Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
How many of you know about tawheed and shirk, have perhaps studied Kitaab at-Tawheed, Usool ath-Thalaathah, Qawaa'id al-Arbaa, Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Sahih Muslim, Qur'aan with tafseer from Ibn Katheer or As-Sa'adi, Usoolul Fiqh, Fiqh, seerah, and other basic sciences or foundational Islamic texts? While some of you may say no, others will have studied at least some, and there will be some of you who have studied them all, and more, mashaa'Allah. However, even with the correct aqeedah, understanding, and knowledge, everyone needs to look at their road map of life. "Fa ayna tath-haboon?"[Surat at-Takweer, ayah 26] (Where are you going?) So much knowledge, and yet what are you doing? How do you justify your time? How to you justify your actions? No, not to yourself, to Allah. We are put on this earth for one thing - to worship Allah alone. "Wa maa khalaqtu al jinna wal insaa illa liya'budoon." [Surat adh-Dhariyyaat - ayah 56] (I have not created all of mankind and the jinn except to worship Me.)
Sometimes we cruise along life's journey, making all manner of detours, stops, and pleasure tours along with way, but are those stops beneficial for our aakhirah? It is so easy to start out the journey with good intentions, a detailed trip itinerary filled with benefit and with the intention and purpose to please and obey Allah, but our own desires (with the help of shaytaan, our arch enemy) get the better of us. We seek happiness, pleasure, and relaxation in following our desires, but the One Who knows us best, Who designed us and perfected our life map, tells us, "Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." Not just in prayer or the Qur'aan, do hearts find rest, but all remembrance, because when you remember Allah in all aspects of your life and actions, you make choices with Him in mind. It's a part of taqwa. When your choices are made with Allah at the forefront of your mind, they are better ones, and your heart can feel at ease with your decisions and actions. So, remembrance of Allah might change your window shopping at the mall (and remember that the market is the most disliked place by Allah) to a walk out in nature, reflecting on and basking in the beauty that Allah has gifted us with on this Earth. It can change from hours on playstation to a a mind-stretching game for the whole family about what's mubah, makrooh, or mustahhab, exercising your bodies, or learning a new craft or skill. Allah will open your mind and horizons when you put Him in His rightful place - first and foremost.
It is always time for some honest soul-searching, inspection of our usage of time and productivity, active correction, fine tuning, and maintenance. If you lack strength or willpower, beg Allah for it and set up road
blocks for yourself so that you cannot fall into the traps you usually
succumb to. If you lack discipline, consider your agreements to be with Allah, rather than yourself, and try to make others more involved and reliant on your participation, so that you meet your goals and fulfill your promises. Seek solutions from Allah and strive!
Allah gives us a conscience; we know what is right and wrong. We know what meets His approval and what we would rather hide from the world. If you are driving somewhere and you find yourself on the wrong road, you check your map or GPS system and you turn around. That's what you need to do in life. Look at the road and see where you are going. If it isn't the straight road, the Siraatul Mustaqeem, along which you obey and please Allah, then stop in your tracks, reassess, and change direction...before it's too late.
May Allah guide us all to obedience and what He loves, and keep us firmly on His Straight Path - ameen.