Putting Allah swt first
31 March 2017
Recently, Fidah shared with me that there was going to be a ladies’ talk on 31st March. It was a Friday night. Usually I spend my Friday nights recuperating from a busy work week. Work has been beyond hectic lately and I always find myself just lying down doing nothing, except surfing the world of social media with my fingers. I figured that it would be more productive spending Friday night at this talk, rather than staying home and waste my time.
I was extremely sleepy and exhausted. Trust me, at 7.00 pm, I was contemplating whether or not I should go. However, since I paid for the tickets in advance, I thought it would be stupid to miss it. Thus, I dragged myself there.
I decided to ask Mum along since the venue of the talk was not far from our house at all. We were late but thankfully the session has not started yet.
I felt that I learnt and benefited so much in the 1.5 hours there. I will number the pointers for easier understanding.
1. Redirect all intentions and putting Allah swt first
When the session started I was immediately engaged. The ustazah asked us to pen down 2 things.
- 1. Why we need Allah swt
- 2. Why we want Allah swt
To be honest I was not totally sure what was the difference. It took me a while to think and reflect and eventually, after listening to some of the sisters’ answers from the floor, she explained.
‘Want’ is when you desire something but ‘need’ is something you must have because if you do not have it, you will not be able to live.
Such a powerful statement that immediately triggered all my senses. All this while I thought I wanted to have the Almighty in my life. I was wrong. I should have changed it to a need to have Almighty in my life because without Him who give me life every single day, I would not be alive.
The ustazah then directed us back to our main intentions aka ‘niat’. Our whole existence needed to be around Allah swt. Allah swt is not only there for convenience. For instance, how many of us only do our prayers when we are free? How many of us only make dua when we face difficulties? How many of us actually take effort to specially get to know Allah swt?
It is a sad reality because the worldly desires and demands has somehow clouded our ability to prioritise what is important in this dunya. I felt that this realisation upsets me to the core because all this while, I thought I was a ‘good’ person. I thought that I hardly sinned because I do all my 5 prayers daily, read the Quran, serve the parents and do good to others. However, it is the thinking that ‘I am ok, I am good’ that will lead me to be complacent.
How many times have I procrastinated doing the daily prayers simply because I was busy at work or tired? How could I not realize that my existence depends on His will, not mine? How could I not prioritize worshipping Him?
I felt so ashamed.
I did not created jinn and mankind except to worship me. (Quran: 51:56)
The ustazah then went on to say that it would be difficult to love Allah swt if we do not take the effort to get to know Him. How true. How can you love someone without knowing him / her first right? It is the same logic.
2. Looking for the good in everything
She said that it was normal to only look for Allah swt when we are faced with a calamity. We often don’t do that when our life is going well. We often forget that both good times and bad times are tests for us, as this dunya is only a temporary stopover in our journey to the Hereafter.
How many of us get angry at God when we experience a loss or a failure? How quickly we forget that Allah swt is the best of all Planners and He knows what is best for us. Both blessings and calamities are meant to be in our life. Blessings are bestowed to us to test if we are thankful and calamities exist to test to our patience. Both are designed to teach us, shape us and change us.
Therefore, she said instead of asking God “Why me?” when something undesirable happens, say “Alhamdulilah, You know what is best for me.”
I recalled feeling so desperate last year because I was in acute pain from the slipped disc. I knew I should not blame the Almighty for the misfortune because if I chose to be ignorant, He may not want to heal me. Thus, I went on with the ‘syukur’ attitude, with utmost faith that He will heal me so that I can be of service to others again. I needed Him to heal me not for me, but for the people around me who had went through so much, just to help me recover.
Alhamdulilah for all the calamities, I am more thankful for my health now and will never ever take it for granted.
3. Taking care of ourselves
This is beyond just taking care of personal well being. The ustazah mentioned that syaitan and nafs cannot enter our hearts. Thus, whatever you feel in your heart, is the mutual feeling and understanding between Allah swt and you.
We forget that we make little sins every day and this complacency is usually responsible in drifting us away from Allah swt. Thus, it is advisable to plan our worldly affairs around pleasing Him.
For instance, take care of our hearts from having bad thoughts about others. Take care of our mouth, from saying negative things. Take care of our solat, from 5 basic daily prayers to the sunnah prayers when we can perform. Take care of our relationship with others, we are not alone in this world.
At the end of the session, I was determined to put Allah swt as the centre of my life. Do things for His sake to gain His blessings. She recommended saying the ‘zikir’ as a remembrance of Allah swt that can be done after each daily prayer. It only takes a few minutes. Look at how you spend you 24 hours and reflect on how much time actually goes into knowing and worshipping Him.
It is such a small initiative that can easily be transformed into a habit. Alhamdulilah that small initiative has now converted into a habit for me, only a few minutes, I felt more at peace and happier with myself. Try it.
I was sooo intrigued by this session, I kinda wish it was longer. There was no way I could put everything I learnt into this blog entry. I felt ashamed for considering to miss it because I was so tired. What is my exhaustion compared to a whole new discovery about Allah swt’s love for me? I will be sure to not miss such sessions of knowledge next time, inshaAllah.
Pleasantly surprise to bump into my fellow mate, Ju!! I had no idea that she was coming. I need be infected with her admirable attitude in learning about the religion. I shall make dua for that!
Also so thankful to Fidah who alerted and invited me to this session in the first place. It was nice to have her mum and sis in law around too. We decided to go for supper after the session lol.
Sorry, my arm was not long enough to capture everyone’’s faces. We spent the time sharing rojak and collating our learning points. How wonderful.
May we put everything we learnt tonight into practice and convert it all to good habits. Alhamdulilah for this and may we meet again in the next learning session inshaaAllah.