Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

In the Name of God, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate


Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come yet again, come, come.  –Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Throughout life’s journey, Allāh ﷻ manifests the circumstances for your spiritual education, awakening, and continual return to Him ﷻ. You are presented with opportunities that might lead you astray —away from your true self and into spiritual loss— as well as opportunities that are consistent with who you really are and lead to spiritual elevation and nearness to Him ﷻ. Nevertheless, in His ﷻ mercy and wisdom, even those roads that lead you astray are still a means for your ultimate return to Him ﷻ, as only Allāh ﷻ is the Real ﷻ. Every road leads to Him ﷻ.

Many feel that they are so far from being accepted by Allāh ﷻ, after so many mistakes or after having fallen short of living up to their potential, that they give up trying. No matter how horrible any situation might appear, know that Allāh’s Mercy ﷻ is ever-present and near. Do not despair! And keep your faith in the One Who ﷻ has never abandoned you. The frequent refrain in the Holy Qur’an is Allāh’s Promise ﷻ, where He ﷻ describes Himself ﷻ as Ever-Forgiving, Singularly Compassionate, and Forbearing ﷻ. So turn to Him ﷻ, as only He ﷻ can bring you relief, comfort, and security.

And if you believe that your good deeds are many, how do you think they compare when weighed against His ﷻ generosity and grace in your life? Shaykh Aḥmad ibn ʿAṭā’illāh al-Iskandarī offers some perspective:

If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known, pay no heed if your deeds do not measure up to this. For, in truth, He has not opened it for you but out of a desire to make Himself known to you. Do you not know that He is the one who presented the knowledge of Himself to you, whereas you are the one who presented Him with deeds? What a difference between what He brings to you and what you present to Him! (Al-Ḥikm—the Book of Wisdom, tr. Victor Danner, Aphorism #8)

Being human, our love for the Beloved ﷻ and our commitment to truth is challenged on a daily basis. Nevertheless, guidance is offered at every turn. While life can be quite complicated, the spiritual path is straight and clear. We have been given the tools to navigate life, though that doesn’t necessarily mean we will not be challenged. Challenge is the nature of things. It is essential if you are to become a real human being. Either you rise to the occasion of living truly or your lessons will be repeated. There is not a moment on any given day in which we cease to be in relationship with Allāh ﷻ. While we struggle to sustain attentiveness to the Divine Presence ﷻ, every moment is an opportunity for return to your Lord ﷻ to commune with Him ﷻ. The key to success is to remember Him ﷻ everywhere, in every moment, with every breath. These moments are transformative, for you cannot truly approach the Divine Presence ﷻ without entering into a state of ecstasy, for Allāh ﷻ is life itself. And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī