Reacquainting ourselves with Allah in our lives is like awakening a part of the body that has been paralyzed from movement. This lack of movement is not from damage to the spinal cord that severs connections from the brain to the body but a paralyzation that is caused by fear or ignorance. Ignorance, in the sense that the muscles or joints hadn’t been moved in a healthy way for so long due to conditioning, atrophy and habits that they have forgotten how to move with proper posture and ample strength–muscle amnesia. This muscle amnesia weakens the whole structure. When the muscles of the low back become atrophied because of poor posture while sitting in a chair, the movement in the is area is limited. It actually may not be noticeable for years that there is no mobility there–ignorance. If one day an exercise is introduced in order to bring mobility back to this area, there may be resistance, pain and shock in the muscles at first. But over time if the exercise is done consciously, gently, with patience and humility there will be a sence of fluidity regained throughout the spine. A freedom in fact, a freedom which may have never been recognized or noticed due to muscle amnesia.
In the same way, if we have been conditioned throughout our lives with our own ideas, beliefs, and thoughts without the guidance or presence of Allah then we have lived in a state of amnesia. What are we forgetting? We are forgetting the intimate relationship with Allah that is at its very essence within each of us. Our nafs (ego) do a fine job of deterring us and creating veils over our heart. Ignorance or fear of the Truth keeps us paralyzed from awakening our heart to its Divine Essence. Our heart needs polishing and cleansing so that we might live in fluidity with Allah in every moment. By taking the hand of a true Shaykh/Shaykha we promise that we will do our part to learn how to love Allah, surrender to Allah’s will, and awaken to this present moment. Each sufi has their own path to Allah with the help of his/her Shaykh or Shaykha. The practices assigned to the sufi can be recognized as exercises given in order to open the connections of the heart so that the wisdom there can be illuminated. This is Allah’s Nur, His Light. The practices can create pain, discomfort and uncertainty to the nafs but Inshallah (God willing), with time, perseverance, patience and humility a sense of freedom will open the seeker to the Light of Allah. Become the vesell for Allah’s Nur.
As my Shaykh says ‘the only right thing to do in Allah’s presence is surrender to His will and not yours.’