I’ve heard a number of shuyukh say when a faqir, when a person on the Path has trouble, then he knows that he’s basically on firm ground. It is when things start going well that the faqir gets worried because then he knows that sooner or later the difficulty is about to hit him.
You know there are really two ways of being in the world. There is the way or you can describe the way of competition and then there is the way or you can describe the way of cooperation.
We are very fortunate, very blessed to be among people who have had to claim the Deen, because those people who have had to claim the Deen also are those people who have in a sense had to reinvent the Deen.
I heard of a conversation with the greatest guarders the time of the rasul (s.a.w.s) called Ubay. Umar ibn Khattab said to Ubay “Ya Ubay, what is taqwa?”
Deen isn’t culture. It’s a filter for culture, which means Deen is a codification of fitra. It gives you access to fitra. It gives you a way of understanding what your intuitive sense of right and wrong is and what is appropriate in the moment.
What does it mean when we say that wherever you turn there is the Face of Allah? This is a very important matter. We must remind ourselves and understand about what it means.
It is very difficult for one to be in a state of dhikr, to be in a state of worshipfulness while we struggle with relationships and struggle with the difficulties of the mundane and the day-to-day, which have the effect of keeping our attention and our energy quite low.
We have two ways of using our attention. Is there any difference to the feeling in the statements, “He’s looking at me” and “He’s listening to me”? For most people there’s a difference.
We are entering a period or a time where the development of events is overwhelming and, particularly when one experiences a part of that overwhelming development in one’s own life, one forgets. One easily forgets that you are not being singled out. You are not being unfairly treated by Allah.
One can describe human endeavour and human effort from the point of view of avoiding suffering and pursuing contentment. It’s imperative that we understand that most of the things that people do under the assumption that this will decrease or alleviate this suffering, actually have the opposite effect.