Good Company

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

As the sun and rain work together, they are the means by which the earth is nourished, vegetation is fed, and life is restored. Such an intimate interplay is a great blessing from God, He who has power over all things. Interestingly, this same interaction continued over the last few days as Camp Nur 2009 was in effect. The weather easily and swiftly alternated between sunny and rainy such that as we enjoyed ourselves outside in the brightness of the sun, we could hear the rumbling of distant thunder. It was quite a fascinating and fitting interchange.

Most would consider rainfall during a summer camp to be something of a downer, but for me, it was nothing short of a great blessing. It is during gentle rainfall that we have a chance to witness God's mercy, and it is during bright sunshine that we can reflect on His compassion. Very practically speaking, rain can serve as medicine for the spiritual heart and the wondering mind. Supplications to God during the time that rain descends are answered. I tried to remember this as I arrived at the campsite and it started to drizzle. While I enjoyed the freshness and coolness of the rain, I attempted to remind myself not to take it for granted. SubhanAllahi wa bihamdihi, subhanAllahi al Azheem.

I cannot fully articulate the impact that this camp experience has had on me. Suffice to say, it was far from a normal camp phenomenon. The Muslim world has just entered the month of Sha'baan which is said to be the month of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. During our four days and three nights at camp, we had the opportunity to sit at the feet of a scholar who is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his family. This fact in itself makes the reality of these past few days indescribable.

Shaykh Abdallah Al Haddad's involvement in the camp was heart moving to say the least. His presence, one that is always clothed with compassion and care, never failed to bring a smile to my face or heart. "Kayfa haaluki ya Farzeen?" he would ask me each day. "Anti bekhair?" In some ways, I regret not being in his presence more often over the last few days, but I know that Allah gave me what I needed in the exact dose that I needed it in lessons, good company, and simple fun.

There were only about fifty campers at Camp Nur this year. It was a small group, but they were gems. Each and every single one of them was a shining star. It really is a wonder that I can say this, as most times there is a rowdy one here or there who can't quite be trusted to keep to the rules. And while some of the young women under my care did push the boundaries of rules, they never went so far as to be unreasonable or rude.

I really enjoyed their company, and I benefited tremendously from it. It was my complete honour and privilege to play with them, swim with them, learn with them, read Quran with them, sing with them, eat with them, pray with them, laugh with them, see their excitement, and witness their challenges. In their inclination to whine about the nuisance of feasting mosquitoes and long walks on muddy trails, I invited them to see goodness in the world around them. And my only hope with respect to my interaction with them is that they've taken to heart this one simple invitation.

The organizers of the camp are a different story. Though gems in their own right, to me they seemed to be as brilliant as distant planets that are visible in our night sky. They glowed in their character, speech, and general presence. I'm sure that if the whole camp experience was put on mute, I would have benefited by simply observing their behaviour which included both subtle and bright smiles, hearty hugs, a gentle stroke over a child's head, a twinkle of the eyes, a knowing nod, appropriate frowns, and praiseworthy gentleness. Their demeanor spoke to me far more than their words, and I'm still struggling to encompass such beauty. In many ways, I didn't belong amongst them, but Allah placed me there and I pray that I will be able to utilize the benefits of such wonderful companionship.

It's only the second day after camp, but I miss their company. Along with the wisdom that our dear Shaykh Abdallah shared with us, it was food for my heart and soul. But as I think about my time there and its end, I know that I would not want it to have been prolonged, but rather I must focus my energy on making a sincere effort to find and practice the good which has been delivered directly to me. Thus, I am reminded of some profound words that were shared with me in recent months, "As it's said, if the veils were lifted you wouldn't choose for yourself other than what Allah has chosen."

Thank You Allah.


UmmUmarNY said...

Assalamu'alaikum Yah Ukhti Farzeen!!! That last quote has left me in "awh"... How much did I needed to hear that!! Jazakillah Khair sweetie!!! Keep well, and remember me in your Du'aas!!!

iMuslim said...

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah sis

Camp sounds awesome, masha'Allah! :)

I wouldn't mind attending something like that.

Ambareen :) said...

Assalam Alaykum Farzeen!

That was a beautiful article, Mashallah! I wish I was there, but Alhamdullilah ala kulli haal. Please remember me in your dua's!

Farzeen said...

Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu dear sisters :)

Thank you for your messages.

UmmUmar, I'm glad you benefited from those words too...subhanAllah, there is much wisdom in them. Wa iyyaki habibti :). And please remember us all in your du'as too!

IMuslim, it was awesome... alhamdulillah. I really needed a camp experience this summer, and what a lovely one it was..alhamdulillah. Perhaps there is something going on there in August?

Ambareen, thanks for your kind words. Na'am...there is good in everything. Perhaps though we shall meet soon in an upcoming gathering before Shaykh Abdallah leaves, insha'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]