A friend of mine who has endured a turbulent past year e-mailed me recently. Withagitation notable in her writing, she asked me, “How is Sakeenah (contentment) achieved?!”
I did not respond for some time in order to allow myself to ponder over this concept – to question my own contentment, and to see if I truly did possess, or at least understand what it was.
More often than not, I refer to the classical texts; especially those of Imam Ibnul Qayyim rahmatullahi alaih when it comes to matters of tazkiyah (purification of the soul) and I need not explain why.
But this time, I wanted to come to the conclusion on my own. Never before had a matter felt so personal to me, and so I was eager to use this as an opportunity to dig deeper within myself to find the answer.
And finally, it hit me. Out of nowhere I thought, “Yaqeen (certainty)! That is the answer!”
But Yaqeen in what exactly?
Yaqeen in Allah’s existence, in His Power and ability to control all of our affairs, and certainty in His promises.
It is only through Yaqeen that we are able to let go of the worries of this dunya and trust our affairs to Him (swt); trust (Tawakkul in Arabic) being the second key ingredient.
I recall reading an article once where the author cited the ayah رب المشرق والمغرب لا اله الا هو فاتخذه وكيلا ((He Alone is) the Lord of the East and the West, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). So take Him Alone as Wakil(Disposer of your affairs)).
The author pointed out the order of the ayah. He said, ‘Allah (swt) doesn’t immediately go right into asking us to trust Him, even though that alone would have been sufficient for His Majesty.
But He swt elaborated it to us in such a beautiful way to strengthen our sense of security. He started off with “Lord of the East and the West” so as to say, “I ownthe East and the West. Do your needs exceed beyond the east and the west?”’
Subhanallah! Think about how much we rely on various individuals in our lives to meet our needs and desires. Growing up we relied on our parents in just about everything – from food, to clothing, to even dropping us off to school. We relied and continue to rely on our teachers for knowledge. On our bosses for the paycheck and the list is endless.
So Allah (swt) is saying that He owns all of this and more. He concludes the ayah by relieving us from having to worry over these matters and tells us to simply trust our affairs to Him. Allahu akbar!
However, it goes without saying that one must exert their utmost effort in the matter they seek. As our beloved peace be upon him explained, “Trust in Allah, but tie your camel first”.
This idea of yaqeen was reinforced to me the following day as I was listening to a favorite dua recording, of mine. I paid careful attention to an oft made dua, especially the passage that reads ‘ومن اليقين ما تهون به علينا مصائب الدنيا’ ‘And to grant us the certitude of faith with which to make it easier for us to bear with the calamities of life.’
Here, conviction in faith is linked to bearing with the calamities of life. In other words, those who have conviction in their faith are better able to remain positive throughout trials and calamities, and are content as a result.
So to you, Oh distressed heart, I say – trust in the one Who Created you to look after you!
اللهم لولا انت ما اهتدينا……ولا تصدقنا ولا صلينا
فأىزلن سكينة علينا
“O Allah, were it not for you, we would not have been guided
Nor would we have given charity, nor prayed.
So bestow on us calmness…”*
* Narrated Al-Bara: I saw Allah’s Apostle on the day (of the battle) of the Trench carrying earth till the hair of his chest were covered with dust and he was a hairy man. He was reciting the following verses of ‘Abdullah (bin Rawaha): “O Allah, were it not for You, We would not have been guided, Nor would we have given in charity, nor prayed. So, bestow on us calmness, and when we meet the enemy. Then make our feet firm, for indeed, Yet if they want to put us in affliction, (i.e. want to fight against us) we would not (flee but withstand them).” The Prophet used to raise his voice while reciting these verses. (See Hadith No. 432, Vol. 5). (Book #52, Hadith #272)