A Material World

We are all vulnerable. Particularly in these times. This is an age of forgetfulness and sadness, and we need remembrance and joy. Wa-man a‘rada an dhikri fa-inna lahu ma‘ishatan danka, the Qur’an says: ‘whoever turns aside from remembering Me, he shall have a miserable life’. The modern world claims to progress: but people have longer faces than ever before. Antidepressant drugs have never been more widely prescribed. 17 percent of British women attempt suicide by the age of 25. We work longer hours than ever before; and our home lives and our marriages have never been under such pressure.

Modernity serves only the idol of money: it does not serve human beings. We have turned away from the unitive Source, towards the rubble at the edges of existence: and we are sad. We are hungry. We know that we need what all human beings have always needed: the remembrance of Allah. And yet the modern world tells us that that is nowhere on the list of priorities.

We have forgotten, so we have been forgotten. The modern world is fast asleep, troubled by dreams of material pleasures that somehow are not really pleasurable.

When we forget who we are, so radically, the protection begins to be withdrawn, and we are at the mercy of the material world, which we now trust and love more than we trust and love God.

In Surat al-Mulk we are told, patiently: ‘Are you confident that He who is in heaven will not cause the earth to cave in beneath you and to be swallowed up by it as it shakes?

Or are you confident that He who is in heaven will not loose against you a whirlwind? You will before long known how was My warning.’

So the conclusion is inescapable. We who are not paying the rent for our planet are now paying heavy fines instead. But the Landlord is merciful. His mercy is expressed, despite our waywardness, in so many ways.

Source: When the Generous appears with the Name Avenger by Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad

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