A Passing Thought...

BismiAllahir Rahmanir Raheem

My mind is a remix of the sweetest kind, though I am still trying to find some coherence in my thoughts. Soon enough, it will come together, insha'Allah, but for now, I must write.

But what should I write about? How about love? I've previously written about this topic, but there are many things in recent months that have affected my understanding of this overly-used, hardly-lived word.

We limit our love in so many ways. While there are many philosophical sentences that could attempt to get at the essence of this word, they miss their mark because love is something real - lived and experienced.

A few days ago, I went to visit my friend. The day before my visit, she went to the doctor and received several injections making both her arms as stiff as a board on the day I saw her. Her pain was clearly there. We sat together for a while, and then she told me that she had to go out to pick up some things. I accompanied her. Our first stop was to get a jug of water filled with distilled water (this is for people who don't use tap water for cooking). Then we went to their local supermarket and bought some drinking water and some vegetables. We argued a little bit as I insisted that she allow me to carry the basket, since she was obviously in pain. She resisted, but eventually gave in. Fortunately, she also allowed me to pick the vegetables that she needed knowing that she would be in pain if she extended her arms.

I went home that night quite distressed. I couldn't and still fail to understand how her brother, who was at home, well and healthy, as we went shopping could have asked her to run those errands. It would be so simple for him to have gone himself, being the head of their household and a man in a world where men are more involved in the marketplace than women.

When I saw him that night, I told him that I thought he shouldn't send his sister to get the water filled there since its terribly awkward for women to go to an area filled with men. He brushed off my concerns, suggesting ways she could distance herself from them. Generally, he's a nice guy, but my respect for him diminished slightly that night.

In my eyes, the solution was simple. I think of what my family would have done. I know for a fact that no one in my family would have allowed to me to run those errands, let alone asked me, if I was in pain. But never mind what my family would do, we all come from different families... What would our beloved, the beloved of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, have done? Would he ever give priority to his comfort over the comfort and ease of others? Never.

So how can we say we love certain people when we put ourselves ahead of them? Love is not selfish. I have little tolerance for selfishness, especially when one allows it to enter a relationship that should be and is said to be enveloped in love.

The world is a lot bigger when it's not about ourselves. And, ironically, I say this when my world is currently all about me.

I've been living alone for the last three months. I don't have anyone else to be directly concerned about, but the bonds of love that I share with some keeps them forever in my thoughts.

I've lived a life of privilege in terms of love. Now, just to hear the voices of the ones that I love is hard to come by, it's infrequent. But my heart is with them.

The pain of separation from loved ones is the price I'm paying for lessons no book could teach. My greatest lesson has been about independence.

Never before have I been alone for so long. This is what people call independence right? For me, independence means depending entirely on my Lord. His love is generous, and some days I feel it. Every day I sense it. Were it not for His love, I wouldn't have been able to survive so long without my loved ones.

A couple of months ago I turned on the TV and I came across a show called "Stairway to Paradise" with Moez Masoud (from Egypt). He was talking about giving up the things we love for the sake of coming close to our Lord. One example he mentioned, simply, was sleep. Do we deny ourselves those extra hours of sleep for the sake of coming closer to our Lord when He tells us to call on Him for anything we may want or need in the pre-dawn hours?

What are we giving up for the sake of the love we claim to have?

Written August 26, 2007

May God guide us to the truth, ameen.


Yusuf said...

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah

Welcome back.

Good to know lack of computer access didn’t make you stop writing :).

Your post reminded me of a beautiful verse from the Quran that goes something like this: “You will not attain righteousness, unless you give of that which you love.”

Farzeen said...

Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatu Allah

Thanks! Especially so for sharing that ayah.. jazakAllah khayr.

"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]