I have always heard the advice to ensure that we take care first and foremost of the relationship between ourselves and Allah Ta’ala . The word اصلح is used in the words of the advice of the pious predecessors when they would advise each other :
قَالَ : ” كَانَ الْفُقَهَاءُ يَتَوَاصَوْنَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِثَلَاثٍ ، وَيَكْتُبُ بِذَلِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ : مَنْ عَمِلَ لِآخِرَتِهِ كَفَاهُ اللَّهُ دُنْيَاهُ ، وَمَنْ أَصْلَحَ سَرِيرَتَهُ أَصْلَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَانِيَتَهُ ، وَمَنْ أَصْلَحَ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ اللَّهِ أَصْلَحَ اللَّهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ النَّاسِ ”
The Fuqaha would advise each other with the following three advices and would write to each other :
1. He who works for his Aakhirah ,Allah will suffice him his needs of this world.
2. He who takes care of his good deeds in secret, Allah will take care of his external.
3. He who takes care of his relationship with Allah ,Allah will take care of His relationship with people.
We often find ourselves spiralling out of control , we find that people are letting us down . But most importantly we find that we have so many Duas and desires yet somehow we are not reaching those goals and objectives. How is it that we perform Salah and make DUA yet people are still disappointing us and letting us down?
So I began to look at this word اصلح and I wanted to understand how do we in reality “take care” of the relationship with Allah Ta’ala. The above advice is divided into three parts the most important focus is looking towards the hereafter and your preparation for the reality of the hereafter. The actual investment and building of the life there and moving away from the constant focus of this world and all that it brings. Secondly ,it can be so easy to focus on the actions that people see , the actions that people judge us by and forget the inner self and the focus on our actions done when no one is there to grant us any accolades.
But the most important advice is for us to focus on taking care of the relationship that we have with Allah Ta’ala from our deep beliefs of Allah ,our expectations of Him , our Hopes in Him and never limiting it to our own limited rational and thinking. In taking care of this relationship with Allah – we focus on developing our selves until we understand how tiny we are in comparison to Him سبحانه وتعالى .
It is the complete acceptance of our lack of expertise , management or ability whatsoever.
It is in fact a statement that the only aspect that we have control over is in handing out matters to Allah Ta’ala.
And this brings us to a dua that encompasses this word in its totality. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has taught us to say :
اللهم اصلح لي شأني كله
Allahummah Aslih li Sha’ni Kulllahu
Oh Allah take care of the entirety of my problem/ matter
ولا تكلني الى نفسي طرفة عين
Wa laa takilni ilaa nafsi tarfata ain
And don’t allow me to rely on myself even for the blink of an eye .
The dua emphasises that we place our total needs and worries in the hands of Allah Ta’ala. Not a part of it . The totality of it in His hands. And then refocusesus to understand that we cannot rely on anyone BUT MOST of all we cannot rely on ourselves. For this is where we find ourselves vulnerable to Shaitan in that we don’t rely on people yet we begin to rely on our own selves and our abilities.
You take care of your relationship with Allah. And He takes care of everything else. In its entirety.