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April 17, 2004
As Easily As you Breathe

by Justoju

Bismillah hirrahman nirrahim

“Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! Not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.” [Quran- 3:191]

“They said, "Be You glorified! We have no knowledge, except that which You have taught us. You are the Omniscient, Most Wise." [Quran- 2:32]

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You write so that you don’t forget. You must remember. Too often have you thrown the invitation away. Too often have you laid yourself as a sacrifice at the altars of false gods. Too often have you forgotten the sweetness of Remembrance. You are dangling by a single thread, a single faltering breath. Time eats away at it. You can’t forget. Pray you do not add to and tip over your scale of sins with this. Now try to remember…

On your drive home from school you were reflecting upon a recent and particularly unexpected blessing and you thought, “SubhanAllah, He never ceases to amaze. Every time I feel I know what to expect, He allows me to experience awe. My eyes widen. I gasp ‘SubhanAllah’.”

But what does that word, that emotion, that realization really imply? And you started thinking about what ‘Glory’ is and you realized that the chief element involved was awe. It was wonder. Majesty. Amazement. Innocence. Humility. All in the lighting strike of a “SubhanAllah”.

But it seems you experience awe, or a ‘SubhanAllah moment’, when He catches you by surprise. When it suddenly occurs to you how IMMENSE He and His attributes are. But the implicit prerequisite of that is ghafla, obliviousness, of thinking you know what to expect. Without this you cannot be shocked.

But WHY do you ever feel like you know what to expect? Why is that such an automatic human condition, to think you ‘know’? Surely this fool’s security comes at too high a price. Wouldn’t you be a better Muslim if you just ALWAYS kept in mind that you don’t know Him, that you are not worthy and not intelligent enough? That you are not strong enough. That you know nothing. Then, you would never experience awe either. Why not? Because, you would not be shocked into awe by anything because you would never presume anything to begin with...

…but then you think....

…THAT point, that point where you are so humbled that you dare not presume ANYTHING must be the point of submission. You have humbly submitted all that you possess, including your intellectual assumptions (and the pride that comes with them), at the foot of His Arsh, and have united your will with His Will in all things. You are united when you no longer feel awe. It’s mind numbing. You have drowned. There is nothing else. Its perfect absolute contentment—no, not even contentment, there would be no human words to describe it. There couldn’t be since it isn’t a human condition. Humans are too nafs-oriented. The closest word we have got is ‘Rida’.

But that doesn’t make sense. That sounds like you are saying that you will be a purer Muslim if you cease to feel awe. That is very counterintuitive….but a voice says that your prima facie intuition has failed you before. It urges you to forge onward, to follow your thought to its conclusion…

Well, how does one get oneself to the point where one no longer experiences intermittent periods of ghafla and awe? Of heedlessness and realization…and then it hits you:

The only way to get that is to completely eradicate the ghafla and allow yourself to feel awe 24-7 at everything because EVERYTHING is His and deserving of awe. You do this until it becomes your constant human state. Until your ‘SubhanAllah moments’ are no longer separated by moments of ghafla; by moments of thinking you know what to expect. THEN you forget what awe is. ‘SubhanAllah’ becomes so a part of you that that is it. That is all. All you see is His Glory, in everything, in all. And thereby, you lose yourself to Him. And there is just Him. And there is no more awe. Because awe too is merely human…

Lesson: “SubhanAllah” is meant to be a state of human existence, not just a moment’s realization (sudden awe). If left as only a moment’s realization, it stands as proof of one’s ghafla and ultimate insincerity because sudden awe cannot be experienced without it. There is no such thing as partial submission; there is no such thing as 2/3’s a sajdah. To be truly deserving of the title of “Muslim”, “One who submits”, we must give ourselves to the point where we do not realize our own submission anymore. Not only mustn’t our soul’s eye be focused on the duniya, but it mustn’t be focused on our own selves as well. The soul’s eye must be focused on the Lord, Glorious and Exalted, at all times. So if we still see our works then that is sign of our holding something back. We haven’t submitted. We may experience our sudden SubhanAllah ‘moments’ and have jolts of realization, but we still haven’t learned glorification or submission.

SubhanAllah.


Sahih Muslim- Book 040, Number 6800:
Jabir b. Abdullah reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said that the inmates of Paradise…”would glorify and praise Allah as easily as you breathe.”


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I seek forgiveness of Allah, Glorious and Exalted, for my presumptiveness and hypocrisy and seek His Refuge. All good is from Him.
All errors are a result of my own weaknesses.
My own stupidity.
My own insincerity.
My own arrogance.
My own nafs.

“Astaghfirul lahal adheema lladhee la ilaha illa huwa al-Hayyal Qayooma wa atubo ilayh”

“Allahumma innaka Afoowun Kareemun tuhibul afwa fa’foanni ya Ghaffur.”


of and relating to...
Saima said

Masha'Allah, very well-written :) and umm.. good timing too :)

on April 17, 2004 11:52 PM
Talal said

MashaAllah.. a piece that really lends itself to reflection and pondering...

