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“Submission is healing” (Part 1) - Detachment is the first step to Attachment, love of allah.



love of allah


but there were a million breaths it took to really actually realize, internalize, and fall in love with Allah - knowing that the only healing is Submission.

When people ask me what exactly changed me, it takes me a long pause to gather words and give them meaning, and still, I cannot answer the very question - though, it takes me to all the sweet crushing, yet liberating moments where I met Allah.

This series of blogs is a very personal and closer reflection on all the huge and small moments, thoughts, and life experiences that individually and collectively, “CHANGED ME” if that is your question.

I would like to pen down stories, incidents, and feelings that made me realize and eventually find the PURPOSE OF MY LIFE; LOVING ALLAH, AND LIVING MY LIFE FOR ALLAH.

I always have fiercely and unapologetically been the one who would take pride in LITERALLY, REALLY, ACTUALLY “internalizing” what my heart feels, and without fearing expressing what people feel is “not okay”, because, it is what it is - and I always knew it in my heart;


“do not feel bad for feeling”.

Be it a feeling of love or joy, pain or sadness.


Same as always, same as who I am, I am not afraid to fixate on who I used to be and who I am today - but what I want to fixate on, for a reminder and a realization, are the bits of moments that struck me, sometimes in amazement, and most times, in awe - for the love of Allah can never be put into words, for what a longing heart feels, for how you lose words. For how everything starts making sense, the moment, nothing makes any sense.


Sometimes the blessings are not in what He gives, but in what He take away

It’s like holding on and living a particular moment over and over again for the beauty of it. SubhanAllah.


Like every other moment, if I sit to write when and where it started, there is not just any one moment that I can think of - the moment of utter realization - not one single moment where I’d say it all started.


Let’s leave that to it, for if I’d keep thinking about where to start, I’d never be able to start, and that is the first takeaway, JUST START.


“You walk to Allah, and He comes running to you.” SubhanAllah. But you have to take the first step, a broken attempt, or a small breath, just start.


- so let’s start with a FEELING.


The part detachment played in my life was attachment!


We are not talking about if detachment is good or bad, but how it miraculously worked for me - and the thing is sometimes you think something is not working out for you, but it actually is. If somewhere, deep down, even for a weight of an atom, you have your faith in Allah, it surely works out - and I just knew in my heart that I will not end up in a ditch.


It wasn’t surprising for me to have a deep desire for detachment from the world for a million reasons. For, it always has been cruel to me. For, I never felt I belonged here. I did not know how to maneuver my way through people, and what they have to talk about and give - it always has been like “I am not for this world” - not because I’m special - because I do not know how to live in it - and now I do not want to live in it.


I have a special place in my heart for the moments Allah made me see things. I don’t know how to explain this, but I’m the kind of person who’d go to any lengths for “how and what I feel."


We need to know that there is just one chance, and for the benefit of the doubt, a second chance to run after something - and that is it. But, I used to go for “what I wanted”, a million times, till that thing would break me and leave nothing in me, and what’s next is evident - cut off, isolate, shut down, hibernate, detach.


the more you run behind the things of the world, the more you lose.

“If something isn’t my way, I don’t want it”

This world(or at least how I wanted it) wasn’t my way, so, I stopped wanting it a long time ago, and the worst part was, whenever I left this world or detached myself from it, I created a world of my own inside me.


Every person I lost, I had created a separate world for them. Every single thing, I had lost, I had framed it and hung it on the wall of the room in the worlds I was continuously creating inside me.


This sadly was an innocent mistake of running behind the things of the world - temporary things. The things that perish, you do not try to have a forever with them.


“If I’ve lost something, I don’t want anything else”

I will cut off myself from the world, and create a separate world inside me, filled with what I lost, and what I wanted and did not get. I’ll decorate it with all my fantasies of “how it would have been if I had that one thing”? - and ultimately, it created what? Another reality!


Imagine, how many worlds I had built inside me, how many realities I was living - yet, I would wear a banner, saying “I have no attachments”, little did I know the real meaning of detachment.


“Your attachment does not have to be of a huge magnitude to be called an attachment”.

It’s not just physical, but also it’s emotional.


Only your hands don’t have to be empty - but your heart as well - and my heart, it had the bits and pieces of every single thing I lost, and wanted - my heart did not have any more space to tuck another sorrow, another pain, another loss.


“Everything I’ve dearly loved, it has ruined me”.


And I cannot complain, I loved all the wrong things and people! The things that were not in alignment with me. How can I say, something did not work for me, if it wasn’t the right thing in the first place?


And definitely, it would never have worked, and I am glad it never did.


“Perhaps you dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” [2:216]

SubhanAllah.


I was loving everything that my Lord did not like, did not approve of. I was loving all things that my Allah was not pleased with. I was loving all the things that my beloved did not love.


Rather than focusing on, “it wasn’t good for me”, like an average person, I went into nit-picking “why it did not work out for me”, where did it all go wrong, what could possibly i have done differently to avoid the inevitable - and SubhanAllah, Allah took His divine time to bring all that in front of my eyes.


Who I am, what is my worth? SubhanAllah, nothing.


But, SubhanAllah, glory to be Allah, the most exalted, He shows you that “you are nothing, and the things you run behind are nothing just as you.”


The moment you realize YOUR WORTH, you get to see the worth of the world, the people in it, the things in it, and everything - it’s all nothing, but a chance given to us, it’s all nothing but a test for us - SubhanAllah


So, it came like a cold breeze to me.


The Fall


Realization! The moment I realized the detachment theory of mine, it was already too late.


It was too late to change who I am - and it is not necessarily required of me to change, just to open my heart and my eyes! But, I wasn’t ready for it - and the beauty of our Lord is that He gives us leverage, and then He shows us.


“Do whatever you want, and eventually it’s Me you will return to, it’s Me you have to return to.” SubhanAllah.

The truth be told, and it's always bitter to gulp, but it was all an example of not accepting the decree of Allah, and that is not the behavior of a believer.


When you love your Lord, you love everything from Him, and it's too dear to your heart, be it joy or pain. The love is when a calamity hits you, you remember and call upon your Lord, you call to Allah - and SubhanAllah SubhanAllah, that is enough for a soul, remembrance of Allah.


That I call “THE PEAK”!


Anything falls, only when it reaches its peak.


Standing at the peak of the world, little did I know, it was time to fall - and a fall so beautiful - a fall in front of Allah.


And then started the real “DETACHMENT WORK” - the work of art, the work of Allah, the work of miracle.


Keeping, collecting, hoarding, and holding onto all things, small and big, made me so tired, it started wearing me out, and I started feeling old. There was nothing left in me to hold onto one more thing.


It never was about the big things. You know the thing with magnitude is that, when something huge happens, it happens, and it leaves you there with no option - and I was crushed between things I loved and was not given an option with - it was like everything happening, and I just had to see them going, one by one, little by little - standing there in nothingness, seeing it all going. SubhanAllah.


SubhanAllah, I could not imagine that it wasn't that I was losing everything, it was Allah cleansing my heart for His love, SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah - it was Allah cleansing the heart of His sinning servant, for His love. SubhanAllah, it's all about perspective.


And that wasn’t(sadly) enough to break my resilience - my humble stubbornness for things to be right, people to be fair, and the world my way - but it was the time - it was the point, there was nothing there for me to fight for anymore, to want anything anymore - other than to save myself.


Spending all these years of my life, saving others, it was time to save myself,


Not to save myself, but, in my tiredness, I miserly wanted someone to save me. I just wanted to let go of everything, I wanted to stop - I wanted someone to hold me, and tell me it's okay, you can stop.


The pain reached its pinnacle, and the tiredness of love and sadness took over me to the point that there wasn't even anything left in me to feel sad for myself. I became tired of sadness. I became tired of the pain - and SubhanAllah, little did I know, it was my rise.


to rise, you have to fall, in front of allah

Even I do not know when I started letting go. It was the point when with every hit, every other new challenge, every new struggle, rather than holding on to it and living through it, I started letting go - because, with all that pain, I could not take even an ounce of pain.


The people I loved, I have forgotten them - I am tired of my pain.


The things I wanted, I don’t want them anymore. - I am tired of being tired.


The remaining small little things I used to keep close to my heart, like my flowers, and my books, I couldn’t carry anymore while being in another country, changing multiple jobs, and moving to different places every two months.


I became too tired of loving, desiring, and wanting. I do not love flowers anymore, because I have no energy to carry them, and no place to keep them.


SubhanAllah, it made me learn the worth of this world, the worth of desires, the worth of wanting, and the worth of losing.


It’s only Allah who’s always there. It’s not even you that saves you, but Allah. It's the love and the mercy of Allah that saves you.


What after when you have nothing to lose?


Yourself!


Now, after losing the material things and desires, it was time to lose myself.


After losing myself to a million things I loved, it was my turn to lose myself - and actually, the losing was different this time, and it was intentional.


