By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
A scattered mind and frail body may become a hindrance to learning. The pious always faced one form of challenge or another. However, they made their mind and body subservient to the will of Allah Almighty and thus overcame all challenges. The key is focus and effort. They determined their focus and then tirelessly worked towards that goal regardless of state or circumstance. Those who lack focus or effort become the victim of their state and circumstance.
Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi says,
Those who are in the habit of hard work, look at how their health is good. Look at the village folks, they are so much more stronger than you. Hot or cold; it does not faze them. [Now] look at the city folks, even the mu’azzin is so brittle that it is difficult for them to exit the masjid to give azan. God forbid should something befall the city people, what would they do. This is not just me saying, everyone knows that seeking luxury is not a good thing whilst effort and hard work is a good thing. However, the culture has changed such that there is no effort. Culture is in your control – change this culture [where] we consider idleness and seeking luxury a high achievement … if not in matters of din, at least do mubah (any permissible actions) but for goodness sake do not sit around uselessly.
– Tuhfat al-Fuqaha (p. 262 v. 1)
Those who make the luxury of this world their focus and so exert no real effort in anything, their mind and body becomes diseased. Those who make luxury of the hereafter their focus and so exert effort to utilise every moment, their spirit remains high and driven regardless of their state.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) walked with purpose; it always seemed he is going somewhere. The path to perfection in Islam is to avoid trivial matters.
Start everyday with a focus and objective, then exert effort to attain it regardless; do not think, ‘I cannot do this’.
7 January 2015