Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Disclaimer: I am not a writer and know no proper etiquette of being one. This post and any of the subsequent posts in the series (if any) will be my raw reflections on the lessons from Fiqh ul Quloob taught by Ustadha Farhat Hashmi. My intention is to write something each week from the lesson taught so that the concept solidifies in my mind and I am able to retain a thing or two from the lesson in my heart and actions. I pray to the One Who created this heart and the Only One Who can grant understanding of it, that He benefits me first from anything I write before anyone else is benefited. Ameen.
(And Yes I ramble.)
Iman and Salah
The line that really struck me from Fiqu ul Qulub lesson one was this “All the shortcomings in the actions are a result of Iman not entering the heart properly, that is because (now is the interesting part for I would have never thought of making this analogy) whoever cannot submit his nafs to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) in the Salah also cannot submit his nafs to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) outside the Salah.” Amazing.
Ponder upon it for a second. The author is comparing Iman with Salah. If Iman isn’t there in its true essence, then actions will suffer and if Salah is not properly performed then consequently everything outside Salah will suffer. This is deep. It reminded me of a lecture (one of my first from a proper scholar) by Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda where he did tafsir of an ayah from the book of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa). When our dearest Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was ordered by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) to change the Qiblah for prayers, a concern arose amongst the companions. They thought for a moment that since the true Qiblah is Ka’aba and they had been praying towards Masjid al Aqsa earlier, then their brethren who had died before praying to true Qiblah must have lost all their good deeds. To address this Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) sent down an Ayah in which He consoled the believers by saying He would not waste “Iman” of the people. He the Most Glorious One did not say that He wouldn’t waste the salah or actions of people; rather He (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) used the word Iman and substituted it for Salah. This is because the only thing that truly ever matters is IMAN. Salah is just an action and without Iman it becomes a bunch of cool physical movements whereas Iman is the ocean where the ships of actions float. It is a Sun, which gives warmth and energy to rest of the deeds. If this stops functioning properly, everything else will end up haywire. Thus, the soundness of most basic worship in Islam, Salah, is completely dependent on the very soundness of Iman.
The truth is, as it was stated earlier, all our shortcomings in actions and deeds and all our feelings of inadequacy can be traced back to Salah and Iman. And all our problems in Salah can be easily identified as problems in Iman. This brings out a complex network of relationships (which probably seems more complicated than it is). If we feel that our heart is not submitting to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) in all the things we do, perhaps we can’t seem to respect our parents properly, or we are having trouble loving our brothers and sisters in Islam, then the real trouble is that we are not focusing in the Salah! We are not giving proper obedience to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) in the Salah, we are not really submitting when we say “Subhana Rabbi Al A`laa” in the Salah. And the reason we are not submitting in the Salah is because the Iman hasn’t entered our heart wholly. Everything is interconnected like a puzzle or a pool of thread with Iman as an absolutely irreplaceable piece in all.
I ask Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) to beautify our hearts and Salahs, to remove the blemishes from and of our actions, and give us Fiqh ul Quloob. Amen.