‘Maturation’ of the Soul


Assalamoalaykum wa-rahmatullahi-wabarakuh,

I’m taking an Immunology course this semester. Those of you who don’t know much about Immunology, here’s a simple definition: it’s your immune system, it’s the good guys versus the bad guys in your body which protect you from bacteria, viruses,parasites,fungi etc. So, they are like an army within you, protecting you day and night and giving up their lives just so that you can get up the next day and enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, with millions of bacteria and viruses toucing every cell of your skin. Cool, right? Alhamdolilah.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because a Muslim will find lessons in everything he or she studies. One of the key concepts in Immunology is ‘maturation of immune system cells’ or just to make it easier to talk about in oversimplified terms, I’m going to refer to these cells as ‘soldier cells’. This maturation that these soldier cells go through is similar to what we humans experience.

The soldier cells are born, taken care of by other cells so that they grow in the best nourishing environment AND undergo ‘education’ in different organs of the body (e.g. in thymus gland). One striking feature of their maturation process is that they have to be exposed to bacteria/viruses/bad guys to be able to fully ‘mature’. It’s all normal and those cells which don’t ‘mature’ properly, just die! SubhanAllah.

We,humans, and especially as Muslims, have been told that we’ll be exposed to the ‘bad guys’, i.e. problems in our lives. We whine, we complain,we cry our eyes out and if that’s not enough we start despairing.

Did you know despairing is equivalent of questioning Allah’s Mercy? It’s like saying to Allah that I have no hope left in Your Power and Mercy…that You cannot change my future. May Allah save us from such a situation! Ameen.

Problems are a blessing because they help us build our defense system and make us stronger. That’s why if you have read carefully what I’ve said before, soldier cells which can identify the bad guys in the environment, survive and those soldier cells which cannot, just die! We should realize what our real problems are because if we don’t realize that, we’ll be consumed by that problem and die as a loser.

Allah puts us through trials so that we ‘mature’, we learn the means to walk on His Path. I’m sure you’ve all heard about Paradise and it all seems ‘too good to be true’. Obviously it will seem that way. It’s something what no human eye has ever seen and it’s that level of happiness and peace, that no human has ever experienced. So, seriously you think it’d be that easy to get in?

I mean, all of us know about those major celebrity parties which have Bouncers who don’t let anyone in except of course you have an invitation pass. And you get an invitation pass, if you are ‘worth’ it, according to their criteria.

Really, I feel the only thing that’s keeping each of us from Jannah is our Nafs. Our Nafs diverts our heads, making us worry about problems which are not worth it and making us forget about problems that are worth troubling your mind about.

So when you feel that you have a mountain of problems and you can’t go on, stop yourself and think, are these really the problems I should be worrying about?

There are people worried about relationships, husband said that, wife retorted in that manner, parents are not understanding, and the haram matters of heart, got laid off, didn’t get the grades/degree that he/she wanted at school, single and unhappy, married and unhappy,fitnah-consumed kids,well…tell you what? These problems are:

  • temporary: yep! Nobody lives to be a 100 so yeah you’re going to die and that’s the end of it. Do you really think you should be wasting your energies on crying over the past or the present or the future of the world which is going to end? If you really are a Muslim, shouldn’t you be working for the Akhira, which is like totally eternal-never ending? Repentance is the key.

“So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with Allâh (Paradise) is better and more lasting for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism) and put their trust in their Lord (concerning all of their affairs).” [Quran, Surah Ash-Shura, 42:36].

  • lesser in degree : than what others before you have experienced…please educate yourself about the history of Muslims if you don’t understand this. Trust me, if anyone deserved a problem-free life, it was them, who were more pious than us. So if you have problems, check your deeds.

“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allâh, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allâh is Sufficient as a Witness.” [Quran, Surah An-Nisa, 4:79]

  • your trials: you think this world is for amusement and play? Oh come on! Check your Aqeedah. Review your Kalima , my friend! The purpose of life is to worship Allah. If the purpose were to lose our heads and let go of our Nafs and enjoy it  in the optimal manner and have amazing relationships,great cars etc. then wouldn’t all us be given all that? It’s definite that there’s a purpose to our Creation and as a result we have ALL THE MEANS to fulfill it Bith’inillah. Therefore, there’s benefit in this problem you’re facing. Trust His Wisdom!

Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [Quran,Surah Al Mo’minoon,23:115]

“[…] and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allâh knows but you do not know.” {Quran, Surah Al Baqara, 2:216]


Take-home Messages:

  1. Analyze current problems and find out if they’re worth worrying about
  2. Problems awaken us from our heedlessness and lead to the maturation of sou, therefore they’re necessary for your health
  3. World = temporary so live in this world with that mind-frame
  4. Stay content because according to a hadith of my Prophet Mohammed (Salalahu alayhi wasalam):

“Whoever spends the night safely in his place of sleep, while he is physically healthy and has sufficient sustenance for his day, it is as if he achieved the world in its entirety.”

And Allah knows best.

[A gentle reminder to myself and then to the Ummah]


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