Interruptions in plans, running out of time and being late in meeting deadlines as well as other time related pressures of hectic life of today can affect the one striving in the delicate path of Tazkiyah (purification). After all, how can a person maintain his peace of mind and integrity while concentrating on his Tazkiyah, if his mind and soul are continuously under pressure of catching up with time? It is easy to invite people to calm down and to shower them with some routine and cliché advice like, ‘trust in God ... it is all going to be okay at the end ... just do it instead of being stressed about it ...’ etc.; however, the reality is, that tasks need to be completed before their deadlines and a human being, no matter how elevated his spiritual level may be, does get stressed when things are messed up.

The best way of dealing with this is to prevent such a situation from developing as much as possible, by bringing discipline (Nadhem) in our daily affairs and by observing the discipline rigidly. We need a discipline that dictates to us about when to sleep and when to wake up, when to eat and when to have fun, when to go for shopping and when to visit a friend etc. No doubt, there may be times when there is no alternative but to break the discipline but, with a bit of practice, persistence and more importantly, by convincing those who we interact with regularly to respect our discipline, we can minimise such interruptions.

We read in the life stories of people who were known for their efforts in the path of Tazkiyah, that they had so much discipline in their life that their friends and families would adjust their daily tasks according to their activities, as if, they had a human clock handy! Working through the path of Tazkiyah without bringing some discipline to our daily lives is like hanging washed clothes outside to dry when it is raining; so much effort, yet so little result!

(Dr Abdullah Rahim)

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