Causes of Restlessness
Causes of Restlessness: Worldliness that deprive inward of inner peace and Divine proximity.
Restlessness is a state of apprehension and anxiety in which the inward of a person lacks inner peace. In other words, when a person is not content at his state, then his inward goes in a state of restlessness and is deprived of inner peace.
What is Restlessness a Symptom of?
Inward restlessness occurs when a man is chasing one thing but at the time Allah has planned something else which in fact is better for him. Questioning Allah’s granted destiny is disobedience of Allah and that takes away the inner peace. This shows man’s disbelief in Allah’s will and is a sign of weak faith. We should remember that the Lord of this Universe is Allah Almighty. Indeed, everything belongs to Him and to Him shall we return. He is capable of everything. Only with this belief we can save our inwards from restlessness.
Man should realize that everything happens on Allah’s order. Neither man is sent in this world on his own will, nor can he leave world on his own will. Then it is imprudent of man to try to take matters of destiny in his own hand. Rather he must spend life according to Allah’s will and surrender his wishes for Him. Thus, he will not suffer from restlessness and will find inner peace.
What is the Reason of Restlessness?
Allah has fully guided man through Quran and Hadith on how to live life. Yet man pays no heed to His guidance thus falls in the deep ditch of restlessness. He follows his innerself and becomes unthankful of blessings Allah granted him which resultantly causes restlessness. Man is always running after the unstoppable desires of innerself and rushes to achieve what he does not have. When man is not able to attain his desires that result in depression, anxiety and restlessness. In this way he becomes unappreciative of the blessings he already has. Indeed, Allah grants man with the best at the right time and right phase of life. Restlessness occurs when man goes against Allah’s will and tries to achieve what he thinks is better for him. As Allah Almighty says:
Meaning: It may be that you dislike a thing and (in fact) that is good for you. And it is (also) likely that you like a thing but (in fact) that is bad for you. And Allah knows well but you do not know.” [2:216]
The more man indulges in the colors of this world, the more it traps him in its fake beauty. Contrarily, the more man tries to escape from its trap, the more Allah protects him from its maliciousness. The saints have likened the world to a dark well in which whoever falls can never gain ultimate success and inner peace. The abundance of worldliness causes restlessness while complete lack of it is also troublesome. This is why Quran, Hadith and the quotes of the Sufis emphasize on renunciation of the lust of worldly pleasures. One must live in this world in such a way that he is not mesmerized by it rather is indifferent of it inwardly. Prophet Mohammad says:
“Do not fascinate your inward with the pleasures of the world.”
In another Hadith, Prophet Mohammad says:
“The world is home to those who do not have home (in hereafter). Also, it belongs to those who do not have a (better) belonging. Only the unwise accrue it and only the negligent people hold animosity with others for its sake. Furthermore, only those are envious for it who don’t understand (its reality) and only those adore it who have no faith (in Almighty).”
Prophet Mohammad says the following about the seeker of the world:
- One who begins his morning in a state that his biggest worry is (to attain) world, then Allah does not care to grant any benevolence and blessing on him.
Thus, Allah makes the following four things mandatory on his inward:
- Grief that never separates from him.
- An engagement that never liberates him.
- Such appetite that he never gains satiety.
- An expectation that is never fulfilled.
Why the desire of this World Causes Restlessness?
The desire of world brings corruption with it and when it goes away it leaves discord among people which results in restlessness. Also excess of world wipes away inner peace. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, the spiritual successor of Sultan Bahoo says the following about this transient world:
Usually the abundance of riches or wealth is thought to be the worldliness, but world is defined by the Saints and Mystics as; “Everything which distracts or diverts the attention away from Allah towards itself.”As Prophet Mohammad said:
مَا شَغَلَکَ عَنِ اللّٰہِ فَھُوَ صَنَمُکَ
Meaning: Anything that deflects you from the remembrance of Allah and attracts you towards itself is your idol.
- The seeker of world forgets the Creator while chasing the creation, but the seeker of Allah holds tight to the Creator and becomes indifferent to the creation.
Thus, Allah alleviates the restlessness from the inward of the seeker of Allah and grants him inner peace.
