Like a Sinking Ship..
Do you ever feel like you’re drowning? Trapped at the bottom of an endless ocean, weighed down by a hefty anchor? Let me let you into a secret, it’s completely natural. At some point in life, and sometimes more often than others, we feel as if we are sinking. Our iman (faith) dips, our mental state goes into meltdown, our emotions run wild. We feel empty. We feel lost.
We try to figure out why? Why do we feel so empty? Why do we feel so low? We thought we had everything. We thought life was going sweet. Yet, our heart is still yearning for something more.
For many of us, we will frequently say “It’s Shaytaan affecting me!” “People are bringing me down!” we love to blame the external; so much that we fail to see the real problem. It’s internal. It’s us; we are doing this to ourselves.
As stated by our sister Yasmin Mogahed:
“We feed our bodies but starve our souls. Ironically, the body that we tend to is only temporary. Whilst the soul that we neglect is eternal.”
Occasionally when our iman dips, we feel worthless. We think that Allah ﷻ has turned away from us, that we sin so much Allah ﷻ won’t accept our prayers. We enter a downwards spiral, entering darkness. We start chasing the dunya, feeding our bodies with things that are temporary, trying to fill that void and emptiness in our hearts.
This may sound random, but what happens when you are catering to your worldly needs, you go shopping and overfill that bag of yours. It breaks, it snaps. What if you tried to fill up your car, but instead of petrol you filled it with diesel? It breaks. That’s because it was not designed for that purpose, and if you were wise you would not do it.
Similarly, your heart was not designed for the purpose of loving the dunya. It is not designed to worship the creation, or for the love of money. It is designed to be filled with Allah ﷻ. As long as we’re giving our heart to worldly matters, it’ll continue to break. If our hearts are attached to anything other than Him ﷻ, we will feel saddened, disappointed, lost and empty.
Once we realise this, we need to find ourselves in order to know what is in our hearts. We need to understand where we want to go and how we will get there, we need to have the intention to change. Make Jannah your aim.
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
(Surah Ar-Ra’d: 11)
This does not have to be the end. If you firstly are not completing your obligatory duties, begin to fulfil them. Insha’Allah. Use salah to block out the dunya and aid the process of refocusing your heart. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, those few minutes are a blessing. Use the time to talk to The Almighty. Read His ﷻ words, read the Quran and get closer to The Creator. Surround yourself with positive people, with people who will bring you forward. Refocus your mind, learn about Jannah. Let your heart desire it, as that is our real home.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“There are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of Iman: To love Allah and His Messenger (SAW) more than anyone else; to love a slave (of Allah) only for (the sake of) Allah; and to abhor returning to infidelity after Allah has saved him from it as he would abhor to be thrown into the fire (of Hell)”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
So, give your heart to the one who can heal it, The Protector, the real owner; Allah ﷻ. You can fill your heart with everything, but you will not gain contentment until it is filled with its creator. Believe me, I have been there. I was once lost, my heart was filled with dunya. I did not know anything other than it, until I found Islam. Until I was guided. Alhamdulillah. Until I gave my heart to its rightful owner and I had a real purpose of living and a real reason, to strive for the Akhirah (The Hereafter).
Allah ﷻ says:
“Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you.”
SubhanAllah. Even if we get so low, even if we temporarily turn our back to Him ﷻ, He ﷻ still showers us with countless blessings every day. If we tried to count all of our blessings, we could not be able to. We have been so blessed to be guided to Islam. Say Alhamdulillah, and be thankful that you have been given another day to live. Another day to change your heart, a new day to re-programme your mind to the akhirah. And most of all, another day to repent.
What we also need to remember is, our way to Allah ﷻ is not a steady path, our iman will always go up and down, it is totally natural. But every time we dip, we will rise. Insha’Allah. Never lose hope, Allah ﷻ is always by our side. None of us are perfect, if we were then our purpose in this dunya would be worthless. We all sin.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever may be your sins. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earthful of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth.”
It’s never too late to turn back, and it’s never too late to repent. No matter how low you get, never lose your salah. If you lose Allah ﷻ, you will have nothing. If you lose dunya but still have Allah swt, you have everything.
“And he found you lost, and He guided you.”
[Quran Surah Ad-Duha: 7]
Now, the choice is yours.