Ascending through Good

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from a transcript of discourse given by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed.

When Allah (s.w.t.) Created the universe, the skies and the earth, and He thereafter Sent man and jinn to reside on the earth, He Made Evident that the entrance to and from the skies is like one-way valve.   It means that only certain things can ascend back to Him.  And what are they?

To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity:  (Surah Fathir:10)

Nothing but good can pass that barrier.  This is important for us to understand because firstly, it shows that good and evil are not equal.  Even the places in which they are recorded are different.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

Nay!  Surely the Record of the wicked is (Preserved) in Sijjin.  And what will explain to thee what Sijjin is?  (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed. (Surah al-Muthaffifin:7-9)


Nay, verily the Record of the Righteous is (preserved) in `Illiyin.  And what will explain to thee what `Illiyun is?  (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed. (Surah al-Muthaffifin:18-20)

Good is therefore recorded in the sky and evil, which cannot ascend, is recorded in a dungeon.  That is why on the Day of Judgement some people would raise with nothing to take to their Lord.  Allah (s.w.t.) is the Embodiment of Good.  This means that impurity cannot ascend back to Him.  There is a barrier that prevents impurity from going further.  We are returning to Him and we have to pass that barrier in order to get back to Him.  So if we do not qualify ourselves to pass this barrier our meeting with Him would be impossible.

Allah (s.w.t.) has Shown us the way with the mir’aj of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  He was so pure and clean that he was able to pass through all the barriers when he ascended.  And he went further than any other creature.  Therefore him being our model and exemplar we must pattern him and strive to remove any form of impurities in our personality.  And Allah (s.w.t.) Gives us the formula in Surah al-Kahf;

…whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness... (Surah al-Kahf:110)

Doing good is comprehensive and it applies in every aspect of our lives.  One of the stations in spiritual growth in our meditation is to ascend.  Spiritual ascent is possible but it takes a lot of effort and dedication.  This is why Prophet (s.a.w.) told his companions, “I have returned from jihad al-aswghar to jihad al-akbar”.

 The swahabah enquired, “What is the big jihad?”

Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Jihad an-nafs.”

Jihad an-nafs is the control of desires, to control our tongue and control our emotions.  If we cannot control our desires, how do we expect to ascend?  The real jihad is to control our nafs.  And if we do, we would have qualified ourselves to return to, and insha’Allah, meet with our Lord.

All the Messengers of Allah (s.w.t.) took great care in what they said and did.  They never acted outside of their mission.  Our mission in this life is to get back to Allah (s.w.t.).  Therefore we must take care in all our doings.  Those who criticise spirituality say spirituality it’s a cult but they do not know that it is an effort to purify ourselves and make us conscious of our personality.  It takes time, effort, honesty, dedication and sincerity.  How is it possible for the ruh to ascend while the nafs is fighting to stay down?  We want to be able to pass through these barriers. 

The great shaykh, Shaykh Junayd al-Baghdadi (q.s.), once asked Allah (s.w.t.) how he could attain closeness to Him?  Allah (s.w.t.) responded, “Leave your nafs and come.”  This struggle will not be easy and rest assured that Satan will try his best to divert us.  He will even attack us with good which we unfortunately see happening today.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Protect us from Satan and whatever means he may use to divert our focus.  Our mission is to return to, and insha’Allah, meet our Lord; and the journey begins here.  We must work to refine our personality so that our ascent to Allah (s.w.t.) would be easy and in the end, successful.


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