Society & Solitude
Al-Hamdulillah, I recently came across the Cambridge Khutbas Etcetera blog, which features audio recordings of khutbas (sermons) by Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad. “Society & Solitude” was the first khutba I was fortunate enough to listen to. It was delivered by the Shaykh on the 12th of June, 2009 at Cambridge and I feel if listened to by an attentive heart, has the potential to change one’s life.
We often feel the need to ‘get away from it all’, an impulse which seems to reflect a strange paradox of modern society. On the one hand, we can be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of daily life, always part of a busy crowd. Yet at the same time, are we truly connected to what is around us? Or are we somehow cut off from a genuine relationship with our environment and fellow human beings, always ‘alone in the crowd’? In this talk, the sheikh reflects on the spiritual importance of solitude, and discusses how to cultivate the inner sense of stillness and realisation it can bring. But he also reminds us that this cannot be achieved at the cost of actually cutting ourselves off from society. Rather it should be enhanced by channelling it to transform our relationships with those around us, following the incomparable example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) whose mission began in the solitude of the Cave of Hira but which continued in the upliftment of his people and all of mankind.
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