Excerpt from a talk by Shaykh Taner Ansari:
All humans have nafs (ego), brain and a line to God. We have to find the correct way. Allah is Rahman (The Most Merciful) and Rahim (The Most Compassionate), so He helps us find the right course by logic, by contemplating, deduction and induction.
The first thing is this: you have to accept it – there is a God, but it’s not you. Our job is to find our essence through contemplation. Islam is acknowledgment of the fact that there is a God, and don’t try to be God yourself. You have to accept that there are rules and regulations. You have to be in sync with this.
Do we have any will power? Yes, if we didn’t have any will power, Allah wouldn’t have created us. Why? Because Allah wants to be chosen scientifically with our own free will, with no force. If Allah wanted to force (people to believe), everybody would believe.
Making the choice of choosing Allah has to be the beginning of your life. Everything has to be based on this. This is the truth and this is what we have to make peace with. Islam is making peace with Allah’s decrees and Allah’s systems. This is physics. If you think you have power too, show it to me. I am not going to ask you to make a galaxy. I am going to ask you not to eat, and don’t go to the bathroom. If you think you have power, do this.
One of the rules of being a Sufi is that you have to be on the lookout for Allah’s signs. Listen to my advice. Surrender and learn the easy way. My students have to be conscious of what they are doing. Each action has to be willing (voluntary and conscious). I don’t want you to do habitual actions – habitual actions is the killer of all faiths. Mean what you say each time.