Chasing World results in Restlessness
Restlessness is a state of frustration from chasing the desires of innerself. Allah did not create this world so man is mesmerized in its temporary beauty. However, man does get fascinated by it and tries to find heaven in this world. How can the man-made heaven be equivalent to the heaven in the skies? Man is chasing the heaven which is similar to an unattainable desire. In fact, it is a house built of sand which is destroyed by a single stroke of ocean waves. Yet man does not learn his lesson and engages in rebuilding such feeble house. He understands he is chasing an unreachable yearning, yet he does not give up. As a result, restlessness and lack of inner peace becomes his destiny. Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:
“O man negligent of the reality of this world! Had you realized the reality of this world you would never desire it. If you are granted world it will be a source of demise for you. Contrarily, you will yearn for it, should Allah retreat it from you. When you recognize Allah, you understand the reality of everything (diverting you from Allah).” (Al-Fateh Rabbani Majlis-50)
Disconnection from Inward Results in Lack of Inner Peace
Muslims in the present era are engaged more in the apparent values and have neglected their inward. However, the splendor of true believer is that he constantly comprehends his innerself. He undermines and negates the desires of innerself, only then is he able to achieve the will of Allah. Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani gives the remedy of bandit like innerself in the following words:
“Deny your innerself just like it denies from obeying the command of Allah. When you reject the desires of your innerself then you will attain strength to refute those who divert you from Allah. (Al-Fateh Rabbani- Majlis 7)
Setting Expectations from People
The seeker of world sets his expectations from people. In fact, he deems and idolizes people. Verbally, he may claim that all his hopes are from Allah only, however his inward is connected to people. Therefore, no relation or connection comes up to his expectation rather everyone betrays him. Resultantly, he experiences grief and restlessness in his inward. To attain inner peace one should have hope, faith and belief in Allah only.
It is important to eradicate all adorations from one’s inward other than Allah to gain inner peace. As these adorations and hopes are the biggest cause of restlessness in the inward. Allah created this world to test man and that is the reason behind man’s calamity. As all the calamities and catastrophes are man’s trial therefore no one can dare to harm him unless Allah wants to. Allah passes man through the trials not to harm him rather to make him realize the reality of this world and bring him in His proximity.
Trial of Prophet Abraham
Prophet Abraham went through the trial when Nimrod ordered to burn him in the blazing bonfire. Had Abraham lost faith in Allah and given up in front of Nimrod then he would have been deprived of the belief and faith in Allah because of which Allah saved him from fire. Also, he would have lost the dear rank in the court of Allah about which Quran talks in Sura Al-Baqarah:
وَاِذَابْتَلَیٰٓ اِبْرَاہِیْمَ رَبُّہُ بِکَلِمٰتِ فَاَتَمَّھُنَّ
Meaning: And (call to mind) when Lord of Ibrahim (Abraham) tested him with several commands which he fulfilled.
The aforementioned verse verifies that Allah passes all mankind through trials, be it prophet, messenger of Allah, fakir, saint or common man. However, Muslims lose faith in the moment of trial which is because of their lack of trust in Allah.
Distance from Religion Islam
One of the causes of restlessness is being distant from the religion Islam and Allah Almighty. If instead of engrossing in the remembrance of Allah, man finds himself engaged in the reminisce of his relations, wealth and other desires then he should understand that he has trapped himself in the web of restlessness by choice and is blaming others for his state.
Inability to Attain Inner Desires Causes Restlessness
Man wants to grasp the world, that is why he tries to mold people and their attitude according to his own wish. He also thinks it is vital to attain all desires. In fact, he has crowned himself as the emperor of his world and forgets that the actual king of this world is Allah Almighty who is the commander of the entire universe. Indeed, Allah grants man with the best when it is the right time. However, the limited intellect of man forces him to lose hope and become unthankful of His blessings.
Allah explains this state of disappointment of man in Quran in the following words:
Meaning: And if We make man taste mercy from Us, then withdraw it from him (for some reason), he becomes highly disappointed (and) ungrateful. [11:9]
Shaikh Ahmad bin Masrooq said:
“One who engages in anything other than Righteousness, then Allah will keep him in upheavals. And those who instead of devoting to Allah are fascinated in others should know that these fascinations will petrify them.”
Ganj Bakhsh elaborates the aforementioned saying as follows:
“This is because, everything other than Allah is mortal. Whoever cherishes the unperishable will face agony and grief on its loss. All devotions other than Allah are reprehensible. This is why when man realizes that people are contemptible, he is horrified by his relations and adorations, resultantly he is in grief and restlessness. Reason being, all the grievances and anxieties occur when man disconnects from his Creator and connects with the creation. (Kashf al-Mahjoob)
Allah says in Quran:
Meaning: Have you seen him who has made his desire his god. [45:23]
In this era of materialism, there are several causes of restlessness like:
- Chasing the desires of innerself
- Disobeying the commands of Allah
- Holding partners with Allah
- Setting expectations from people and not Allah.
