Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Divine Countenance

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Allah says in the Ayatul Kursi; His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth; (2:255)

If Allah’s Throne is outside our realm of understanding it also means that His Divine Personality is incomprehensible.  We cannot really figure out or conceive how vast Allah is.

Our mission in life is to try and realise we are always in front of our Lord and He is facing us He is knowledgeable of our thoughts and actions.  Take for example; He says in Surah Baqarah;

To Allah belong the East and the West: Whithersoever ye turn, there is the presence of Allah.  For Allah is all-Pervading, All-Knowing.  (2:115)

Allah, at all time, has His attention on us, therefore we should be conscious that we are in His Divine presence.

What we want in life is to realise that we are standing and facing our Lord and He is facing us; and He is pleased with us as well.  We need to strive to be conscious of this.  To this effect Allah says;

And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord in the morning and afternoon, seeking His Face.  (18:28)

The mission is life is not to get as much of the world as you can.  The true success in life is to get the attention of our Lord.  Everything is in His knowledge; He is seeing everything; He is assisting, sustaining, etc. 

But He also says if you remember me I will remember you.  We can assume that it also means ‘if you don’t remember me I won’t have time for you’.  He will allow out of His mercy, those who are disobedient, to go on just as He granted Satan respite.  However the wise creature will try to get His Attention by aspiring to know that they are always in the presence of their Lord.

We want Allah to look at us, to be pleased with us and to love us.  If we are ungrateful and disobedient do you think He would want to look at you? 

At this point one may ask “why do we need to attach ourselves to the Divine Countenance of our Lord?”  Everything is existing in His Divine Knowledge.  But why get close to His Countenance?  He gives us the answer in Surah Qashash;

Everything (that exists) will perish except His Own Face.  (28:88)

If everything in the heaven and earth will be destroyed except His Own Face do you think if you are attach to Him you will be destroyed?  We want to be saved and live on, therefore try to get close to the Divine Countenance of our Lord.  And how do we achieve this?  Allah gives us the answer in Surah Ar Ruum;

So give what is due to kindred, the needy, and the wayfarer.  That is best for those who seek the Countenance, of Allah, and it is they who will prosper.  (30:38)

If you want to be in the presence of the Divine and have Him look at you and consequently take care of you; one way is to be generous to what Allah has given you.

The true believer will give in the way of Allah; without thanks or fame.  They give for the pleasure of Allah with the intention that Allah would be pleased with them as they carry on in His Presence.  And in so doing their personalities would get brighter and brighter.

This isn’t achieved overnight.  You have to work hard for it.  And you have to also preserve with patience because one mistake can be like a black cloud that comes and blocks out the light of the sun.  We don’t want to soil the brightness we are striving to attain, thus we must constantly preserve with patience.  And rest assured that Satan would try to divert you from your mission.

Aspire to get close to the Divine Countenance of your Lord.  We are taught the way of getting close because when we stand for salaat the first thing we say is 'Inni Wajjahtu Wajhiya Lilladhī Faţara As-Samāwāti Wa Al-'Arđa Ĥanīfāan Wa Mā 'Anā Mina Al-Mushrikeen - For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.

We are not supposed to give attention to anything else but Allah at that moment.  And we speak to Him and glorify Him and beg of Him.  That is realisation which we aspire night and day to experience.  Some may experience it in this world like Prophet Muhammad (pboh) did on the night of the Mir’aj.  He ascended in the Divine presence of the Lord.  And Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said ‘salaat is the mir’aj of the believer’. 

Our mission in life is to aspire with our health, our wealth, our knowledge, with our everything to try to get close to your Lord and to feel yourself in His Divine Presence and He is looking on at you with Love and Compassion.  If this is achieved you would have succeeded in life.

We beg Allah to help us and guide us to control our nafs so it’ll help us to realise we are in the presence of our Lord and to subsequently engage in those actions and thoughts that would lead to Him being well pleased with us insha Allah.

Transcript of discourse delivered by
Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed

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