Ramadan Reflections 2013: Finding Our Heart
I remember attending a lecture lead by a scholar last Ramadan. In it, one message hit home:
“Where exactly is my heart placed?”
Does your heart lie with the Dunya – where it is only able to sight short-term pleasures and seek temporal conveniences? Or does your heart surround itself in search of Jannah in every aspect or situation in your life and yearn for everlasting warmth of Deen, the sweetness of iman?
These are the questions that were imposed to all attendees during the lecture. The purpose to why the scholar mentioned the saying of Prophet Muhammad SAW (stated above) is to remind us that (la hawla quwata illa billah) we have forgotten our true form: that is our Ruh (soul).
‘All of us are Ruh, and our Ruh belongs to Allah SWT and that is your true self, not your physical form. The fasting is our nourishment. It weakens you physically, make your soul thirsty spiritually and hungry to be closer to Allah.’
The words said by the scholar lingered. Who would’ve thought that our body, the movement of our going is but a dead figure if we have yet to discover our Ruh (the abovementioned ‘true form’) and that we are as good as a corpse if we are oblivious upon the existence, the core, the very heart of our Ruh?
A gust of realization whisked by me and as I thought deeply of what the scholar said, I feel Islam igniting through my veins, echoing Allah’s mercy, Allah’s love towards His creations and it could only be felt when you are in a state of recognition of the Truth and are able to sight the Truth but not with your eyes—the awliya teaches that we have another pair of eyes that we often neglect.
I am also reminded by an experience that led me to sight Allah’s grace for His slave and may God be my witness as this experience has changed my life for eternity.
My family would spend our first day of Eid in a neighborhood Masjid that arranges an Eid feast for the old and the needy. In that very majlis, my eyes caught sight of a very old, frail woman struggling to get some food. I couldn’t stand the sight of her getting a meal alone as she slightly bends her body and could barely stand in a queue.
I come up to her, give my warm salam and decided to assist her. I grabbed a seat for her and she waits for me. When I come back, her head is hidden underneath her arms on the table and I thought she wass ill. She hears my approach, looks up and gently said, ‘Please, don’t go anywhere, please, stay with me till I finish my meal.’
I smile widely and I reply,’ you can have all of me.’ When she finished her meal, the old woman cried profusely,’ I don’t know how to repay such deed that you have done for me, young one, I am nothing but a poor being. I am not blessed with a sight to see what He has created for us but as your gift, I would like to pass my ‘ilm and because that I can’t see you, I trust my intuition that you’re a young woman who’s trying to look for God, so come closer to me and I’ll pass on the secret to why I am able to walk. It is by reciting this Surah that I will supplicate in your ear because it helps my heart to see, follow where Allah takes me. I place my whole belief in Him.’
This wise old woman has taught me a life lesson that changed my whole perspective of redeeming my deen. The lesson that we can learn from the story that I’ve shared and the advice from the awliya is no different. It teaches us that it is only with the heart that we will be able to see through the delusion created by our suffering, pleasure or fear. It is only with the eyes of the heart that we will sight His creation and all circumstances that have been decreed from above. It is only with the eyes of the heart that you will see Allah in everything else.
It is because everything that is to be felt; it is felt by and within the heart itself and consequently, when you identify the route of your heart and desire to walk towards Allah, you will eventually attain and redeem your true form: Your Ruh. And when one is in a state of being redeemed, one is in a state of awakening, when one is awake, h/she is not blinded from the Truth.
One will feel the tranquility of Islam because the eyes of your heart lead you to taste and witness His Rahmah, His Hasanah.
Furthermore, within that state of our true form, one will apprehend humanity thoroughly and it is from there, one begins to strive for goodness, desire goodness, be humbled, amazed by goodness.
May we redeem our true form this Ramadan.
Afiqah Farhana is a student in Heriot-Watt University. She is currently studying Psychology with Management. She is residing in the heart of the Emirate’s desert of Dubai,U.A.E. She devotes her life in the way of Allah.