Unveiling One's Nature


The midday heat was becoming increasingly oppressive; nonetheless, the young man decided to trek on. He really had no other choice. "A few more hours until sunset, just keep going..." he chided himself. He had been walking alone through this barren desert for more than 24 hours in search of a treasure. It was not the typical treasure with gold and precious jewels, but rather the treasury of an oasis with lavish date palms and cool water. He knew it was a matter of time before he found it, but despite his decision to continue walking his body collapsed onto a blanket of burning sand.

"I must keep going... I have to find it," he mumbled. Still, his body would not obey. He dragged himself slowly across the earth moving a few feet further and finally collapsed. Time passed by slowly. Though conscious, he was exhausted. It was nearing sunset, and he was losing hope in his mission. In a final effort to continue, he dug his hands into the sand and pushed his body slightly upward. He then looked up.

Before his very eyes was no other than the oasis itself, more beautiful than he had imagined! He was ecstatic. "At last, I have found you!" he declared. The adrenaline that came with his excitement was enough for him to stand up again. He took slow steps towards his beauty as he spoke to it, "For hours, I've searched this hot and crude desert for you, and now you are mine. I shall enjoy you more now than I ever did in my dreams...."

He suddenly stopped.

"Strange..." he said. "Every time I come closer to you, you move further away from me." He took another step forward, and his beauty increased their distance again. "It is not time for games, my love. I've earned my time with you." The sun was rapidly sinking into the horizon, and his beautiful treasure was fading away. He counselled himself to patience. "We shall meet again in the morning," he promised the darkness before him.

He lay down on the sand, now much cooler than earlier that afternoon. Using his arms as a pillow, he tried to sleep. His attempts failed as his mind raced with thoughts of how he would claim his treasure. Finally, he drifted off into a restless sleep.

The morning sun peaked over the horizon, and the young man opened his eyes. Unsure of where he was, he surveyed his surroundings. He then remembered what had transpired the day before and eagerly rose to meet his challenge -- but it was nowhere in sight.

"It has to be here somewhere," he said. He continued walking. Three hours later, he saw it again. "We meet again, O Beautiful One," he said. No response. "You tormented me in my sleep, and now I must conquer you. But first, allow me to understand you." Still no response.

He plopped down onto the sand before it and said, "It seems to me that your wealth is only good at certain times. Can your owner not enjoy you whenever he pleases? Even if enjoyment of you has its limitations, will I have to chase you each morning? Even if I have to chase you each morning, what can you offer me besides sweet dates and some water?"

Still no response. He sighed. He closed his eyes and listened. Silence. He listened to his breathing. The world echoed a silence that moved with the rhythm of his soul.

He opened his eyes again and looked around only to find hills of sand in every direction. He smiled a knowing smile and rose once again to continue his journey. "Sometimes you just have to talk to your mirage."

"Anyone who spends the day in safety, in good health and with (enough to eat), is like someone upon whom the world and all it contains has been bestowed."
-- Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
[Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 185]

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"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]