Friday, 31 January 2014
Choices and Temptations
This afternoon I was faced with 3 choices as to how I spent my evening.
OPTION 1: A week ago I had made an intention to attend an Islamic class that I had been wanting to go to for weeks but I was still unable to make it. I was all set to go and made my plans to bring the kids etc but a few days ago was faced with another option (aka: a temptation).
OPTION 2: I was invited through a family member to attend a ladies' only party that was likely to yummy food and I'd get to dress up.......and as the ladies like to do at ladies parties - there'd probably be a bit of the 'shake-shake' happening later in the evening! So I thought, Hmmm a ladies night out - sounded like a nice break and night out after a busy few weeks!
Then this afternoon another unexpected option came along.
OPTION 3: My parents and little brothers came over for a late afternoon swim. As it was a bit late I didn't want to rush them out and instead let them enjoy their time and made sabr (despite wanting to get ready to go to class as by this stage I had decided to stick to the class option alhamdulillah). As my parents were leaving mum said, 'Come to dinner with us tonight or are you busy?' I said that I wasn't busy but was planning to attend a class. I then thought a bit and felt bad for turning down mum's offer as it wasn't often that we went out to dinner together. I also realised that spending that time with them instead of going to class on this occasion was also pleasing to Allah SWT. I also then made a second (back-up) intention to try to eat dinner quickly and then head to the class.
Alas, as expected dinner finished too late and I didn't make it to the class (again). Despite feeling disappointed at missing it again I knew that I had made the right decision in turning down the entertaining option for the learning option and then turning down the learning option for the love and mercy for parents option.
Basically, my reflection from these three options was that in life, we will be faced with many choices and temptations. Sometimes the best option will be crystal clear and at other times it wont. The tempting option will pull at you strongly and make you second-think and doubt the right choice. In such cases one's iman (faith) will need to overpower the nafs. The battle will be on!
At the end of it all, with each choice, we need to check our hearts and souls as to what is most pleasing to Allah (and in this case it was realising that pleasing one's parents is also pleasing Allah SWT and even comes second to the Worship of Him - see verse below). Also that sometimes nearness to Allah is attained through means that are not simply acts of worship and Islamic learning environments - it can be through simple service to others and time spent with loved ones.
Anyhow, Alhamdulillah I was blessed to enjoy a meal and dessert with my family (and it's always a bonus when parents want to pay LOL). I hope that my intentions to attend the class were accepted both times. Apologies to the teacher who was probably expecting me! We shall try again next week INSHA ALLAH!
May Allah help us make the right choices and not fall into non-beneficial temptations - Ameen!
I leave you with an ayah and a Hadith that came to mind whilst typing this:
”Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt (Fie), nor shout at them, but address them in terms of fine, correct and honorable words.” (The Holy Quran, 17:23
'Umar b. al-Khattab narrated that the Prophet (S) said: Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. Therefore, whosoever has emigrated for the sake of Allah and His messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His messenger. Whosoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain, or a woman [whom he desires] to marry, then his emigration is for the sake of that which [moved him] to emigrate." Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.