Finding “the center”

I am having difficulty being centered. I am reading so much and it is messing with me. Your word is balance. I pray and read the Quran. I remeber Allah. I have everything except money and I know that is temporay. Why am I feeling a loss of balance. I am not unhappy. I count my blessings.
I do not know where I am on the Path. It is not a crisis..but a seeking..make any sense.

Yes. Getting to “the center” has been the goal of all thinkers and spiritual teachers throughout the centuries and they all said it was not easy.

But because God calls us to it, it is within our ability. The effort we exert to get there and stay there is a jihaad (strife); a strife of the soul and of the mind. One who lives life with deliberation is more likely to succeed in that strife than one who just lives. Your questioning your place on the Path means you’re on it.

Stay on it. What you read may cloud your thoughts. It may tempt you to take alternative routes. Don’t. The Prophet (PBUH) said that a parable for the believers on the Straight Path is like a man walking a narrow road with endless attractions on either side of the road calling him to check them out, but he turns them all down (I’m searching for the exact words of this hadeeth and its authentication).

How can you tell if what you’re reading is not something that you should follow? Examine it against the Quran. God and His Messenger have described the Quran as Al-Fasl (the Decisive) because it will tell you if a notion is true or false. Islam is simple, but many people think it has to be more complex! So they complicate it with their interpretations, assumptions and theories.

Extremes tend to appeal to emotion while the center tends to appeal to steadiness. No wonder centrist people are often called cool-headed. 🙂 Extremes divide while the center pulls together and reconciles. It leads to peace. That is what the word “Islam” means: peace through submitting to God’s will.

Always keep in mind what the Prophet (PBUH) has commissioned us to do, when he said, “This religion is easy! No one will play tug-of-war with it but it will defeat him. So, make things easy, do not make them hard. Tend to agree with people (“Saddidu”) and reconcile their views (“Qaaribu”). Spread the good news and do not repulse people.” Narrated in many versions by Abu-Hurayra and `Aa’isha (RA) and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim and rated authentic.

Feel free to comment with whatever of your readings that you feel is throwing you off course.

3 Responses to “Finding “the center””

  1. Aapa says:

    For starters I was reading a book and in the middle of nowhere I read that the terrorist Osama bin Ladin was a Sufi with Deobandi connections!

    Well..that made me scratch my head.

    Balance that with the Quran…and my brain cells hurt.

    On a deeper level..I am looking for the line of demarcation between deen and duyna and right now it is the size of a football field. And I feel like a football being tossed between the 35 and the 35. This is a simple analogy but I think it captures my confusion.

    • noclash says:

      If what you read is true, it does not imply that there is anything wrong with Sufism or with the Deobandi school of thought. People interpret what they believe in or what they follow differently, based on their personality, culture, agenda, …etc. On the Day of Judgment, God will not judge communities as a whole; He will judge each person individually. He says in the holy Quran,

      “And We shall have him inherit what he says, and he will come to Us individually..” (19:80)

      Did you read this famous hadeeth and wonder what it meant? It’s the hadeeth where the Prophet (PBUH) says, “A man may be doing the work of the people of Paradise until he is only an arm’s length away from it, then the Book catches up with him so he does the work of the people of Hell and he enters Hell.” (Narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas`ood and reported by Al-Bukhaari).

      Many people misinterpret this hadeeth and think that it teaches predestination. A fellow Muslima on a discussion forum explained this hadeeth so simply: She said that the operative words in it are “does the work of…” In other words, the work was insincere, a pretense. Then, at the end of such impostor’s life, God decides to expose him.

      May God purify our intentions, our faith and our works and make them for His sake and make our end beautiful and dignified.

    • noclash says:

      Why would you want a line of demarcation between dunya (this world) and deen (religion)? They are intermingled. God made them so. It is man who invented the notion that to be spiritual you have to abandon life and if you indulge in life you lose your soul. Nonsense. The Quran teaches us to call upon God to “Grant us in this world good things and in the Hereafter good things.” (2:201)

      Somebody observed that the number of times the word Ad-Dunya (this life) and the word Al-Aakhira (the Hereafter) are mentioned an exactly equal number of times in the Quran! Talk about balance.

      To be spiritual, you do not abandon life; quite the contrary, you become active in it doing good deeds out of faith in God and desire to please Him. You lose your soul when you do not submit to the One and Only true God.

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