Today I attended an event “Fly like a Bird” that was arranged by Live Deen. I got to know about this talk through Facebook and later I also got a text message. I was very excited about this event because of the topic. Everyone who knows me, knows my obsession with the birds. And that is not only limited to their beauty and colors, there is something about birds that fascinate me so much. So I really wanted to know how can I fly like a bird? This is not it. After getting the ticket, something happened between me and my friend that increased my interest even more. We were talking about the Panama leaks and my friend was certainly not happy with the results and especially the judiciary system of Pakistan. As we talked more, it came down to Pakistan and he told me that it hurts him to see our country in this condition. He also showed his concern for our people. Idk how but in the end, we found ourselves discussing each other. I won’t say that I am trying to be a practicing Muslim now that I have attended this conference but at that time I told him that I am very hopeful about my relationship with Allah. I am sure that He loves me and I can feel that. He, on the other hand, is very cautious in whatever he does and he says that he fears Allah. He is afraid to commit a sin and act bold. So he quoted one Hadith in his own words that Iman is a condition between fear and hope. After a few days, I got a promotional message from Live Deen on how to develop love for Allah by striving that perfect balance between hope and fear in Him. Bingo. That’s what I wanted to know.
So Instead of talking about me, let’s talk about the message of that event very briefly. Sheikh Abu Abdissalam was the speaker. He came from Makkah and he was not even feeling well today but he didn’t cancel his talk. The whole talk was based on the following saying;
“The heart on its journey towards Allah is like that of a bird. Love is its head and fear and hope are its two wings.”
He emphasized on the importance of all three, fear, hope and Love for Allah. According to him, if a person doesn’t have fear of Allah but he is very hopeful that Allah will forgive him anyway (like I do Astaghfirullah), that person might keep on doing the same mistakes and sins. Too much hope can also be a sign of arrogance. In fact true fear raises love and hope in Allah. He actually raised a very good point here that a true Muslim always has fear of Allah, even after doing good deeds. Fear is a guiding light in your heart. It shows you what is good and what is not.
Similarly, only hope is of no use. Hoping without action is deception and Ghuroor (pride). You can’t carry on with your bad actions and think that He is Al-Ghafoor and Ar-Rahim. Actions with hope is the key. True hope is doing, then hoping. Otherwise, it’s just wishing. If hope invites you to sins than it is foolishness, not hope.
To further emphasize on the importance of hope and fear, he quoted one verse from Quran;
And call upon Him out of fear and hope [A’raaf 7:56]
Then he talked about love which is like the head of a bird and said that without the head, a bird is dead and so does a believer. Love is the soul’s food. Excessive desires and love for dunya takes all the space in our heart. We first have to empty our hearts if we want Allah’s love. He mentioned Ibn al-Qayim (r) saying that:
“Loving Allah is the life of hearts and nourishment of souls without which a heart will not feel happiness, blessings, success or life. If the heart misses the
feeling of loving Allah, it will hurt more than losing one’s eyesight, hearing, smelling, or ability to speak? If one’s heart is void of loving His Creator, Lord and the Truth it will be greatly dangerous than losing one’s soul”
During his talk, he told us that he don’t like the term “practicing Muslim”. Everyone has got different level of struggles and weaknesses. Humans are made with the capacity to sin unlike angels. If a man has beard or a woman wears hijab that doesn’t necessarily make them a good Muslim or Muslimah or tell us anything about their status with Allah (that doesn’t mean that we can ignore hijab or beard). It’s about getting different exam questions in the exam and everyone will get marks on the basis of their papers. He gave the following ways to increase the love for Allah;
1) Recitation of Quran with reflection
2) Increase obligatory acts of worship
3) Constant Zikr
4) Preferring Allah’s love over your desires
5) Reflecting on the names of Allah and attributes of Allah
6) Witnessing His generosity
7) Stop humiliation (Don’t think no one is better than me)
8) Be alone at the time of Dua
9) Sitting with truthful lovers of Allah
10) Keep distance with anything that comes between you and Allah
He ended the talk with the following lines;
“In Jannah, there is no hope and fear. There is only love. You only worship Allah out of love. Thus, love is among the highest forms of worship.”
I had two questions that I wanted to ask but due to the shortage of time, he didn’t take any questions. My main question was about the verse in Surah Yunus 10;62 that says that the friends of Allah will have no fear upon them and they will not grive so what does Allah mean here by fear? Fortunately he covered that briefly in his talk but unfortunately that didn’t answer my question. Overall it was a pleasure attending the conference as always.