Surrender

The piece below was written by a blogger called Maliha, whose work was really inspiring for me in my early years of blogging. Sadly, her blog (http://lightnessofbeing.wordpress.com) is now either offline or just innaccessible.

Regardless, please enjoy and ponder upon this particular writing, which made a big impact on me at a rough stage of my life.


Surrender

Imagine you are going into the unknown. It is dark. Terrifying. It holds all
your fears; yet all that you desire lies a little yonder. Imagine you are in
a tunnel and the light is beckoning to you from the other side. You have a
choice to hold on to the walls; to remain cooped up in your self made
prison; or take the first step. The catch is, you never know if the step
will ever land. There are no guarantees. You might fall deep, deep, down
into an abyss or fly. You might first fall then fly. You might not fall at
all.

Or imagine it’s a maze. There is a tangle of bushes all around you and a
path barely decipherable for you to walk on. You have a theoretical map that
tells you how to get out of it. It’s not enough though. You know there is a
way out; you know the base laws are constant; yet there are many surprises
along the way. The theoretical map is just one tool you have. You also have
your senses and instincts to guide you. The thing is, you always have to
keep a clear head and a placid heart and this will take up most of your
energy. When things flip up, and the unexpected (and usually what you
perceive to be unpleasant) occurs; you absolutely have to go with the flow.

At any moment, you have to be willing to let go of what doesn’t work. You
have to be a lover of leaving; even if that leaving requires you to abandon
pieces of you that are holding you back. There is no meaninglessness here;
everything is purposeful. Every thought matters. The actions that follow are
deliberate. To proceed in this journey you must both master your self and
let go at the same time.

For example, if the path is straight and relatively easy; then all of a
sudden a huge wall appears out of nowhere; you can not bang your head
against it. You must take a deep breath; collect yourself; and find a way
around it. Sometimes the wall is an illusion; you poke it and it crumbles.
Sometimes it’s brick. You have to either walk around it; or scale it.
Sometimes, it requires you to stop. To just stop and look around a little.

Other times, the only way out is to crawl on all fours; taste a measure of
humility. Sometimes you kiss the ground and the path miraculously unfolds.
Miracles happen when palms open too. Letting go is key.

Resistance is futile. Resistance is death. Everything is fluid. Nothing is
what it seems. Stressing for the path to bend to your will; is ridiculous.
It’s as if someone is perched on a swollen wave, either wholly complacent
that it won’t crash or striving to hold on hoping that they won’t be flung
off. We are all perched on that swollen wave.

When you are flung into deep waters, you must master the art of letting go.
Limb by limb, you must relax, let your self go limp; and then miraculously
you are floating. You are one with the water. Alternatively you can learn
how to swim and practice, practice, practice; so that when you are flung
off, you master the water. Panicking and thrashing about is death. Cursing
the fate that had you thrown off is pointless.

Remember reading all the maps in the world (alone) will not get you
anywhere. You can argue and compare who has the best map; you can burn other
maps to prove your loyalty; that still won’t get you anywhere. You can get
on a podium and chant MY MAP IS THE BEST AND ONLY MAP THERE IS; you’ll still
be in place. You can have study circles and discuss the map; you haven’t
gone anywhere either.  You can judge/condemn others or use them as a pretext
for why you haven’t done anything about yourself yet; it won’t help. You
might spend all your time trying to instruct others on what you know
(theoretically) of this journey, it will be hollow. You might try to save
others from drowning, but the likelihood is you will all sink.

Memorizing the twists and turns of other people’s journeys might give you a
clue as to what to expect. But at the end of the day, you must take the
first step, and the next, and next* At the end of time, all the mazes,
walls, water and illusions dissipate and you are left in stark aloneness
wondering what held you back.

Surrender is not that hard. Just do it.

Sourcehttp://lightnessofbeing.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/magnifying-moments/
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4 thoughts on “Surrender

  1. What I needed to read. What do you do if you stop believing in Allah too? When you see everyone else getting what they want/desire and you don’t? Not just a one off but regularly not getting what you want…

  2. I would say that’s an issue of understanding who Allah is, what the purpose of life is, and a believer’s understanding of life’s tests.

    The question implies that the thoughts are: “I am never getting what I want – but other people are getting what they want, so I can’t believe that there’s a Creator – because it’s not fair that I am being put through this.”

    When in fact, the reality is that life is a series of tests. Is it one specific thing you’re not getting? Or many, many things? And can you say that you don’t ever get what you want? Or are you filtering out the vast majority of things you’re blessed with, and obsessing on one or two particular areas? (If so, remember the catchphrase of Surah Ar-Rahman.)

    As for what you want / desire, firstly see if that something is halaal or not. And if it’s permissible, then consider the wisdom in you NOT getting it. We may like something but it may not be good for us. or it may just be an issue of timing – now is not the right time.

    Or it could be that Allah is keeping something better in store for you – either in this life or the next.

    It’s hard to be specific when the query is vague, but these are all general principles that I think apply regardless of the specific details. And it’s also much, much easier said than done. But we need to be there to advise and encourage each other, even if we can’t place ourselves in their positions and fully understand the dilemma.

    It’s all about sabr in the trial, shukr for what you already have (and have had in the past), maintaining hope, consistent dua*, and good deeds. And insha-Allah you’ll pass through this difficult period.

    (*On the topic of dua, check out Muhammad Al-Shareef’s “Visionairre” program that’ll be running online again insha-Allah in early Feb (http://www.visionaireonline.com/)

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