As human beings we are on a perpetual road of discovery of ourselves, our purpose, our faith and this world. It is on a similar journey I have found myself, in the last couple of years. On this path one discovers the magnitude of creation and the power of Allāh and as a result I have many times said that in the greater scheme of things we are nothing, but I admit I was wrong again. I was wrong in many things I suppose. But, it is in recognizing our failures and mistakes that we can measure real growth. In this great and vast universe, we are something, and we are someone. We are a human being that was created by Allāh as someone to fulfill our purpose of BE-ing and that, is to be in a constant state of elevation and nurturing our souls in action, word and speech for the sake of Him.
When elevating ourselves we progress from one level of consciousness to the next. These levels of consciousness co-exist with our value systems and focus of enrichment. They are our spiritual, aesthetics, intelligence, moral and physical. What I know, is that these five values are harmoniously intertwined and cannot be separated. It is only then that we can truly be on the path of self-discovery as well as become enlightened beings. Allāh says in the Qur’ān:
“Oh you who have believed, enter into Islam completely (and perfectly) and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy”
Sūrah al Baqarah:209
This is Islām. This is being immersed in submission, the embodiment of all aspects of life serving Allāh completely and cultivating our consciousness to be subservient when fulfilling our tasks in true submission to Allāh and striving for perfection in our actions and this includes dhikr (remembrance of Allāh) in all we do. It is being aware of the different states of being and belief; which is (1) submission [Islām] that focuses on what we should do, (2) faith or belief (Imān) which is why we do the actions we do and (3) beautification or excellence (Iḥsān) which is doing these to the best of our abilities, attaining perfection and beauty as a whole. Iḥsān is worshipping Allāh as if you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, know that He sees you. When striving for this mindfulness in our actions, we elevate our spirit to a higher degree of consciousness. So you see, one cannot be separated from the other. It is the constant pursuit of attaining perfection in prayer for the sake of Allāh.
Being Muslim, we recite the Shahādah:
Ash-hadu allā ilāha illallāh wa ash-hadu anna muḥammadurrasūlullāh (pbuh)
“I bear witness that there is not god, but Allāh and I bear witness that Nabi Muḥammad (pbuh) is the messenger of Allāh”
This is our testimony of submission, it is a declaration of worship to Allāh and only Him and attributing nothing else to Him. It is a testimony that proliferates in action, perpetuates on the tongue and roots within our heart. It is knowing that we agree that we will be accountable for all our actions because we bear witness to His power and might in everything He created. It is knowing that we echo His Name (Allāh) in all our pursuits and deeds. As steady and consistent our heartbeat is, so too our movements, soul and mind should resonate His Name, this is when our Islām moves towards excellence and a higher spiritual state.
Remember Allāh in all actions and work, for this is what imbues the heart with righteous work and in doing so, we become righteous beings. It is what lights up our souls. So, in every step, in every breath, in every smile, in every duty your hands perform, remember your Lord. Move towards your higher self through gaining the pleasure of Allāh. Maintain your Islām, Imān and now more than ever, attain Iḥsān and know a Muslim strives to attain all three.