Human beings are very complicated creatures. When in presence of others, our feelings and actions are quite different than when we are alone, specially with regard to our relationship with our Lord and with our soul. We some times feel more comfortable and enjoyable when engaged with our Lord while being among others. At other times, we find it awkward and not very effective. It is not the purpose of this short tip to explore the mechanism of feelings of human beings when they are amongst others as opposed to when they are alone. In fact, such exploration might not lead to any definite answers any way.
It is however, enough to appreciate that normally, when it comes to our relationship with our Lord and understanding our own soul, we are in a better situation to assess ourselves when we are alone. Yes, it is in interaction with others that our strengths and weaknesses are usually revealed, yet, it is in our own lone times that we come to notice and hopefully, appreciate them better.
The moments when one is alone are precious times for the one who is interested in being better in the path of his Lord:
- These are the moments that such a person will use to reflect on his personality, being totally honest with himself, and to address his own soul, talking with it, criticising it and advising it openly, seriously and passionately.
- The glory of being lonely gives such a person a chance to realistically assess his soul and his relationship with his Lord. In Tazkiyah tip 8, being alone was referred to as an opportunity for measuring our success in spiritual purification. For instance, if we feel we enjoy prayers better when we read them while others watching us then this is a loud alarm that something is seriously wrong.
- These are the moments during which such a person can be sure that – in connecting with his Lord - he is not showing off or putting up a face for others. It is during these moments that he can talk to his Lord with no one intruding.
It is always good to be around others and to have others around us. We do not propagate isolation and seclusion. It is however, important to value the price of our lonely moments and to make sure we are having them occasionally. After all, it was during their private and lonely moments that the most purified individuals in the past received revelations from their Lord. We will not receive any revelations, but we can for sure, receive His blessings.
One last point:
It was mentioned above:
“These are the moments during which the person can be sure that – in connecting with his Lord - he is not showing off or putting a face for others.”
“So is it really impossible to show off and put a face when we are alone?”
This will take us to Point number 13!
(Dr Abdullah Rahim)