بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم
(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful)
I really think that when you search for answers to something and your search is real good, just the right things seems to show up, providing you with the clues and the directions you need to acquire your goals.
This was exactly what I sensed and felt on my trip to the other end of the world.
The search for “building my resilience” took me around to places, homes, families, masjids, events who too were in pursuit of striving to achieve the same thing.
I pause to ask, “What is Resilience?”
The Dictionary states,
1. It is the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
2.The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
The holiday season seemed as a boon to unite either the smaller families or the greater extended families (as an Ummah) to revive their Islamic spirit.
Or.. was it?
Either end of the globe there are ‘signs’ that Imaan is not stagnant and continues to flow like a fast flowing river. At times the river moves slow and at times the river flows faster and faster, and sometimes with full force. To the outsider, the force of the flowing water hitting against the rocks is a beautiful sight the eyes long to see and the ears long to hear. The fast movements as well as the slow and gentle flow of the water is what makes us who we are. Imaan either moves up or down – it is never constant, similar to the flow of water. Sometimes we like the flow and at times we struggle to keep up, but eventually we need to strike a balance , regain our resilience of Imaan, preparing us for the next moment.
Yet again I pause and ask, ‘who lays down the criterion for the balance’?
Scholars, People, me?
Ahhhh! Am I confused? Well…… certainly not, because…!
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَـلَمِينَ نَذِيراً
Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion to His servant that
he may be a warner to all nations[25:1]
On my journey – What I saw
Every individual, working diligently to abide by the laws laid down by the creator.
Every house/family had a challenge that they were facing head on.
Every institute in search of excellence.
Every Muslim trying to be better than his neighbor or counterpart failing to forget we all belong to one UMMAH, one family with no borders and boundaries.
Alham du lillah!!!!
What more we need to do:
First define an approach/practice that lead to successful adaptation to life’s challenges second to identify what constitutes success in meeting those challenges.
1. Set a goal – If we can imagine something, we can create it and/or conquer it. We
need to set our temporary goal/milestones that lead us to the ultimate goal.
وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلإِنسَـنِ إِلاَّ مَا سَعَى
And that man can have nothing but what he strives for. [53:39]
2. Strive for gaining knowledge together – Allah shall definitely show his
awareness of guidance and insight leading to Jannah to those who exert themselves in
وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُوا
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves” [3:103]
3. Practice our Deen – Allah has chosen us to be Muslims in the Ummah of the best
Nabi, Prophet Mohammed sws and has not placed any hardship/difficulty upon us.
We have a role model for us to follow by a person who practiced his Deen.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الاٌّخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much [ 33:21]
Summing it up:
Clarity of thought and action from a disciplined heart and mind, and commitment to
sharpening your self-awareness and commit to work at the boundaries of your
compassion – then we tap into a higher wisdom. It informs and transforms
us and we become an excellent instrument for a highest quality.
A wave is generated with a high frequency of Imaan.
So…What does it mean when we realize that we have within ourselves the capacity to reach the same heights of Imaan (faith) as the sahabah, or the same level of intellectual rigor as Imam Al-Bukhari or Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah, or the same purity and unwavering trust as Sayyidna Maryam? (May Allah be pleased with her)
Do we even realize that they were simply human beings who acknowledged the perfection with which Allah created them and strove their utmost to live up to that excellence, placing no boundaries or limitations upon themselves. They were not extraordinary people in their creation; they were only extraordinary because they accepted Allah’s words and thrust themselves utterly into the river of the Quran immersed themselves completely in tawakkul [trust in Allah], and taqwa [consciousness of Allah], allowing themselves to expand to fill the capacity of the flawless mold that Allah created them in, and refusing to allow themselves to be defined or demeaned by anyone else’s opinion. Nor did they allow themselves to be mentally or spiritually diminished or damaged by the harsh circumstances of life.
We acknowledge the fact that we are perfectly created. Or at least, we should be doing that now.
لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ فِى أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ
Verily, we created man in the best form [95:4]
“Who made everything He has created good and He began the creation of man
from clay. Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.
Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul… [32:7-9]
Thus Allah gave us a perfect body and a spirit was blown into it. This body was not meant to be broken. It wasn’t meant to have limitations. The body is meant to heal, to fight, and to thrive; to move with grace and power. We are meant to be strong, healthy and resilient; capable of conquering any obstacle.
Somewhere along the way, we have become fragile – not all of us, but a great deal of us. We have grown sedentary and complacent. And, in doing so, we have lost our resiliency: we get sick more than we should, we are too fast, we get injured way too often, and we find ourselves unable to move like we used to. Fortunately for all of us, the body is wonderfully made, and it is capable of miraculous change-physically and spiritually.
As I said before, we are perfectly made – designed to be strong and resilient, not weak and frail in all walks of life including our IMAAN. We are meant to be capable of conquering almost anything: climbing any mountain, solving any problem, or simply playing Frisbee with our kids. The human body was created to have a purpose in life, not just to exist. We can regain our resilience and become the life conquerors we were meant to be. All we have to do is walk in the footsteps of the Prophet (Itteba- e -Sunnah). All we have to do is to hold the rope of Allah(the Quran) – all along the way striving to get BETTER and BETTER!!!
Factors that contribute to resilience include:
- A positive view of yourself and conviction in your strengths and abilities
- The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses
- Helping others
- Good problem-solving and communication skills
- Feeling in control
- Seeking help and resources
- Close relationships with family and friends
- Seeing yourself as resilient (rather than as a victim)
- Finding a positive meaning/purpose in your life despite difficult/traumatic events
Takabbal Allahu minna wa mikum [May Allah accept from us and from you]