Nov 24, 2011

In Search For Peace - Part 1

by Rehana Shah Bulbulia

Everybody wants it; everybody's looking for it, searching for it, longing for it. No, not the dream mechanism, robotic domestic helper, who never misses a day of work because of taxi strikes, works 24/7-365, who is always available to do all the daily mundane chores for us, our husbands and children. So, that we are left free to spend quality time with them- without the screaming, without the nagging, without the blackmailing AND bribing. Hmmm, I hear your sighs of longing but this is not what we are all TRULY searching for. Even though, such a machine/droid might DEFINITELY bring us, women, closer to achieving it. Yes, men, women, children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens; believers and non-believers alike, are all in pursuit of it. It's simply called Peace, yet it is without a doubt the most sought after and most elusive prized possession.

In them days when I attended the local government school, before my life altering years at the Lenasia Muslim School, I recall a lady teacher yell out in frustration and agitation, 'Who do I have to kill to get peace around here?!' Um, very intimidating...very extreme. But then I guess one could possibly empathise, considering that these teachers spend a great part of their day in the company of uncouth, obnoxious teenagers. (Yes, I hear and agree with you, NOT all teenagers are like this - Alhamdulillah.) However, today I would like to respond to this teacher-" It's not WHO you have to kill but rather WHAT.'

All Praises belong to my Beautiful and Beloved Allah, He who is As Salaamu- The Giver of Peace. And we convey peace and salutations on our beloved leader, the perfect example and the absolute inspiration, Nabi Muhammad sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam. So as I have left you pondering and probing as to WHAT you have to kill to get that peace (remember NOT who - NOT your husband, NOT your children, NOT your domestic helper and nuh uh, NOT your mother in law)… have you found what you believe is the correct answer?

Now are you armed? Do you have your swords drawn and your weapons aimed? Today we are going to kill those WHATs that destroy and deny us our peace...negative actions-sins, negative thoughts, negative emotions, negative moments and negative energies. Are you ready to kill all those negatives in your lives, which covetously steal your peace?

Dear Muslimah, let's enlighten ourselves and begin our journey on the path of peace towards the Everlasting abode of peace. Who we are? Intrinsically we are made up of four components: our souls, our hearts, our minds and our bodies. To maintain and achieve all round and total peace, we need to endeavour to maintain peace in each of these four components. Let's understand who we are and why we are here.

In the Kitab Mishkaat Al Masabih Vol 4, p 5-20, the creation of man (yes, and woman) is discussed. Firstly our attention is drawn to what ALLAH SWT states in the Glorious Quran,

“And they ask you about the soul, say the soul is from the order of Allah (17:85)

Verily I created man from clay, so when I fashioned him and blew into him from my spirit. “(15:29)

Furthermore the seven stages of life are discussed. The first stage whereby Allah created us and we were that nur/rooh/soul in the barzakh e arwah (realm of souls), where we promised to peacefully obey and submit to Allah. The second and third stages respectively are as the Quran has mentioned it, 'the backs of our fathers and the wombs of our mothers'. The fourth stage is the life of Ad dunya. While the fifth is the life in the qabr, the sixth stage is Yaumul Qiyamah. And the seventh and eternal stage is the life of Al Aakhirah.

ALLAHU AKBAR! Really interesting to note is that the ONLY component that remains with us throughout the entire seven stages of our journey is - yes, you guessed it - Ar Rooh - the Soul. So infact our souls should be what we nourish, nurture, maintain and preserve the best. I once heard a rather profound saying- A believer was asked why does mankind have so much difficulty in living through his various human experiences and conditions? His answer contained depth: ' It is because we are not physical beings attempting to have a spiritual experience rather we are spiritual beings attempting to have a human one."

The first and most fundamental factor in maintaining the peace within our soul is complete and total obedience to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala and His Rasool sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam- conformity to Shariah and Sunnah. Why? Because the soul is from Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala. In fact this factor is the CORE ESSENTIAL in maintaining peace in all four components i.e the soul, heart, mind and body. The sooner we realise this, the easier it will be for us to experience, internalise and maintain that Peace, inshaAllah. For as Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi ra states in his Mathnavi, “The Highest state for a Mu’min to reach, after the Ambiyaa As is that of Siddiqeen. Who is a Siddeeq? One whose inner state is not influenced by his outer conditions. For true pleasure comes from within- when the heart and soul is at kamil/complete and total peace and rest.

So the next time you and I wonder why we feel restless and uneasy for no apparent reason, let us take a moment and reflect on the possibilities of negative actions-sins, being the cause of the disturbance of peace in our souls.

Dear reader, fellow Muslimah, I leave you to reflect on this, Allah says in Al-Quran concerning Islam, “The goal to which Islam leads is peace.” (10:25) And lastly do we understand WHO and WHAT a Muslim is someone who submits to Allah's Will peacefully.

In the domino effect of life, lets," Watch our thoughts for they become our words; let's watch our words for they become our actions; let's watch our actions for they become our habits; let’s watch our habits for it becomes our character and finally let's watch our character for it becomes our destiny.'

Ma’asalamah- Wishing peace upon you, with the Mercy and Blessings of Allah.

Read part 2 of The Search for Peace in the next article, wherein we discuss further the maintenance of our four components in a practical way and share methods on how to 'kill' those negatives and release and replace every negative with a positive, In sha Allah. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)


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