Ascend the Spiritual Ladder
Do you know how long you’ll live? The reality is none of us know how long we’ll live in this universe, yet we’re still so busy chasing after this dunya. We are determined to have the best car, the biggest house, the best degree, the most prestigious title, the ideal husband, and any other benefit related to this dunya. While there is nothing wrong with these things, we need to realize that this dunya should not become our ultimate goal. This is because Allah has created us to worship Him alone. We are not sent to this world to acquire this dunya; better yet, we have been created to fulfill our ultimate purpose.
What can you do to fulfill your purpose? Many of us are living this life with a blindfold that prevents us from seeing our final destination. We’re so engrossed in creating a heaven on earth that we’ve forgotten the lofty, luxurious palaces of the hereafter. We’ve forgotten that if we worship Allah in this world, He will give us mansions made of rubies, pearls, diamonds, emeralds, and all kinds of beautiful ornaments in Jannah. Best of all, we’ll meet our creator if we lived our life in accordance to His will. Imagine what that will feel like. However, in order for this to happen, we must tear apart the blindfold which has veiled our hearts, minds, and souls and prevented us from seeing the road to Paradise.
The path to Jannah will be filled with obstacles, but you must focus on climbing the spiritual ladder, so you can reach your final destination with ease. The sad reality is, many of us are still in the same spiritual level as we were ten or fifteen years ago. In other words, we have not advanced ourselves in Deen; but rather, we continue to perform only the rituals we were taught as children, like prayer, fasting, and Quran recitation. While these rituals are essential to practice, you need to implement other Islamic rituals in your everyday life, so you can continue to ascend the spiritual ladder.
Think for a second. If you were still in kindergarten, you’d feel embarrassed and insecure. Why is this? This is because you understand the value of educating yourself in this dunya. But when it comes to Deen, where are we? Are we still in the kindergarten state spiritually or are we working to advance ourselves up to the university level? You can figure out where you stand in Deen by looking at how much Islamic knowledge you’ve sought and then implemented in your life. This is the litmus test to determine whether you’ve moved up the spiritual ladder or not.
Push yourself to climb the spiritual ladder by setting attainable goals for yourself, and try to aim higher every week. Imagine a person playing basketball. This person would not be satisfied with just two shots in every game; instead, he would aim to perform even better in the next game. In the same way, this life is a game. With every week that passes, implement more Sunnahs in your life, read more Quran, pray abundantly, help the needy; basically, worship more than the previous week. Don’t be satisfied by fulfilling the bare minimum. Instead, aim to shoot maximum amount of deeds in the basket, so when you stand in the court of Allah, you can stand victoriously and attain the lofty palaces of Jannah as your winning prize, in sha Allah.
Also, we’ll only achieve the maximum points if we know how to do our Islamic rituals right. If you were assembling a computer, a sophisticated toy, or a desk, you’d make sure to read the manual carefully. Yet, before you do a religious act, have you read its manual thoroughly? Many times, we continue to do the rituals the exact same way we have been doing since childhood, not realizing that we may not be doing them correctly. For instance, we continue to pray the same way, failing to consider that our prayers may not be correct. Also, we’re making wudu the same way since childhood, not sure if we’re doing it properly. If you want to be certain you’re doing your rituals correctly, consult a religious scholar. Now that it’s almost summer, make sure to read the religious manual carefully, so you can be certain you’re performing your rituals appropriately.
As Muslims, it is our responsibility to seek knowledge of our Deen. For this, you need to commit your life to Islam, or this dunya will suck you in its trap. Imagine a person swimming in the water aimlessly. Before long, a strong whirlpool appears unexpectedly. This person tries their best to swim away, but the opposing currents tug and pull them in its trap. Similarly, this world can become a deadly whirlpool if we’re swimming aimlessly in the ocean of Dunya. Keep in mind, we were sent to this universe to worship our Master. Our Sustainer. Our Nourisher. Are we worshipping Him as we should? You must stay focused on pleasing Allah or this dunya will force you in its deadly trap, making it impossible for you to escape its strong grasp.
Shaitaan has told Allah (swt) that he will lead us astray, so we must seek protection from his manipulative schemes. Don’t ever let Shaitaan tell you that you can’t become a better person. A dead heart can always be revived when it starts to beat for its master. Every spring we watch Allah’s miracle as the world is revived again. The colorful, beautiful flowers are in full bloom, the smell of spring lingers in the air, and the birds start chirping their beautiful tunes. The signs of the brutal, dead winter are replaced by life and vigor. Likewise, a dead heart can also revive if it is given a chance. You must continue to rejuvenate your heart by providing it with sustenance–an unbreakable connection with its Master. Once you link your heart with its Master, it will begin to bloom and sprout again.