In reflecting on the dawn of another Eid during lockdown, JASMINE KHAN reminds us that there are many things we should be grateful for.
WE are about to celebrate a second Eid-ul-Fitr during the pandemic. Thankfully, the situation is a little better than last year; we are now on lockdown level one and can move around with a reasonable amount of freedom.
Unlike last year, we can visit family and friends, as long as we observe the COVID protocols, and we are grateful. In spite of this, there are many who are still complaining and wondering why this is happening. Many are still dissatisfied. We realise that lives have been lost, many have lost their jobs or had their income drastically reduced.
We hear the constant lament: ‘They keep on telling me that there is a reason this is happening to me. For the life of me I cannot see the purpose at all.’ The cry, ‘Why is this happening,’ is being articulated, even when it is just in our minds.
It is indeed a very human reaction to question but we need to school ourselves to remove the question mark from our lips when something we do not understand happens. Never ask why. In doing so, we are questioning Allah’s decree, we are taking it upon ourselves that we know better.
The important point to remember is that when we believe in Allah implicitly, unconditionally and unequivocally, we know that Allah knows best. We believe that what is meant for us will reach us even if it is between two mountains, and what is not meant for us will not reach us even if it is between someone’s two lips.
We trust that Allah will rectify whatever is wrong or unjust; if not now then in the hereafter. That is why part of our faith is belief in the afterlife. When we live by this premise, it should become easier to bear whatever trials and tests we are facing.
As human beings, and fallible, it is easier to focus on what we do not have rather than on what we do have; easier to complain about what we consider unfairness rather than concentrating on what we can be grateful for.
I am reminded of reading about a teacher who asked his class to list what they consider to be the Seven Wonders of the World. After several minutes all the students set down their pens, having listed the usual seven wonders, except for one girl; she was dreamily gazing into space.
When the teacher called upon her, she said she was trying to decide on the order of importance of the wonders. The teacher then asked her to read what she had so that he could perhaps help her.
This is what she had written: The true Seven Wonders of the World: to see; to hear; to touch; to taste; to feel; to laugh; to love. There was complete silence in the class as the impact of the words struck each one present.
Perhaps, in the midst of the entire trauma, we should focus on the fact that we have our five senses; that they have not been affected by this lockdown. Let us celebrate that we can still laugh amidst all the gloom, and that we are capable of loving one another.
Let us remember that we are the creations of a most loving Creator, and the followers of the kindest and most compassionate Prophet. His love for us was so great that his concern for us remained until the day he died.
When we believe, I mean really integrate into our psyche that Allah knows us better than we know ourselves, that Allah only intends what is best for us, we feel suffused with a feeling of wellbeing.
We know that we are safe, that as long as we follow Allah’s commands we can never get lost or go astray. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never questioned why when he was subjected to extreme hardship.
Rather, he asked Allah to show him how he could use the calamity or trial to gain closeness to his Creator. When he went to the people of Taif looking for help, he was stoned with such ferocity that his sandals were soaked in blood. Instead of crying, ‘O my Rabb, why is this happening to me?’ he asked, ‘Ya Allah, show me how I can use this to draw closer to You.’
It could very well be that the trauma we are experiencing will be the means of greater clarity; it could open pathways to peace and contentment that we did not know existed, pathways that will eventually lead us to greater Allah-consciousness.
We may be amazed at the road we could so easily have missed; a road that will bring us unimagined rewards, secure in the knowledge that we will always be lovingly protected by our Creator, and that we have unlimited access to Allah’s bountiful mercy, Alhamdulillaahi Rabbul Al Ameen.
- Jasmine Khan, Muslim Views columnist, “From Consciousness to Contentment”.
Featured image: The true Seven Wonders of the World: to see; to hear; to touch; to taste; to feel; to laugh; to love. The writer points out that in the midst of the entire trauma created by the Covid-19 pandemic, we should focus on the fact that we have our five senses; that they have not been affected by this lockdown. Let us celebrate that we can still laugh amidst all the gloom, and that we are capable of loving one another. (Photo SHUTTERSTOCK)