Zishaan Karim (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
As I try to get cleansed through forgiveness, I raise my hopes high as I am in the month of forgiveness and Mercy. I fully understand that I can only attain lasting forgiveness if I have managed to attain Habit 1: Connect with The All Pure.
I will only have a sincere repentance when I am connected to You O Allah! At this point, I am working towards reaching my goal and hence I borrow the words of Imam Sajjad (as) and say,
O Allah, take to Yourself, from my soul
what will purify it.
And leave for my soul that of my soul
which will set it right,
for surely, my soul will perish unless You protect it.
I ask You to grant me that which will purify my soul; I look back at my intentions and how they need to be pure in order to yield pure deeds.
My soul will perish unless You Protect it. Am I asking Allah (swt) to protect my soul through supernatural means?
If that is so, then it defeats my purpose of Creation.
I have been created to be tested and my reactions to His tests are recorded to get me a report card on how I scored. If I am asking Allah (swt) to protect my soul through supernatural means, I am defeating the purpose of being tested!
On the other hand, these are an infallible Imam’s words and have deeper and profound meaning. The dua lines continue…
You are my shelter when I am sad,
You are my recourse, if I am deprived,
with You I seek help when I am troubled,
I am disheartened at the way my heart and soul respond to Your tests. I carnal-self deprives me of the benefits that I can make if my soul is set right. I am troubled by the fact that the struggle is too hard to make on my own. When I look back at what I have gathered, I despair and lose hope to move on.
At such a point, the words of my Imam (as) gives hope.
and with You is a substitute for what is gone by,
a correction for what has gone wrong,
and a change for what You disapprove.
I turn to You not for You to do things for me supernaturally, but to empower me, to be able to make through the struggle it requires me to; to be able to reach the light at the end of the dark tunnel. You are my strength and You are my Hope. Do not forsake me, hold me by my hand and guide me to The Path.
Fully realizing Your Self Sufficiency and my dependence on You, I continue to build Habit 1
Comprehending the purpose of my creation and the role of tests in my life, I beseech You to be give me the boon of your kindness.
So be kind to me by:
Well-being before affliction, bounty before asking and right conduct before misguidance.
I am well versed with the fact that You do not test beyond one’s capacity, with these words of Imam Sajjad (as) I ask You prepare me for Your tests. A boon is something I do not deserve; It is a kindness towards me and I implore You, the Self Sufficient, to Grace me with tools to pass the tests You have prepared for me.
A Madrasah teacher in a classroom yearns for the students to pass her tests, so she does everything in her means for her students to perform well. This can be for two reasons.
1. Take credit for her work and satisfy her ego
2. Ensure the students have understood so they practice correctly and do not get deviated.
It is only because when I look at Allah, Al Mutakabbir, who is the Only Entity deserving Pride, and when I ponder over His Mercy to guide everyone so that majority qualify and pass His tests, I have the courage to ask Him for that special preparation of my self in order to meet His tests with a smiling face.
In that case He suffices for me to have a bold face and not be ashamed in the presence of anyone…
Suffice me against the burden of shame to the servants
and grant me safety on the day of return,
and favour me with the best of guidance.
The thought of Lady Khadija (as) crosses my mind. After her marriage to the Prophet (saww) the women started taunting her and looking down on her, to the extent that she had no helpers during her delivery of Lady Fatimah (as). The Lord sufficed for her at every step.
The dua lines continue…
by Your gentleness, ward away (evil) from me,
feed me through Your favour,
reform me through Your generosity,
heal me through Your goodness
shade me in Your shelter,
and wrap me in Your pleasure.
If it was not for Your Grace, Your Favour, Your Generosity, Your Goodness, and Your Shelter, I would indeed be doomed. It is all about You and nothing but You. Therefore, keep granting me that Grace and wrap me in Your Pleasure. That is the goal of my life.