Beyond rhetoric

Not everyone is guided through explicit means. Some are guided through atheism. Others are guided through tragedies. And yet others are guided through opulence and privilege. All of the cosmos is imbued with signs and the goal isn’t to become well-versed in a specific language, but to be able to communicate and perceive the Truth..

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ ۗ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?

[Fussilat:53]

Allaah teaches through polarities, opposites, and duality.

It’s how Ibraaheem alayhissalaam discovered Allaah:

. وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِىٓ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُوقِنِينَ

And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith]

فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلَّيْلُ رَءَا كَوْكَبًا قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّى فَلَمَّآ أَفَلَ قَالَ لَآ أُحِبُّ ٱلْءَافِلِينَ

So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I like not those that disappear.”

[al-An’aam:75-76]

Transcend the algorithms

All these Muslim women in the public eye deflecting accountability by telling people to mind their own business are missing the point completely by focusing too much on the hate and not the truth. The truth is, your values are slipping and it’s because you’ve developed a taste for being validated and praised for your beauty. Your hijaab is holding your ego back, you see. The haters and trolls are a reflection of your shadow that you don’t acknowledge, so you attract these crude people who shit on you. Own your truth. Being in the public eye, getting your living and networking from being supported by all these people, you can’t use the clichéd refrain of ‘mind your own business’ when you’ve made a business from being minded by others. Come on, you can do better than lazy rhetorics.

When you don’t honour your soul and truth in favour of being glorified – let’s keep this all the way a buck- then you’ll be humiliated. This isn’t about the hijab. It’s not about sinning. It’s about authenticity and self-awareness. It’s about the fact that you can’t pick and choose the kind of attention you’ll get, and in fact it’s a grace from Allaah that you’re being trolled to stop you from dissolving and fitting in completely. Self-deception is insidious and inconspicuous, and trolls have a way of finding the hidden sore spot. But don’t let what others say obscure you from the truth in you.

It’s a slippery slope, the loosening of the hijaab, because it’s an outer protection of your divine feminine energy that is exploited in this world. Just keep in mind the possibility that this may lead to your faith slipping away just as gradually. We don’t control faith, we can only protect what we have of it and hope for more. If you’re living in a way that isn’t in reverence of your principles, then you have to understand the full implications of that. You’re on shaky grounds. That’s all.

The heart chakra of Islaam

Islaam grounds and integrates the complex human experience in a way that’s grossly underestimated. In times where people are up in their heads, mandatory rituals like praying 5 times a day (including prostrating your forehead on the ground a whooping 34 times/ daily prayer cycle in total) in tandem with the circadian rhythm is a much needed recalibration and grounding in real life.

Also, think about the implications and symbolism behind tens of millions of Muslims syncing up by facing the same direction towards the Ka’bah. The Ka’ba, a black meteoric stone that originated as white when it descended from the heavenly dimensions, but because it has absorbed the imbalances of sinfulness in mankind it has become black.

I have a theory, and it’s just that – a theory – that the black stone is composed of what’s called black light, which is the ‘invisible’ spectrum of light, the so-called creative principle that underpins dark matter and black holes. It’s been said that black light is the ‘womb’ that births visible light. The zero point energy in quantum field theory. This is also the metaphysical components of the divine feminine energy which is, like the black stone, a unifying and harmonizing energy.

Look, I’m still hazy on this because it’s all intuitive and my mind hasn’t caught up in filling in the dots, but the point is that there’s more to things symbolically than just the concrete aspects.

And when people cease to ground Islaam in their practice, when it’s not found in rituals or beliefs or vibrations – that’s when the pages of the Qur’aan will be wiped clean and the knowledge of Islaam eradicated completely. When it isn’t anchored by the hearts, Allaah will uproot it. And thereafter it won’t be long before the world reaches its end because then there’s no reason for existence, when humans have lost their spirituality and higher thought.

I’m all over the place with this, but what I’m attempting to convey is: look and feel deeper. Don’t be superficial in your understanding of Islaam. You won’t get it unless you look at it holistically. Put the pieces together, find the patterns, follow the thread that ties it all together. That’s where the answers lie.

Existential axis

Islaam restricts the ego. That’s why it’s not as readily appealing as, to the Western mind especially, the Eastern philosophies that have been co-opted and appropriated by white culture. It’s more like vegetables than a dessert. It can’t be consumed by a materialistic mind.

The reason why despite the extreme resistance and hate of Islaam and Muslims, it’s the fastest growing religion is because it’s the only creed that is existentially grounding and lends a stability that no intellectualism can conjure. It’s not based in avoiding something nor is it designed for an outcome. It’s wholly in the now and it regulates the oscillations caused by being caught up in linear time and distracted by space. It’s a buffer against this 3D matrix, a shock absorber for the soul. Most of its wisdom is not realized or appreciated because we’re so disconnected from our emotions and spirit.

Spiritual justice

In Islaam, there’s no room for victimhood and and a victim mentality. Allaah tells us that we suffer at the hands of others or suffer tragedies as cosmic reflection of internal corruption, and He only gives us a glimpse of what we actually deserve just so that we may rectify our conditions. Once we transform ourselves and transcend faulty behaviour, He elevates us above the troubling circumstances so that it’s no longer relevant. Thus, it’s not to say that being victimized isn’t a thing or it’s valid, but that it happens according to divine order because we’ve gone against our truth.