So much fault finds itself into our lives beause of the speed with which forget that which made us believe subhanAllah.

It's a tough road to reach a state of "constant awe".. may Allah grant us all the ability to strive for an achieve such a state. Ameen.

p.s. ditto to what Sr. Saima hinted at... a perfect lead-in into the next Mile.

on April 18, 2004 12:14 AM
justoju said

Glossary:

- "Rida": Joyful contentment with the Will of Allah.

- “Astaghfirul lahal adheema lladhee la ilaha illa huwa al-Hayyal Qayooma wa atubo ilayh”: I ask forgiveness of Allah, the Living, the Ever Subsistent through Whom all subsists, and I repent to Him.

- “Allahumma innaka Afoowun Kareemun tuhibul afwa fa’foanni ya Ghaffur”: Oh Allah, surely You are Forgiving, Merciful. You like forgiving. So forgive me, Oh Forgiving.

on April 18, 2004 2:18 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam,

excellent artile justoju...subhanallah is right, it should be on our tongue all the time because truly nothing IS greater than Him but so should astaghfirullah because we commit sins every day...
ure right about the fact that there should be no such thing as sudden awe b/c that just shows the state of ghaflah that we're in but it is also after certain events in ure life that u really notice how subhan Allah truly is

Allahumma arinal haqqa haqqan warzuqnattiba'a wa arinal baatila baatilan warzuqnajtinaaba

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 18, 2004 8:59 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Sister Baba,

I'm going to inrtude for a second and post a hadith that I couldn;t get out of my mind after reading this. It's in Sahih Muslim and also in Riyadh Us-Saliheen(where I intially read it).

Your article Masha Allah is excellent. I;m going to interdict you on the ghafla part though...the 24-7 part. Just read the hadith...If Abu Bakr says he can;t do it...I dont think anybody can.

Being a Mu'min means that your heart has changed to something close to purity...and therefore your soul and heart begin to become transcendental...no longer material of dunya. The dunya although is forever toil and Taab(tiring). So that glance at the sunset or the clear blue sky give you that feeling of returning to Allah....because no one can create it but Allah. Those little thing are the Mu'min's fractional taste of freedom....that tiny tase of the freedom Allah grants to the believers after dunya. I do do wish that those moments of SubhanAllah could last forever....that fraction of a moment that you feel something of a closeness of Allah...you feel as if it never ended you would never mind. Insha Allah may Allah make me, you, and every other person out there Mu'minun.

Hanzala Usayyidi, who was amongst the scribes of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). reported: I met Abu Bakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzala) said: Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. He (Abu Bakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our very eyes and when we are away from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to After-life) slip out of our minds. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said to him: Allah's Messenger, Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah's Messenger, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths but, Hanzala, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the Holy Prophet) said this thrice.


on April 18, 2004 4:46 PM
justoju said

AssalamuAlaikum,

Brother Rami, you are catching on :)...you see, that is why I ended with the following hadith:

Sahih Muslim- Book 040, Number 6800:
Jabir b. Abdullah reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said that the inmates of Paradise…”would glorify and praise Allah as easily as you breathe.”

Note that its regarding the inmates of Paradise, not the dwellers of duniya. Though we cannot reach this beautiful ideal where we "glorify and praise Allah as easily as we breathe", it is our jobs as wannabe-muimins to try our hardest to come as close to it as is possible. Our goal is to join the rest of Creation in glorifying Him as He has commanded us to...unfortunately, insaan/nas, by nature of his name, is indeed forgetful...and it is His Mercy that He accomodates this part of our fitra...

WasalaamuAlaikum

on April 18, 2004 6:20 PM
Saima said

reading these posts was so uplifting.

SubhanAllah :)

on April 18, 2004 9:10 PM
justoju said

you said it sister:)

on April 19, 2004 1:18 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Wait, so you have two columns now sister Justoju? Will you be posting twice a week? Sounds like you really like writing.

on April 19, 2004 11:45 AM
justoju said

No bro. Faisal, I just like to see my name on the web and desire to take over Hidaya.

WasalaamuAlaikum

p.s. Astaghfirullah

p.p.s. Actually, I post once a week. And depending on what I have written, it falls under one of the two column categories. I have composed a lot of Hidaya-usable pieces over the past few years and I couldnt come up with 'one' column title that represented all of my writing so I had to use two.

on April 19, 2004 2:55 PM
Ramiu said

Aslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Excellent work alhadullilah. The clarification cleared everything up, alhamdulillah.

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 19, 2004 6:04 PM
Gillette said

"I just like to see my name on the web and desire to take over Hidaya."

Not if I take over first.

on April 20, 2004 12:05 PM
Justoju said

Brother Gillette, how bout you put your pen where your mouth is (haha funny image) and put up the 7 articles a week it takes to render Hidaya all about you...ya got that much fire? :)

(See brother editor, I am encouraging people to write. I am being a productive factor mashaAllah.)

on April 20, 2004 12:54 PM
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