“This made me weep today. I’ve already read this post 4-5 months ago and yesterday while thinking about what I’m going through.. I got Exactly these feelings .. the forming of outer cover .. the smashing .. the shattering .. And I thought of You. This article. And then as I checked your site today I picked up some random article displayed and started reading.. And it turned out to be the Same One I was thinking of yesterday! It brought me back to Realisation. BUT, Zeba, Do you still have that ‘fear/depression’ after the shattering? I do.. still. The shattering did make me gain more trust .. But .. the fear of those trials or the depression still remains in a corner. I am still dangling between Hope and Fear (from the trials, Astaghfirullah).” -Tired of Trying
Dear Tired of Trying,
Do I ever still have fear or depression after having the hardened out covering on my heart smashed? Are tears wet? Does loneliness hurt? Does the pope wear a funny hat?
There, I made you smile. A little bit. I hope. And now, a side-story!
I had a muscle biopsy once- I can’t remember if I blogged about it- but it was done with only local anaesthetic on my skin because the muscle they removed needed to be chemical-free for a correct lab analysis. This was not a needle biopsy- this was a crouton biopsy- where they cut out a 1 cm by 1 cm cube of my right arm and then cauterised the two-inch hole shut. I still have a dent in my right arm from where the muscle was taken.
I don’t know if I should even try to describe what it felt like. In theory, I know that scalpels are sharp and surgeons are precise. In reality, it felt like having my arm sawed open with a dull, rusty hacksaw and then carved into with a melon baller. Have you ever thrown up from pain? Me neither, but I wanted to. My brain was screaming in complete panic- every muscle in my body tensed to flee- and nothing I have ever done- no surgery, no accident, no mortal wound and no child birthed- was ever as painful as having that muscle biopsy. But I did it. And I did it willingly. And I was grateful my surgeon did it to me. If doing it again meant getting healthier, I would do it again. Would I be looking forward to it? Hell no. But I would do it again. That is pain with purpose.
Pain is coming. Are you afraid?
If you are, then remember this: The hammer of Qadr is going to beat you against the anvil of the Master Smith. If you’ve been burned, it’s because He’s scorching the impurities out of you. If you’ve been cooled off only to be thrust into fire again, it’s because you needed that second heating.
If you feel like your life is nothing but an incessant pounding- where you get smashed in the face by Qadr of Allah over, and over, and over again, remember- that is how steel is crafted. Your heart was cold, hard, sin-encrusted rock. Allah burns the rock away, heats it until it is soft, and then pounds it into what He wills. Some of us are swords. Others of us are armor. What better honor than letting your pain turn you into a shield for others? AllahuAkbar.
(If you thought you were done- that everything had been burned out of you and you weren’t in any danger of being mistaken for coal, remember, hearts rust. Blades dull. And that’s why life’s a grindstone, and that’s why Allah is pressing your face against it.)
Fear of Allah is part of faith, but fear of Allah’s will is opposite to Trust in Allah. Fear is a button that Shaitaan pushes so that when Allah turns the heat up, you turn away. Or when He lays your heart upon the anvil, you don’t yield- you break. Without trusting Allah and trusting in the purpose of that pain, you flee in terror and go back to being a rock with a heart inside.
Except, now it’s broken.
The pain Allah intends for you has a purpose, and when you understand what the purpose is, not only do you not fear it, you would also volunteer again to have the purpose accomplished. That is why- despite the indescribable pain of childbirth, women still have- and love- their children. This is also why I’d offer up my other arm for a muscle biopsy if there was a chance it would make me better. That is why, when the blows start raining down on your head- you can place it gently down in submission and soften your heart, making it malleable in Allah’s hands. Or you can turn to face Allah, rather than flee Him, and find yourself beautifully refashioned by the work He’s done. If you knew what beauty He was crafting you towards, you would miss being on the anvil when you’d been given a break And if you hadn’t been on the anvil for a while, you’d get worried that you weren’t worthy of anymore detailing from Him, and then- then you would really be afraid.
Trust in Allah. If you find yourself being fearful, remember that He promised no burden greater than you could bear, and fear is a weapon Shaitan uses to prevent you from being turned into one against him.