But, this time, I did not want to lose myself in chaos, because it leaves me without love, only one thing I wanted.


This time, I knew, I want to lose myself in a place, where I will be saved and held and loved - because, if did spend one more day without love, I will die inside.


So, if I’d have to sum it up, and you ask me of one single moment, where I knew, SubhanAllah. I remember I was sitting in a cafe, since 8 in the morning, and it was sometime around 6 in the evening - because staying at home used to kill me, and I couldn’t afford to go to any place other than the nearest cafe, even that used to be 45 mins walk.


It was raining, and looking out through the window, I had my eyes locked in nothing at the falling raindrops, there was one thing, ticking like a clock in my head, “what’s next?”, “What’s the worst?”, What to lose, and WHAT TO GAIN?


Isn’t it what I always wanted? Isolation and detachment to the point of non-existence.


Isn’t it what I always wanted? Nothingness.


Here I am today, in nothingness, with nothing.


These last 38 dirhams wouldn’t buy me a coffee tomorrow, and I won’t be able to sit in a cafe, where will I go - that’s all I had in my mind. Damn it, I’d have to stay at home, I cannot breathe inside. Shit, it kills me.


But, what was more important than, being able to survive another day or having no job, and kids to raise - I haven’t spoken to anyone in a month, and there is nothing I want to talk about, to anyone - you know when the water flows over your head, you either stop trying, or you take that last shot.


And I stopped! I stopped fearing, which means ULTIMATE FAITH IN ALLAH.


Because, being an extremist, it used to kill me, leaving everything to Allah, yet fearing.


I used to feel like a hypocrite. I claim to love Allah, and still, I fear.


The frustration hit its peak, and I was like, damn it, no.


I stopped trying to understand.


I stopped trying to make sense of everything.


I stopped trying to give an aesthetic sense to my pain.


I stopped trying to be anything - and at that very moment, I truly literally felt detachment, not from the outside world, but my fears, and my desires - and in that very moment, I reminded myself;


Say(O Muhammad) “Nothing will ever befall us except what Allah has destined for us. He is our Protector.” So in Allah let the believers put their trust.” [9:51]


Wow, how stupid I used to be to fear - when Allah, who is Ar-Rehman, Allah, who is Ar-Rahem with me, looking for me, taking care of me. What is the fear, when I have the love of Allah? SubhanAllah.


All of this was only about "putting my trust in Allah" - the whole of it, absolutely.


That moment of utter detachment, I took as pride, and I still, and I always will do.


This thing with the love of Allah is, that His love is magnificent, His being is so glorified, that it cannot fit with anything else.

And Allah’s status is so high that you cannot keep Him in your heart when there are million other things - and it was an insult when I used to declare my love to Allah, it was an insult saying, I give You my heart - but my heart wasn’t clean, it wasn’t pure - and at that moment, all my pain and fears vanished, because the question wasn't mine, it was only shame - shame for not fully putting my trust in Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.


How do I keep my Master, my Lord, Allah, in a heart that has so many other things?


SubhanAllah, that was one moment of liberation for me. That was the chance I was given!


That was the one thing I was given an option in - choosing that moment of detachment from the world, to attach to my Lord, Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.


It was the divine work of Allah - I cannot even comprehend, how I always begged for nothingness, and how that nothingness, gave me everything. SubhanAllah.


Submission is Love of Allah

For that moment of nothingness - I felt the ultimate peace there can be - my heart felt like a clean slate to me - and I felt, now I can say,


“Ya Allah, today, right here, this heart of mine, it wants nothing today, and it has no desire anymore, and it is attached to nothing, nothing big, and nothing small. Ya Allah, here I am, your sinning servant, in front of you, with empty hands, literally of the world, and the desires - I beg You to take it - I beg you to accept this sinner - I beg you to make me yours - I beg you to love me, like me, choose me, protect me, guide me - I give you my all - take my all - I want nothing - BUT YOU."


SubhanAllah.


Detachment is the first step to attachment - the beauty of breaking to be made by Allah is beyond what my sinning hands can even write! SubhanAllah.



// This is an unedited, grammatically incorrect blog, because I wanted to keep it natural, and didn't want to break the flow. Share your experience of small moments of submission to Allah in the comments section.

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submission is healing - spiritual journey - spiritual healing - islamic spirituality

Sanniya Arif

A cozy corner, warm lights, clouds, pen, a journal, Quran, and coffee is what I am made of.
By profession, I am copywriter, editor, and designer - By soul, I want to be a rain drop, or a leaf that falls on the cold, wet ground.
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