** Still not feeling it? **
It's already been around one week since Ramadan started, nevertheless, many of us complain that our hearts are still not in gear.
Yeah, sure, we're doing all the physical stuff, but annoyingly, we still may not be feeling it inside. The heart is not engaged at all.
What's going on?
Imam Ibnu Taymiyya identifies one possible reason for such coldness, saying:
إذا لم تجد للعمل حلاوة في قلبك وانشراحا فاتهمه فإن الرب تعالى شكور يعني أنه لابد أن يثيب العامل على عمله في الدنيا من حلاوة يجدها في قلبه وقوة انشراح وقرة عين فحيث لم يجد ذلك فعمله مدخول
“If you fail to experience the sweetness of worship and the sense of inner expanse during it, then you must point the finger of blame to your worship. This is because Allah is grateful, meaning that He will certainly reward a person in this world for his actions via peace of heart, a sense of sweetness and incredible joy. Since these feelings are absent, then it means that the act of worship itself is tarnished by something.”
In other words, there is a barrier that is blocking our hearts from tasting the joy of worship, and that barrier is sins.
Try to pinpoint that barrier with brutal honesty;
“Is it in my insincerity?”
“Is it my self-admiration?”
“Is it how I appear in public both online and offline?”
“Is it my my fall out with such and such?”
“Is it my finances that's hampering me?”
“Is it envy that's eating me up inside?”
“Is it my deplorable relationship with parents?”
“Is it my secret sinful habits?”
“Is it my arrogant feeling that I don't have many sins?”
It's there somewhere! It just needs tracking down.
Wuhaib Ibn Ward was asked: “Can a person who (insists on) sins experience the sweetness of worship?”
He replied: لا، ولا من همَ
“No. Not even a person who merely intends to sin.”
The same way that an ill body may struggle to enjoy the goodness of food, a heart ill with sins will cause a struggle to enjoy the sweetness of worship.
Tracing those sins is hard. Tackling them can be even harder. But it is a must, and the good news is that it will only be a matter of time before your soul surrenders to your wishes.
Abu Zayd said:
ما زلت أسوق نفسي إلى الله وهي تبكي ، حتى سقتها وهي تضحك
“I continued dragging my soul by force to Allah whilst it cried, until it finally surrendered and came with me smiling.”
What better time to address the above than Ramadan?