بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم
“Allah wants to take us down to the very depths of ourselves to train us that if there is any power, it is the power that is in him, ALLAH alone, and not in us. He doesn’t need to make us into performers or megastars in order to use us. Instead, He’s looking for men and women who have hearts that say, ‘Ya Allah, I’m “nobody” without You. Will you use me?’ When you present yourself with such a heart to the Lord of the Worlds, something extraordinary happens — there is a profound transformation, a transformation that words can’t describe.
It’s Sunday morning. And if your Sunday morning routine is anything like the one at our house, it can be hectic. Each Sunday, the hour between 9:00 am and 10:00 am seems to fade in some sort of time-warp that takes everyone’s grace and patience along with it.
Like clockwork, everyone in the household appears to have either had all of the clothes in their wardrobes stolen, or they gained 10 pounds overnight. Once you find a pullover that is halfway decent enough to present yourself as halfway put together, you grab your family and rush out the door into the garage. Your zeal for global missions seems to completely fade before your eyes as you burn with anger at the car/bike in front of you that dares your level of patience.
You finally and tardily make it to the Tafseer class. All eyes staring at you and the pause of the teacher lets you know just how late you really are. You rush in just to find yourself the last seat, adrenaline still running from the chaotic morning (and still angry at the bike that would not start).
This…. This is the self-centered mindset you find yourself in while trying to enter the presence of the Most Beneficent ,the most Magnificent, Lord of the Universe and worship Him—and being in that mindset is by no accident. It’s no coincidence that Sunday morning’s chaos far surpasses the Monday through Friday hustle to get the kids to school and get to the office.
Satan doesn’t want you to prepare your heart for worship.
The enemy tempts us to focus our attention on anything but glorifying ALLAH.
The enemy knows where we are going on Sunday morning, and will therefore do anything in his power to make sure the class is completely inward-focused and void of glory for ALLAH. He wants us completely focused on all the grief, stress, and problems surrounding our life. The more you’re focused on those things, the less you’re focusing on the ALMIGHTY and His attributes.
Although we have an enemy that eagerly wants to destroy our worshipping, most of the time, we don’t need help neglecting ALLAH. Without discipline, our hearts naturally drift in the direction of sinful thoughts.
That is a major reason why we need to prepare our hearts before class through prayer and meditation on the Word of the Majestic. There is no hiding our hearts before ALLAH. He knows our hearts. Outwardly, we seem to be listening and staring hard at the teacher, trying not to droop those eyes or bring forth a yawn. But Allah is actively searching our hearts. There is nothing that we can hide from him.
Worship is the overflowing of thankfulness from the heart, so if we have a heart full of malice and sin, there is no form of worship. True worship is sacrifice. Sacrificing our sleep, time, money…It’s the outward pouring of denying yourself in repentance while submitting wholly to the will of Allah. When Ibrahim AS submitted in obedience to sacrifice his son, Isaac, he still considered it worship and in his obedience and faith, Allah provided a suitable sacrifice and spared Isaac.
We need to remember this truth every Sunday – that we have an enemy. That enemy wants to steal our joy in ALLAH, and he is working hard to accomplish that mission. Without the purifying of our hearts, we don’t stand a chance against Satan or our own flesh.
So, as with any battle, a winning strategy is needed. We need to be proactive in preparing our hearts for worship by countering the schemes of the enemy and subduing our own fleshly thoughts. A few suggestions would be to perhaps set aside some family prayer time on Saturday night , lay our clothes out the night before, or wake up early and get ahead of the bike and traffic and it goes without saying LESSON REVISION.
Do whatever is necessary to be fully present in class on time.
In today’s culture of entertainment-driven(ringing of our cellphones in class, et al), irreverent “worship”, it seems as though the odds are stacked against us to prepare our hearts properly for worship.
In any case, the burden to check our hearts for obedience and repentance before we step foot into the presence of Rabbul Alameen relies completely on us.
Let’s remind or rather re-remind ourselves of how far we have to go as students of the Qur’an/ Talibul Elim, to see the promise of ALLAH realized.