Purifying our Internal State

  • Allah SWT states:    رَبَّنَا وَٱبۡعَثۡ فِيهِمۡ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيہِمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ      (And, our Lord, raise in their midst a Messenger from among them, who should recite to them Your verses, and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and cleanse them of all impurities  Surah 2, Verse 129)

*   One of the greatest traits of a prophet is that he can eradicate internal diseases as well as physical diseases.  The biggest internal diseases are kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allah)

*   Many of the internal diseases could take us towards kufr and shirk, which is why it is incumbent to remove them

  • Allah SWT states:  لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۚ    (Allah does not obligate anybody beyond his capacity  Surah 2, Verse 286)

*   With every push that comes, our internals are made stronger

*   One of the most important lessons is to be content with the decree and will of Allah SWT, during the good times and bad times.  Allah benefits us even in harm. That is the nature of Allah SWT.  That is the contract we signed when we said the shahada.  We are essentially saying to Allah, “Ya Allah I am yours.  You can do with me as You will because I want You.  My whole focus of my life is going to be You.”  And in order to clear our path towards Allah SWT, He is going to put us in certain situations which we might not like, but are necessary for us to go through them in order for us to continue our journey towards Him.

  • Fanaiyya (self-annihilation) –  If we love somebody to this extent, and that person is able to redirect that love towards the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), then in the process our nafs will shatter
  • An ocean, despite how deep it is, remains calm on the surface.  The shoreline is shallow and shows its waves, constantly releasing its energy.  However, when the ocean stirs, even the biggest of ships are toppled

*   The ocean never releases its energy until Allah SWT orders it

*   The Sahaba were like the depths of the ocean.  The power of their iman was such that they were able to conquer many lands and accomplish feats that otherwise would have been physically impossible.

*   We, on the other hand, are like the shoreline, constantly releasing our energy, not being able to do anything

*   A man who is deep, he will control his emotions. 

*   We can either continue being shallow like the shoreline, or become deep like the ocean. 

*   We can never reach the depths without shattering something inside of us (our nafs).  And if our nafs is never shattered, we will always be at the shoreline of the ocean. 

 Anger:

  • Allah SWT states:   ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِى ٱلسَّرَّآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَٱلۡڪَـٰظِمِينَ ٱلۡغَيۡظَ وَٱلۡعَافِينَ عَنِ ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ     (The ones who spend (for Allah’s sake) in prosperity and adversity, and those who control anger and forgive people.  And Allah loves those who are good in their deeds  Surah 3, Verse 134)

*   When swallowing our anger, we should couple that with forgiveness. That is why there is just a “wa” separating the two in the preceding Quranic verse, because they go hand in hand.

*   If a person becomes extremely angry and he continues to swallow that anger without forgiving, eventually it will show in his heart – either he’ll go crazy or go into depression or some kind of mental state that will make him unstable

*   Swallowing anger without forgiving can have adverse physical and spiritual effects and can even cause death

*   Swallowing anger is difficult on the nafs, but the results of doing that are always cool

  • With swallowing anger, over time even enemies become friends.  But with anger, even a friend will become an enemy.  If a person continues down the path of anger, he will eventually have no friends remaining
  • The Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) said:  A brave man is not the one who wrestles another person to the ground.  The brave and strong man is the one who controls his anger at the time it triggers
  • If we suffer some loss when swallowing our anger and pride:

*    We should read  إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيۡهِ رَٲجِعُونَ   (We certainly belong to Allah, and to Him we are bound to return Surah 2, Verse 155) because at that time Allah SWT has promised that He will compensate us with something better, or equivalent

*   We should also be mindful that if we are patient upon it, then Allah SWT is going to give us more ajar

*   If we were to take revenge, it would have no benefit to us and would only continue to feed our anger

  • There is a difference between loving and hating someone for the sake of Allah.  To release our anger at someone would only be okay if we are sure that if we don’t stop this person, he is going to harm society, harm himself, or harm the deen of Allah SWT
  • Shaykh Bayazeed Bustami (RAH) was a great Persian saint.  He was walking and an enemy threw something over his head.  He said “Alhamdulillah.”  His students replied, “This is not a time to say Alhamdulillah.”  He responded “This head was worthy that the fire comes down from the heavens and showers upon me.  I’m saying Alhamdulillah that it was only a bit of dirt.”
  • Two people were arguing in front of Maulana Rumi (RAH), one person said if you swear at me once, I will swear at you ten times.  Hazrat Rumi said to him, “curse me a thousand times, you will not hear me curse back once.”
  • Shaykh Zakariya (RAH) was shouting at his student one day.  The student was asking Shaykh Zakariya for forgiveness.  Shaykh Zakariya said to him, “How many times do I have to forgive you?  It’s the same thing over and over again.”  Shaykh Ilyas (RAH) was sitting next to him and said to him, “However many times you want your own sins to be forgiven by Allah, you should also forgive the sins of your students.”
  • We get angry for the wrong reasons and channel our anger incorrectly. 

*   When somebody goes into uncontrollable rage that means an emotion has been swallowed inside and it is showing its colors.  There’s a release. 

*   Many times our anger is from our own frustrations or for dunya and personal reasons.  For example, a man is frustrated about finances and then he lashes out on his children and wife.  That man is channeling him own insecurity and frustration upon people who cannot really do anything about it.  Allah SWT has not given that responsibility to the wife to go and earn money

*   Very few people get upset because their family is not acting upon the commands of Allah SWT

*   With our children, we should learn to divert and channel their anger and have them get angry for the correct reasons.  If we don’t teach our children to respect Allah, how can we expect respect from them?

  • When we are wrong, we should admit our fault.  When we are right, we should be humble about it
  • We should realize how much turmoil, hatred, sadness, and sorrow one’s anger has caused.  A person can drive away their children, spouse, and parents by releasing their anger at the wrong time

Homework:  Do a self-assessment to see if most of our frustrations are due to dunya or deen. If your assessment is mostly due to the dunya, then you need to take another assessment as to what you are going to do about it.