A dedication to my first Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saahib (rahmatullahi 'alayh)
I am in a room full of people, surrounded by loved ones, but why do I still feel so alone, so desolate and forlorn? Despite having everything I could ask for and more, I feel a void, an emptiness. Something seems amiss. I search for something, anything, that will fill that void, and relieve me of the loneliness I strongly feel. Where do I find that missing piece that will make me feel complete?...
I wish for a companionship that is always there, never gone. I want to feel contentment, I want to feel ease, I want to feel loved, but no matter where I look, I find nothing more than a temporary satisfaction that wanes away within no time. The thought dawns on me, could it be that I am looking in all the wrong places? Am I too occupied in looking for contentment in the temporary things of the world, and mortal relationships, that I am missing out on the essence of it?
Then I came across this beautiful saying of the great mystic and leader, Umar ibn Abdul-Azeez (rahmatullahi 'alayh):
Truly in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of Allah. And in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him. And in it there is an emptiness that cannot be filled except with love for Him and by turning to Him and always remembering Him And if a person were given all of the world and what is in it, it would not fill this emptiness."
It touched the recesses of my sullen heart, and awakened in me the desire to nurture my relationship with my Creator. The only being who is ever faithful, ever loyal, ever present, never too busy, and always loving. I embarked on a journey towards Allah.
But where would I start? Just as any other journey, the journey towards Allah cannot be undertaken without any guide, without a map, without the know-how. Alhamdulillah,I had the map; the beautiful kalaam of Allah, and the sublime Sunnah of my beloved Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). I tried on my own, but soon realised, I needed someone to show me the way. I needed to be guided by someone who had already traversed this path. Alhamdulillah, Allah put it in my heart to turn towards one such luminous personality, my most respected, beloved, and cherished sheikh, and mentor, Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saahib (madda zhilluhumul 'aaliy). I began my spiritual sojourn. Through my Shaykh's guidance, advice, and duas, alhamdulillah, I was blessed with a feeling of contentment, and fulfilment. A focus. A goal. The determination to remain connected to Allah. I found and learned that the void I felt was because I was disconnected. I sought companionship everywhere, when my beloved was right before me. As Maulana Rumi (rahmatullahi 'alayhi) says:
We search for Him here and there, while looking right at Him. Sitting by His side we ask, "O Beloved! Where is the beloved?"
Until then, I had learned the translation and tafseer of the verse, "And HE is with you wherever you may be", but now I understood its actual meaning. I felt strongly that no matter what the circumstances, My Allah is with me, and My Allah will always be with me. My Allah will never abandon me, no matter how many times I fall on the road to Him, He will always be there to lift me and embrace me when I fall. I feel a companionship that is unbreakable; a relationship that can be compared to none. My Allah is there to listen at any given moment. Without even having to utter any words, I have an unspoken conversation with Him, knowing He is listening, He is understanding exactly what I feel, And He is the only being who can take care of me and resolve all my problems, no matter how grave or trivial. My Allah will never make excuses. As the poet says:
Hum tum hi bas aagaah hain, is rabt-e-khafiy se, Ma'loom kisi aur ko yeh raaz nahi hai, Tum saa koi humdum, koi dum saaz nahi hai, Baatein to hain har dum, magar awaaz nahi hai.
Translation: Only You and I are aware of this hidden relationship. No other knows of this secret. There is no intimate friend, no confidant like You, who speaks all the time, without any sound.
Dearest readers, it is only with Allah that our lonely hearts can find solace, peace and tranquility. Allah is always waiting with open arms. Its never too late to turn back, no matter how far we have strayed.
Allah (swt) says in a hadeeth-e-qudsi: I deal with my servant, as he expects me to deal with Him, and I am with him whenever he remembers me. If he thinks of me to himself, I think of him to Myself, and if he remembers me in a gathering, I remember him in a gathering that is better than his (i.e. the gathering of the angels). If he draws close to me by a handspan, i draw closer to him by an arm's length. And if he draws closer to me by and arm's-length, I draw closer to him by a two-arms' length. And if he comes to me walking, I go to him running."
Allahu Akbar! How loving is our Allah (swt). He runs towards us when we walk towards Him!
In another Hadithe-e-Qudsi, Allah (swt) says, "O my servants! Search for me, you will find me; and when you find find me, you will have found everything!"
Alhamdulillah, I no longer feel alone, or incomplete. The restlessness, the anxiety has vanished, and just knowing my Allah is always with me is enough for me. Who better to hand over my heart, my love, my life, and all my affairs to, than my Creator, My Nourisher, My Allah. Even after years on this path to Allah, I cannot say that I have reached my destination, or even achieved a fraction of the fire of Allah's love that burns in the hearts of the Awliyaa (friends) of Allah, but I have hope, that inshaAllah, one day I will meet Allah and be able to say, "I never tired of trying". Nafs and Shaytaan, appear in various forms to distract us from our purpose, and we will fall prey to them from time time, but we have to turn back each time. A saint is not one who never falls, but the one who gets up every time he falls.
"If you cannot defeat the immensely strong nafs of yours, it does not mean you should sit back and surrender. This wrestling match between you and your nafs, is a life-long one, sometimes he will win, sometimes you will. Even if you are unsuccessful all your life, remember a lover of Allah never stops trying. Maintain this relationship of Love forever. Even if it is severed (because of sin) a hundred times, reconcile a hundred times!"
Remember, for everything you part from, there will be a replacement, but when you part from Allah, there is none. If a person has found Allah, what has he lost? But if he loses Allah, then what has he gained?
I thank Allah (swt) for one of His greatest favours on me; granting me a guiding light who makes the path to Him much easier. I pray that Allah blesses my Hazrat(daamta barakaatuhum) with a long-life filled with 'Aafiyah, Barakah, and good health. I pray that Allah (swt) grants him a universal and all-encompassing maqbooliyyat. And that Allah (swt) blesses me, you and the entire Ummah, even a fraction of the fire of love that is ablaze in his heart. Ameen.
I leave you with the words of Maulana Rumi (rahmatullahi 'alayh):
Sunlight fell upon the wall; the wall received a borrowed splendor. Why set your heart on a piece of earth, O simple one? Seek out the source which shines forever.
NOTE: The above article was written for an Islamic magazine called Genuine Gems. It had already gone for printing when Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saahib (rahmatullahi 'alayh) passed away, hence changes could not be made. Alhamdulillah I had the good fortune of sharing it with Hazrat (rahmatullahi 'alayh before his sudden demise, and Hazrat (rahmatullahi 'alayh) was pleased and made dua for its acceptance. May Allah (SWT) elevate Hazrat (rahmatullahi 'alayh)'s ranks in Jannah by the second, and be pleased with him, and continue to guide the Ummah through his teachings even after his demise. Ameen. Alhamdulillah Allah has since blessed me with the great fortune of attaching myself to another great personality, Hazrat Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmed Naqshbandi (Madda Zhilluhum). May Allah grant me and the Ummah the ability to benefit from the Sadiqeen (truthful ones) and gain His ultimate pleasure thereby. Ameen
Blogs Disclaimer: The views expressed in these blogs are those of the author(s). The blog is monitored with set guidelines. Inapproproate content should be reported on our forums for the attention of our moderators.