- Allama Iqbal’s Concept of “Khudi”
Who are you?
Here is a simplification of this question. Get ready for a whole bunch of pronouns:
Whenever you refer to your body parts, you use the possessive pronoun “My”. You will say, “My hand”. “My foot”. “My eyes.” “My face”. You get it.
You keep referring to these thing as “My/Mine”. So then, Who are “you”? Who is this “my”? Who is this “me”?
Now, let’s take this further. If you were to, God-forbid, have your arms cut off. Does this affect your “self”? Because when you say “my arms”, we are only removing your arms. So what remains? Here is what it will look like arithmetically: My Arms – Arms = My. So who is this “my”?
Here is what Allama Iqbal is trying to tell you. You are not your body. You are not the physical matters you are wrapped in. The real you is the spiritual being, or “Ruh”, that is inside of your physical body. You can have whatever theory you want regarding that physical body of yours. Whether you call it evolution or a form of higher species, the fact of the matter stays: you are not your physical body. You are the inner-self or Ruh. This is the definition of Khudi: The Self.
This “Self” or “Khudi” is the definition of your humanity. Start focuing on this “khudi” and you will grow.
For those who can understand urdu, Dr. Israr Ahmad has a beautifully simple explanation, that I have tried to recapture above. I have not yet found a good English explanation video. Who knows… Maybe I will just have to make one, iA.
He starts talking about the actual concept at 30:18.
- Ujjayi Breathing + Prayer
Standing up for prayer, it’s very hard to control our loud and raging thoughts. Our brain during prayer time behaves like a soccer mom’s van filled with six nine-year olds who just had way too much Gatorade. (yes, I am very proud of that analogy)
So how do we calm our wild thoughts?
Here is a technique I highly recommend.
Search it up. It’s actually very famous. In very basic summary: it’s basically making the ح sound loudly with the mouth closed. Try It The key is to focus on the sound. I like to imagine the sound clearing up the fog on my brain’s windshield. Make Sure to take your time while doing this. Keep Breathing with eyes closed until you are satisfied.
Now start. “Allahu Akbar”
- A simple question
Let me ask you a simple question:
Can you sit alone with yourself for two hours?
No cellphone, no laptop, no book, no anything. Just you. Sitting alone. Can you handle it?
If this question made you hesitate then there is a problem.
You see, for the longest time we have been running away from ourselves. But no matter how far or fast we run from ourselves, we cannot win the race. For this reason we set up barriers. We like to think that these temporary barriers will actually hold. We like to think that we have escaped.
But these escapes don’t last for long, and sooner or later we are back in the same room with ourselves. “I’m so bored”, we tell ourselves immediately after watching a two hour film.
Because right when the experience of the escape ends, the barrier vanishes. And we have to immediately start looking for a replacement barrier.
This endless cycle thrives mostly because we have never learned how to be trulycomfortable with our individual selves.
This internal relationship works like any other relationship. We have to spend quality time with the other party, which in this case is the Self. Start from scratch. Follow the same steps you would take in any other relationship to get to know the other person.
Figure out what “they” love and hate. Figure out why “they” love what they love and why they hate what they hate. Figure out what turns them on. Figure out what triggers their different emotions. Figure out why their emotions get triggered by various things. Figure out as much as you can.
Allah helps those who help themselves.