Rediscovering Ramadaan#8

Ibn al-Qayyim (al-Fawaaid, pg. 182):

      وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكاً

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’ân nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship.”

(Ta-Ha 20:124)

Linguistically, ad-dank means: Restriction and distress. So everything that is restricted and narrow is said to be dank (ضنك)

It can also be put as ‘ a crammed house’ or ‘ a dreary life’.

Thus, this dreariness is in proportion to how much the nafs  (ego) and physical body is given free reign to indulge in desires, pleasures and comfort.

So the more the nafs is set free to roam, the more the heart is weighed down by dreariness. And the more the nafs is restricted, the more space is afforded to the heart, such that it becomes rejuvenated.

A restricted life as a result of discipline and taqwa is given expansion and free reign in the Barzakh ( grave)  and Aakhirah. And a life of indulgence and hedonism as a result of being controlled by one’s desires, ultimately manifests in a dreary and difficult end in the Barzakh and Aakhirah.

So choose the better life from the two; the more pleasant and lasting one; Restrict the body         ( i.e. carnal desires) so as to give your soul delight. And do not indulge yourself at the expense of your inner peace.

The inner peace or misery of the soul is much greater, and lasting whereas the enjoyment or the difficulties of the physical body is briefer and easier (i.e. the difficulties accrued from disciplining the nafs is for a brief time and is easier to bear than to be disciplined in the Aakhirah by punishment in the grave and/or Jahannam wal ciyaadu billaah).

And Allaah is sought for aid.

وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكاً

و أصل الضنك في اللغة: الضيق و الشدة، و كل ما ضاق فهو ضنك.

يقال: ‘منزل ضنك’ و ‘عيش ضنك’. فهذه المعيشة الضنك في مقابلة التوسيع على النفس و البدن بالشهوات و اللذات و الراحة. فإن النفس كلما وسعت عليها، ضيقت على القلب حتى تصير  معيشته ضنكا، و كلما ضيقت عليها، و سعت على القلب حتى ينشرح و ينفسح.

فضنك المعيشة في الدنيا بموجب التقوى سعتها في البرزخ و الآخرة و سعة المعيشة في الدنيا بحكم الهوى ضنكها في البرزخ و الآخرة

فآثر أحسن المعيشتين و أطيبهما و أدومهما، فأشق البدن بنعيم الروح، و لا تشق الروح بنعيم البدن، فإن نعيم الروح و شقاءها أعظم و أدوم. و نعيم البدن و شقاؤه أقصر و أهون.
و الله المستعان

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