Anonymous said: Do you spend a lot of time on your own? It's just that you're a lot more introspective than most 20-somethings mA. I'm trying to figure out how to be more like that, and less obsessed with this dunya.
I do, actually.
When I was 19 I just ran away from college, I would contact my parents to inform them that I was alive, and I just traveled. I begged for food. I climbed mountains. I hunted for food. It was surreal.
However, the reality is that I was able to do all this because I am tremendously privileged, to a disgusting degree, alhamdulilah. It was while I was sitting outside of a fancy hotel in Egypt, just talking to the security guards and guy at the kushk (stand on the corner selling drinks and snacks) that I became terrified:
What if I don’t use the overwhelming gifts God has given me? What if I use these privileges, this access for simply a comfortable life, one marked by upper class comforts, complaints about kitchens appliances, and seeking out the next iZift.
My chest grew heavy as I faced the simple fact that if I did not use my gifts for the betterment of people, I felt like I’d be damned to Hell. That might’ve been an over-reaction, but, I still think it would be a travesty for me to simply use my upbringing and skill-set to carve out a comfortable existence for myself.
And yet, my ability to dismiss “the dunya” is predicated on the fact that I grew up without concerns over finances. I say this not to be arrogant, but this is an ultimate truth. Regardless of my parents’ tremendous stories’ and my grandparents’ struggles, and my exposure and “enlightenment” as a result of my upbringing by my parents, at the end of the day, it is a luxury to dismiss financial aspects of this dunya.
You just have to put your priorities in order, and for me, the only reason I want to make money is so that I can give my children the best education possible, because I want to inculcate them the same sense of purpose towards their education that my parents gave to me.
This makes things difficult, to be honest, most potential spouses want things, which isn’t [inherently] wrong, but they want nice stuff, that’s human, and again, from my perspective, as someone who has all these things, to give them up is very easy, because even when I was begging for food, I could find my way to an embassy and get my way back home, no sweat.
So what’s the point of all this? Well, becoming less obsessed with this dunya is predicated on making sure that you know your self and that you trace what elements of the dunya are so firm in your Nafs (ego) and find out why.
You need to explore you mind, that doesn’t mean travel, that’s a luxury for annoying people (myself included), you need to be brutally honest with yourself, know why you want x item or z product, be real, be hard, be unforgiving with yourself, whatever it takes to know.
Define your goals, what do you want, what do you want to achieve, what do you have to do to get to them, and pursue them relentlessly.
In short: know what you want to do and just go after it, who gives a snuffleupagus if it’s “impossible” or everyone tells you that you can’t, just do it.
Introspection isn’t a recipe, and it doesn’t have steps (even if I mentioned a few above) it’s really about just doing what you have to do to stop giving yourself excuses. Work hard. Be kind to others. Stop reflecting the hurt in your heart on others, I can’t express that enough, because it’s the worst thing you can do, and we do it all the time.
And the reason why you need to stop dumping on others is because if you do that, your relationships (potential marriage, marriage, whatever) is going to be a product of that inherent selfishness, and you’re going to ruin things, you’re going to hurt someone, and you’re going to be the cause of pain in another person.
Sort yourself out before you think of adding another person, but don’t let your “introspection time” allow you to delude yourself into thinking you are some sort of special snowflake or “soooooooo different than people” because you’re not, you poop and barf just like them, so get over yourself, no one cares that you liked some band before it got popular or that you have a post with 15,000 notes, you snorted at a terrible joke in front of everyone in class, you can calm down.
Now, I’d like to end with two points: first, this approach (of mine, if you can call it that) is really predicated on the fact that you have some issues (putting it lightly) with self-esteem, i.e. you are an arrogant poop head (like me).
If you’re not as confident in yourself, well guess what? You should be, because you’re awesomesauce. Now realize where you are awesomesauce and be happy with that, now look at where you are weaksauce, and acknowledge it, work on it, and be humbled by it.
Second, and most importantly: you need to submit yourself to God.
Like, this isn’t a joke. Submitting your will to God is so important, like, we approach Islam and God in this weird, perverse, transactional process, in which we sort of expect God and Islam to show us why we should, like God is selling us something. This is such a horrendous way to approach religion, and you’re always going to be fighting an uphill battle if you go about things this way. So stop it. Realize you are just some carbon and blood and whatever (I’m bad at science) and that you are dealing with your Creator. Once you got that in your brain, realize that submitting yourself to God’s Will is the first, and most important step to ensuring that you are actually dedicated towards the betterment of your world, because without actual, genuine submission to your Creator, everything you’ll be doing is a simple expression of your arrogance, and it’ll show, trust me.
Tell me when you’ve seen this, insha Allah, as I’d like to delete this after being oddly honest and open and I hate being like that.