The spiritual life is a purging, an ongoing discernment
between what I am clutching to greedily,
and what I have truly surrendered.
I must constantly be asking myself,
regarding all that I put my hand to,
“have I surrendered it? Is this under submission to Allah?”
For anything that is not submitted
Is a barrier between my Beloved and me.
Anything I clutch as my own steals my heart
from the One who truly owns it.
I know what you are thinking,
but believe Najat when he says
that this is not tyranny.
This is the hard work of seeing.
This is the sorting of what is Real and what is not.
This is the hard work of putting my soul in order.
The only thing that is Real is Allah.
All other things are shadows cast
by that One Great Sun.
What value are shadows?
And why should I spend my soul
To hide it away like some secret treasure only I may enjoy.
It is no treasure. Not my money, not my house,
Not my children, not my wife, not my widowed mother
Not my teachings, not the mosque, not you, my friend.
We are all shadows, and not one of us has worth apart from Allah.
If that Sun were to stop shining, all of us shadows
would disappear into black.
I clutch to nothing,
because all but my Beloved is nothing.
If I do not see that, I live in illusion.
Therefore everything must be surrendered.
And when I do, it is given back to me,
But I know it for what it is.
This is my religion. Islam means “submission.”
If I refuse to submit any one thing,
then I am a hypocrite, or I am deluded, or I am a heretic.
I submit. I surrender.
Allah help me to see
what I have not yet surrendered.