It's a wonderful thing sometimes to experience change. A change in scenery. A change in thinking. A change in understanding. A change in the movements that we make all too carelessly as we fall victim to our habitually thoughtless actions.

Do you ever feel, sometimes, as though life is like walking on a treadmill? You're moving, but you aren't actually going anywhere. It's not the physical so much as the spiritual movement that needs attention. There are advantages to a momentous step backward. It opens a way for humility to sprinkle its dust upon us reminding us about the true reality of our existence. Do you believe that? Isn't it that when humility touches us we are moving forward, submitting to the reality of our existence? Humbling ourselves before the One deserving of all praise, and putting our hearts where often only our tongues lie. Humility is not the goal, not at all. It is but one of many arteries that eventually leads us to the heart of our existence.

On a much deeper note, Dr. Tariq Ramadan writes a beautiful concluding analysis of the hijrah (the migration of the early Muslim community from Makkah to Medina) in his book "In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad" [peace be upon him]. He says,

Physical hijrah, the founding act of the first Muslim community and the axis of its experience, is now over and will not happen again, as Aishah forcefully explained to those in Medina who wanted to relive the experience. Umar ibn al-Khattab was later to decide that this unique event would mark the beginning of the Islamic era, which begins in 622. What remains, and is open to everyone through the ages and for eternity, is the experience of spiritual exile, which brings the individual back to him- or herself and from the illusions of self and of the world. Exile for the sake of God is in essence a series of questions that God asks each individual being: Who are you? What is the meaning of your life? Where are you going? Accepting the risk of such exile, trusting the One, is to answer: Through You, I return to myself and I am free [p. 87].
Transcendent is God!

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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]