Filling your heart with none other than Allah
by Abu Shama
How can you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him?
As we cannot physical see Allah Almighty we can feel His presence strongly in the heart. The realisation of Allah’s presence, by His knowledge and mercy, is so great that the person feels he is witnessing Allah Almighty in front of him. The person’s thought and mind become completely attuned to the act of worship that he is performing. So in essence it is as if he is worshipping Allah while seeing Him.
This leads to an enhanced obedience as seeing Allah Almighty in front of him is no longer a theoretical belief that Allah is observing everything that he is doing but an actuality that he is acutely aware of. He will be extremely shy and embarrassed to do anything in a less than perfect or excellent manner. He will also be filled with the fear, awe and admiration of Allah. He will make every effort to exert himself to perform his act as he is seeing Allah Almighty in front of him.
The person who reaches this level wherein his heart practically witnesses his Lord, is filled with pleasure when alone with his Lord and when he remembers Allah, Almighty speaks to Allah Almighty and beseeches Him. These act become the most beautiful and enjoyable acts in his eyes.
Reaching this state requires purity of intention and the sincerity to only please Allah Almighty. He achieves this rank because the love of Allah. He is besotted with the love of Allah Almighty, and his heart is fully occupied and overflowing by the thought of his beloved. That image of Allah Almighty has captivated his heart, the mention of His name softens him, for when love is present, the person seeks to be in the service of the object of love. He wants to remain engaged with his beloved, and nothing in the heart would compete with his love of Allah Almighty.
This type of worship is the worship of craving, yearning and delight. This makes the person, on his very own, very keen on performing the act of worship this is because he sincerely loves that act and he will seek that act of worship because he loves it so much. He will anxiously desire to get closer to Allah Almighty and will turn to Him as if he is seeing Allah. Ibn Ata’illah says:
‘You do not love anything without being its slave, but He does not want you to be someone else’s slave.’[Al-Hikam Ibn Ata’illah: 51]
When you love something or someone, part of the condition of love is to be in service of the beloved. If you do not then how can you claim it to be in love?
Love is the heart’s inclination of being in harmony with the beloved.
You have to familiarise yourself with what your beloved wants from you, and then follow it. It is not the opposite; you do want your beloved’s desires and whims to be according to what you want. Therefore, you have to strive and struggle to make your desires according to His desires. This is not easy, but a condition of love is to sacrifice; sacrifice what you desire in order to seek the pleasure of what your beloved desires. If we truly claim to love Allah, then we must love His beloved Messenger. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) says:
‘None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his own self.’[Bukhari]
The question for you to ask, how can we love Allah without knowing Him? We have to follow the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be on him). As Allah Almighty says:
Tell the people O Muhammad: ‘If you sincerely love Allah, then follow me; Allah will also love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.’[Al-Imran:3:31]
To love someone is to emulate them in their character, their behaviour and follow in their footstep. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) has brought us the Shari’ah [a code for life] from Allah. So we must abide by it, we must make our thoughts, ideas and our actions according to the Shari’ah.
To follow the Prophet (peace be on him), one requires sincerity and knowledge of the message he brought forth from Allah. Again we see that the underlining principle behind Ihsan (perfection), love and following the Prophet (peace be on him) with knowledge.
This is a series compiled following lectures on ‘The Manners and Etiquette of the Teacher and the Students’. The course was based on a book written by Shaykh al-Islam, Badr al-Din Ibn Jama’ah and conveyed to us by our Shaykh Haytham Tamim.
Qadi al-Qudat, Shaykh al-Islam, Badr al-Din Ibn Jama’ah was born in 639 AH (1241 AD). Originally from Syria and later moved to Egypt. He was educated at Hama, achieved excellence in religious studies and jurisprudence, and became a leading promoter of the Shafi’i Fiqh. Eventually, he attained the high status of Shaykh al-Islam and held the high position of Chief Justice. Imam al-Dhahabi has observed that Qadi Ibn Jama’ah was well versed both in prose and poetry, and had left abundant notes on Fiqh, Hadith, Usul al-Fiqh, and Tarikh(History). He commanded respect and influence, and had a large number of students and followers. He died at Cairo in the year 733 A.H. (1332 A.D.), aged 94, and was buried by the side of the great Imam Shafi’i.
His book on the subject of Adab al-Alim wal-Mutaalim
It was in the year 672 AH (1273 AD) that Ibn Jama’ah completed this book as a guide for both students and teachers to help improve quality of their academic life and work.
Ibn Jama’ah – Etitquettes of Seeking Knowledge
Abd Al Barr – Jami’ Bayan Al Ilm
Al Khateeb Al Baghdadi – Al Jami’ li Akhlaq Al Rawi
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