Returning to God
The Sufi path is very easy. Find and tend to the love inside your own heart and then follow that love all the way to its Source. To do this will require that you keep your eye, ear and heart turned, heading into the wind of that love without moving left or right or asking why or what, just letting go into the pull of the Beloved who is calling you near.
Along this trajectory we call “the path” you will at times miss the mark, veer left or right, and lose the thread of the love that guides us towards its Source. When this happens it usually causes some form of dis-ease or constriction or trigger that causes us to divert even further from our intended path of longing. When this happens, you will need to stop and return.
The Vehicle By Which We Return
Tawba is the vehicle by with we return. Tawba begins with the recognition that we momentarily lost our way and now are turning to look for the next onramp to the path. We acknowledge that we made a mistake. A mistake that was based on a misunderstanding that was not completely true. The love is true and the Source of the love is Truth. So, in order to walk the path and arrive at our destination, we most stay moving in truth, by the light of Truth and be able to return to the path each time we fall astray from the love.
Tawba, the return to Allah, is simply recognizing our mistake and asking for forgiveness and to be removed from the thorny bushes of the mistake and returned to the path of love and freedom. Tawba is not complete unless it helps us wash the source of the mistake clean from our hearts, removing the very root of whatever the mistake was. This a vital part of the walking. We will make many mistakes as a result of the misunderstandings and false beliefs we knowingly or unknowingly hold. Tawba allows us a process by which we can clean our hearts so that we can keep traveling the path, leaning and healing as we go, each step preparing us for the next step.
Three Conditions For Successful Tawba
1. We admit our mistake and feel the grief of the mistake.
2.We stop pursuing the mistake and seek healing and forgiveness from Allah.
3. Finally, that we commit to not repeating the same error again, God willing.
The whole process of tawba is designed to make this all simple and complete. Tawba is an active process of seeing our mistake, clearing out the root that gave rise to it, and thus healing our hearts and souls so that we can stay on the path and keep moving towards our arrival with our Lord and Sustainer with nothing remaining in us but love and peace and knowledge of the truth that will propel us beyond that threshold and into our secret. This secret cannot be described now but you will reach it if you allow Tawba to keep you on the path towards Allah Most High.
The simplest form of tawba is to repeat the phrase; astaghfirallah al-adhim (I seek forgiveness in Allah Almighty) with deep sincerity and longing and trust in Allah. Allah is the Forgiver, al-Ghaffar, and the Most Forgiving al-Ghaffur, and the Acceptor of repentance at-Tawwāb.
astaghfirallah al-adhim astaghfirallah al-adhim astaghfirallah al-adhim astaghfirallah al-adhim `