Human Potential – The Source of Yearning: The Primordial Purpose
by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
This is the second of a series of articles by SeekersGuidance internal scholar Shaykh Yusuf Weltch on human potential. Shaykh Yusuf poses thought-provoking ideas about what humans are capable of; both success and destruction. How does one truly and deeply desire what the heart desires – God?
You may be asking yourself, “If transcending to the fulfillment of human potential hinges on the deep desire for God, how does one acquire such a passionate desire?” Reflect on the saying of Allah Most High,
“This is a reminder. Let whoever wishes, take the way to his Lord. But you will only wish to do so if God wills—God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 76:29–30).
This verse and many more like it shed light on realities relating to human desire and inclination toward the Divine.
For this reason, the murid (the one seeking) is sometimes referred to as the murad (the one sought). This means that those who seek Allah Most High are merely those who Allah Most High seeks. We see an elite group of Allah’s righteous servants referred to in the Qur’an as the muqarrabun—those brought near. In essence, the reality is that one’s heart, desires, inclinations, and so on are —as the Messenger of Allah tells us—‘between the two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful; He turns them as He wishes.’ (Tirmidhi, Ahmed)
This realization, that we don’t have as much control over our hearts as we thought we had, can be quite daunting for those who ponder upon it too much. In fact, this realization should greatly humble us and bring forth from deep within us a great state of brokenness and desperation to Allah Most High.
Even though creation is existentially in this shattering state of desperation before Allah at every moment, it is in the embracing of this state that draws us nearer to Him. It is narrated that Musa (peace be upon him) asked Allah, “Where shall I seek You out?” He (Allah) replied, “Seek Me out with those whose hearts are broken for My sake,” (Abu Nu’aym, Hilya al-Awliya)
One can find solace, however, in the fact that Allah Most High has given us a profound gift. He has given us a key to unlock His limitless treasures; supplication (du’a). The best of that which you can ask Allah Most High for is the desire to draw near to Him. Ibn ‘Ataillah al-Sakandari said in one of his aphorisms, “The best of what you can seek from Him is that which He seeks from you.” (Hikam Ibn Ataillah, al-Hikma 75)
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would constantly beseech Allah Most High saying, “O Turner of the hearts! Make my heart firm on Your religion and obedience.” (Ahmad)
So, to answer your question, I say plead to Allah Most High to fill your heart with the desire and yearning for His nearness and be certain of His acceptance. The proof that He intends to give you what you ask is that He allowed you to ask. Lastly, strive your best to obey Him and travel the Prophetic path of guidance.
َوإذا َسألك ِعبَاِدى َعنى فإنى قریٌبۖ أجیُب َدْعَوَة ٱل َّداع إذا َدَعانۖ فلیَْستَجیبُو۟ا لِى َولیُْؤِمنو۟ا بى لَعلُهْم یَْرشُدوَن ِِِِِِِِ
When My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond (with obedience) to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided (to the Right Way).
About the Author
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied inheritance law, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance teachers team in the summer of 2019.