The first part of this article can be found here
Be real. That is the rule. To speak from the heart. The words will surely land in the heart of another. As Imam Sadiq (as) says:
“Make your heart the Qibla of your tongue.”
So how do I satisfy myself physically so that my soul may fly? Dear brothers and sisters, set goals in this world so that you can strive for both worlds. Strive towards something great; do not let that deep down meaninglessness overcome you. Having goals in this world does not make you a person of dunya if you have the afterlife in mind. For everything you do, have God as the intended destination – and strive. Strive hard. The two are not contradictory.
In fact, your love of God and perfection should aid you in achieving everything you can whilst still in this world. When you are striving for something great in this world with God in mind, you are ready to strive for your goals in the afterlife too. The physical and metaphysical come hand in hand. Your striving will help you find your place here.
To be real, you must be real with yourself first. It all starts with one decision, that’s it. Just decide; ‘I’d like to be a good Muslim’ or ‘I’d like to lose weight’ or ‘I’d like to quit smoking’. Making a decision means cutting off all other possibilities. Truly decide – ‘that’s it, it’s over’. Never even consider the possibility of failure. If it’s a specific sin you’re committing, decide that it’s never happening ever again. Malcolm X once said that if you’re not willing to die for it, take the word freedom out of the dictionary. That’s how serious you have to be when making a decision. Willing to die for it.
Making a decision gives you power, it gives you clarity. It gives you a clear vision to go forward with. You can decide right now to make a change in your life for the better. Your decisions can be applied not only so that you find your quest for meaning in life, but it can be used when it comes to your studies in school, to your spirituality, to your weight, to any goal you may have. There are three principled decisions that you should focus on, and most people make these decisions unconsciously. You can take control and make these decisions with awareness. Now is the time to narrow it down, to become specific and think what it is you are missing in life that keeps you away from the realness you so strongly desire. Take a pen and paper and write these three down, it makes a world of a difference.
- What do I want? Decisions about what to focus on each moment that you’re alive. What you’re doing now, is it helping you get to that goal?
- Why do I want it? What does this thing mean to you? This is your sentiment; this gives you your drive.
- The most important one; what should I do now? This is your plan of action, after knowing where you’re going and why you want to go there, this is the map you draw towards your destination.
When we don’t take control of these decisions we pay a major price. We end up spending years searching for that realness. We become like the untamed candle ember just before it turns out, flicking violently our entire lives in search of the peace we never find. These steps give you a clear vision on where you need to go in this world. With a clear mind you are then able to focus on your spirituality. Satisfy your hunger so that your mind may contemplate. The realness is out there and it is already free. You are the prisoner. Free yourself.
To anyone reading this who could relate, I want you to know that I know what it’s like. I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want you to know that you’re worth it, you’re more than worth it – whatever you have done. I want you to know realness is not in the music or the drugs or the meaningless relationships that numb the pain. Realness is not in being what we are not. I want you to know that you’re right, there is so much corruption out there that makes it very hard for us to trust anything, but I also want you to know that the answers you seek ARE definitely out there. Open your eyes, there will be light for the one who wants to see. Let me share with you the story of the strongest of all things.
I looked for the strongest of all things and I found it in metal.
I looked to the metal I found that fire can bend it, so I realised that fire is stronger than metal.
I looked to the fire and found that water can put it out, so I realised that water is stronger than fire.
I looked to the water and I found that the clouds sent it down, so I realised that clouds are stronger than water.
I looked to the clouds and I found that the winds can move them, so I realised that the winds are stronger than the clouds.
I looked to the winds and I found that the mountains can stop them, so I realised that the mountains are stronger than the winds.
I looked to the mountains and I found that the human can climb and conquer them, so I realised that the human is stronger than the mountains.
I looked to the human being and I found that sleep silences him, so I realised that sleep is stronger than the human.
I looked to sleep and found that worry keeps it away, so I realised that worry is stronger than sleep.
I looked to worry and found that itmi’nan ends it, so I realised that itmi’nan is stronger than worry.
And here is when I realised the meaning of the words of my Lord: ala bithikrillah tatma’innul qulub.
“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”
The Holy Quran 13:28