Ramadan Countdown: Wisdom, Focus, and Reliance
Ibn Ata' said:
''Your striving for what has already been guaranteed to you, and your
remissness in what is demanded of you are signs of the blurring of your
This wisdom is essentially about where our heart lies in our interactions with
everything around us.
In it Ibn Ata' warns that the worshipper of God should always keep his focus
This does not negate in any way the responsibilities we have in this life but
it does mean that our focus and reliance need to be in the right place.
God said in the Quran:
''And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not
want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is God
who is the Provider, the firm possessor of strength.'' (Az-Zariyat, 51:56-58)
He also said:
''And enjoin prayer upon your family and be steadfast therein. We ask you not
for provision; We provide for you, and the outcome is for the righteous.''
These verses remind us that our ultimate duty in this world is to worship God
in the best way possible. Therefore, we should work in order to provide for
our families but we should never forget that that work if done for this reason
is worship in itself, that we are representatives of God's chosen way of life
on this earth, and that He is the One that ultimately provides for us.
If He wills for us to not achieve financial success we will not and if He
wills for us wealth it will come. We must still do our part but at the same
time we must always keep in mind the reality of the matter.
At the same time we should struggle as hard as we can to please God as much as
possible by living and working righteousness in our lives. This is what is
requested from us and this is where our efforts should go.
As I said in the beginning, it's not so much about what we do but about where
our heart is when we are doing it. If every action we do simply pushes us
deeper and deeper into the abyss of worldly concerns instead of closer to God
then we should be careful because it could be a sign that we have been
stripped of insight and are going astray.
Our job is not merely to survive in this world, but rather to join the rest of
the universe in the divine symphony of the glorification of God.
In order to implement this before and during Ramadan we should ask ourselves
when doing things and making decisions: ''Am I worrying about the choices I
have or the consequences of my actions which are under God's control?''
We should obviously be seeking the former while hoping that God will bless us
with success in our choices.
Source: The Ramadan Countdown – http://theramadancountdown.wordpress.com
Jamaal Diwan was born and raised in Southern California and received a
Bachelor's Degree in Third World Studies and a minor in Psychology from the
University of California, San Diego. He has served with the Muslim Student
Association (MSA), MSA West, and Muslim American Society (MAS) in varying
capacities. He remains an active MAS member and is a scholarship student with
the Islamic American University. Jamaal is currently pursuing a Bachelor's
degree at the College of Shari`ah at al-Azhar University in Cairo, and
Master's degrees from the American University in Cairo in Arabic Studies with
an emphasis in Islamic Studies.