“Indeed, this religion is strong and well-established so enter into it deeply yet do so
gently. And do not cause the worship of your Lord to become hateful to you. For the
one who traverses it harshly will neither reach (his goal) nor will it spare anyone. So do actions like a person who thinks he will never die, and be cautious like a person
who fears he will die tomorrow.”
[Sunan al-Bayhaqi al-Kubra 3/19] *
The deen is like the North Star; a constant journey towards the Hereafter. There’s no position to be reached; there won’t be a day when you wake up and you’ve made it, and can now hang out with the big guys. If that day ever comes, you’re in the wrong crowd. The deen is characterized by uncertainty and constant growth… By uncertainty I mean that you never feel convinced of your supposed piety or where you’re going to end up in the Hereafter.
The deen is a spiritual transformation of the heart.It’s performing ‘ibaadah starting from the heart, going outwards; If you feel numb or overwhelmed – take a few steps back, because something’s amiss. The only deeds that would count in your favour are the ones you performed with mindfulness ( khushoo’). The only acceptable deeds are the sincere ones, void of ulterior motives – i.e. being vulnerable with your Lord.
But don’t let where you are deter you. Allaah knew, before He even created your soul or the souls of your parents, that you’d stumble and get lost and become heedless. Yet day and night He calls on the sinners to turn back to the path again. And when someone does turn back, does repent, does bounce back– He becomes elated!
The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
recounted a story of a bedouin travelling in the desert with his camel, and all his belongings on that camel. At one point, the camel fled and ran away and the man was distraught. He had no water, no food and in the middle of nowhere there was no chance of meeting other travellers who could help . Hapless, he lay down under a tree to await a death he was certain of. He drifted off to sleep and when he awoke, he did so to a sight that he could not believe was real! The camel, with all the content intact, stood before him!!
Out of extreme joy, he shouted to the skies ; O Allaah, you’re my slave and I am your Lord!
He misspoke because he was so beyond himself with happiness.
The prophet then said, Allaah becomes happier than that bedouin when one of His slaves return to Him.
This is the happiness of a Merciful Lord (الرحمن), of a Loving Lord (الودود), of a Sublime Lord ( الطيف), of a Lord who is Rich, Free of all need (الغني)
This is a Lord who created an imperfect creation so that they could be reminded of their perfect Creator.
Spiritual resilience is the act of never giving up and never settling.
It is as Ibn al-Qayyim said:
من أراد صفاء قلبه؛ فليؤثر الله على شهوته
To cleanse the heart by choosing Allaah over one’s whims.