I want us all to look deep inside today. I want us to think about the
activities and preoccupations that fill our lives. I want us all to think
about the major preoccupation. Is it our family? Our school? Our social-life?
What is taking up the largest chunk of our lives?
I firmly believe that all of us have some vacuum inside us that, like all
other vacuums, calls for air. But this vacuum is not like a natural vacuum,
it is a spiritual one. It needs to breathe the air of commitment. Look to
your life and that of those around you. You will find that we have all
adopted some “religion” which we believe in and work for in order to
accomplish some final aim – a form of paradise.
In this pursuit, we are easy-going, relaxed or even fanatical. But all of us
have one aspect of our lives that we are “fanatical” about. There is one
major area that takes our time, our energy and our emotions.
Look to the hard-core sports fan. He spends his life supporting specific
teams, financially, physically and emotionally. He attends every game, either
in person or vicariously over the TV. He buys the memorabilia. He is
devastated when they lose, and he reaches Paradise when they win… Sounds
strange. We need to just change the way we look at it. This person is
completely preoccupied with sports because his life lacks something else.
This is how he has chosen to fill that spiritual vacuum. We can do this with our families, our friends even our studies.
How many of us believe that if we spend years studying every night, get
accepted to the best college, work hard to please our professors, get the
best grades and graduate, we will be practically guaranteed an easy life.
Money, status and respect will all be ours for the price of a few well
invested years? We can make this into a religion in itself with study rituals
and sincere belief in the Paradise that follows which fuels us on those long
nights awake, studying.
Now, I am not saying that we can’t enjoy sports or our families or our
studies… That would be ludicrous. I am saying that when we go to fill that
spiritual void inside, we need to be careful about how we fill it. That void
is the natural fitrah – that desire to find our Creator and worship Him. It
is the desire to know why we are here, and what we are supposed to do with
The only way to fill that void is by finding and worshipping Allâh. The other
day, I heard a brother say, “No matter what; we must always remember: Islâm
does not need us. We need Islâm.” How true. Islam does not need us. Allâh
does not need us. Allâh is the self-sufficient:
| Kind speech and forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury; and
Allâh is Self-sufficient, Forbearing. (2:263)
| O you who believe! Spend (benevolently) of the good things that you earn and
or what We have brought forth for you out of the earth, and do not aim at
what is bad that you may spend (in alms) of it, while you would not take it
yourselves unless you have its price lowered, and know that Allâh is
Self-sufficient, Praiseworthy. (2:267)
| Allâh is He besides Whom there is no god, the Ever-living, the
Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep;
whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he
that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before
them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His
knowledge except what He pleases, His knowledge extends over the heavens and
the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the
Most High, the Great. (2:255)
Notice how in these Ayâts, Allâh is telling us that what we do will have no
effect on Him. These are acts for our benefit, He does not need them. This is
accomplished by the fact that He calls Himself by this great name,
Self-sufficient , after telling us of doing good deeds. In the last verse,
ayât al Kursi, Allah lets us Know without doubt, that He has no needs.
Allâh does not need us. We need Him. Keeping this in mind will help us in
filling that great void.
We have been told:
|…O My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last amongst you, even|
if the whole of the human race, and that of the Jinns, become (equally)
God-conscious like the heart of a single person amongst you, nothing will add
to My Power. O My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last amongst
you, the whole human race, and that of the Jinns too become in unison the
most wicked (all beating) like the heart of a single person, it will cause no
loss of My Power. O My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last
amongst you, the whole human race, and that of Jinns also, all stand in one
place and you ask Me and I confer upon every person what he asks for, it will
not in any way cause any loss to Me (even less) than that which is caused to
the ocean by dipping a needle in it…. (Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6246.)
We can neither add to Allâh nor take from Him, no matter how much we call
upon Him nor how much he confers upon us. We must simply use what we know of
Him and rely upon Him to gain our objective. He will provide us with what we
need to reach Jannah, but we can never lose sight of the fact that it is us
who need Him. We are the ones with a spiritual vacuum that can only be filled
by worshipping the great Master, Allâh.
This objective is our aim from before our birth. We are born with an innate
knowledge of Allâh; we are simply unable to process that without the missing
factors. By this I am referring to the time when Allâh gathered us all, and
we promised that we would worship Him. When we are born, we feel this, but we
can not identify its source. We naturally incline towards the good things and
become other than worshippers of Allâh by our environmental surroundings
acting upon us.
| “Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allâh Alone|
– fitrah) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to
Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it
mutilated?” Then Abû Huraira recited the holy verses:
The pure Allâh’s
(Sahîh Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 23,
We have this need to fill our lives. Allâh gave it to us. This need keeps us
searching until we find the true source of satisfaction, Islâm. We have to
make our worship of Allâh the filler. We have to take our time to worship
Allâh with our eye on the true prize, Jannah. Allâh tells us why we are here.
| And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should worship
We need to fill this spiritual void by worshipping Allâh. We need to have not
as much, but more faith in the outcome of our work on this earth as we do in
the outcomes of our work for this life. We devote years to learning and
studying to accomplish the objective of a degree. We spend a lifetime
preparing our children to succeed in this life. We spend time and energy
cultivating our personal relationships. We need to take from this precious
commodity Allâh has given us, time, and prepare for the ultimate graduation
day, the graduation from this life to the next. We have to spend a lifetime
preparing our children to meet Allâh. We have to take our time and energy and
devote it towards cultivating our relationship with Allâh. In this way, and
this way only, we will achieve the true success.
| Lo! Allâh hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because
the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allâh and shall
slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and
the Gospel and the Qur’ân. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allâh?
Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme
Please look around you. What is filling your life? Is your major devotion,
devotion to Allâh? Is your major occupation, worship of Allâh? Is your
consuming passion, Love for Allâh? Is your primary goal, return to Allâh? If
not, then think seriously about redirecting your energies. We do not have to
get rid of those things that we enjoy or which will give us a measure of
success in this life, we simply have to accomplish them without sacrificing
the true final goal, Jannah. Our life should be filled more with that which
will gain us Jannah, and the rest should be padding, not the opposite.
| O you who believe! let not your wealth, or your children, divert you from the
remembrance of Allâh; and whoever does that, these are the losers. (63:9)
The majority of our time needs to be spent in that which pleases Allâh and
gets us closer to the final goal. We need to take advantage of what Allâh has
given us in time, energy, and health:
| ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “Allâh’s Apostle took hold of my|
shoulder and said,
Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a
The sub-narrator added: Ibn ‘Umar used to say, “If you survive
Brothers and sisters: Lets keep our eye on the true goal. Lets devote
ourselves to filling the vacuum with what Allâh meant for us to fill it with,
love and devotion for Him. When the final trumpet blows, when the end
arrives, let us be among those who receive the good new.
Narrated Abû Sa’id al-Khudrî ; Abû Hurayrah:
| Allâh’s Apostle|
(Sahîh Muslim: Book 39, Number 6803)
Yâ Allâh! Place us on the straight path leading directly towards Your Great
Pleasure. Yâ Allâh, prevent us from wasting our time, our energy and/or our
deeds on this earth. Yâ Allâh. Make of us those who earn Paradise through
Your Great Mercy. Yâ Allâh, make worship of You our filler for our spiritual