In this series of videos, we are going to be talking about how someone who just accepted Islam can maintain that sense of inner peace and deepen it.
The first thing that I want to do though, before we go into the details about how to do that, is to look at some of the definitions that we currently use and some of the conceptions that we have, as some of them are wrong, and some of them are correct.
And it is important that we go through that first of all before visiting the topic of inner peace.
One of the things that I see sometimes is that some of the people coming into Islam are treated like they know nothing, like they are not able to make up their own mind or decision about something.
And it’s not just the society that treats them like that, but they treat themselves like that. The metaphor that I am going to use, which is quite accurate in my opinion, is of going to a country where you don’t know the language and you don’t have a map, and so what do you do?
Now it might feel daunting at first, but you have to remember OK you don’t have the two skills of map or language, but you’ve got other skills. You can communicate through sign language, you’ve got money, you’ve got other skills to help you make decisions.
And as someone who has accepted Islam, you have just proven to yourself first and foremost, and to every other Muslim, that you are capable of making the single most important decision in life, which is to submit to Allah (Exalted is He) to return to your Creator, to acknowledge that He created you and that He has governance and dominance and dominion over you.
That’s the most important decision, and so if you can make that decision you should trust yourself to be able to make smaller finer decisions, decisions that are not as big. When you become Muslim, that’s the biggest thing, then after you take small steps here or there, but becoming Muslim is the biggest decision and the most complicated decision, and you’ve done that.
So you have to trust yourself, and we have to trust that you know how to do that, because you’ve proven it. Someone who is born into Islam does not prove that, they don’t have the opportunity to prove that they can make that decision. They have other opportunities but not that opportunity, whereas you’ve had the opportunity and you have proven it to yourself and to us.
So use your ability to make good decisions, to see right from wrong when you are presented with facts, when you are presented with data. Now you came across Islam, you did not know about it before, it was knowledge that you did not know about before you came to know it, and once you enter into Islam, you will be presented with knowledge that you did not know before, and you will use, or you are to use, exactly the same mind, the same IQ, the same processes that you were able with those processes to get to the best decision in life.
So don’t feel helpless, and don’t let anyone else make you feel helpless as well. Feeling helpless is the opposite of inner peace… If you don’t know up from down, right from left how are you going to get inner peace?
Inner peace there is a really tangible aspect to it… You are a Muslim, maybe you’ve been a Muslim for a month, maybe just a week maybe two days, maybe three years, maybe you’ve been a Muslim since birth, it doesn’t matter. Even as a graduate of Shari`ah (Islamic Law) myself, there is still knowledge that I am still to acquire, there are things that I don’t know about. Even when people are specialized in sub-topics, and sub-topics within those sub-topics, i.e. very specialized, they have to go to someone else another specialist to look into other topics.
And so you will always find … Allah says in the Qur’an:
Above everyone with knowledge is someone with more knowledge. (Yusuf 12:76)
For every person with knowledge is someone with more knowledge and in Surat Al-Kahf 18 (the Chapter of the Cave) which we read every Friday, Allah narrates to us and tells us the story of what happened with Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him). He gives a Khutbah (sermon) and a man comes afterwards and asks: who is the most knowledgeable man on earth? And Prophet Musa deducts that since he is a prophet and revelation is revealed to him, that he must be the most knowledgeable man, so he replies to the man saying: ‘I am’.
Because of this, Allah makes him go on a journey, the strangest of journeys, to meet the most peculiar of men, just to teach him that for everyone with knowledge there is someone with more knowledge.
So actually it’s a good thing that you realize that you don’t know everything. This is a prophetic attribute to know that you do not know everything. You will come across people who will want to tell you what to do, some of them will be well-intentioned and they will know what they are talking about. Some of them will be well-intentioned, but they don’t know what they are talking about. And it’s up to you to use the same mechanisms of your mind to make the decisions in the same way that you were able to make the biggest decision which was to enter Islam.
And remember how you did that. It was not just with your mind, you asked God to guide you. You asked Allah to guide you, because you realized that this was something of vital importance and you asked Allah to help you. And as a Muslim now, ask Allah to guide you to those people who can guide you. Ask Allah to guide you to the decisions, to the knowledge, to the facts and to be able to make you perceive them accurately.
This is a path. You will change your mind. You will be presented with data and you will make a decision, and then the day after tomorrow or two years from now you might change your mind. That’s OK, as long as you are following a valid opinion. It’s OK to change your mind. Even if you have two valid opinions that are completely and utterly mutually exclusive, it’s either this or that, follow one of them it’s OK. And if you flip to the other later on because of new evidence, that’s OK as well. That’s OK; in fact the scholars themselves do this. That’s OK, that’s a sign that you are progressing, that you are learning.
Inner Peace is Being in Harmony with the People around You
Sometimes when people accept Islam, always this happens, society embraces them 99% of the time. Whenever someone finds out ’O look someone just accepted Islam’, they embrace them, they welcome them, they make them feel really at home. And the person who has just accepted Islam gets a very joyous reaction to that, being accepted, being loved is very joyous. Two or three weeks pass, and they are on seventh heaven, they are on top of the moon.
And then, you know, maybe two months pass and life catches up with the Muslim community, the majority of them, they have to take care of their family, their kids, work, business, parents, extended family… etc. and then all of a sudden, bit by bit, the person who accepted Islam and thought life is always going to be like this, I now will no longer be without any one, I’m going to have so much support, all of a sudden begins to feel like they are a little left out, and they begin to feel lonely.
And this is when it is important to remember you are never alone. Allah is always with you, always with you, you are never ever alone. There are prophets, like Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who for the majority of his life no one followed him, no one believed in him except for his wife, and one man who became Prophet Lut. Noah, all those on earth did not believe in him, except those who came onto the ark, but did he feel lonely?
No, because he knew that Allah is always there. You can communicate with Allah, you can make du`aa, you can supplicate to Him, in any language, at any time. Always realize that you are never, ever alone.
I hope to see you in the next video In-Shaa’-Allah.
As-Salamo Alaikum wa rahmatul-Allahi wa barakatuh
Watch the talk by brother Abdel Rahman Mussa…