What does hijrah mean to you? Do you dream of the day when you will be granted the honour of migrating to a Muslim land purely for the Sake of Allah (Swt)? Now ponder this... how many of you hope and dream of making the ultimate hijrah - that of your heart? Umm Thameenah reminds us of the importance of the forgotten hijrah - the hijrah to attain an Islamic character.
The migration of the heart to Allah (Swt) is a strong requirement, if not an obligation, upon every believing servant. Correcting the heart is a fundamental aspect of our migration to Allah (Swt), for it is a beautiful struggle performed on a daily basis.
The heart is the spiritual container - the inner port - with the ability to harbour all that is good as well as all that is evil. It can either positively affect or severely corrupt a servant's actions. As the Prophet (S) taught us: "There is a lump of flesh in the body - if it is set right and made good, the entire body becomes good and healthy; but if it becomes diseased, the entire body becomes diseased. Remember well – it is the heart" (Bukhari).
The goodness evident in a person’s actions is as a result of what emanates from the heart. Thus, a sound heart will in turn produce sound beliefs and actions, whereas a corrupt heart will only serve to be a means of destruction. Following one's desires is an evil that leads a servant to insincerity, a major disease of the heart.
Being in control of one's self paves the way for beautiful relationships to blossom. It is not from the character of a believer to violate the rights of others, neither is it to be concerned with the vices of others. Thus, one should not go out of their way to look for, or to 'discover' faults in others, especially when one's own character bears witness to internal faults and weaknesses. The 'ibaadur-Rahman' - servants of The Most Merciful (Swt) - are those who are constantly concerned with purifying their souls and immersing themselves in performing numerous good deeds, due to fear of their own weaknesses and shortcomings.
"For those who act with excellence is the greatest good, and even more. Neither darkness nor humiliation shall afflict their faces. They are the people of the Garden, dwelling there forever" (Yunus:26).
As humans, we cannot harbour 'perfection', however, striving to perfect our character is what is really required. This means reflecting upon ourselves and working to nurture, refine, and polish the content of our character in order to emulate the beauty of this blessed deen.
"In the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much" (Al Ahzab:21).
The Prophet (S) was the epitome of Islamic character. He lived for Allah (Swt); accepted His decree and acted upon His command. The Prophet (S) harboured the best of the best of qualities, and as he loved for us what he loved for himself, he advised us to uphold the same. Such qualities as sabr (patience), istaqaamah (steadfastness), yaqeen (certainty), tawakkul (trust) and taqwa (God consciousness) are all from the most praiseworthy qualities in the sight of Allah (Swt). Thus, if our claim is love of our Creator (Swt), then our behaviour toward and with other servants of Allah (Swt) should always be of an exemplary example, imitating the Prophet (S) in every given opportunity, in order to ensure a life that shines with the reflection of what it is we claim to love. This does not mean that we appear as angels, perfectly faultless, rather, it means that we sincerely strive to nurture and beautify our characteristics purely for the sake of pleasing Allah (Swt) - as a means of serving Him.
The nourishment and cultivation of the heart requires a number of tasks and particular applications that will enable realistic spiritual and physical changes. Merely glancing at a problem and pruning the edges as opposed to uprooting it will only bring about short term solutions to life long problems. Rather, we should reflect and re-evaluate ourselves, our hearts and our souls and implement the appropriate steps specific to each of our situations.
Living a life in which we claim to be Muslimaat, strive to be Mu'minaat and yearn to be Muhsinaat is an automatic avenue to unlocking the ills that prevail within ourselves and within our societies. Living as a servant of the Most Gracious means to live a life of humble servitude, which in turn breeds sincerity in our hearts, justice between other souls, and most importantly, the fulfilment of our ultimate purpose: to worship Allah (Swt). Knowing our Creator (Swt) brings one to know the inner-self, knowing one's inner-self means to find true inner peace, and the discovery of true inner peace is to find our heart and soul's true happiness. As He (SWT) says "...hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah. It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find peace" (Ar Ra'd:28).
So sisters, migrate - migrate with every atom's weight of your heart and discover your Magnificent Lord (Swt). Through the refinement of your character, your heart will find inner peace and true love, thus enabling it to migrate to The Only One it truly yearns to be with - Allah (Swt) - its rightful Owner and true Beloved.
- '...reflecting upon ourselves and working to nurture, refine, and polish the content of our character in order to emulate the beauty of this blessed deen...' This article was submitted a week after the writer and her family made hijrah to the heartland of Islam. May Allah (Swt) keep her and her family ever inspired by those who left their footsteps on the ground on which they now walk and ever increasing in love, faith and guidance.
SIDE-BAR Oh heart in need of Divine guidance, shine! Shine like beams of light reflecting the jewels of our blessed deen. Wherever your soul may travel and whatever land you may traverse, always let the beauty of what you love, be what you do. For only then, will your heart come to know who and what it really is.
This article was first published in SISTERS, the magazine for fabulous Muslim women. Visit the SISTERS website at www.sisters-magazine.com to read more articles - and download a complimentary issue!