How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII| Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX
Today we will move on to a new section: the things we should aspire to. In our journey, what we have tried to do is change the way we think about Allah and our relationship with Him. We started with things that we need to know, and moved on to the things that we have to do. Once we achieve those, we need a goal to aspire to so that we do not become complacent.
“I want to be of those who are close to Allah“. Imagine being like Ibn Taymiyyah, who stated, “What can my enemies do to me? I have in my breast both my heaven and my garden. If I travel they are with me, never leaving me. Imprisonment for me is a chance to be alone with my Lord. To be killed is martyrdom and to be exiled from my land is a spiritual journey.”
We need to have high aspirations, and we need to have the desire to be someone special to Allah. Once Allah becomes our main concern, we caninsha’Allah be in the same mindset as Ibn Taymiyyah. What can people do to us when we carry paradise in our hearts?
One of the Names of Allah that should inspire us is Al-Wali, The Ally. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Allah is the ally [Wali] of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light…” (Qur’an, 2:257)
What do you feel when you read this verse? Many of us have read this verse again and again, and some of us have contemplated over the meaning of being a wali of Allah. Whenever we think of someone being a wali of Allah, we think of great devoted scholars, courageous fighters, people truly close to Allah… but not us. “We could never be His awliya… could we?”
Allah tells us in this verse that He is the Wali of those who believe. As believers, we are already part of that group, insha’Allah. But to truly earn the status of Allah’s Wali, to be at that elevated level, we have to aspire towards it.
What does Al-Wali mean?
Al-Wali has different translations; the ‘ally’, ‘protector’, ‘guardian’ or ‘patron’. In Arab countries, schools usually request the permission of “wali amr” (the Wali of the affairs) of a child for anything concerning him or her, meaning the child’s guardian. What are the characteristics of a child’s guardian?
It must be a person who a) is close to the child, and b) takes care of the child.
If Allah is your Wali, then He is close to you and takes care of you.
Allah took care of the affairs of the Prophet Yusuf `alayhi sallatu wa sallam (may Allah send His peace and blessings on him). When Yusuf (as) was alone in the well, Allah made specific travelers thirsty at that particular time so that they could rescue him and take him on their journey with them. Later, the people who bought Yusuf (as) as a slave turned out to be a couple who were infertile. At every step of the way, Allah was with Yusuf (as). No doubt, he faced hardships, but Allah is always protecting.
So, there are going to be problems even if you are a Wali of Allah, but at the end of the day, He is still taking care of you. At the end of Yusuf’s (as) story, he proclaims, “Creator of the heavens and earth, You are myWali in this world and in the Hereafter.” (Quran, 12:101).
Truly, it is an impoverished person who does not have Allah as their Wali, the person who takes his Wali as the dunya.
What happens if you are a Wali of Allah?
1. You have no fear in this dunya, no sadness in akhirah.
“Unquestionably, [for] the awliya of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve”. (Qur’an, 10:62)
2. He will put light in your life.
“Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light.” (Qur’an, 2:257)
3. Allah will give you victory
Allah says in a hadith qudsi: “Whoever takes a Wali of Mine as an enemy, I will wage war on him…” (Bukhari)
Would’nt you want to be one of these people? Be ambitious. Why couldn’t it be you?
So how can I be a Wali?
“Unquestionably, [for] the awliya of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those who believed and had taqwa of Allah” (Qur’an, 10:62)
Striving for taqwa gives us the status of a Wali inshaAllah.
So how do we get Taqwa?
Some scholars have defined taqwa as when Allah finds you where He has ordered you to be, and does not find you where He has forbidden. The following hadith qudsi sheds more light:
“Whosoever acts with enmity towards a closer servant of Mine (Wali), I will indeed declare war against him. Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with the supererogatory (nawafil) so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.” (Bukhari)
Another thing to be inspired by: Jannah
Sometimes we forget about Jannah, Paradise. But Paradise is a reality.
I’m supposed to travel to Granada tomorrow insh’Allah (if Allah wills). Everyone has been telling me how amazing and beautiful it is. A part of me is really excited to explore it and its history, but another part of me is just looking forward to having a break. I’ve been preparing: I will take two books, one spiritual and one political. I’ve made sure I’ve tied up all the ends here. Just as Granada is a reality for me and something to look forward to, Jannah should be just the same for us since we have its description.
Imagine this: you’ve just crossed the sirat (bridge over hell) and made it to the other side. You are waiting for the doors of Jannah to open. Finally they open to the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) and you are in awe. Truly this place is as the Prophet ﷺ described which “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the mind of no man has conceived”, [Bukhari]. What is the ground made of? It smells a little like saffron, subhan’Allah! What are those trees with huge fruits? Is that a river of honey? Dip your finger in it, that can’t be honey! You’ve never had anything like it in your life. You try it again and it tastes even better. How is that possible? Ok, enough honey. Where is my house? As you are being escorted to your home, you see it’s not just a house. It’s a mansion! Not even Bill Gates had it this good, and you are told you earned it because you donated $10 for that masjid1. If only you had donated more! Well this mansion is enough. You’re eager to start exploring.
You enter from the front door with a texture that feels pearly. Are the doors made of pearls? Subhan’Allah! You walk in and there’s someone there. Is that your spouse from the dunya? But they look different. They’re so beautiful, you’re mesmerized. You take their hand and walk out and you see that person who wronged you in the dunya. Even though you forgave on earth, whenever you saw them, you’d still get a bit frustrated. But for some reason it’s ok now. It’s all good. Actually- you’re happy to see them. In fact, you can’t stop smiling.
This place is awesome. You feel so light and airy. You feel as though nothing bad has ever happened to you in your life. You have peace.
It can’t get better than this, right?
Yes it can. As you walk outside your mansion, you see people rushing to go some place. They’re crowding around someone. Is that RasulAllah ﷺ?! Without realizing, tears stream down your face, it IS Rasul’Allah! And he is more beautiful than any of the descriptions you’ve read. You embrace him. He smiles at you, and then you invite him to dinner at your house. You walk away, still in awe that you’ve just seen the final Messenger of God, and… Is that Abu Bakr (ra)? With `Umar (ra)! And over there is Fatima (ra), sitting with her mother Khadija (ra)! And there’s Mariam (as)! You overhear a conversation and it’s someone asking Salaah ad-Deen how it felt to liberate Jerusalem. And you recognize an accent, it’s Malcolm X!2
Finally, it’s the pinnacle of Jannah. Being with Allah. You actually get to see Allah. The highest, greatest most amazing pleasure that surpasses everything we’ve just talked about. Seeing your Lord, Most High.
I want that! What should I aspire to?
We were all created differently for a reason. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror known in Arabic as Muhammad al-Fateh, was inspired by something. He heard the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ “Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will he be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!” [Ahmad] and he wanted to be that person. He had the opportunity and the skill. He persisted and Allah gave him success. We don’t all have to be Sultan Mehmet II, but we should all desire to be something special to Allah.
So read the Qur’an and find something inspirational. I knew someone who was inspired by the hadith where the Prophet ﷺ names the categories of people who are protected under the shade of Allah on Judgment day. The category that they were inspired by was “the person whose left hand doesn’t know what his right hand has given (in charity)”. So they decided to apply that hadith. They would give money every Friday atsalaat al-jumu`ah, without looking at how much they were giving. Whatever was in their wallet, they would give. The person said, “SubhanAllah. Never did I give money but that it came back to me!”
There is so much to look forward to and so much to have hope for. We should not be satisfied with a basic level of faith and doing extra only once in a while. Rather we should say, “this is who I want to be!” and live every day wanting to become the Wali of Allah.