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Love: An Intense Affair

Steps on the Path to Allah
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The many times when I was faced with hard choices and made difficult decisions, I had always found Allah storing something better for me

I’m one of those people who try to save all their text messages beyond the capacity of their cell phones, who preserve their high school doodles, who cherish even stains and marks because all of them tell a story and who, when they take a liking to a particular person, can be very fierce in it.

Simply put, emotions come strong and people matter most. Empathy, where it is a gift, can also prove to be a burden. For when ties with people mess up, nothing is more maddening than replays of bitter feelings, heated conversations and the hurt.

This had been happening for quite some time that whenever I would say my prayers, thoughts of particular people stuck to me- like an umbilical cord, a connection that just would not let go. Earlier they used to be of good times with them, but later they turned dark and twisted of betrayal and other negative emotions. It was just at the time of praying that the whole timeline would unfold before me and I would allow myself to be wallowed in its depths.

Pleasing People by Angering Allah?

What has he lost who has found Allah? And what has he found who has lost Allah?

I knew I was supposed to not let that happen, for they say if anyone wants to see where they stand with Allah, they should check their prayers. And they also say, “if you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders”. And looking at my thoughts and prayers, I saw my relationship with Him was weakening. And I knew exactly why. I knew where I had gone wrong. The conscience, annoying as it is, is also a blessing. Somewhere from the back of my mind, it pulled out this hadith waving it in my face, whispering that it is time for damage control now.

Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, say:

“Whoever seeks to please Allah by angering the people, Allah will suffice him against the people, but whoever seeks to please people by angering Allah, Allah will leave him to the people.” (At-Tirmidhi)

I’ve seen and felt both sides- when my life was wrapped around people I loved and things I considered important, and when the Almighty was the center of my undivided attention. The worst part is when the love of mortals seep inside and takes over the core that rightfully belonged to the Creator.

What has he lost who has found Allah?

And what has he found who has lost Allah?

The two questions posed by Ibn Ata'-Allah Al-Iskandari- and for someone who had always learned her lessons the hard way, I find myself qualified to answer both: Nothing.

The many times when I was faced with hard choices and made difficult decisions, I had always found Allah storing something better for me. But the times when I kept people on the first priority and displeased Allah while I was at it, everything had just backfired.

Those who had a taste of highs and lows in faith, they would be nodding their heads feverishly. This is how Allah makes His slave realize that he is veering off the track. Consider any of your relationships with people here. Or think of your best friend. If your partner completely ignores you and starts treating other people like he used to treat you- how will you feel?

If your best friend stops telling you her latest dilemmas and suddenly someone else is her confidante, how would you react to that? Something has definitely changed here, right?

It is only when you love Him that you won’t be left with a broken heart.

So this is God’s way of saying- “we need to talk”.  And He doesn’t say it to just anybody- just like you wouldn’t mind if a passer-by is snubbing you, but would take it to heart when people you care about start acting like they don’t know you at all. So this treatment too, is given to a special few. But this doesn’t go on to say that you start feeling good about it.

Displeasing Allah is no small deal. Just consider yourself lucky that you know beforehand that God is not pleased with the way things are going. Oddly enough, it is not uncommon for a person, who was once filled with love for Allah, to spiral downhill in the relationship if he is not vigilant enough.

So, to nurture the relationship that you have with your Lord, it requires that we keep the pointers in this hadith as a rule of thumb- that we love Him more than anyone else, and allow no one to take that place. This does not mean that we keep people in the sidelines. All we have to do is prioritize and be very clear on that. Whenever you give your heart out to someone, you place it in the wrong hands. You will get it crushed, stabbed and lied to. Or you will just be sorely disappointed when the person does not return your feelings the way you were expecting him to. We’re all erring humans. No one can gauge the magnitude of your affections and give you the fulfillment you are craving. You’re looking for it in the wrong place.

There is only One Being worthy of this piece of beating flesh, the One Who can make it feel whole and complete. Truly, the heart is only alive when it reunites with its Master. It is only when you love Him that you won’t be left with a broken heart.

All ballads, rhymes and symphonies composed in the name of tainted love pretty much proves the point. It’s an emotion so deep and powerful that it can make poets, philosophers and even murderers out of the people capable of feeling it. But when channeled the right way, can produce a generation of impassioned people who once changed the world.

Related Links:
Remember Me, I Will Remember You
Love: An Islamic Perspective
Contemplate Allah’s Nearness to You
Impediments in Holding onto Allah
“Allah” the Name of God

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