02:152 “Therefore remember Me. I will remember you”
The Prophet saws described supplication (Duah) as the “core of worship”, meaning it is one of the main ways in which we can connect with Allah, feel close to Him and seek Forgiveness, Guidence and Help. When we remember Allah, Allah remembers us and this is a great honour. The more we turn to Allah in rememberance the closer to Allah we become. We can remember Him in many ways, including duah, praising Him through tasbih or through prayer. In our addiction, we turned away from Allah, we denied Him and often felt guilty when we remembered Him. As we embrace our recovery from addiction we turn back to Him, and it is through our rememberance that we avoid relapse.
02:160 “Except those who repent and do righteous good deeds, and openly declare the truth. These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, The Most Merciful”
Its not just in our addiction that we committed sins. On a daily basis me make mistakes. Therefore, in recovery and as we embrace Islam we must be of those who repent to Allah. We turn back to Him and ask for His Pardon and Forgiveness because this is the first step towards acknowledging our mistakes and making an intention to change them. Allah gives us hope by reminding us over and over again in The Qur’an that He loves those who repent, He converts their sins into good deeds and He helps us to improve if we are sincere.
PONDERING UPON THE CREATION OF ALLAH
02:164 “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therwith after its death, and the moving creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, and are indeed ‘ayat’ proofs and signs for people of understanding”
As we enter into recovery and come closer to Allah we may feel more aware of His signs. One way to get closer to Allah is to observe His Creation. Being out in nature can make us feel more spiritual and gives us a sense of peace and well being. In recovery, we may look for ways to spend our time, to overcome cravings and keep ourselves occupied. Something that is worth considering as part of our recovery programme is to find opportunities to observe Allahs creation. Go for walks, forest, beach, even a city park or watching nature documentaries. All these examples help us to remember Allah and feel closer to Him. As we feel closer to Allah, the urge to use or endulge in sinfulness reduces.
Believing in Allah’s instant response to our call
As we journey through the Qur’an we begin to realise that there are common themes throughout each chapter, Juz and throughout the entire Qur’an. In the beginning of the second part Allah asks us to call upon Him. Soon after He tells us what happens when we do reach out to Him;
02:186 “And when My slaves ask you (Oh Muhammad) about me, then tell them, I am near. I respond to the invocations of the caller when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright”
Therefore we need to understand that when we call upon Allah through duah His response is instant. He answers every prayer. In recovery, this gives us hope that even in those desperate nights when we called out to Him, He heard us and answered us. Perhaps, we havent seen the fruits of our duahs yet. But know this, Allah has made this promise and either He answers it in this life, preserves it for us in Paradise or He averts a calamity from us.
EMERGING FROM SELF-PITY
In our addiction we often found ourselves in a state of self-pity. We focused on the problems in our life and often did that in a way to justify our using or addictive behaviour. Allah tells us in Surah Baqara the reasons for our hardships and difficulties. He has placed us on this Earth so that He may test us and to see who will be the best in deeds. He says;
“Or think that you will enter Paradise without such trials as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When will come the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!”
We must stop ruminating over thoughts of pity, as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous “Poor me. Poor me. Pour me another drink!” as this only leads to relapse. Rather, we ponder over this ayat from Allah and we know that He prepares a Paradise for those who struggle on through hardships and that while we struggle on, His Help is always, always near.
INTOXICANTS AND GAMBLING
02:219 “They ask you (oh Muhammad) concerning intoxicants and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and some benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit”
In our addiction, our desires and shaitan tried to convince us that our intoxicants or gambling was a good thing. We told ourselves “It will help me sleep better, perform better, have more confidence, get things done” etc. But the reality is, it destroyed us. Society tries to find reasons why intoxicants should be legal for medicinal purposes and so on, but as Allah says, the harm outweighs the benefit, and it is part of our test to abstain from them.