- Adoring creation and not the Creator.
How to Attain Inner Peace?
When man follows his idols, he in fact loses his inner peace and this results in restlessness. We are practicing everything that has been forbidden by Allah and his beloved Prophet then how can we attain inner peace. As Allah says:
Meaning: O believers! Do not let your wealth and your children make you neglectful of the very remembrance of Allah. And whoever does so, it is they who are the losers. [63:9]
Remembrance of Allah Brings Inner Peace
The above verse verifies that inner peace resides in the remembrance of Allah. In another sura of Quran, Allah says:
Meaning: These are the people who remembering Allah, remain standing (as the epitome of submissiveness), sitting (as reverence incarnate), and (also keep) changing sides in discomfort of love and meditate on (the manifest luster of His Eminence and Beauty at work in) the creation of the heavens and the earth. (Then, acquainted with the pleasure of His gnosis, they call out spontaneously) O our Lord! You have not created this world without any rationale and strategy. You are (impeccably) Pure (of all shortcomings and obligations). So, protect us from the torment of Hell. [3:191]
- Allah says in Quran:
اَلَا بِذِکْرِ اللّٰہِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوْبُ ۔
Meaning: Indeed, the remembrance of Allah alone brings (inner peace) calm to the inwards. [13:28]
Murshid Kamil Grants Inner Peace
Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali said:
“If you want to unlock your inner self, get its key from the Murshid Kamil Akmal. The key to open the door of inner self is Ism-e-Allah Zaat.” (Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali-Life and Teachings)
About the key to innerself, Prophet Mohammad said:
“The best desire is the desire of Allah and the best invocation (dhikr) is the invocation of Allah (Ism-e-Allah Zaat).
Sultan Bahoo says:
ہر کراں با اسم اللہ شد قرار
ہر چہ باشد غیر اللہ زاں فرار
Explanation: One who finds peace in Ism-e-Allah Zaat, alleviates himself from everything other than Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Inscribing Allah’s name on body and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat enliven the inward like the rain brings life to the dry grass on ground. (Shams-ul-Arifeen)
In short, we can say the cause of restlessness is distance from Allah and connection to the creation rather than Creator. He granted inward to man but the key to inner peace resides in the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. When man surrenders and submits on Allah’s will, Allah is pleased with him and grants him with inner peace and alleviates his restlessness. Questions on destiny, deprives man of Allah’s proximity and thus he falls in the deep well of disappointment and restlessness.
Now the question arises where can we find Ism-e-Allah Zaat which is the key to the inner peace?
One can achieve inner peace and alleviate restlessness by attainting Ism-e-Allah Zaat from the perfect spiritual guide.
Company of Spiritual Guide Grants Inner Peace
The company of perfect spiritual guide sow the seed of Divine love and proximity in the inward of man. The spiritual attention of the perfect spiritual guide cleanses the filth of the innerself and diverts the desires of innerself from world to attaining love and will of Allah. This then frees the inward of man from restlessness and grants him inner peace.
Allama Iqbal says:
کوئی اندازہ کر سکتا ہے اس کے زورِ بازو کا
نگاہِ مردِ مومن سے بدل جاتی ہیں تقدیریں
Explanation: In this piece of poetry Iqbal talks about Universal Divine man who is the perfect spiritual guide. As the perfect spiritual attention of such spiritual guide cleanses the filth of innerself, grants spiritual beneficence and enlightens the dead soul with the light of Allah. Moreover, he eliminates restlessness from the inward of the seeker and grants him inner peace, Divine proximity and vision.
Find Cure in the Company of Perfect Spiritual Guide of the Era
In the present era, restlessness in the inwards prevail because of the materialism. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel as we have the spiritual successor of Sultan Bahoo, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, among us. He is 31st perfect spiritual guide of the Sarwari Qadri order and on the footstep of Prophet Mohammad. He has bestowed millions of seekers of Allah, eliminated the causes of their restlessness and granted them inner peace through his spiritual attention. According to Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, with the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, the seeker can reach the supreme stations of Divine union and presence in the Mohammadan Assembly.
This article was published in the May 2020 issue of Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) titled as بے سکونی کے اسباب Arshia Khan Sarwari Qadri originally penned it in Urdu and translated in English with some changes by Fatima Noor Sarwari Qadri. This article has been translated in English using the American English vocabulary. If you wish to read it in Urdu, then please visit the link: