In February 2012, I attended Sadathullah Khan’s, Discover Yourself Workshop in my hometown of Klerksdorp, in the North West Province of South Africa. What followed was for me, the most spiritually enriching inward journey that I had ever taken. It was Khalil Gibran I believe who said, “the teacher is indeed wise who bids you NOT into the house of His wisdom, but leads you to the threshold of your own mind”
In his unique and inimitable style, Sadathullah Khan makes it clear to us that all human beings are born pure, but that the inherent goodness in each of us lies buried under the debris of negative feedback that we get from our parents, care-givers, teachers and the like, .and when we submit to the evil suggestions of the nafs and shaytaan, we are at further risk of losing our worth and value in the sight of Allah.
I learnt that we each create our own realities. Our take on life, the lens through which we see the world, the prejudices and judgement calls we make, the meaning and interpretations we attach to the events in our lives; all these become our reality. We are taught that there is another SUPERLATIVE REALITY, one that surpasses our own in its perfection and that, is Allah the Absolute Reality. The soul’s purpose is to KNOW ALLAH, TO KNOW ALLAH ‘S PURPOSE and to SUBMIT and ALLIGN ourselves to ALLAH’s PURPOSE’s.
Thus, being in a state of submission means not only fulfilling the laws of Allah such as salaat, haj, zakaat etc, but submitting to His decree at every moment of our lives.. the small seemingly annoying inconveniences, misplaced items, the slow driver in the fast lane ,the burned supper, the bad weather. Any of these or all of life’s other challenges are not in our control, and knowing that life is about navigating these obstacles with a sense of calm acceptance, and responding to them by seeking Allah’s help, we are in a state of submission to respond to any decree of Allah, whether it be minor inconveniences or larger, life altering events.
As we are taught in the hadith of Allah’s beloved Messenger Muhammad (Pbuh), every action is judged according to its intention and so to be assured of Allah’s good pleasure, we must be certain that we do no action, decide no small or big matter, utter no word, except with the intention to draw nearer to and attract His good pleasure. When we realise that nothing will benefit us on the Day of Accountability, except to return to Allah with a sound heart, we have to expend all our energies into this effort.
The three-day “ Discover Yourself “ workshop has the potential to change lives and to bring deep inner peace. As someone said, ‘when you go digging for gold, you have to shift tons of dirt, but when you go digging, you don’t go looking for the dirt ,you go looking for gold.’ We have to dig deep to look for the treasures that lie buried within us. When we confront the enemy/villain especially, when we discover that the villain is us, it requires courage to accept it. It is disturbing, often uncomfortable, but necessary. I echo the sentiments of many of my fellow participants when I say that taking this workshop has added immeasurable value to my life as the world holds far more promise for, I, with the help of Allah , have struck gold. I pray that Allah blesses the wise man from Bangalore with a just recompense and that his efforts are approved by Allah and granted wide acceptance.
(The writer lives in Klerksdorp, South Africa)