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Dark Night of the Muslim Soul

Is Faith a Choice or a Gift?

Faith is peace

Powerful faith is a gift because it tends to afflict those who are most resistant to it.  It is a violent experience which erupts when a drop of humility enters your blood stream and rips through the darkness of your soul like lightening. 

And for those with the potential to achieve the greatest faith, this usually happens not as a process, but as a life altering event.

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This is an event which, to the person experiencing it, is nothing short of a miracle. Proud people demand miracles they did not earn. But you must go through the motions minus the emotions in order for God to split the Red Sea. 

To split that impossible gulf between you and Him, is to split your  congested brain matter,  evict  your intellect , and annex the last remnants of your mind, flooding it with the unfiltered blood of a beating heart after years of living off a ventilator. 

That feeling is a kind of miracle you don’t like to share because you do not want to undermine the extraordinary experience by subjecting it to the reactions of ordinary believers.

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But be forewarned that faith is not a permanent condition and must be nourished by religious practice.  Many people once had faith and lost it.  And now they live off the memory of what it once felt like, until the memory starts to fade and spiritual amnesia threatens their very survival.

This is a phenomenon coined by John the Baptist (Prophet Yahya)  as the “Dark Night of the Soul.”  It’s a period in time in a person’s life when the light goes off completely, and the place where God once resided becomes completely vacated.  

It’s a time which can last for decades. It’s a time when you feel you are completely lost and without a sense or a feeling that God exists, and yet you persist in your search.

Some of the world’s greatest religious and spiritual leaders have experienced this emptiness, and during those times the only thing which connected them to a seemingly indifferent non -existent God was their humility, which is the humble realization that He is there even though I do not feel Him, the humble realization that I must find Him.

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It’s the same feeling that makes you search for God who can make His presence known but prefers to torture you with His absence.  That torture can be purification or a petrifaction, it all depends on you, it is your choice. 

But remember this: patience is not about waiting in line for loaf bread.  It’s about waiting in line without knowing whether your salvation or a guillotine lies at the end of it. 

It’s about standing still in defiance of every impulse you have to run.  It’s  about standing still while the anger courses through your veins because the devil himself has granted you,  of all the people, the pleasure of his company,  by making himself real, making  his love clear, and offering you the world and everything in it. 

And this devil will constantly remind you that your God has forsaken you but he is there for you.

To desire faith over good fortune during those moments takes a spiritual giant.  And spiritual giants are not people who have persevered with their prayers and stuck it out with God.

On the contrary, spiritual giants are the first to sell their soul, but not to the Devil, who is always the highest bidder, but to the lowest and weakest losers. Because a spiritual giant understands that only a degenerate soul could claim a high price, and only a tortured soul can find refuge in self-deprecation. 

And they would rather be tortured than corrupt. They choose self-destruction over survival because life without God is unbearable.

The noted linguist and mathematician Alfred Korzybski once said,

“There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything.  Both ways save us from thinking.”

But to think is to doubt, and you should think, and you will doubt.  And when you do, be patient, and never ever give up on faith, because you will not only be brought back to God through the gift of faith, but you will start perceiving Him as if He were standing right next to you. That is the logical equation, and the proof of it-   is in your heart.

First published: July 2014

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