The Prophet(pbuh) said, “The one who holds Allah in remembrance as compared to one who does not, is like a living man as compared to one who has died.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Ever felt like you’re missing something? Like you need to be somewhere while you’re busy wasting time some place else? Ever felt like you’re on the wrong road and you need to take a U-turn quickly, back to the crossroads?
It’s cliche but our lives can very rightly be compared to a long stretch of road – a highway. No road is perfectly smooth all the way, there are good bits and there are bumps too. Sometimes, there are portions of uncarpeted road that really shake you up. It’s easy to grumble whenever you hit a bump in the road but to derive a real meaning from it is the difficult part. What did that have to do with wasting time, “missing” something, feeling unsure about yourself? There’s a very simple connection really.
For a few days now, I’ve been feeling very restless, often slightly sad. When I wake up in the morning, I’m not as cheerful as I was earlier. I go through my day like a machine – college, hospital, college, home, meals, sleep. Even bedtime has suddenly become very strange – it’s like I’ve stopped feeling any emotion. The reason for such distress is obvious – I’ve stopped making active effort to remember Allah. I’ll hum to myself but I won’t do Dhikr. I’ll yawn off to sleep but I won’t remember Allah as I should. Most of all, I’m not thinking deeply about anything at all – like the foam on the sea, I float on the surface, not satisfying my soul’s desire to reflect on my passing time.
I feel so guilty now at having done what I did that repenting and returning suddenly seems so difficult. How many times have you been through this yourself? The truth is, we’re all on the same road and we experience such trying times at different points. Yesterday, I felt my Iman growing strong and today, I can’t look myself in the mirror for having sunk so low in my own eyes.
What can be done now? Should I continue on the wrong path or take a U-turn? Where are the directions? Will Allah accept my late return? Will my Iman grow strong again?
“Say: O Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah: verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Zumar 39: Verse 53)
This ayah gave me confidence and renewed my faith in the guidance of Allah through His Words. It taught me that whatever thoughts of “It’s too late now, I won’t be accepted in Allah’s Mercy again, might as well go on in this miserable existence” come to our mind are from Shaitan and reality is indeed very optimistic.
Now, is that enough? Should we simply stop after that ayah or is there a need to take practical steps to avoid another slip? And how will I climb the Iman ladder now that I’ve found it Alhamdolillah? The next ayah answers that directly.
“And turn in repentance and obedience with true Faith to your Lord and submit to Him before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped. And follow the best of that which is sent down to you from your Lord, before the torment comes on you suddenly, while you perceive not.” (Surah Zumar 39: Verses 54-55)
So, feeling sad or restless with one’s declining Iman is a mercy – a chance to change our lives and be reborn from the ashes. The bump in the road is not always a low-point. For now, I need to go work to regain what I’ve lost, InshAllah. I’ll share my experiences here InshAllah so that when you hit that road bump, you know exactly where you are and where you need to be. A Muslim’s life is not a deserted highway, Alhamdolillah!