"Be pleased with your Rabb!"
by, 21-05-2011 at 11:58 PM (1438 Views)
I have a friend who is having a hard time traversing the path of life. This brother was recently released from prison, and so, he must abide by the rules of his parole. These rules, coupled with trying to find a job and an approved place to live are very stressful on him. I help him as I can financially and with rides around the city. The stress has begun to allow the whispers of shaitan to creep in and he has begun to stray from his duties to Allah. He has expressed to me that he feels that his efforts are all in vain. As an adherent to the shadhili tariqa he recites his nightly award and performs his prescribed superogatory duties prescribed by his sheikh, yet he sees no change is inner being, and he sees no relief from his situation coming from Allah.
I started to give him the same advice I always delve out to people in tough times – “Allah tests the ones he loves”, “Things will get better”, and “You’ll be alright”. Then I realized that this brother isn’t like average Muslims, he has chosen to embark on the path to Ihsan by following the science of Tassawuf. Something that not every Muslim is cut out for, something that takes hard work and dedication. This brother was outwardly dedicated and worked hard, reciting Quran nightly and repeating litany after litany, but this is only half of the work that needs to be done.
The other half of this work we do is physiological. One can recite Hizb ul Bahr all day long, but if they aren’t transforming the way they think, they aren’t purifying themselves fully. The problem this brother faced was his lack of satisfaction with Allah. Allah, in His infinite Mercy and Wisdom has preordained our lives, He has allotted to us all that we will obtain in this world – and none but Allah can add or diminish this allotment. Part of this path of ours is to internally realize this, a task that is harder than setting your alarm for 3:00 AM and making tahujjud every night. While doing our prescribed acts, we must also fight to transform our thinking, and realize that Allah is in complete control.
“Nothing happens without His permission” – easy words to say, but how many of us actually believe it – how many of us, in our daily lives are fully submitted to Allah. After I spoke the words to this brother, Allah put me to the test. I was recently informed I was being investigated by the FBI for connections to a “Yemeni cleric”. Needless to say, this caused me a bit a stress. My life, freedom, family and future aspirations were potentially at risk. Then on top of that stress, my wife and I began to have marital problems.
For a few months I stressed about it and I begged Allah to ease my troubles. Then about 2 weeks ago that brother called me and asked me for a ride. I explained that I couldn’t because I have to go meat with investigators at that time. I began to complain to the brother about my plight and my problems and he reminded me about our conversation where I yelled at him and told him to “Be pleased with your Rabb!” – he then reciprocated and said “Be pleased with your Rabb!”
It was easy for me to say that to him when things were easy for me, but hard for me to apply it to myself when things were hard.
These past few months I had been viewing these investigators as separate from Allah, I had constructed a 3 way dynamic in my mind, with Allah and me on the side of good, and the investigators on the side of evil. As I drove to their office I realized I had been beseeching Allah to protect me from them – when in reality they have no power – they, whether they like it or not, are subject to the will of Allah. For 10 years I have been bayt to sheikh and seeking to purify myself and reach a higher maqam. For 10 years I have abstained and strived for the pleasure of Allah, but I had gone nowhere internally – I was still stuck in the mentality of my jahiliyya days.
I pulled up to the office, and I decided to use all the techniques and secrets made available to me through these years and implement them in this situation. For the first time in months my heart was at peace, I had no worries, I knew that these men were subject to Allah – and Allah is my beloved. As I rode the elevator up the tall building I recited darood sahreef and praised the Beloved of my Beloved. As I was being frisked and escorted to the interrogation room, I praised Allah and as taught to me by my sheikh visualized the ism Azam – I wrote “Alif – Lam – Lam – Ha” on my heart. I immersed myself in the utterance of Ya hoo as I waited for the investigators.
After about 20 minutes they entered the room, stern faced and trying their best to be imposing. Little do they know. They started out speaking angrily and telling me what they “knew” – I calmly kept my dhikr going in my heart. As they spoke visualized “Alif-lam-lam-ha” and wrote it on their hearts – gradually, they began to calm down, gradually they became more polite, eventually they were apologizing to me for wasting my time.
In no way am I trying to brag – the outcome described was not the result of my wiliyat – I am a lowly sinner in need of the forgiveness of Allah and all of your duas – I am the worst amongst you. The outcome described is a testament to the reality of this world we wonder through – Allah is in control of all of our affairs – and we must be pleased with Allah when He ordains our affairs. And I sincerely beg Allah that he keeps me in the state of submission and acceptance of his decree as I was in on that day.