Shukr wa Sabr

BismiAllahir Rahmanir Raheem

I recently wrote a blog entry in my notebook, at about 12 am while perched upon my sleeping bag, but somehow I think it will remain in the notebook. I wrote it because I was thinking of you all, those who have shared your perspectives and opinions with me on this blog and those who I know read in silence.

I feel in some way that I should share something with you, something beneficial from my experiences over the last month. SubhanAllah... I'm just not sure where to begin.

I'm currently in a land far away from everyone that I love and everything that looks like home. But this land itself is not problematic for me, especially not as I live here only one day at a time. I think of myself as a traveller, despite the commitment of some sort to stay here for a couple of months, insha'Allah.

My heart feels heavy today. Maybe it was because all of yesterday it was just me, myself, and my thoughts, with my Lord forever with me. Most days I speak only to my teacher during a short two hour class. Every few days I visit a friend and her family. But what I describe is not loneliness. I'm much too connected to the ones I love to feel alone. And I know, truly I am never alone.

But while being alone, without loneliness, and knowing that only my Lord knows my experiences, I can't help but wonder what my life is all about. We have our generic answers for our purpose. Yes we worship our Lord. But our purpose is not to worship Him, it is to know Him. How do we come to know Him? Do we need to clean our souls (anfus)? If we do need this, how do we do this? How does it feel? How do we know that we are on the right path?

I have felt contentment and ease for most if not all of my time here. Yet while here, Allah has sent a test for me and all the people that I love. The response has been gratitude because there is good in this test, but the heart needed its grieving time and tears have been a part of this experience. Every previous taste of heartache that I have known I have deserved. But this one was delivered.

I know there is wisdom in the plan that Allah has for us. I submit to His plan, though I don't know it. I don't know what I'm here for, but it must be for something. There must be a reason that I would be so far from my loved ones when we all have been presented with a situation that we must use to improve ourselves.

How will I ever improve? I'm so weak. I know it. I sense it. Allah hears me. I know He knows me better than I know myself, but I want to know His response to me and my state. What must I do? Where is my strength?

I suppose all the above I've written for myself. Why I write it here, I have no idea. Perhaps I will delete it soon enough. But if you can make sense of it, find the light within it, then please share it with me. In my quest for light, I trust my Lord, but the tunnel is still too dark for me that I'm not sure if I'm going the right way. My soul is much too dirty.

Something that you may benefit from? Hmm... well, I'll share with you some of what I wrote for you those minutes past midnight.

Each day as I walk along these bustling streets, I see people who are poor beyond our comprehension. My sleeping bag, as I see it, is more than I deserve as others sleep on the filthy concrete somewhere alongside the streets. Allah has blessed me tremendously.

Each day as I have to figure out what to eat (as I keep little food at home, given that I have no stove or fridge and have no plans on buying them now), I know that I have the life of luxury where I, alhamduliAllah, have the money to go buy a bottle of water for 17 cents or a shawarma for 25 cents. I once passed by a child sitting alongside the street. She probably didn't notice me as she was very busy concentrating on her task at hand; that is, she was trying to stick her little fingers into the neck of an empty bottle in an effort to try to get every last drop of sustenance out of it. Ya Rab! I submit to Your plan. Make us almong the grateful, ameen. There are many children like her and many more with few items that serve as inventory for their street-side businesses.

I saw a pair of boys the other day. They were the sweetest little boys, masha'Allah. I smiled at them, but they couldn't see my smile given that I have my niqaab on. I hope they saw it in my eyes. The younger one smiled at me though as he knew I watched them. It was a shy smile. They sat in front of an overturned cardboard box - the front desk of their store. Sitting atop the box were some candies. I should have bought something from them. I saw a man pass by. He stopped and touched one of each type of candy on their little display, only to walk away having bought none. The older boy ran into the restaurant that I stood in front of as I waited for my burger. He managed to get some bread, and he took it back to the younger boy. They shared that piece of bread with a little argument in between which I couldn't hear nor would I have understood.

These are our children. They really are. But while I feel for them and my heart breaks for them, what do I do? What can I do?

Ramadhaan is ever in mind for me as it marks the date when I must move on from here, God willing. But we must all take our personal journeys to find truth. Truth is not vain. Truth is sincere. Truth is peace. Truth is tranquility. Love is truth.

As Ramadhaan fast approaches, let's take a breather from nafsi, nafsi, nafsi (me, me, me) and look to where can benefit others. I tell myself this first because if my nafs thinks for even a second that me being alone or in a strange environment makes me anything more than anyone else or worth more than a speck of dust, it is sadly mistaken. As Shaykh Hamza Yusuf once reminded us, the problem with delusions is that the deluded one does not see his/her own delusion.

May our Lord bless us with clear hearts filled with His haqq, and may He protect us from our selfish delusions, ameen.

8 comments:

Shireen said...

