Assalamu alaikum (peace be with you)
The title of this post is a quote from my teacher Ustad Yahya Rhodus, with whom I’m mashaAllah (by God’s grace) taking an online class. The class is run free at SeekersGuidance. I would invite you all to check out SeekersGuidance. It is a great initiative offering high calibre classical islamic scholarship completely free. The courses are short but do provide an enormous wealth of sound knowledge. Having a taste of it is a glimpse in to all the Islamic world must have been, when scholars were sound and sincere in their intention and the populace was educated and refined, able to hold their scholars to a high standard of integrity and rigour. Sadly these two are missing in the Muslim world now in my honest opinion. But throughout history as Karen Armstrong famously said, Muslims have always used times of trial and tribulation to renew themselves.
I would posit that if the above is true, it is only true because of what God does. Allah says in the Quran, in a very famous ayah (verse, the correct translation is ‘sign’, as all the verses in the Quran are considered ‘signs’ )
‘surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition’ This is from ayah 11 of surah (chapter) 13 called Ra’ad (Thunder)
Makes you think doesn’t it? Perhaps all that is going on in the Muslim world is a time for Muslims to wake-up and do some serious soul searching. I am not alone in this opinion I know. May God guide us all.
To get back though, we are studying part of a poem, the last section of a classical text called ‘The Helping Guide’ written by Imam Abdul Wahid Ibn Ashir (d1631), who lived in Fes in Morocco and was a great scholar. It is written in classical arabic poetic form and is a beautiful and deep treatise of guidance. May Alalh help me learn and practice. We were talking about the illnesses in the heart, in particular, ostentation (a particular disease the scholars and practitioners of a religion are prone to!), jealousy and vanity. The purpose of this post is not to go in to those but to share with you this statement from our teacher when explaining the line of the peom
‘…which has no cure but to be compelled to flee to Him’
Indeed all this that goes on in the world, all that goes on within us, all the trials and tribulations and tests we face, their sole purpose is to turn us back to our source. Only that, to remind us that God is one and go back to that one source. Go running back, go tripping and tumbling back to that one source of Love, Protection and Wisdom. Just to remind us where we came from and where we are going. For the one thing assured about any of our lives is that it will end. The one certain thing in life is death! So all this is a reminder. We have no power on our own, all of it is borrowed and channeled. This is the Muslim theology. There is only One. No duality anywhere, no good and bad, there is only absence of good. There is only One. Grasping this is understanding Islam. We Muslims often say ‘God only tests those He loves’, well the purpose of the test is to turn you back to that source of Love to say, ‘please God help me’. Indeed it is a cure that is a true cure, not a fleeting treatment of symptoms, but a lasting deep and complete cure.
There is no duality in the God-head, there is no other source, no other reality. Indeed grasping and understanding this and above all trusting and acting upon it, indeed it is the ‘the foundations of the foundations of the cure’
Wishing you peace, and keep me in your prayers. All good in me and all good is from God and God alone.