Thursday 23rd October 2008
Zikr Lesson for the week
Cultivating your focus
When Allah created Hazrat Adam, He created the entire human species in the loin’s Adam’s. Allah says:
And remember when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam from their loins, their seed and made them testify as to themselves (saying), Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes; We testify, lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: Verily, we were unaware of this. (7:172)
Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:
It will be said to a man from the people of the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, If you owned all that is on the earth, would you pay it as ransom? He will reply, Yes Allah will say, I ordered you with what is less than that, when you were still in Adam's loins, that is, associate none with Me (in worship). You insisted that you associate with Me. (Ahmad3:127)
When Allah created Adam, He wiped Adam's back and every person that He will create from him until the Day of Resurrection fell out from his back……
This can possibly mean that we existed at that time as ‘data’ (possibly as the numerous combinations of genes and chromosomes that make up each human body) or as a ‘formula’, or in some form known to the Lord, as He is the Knower and Creator of all things.
We all started our journey with the Adam (pbuh). All this time we were in existence, coming down generation after generation. Our real journey began when the soul entered the body while we were in the womb of our mothers. Take for example oxygen and hydrogen; if both are combined with a particular proportion H2O (water) is formed. The same concept of existence as a formula is applicable to human beings.
We are not responsible for our shape, form, intellect, or vision. All these attributes of ours were coming down through the ages, since Allah (swt) created Adam (pbuh). Is it Allah (swt) Who decreed when we would appear in the dimension of space and time, in a particular way, and in a particular place.
Our conscious journey started when we were able to choose and understand. So whatever situation we may be in we must always beg Allah (swt) to help us to keep our focus. Some things we have no control over. What is important is to be grateful for what Allah (swt) has provided for us and utilize it to make the remainder of the journey beneficial.
The journey doesn’t stop when the soul leaves the body and does not return to it. It is accustomed to leave the body in our physical life any This is mentioned in Surah Az-Zumar;
اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الأَنْفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَى عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الأُخْرَى إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآياتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed verily in this are Signs for those who reflect
(Chapter 39, verse 42)
One day our souls will leave and won’t return. However our journey still continues. Even after resurrection the journey continues. You will continue until you cross the Pul Sirat, and then your journey will come to an end.
Our program in this life is to prepare ourselves. This is why it is imperative to never lose our focus, which is Allah (swt). Prophet Muhammad (saw) taught us to focus on our Creator. when he went on the Miraj he was alone with the Lord. As we are supposed to understand that we are living in the presence of the Divine, we feel so when we are in worship (Salaat).
He (saw) tells us that salaat is our Miraj. One of the benefits of salaat is that it allows us to concentrate on the existence of Allah, and that He is always in front of us.
We physically focus on the Kabaa and we know that Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said that Allah (swt) comes between you and the Kaba when you stand for salaat. With this in mind it is important to draw reference to Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).
In the Battle of Siffin an arrowhead pierced the thigh of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). It was not possible to pull it out because of the unbearable pain it caused. When Imam Hasan (as) was consulted in the matter, he told the people to just wait till his father stands for prayer and to remove the arrow while Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was praying.
Accordingly the arrow was pulled out while Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) praying and he was totally oblivious of the excruciating pain. When Hazrat Ali (as) stood for prayers, the world ceased to exist for him, his entire being was totally immersed in the contact he had established with his Creator and his relationship with Him.
If you can cultivate and culture the ability to focus and concentrate on Allah, you will find that you will be fighting a battle with the Satan, as he wants to divert you from your goal.
By concentrating on the Qalb you will be able to better focus on the Lord. As you try to do so, you will find that your minds begin to waver and all kinds of thoughts come into it. This is the working of the Satan, who is trying to divert you. You will find that it takes a lot of effort to keep your focus. You must know that this is you internal jihad. This is one reasonas why meditation is important. It allows us to develop your focus.
Allah (swt) is Al Lateef, i.e. He is the Most Loving, Most Kind and Most Tender. No one can love like Him, and know that He loves His creatures. He will never let you down. This is why the 5th stage in spirituality is called ‘realization’. When you realize that you are nothing and that Allah (swt) is everything, you will know that your importance is solely because of His Mercies on you, and that your success is because He has been gracious to you.
You will want to please Him and get closer to Him, you will begin to have overflowing love for Him. Begin this process by concentrating on your Qalb and proceed as He will allow you to do.