Finding Myself in a Confusing World..
Who am I? Have you ever actually stopped to think of the answer to that question? I mean, really thought about it. A few years ago, I asked myself exactly that.
“Who am I? What is my purpose?”
I asked myself over and over again. I was lost in a life of darkness and confusion. In a desperate bid to shed light on the situation, I appointed a decent career, in order to provide for the future, my life purpose. So, I attempted to achieve exactly that. I began working hard towards my qualifications and before I knew it, I was beginning my second year at university.
Even though I was becoming a step closer to achieving my so called ‘purpose’ it still was not enough for me, there was still something I was longing for, my heart was still yearning for something more. I felt constantly uneasy, not knowing how to cure this emptiness and uncertainty inside me, or what to fill the empty void with. The questions I had were still unanswered. What would happen once I did fulfil these worldly things? What happens after death? I had no guide and I struggled to find a real purpose.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ reported that Allah ﷻ said:
“I created My servants in the right religion, but the devils made them go astray.”
Another day arrived and I remember hearing someone state “But, everyone is born a Muslim” I had heard the statement, but I simply dismissed it. I carried on chasing the temporary world, just like many of us do now. I had never actually given this whole concept a thought. Throughout life a lot of people will ask “How do you know that is true?” Something I eventually asked myself countless times.
“You have someone illiterate making profound announcements and statements that are amazingly accurate about scientific nature. And I personally can’t see how this could be a mere chance, there are too many accuracies”
– Dr TVN Persaud (Professor of Anatomy, Child Health & Reproductive Sciences)
And then I began to look around me. We are impeccably made humans. No man-made camera can ever come close to the vision of the human eye. If everyone put their minds together and tried to create even a wing of a fly, it still would not be possible. The Quran is an instruction manual for all of mankind. It has not been altered since it was written and still to this day scientists are making discoveries of the very things that were written 1400 years ago in the Quran. It is a book full of wisdom, truth and miracles, from embryonic development to the origin of the universe and the preservation of Pharaoh.
Now instead I asked myself; how could this not be true? I was searching to achieve contentment through materialistic goods and I was attempting to find happiness in the imperfect human. My happiness was not altered through these means, nor did they cure my emptiness. I was trapped; I was tied to the temporary life.
“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.”
– Yasmin Mogahed
Emptiness. My soul was starved. It yearned to obey its Creator. I was feeding my body to live, which of course is essential for all of us. To maintain physical health to the best of our ability we need to eat, drink and exercise. But starving my soul? We cannot provide our souls with physical resources, that is impossible. So how exactly do we feed our souls and revive them from their neglect? A question I had been longing to answer; I needed to know my true purpose and fast.
“And I did not create the Jinn and Mankind except to worship Me.”
(Surah Adh-Dhariyat: 56)
Worship The Creator, The Giver of Life. This is what my soul was missing. For years my soul had yearned to be fed spiritually but it was starved and deserted; I had become a prisoner to this world. The career I was working towards, the property and materialistic goods I owned seemed to diminish in value. Eventually, they will become someone else’s property and I will depart from this world, this temporary world. Just like each and everyone one of us.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“The first thing among their deeds for which the people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be prayer. If this is in good order then he will succeed and prosper but if it is defective then he will fail and will be a loser.”
[Tirmidhi & Abu Dawood]
Salah (Prayer); The second pillar of Islam.
Heart trembling, I went down in sujood (prostration) for the first time. My heart melted as I finally felt close to The Creator. Relief; I felt like I had found my reason to live, the purpose of life I had been searching for. My soul was at last being fed and I instantly felt at ease. I had found the emptiness I had been longing for, an emptiness that I had been deprived of for 20 Years. Glorifying The Ever Living.
Through this experience I truly began to understand how we can feed our bodies but starve our souls. If we let go of Salah, then we lose everything. We are greeted with misery, loss, emptiness and sadness. We should strive to build our lives around Salah, and not build Salah around our lives. Allah ﷻ does not need us, but we surely do need Him ﷻ.
Worship not only allows us to please our Creator, but it also provides us with many benefits that enhance our mental, emotional and spiritual state – our spiritual state being our souls. The best thing of all is that worship is not just gained through praying. There are many acts that are pleasing and spiritually uplifting with the correct intention. From fulfilling our five pillars of Islam and forbidding evil, to following the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.”
(Surah Imran: 185)
You see, whilst making my way through life in a bid to locate light beyond the darkness I found the truth, the true purpose of life and a whole new way to live life – Islam. In this Dunya we work, and keep working and of course, we know one day we will get paid. Well, we expect to be paid as compensation for our work. Similarly, this is exactly what we have been promised by Our Creator, but on an eternal scale. Yawm Al-Qiyamah (The Day of Judgement) is the day we will receive our wages in full.
Additionally, I realised that success is not achieving my worldly goals. Enjoyment and success in this world are not possible, it is a delusion. It is temporary. Compared to The Akhirah (The Hereafter) this life is so short, it is like a day in comparison to the eternity. Success in this world is not my real aim; my true aim is Jannah. The Eternal Paradise we have all been promised if we just do the smallest of things; obey our Creator.
“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.”
(Surah Al-Mulk :2)
Unquestionably, both you and I will be brought back to The Most High and all we will have to present are our deeds from this worldly life, both the good and the bad. Our materialistic property will not be there with us, we will not have money to bail us out or cars to drive us off in a bid to escape. This is reality, true reality. There is no escape.
Think about it. When we apply for jobs we have to go through a process. We create a personal profile of ourselves and we intensely prepare for interviews in a bid to be the best we can be and outdo out so called competitors. These are our tests to see if we are good enough for the role. Likewise, Allah ﷻ tests us in this world with hardship and ease, temptation and desires. This life is nothing but temporary in order to prove ourselves worthy of living in eternal bliss – Jannah.
I know the road is long, but eventually you will find your happiness and cure your emptiness Insha’Allah (If Allah Wills). I was lost in many different ways, and I had no direction in life except chasing after the Dunya. Fill your emptiness with the love of Allah ﷻ and strive towards your true purpose. Make this life worth living and use the Dunya as a means to attain Jannah. The hardships, the ease and even your own desires. Seek refuge in Allah ﷻ and He will protect you. Push your soul towards Him ﷻ and He ﷻ will give you your full reward, just be patient.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un – To Him we belong and to Him we shall return.