You may wonder, what then of the oppressor, how come they don’t get subdued? That’s because they are subdued by their evil and Allaah has left them to their own devices. He’s left them to self-destruct, which they inevitably will, and decay in their ego. And that’s a far worse fate than enduring external powerlessness that may spark a spiritual revolution.

The baseline isn’t the material world or doing. It’s man’s spiritual value and being. And sometimes we’re deprived from doing something so that we slow down and become aware of our state of being. That’s a greater objective than a linear progression or ascension of societal hierarchies. Hierarchies that are innately built on the subjugation of spirit by ego. Tyrants and oppressive regimes are a macrocosmic representation of the ego and how it aims to subjugate the soul.

In reality, the true oppression is oppressing one’s soul through illusions and delusions and what we experience as loss or tragedy is always a breaking of the spell that an illusion holds over us. In this framework, someone is punished by their inability to see the wrong in their actions as that inability would be a block to existential fulfillment and holistic growth. That’s why there’s no use in engaging people who lack empathy or are obstinate in their bigotry because they are emotionally incarcerated by their evil. The point is for you to see the fault in your views and where you stand so that the reality around you can better reflect back to you your inner conditions.

أَفَمَن زُيِّنَ لَهُ سُوءُ عَمَلِهِ فَرَآهُ حَسَنًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ فَلَا تَذْهَبْ نَفْسُكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسَرَاتٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deeds made fair­seeming, so that he considers it as good (equal to one who is rightly guided)? Verily, Allaah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills. So destroy not yourself in sorrow for them. Truly, Allaah is the All­-Knower of what they do!

(Faatir:8)

Seeking protection

This duaa really helps to ground me during an anxiety attack or trauma flashback. The duaa is found in Bukhari and Muslim. [ detailed explanation and sources in Arabic]

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ، وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ، وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ، وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ، وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِعِزَّتِكَ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَنْ تُضِلَّنِي، أَنْتَ الْحَيُّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ، وَالْجِنُّ وَالْإِنْسُ يَمُوتُونَ

Allaahumma laka aslamtu, wa bika aamantu, wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu, wa ileyka anabtu, wa bika khaasamtu. Allaahumma inni a’ udu bi’izzatika laa ilaaha illaa anta an tudhillani, antal hayyul-ladi laa yamoot, wal jinnu wal insu yamutoon

O Allaah! I have submitted to You, and believed in You, and put my trust in You and constantly turn to You in repentance, and I struggle in Your way. O Allaah! I seek refuge with Your Might, there is no god but You, from straying from the right path. You are the Ever Living who never dies, while jinn and human beings will die.

Tie your control

The hadeeth often cited in regards to tawakul has become a cliche by virtue of the reductivist context that robs it of its full meaning.

Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.”

People often think the meaning to be, do whatever you were going to do and then in the end entrust Allaah to it, as a safety measure. There are several faulty mindsets in this:

  1. The context puts the efficiency of one’s actions parallel to Allaah
  2. The common understanding of this hadeeth denotes that Allaah comes as an afterthought
  3. The tawakul seems to be placed on safeguarding one’s outcome

But of course, that’s not the full meaning of the hadeeth. We often use the same materialistic, consumerist lens that we use to view life through to view the deen.

Tawakul is not an extension of your actions. It’s a state of being. It’s not the fruits, it’s the roots. Therefore, control and fixating on specifics is out of the picture. It’s bigger than just acing a test or finding a job. It’s about surrendering the very seed of desire to the seat of the soul for Allaah to direct. It means that you leave the mode and means to Allaah, trusting that He knows how best this will unfold. It means that even if you don’t get the outcome you envisioned, you don’t feel a loss because you know that the desire and energy you started out with is encapsulated in the outcome you got. It means to trust Allaah’s vision and to surrender your ego.

The tying of the camel is akin to grounding your ego. It’s to ensure you’re in the process, and not detached from it. It’s to ensure that you come from a stable space by discharging what you currently can do. Notice how in the hadeeth, the prophet didn’t tell him what to do. The man asked him what he should do, meaning he had something in mind but he wasn’t settled. He was afraid that if he ties it perhaps that’d negate his trust. So the prophet collected his scattered focus and gave him his answer. The man grounded the energy swirling around in him.

Often, we get paralyzed by fear or procrastination because we only have energy or foresight for a portion of the journey or task but we can’t see it through to the end and we fret. We fear that what’s in our arsenal is all the drive we’ll have and then what? We feel we need a sense of control before we can calm down and focus on things. Having tawakul is to know that Allaah has that control and He’ll never leave you stranded. You’ll always have what you need when you need it. Just focus on what you are in the headspace to do now and trust that the rest will be downloaded when you have the space for it. Just because you had lunch and not dinner or breakfast doesn’t mean you’ll never have dinner or breakfast or you’ll only ever have lunch. Nah. Chill. Allaah has got this. And you not seeing the full picture is because it’s not linear. It’s like a nesting doll; each step contains the next one. Each moment contains the next and it depends on what you shape this moment to be. And if you don’t like the trajectory of a moment, you can always change the next because it’s being created and written as you’re actively involved in it.

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