After an unexpectedly long gap I m back with my project. I thought I might not be able to continue this. But I have to get to the end of this series for myself most importantly so that I don’t lose the essence of what I was able to gather in those beautiful ten days.
It was probably day two of my Aitekaf and some traces of doubt were clouding my confidence as to how I would be able to commit myself to this spiritual journey with my Creator. I would sit in the quiet of my room and take in the silence which is almost non existent in our daily routine with the phone ringing, kids running and screaming around, someone at the door and our gadgets buzzing to divert our concentration. I really loved the peace and quiet, long stretches of silence actually. But in those moments of calmness I would find myself questioning the commitment to this, what I was expected to do; it was either satan or my lack of strong iman / faith that distracted me.
Basically I wanted to be really clear as it wasn’t a practice I was doing for a day, for my family, for praises, for any other purpose but entirely for the sake of Allah. It felt as if everything else had gone blur as in a bokeh shot during photography. It was like everything else had stopped existing except for me and the one who is the Master. Such is perhaps the effect when you separate yourself from all the unnecessary ‘necessities’ of life.
Clarity of thought is most important as that determines our niyah or intention. One of the most common hadith that we are all familiar with is that our actions are judged by our intentions. Whatever we must do in life, it should be based on a clear intention/ a clear thought process. More so specifically whatever we intend to do, it should be done solely for the sake of Allah swt.
A lot of times in life, we do things that hurts others. Our actions, words, deeds are nothing but a cause of pain or have little positivity for others. If it’s not affecting the ones around us then most of the time the things that we do lack a thought process. In my case if I wasn’t clear in my intention before sitting for Aitekaf or wasn’t able to clarify what I was doing, there was little point of me sitting in isolation.
The idea is that whatever you intend to do, pause for a minute, stand back and see why are you doing this in the first place. Are my actions for my own gratification? Will my actions bear negative consequences for others? If you are going to pray, recall why do you do that every day? If you are going to peek into a neighbour’s gate while walking past it; ask yourself why do you want to see into their house. If you’re being nice to others is it for your own future benefits or you want to be nice to others because they are God’s creation? Ask yourself whether what you are doing is out of love for your Creator or just because society expects you to do it or because you have an urge to satisfy your ego.
As the night sky glittered with stars outside, I turned to Surah Mulk in the Quran and read the lines “He, Who has created death and life that He might test you, as to whose work, is excellent among you. And He is the Esteemed one the Forgiving.”