I had originally planned this post a few weeks ago and never fleshed it out. I was thinking about a recent lesson I had learned (the hard way) that ultimately made me even more grateful to Allah and aware of His mercy. But in fact, compared to an even more recent lesson that hit me just today, it pales in comparison. So I will be writing about the more profound and more recent of the two.
You see, I have hurt someone, someone that I care about very much. Not for any good reason either, and not because I was hurt, but just out of careless arrogance. You know that nobody will enter Paradise who has an atom's weight of arrogance in his heart? Anyway, I suppose if anyone acts rudely towards others, as I have on many occasions, it doesn't make an impact to hurt a stranger's feelings. But that same behavior directed towards a closer friend? And when that friend points out the gross wickedness inherent in that behavior, the problem seems ever so much more acute.
And that happened. I suppose one conclusion someone might draw, looking from the outside in, is that I didn't care for that person's feelings anyway, respect his opinion, or in fact even respect him. But that's not the case, for this is someone who I respect over everyone else.
And my very poor behavior revealed a much deeper problem--the filth on my heart. There is an organ in the body which, if it is sound and pure, the entire body will be pure, but if it is corrupted, then the body becomes corrupted as well. And that organ of course, is the heart.
So what was the lesson? That my heart, far from being pure, was corrupted, sullying my intentions and my deeds. That is a hard lesson to learn. It is easy to think about how someone else might be corrupted, how someone else might have the wrong intention... so much harder to point our fingers at ourselves and ask, "What is wrong with me?" And even if you can ask, it's still not easy to believe the answer.
But for me, there is no escaping it. And as if the lesson weren't brutal enough, the consequences of it are severe, costing me the truest friendship I've known. Hard times can bring us closer to Allah, and I am grateful for that as I beg and plead to the Turner of the Hearts, to the Forgiver, to turn my heart towards His deen, towards obedience to Him, and to forgive me and have mercy on me.