However, little did I realise that there were road works on the M1 and that I would be stuck in slow moving traffic. Due to road re-surfacing two lanes were closed and only one was operating. This meant that flow of traffic was dependent on this one lane.
While the traffic was moving slowly, it was possible to see all the workmen in action, the manner in which the works was taking place and the actual work the people were carrying out to the road.
The first thing I began to notice was that there was this great big stone wall being built between our side of the motorway and the oncoming traffic. This was obviously a safety measure that the council had probably decided to implement to avoid accidents or collisions. This seemed a little peculiar to me at the beginning, because, without a doubt, there was a previous barrier there. It’s not possible for one car to cross over to the other lane, but this time the council had gone a step further and made this really strong and solid wall between the two sides to avoid even a large vehicle from breaking through it.
The second part of work that was taking place was on the actual road surface. This is why only one lane was accessible to motorists while the first two lanes were closed. I was just looking at the road surface how smooth, new and flawless it looked. It was amazing, the way the tar was just laid across the ground to produce the road surface we drive on. What I also noticed was the level of smoke and steam that was produced from the vehicle that was pouring the tar out onto the ground. The strong material of tar had to be melted at extreme temperatures so that it could flow onto the ground and be spread out evenly.
Well, my exit came, and I departed from the motorway to join the side roads leading to Rugby.
From each of the works that was being carried out I realised two things that could aid us in our journey towards Allah, on the path of Islam.
First of all, I realised that our declaration is a barrier that protects us, or stops us from crossing the boundaries set by Allah. It is this barrier that prevents suffering from a major accident and that aids us is staying on the path that we have chosen. This is exactly what I saw on the motorway day after day. However, this time I saw the strengthening of these barriers and it made me realise that we also need to strengthen our Imaan in order to prevent the major obstacles and distractions from taking us over that forbidden border. Although we have this barrier of Imaan, we may realise that many a times we cross over these boundaries set by Allah and cause an ‘accident’, his displeasure.
Thus, in order to stay away from these temptations we need to build a strong wall between us and these desires and temptations; a wall made from the Love and Fear of Allah Ta’ala. Thereafter, Insha-Allah, whenever we are tempted towards a sinful desire, there will be that barrier, that love of Allah and His Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, that will act as a prevention from this major catastrophe.
Thereafter, I also realised another point, that in life there are many things that are beautiful, solid and strong. However, many a times it takes plenty of effort and work upon that thing to make it into the finished product and to give it that complete and perfect look. Whilst looking at the tar, I was reminded of our sins which are like dirt marks that and gather upon our hearts and settle there becoming very solid and set, similar to how the tar is set on the ground and left to dry to become solid.
However, before the tar settles it needs to be melted, it needs to go through extreme pressures to allow it to flow and become liquid again.
Similarly, in this way, our hearts become ‘solid’ like stones due to the sins we commit. As a result of these sins our tears sometimes lose their flow and become dry. This was shown with the tar as well as the solution; extreme temperature to ‘melt’ the tar. In order to remove this ‘hardness’ and bring back the flow of tears we need to soften our hearts by melting them with whatever procedure necessary.
Many Saints have mentioned the many methods of softening one’s heart; some being: The Dhikr (constant remembrance of Allah), Salaah Alan Nabi Salllallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam (salutations upon the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), Muraaqabatul Maut (Remembrance of Death), through the recitation of the Qur’an and excessive Istigfaar (seeking forgiveness).
May Allah give us all the inclination to build a wall between us and all those matters that displease Him and His Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. May He support us in the attempt of ‘melting’ our hearts by eliminating the sins that have settled upon it. Aameen.