Ironic, isn't it?

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

There is a heavy fog hanging over the land these days. An abundance of rain poured through, and it has dispersed as quickly as it arrived. It came with clarity, a light source in itself. And though in its absence there is darkness, there too remains, as always, remnants from which we may benefit, bi ithnillah.

One such keepsake is the words of Habib 'Ali Al Jifri - Allahu yahfa'dhu - who said that women should not strive for "equality" with men as it implies inferiority, but rather they should strive to surpass men. The next question, naturally, is "how?" How can women surpass men? As there are those who make value judgments about equality between genders, who lays down the foundation of excellence and success?

In an effort to try to answer these questions, I'm reminded of the words of Shaykh Abdallah Al Haddad who, during one lesson, spoke about the essential questions that we each need to ask ourselves.

1) Who am I?
2) From where did I come?
3) Why am I here?
4) Where am I going? or What is my destination?

He elaborated on each question and its fitting answer as explained to us in our Islamic teachings. It is in the answers to these questions that we know that we are created from something very insignificant and even vile, and yet we have been given life as a test within which we need to compete with each other in good works. He said, "life is an opportunity for worship, thankfulness, and praising Allah."

True enough, people are in constant competition with each other, even with their own standards of what is "sufficient" for themselves. These competitions are ironic (and perhaps even laughable if they weren't so serious) given our soulful identities, but I suppose it should come as little surprise since these are the fruits of illusions.

And on the surface, this world is an illusion. But if we dig deep enough, by God's grace, this world is a great sign affirming God's transcendence and omniscience.

I wonder sometimes about how many of us run the rat race of life, living from weekend to weekend to get through the life paths that we choose for ourselves.

There are many who study for degrees but not for knowledge. There are many who work to earn money, yet not to serve. There are many who compete for everything that will disappear upon our deaths as smoothly as a mirage. And yet, in a lonely corner, there remains our sideline pile of good works and acts of servitude for our Lord's sake.

It baffles the mind really. And the irony continues as some people sense the traps of this world and write and read books such as "The Simple Guide to a Minimalist's Life" which only breaks down the difference between wants and needs. We want more than we need in tangibles, and yet we need more than we want in intangibles. Sad, isn't it?

In all my incoherence, I'm saying only this, why are we building elaborate forts out of snow, knowing very well that summer will eventually come, when we could rather spend our efforts building elaborate forts out of gold?

May Allah protect us from being engaged with anything that does not benefit our eternal existence. May He guide us to all that which will bring us closer to Him. May He forgive us where we err, and may He teach us how to tread the path of success with Him. May He, the Almighty, bless us with knowledge, understanding, and practices that are all for His sake alone. May we live for His sake, and may we return to Him in the best of states. Ameen.

1 comment:

Mustafa said...

Assalam a laikum sister!

Been a long time since i went through your blog...thank goodness i remembered...feels good and is very educative. Makes me think of who i am and what i am supposed to be doing. Allah forgive me...please pray for me...May Allah bless you!

Ameen

Jazak '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]