SEEKING KNOWLEDGE IN RECOVERY
As we come into recovery from our addiction, we look for ways to fill up our time so that we can prevent relapse. As we embrace Islam as a way of life we must make time for learning as much about Allah and His Way as we can. We must create new routines and no recovery schedule must be without time to study Islam. Through gaining knowledge, we will come closer to Allah and have a clearer view of how to stay on The Straight Path.
06:126 “And this is the path of your Lord leading straight. We have detailed Our Revelations (Qur’an and Sunnah) for a people who take heed.”
As Muslims in recovery we have something very special that will aid us in our journey to abstinence; The Qur’an, a guidance and direct Word of God that will help us know which way to turn. Coming into recovery, sometimes after many years of addiction, can often be a confusing time. We are hit with different emotions, we can become stressed and find it really hard to cope with cravings and strong urges and even life itself. As we come out of our addiction we find all the unsolved problems we have been denying all those years are facing us so suddenly and we may lack the tools and the knowledge to overcome them. Seeking knowledge of Islam will help us find the solutions to all our problems and will help us to make the right choices that will keep us on The Straight Path to Recovery.
06:130 (Allah will say on the Day of Judgement) “Oh you assembly of jinne and mankind! Did there not come to you Messengers from amongst you, reciting My Verses and warning you of the Meeting of This Day of yours?”
On that Day we will have no excuses. We will speak against our own selves. We have to be grateful to Allah that we have His Qur’an and sunnah to refer to and that we must absorb ourselves in trying to understand them. In doing so, we will not only save ourselves in the next life but also in this life too. We must seek our local study circles, attend talks at the masjid, listen to talks by inspiring speakers on YouTube, like Nouman Ali Khan and others. As we spend much time learning the dean we will find that the urge to use substances or engage in sinfulness passes us by. We desire this world less and less and we begin to seek the pleasure of Allah instead and hope in His reward.
As addicts in recovery, there are many opportunities for us to be exposed to those things that can trigger us to relapse. We need to take responsibility for this and do our best to avoid all those things in our environment that can lead us away from Allah and our recovery. Allah warns us in Surah al-An’am to stay aware from Al-Fawaahish, shamefulness, great sinfulness, promiscuity and sexual acts and exposures that are not permitted outside marriage and anything else that can lead to shamefulness.
06:151 “…Come not near to Al-Fawaahish whether committed openly or secretly”
We need to be aware of how we can be tempted to fall into Al-Fawaahish. We must learn to adopt new ways of behaving that can protect us from temptation. We can lower our gaze when we walk in public, stop socialising with the wrong crowd or people of the opposite sex, having boundaries with them that ensure we do not fall into flirtation. Whether we are male or female we need to learn to become more modest as we enter into recovery. The Prophet saws said; “Every religion has a distinctive virtue, and the distinctive virtue of Islam is modesty.”
Part of shamelessness is to go about on the earth and not care what Allah will think of us, to sin openly and not care what people will say. In shamelessness we commit sins both openly and secretly. The Prophet (saws) said that the destruction of a society occurs when people lose their shame. We see this in our societies today. Sinfulness becomes the norm and things that were not accepted merely a decade or so ago have now become commonplace. Allah is not pleased when this happens and the impact this has on the next generation of children is massive as they begin to lose morality and a sense of what is right and wrong. In recovery, we need to be ambassadors of moral soundness, commanding the good and forbidding the evil. We aim to be leaders of righteousness and good manners.
07:55-56 “Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors. And do not mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allah’s Mercy is ever near to the good-doers.”
In Surah Al-A’raf, Allah in turn tells us about the prophets He sent and He tells us about the kinds of Al-Fawaahish the people of those prophets indulged in. Perhaps we may recognise our own sins when we read about them. Each prophet called to the people with sound knowledge, miracles and signs, yet most of them turned away out of arrogance and pride. In all these examples presented in this Surah, Allah destroyed the people after giving them vast warnings. We must take lessons from these people. We must try our hardest not to fall into the same trap they did. We may not have a messenger amongst us today, preaching. But we have The Qur’an, the unchanged Word of Allah, that no other religion on this earth has. Therefore, we must not turn away from the Miracles of The Qur’an nor must we turn away from the signs that Allah shows us in our daily lives.