As human beings we enslave ourselves to different things. Some of us in here are enslaved to money. Some of us have enslaved our hearts to other people.
We love them as we should only love Allah. Some of us are enslaved to status or to our careers. I tell you to ask yourselves what do you love most? Most of us in this room will say we love God most. We say this with our tongues. We say this in our minds. But our hearts, our actions, say otherwise.
How do you know? Ask yourself: what is your refuge? When you’re most broken, where do you go? When you’re afraid, where do you hide? When you need, who do you ask? What do you fear most? What do you stay up at night worrying about? Who, what, makes you cry most? What do you think about most? What occupies your mind in salah?
Is it really Allah? Is it really Allah on your mind most? Is it really your fear of standing before Him that makes you cry in your bed? No. Probably not. It’s the person who left you. The money you lost. The career you couldn’t have. The raise you didn’t get.
What are you afraid of most? Just the thought of losing what thing causes you so much anxiety that you feel it physically? Is it your husband, your wife, your money, your job? Is it your image? Is it your figure? What is it?
When you’re given a choice, what do you do? When Allah says to dress and act a certain way, and society says the opposite, which do you choose? Who defines beauty for you? Who defines success? When Allah says interest is haram, but your financial ambitions command otherwise, when societies standard for the size of your house or brand of your car command otherwise…which do you choose? Who defines richness?
Who defines poverty? What type of poverty are YOU most afraid of?
The truth is we choose what we love most. When we love money most, that’s what we choose. When we love people more, they fill our hearts. We think of them most. Our life loses center. We leave the orbit of the Creator and enter the orbit of the creation—a painful and unstable orbit.
In the orbit of the creation, we rise and fall with the wave of the creation, the wave of praise and criticism, our standards for success and failure come from the creation, from society. The standard for richness, the standard for poverty…comes from the creation. From society.
But I think in teaching Islam, there’s a point where we went wrong. I think, somewhere along the line we turned Islam into a list of do’s and don’ts. Into “harams and halals.” We teach our children about Hell fire, before they can even say “AlRahman-ur Raheem” (the most gracious the most merciful)…
To be continued…