A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajim. Bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim.
God. A word that has a different meaning for many of us. A word I never really understood until I reverted to Islam. I would always throw around the term ‘oh my god’, but I didn’t understand the meaning of those words. I guess deep down I always knew there is a god, but I was brought up in an atheist family who just mocked the sight of religion. Religion was something of the past that has since been disproved by science. That’s what I was taught. So I never really looked into it. But once I did, I realised that to be wrong. In fact science can be used to prove the existence of god. Once I really started to think about it, a creator of this beautiful, intricate universe has to be the case. It’s the only logical answer really. Unless you think everything comes from nothing. Which the sentence in and of itself doesn’t make sense. But anyway I don’t want to drive off track too much and talk about the proofs of a god, as that is a separate topic, that I will share my thoughts on that one day inshallah. In this post I want to talk about why someone would turn to religion and the immensely positive impact it can have on your life.
We all have a space in our heart for our creator. The very one who breathed life into us in the first place. Without that breath we would be an empty shell, no more alive than a shoe. Now that hole in our hearts has been made to fill with the love of Allah (the Arabic word for god). To fill with worship and gratitude to our divine maker. To have a connection deeper, longer lasting and more rewarding than any connection you can have with the creation. But sadly not everyone finds their god in god. Ironically. Some fill this hole with the worship of wealth, power, material things and even celebrities. But how can you fill a hole made for the infinite with finite things? Things that come and go, things that bring fleeting moments of pleasure. The truth is that everyone has a god, weather they realise it or not. It just depends on weather your god is found in religion, material things or other people. So why do we have this hole in our hearts and how to we fill it correctly? In a way that it is supposed to be filled, that brings us contentment. Allah says in the Quran:
“And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone)” Ayat 51:56
The hole in our hearts should be filled through the worship of our divine creator. Now you don’t have to be praying 24 hours a day, to achieve this. Worship doesn’t just mean salah. Worship can be in your good deeds. Worship can be something as simple as helping someone carry a bag, spending time with your friends and family, cooking someone a meal or even a smile to a stranger on the streets. Anything can be worship if done in the remembrance of Allah with good intention. Even saying Bismillah before dinner is even worship. We have been ordered to do these things not for Allah’s sake, he doesn’t need us, we need him. These things are for our own benefit and the benefit of the people around us, but to be honest, mostly our benefit. To invoke Allah’s name constantly and to be in constant worship and remembrance of the incredible gifts we have been given in this life is the single most rewarding thing you can do for your spiritual health and your happiness. Gratitude has even been scientifically proven to make people happier. Then shouldn’t we be grateful for everything around us? The food on our table, the people in our lives, the path we are on, every breath we take is a gift. How can we ever show enough thanks for gifts that are infinite? We can’t. But we can acknowledge them with Alhumdlilah. With devotion and worship. At any moment any of these gifts could be taken away from us. Even something as simple as going to the toilet. For some people it is a huge struggle and all they dream of is being free from the pain.
“Is, then, He Who creates comparable to any that cannot create? Will you not, then, take heed? For should you try to count Allah’s blessings, you could never compute them” (An-Nahl 16:17-19).
Having rememberance (dhikr) and gratitue (shukr) constantly, is THE single most rewarding thing for your mental health in the dunya. I’m not even talking about the benefits of the akhirah, which is something our limited minds can never fully understand.
“Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.” (Al hadid: 20)
Play, idle talk, pageantry and boasting. These are all fleeting pleasures. Pleasure that comes and goes. It turns ‘yellow’. You get a brand new phone and it’s the best thing in the world, for a small while. Until the next one comes out. Suddenly its the worst thing. If you don’t practise gratitude DAILY then even your relationships will turn yellow. But more importantly imagine if you are not religious and you have not found god and you start to worship these things then imagine the kind of discontentment you would feel. Putting all that love put in your heart for Allah, onto a feeling that can leave you any second and will leave. It will never stay. The only thing that does is Allah’s infinite love for us.
This world isn’t mean’t for complete contentment. That is for junnah. But the closest we can get to it is through our gratitude and remembrance of Allah. That is why I turned to religion. That is why becoming Muslim is THE single most important thing in my life. Nothing in this dunya will take that place in my heart made for Allah. Being a revert I know what it was like not acknowledging Allah’s existence and that was a dark place. But now i’m surround by light Alhamdulillah. Surrounded by light not because of any external circumstance, just a change of heart of mind. More specifically a turning of the heart and mind. Towards my creator. And the Kaaba 5 times a day 😉
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh