SEVERING ONESELF FROM ELEMENTS OF SEVERANCE
In his wonderful exegesis of the Qur’ān, titled At-Tashīl li-‘Ulūm at-Tanzīl (“Facilitating comprehension of the sciences of the Revelation”), Ibn Juzayy, the shahīd savant from Granada in the late days of Islamic rule there, truly facilitated our detection of what cuts us off from Allah.
When dealing with the isti`ādhah, he condensed the diagnosis and the prognosis in a few words we can further condense in an illustrating grid.
Those who seek refuge in Allah board the Ark of rescue. Shaykh Zarrūq, in his universally loved wazīfah, compacts in formulas of remembrance what Ibn Juzayy compacts in this one passage of universal relevance about the isti`ādhah.
Severance point 1
a) Isti`ādhah (Seeking refuge in Allah)
b) Acting contrary to his promptings
Severance point 2
The self (an-nafs)
Taming it until it is curbed
Severance point 3
The dunyā (= this transient and thus lower life)
Zuhd (= doing without its superfluities)
Severance point 4
a) Contracting away from them and
All causes of being severed from Allah are traceable to these four.
You should place it straight in front of your eyes, whether the physical or the inner eyes, and carry out self-reckoning on the basis of it:
Am I attacked from one of the severance points, or from more than one? In which way it is happening? Why is it so? How can I implement the treatment Ibn Juzayy prescribes to me?
One last point:
The defining feature, the trademark of this age is selfishness, egotism.
Me, myself and eye; crave for self-manifestation; search for worldly accumulation (love of the dunyā being precisely what consigns the ummah to its current servile status), yearning to please creatures (from compromised scholars down).
All of this is quintessentially Shaytānic:
«He said, ‘I am better than him. You created me from fire and You created him from clay’» (Sūrah al-A`rāf: 12).