Solitude: The Path of Devotion

Solitude: The Path of Devotion

There is no doubt that a heart believing in Allah, Exalted be He, and His Commands needs to devote itself to His remembrance (dhikr), worship (‘ibadah) and obedience that requires dedicating oneself to work for the Hereafter.

For it is enough to know that the innate desirous nature of humans distracts one from realising this goal.

A person should focus his efforts on the Hereafter, devote his heart for the remembrance of Allah, Most High. Implementing His Orders and for preparing to meet Him.

Hence, one should detach himself from all distractions and avoid being busy with other matters; however, as it is not possible to avoid all distractions, one should avoid and abstain from things that can be avoided.

I never found more distracting to the heart than two things:

The first is obeying one’s desirous self in all that it seeks, which is endless for it will ruin one’s life and Hereafter. As it is impossible for a person to acquire all what he wants (i.e. pretty women, money, power etc.) then truly, what a distraction! Life goes away while a person only achieves some of that!

The second is socialising with people – the common in particular – and walking in markets because the innate nature of humans inclines towards desires and forgets about the fact it will depart this life. It enjoys not performing any acts of worship and prefers idleness, inadvertency and comfort.

That being the case, he who is accustomed to socialising with people will find that busying himself in learning knowledge or worshipping is something intolerable; so with his continued socialising he finds himself comfortable with this state of heedlessness and wasting away his time in nothingness.

He who wants to devote himself to the Hereafter should seek solitude so he does not hear the voices of distraction and keep his heart empty from it. His self finds no desire to take as a friend, one who reminds it of what it desires.

Yet if socialising becomes necessary with people, he should keep his interaction minimal and as required, just like how a frog leaves water for a short moment to feel the air then returns to water.

Truly, this is the path of safety so ponder on the benefits of this path and you shall enjoy it.

[Captured Thoughts by Ibn Al-Jawzi, p. 846-847]

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