I’ve heard a number of shuyukh say when a faqir, when a person on the Path has trouble, then he knows that he’s basically on firm ground. It is when things start going well that the faqir gets worried because then he knows that sooner or later the difficulty is about to hit him.
We are very fortunate, very blessed to be among people who have had to claim the Deen, because those people who have had to claim the Deen also are those people who have in a sense had to reinvent the Deen.
As we’ve understood nafs in our tradition, nafs is your individual identity. The sense that you have that you exist as a discrete, separate being. But the root condition of our individual existence – for all human beings is exactly the same.
Deen isn’t culture. It’s a filter for culture, which means Deen is a codification of fitra. It gives you access to fitra. It gives you a way of understanding what your intuitive sense of right and wrong is and what is appropriate in the moment.
What does it mean when we say that wherever you turn there is the Face of Allah? This is a very important matter. We must remind ourselves and understand about what it means.
It is very difficult for one to be in a state of dhikr, to be in a state of worshipfulness while we struggle with relationships and struggle with the difficulties of the mundane and the day-to-day, which have the effect of keeping our attention and our energy quite low.