On this page, you will find 5 longer talks given by Shaykh Fadhlalla in Sweden in August 2017 in which he goes into detail on the theme of Ultimate Contentment.
In Perfect Joy, In Timeless Bliss¶
Some time ago, I was asked to give my first public talk on Muharram to a crowd of British Muslims. I prayed for inspiration, and that night had a wonderful dream. There was a fine black tent, stretching towards the horizon. I was taken inside and saw the Prophet (pbuh) and his family scattered in different parts of the tent. Imam Ali beckoned to me and said, ‘You wanted to talk to my sons, and here they are.’ Both Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein appeared, as young men, cheerfully exchanging pleasantries. I cautiously approached Imam Hussein and asked, ‘Do I have your permission to talk about your martyrdom?’ ‘Of course you can’, he replied, ‘but only if you depict me as you see me now; in perfect joy, in timeless bliss – not in any other way.’
Now – The Gateway of Eternity¶
Allah’s protection and care is forever covering us. It is only we who go to the past and resurrect the dead. That is why the true mu’min regrets at the time, asks Allah’s forgiveness and moves on. We don’t constantly go and visit the scene of the crime. Expect the best of Allah and remember that one of His qualities as it is described in the Qur’an is al-‘Afuw. It is from the word ‘afā. It means effacing, obliterating, or wiping out, and hence, to pardon. From the same root ‘afuw comes ‘āfiyah, meaning wellbeing. The past doesn’t exist anymore because time, in reality, doesn’t exist. It is only as part of His ‘catchment’, so that we are in time and space yearning for non-time and non-space.
Though in reality the past does not exist, we are the product of it. Insofar as we are the evidence it is relevant, but no more. The rest is mental sickness and the emotional stupidity of going back and forth in time – which robs us of presence. That is why one of the main conditions of a salāt that truly energizes us is hudūr (presence) of our hearts. That is why when we do wudu we stop connecting with the world and are now totally and utterly connected through our hearts and our rūh to our Creator – this helps us be present. All the ritual practices of Islam enhance our presence; they make us reflect and available totally. The only contact we have with Allah is now. Yesterday is of no use and we don’t know if we will be here tomorrow or not. The only gift we have is the present moment. If the moment is fully and utterly treasured then we are at the gateway of eternity.