Inner JourneySelf Development


Finding the Source

I once got lost on a highway. It was a dark night, and there were many accidents on the road which forced us to detour. I asked the passengers to check the map, but the battery in the torchlight was flat. Without a source to power up the torchlight, the map we had in the car was useless. It dawned on me then that even if mankind has a map to life, it is of little use if one does not have the means – both the power source and the light – to read it.

It is the same when travelling through life – we need to generate our source of inner light, and constantly replenish it so that it does not flicker out and leave us in darkness.

While this may appear to be an abstract concept, it is possible to gain that light. We achieve this by connecting ourselves to the Owner of Light – our Creator – by seeking His Guidance and begging Him to bestow upon us light and vision. If we are sincere, He will grant these to us, and He will lead us out of our personal darkness and into the light. With this, we will learn how to deal with all the incidents in life. If ones achieves and maintains this inner light, one will be able to traverse life peacefully until the day he enters Paradise and the Almighty allows him to see His beautiful face.

The Qur’an, being the final revelation of our Creator to us, contains over forty verses about noor or light of Allah. It is the source of inexhaustible illumination that our Creator has left for us to help us navigate our path in life.

How do we obtain this light? It begins with humbleness and humility: by recognising our own frailty, limitations and vulnerability, and by acknowledging how lost we are without the Light of Allah to guide us. Once we turn to Him and make the effort to get close to Him, the Almighty will take us step by step and guide us even through the worst scenario imaginable.

The brightness of the light that He grants us can range from a glimmer to a beacon, depending on our own sincerity, conviction and effort. The closer we are to Allah, the more our actions and decisions will be guided by Him, and the safer we will be.

Reported by Abu Hurairah (RA): Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah the Exalted has said: ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him”. [Bukhari]

With the light, we know that our main success is to live for Him, die believing in Him, enter our graves with His Mercy, and be resurrected as a believer in Him. With this, we know how to live our lives accordingly and how to deal with obstacles that are placed in our way.

Without any inner light, we have no guidance. We are vulnerable to the whisperings of the devil, where all our judgments are impaired by fear, lack of vision, suspicions, false assumptions, paranoia and uncertainty.

Where are we?

The majority of mankind, Muslims and non Muslim alike, are not following the light. Instead, we follow our temptations, desires and impulses to our destruction. This is why life then becomes a struggle.

This article is the beginning of a series on how to cope with life, because of its fundamental message. If one seeks guidance and light from Allah, and lives by that guidance and light, his life will be peaceful and successful. Everything will be fine, no matter what the adversities. If one chooses otherwise, he is doomed. Life and the hereafter will be riddled with misery and wrong turns. Allah described it in the Quran:

“Or [they are] like darknesses within an unfathomable sea which is covered by waves, upon which are waves, over which are clouds – darknesses, some of them upon others. When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. And he to whom Allah has not granted light – for him there is no light.” [24:40]

Let us take stock of how much we spend on the light fixtures in our houses. Most houses have emergency kits containing torchlights and spare batteries in the event of blackouts. We are willing to spend the money to get the source of physical light in case of crisis and need.

How much are we willing to invest for the main light within, the one we need in every second of our lives? Are we willing to spend the time and effort to search for it, to study and to grasp this crucial light to accompany us at all times? Now ask yourself, how you can cope with life in that time of crisis, tragedy or emergency without a source of light that can guide you and allow you to know what to do and how to handle every situation for your benefit and safety, in this life and the Hereafter?

We can choose between the road of light or darkness. The one paved with light leads to peace, tranquillity, happiness, confidence, stability, and ultimate success of this life and the hereafter. The opposite will be the road of darkness, full of shadows, predators, uncertainty and peril.

May the Almighty give us the light, to choose the light, to make us live in the path of light, to achieve His light, to die with light, to be resurrected with light and to enter heaven with light, ameen.

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