Al Qawi, Al Matin–The Strong, Enduring One.
Doubt is a form of fear, fear of the Truth. Doubt comes in many shapes and forms. Doubt is the nagging voice that whispers in your ear trying to counter the Truth as it comes to your heart. Shaytan and the nafs are good at sabotaging the inner certainty that we train to know. This Ramadan I have been shown with the help of my Shaykh and Shaykha how to act with what we know is from Allah and not with what is from the nafs. For example, if someone angers me because they are speaking ill of another person because that person didn’t do ‘a good enough job’ I can see that this anger comes from Allah as this action is not pleasing to Allah. I would have no problem saying something like “That’s too bad that you had to correct someone else’s mistake, perhaps something distracted them from completing the job.” But sometimes depending on the situation or the person it is more difficult to be forthright. Instances that I can think of that may bring up the nafs are being in a new situation with new people, being with someone that rubs you the wrong way, etc and so on. It seems to me that it shouldn’t matter how we feel about the person or situation if it means speaking the Truth. But it’s that doubt that sneaks in and says; “It’s not going to hurt anyone to turn the other way this one time”. It’s the nafs way of staying in the comfort zone. Every situation, of course, warrants reflection and discernment as to whether or not to act, speak or pray. In theory this sounds easy. But at different stages along the path we may become more self-conscious than other times, much like a teenager figuring out they’re way in the world, with their friends and with their family. The bottom line is that holding onto the rope of Allah means staying connected through your Shaykh and doing zikr and learning the names of Allah so that we can put out the right energy at the right time and in the right situation. So today as I reflect upon the lessons of this Ramadan I see the names Al Qawi Al Matin; The Strong and Enduring One. Recognizing Allah’s strength and His enduring nature within helps to stay firm in the Truth and encourages the strength to counter the doubt that sneaks into our consciousness. I repeat that now as a reminder to me and all of you for the sake and love of Allah to keep us firm and steadfast on His path.