Ghaflah – The State of Heedlessness and Negligence

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By Hezne Abu Hasan

Wikipedia cites ghaflah as the sin of forgetting Allah and our divine origins, or being indifferent to these. This will eventually lead to us to forgetting the big picture; what we were created for. In a state of ghaflah, we forget Paradise and all its bounties, the grand prize promised as infinitum in the Quran.

The pull of dunya is so strong; its webs have worked deep into our core over time. And so we forget. Or worse, we ignore. We cast aside the promised divine reward because it is not tangible and not present in our time, in place of the tangible but temporary pittance of the dunya consolation.

Allah has described such people in the Quran as having insight into the affairs of the dunya while being completely heedless and negligent of the affairs of the akhirah:

“They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are ghafilun (heedless).” [Ar-Rum 30:7]

Allah also describes such people as being in a worse state than animals when He says:

“And surely, We have created many of the jinn and mankind for Hell. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. They are like cattle, rather they are more astray. It is they who are the ghafilun (the heedless ones).” [Al-A’raf 7:179]

Ignorance is not bliss. No good shall come from knowing, but behaving otherwise. Wake up, snap out of this stupor. Death will come and that shall be all and end all.

“And the intoxication of death will come in truth, that is what you were trying to avoid. And the horn will be blown, that is the Day of which warning had been given. And every soul will come forth, with it an angel to drive it and an angel to bear witness. It will be said: Indeed you were in ghaflah (heedless) of this, now We have removed from you your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day.” [Qaaf 50:19-22]

How easily do we forget. Droning on in the currents of life, without any semblance of purpose. To simply while away time. When the current swerve to the left, we follow suit and likewise to the right, to the right we go, when all along the middle path is the most enduring.

Time is not a gift to simply be whiled away. It is an investment, so the hours we labored will benefit us at a time when we need it most. As long as the sun still rises in the east, there is still hope. Beckon upon Allah’s mercy through sincere repentance and constant remembrance of Him.

Allah has asked this:

“So where are you going?” [At-Takwir 81:26]

We smile because we have the answer. Nowhere my Lord, only to return to You.

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