law of tawfeeq

One of my biggest life lessons was learning the concept of tawfeeq.

Ibn al-Qayyim is my kindred spirit, fo real. Just thinking about his books make my thoughts pause. He’s been one of my biggest influences on my writing, and it goes back to his book al-Fawaaid. Before I learnt Arabic, I had read translated excerpts here and there but it wasn’t until much later that I realized how much of the beauty was stripped in translation.

His book al-Fawaaid is like his Twitter page if he were alive today; bite-sized thoughts of reflection and wondrous observations. In it, he’s written quite a lot about tawfeeq, which essentially entails Allaah facilitating or paving the way for one, to success or attainment of goals.


He explains that unless Allaah wills for something to happen, it just won’t happen, regardless of how much effort one puts into doing something. And just like there are levels to effort, there are levels to tawfeeq. And fundamentally, the two are interconnected. He cites the closing ayah of surah al-Ankabuut as a backdrop for this principle ;

As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allaah is with the Muhsinon (good doers).”

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Either/Or

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A lot of my anxiety and existential depression comes from trying to fit into a world that is as real as a narcissist’s persona and as deep as an instagram model’s selfie caption. It’s an illusion and a shadow cast by fears of being rejected for one’s true self. It’s a remnant of an afternoon musing in a child’s mind.

Maybe my mental disorders is a reflection of this world’s disorder? Perhaps my maladaptation is my soul shunning the chaos of this world? Perhaps my mind is protecting the seeds of a new world from being contaminated by the status quo?

I want to create my own world. I will wear my heart on my sleeve, be up all night, idealism will be my reality. I won’t tolerate manipulation, inauthenticity, or injustice. I want a job where I actually thrive and grow, with people who are as vulnerable and authentic in their fervour as I am. I want to live in a cosy home near nature and far away from commotion. I want enduring leather boots and a fly car that’ll be with me for at least a decade. I want the most from a minimalistic lifestyle, and expend the rest of my energy into realizing my passions. I want to create a social innovation company to come up with solutions to social problems. I want to be a social entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist, advocate.

I want my dreams to give a different hue to this grey world, however minute that hue. Or else what is suffering worth if not to connect one’s heart to the collective heart of humanity, and feel the beats and murmurs as one’s own?

 

The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.

― Søren Kierkegaard

Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?

― Joseph Campbell

be your own riddle

❝❞

You train yourself in the art of being mysterious to everyone.

My dear friend! What if there were no one, who cared about guessing your riddle,
what pleasure would you then take in it?

Søren Kierkegaard

the perfect sin

Midnight thoughts & thunders

 〈serial soliloquies〉

“The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God.”
Søren Kierkegaard


Perfectionism almost killed me. It burned me out like a lone ember that neither gives out heat nor fire. I realized perfectionism doesn’t exist in humans. We are dynamic, not static. I discovered my strength in my weakness; they were two sides of the same coin. By embracing my human imperfections I achieved a sense of humility which is in essence self-acceptance. When I accepted my flaws and imperfections, the inner turmoil & tug of war reached a halt. My strength lay in my weakness; my inherent flaws and tendency to sin. I drew closer to Allaah by my sins. The utter weakness that encompassed me realizing that constant spectrum of sinning and repenting- this exposed my frail state and in turn, the greatness of Allaah by contrast.

When I strove for perfection, I lost sight of what was important. It was as if I was striving to please myself by doing an excellent job, losing sight of the intrinsic, autotelic meaning of worship [ ‘ibaadah].

The hadeeth of the Prophet [ صلى الله عليه و سلم ] comes to mind;

 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” [Sahīh Muslim (2687)]

“…But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love”

“Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when every one has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it? I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others that at last their true nature could not reveal itself;… In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.”
— Søren Kierkegaard

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