Zishaan Karim (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Habit 1: Connect with The All Pure
I need to be accustomed to communicate with Him in such a way as though I see Him, and try my best to be what He expects of me.
Be sufficient for me in that which occupies me,
Employ me in those deeds about which You will ask me tomorrow,
Let me pass my days in that (work) for which You have created me.
There are times when I get entangled in the duniya and anxiety takes over me. My mind gets occupied with things that are beyond my control, and I do not know where to turn. At such times, I lose focus and either procrastinate or despair, both of which become obstacles along my path to reaching Allah (swt).
Thus, I tend to overlook the big picture and my concerns block my vision to such an extent that I do not see beyond them. My mornings turn into afternoons and afternoons into evenings and the cycle goes on and on, without any meaningful accomplishment.
Free me from need, and increase Your sustenance for me but try me not with discontent.
Shameful it is, that despite knowing and seeing how Allah (swt) has taken care of me from a time ‘I was not worthy of mention’ to date, I still am anxious about my tomorrow, which I am not even sure of seeing!
Imam Sajjad (as), in these beautiful lines, asks for an increase in sustenance and not to be tried with discontent. Sustenance is not only in the form of food and water. On the contrary, it covers all spiritual and material benefits that The Lord has taken upon Himself to grace me with. Bearing this in mind, I see that that the Imam teaches us to rely upon Him(swt) and be contented with whatever He, The All Wise, has decreed. With that complete reliance upon Him, I am free from need and He is Sufficient for me in what occupies me. I am then a free being…
I am a free being, given the ability to pick my choices, and then get consequences of those choices. In that freedom of choice, I make a conscious decision of attaining the first Habit.
Imam Sajjad (as) says,
Make me worship You
but do not let my worship be corrupted by conceit.
This show that the ability to worship Him is also a grace from Him. When I begin to consider my freedom to be an absolute freedom, conceit takes over me. My outward self is occupied in performing rituals of worship, which make no movement of my heart except to the negative direction. Conceit takes over me as an ant climbs over a dark hill on a dark night. Servitude turns into self-admiration. Outwardly, I may have garbed myself with fake God consciousness and Piety, where my inner self is rotting with egocentrism.
Grant me the highest moral traits, but protect me from vanity.
Allow me a vivid vision of my goal and the route towards it. Where I claim to be a Muwahhid, vanity makes me worship my self. In my freedom of submitting to the Truth, I submit to my ego. O Allah, allow me a recognition of Your Self; allow it to the light which shall illuminate my path towards You.