Life is a strange thing, we plan and work and strive and strain, and life just happens. Muslims will say this is simple to explain; ‘you are working and God is working above you’. Or as my Mum always says, ‘Man proposes, God disposes’.
Glory be to God then, and there is no God but He. The giver of life, the Sustainer, Nourisher, Cherisher, Able to do all things, Clement, Everlasting, The First and the Last, the Eternal, the One. With whom there is no partner and from whom we came and to whom we will return.
Glory for the morning!
How beautiful it is to sit in meditation after the pre-dawn prayer, to sit after those prostrations and quiet recitations, to sit reading the Quran and contemplating the vastness of this universe. How humbling to recognize my own insignificance in this vastness of the time-space continuum. There is a well known hadith (a tradition related from the prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Quran together with the hadith literature make up the core body of the Muslim spiritual ethos. However unlike the Quran, the hadith is not preserved in it’s original form and there is much debate/difference among the various volumes of hadith. There is actually a hadith science, which deals with establishing the authencity of the thousands of sayings/narrations of the blessed prophet, that have been related. It is important Muslims know this, and know how to distinguish a ‘sound and good hadith’ from a ‘weak’ one. Sadly as many Muslims nowadays do not know the rudiments of this system, they can be and are easily lead astray by those parriahs profiteering from religion, I do not need to give examples of who they are, I think we all know them well enough. But sorry about the long tangent, it’s an important point though. I found this useful website describing the hadith science a bit, but I must admit I just came across it and have not checked it out), a hadith related by Tirmidhi, that says ‘the world does not equal a mosquito’s wing in the sight of God’. What this means is that all of creation as we know it is infinitely less compared to all of creation as it is or all of the Creator. I love this hadith, for whenever things become too much to bear, thinking of it, it is easy to brush away one’s worries and laugh…putting one’s trust in Allah. Similarly whenever one gets puffed up with pride and a sense of arrogant achievement, one is quietened and humbled, back to being as we Muslims say, ‘but a grateful slave’
There is much more I wanted to share. Alhamdulillah (thanks and praise to Allah), I am about to take another journey. One with not only much to see, but much to do and in terms of long term and short term goals. So I am humbled to be going and grateful for all the many blessings God almighty has heaped upon me. But please keep me in your du’a and pray for my safe and satisfactory journey.
BTW I wanted to share, that when writing of the many blessings to be grateful for, I was reminded about the tradition Muslims believe about Nuh (peace be upon him). This is the prophet Noah (the arabic for Noah is Nuh, and we ask Allah to bless all the prophets when mentioning their blessed names). It is said Nuh (peace be upon him) lived close to a thousand years and during all that time, whenever he exited the washroom he would thank God for the blessing of being able to relieve himself. It is a blessing we seldom are cognizant of. How terrible to live without being able to do so! I guess we all know how awful it is to be constipated (!) and how jesting aside, it can be a real source of pain and trouble for the very young and very elderly. We have all seen patients with kidney failure needing to carry their urine in a bag…Allah help them and us all to help each other more. For this is a humbling experience. On that note, I recently heard Sh. Hamza (a well known and erudite modern scholar) mention a story about Firoun (the Pharoah who ruled in the time of Moses), I do not know how true the story is though. Apparently as Firoun believed himself to be a god, he disliked it that he needed to use the washroom. So he asked his physicians to cure him of this need. They prescribed a certain diet to him…I think it was to eat nothing but bananas…well, he did this and after so many days, well he had a big problem! ;) Yeah, so this is a good reminder too about our own lacunae, and humbling. So I like the prayer the prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) used to make when exiting the washroom. It is one to be memorized and made by us all, a humbling and wise reminder
غُفْرَانَكَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِللَّهِ الَّذِيْ أَذْهَبَ عَنِّيْ الأَذّىَ وَ عَافَانِيْ
O Allah. I seek your forgiveness. All praises are due to Allah who has taken away from me the discomfort and granted me comfort.
(this prayer is from a hadith narrated in ‘Bukhari’)
This has been a rather colloquial ramble, so thank you for indulging me. May God bless and protect you and grant you light upon light.