By: Jinan Yousef
Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our iman, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.” The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my ummah (community)… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is, “Why me?”
We have all heard that we should never despair of Allah’s Mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, butShaytaan (the Devil) has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of Allah’s mercy. We do not always accept that Allah can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; Allah isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.
We have now arrived at the sujood (prostration). Ibn Al-Qayyim described the sujood as the secret of prayer, the greatest pillar, and the seal of the rukoo’. He said all the other actions we did before it were just preludes.
We should step back and reflect: what do we feel when we go into sujood? Some of us simply do it because it is a part of prayer; others because it is where we can makedu`a’ (supplication). But how many of us feel the humility of the soul, as we put our faces on the ground, in glorification of God?
Where do we find happiness? Not material happiness, but true internal happiness. As Muslims, we may respond that true happiness in this world comes from being closer to God. The closer you are to Allah, the more your heart is at rest. This is why the Prophet ﷺ chose to be with Allah, saying “God has given a slave the choice between immortality in this world for as long as God wills, or meeting his Lord, and he has chosen to meet his Lord.” When Abu Bakr (radi Allahu `anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) heard this he wept, because he knew that the Prophet ﷺhad chosen being with Allah over this life.