Finally, he reaches his destination. It is here, in the cool shade of the cave, surrounded by solid rock, whispering sands, and endless sky, that he feels some peace of mind and tranquility of soul. He bends his head and surrenders himself to God, a million questions running through his mind, his heart aching for his lost people, crying out for that which will save them from the destruction they are wreaking upon themselves. Is there no hope? Is there no solution?
(Surah al-‘Alaq, verses 1 – 5)
The seclusion we need is more than just that of relocating oneself; it is the I’tikaaf of the soul that we require, not merely the physical. It is so easy to be caught up in the raucous, demanding minutiae of the material world; so easy to be plugged into our devices and be distracted by bits and bytes in the cyber universe. It is so much more difficult to withdraw within oneself, to spend time connecting with our Lord rather than the closest Wi Fi. Yet our souls crave precisely that – to experience the discomfort of breaking away from those things which are constantly tempting our physical senses, to feel the strain of spiritual discipline, to demand a shifting of the paradigm through which we view the world.
Yet today… tonight… and every night of Ramadhaan after this, do something different. Isolate yourself from the pundits and celebrities convincing you to think about the shallow and the vapid, and instead go back to the ultimate source of wisdom, the only true answer to all our problems: the Magnificent Words of Allah, the Criterion, the Revelation, the Qur’an.
(Surah Aal-‘Imraan, verses 190 – 191)
(Surah ar-Room, verse 50)
(Surah as-Sajdah, verse 22)