A Spiritual Journey


by Irfan

I searched for love and peace. I found Islam, and I found a curious traveller in myself through it. With Allah’s will, I seem to thrive in solitude and the observance of strangers, and in no better place could I find solace and wisdom through it other than in mosques. Every mosque has its own serenity and tranquility to it. At least, just at least a congregational prayer with humility and sincerity of the heart, being submissive, with understanding and purpose; only Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He) understands the wonders He brings with it, filling me each day. Hence this is my journey to each and every mosques there is in Singapore InsyaAllah. May Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He) guide me in this lonesome yet purposeful journey with my ever-faithful Vespa.

I am only human I err and I yearn
With every sin, on Qalb is a drop of blackness
Hence fill me with fear, for I will be weighed in absolute fairness For all You gave and all You’ve taken away
I pray once again to not let this heart astray The Signs are clear, the promise is true
Yet our hearts go blind, true ones are few
I want to be a man against anger and desire Islam: a remedy like water to fire
Struggles bring me wisdom every each day The same way pleasures take it all away
In hardships and solitude was I close to You
I’d rather stay in that state of calmness, than be ‘happy’ being far away from You We create these sins from our very own hands
But truly the best of those is the one who repents Self-blaming tears as I write this note to self
That the condition of my surrounding is truly a reflection of myself.

I travel with my faithful Vespa every random days in solitude, mosques-hopping and observing strangers, capturing moments and discovering life. Solitude isn’t loneliness. It is an act of being alone by choice. With His permission and guidance, in it are benefits His creations cannot give and most would not understand. Some strangers could randomly appear in your life as lessons, and others as inspirations. Some strangers appear like a passerby, from nowhere, and not more than a couple of minutes. They impart knowledge and life lessons, by exemplary speech and actions. Then they would go, expecting nothing but a returned gesture of peace through salaam, and leave you with absolute tears, awe and true understanding of life.

True tears are tears for the sake of Allah swt; and true words are often disregarded, till it befalls the person. On this note, continues a stream of penned down thoughts of a spiritual journey in my shoes, as a growing young adult and a learning Muslim.

“Be in this life as if you are a stranger or a wayfarer.” Hadith Sahih Bukhari.

In an age where dignity, humility, honour and modesty are ideals of the past, we of the modern world are reluctant to ask ourselves when we look at terrible things happening – “Why do they occur?” and if we ask with true sincerity, the answer will come back to us in no uncertain terms, that all of this is from ourselves. I want to change how people see the world, by firstly changing the condition of the inward, instead of attempting to rectify the outward. I want the world to see peace and love in its purest of forms again. I have dreams and plans, but surely Allah is the best of planners. I seek guidance from Allah swt in these baby steps I’m putting forward. “When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” Surah Ali Imran 3:159.

“They plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” Surah Ali Imran 3:54.

I learnt that Allah swt grants knowledge and provision  in so many unexpected ways and forms, and at moments we least expect as long as we ask sincerely. And we often underestimate the weight of sincerity in Allah’s view.

We subconsciously adapt to how the world works everyday, but we never really take a step back to understand what the world means. A loved one once told me, “It’s ultimately the effort that He sees, not the total amount of knowledge you got about a thing. The knowledge would come naturally.”

I am 20 years old, and I still have very little knowledge about Islam. But why should I wait till I have abundant knowledge and numerical ‘maturity’ to spread simple peace, love and righteousness between people. We tend to expect from people what we ourselves don’t give.

We tend to seek too much of what life has to offer, while ignoring what lies ahead of us upon death. We tend to live for what is before our eyes. We run away from the harsh reality of death, and that we will indeed be responsible for all that we do in this life, for every atom weight of good and bad deeds. “Verily the death from which you flee will surely meet you, than you will be sent back to (Allah), the All-Knower of the unseen and seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.” Al-Jumuah 62:8.

“And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare (in horror).” Surah Ibrahim 14:42.

Travel and embrace solitude. Look at His signs and creations. Humanity evolves through generations towards worldly gains that are before our eyes. When we were created, money, music, media and materialism weren’t here, so definitely it can’t be the purpose of our creation. Rather, it is the cause of our own destruction, as it is today.

Everyday is a lesson. I am what I act. I am what i think and I am what I see. We tend to complain of the plights we are in without reminding ourselves of our past sins. I realized that we are truly what we feed the heart with. The larger the gap between our principles and our actions only increases the grief in one’s heart. Sometimes I sin and I found knowledge to repent. I realized that the knowledge is from the love and mercy of Allah swt while that sin is from my own stupidity and lack of control.

“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” Al-Shura 42:30

“I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” Hadith Sahih Muslim.

Questions of hypocrisy are thrown at self, after each and every single moment I busy myself with contemplation of beauty and materialism. My sins are certain, but will the opposite be accepted I fear. Every littlest of sins kills productivity and darkens the heart. It creates emptiness inside and disowns the heart of serenity and tranquility – the sweetness of iman. It stops the flow of His gift of knowledge. True enough, every shortcomings are from our own hands and every blessings are from Him and only Him alone.

“Surely there is in the body a small piece of flesh; if it is good, the whole body is good, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted, and that is surely the heart.” Hadith Sahih Bukhari.

Too often we call ourselves Muslims but we don’t really understand what it means to be one. I am saying this for myself first and foremost. We see the unspoken truth of gruesome violence, killings, open fornication, etc to the point where there is no shame in standing up for what destroys and divides us. Modesty and dignity especially; a slow demise. Having said these, if being different brings victory in all aspects and is better for me, then let me be that stranger.

When we point a finger at others, there are three fingers pointing back at us. We should change ourselves in order to change the world.