Someone in our building has roaches. Yuck. Thankfully, the management has hired pest control to come in and spray everything down to prevent their spread. Not so thankfully, this means we have to remove everything from the closets and cupboards, so the sprayers can do their thing.
We’ve lived in this apartment going on four and a half years, and one of the great things about it is that we have lots and lots of closet space. So whenever we accumulated junk, all we needed to do was open the closet, shove it in and wa’la, out of sight, out of mind.
Four and a half years worth of junk had to come out of the closets. Holy moly, we have a lot of junk. It literally covers our entire living room and bedroom floors with only a small path to stumble through. Squeaky is having a blast hiding amidst the stacks, chasing dust bunnies and climbing on boxes. There are, alas, no pictures of the clutter, since of course, the camera is buried somewhere underneath mountains of junk.
Now that we’ve got all our junk out in front of us, we can sort through it, get rid of what we don’t need, pare down what we keep and inshaAllah begin a more organized existence. The roaches were a blessing in disguise.
What then, about our hearts? What junk do we have stored in our very soul, cluttering and weighing us down with they’re inanities?
We sin. All humans do (unless you happen to be a prophet). And that sin is like the clutter in my closets. We sin, we shove it into our hearts, and then we forget. A little sin here, a little sin there, and pretty soon, our hearts are overflowing with foul crud that weighs us down.
So what can we do? We need to unpack the mess that is our hearts, pull out all the sin that is lingering, spray for roaches, er, sin, and cleanse ourselves. Sort through the baggage of your life, and only put back what will benefit you in your walk along sirat ul mustaqeem.
Right now, look into your heart. Look into your past. Take out everything you’ve ever done. Seriously now, take it out. Write it down. Examine it. Reflect on it. Is this what you want to present to Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment?
Now that your whole life is laying there in front of you, what will you do? Separate the good from the bad. Put that good back in yourself. Now turn to the bad. Make tawbah. Ask Allah (swt) for mercy and forgiveness. Repent and vow not to continue.
Don’t let the clutter build up. Make tawbah a regular part of your daily routine. The Prophet (saws) would ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness 70 times a day. Surely you should ask for it as well.
Allah (swt) says in a hadith qudsi:
O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.
And next time you sin (and you probably will, you are human after all), don’t shove that sin into the closet of your heart. Nope, face it head on, make tawbah for it and kick it to the curb. Don’t let it build up until you’re buried in it.