Each of my posts are personal on varying levels but this one will be a bit more than usual. I grew up with an interesting relationship with my faith. I prayed and made duaa but I viewed prayer as something I had to do the same way a student comes into school otherwise they would get expelled. In my mind, if I wasn’t praying, I was going to get “kicked out”. Duaa was a way to ask God for things that I wanted in life but didn’t know how to get. Interestingly enough, I got a lot of things I made duaa for which was great.
As I got older, my faith matured. I made duaa for more meaningful things and I prayed with purer intentions. Interestingly, I felt that my duaa wasn’t being answered as much as I grew older. I learned that duaa can be answered in a few ways. You could get exactly what you want; you could get something better; or you avoid some harm. Truthfully, when I first learned this I didn’t like it. My ego saw that as a one third chance that I would get what I asked for.
The older I got, I found that my duaa matured more and more but it was not often in the category of “making duaa and getting it the way I asked.” I was confused but not completely disheartened because I knew the other two categories were better. Then I started to notice something rather interesting. We all know that our faith tends to rise and dip at times. During one of these dips in my faith, something really amazing happened in my life. As exciting and much awaited as the news was, it didn’t really give me a deep sense of fulfillment the way I thought it would. I really tried to be happy about it, but it felt inorganic.
Alhamdullilah, when the dip ended, I was praying and making duaa more regularly. One day I couldn’t help but feel a very restricting feeling in my mind that permeated into my heart. I was distracted in a very deep sense. During the next prayer, I decided to let it all out in duaa. I was feeling deeply deprived of something I really wanted and I couldn’t see a way out. I couldn’t understand or comprehend how to overcome this particular issue in my life and it felt really intense to submerge myself in those emotions. I ended my duaa and continued my day but I distinctly remember feeling such a deep sense of fulfillment in my heart some time after. It wasn’t just a pleasant feeling, it was a fulfilling one on the deepest level.
On one hand, I got something I really wanted and it didn’t move me much internally and on the other, I begged Allah for what I really wanted and was moved to internal peace. I didn’t actually get what I wanted, but I found peace.
The only difference was how much I involved Allah in my life.
More than what our hearts desire, I became acutely aware that simply the conversation with Allah is the door to peace. Our mind naturally associates tranquility with the attainment of certain deeply rooted desires – but that’s actually not the case. Ironically enough, keeping Allah distant from my life did feel like getting expelled the way I thought of as a child. But it was an emotional expulsion from a peace and understanding so deeply yearned for by any soul.
Where there is Allah, there is a barakah. And where there is barakah, there is tranquility.
Peace finds you when you find Allah.