Finding Quietude in Solitude
“Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.” – Khalil Gibran
As humans we all get immersed in relationships, material things or moments which in reality are all rooted in temporality. Undeniably, both good and bad things all come to an end. I often find myself forgetting that one day I’ll depart alone from this world and it will just be me in front of Allah (swt).
A good friend of mine once told me “Saad, we ride together, we die together, but we’re all buried alone”. In life, periodic seclusion is necessary. There is a lot of noise outside and introspection allows us to reflect deeply on what state we’re in as individuals.
Solitude definitely has it’s place in the deen, from studying the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), we know he used to spend often time alone in cave hira.
In the age we live in, we’re constantly being blasted with social media announcements, entertainment news, advertising and propaganda. Sometimes, you gotta turn it off and just chill. As one sister said, we need spiritual detox every now and then. Ideally, it happens in the blessed month of Ramadan.
Anyway, until you cut something out of your life, you really don’t know how much of an impact or distraction it’s been having. Being plugged in all the time to things that don’t really matter, takes it’s toll on you mentally and then our hearts eventually become pre-occupied with trivial issues/matters that don’t reap us any benefit in the hereafter.
It’s important to highlight the distinction of solitude vs becoming anti social. In no way am I saying we all become hermits. Being anti-social influences a person to be cut off from the world in both the short and long term and by default, Islam calls us to be social and productive/accessible members of society.
In this article, I wanted to highlight more importantly the mental preparation we all should have as temporal beings here for whatever time, Allah (swt) has decreed for us.
Personally, I definitely feel going into solitude from time to time helps me keep myself in check. Especially when I’m going through difficulties and or if I’m angry, a simple walk, doing wu’du, and catching extra prayer, cools and calms me down. We’re reminded in the Qu’ran, “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.”
To wrap this post up, I wanted to share beautiful poem from Imam Shafi (R)
“O my Lord, when that which there is repelling alights upon me,
And I find myself leaving this abode
And become Your guest in a dark and lonely place,
Then make the host’s meal for his guest the removal of my wrongs.
A guest is always honored at the hands of a generous host,
And You are the Generous, the Creator, the Originator.
Surely kings, as a way of displaying their magnanimity
Free their servants who have grown old in their service.
And I have grown old in Your service,
So free my soul from the Fire.”
Sorry I haven’t been writing too much, life is definitely getting more hectic. I’m falling asleep as I wrap this post up. Please keep me in your dua’s. May Allah (swt) have mercy on us and allow us to meet him with true imaan in our hearts. Ameen!