What Are You Running Towards?

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In a world that is constantly telling us what to do, which way should we turn?

The dunya is always calling us towards something. Watch this show. Listen to this song. Buy these clothes. Wear this makeup. Talk like her. Walk like him. Sometimes it feels so compelling and disheartening. Which way do you turn? Who do you listen to? What is to do?

I wanted to share some highlights from the story of our dear Prophet Yusuf, ‘alayhis salaam. SubhanAllah, the Qur’an and the Sunnah have example after example for us to take lesson from and to use as a model in becoming a better person.

We know Yusuf ‘alayhis salaam was thrown in a well by his brothers. The caravan who found him sold him to an Egyptian Minister away from his home in Palestine. Yusuf was 7 or 8 years old at this time and therefore grew up with the Minister. Fast forward a few years and Yusuf is now a young man, beautiful inside and outside, by the grace of Allah.

In Surah Yusuf, verse 23, we see one of his many tests unfold:

Now, the lady of the house attempted to seduce him. She bolted the doors and said, “Come!” He replied, “May Allah protect me from this! My Lord has provided me with good residence. Such wrong doers will not prosper!”

The wife of the Minister, the woman who raised him like a child, is now calling him to commit one of the major sins. Who was watching? No person was there. This was a woman of beauty, wealth, and status. It is said that there is no greater temptation than such a woman. Any average person would have easily given in, thinking no one would ever know.

But we see how Yusuf dealt with the situation. He turned to Allah right away. He knew that Allah is AlBaseer, the Ever Watching. He, subhanahu wa ta’ala, sees our every move, knows our every thought, and hears our every word, no matter where we are. Allah Himself had taken him from a being in the bottom of a well to the luxurious abode of a minister. No person would have thought this to be possible. But Allah willed it, so it happened.

So then how could he disobey Allah? How could he take His blessings for granted by doing something He forbade?

In a lecture by one of our shuyookh, it was mentioned that at this time Yusuf was running toward the door, with the wife of the Minister running after him. Here we see two extremes: Yusuf was running towards the pleasure of Allah, and the wife was running away from His pleasure.

Step back and analyze your lives, sisters. What are we running towards or away from? What blessings are given to us by Allah that we aren’t thankful for? Are we fully obeying Allah in the manner He asked of us? Are we thinking of this life and its temporary pleasure or of the everlasting bliss of the hereafter? This life is too short to live without hijab or salah or good manners or taqwa. This life is too short to run towards. In a fleeting moment, it will have passed us by.

Everyday we have an opportunity to run toward some khayr, yet everyday we give up that chance by running towards something in the dunya. It’s in your hands now. Which direction will you run in?

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