When we go through a difficult time, all we want to do is be able to look back at that situation and laugh. But the moment when that might be possible seems so far away, because right then, in the midst of that dilemma is what your whole world is about. It is what governs your emotions and your state of mind. What we need to remember is: “this too shall pass…”
How do we get through it? “How” is a very interesting question that is really not for us to answer. We just have to have faith and trust – no pixie dust required – that everything will fall into place. Even if it takes a really big route to get there, it will fall into place eventually.
So we’ve been doing Surah Noor. Ahh, Surah Noor. For a lot of people, it was life changing. But hearing them say that made me nervous. What if Allah doesn’t give me the tawfeeq for it to change my life? This is something I learnt the hard way. The essence of the surah is such that it hits you bang on in the face – no beating around the bush, no sugar coating – it tells it to you like it is. And for a lot of people, it’s hard to take on because it just seems like a lot of rules. It is essential though to have your basics set up – when you’re in an organisation, you follow the rules because you want to be there. When you are straightened out or corrected, you take it into account because it’s coming from someone you love. Who then has more right to tell us how to live our lives than He Who created us in the first place? Our problem does not lie within the regulations set for us, rather the understanding of why we are doing it. We need to know Allah (swt) and love Him to obey him with no questions asked.
This surah is known for its rulings on hijab and how it should be observed, and for some – like someone so beautifully mentioned in class – there are certain aspects of it that would be easy to implement because it’s what we have grown up with – covering around the menfolk that should see you covered, for example – and there are other aspects that are going to be harder to implement – not wearing short, tight clothes even around women, because your figure is also part of your aurah. So even if you look fabulous in that pair of fitted coloured pants, save yourself from sin and save it for your husband only. This left most of us wondering what we were going to do with a major portion of our wardrobes..! [I should have just listened to my mother all those years ago and accumulated decent clothing that would fit the requirements I need to meet now..!]
Learning these ahkaam was not as hard as realising that it would be easier to implement if our eman level was high. That brought about a major exposure to where we truly stand, in terms of our heart. We think we’re so righteous and are doing enough, but are we like the women of Madinah who showed up the next morning for salah all covered up, when the verses had only been revealed the night before? Immediate obedience.
Each of us are tested with what is most dear to us and it still amazes me how it’s tailor made to each individual, such that no one else would be able to truly understand what you are going through, or how much stronger you have come out of it. The situation could be such that it is being repeated in your life, and on a previous occasion, you did what you wanted without second thought because it didn’t seem like that big a deal then. Ah, but how can we repeat those same actions when we know now what we didn’t know then? Does that not defy the whole purpose of learning? True knowledge is that which is implemented, and the hardest battle is between a person and his nafs – between that in which the apparent consequences seem insignificant, and that which you KNOW is the right thing to do.
But in the end, it’s all about eman. If we truly want to be those people who get higher, absorb the ayahs, and are those that Allah (swt) talks about, we need to see the reality in every situation and seize the opportunity given to us to prove to ourselves and Allah that we are worthy. We are worthy of being His servants, of taking this ‘ilm, of getting to Paradise. We need to make the effort and strive, even if it means compromising on something that we really wanted. When you think about it anyway, it doesn’t seem like too much of a compromise to give up dunya in exchange for akhirah. The question of ‘what if Allah doesn’t give me the tawfeeq for it to change my life?’ was now answered: It is up to me. We have the power to make choices that creates the path our life takes.
If you feel like your level of eman isn’t high enough, work towards it, make it happen. Do the deeds that will get it there, and Allah will make it easy. My new motto in life is “Fake it till you make it.” That might sound superficial, but only with practice do things get better. If we can apply that logic for every worldly issue, why can we not take it a step further and try to secure our HereAfter with it too? Force yourself to do things of khair until it becomes such that you cannot imagine life without it.
I never thought the day would come when I would be afraid of people thinking I was weird and strange and not normal – never thought I would make that kind of a change. But you know what? It’s not so bad, it’s not such a big deal, and life happens so quickly, that you’ll be able to look back and laugh about it sooner than you think.
Every day we are given is a gift. How are you going to use it?