Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) asks us if we are truly acting upon what is contained in Surat al-Fatihah.
What is your state in relation to In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful? Do you do anything in other than His name? Do you forget His divinity and His mercy?
What is your state in relation to All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds? Do you perceive blessings as coming from other than Him? Do you forget His bounty upon you? Do you praise Him as He is worthy of being praised? Do you witness that He has Lordship over all of the Worlds? Or are you deceived by some created thing? In this you are being tested.
You are being tested by the verse: The Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Are you conscious of His mercy which encompasses you? Have you shown mercy to His slaves for His sake? Have you shown them mercy or animosity? Do you want good for them or evil?
You are being tested by the verse: Master of the Day of Recompense. Do you have complete certainty in the Day of Recompense? Have you prepared for it or not? Are you thinking about it or have you forgotten about it?
You are being tested by: You alone we worship. Do you find tranquility in worshipping Him? Do you know that worship is the purpose of your existence and creation? Have you given worship its due? Do you love it? Have you perfected it? Have you studied the rulings pertaining to it?
From You alone do we seek aid. Do you truly rely upon Him or have you been deceived by the means? Do you seek aid from your intellect, your ideas and from other people, while forgetting the One Whose aid you truly seek? If He causes someone to receive assistance from you, do you see it as coming from you or coming from Him?
You are being tested by the verse: Show us the Straight Path. Have you been truthful in seeking this guidance? Have you expended your efforts in attaining it? Do you know the features of the Straight Path? Have you done your utmost to remain firm upon it or not?
The Path of those whom You have blessed: do you know their station? Do you love them? Have you taken them as allies? Have you tried to emulate them? Or does your state or the state of your family or children resemble the state of their enemies?
Not those upon whom is the wrath [of Allah], nor those who are astray. Do you resemble any of them? Do you believe any of the things they say which go against the way of your Lord? Are you fearful of being resurrected with them? If you are fearful, have you acted accordingly? You are being tested in this.
Extracts from a lesson in Imam al-Muhasibi’s book, Adab al-Nufus in Dar al-Mustafa on 12th Jumada al-Akhirah 1434 /22nd April 2013.