THE DESIRES OF THIS WORLD
With many journeys in life, there are parts that are difficult, parts that are easy. Sometimes our hearts leap with joy and other times we tremble with fear. As we journey through the Qur’an, we stumble upon the family of Ha Meem. Chapters 40-46 all begin with the letters Ha Meem and Allah alone knows their meaning. The Prophet, pbuh, encouraged us to recite frequently from these chapters as there are great blessings in them;
Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When I reach the family of Ha Mim, it is like reaching a beautiful garden, so I take my time.”
In Surah Al-Jathiya Allah mentions something that ought to make our souls shake and motivate us to take the steps to change our ways and refocus our intentions and goals.
“Have you seen him who takes his own lusts as his ilah (god)? And Allah knows about him, left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?” (45:23)
Oh what a bitter reminder of where our addiction took us! How sad it feels to reflect on how low we became. How far away from Allah’s Way! The cravings got hold of us. We saw the cravings as something outside of ourselves but it was actually within. Our lusts and desires screamed out for more and we obeyed them. Allah called us back to Him, so many times by sending us signs and opportunities but instead of submitting to Him, we practically prostrated to our own lusts. We took our desires as our god. We obeyed them in favour of Allah. Oh Allah forgive us! Do not let us fall back into this dark pit of desires. Oh Allah, let us only desire that which is good, those things that are pleasing to You! Oh Allah let us only desire Your Beautiful Face and the Paradise You have prepared, Ameen.
The further a person falls into submission to something other than Allah, the more Allah turns away and allows that person to go astray from The Straight Path. Take this Verse as a warning, Oh Muslims! We will already recognise those traits of being deaf, dumb and blind. How often did our parents, spouses or loved-ones try to advise us? They tried to tell us we were destroying our lives and our Hereafter but we did not listen, nor see. In denial, we thought we were in control, that we could stop anytime we wanted to. We thought we had justification to do the things we did. We were deceiving ourselves so that we could obey our desires and disobey Allah. We were so lost away from The Path that we did not know how to find our way back and our loved-ones could no longer find us either. This is why Allah has mentioned that it is only Him that can guide a person like this back to Him.
So what can we do?
If Allah has clearly stated that it is only He who will guide the lost ones back to The Straight Path then we must call upon Him alone. Allah will never turn away a repentant soul who reaches out to Him. If we knock on Allah’s door, He will always open it. He has the capability to literally pick us up from the dark place of loss and place us straight back on His Path and push us in the right direction. But we have to WANT it. We have to give up on our lusts and desires. We need to desire only Allah.
What are we chasing?
All those things we are chasing through our sinfulness; money, sex, drugs or alcohol, the next win, wealth, status, violence and risks, self harm etc. Have any of them brought us any benefit? Can we say that these things have brought us peace and contentment? Surely not. As Muslims, we know that when our heart is filled with faith and we submit to Allah, in those moments our heart is in peace and contentment. We understand that this is where the serenity lies. A good clean life. We chase the things that hurt us, destroy our families, remove our self respect and make us feel guilty and ashamed, dirty within our core. So is it not time we removed the veil of denial from our hearts and attach our souls to Allah? We will find true happiness in obedience to our Lord, Allah. That is where lies contentment.