The Islamic Garden
Lift Me Up Away From Here!
Wouldn't it be great if we could just escape from life from time to time? Whenever we start to feel overwhelmed, filled with fear, or just tired of it all, we could have a way to leave behind the worries and woes of the world. We would be able to just calm ourselves and recharge our spiritual batteries so we can get back and live our lies with more zest and zeal! But can this be done?
The answer is a resounding
"yes!" When Allah the Almighty created the world and mankind to live in
it, He gave people the power and means to fulfill their true potential
in life and to learn the lessons that would enable them to appreciate
that they were created, that truth exists, and that they have a
significant part to play.
Our destinies are woven around each other. Life events form the pattern of our lives and the challenge is to discover ourselves, to keep our spiritual batteries up and running while taking part in the affairs of the world. This is not an easy task by any means. The basis of existence is Allah the Creator and it is to Him we turn for help in matters regarding this worldly life, the soul, truth, and eternity. All matters go back to Him.
So we are never alone in our worldly quests. Allah is always there and ready to respond to us when we make the first step toward Him — toward all that is good, pure, and true. Sometimes we find ourselves rushing around, chasing after worldly things. We do this perhaps because we want a good and stable life, but in so doing we might get caught up in the money-making lifestyle and leave the spiritual side of life to dwindle and weaken.
If we leave our spirituality, we might feel that something is wrong — a sense of unease. It is at that point that we will decide one of two things: either to continue as we were and ignore the signs sent by Allah, or to turn to our spiritual life. The latter would entail turning to Allah and seeking the real meaning of life and the meaning of our existence, which are clearly outlined in the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and life itself. It is understood by those who seek guidance and take the time to think: [… Such similitudes coin We for mankind that haply they may reflect. ] (Al-Hashr 59:21).
So in the midst of life — with our studies, work, problems, and boredom — we have prayer. Prayer is a gift granted to mankind by Allah the Almighty, Who intends our good in every aspect of life.
Our prayer does as much for us as we put into it. Prayer is a means of detaching ourselves from this world and entering the current of life. It lifts us to a higher spiritual plane where we have the chance to perceive ourselves and our lives in a broader, deeper, and more truthful and meaningful way. That is why when we pray, we often become more aware of our sins, mistakes, and weaknesses. We sincerely turn to Allah to forgive and guide us. At other times, we feel overjoyed with life and thank Allah for creating us.
Such feelings do not usually occur when we are busy in everyday activities because we have taught ourselves to switch off our spirituality. The ideal would be for us to learn how to perceive spiritually. With this perception, we would be able to perceive the meaning and significance of everything we do in life, while at the same time being busy in humdrum activities.
Could it be that people get depressed, frustrated, and even angry because they have taught and conditioned themselves to focus on the mundane life? They believe that everyday life is separated from the spiritual, insightful current of life that flows through every living thing. They may ignore, overlook, or fail to see the connection. And thus, we live and die in mundane trivialities when at our fingertips is the means of escape, refreshment, and the ability to put ourselves and our lives into proper focus.
Not only is prayer a way to escape from life five times a day, but it is also the means by which we can reenter life (after the prayer) with a sharper focus, a purer heart, a clearer mind, and a more determined will to speak better, act better, and be better.