The philosophical meaning of materialism is that physical matter is the only reality, as it can scientifically be verified.
However, in the context of our discussion on the art of yearning for God, we are concerned with those who do not deny the Hereafter but at the same time are preoccupied more with materialistic needs rather than spiritual, emotional and intellectual needs.
Enjoying materialism is fine, if regarded as a blessing from Allah, and through which Remembrance and Shukr find expression, but being enslaved to materialism is a big obstacle in the path.
Who is your Provider, and what is the source of your happiness and comfort, are questions that need to be addressed.
When one chooses the path of Allah it has to be remembered that it is not a bed of roses, but one has to strive hard, be fully focused to attain His Pleasure.
The following are the three signs that one observed in an A’rif.
1. He turns away from this world. He lives amongst the people but unlike them.
2. He is preoccupied with the Zikr of Allah and the Hereafter.
3. He prepares for death, before death arrives.
Softening of the heart is a prerequisite, without which it is not possible to truely yearn for Allah.
Quran states in clear writing the way to attain Spirituality and Nearness and also warns that it is not easy.
Surah al – Baqarah 2:45 ‘ vastainu bis- sabre vas sal’ate…
and seek help in patience and As Sala’t and truely it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al – Khashi’un.
Khashi’un are those who have a soft heart and are very humble, easily given to tears. Let us understand what causes hard hearted ness in the spiritual sense. If we come to understand the reasons, behind it, we can try to remove the impediments.
1. Persistence in sins and not repenting.
2. Too much of indulgence in worldly pleasure, particularly lust and excessive obsession.
3. Lack of remembrance of death – which is inevitable.
4. ‘tarkul Ibada’t’ intentionally keeping away from prayers for long period of time.
5. Greed and amassing of wealth.
Doa – supplication and in particular Munajaat – wishperring during Layl is considered to be the best method of softening the heart. Quran States : ‘Call out to your Lord humbly and secretly’. Ahlul bait (A.S.) and Awliya Kirams thru the ages have shown mumineen how Doa and Munajaat are the best and unparreled in the softening of the heart, inculcating ‘tavajo and khusu’ in oneself to attain Nearness of Allah.
The learned in this art of supplication with the help of years of study and analysis, have found five distinct steps, by which Doa – Supplication can be made. Tilawat of Supplications of Ahlul Bait ( A.S. ) Moulana Ali, Moulana Zainul Abedeen in particular are matchless in their intensity and pure ness. However, one can also supplicate in his own language, express his yearnings and try to attain Nearness. Do try it out.
Step 1. Praising and Glorifying Allah.
Step 2. Acknowledging our sins, and seeking true repentance.
It takes a lot of courage and humility to recall the sins and seek repentance.
Step 3. Accepting utter helplessness, without His Mercy I am doomed. You My Lord is ‘Sattar ul uyoob’ I am burdend by my sins, but your Mercy is far greater.
Step 4. Full faith in Him, no matter what. This is very interesting step, where a mumin does not ‘let go’ I will not cease to love You.
In order to comprehend fully, I quote a passage from Doa e Kumail. This Doa has all the five steps, however, I quote only a small passage to highlight Step 4.
فَبِعِزَّتِكَ ياسَيِّدِي وَمَوْلايَ اُقْسِمُ صادِقاً ، لَئِنْ تَرَكْتَنِي ناطِقاً لاَضِجَّنَّ إِلَيْكَ بَيْنَ أَهْلِها ضَجِيجَ الامِلِينَ وَلاَصْرُخَنَّ إِلَيْكَ صُراخَ المُسْتَصْرِخِينَ
O’ my Lord! By Thy honour truly do I swear that, if Thou wilt allow my power of speech to be retained by me in the hell, I shall amongst its inmates cry out bewailingly unto Thee like the cry of those who have faith in Thy kindness and compassion.
Step 5 Adressing Allah with conviction now that you find tears flowing down freely, that your prayers have been answered, no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ but being fully convinced that you have been heard, and this leads you to do Hamd and Shukr.
To be continued …..