I am a messy person. There it’s out. It’s just that I procrastinate cleaning for so long that in time my room looks like it was hit by tornado. It’s a total war zone. Sometimes even when I want to clean just looking at the clutter makes me think ‘Whoa! I can’t handle this today!’ Or ‘I need a weekend to clean it!’ Yesterday it was a similar instance until I gave myself an ultimatum- Clean or no sleep. I didn’t know where to begin every corner of my room was buried under debris of clothes/books/papers/shoes/socks/rats(I kid). It was discouraging. Until I decided to start from one point and work outwards. So I started removing the clothes, put the shoes in a neat row, put the laundry in the laundry bucket, rearranged the books…and before I knew it I had a sparkling room! Ok, not sparkling but extremely tidy.
This room cleaning got me thinking about our hearts. There are times when we commit so many sins and have so many skeletons in the closet that we are afraid to even have a peep into our hearts. We know that it’s becoming dirtier by the day yet we fail to do something about it. In case of a room we can see when it gets dirty, but to see the dirt in the heart one has to look inside long and hard.Our hearts slowly lose purity is when it distances itself from it’s creator. Think of it like a flowing river. The water is always going to be purest near the source. As it flows further away it gets polluted. Same with us, we need to constantly keep ourselves near Allah. Worshipping him, obeying his commands and being thankful for his love and mercy.
Now if you’ve somehow polluted your heart and can feel the clutter collecting inside then don’t get disheartened. All hope is not lost! Let’s do what we’d do when cleaning a room. If you look at all the mess then you’ll think it’s too much to handle so your focus should be on one element at a time. If you feel you’re indulging in too much sin then identify that sin and cut out things which lead to it. You need to start at one point and take it slow. Begin with the prayers. See if you’re praying all the prayers on time. And not just namesake praying, see if you actually concentrate! Once the prayer is established, look at other things that are coming in the way of you and Allah. Friends play a huge role in the state of your heart. The Prophet [salallahualaihiwassalam] said: “Man is influenced by the faith of his friends. Therefore, be careful of whom you associate with.”
And I can testify for this. When I am with friends who are closer to Allah, I automatically feel closer to him. And when I am surrounded by people who aren’t that close I also feel a distance. It’s not like we pretend to be different depending on the people around us, it’s just a matter of having the right people around you on your journey to establish a greater connection with Allah. True friends will encourage you in doing acts which please Allah. They’ll even join you! There are some who’ll even try to make it easier for you to practise your faith! Alhamdulillah, I have been blessed with such friends!
But then there also some who discourage you from doing good. These friends focus more on the dunya and run behind what it offers. Some even try to drag you along for the ‘joyride’!
So you identify which category your friends (and even you) fall under. If it’s the first one, Alhamdulillah! If not, then make conscious efforts to have a better group. Don’t avoid your old friends completely, just spend more time with people who share your spiritual goals.
Once you have established your prayers, assessed and filtered your friend circle you are well onto your way towards spiritual recovery. Spiritual clutter seems impossible to overcome but with some effort and lot’s of help from Allah, you will overcome it. Once you are back on track remember that you should’t take this guidance for granted. We have to be thankful to Allah for his help or we might end up among those who are arrogant!
It’s always small but consistent things that matter the most. Smiling at our brother/sister, hugging our mother, helping a friend in need these all are small actions which require minimal effort but are super duper reward earners. Heavy on the scale!
So let’s keep it sweet and simple. 🙂
Why are you still reading this? Start now!
“Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower. (Quran, Ali ‘Imran :8)