know where we are going. Before we know where we are going, we need to know where we are. This is where the uzlah/khalwah is important, because we are looking into ourselves, looking into our hidden desires and weaknesses. Our current spiritual location, which is far from Allah. Once we know where our location is, in relation to our journey to Allah, then we know where we are headed. If we do not know where we currently are, with the relation of where our qalb is, then we are lost. We cannot go on a journey if we are lost.
By taking a moment to analyze our heart, our hidden desires and wants, its like we are taking a moment to look at our compass to redirect our direction in our journey. We are also recalibrating the compass so we are sure that we are in the right direction.
Concept of calibration - we need to calibrate our equipment to make sure that it is reading correctly. For example, if outside in -50 degree celcius, but our thermometer’s calibration starts at 0 degree celcius, when we go out, the reading will show 0 degree, but that is not a correct reading. The thermometer is not calibrated properly so we are deluded.
Even in my Nanotechnology class, we did calibration 12 times for 20 lab sessions to make sure that our chip is working perfectly fine.
Same with the heart, if the heart is not calibrated properly, we might do things that we thought are not wrong, but in reality they are grave big sins.
How do we calibrate our heart? by being aware of Allah. The more we are aware of Allah, in our breath, the more calibrated our heart is, and the more accurate the readings. We want to arrive at a stage where every breath is a rememberance, so that the calibration is so precise that we see the reality and the truth as it is, not as images or reflected images (fatamorgana?)
To be continued. Next component will be 'Ilm. InsyaAllah.