Taken from the lecture of Sister Yasmin Mogahed
How do we avoid true impoverishment of the soul? No one likes to fall. And few people would ever choose to drown. But in struggling through the ocean of this life, sometimes it is so hard not to let the world in. Sometimes the ocean does enter us. The dunya does seep into our hearts. And like the water that breaks the boat when dunya enter a heart, it shatters it. It shatters the boat.
If you allow dunya to own your heart, you will sink down to the depht of the sea. And you may feel as though you are at your lowest point. Entrapped by your sins and the love of this life, you may feel broken surrounded by broken. Because that’s the amazing thing about the floor of the ocean. No light enters it.
But…this dark place is not the end. Remember that the darkness of night precedes the dawn. And as long as your heart still beats, this is not the death of it. You don’t have to die here. Sometimes, the ocean floor is only a stop in the journey. And it is when you are at the lowest point that you are faced with a choice, you can stay there at the bottom until you drown or you can gather pearls and rise back up. Stronger from the swim and richer from the jewels.
If you seek Him (Allah)….God can raise you up and replace the darkness of the ocean with the light of His sun. He can transform what was once your greatest weakness into your greatest strength. And a mean of growth, purification and redemption….know that transformation sometimes begins with a fall. So never curse the fall. The ground where humility lives.
So take it, learn it and breathe it in. And come back stronger, humbler and more aware of your need for Him. Come back having seen your own nothingness and His greatness. Know that you have seen that reality, you have seen much.
For the one who is truly deceived is the one who sees his own self but not his Creator. Deprived is the one who has never really witnessed his own desperate need for God. Reliant on His Own means he forgets that the means…his own soul and everything else in existence is His Creation.
Seek GOD to bring you back. For when He does…He will rebuild your ship. The heart that you thought was forever damaged will be mended. What was shattered will be whole again. Know that only He can do this, seek HIM. And when He saves you, beg forgiveness for the fall. Feel remorse over it but not despair. As Ibnu Qoyyim RA said;
“Shaytaan rejoiced when Adam AS came out of paradise, but he did not know that when a diver sinks into the sea…he collects pearls and then rises again”.
There is a powerful and amazing thing about tawbah ( repentance) and turning back to Allah. We are told that it is a polish for the heart. What is amazing about a polish is that it does not just clean. It makes the object that it polished even shinier and more beautiful than it was before it got dirty.
If you come back to God, seek His Forgiveness and refocus your life and your heart on Him. You have the potential to be even richer than if you had never fallen at all. Sometimes falling and coming back up gives you wisdom and humility that you may never otherwise have had.
And the Prophet Muhammad SAW has defined true richness. He has said :
“Richness is not having many possessions rather true richness is the richness of the soul”.
But how do we fill our heart with the true richness? How do we escape the constant bombardment from every direction commanding us to worship other things? Commanding us to take idols of the heart and love them as we should only love Allah?
How do we escape the true poverty of allowing any competitor into our hearts? How do we escape the poverty of enslaving ourselves to another deity with Allah? As Allah warns us in the Qur’an when He says :
“And yet there are people who take (for worship) other besides Allah, they love them as they should love Allah”.
But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. To escape true poverty, we must be overflowing in our love for Allah. “Ashadu Hubban Lillah”. Your strongest love should be for God. But you can’t love someone that you don’t know. We need to know Him.
You don’t know someone that you never speak to…speak to Him…Ask of Him. And you can’t love someone that you don’t remember. Remember HIM often. And so this is a call to all those who have become enslaved by the tyranny of the self. And imprisoned in the dungeon of the nafs and desires.
It’s a call to all those who have entered the ocean of dunya, who have sunk into its depths, and become entrapped by its crushing waves. Rise up to the air, to the real world above the prison of the ocean. Rise up to your freedom, rise up and come back to life.
Leave the death of your soul behind you. Your heart can still live and be stronger and purer than it ever was. Remember that the polish of tawbah remakes the heart even more beautiful than it was. Remove the veil that you have sewn with your sins. Remove the veil between you and life. Between you and freedom, between you and light, between you and God.
Remove the veil and rise up. Come back to yourself before it’s too late. Seek refuge in Allah. You and I know what day we were born. But none of us know what day we will die. And many people think that we can live our lives however we want. If our heart is empty of Allah during our life, how can it be full of Allah during our death?
If our heart full of love of this life, love of status, love of wealth, love of the creation over the Creator it is that which will speak. If the heart was full of grudges, jealousy, hatred…that will speak. But if it full of the love of Allah that will speak. If in your life your heart carried only “Laa Ilaha Illallaah” that truly there is no refuge, no shelter, no deity worthy of worship but Him, then only tongue will be given permission to say “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah Muhammad Rasulullah”.