Assalamu'alaikum farz,

Thanks for the thoughts.. Subhan'Allah.. u should'a bought candy too, or a burger for them or something eh?.. Get small change to keep giving.. perhaps that will
be the light of your tunnel.

I know sometimes when you give the kids they keep bugging you, or if they see one person give they swarm you etc etc. Perhaps if you keep small change and enough u can just give whoever you see. We've been blesed that we can give it... in Pakistan I never gave cuz I was kinda worried if I do give if ppl watch or maybe i'm not suppose to, or I wasn't sure .. you know. There's a lot of traveller rules on this stuff.

Anywho luv... the purpose of your visit and at such a time, is yet to be known..and don't think about it. Do what you do, and do what your heart feels...without fear ie. intergrate in society, perhaps you can be of use there apart from arabic?:) Helping muslim women..etc

See you darlin.. and be at peace with all that comes your way, that is your test, that is your light :) Insha'Allah, wa Allahu Alim.

Farhana said...

As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu my dear Farzeen,

Welcome back to the blog world..I knew you couldn't leave us..hehe

Excellent and very insightful piece..as usual!

This is why reflecting for one hour is better than a night of ibadaah (or something like that..hehe)

After all your many questions, you still mention being grateful, show patience, and submission to Allah (and His plan) *masha'Allah*.. how can you ask, "How do we know that we are on the right path?" :)

Great post Farzeen, there is so much in it! Reflection and Dua'! Dua', Dua', Dua'... :) (Isn't dua' a form of knowing Allah??)

May Allah make it easy for you, in dunya and ahkirah. Ameen.

Ma'salaama
Love Farhan

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum wa rahmatu Allahi Shir :)

Thanks for your thoughts, and that's exactly what I was thinking! I should go to the bank and just get a whole bunch of coins and every time I pass someone I can give them at least something. The other day, as I left the internet cafe I was putting my change in my bag and there was a kid by the door coming to beg and I had all the notes in my hand ..so I gave him a note, which I'm sure surprised him since he probably expected coins. But had there been others around him, I might have been in a bit of a bind.

The time when I passed the little girl, I really, really wanted to go back to her and give her something. Unfortunately, there was a man that had slowed his pace so he would be walking beside me..so I quickened my pace just as I passed her. When I looked back, that guy was close to where she was and giving me this stupid look. Sometimes I think I should have gone back, but it was night and my selfishness made me choose my potential security/peace over her poverty. May Allah forgive me.

As for the boys, I didn't think of that! I can't believe it. SubhanAllah, next time insha'Allah.

Thanks for your advice. Yesterday as I listened to Assubuhubada (thinking of my Abdullah), I actually had a moment of insight into my time here. SubhanAllah. It stemmed from thinking of the folks. AlhamduliAllah :). I'm back into gear love :).
___________________________
Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakaatu ya Farhana

Thanks, as always, for your words of encouragement and support. You're right.. I ask if I'm on the right way because I feel sometimes I'm in a bit of a delusion. My thoughts were one way, and then boom as soon as I heard news from home it brought insight into the error of my thoughts and focus. And now that I've kinda found peace with that, I'm trying to figure out where I stand. What is life really about?

Each night, as I look at the tube light on my ceiling..I think "What if this building was to crumble and this would be my grave?".. Shir and I used to do that in Damascus too with that fan that looked like it could fall on us at any moment...hehe.

Ameen to your du'a.

Yes, I don't think I could leave this blog..lol. Sometimes it works for me, and other times it doesn't. Small doses I guess :).

Love you both!

Unique Muslimah said...

beautiful reflections...this is all a test...may Allah help us with sabr and shukr...thank you

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum Unique Muslimah

Thanks for stopping by! Ameen to your du'a :). Without His help, we are surely at a loss.

DaralislaamLive Editor said...

Assalam Alaikum, your post is excellent and has been nominated to be published on our E-Translation Publishing House http://www.daralislaamlive.com

If you would like to publish further material, e-mail us insha'allah.

Jazak Allah kheir :D

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum live editor

Ooh.. nominated eh? lol Insha'Allah people find benefit in things written on this blog. All good is from Allah, and all errors are of course (it goes without saying), my own.

I don't think I've ever written with the thought of publishing. I don't have the confidence to write with such in mind. It seems like a big responsibility. But if you find my reflections on here of benefit, tafadhal, insha'Allah... go ahead. (Not that you were asking me permission, but that's okay. If you are my sister's connection, then you've already been given permission..if not... uhm...it's all good :)).

Wa iyak. All the best with the effort to share beneficial knowledge with others, by the permission of Allah. May Allah reward you and all those working for His sake, ameen!

Shireen said...

heyy farz..
no not your sister's connection :P Your sister's connection did not actually look at your blog..last i heard.

Anywhooo.. Insha'Allah Khair.. btw it was already on that site before you replied :P

Masha'Allah, masha'Allah :) :)

"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]