Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Internal poverty is the poverty of the soul. It describes the unmoved soul. The soul that has been created but has failed to realize why. It is the soul that lives a life without purpose. The heart that beats but has already died.
Because while this body cries and bleeds and feels pain from the material world, the soul is untouched by these things. There is only one thing that can cut, stab or impoverish the soul. There is only one thing that can kill it. To deprive it of its only one true need. That is for it to be close to its originator. To be near Allah.
Spiritual deprivation is the true impoverishment. True poverty is standing poor on the Day of Judgement. Despite this reality, we continue to live this life, feeding our bodies but starving our souls.
When a body dies, we cry. But our hearts are unmoved by those bodies which are still alive but whose hearts and souls have already died. Because of the alienation from that which gives life - Allah.
What impoverishes and kills the heart? It is allowing the heart to love anything as it should only love Allah. The heart was created by and for Allah. The heart was created to know and love Allah. The heart was created to be given to Allah and to be filled with His remembrance.
The heart that is given to or filled by any other thing suffers the most painful impoverishment and death. The heart that is owned by this life is a prisoner of the worst kind. The heart that is owned by any other master than the Master of masters, is the weakest of all slaves.
That is true oppression, true death, true poverty.
As human beings, we enslave ourselves to different things. Some are enslaved to money or to other people. We love them as we should only love Allah. Some of us are enslaved to our status in society or to our careers.
What do you love most?
Many of us will say that we love Allah the most. We say this with our tongues and in our minds. But our hearts and actions say otherwise.
How do you know what it is that you love the most?
Ask yourself, what is your refuge? When you are most broken, where do you go? When you afraid, where do you hide? When you need, who do you ask? What do you fear most? What do you stay up at night worrying about? What makes you cry most? What do you think about most? What occupies your mind in salah?
Is it really Allah?
Is it really Allah on our mind the most? Is it really your fear of standing before Him that makes you cry in your bed?
No, probably not.
It's the person who left you, the money you lost, the career you couldn't have, the pay rise you didn't get. What are you afraid of most? Just the thought of losing that object causes you so much anxiety that you feel it physically?
Is it your husband? Your wife? Your money? Your job? Is it your image? Your figure? What is it?
When you are given a choice, what do you do? When Allah says to dress and act a certain way, and then society says the opposite, which do you choose? Who defines beauty for you? Who defines success?
When Allah says that interest is haraam, but your financial ambitions command otherwise, which do you choose? Who defines richness? Who defines poverty?
The storm is coming. Seek refuge in the only place that refuge exists. Seek refuge in Allah.
You and I know what day we were born. But none of us know on which day we will die. And, many people think that we can live our lives in whichever way we like. Then at the time of death, just read the Kalimah.
But at the time of death, the tongue cannot speak except what the heart commands. Whatever is in the heart, it will come out.
The impoverished heart will have nothing but the love of the world to speak about on that day. If our heart is empty of Allah during our life, how can it be full of Allah during our death?
If in your life, you carried only La ilaha illallah that truly there is no refuge, no shelter but Him. Then and only then will the tongue be given permission to say the Kalimah.
May Allah make us amongst them who truly take Allah as their refuge - Ameen!
(Adapted from a speech by Yasmin Mogahed)
(Adapted from a speech by Yasmin Mogahed)