The Journey to Allah is the Journey of our heart. (Sheikh Mokhtar Magraoui) It brings with it a lot of joy, deep happiness, peace within and peace without.
There are traps that can make you trip, and fall into the abyss of the Nafs and unsatisfied urges and hungers. Many of these traps are in the outside world, some we invite inside our living rooms, in our hands coming through the screen time, of phones, Internet and apps.
Other traps are in our mosques and places of worship, where we usually let down our defenses against Nafsani urges. We may find that the leadership, which might have been corrupted, has breached the sanctuary of the mosque. This is manifest by signs of the complete takeover of their bodies and minds by the cravings of their Nafs be it a hunger for power, fame or money. The victims of the Nafs are many and the Muslim men and women are no exception.
Violence is exploding in the men of the world. On one hand testosterone injections in the middle aged men are making them run like horny animals forgetting the monogamous nature of their relationships with their avowed spouses and their promise of protection of their children. This has resulted in the Destruction of families as the man reaches 40 and has increased exponentially. It happens around the time when children are turning into puberty and are left with a severely distorted image of a man, a father, a protector and maintainer of his womenfolk.( surah Nisa)
On the other hand testosterone, admixed with female hormones is being fed in meat where animals are brought from childhood to puberty in 1.5 years to increase meat and to give milk. (The omnivores dilemma) When this is translated into human beings it is feminizing young boys with fat being deposited in feminine areas including breast deposition of fat called gynaecomastia.
Coupled with this is the depression riding these children of broken homes, absent fathers, bone tired mothers who may be working two jobs to make ends meet.
These children pacify themselves with unfettered eating of feminizing hormones in dairy products and meat resulting in gynaecomastia in boys, and making the early sexual development of girls coupled with no protection from predators’ turns these child girls into early mamas.
The huroomaat (sanctuaries) of the body are being violated by food that is not food, it is genetically modified substances being passed as food. The corporate battle wages for the hearts and minds of people to win them over to this new form of food.
In the spiritual world the heart is at siege by the Nafs. Even in the Halls of the Ulema and intellectuals the word of Allah is being modulated to fit human desires of the Nafs calling for the Shahawaat…
The challenge seems immense.
How does one live in such a world, how do you raise normal compassionate and caring children in a world distorted at the cell molecular level? How does one protect children from being exploited physically, sexually and emotionally when the father is out in fast forward testosterone storm, sowing more seeds and the mother is absent working two jobs to put food on the table.
How does one contain the SHahawaat and free the heart from the burdens and shenanigans of the Nafs?
What is the calling of the Nafs? It is that insistent desire that you know is not good for your body, your mind or your inner peace. Being insistent you may answer it and then it comes again and again.
In my humble opinion the key is to find spiritual guides. How? In this day and era you may have to find a guide stay with him or her learn what you can and then move to the next level of spirituality. It is important to realize that even the best of men and women can be corrupted.
Thus look for integrity, observe if they practice what they preach and live according to what they advocate: these are guidelines that will keep you mainstream and grounded in your heart rather than the Nafs.
Simplify your life; remove fake things from your food, your clothes, your thoughts, and the people around you. Remove excessive clothes, clutter, and hypocritical “friends” from your circle or remove yourself from their circle. No one is strong enough to sit in hypocritical circles and remain pure of heart. Slowly their hypocrisy erodes your inner being, and your Nafs delights in the takeover.
Find your place of belonging by first defining where you do not belong (John O Donohue, Irish poet philosopher).
Do not let go of your Dhikr (Salaat un Nabi and Istighfaar) and your entreaties (Duas) to Allah to help you not with material things only but with your heart: to cleanse it to protect it and to bring it toward Him and fill it with His nearness and Light.
I am in the dark as I realize that it is only in the dark that I can truly feel who I am for I can no longer see others and use them as my mirror. Their vision of me maybe distorted by their Nafs. The Greed and Shahawaat of their Nafs may color the image they see of me and if I use them as my mirror I may begin to suffocate my heart and close its eye to the beauty of Allah.
My friends I am on a journey to see the beauty of Allah’s attributes in this world, perhaps you can help me in this adventure to lighten my heart and fill it with LIGHT?