Saturday, 31 October 2015

working on ahlaq pt.2 - apologies

Since the first step towards coming closer to our rabb is repenting, the very first step towards perfecting ones ahlaq is apologizing.
Most of us have a quite good working conscience and know too well when we didn't behave the way we should have, our weren't able to live up to our own standards. Some of us try to ignore the nerve-wracking knocking of our conscience on the doors of our mind, but there aren't many who are successful in doing so. So noone really should be in need to tell you whether you're right or wrong. You should be able to see it yourself in a quite moment of leaning back and pondering. If there is something bothering you - its time to rethink our actions.

But many times after sinning, being mean or simply not doing good enough we don't have the courage to stand up and fix what we have broken.
What you don't repair will remain broken. If you have an honest interest in a relationship , and that should be the case if you befriended/married the right people, you might also have an honest interest in fixing the cracks.

Even if you weren't the one who made the cracks go that deep, and even if you weren't the one who started the  conflict at all, you have with a high chance a good share in it.

So go ahead and fix it. If you can't fix it : make it less hurting. Clean your conscience, make a move and step out of you're comfort zone. Forget the ego.
The other side might be waiting for your move, struggling the same way and not being able to win over their ego. They might be looking forward to seeing you again.
The rarest separations are pleasurable. 

1) Rethink the situation :

 What have you done wrong ? What could have you done better ? What do you still stand behind ?  Why are you upset ? Why is the other side upset ? How can you change it ?

2) Rethink your relationship

What does the other mean to you ? Why do you like them ? Why could they be liking you ? Is the issue worth risking the relationship ?

3) Rethink your character :

 Do you often react in a way in which you wish you shouldn't ? How are you planning to change it ? 

Once you apologize for something you will be a lot less likely to repeat the same behaviour. Apologizing is never easy in the first moment. Admitting ones own faults to someone we have wronged without trying to justify is never a pleasurable experience for the first seconds. It might take some mental preparation time. But its worth it.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Working on ahlaq pt.1

Last week I had a little fight with someone and was lost in thoughts about how I could be such a jerk sometimes while I was at the same time praying 5 times a day, making regular dhikr and attending classes every week.
How could I do all the obligatory ibadah, collect good deeds and then mess up in manners all the time ?

Then I came across this video : 

For those who understand Turkish just go ahead and listen to what he has to say. For my English speaking readers Im going to paraphrase his thesis shortly in the next paragraph.

His thesis is quite simple : He basically says that adab is more important on the day of judgement than deeds. He quotes some ayahs in which Allah adresses his Rasool and draws attention to the point that he never only says "Muhammad" to his beloved Prophet, but always dresses him with respect and love. If even the creator himself shows such compassion in addressing his own creation, what does that teach us about the importance of manners ?

I feel like our generation has lost a lot in this field.We are so knowledgeable but our manners lack a deeper understanding. So to say we seem to be a little like the Jews who made their religion into an academic discipline. We prefer arguing about whether the feet have to be three fingers apart or four while praying , we tend to focus on how well the melody was after a recitation instead of being absorbed by its meaning. On the other side we try to hide from being actively engaged in lessons about manners and ahlaq. We know its uncomfortable to think about things we can not easily get used to, because they are not simply a behaviour , but a way of thinking, and even more a way of feeling.

While praying in a physical sense can be achieved through chaining a row of actions together, the adab of prayer, and this way the real prayer, can only be achieved through focusing mentally and emotionally as well. And focusing emotionally and mentally requires constant reflection and self observation. The mind can not just wander, and emotions which naturally follow the wandering path of the mind can not do so as well. Instead one has to take all responsibility for ones own thoughts, must recognize that he is not only fully responsible for them, but is also perfectly able to control them and think of the fact that he is in an undisturbed dialogue with his creator himself. 
But we never focused on that. We were taught all the rules and regulations without grasping the deeper meaning, without understanding the essence of this deen. And so many of our prayers remained void of any spirituality, many of our fasts in fact did not benefit us except making us hungry and thirsty and although we raised our hands to make dua to the Allmighty - we all know that too many times our lips were moving, but our hearts were in very different places. 

We lack manners.
Thats it.
The simplest of them. A lack of manners is mostly a lack of sincerity. 
Whoever is sincere will keep an eye on his manners.

So I packed my thoughts and pushed all of them to the side for a little while. My very base is cracked,   I desperately need to work on my manners with everything. 
So Im starting my journey of manners inside the journey of my life. A journey towards better manners, towards a beautified ahlaq. Towards more resemblance with the most beloved of the creation. 

For every now and then Ill blog about habits and reflections. About goals and my steps  towards achieving them. For every curious soul out there : I invite you to walk a little of that journey with me. And for every sincere soul out there who thinks, that they kind of feel or think the same : I invite you to walk this path completely with me, and even further than I might make it. May Allah be our protector and helper on this journey.

In prayer four success