A Glass of Water

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Now we share the same bright sun, the same round moon, why don't we share the same love? Tell me why not. Life is shorter than most had thought. Hold my hand..."
- Maher Zain

Written on May 22, 2008

Last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I was thinking about my life over the last year compared to the life that I’ve known for most of my years and which I’ve returned to now. SubhanAllah. I often think of the differences…

“Which is it of the favours of your Lord that you deny?”
- Al Quraan – Chapter 55- Ar Rahman

My thoughts…

As I went to bed last night, I was cold, and I was ever-grateful for comforter that kept me warm. I remembered one night while I lived in a boarding school this past winter when I felt almost unbearably cold. In those days, my immune system was unusually weak, and I fell ill for the second time in that month leaving me with severe chills followed by fever. I didn’t have enough energy to leave my room to ask anyone for an extra blanket and my roommate was out of sight, so I wore the warmest clothes I could including socks and black gloves meant to be worn by women who observe niqab, and I crawled into my sleeping bag hoping to warm up.

A few months prior to that, when I lived in an apartment, I returned home wet from the rain. I’m not sure if at that time I had a hot-water tank in my bathroom yet, but if I wanted a hot shower, I would have to turn it on and wait at least half an hour before I could expect to have hot water. I had no stove, and any thought of having a nice warm mug of milk was out of question. But at least I had a sweater, and in that I found my comfort.

There are so many things that I enjoy at home that I can easily take for granted. Take, for instance, drinking water. Over the last year, I avoided drinking tap water for about six months until I entered a boarding school. The tap water that is at the school comes from a well and has a high content of minerals making it faintly yellow. A lot of my fellow housemates drank the tap water, so I figured I would do the same until given a reason to do otherwise. And besides that, there were some taps with chilled water, specifically for drinking, and I prefer chilled drinking water (or at least I used to until I learnt to do without it). I was fine drinking tap water for the first two months, after which my body outright rejected any amount of that water. My next best option was to buy distilled water, but due to some miscommunication, my jug of water took two months to get to me as opposed to the usual three-day wait. I learnt the value of clean drinking water at the time by knowing that I couldn’t open the tap and take a drink despite my thirst and how much I longed for a bit of water. In Allah’s beautiful way, He taught me the value of drinking water among many other things.

.....More thoughts for the days ahead of me, insha’Allah.

I then wondered why it is that as privileged people of the world, we tend to look at these luxuries at ‘entitlements’ while many other people in the world live without them. If we don’t have these basic things, then it’s a breach of our human rights, right? What about the people in Palestine? Don’t they have rights? Or how about in Iraq? Or Sudan? Or Kashmir? Name any place, and at least recognize that what we have is not our right because if it were, we would be damn sure to work towards establishing the basic rights of others, right?

Last night, as I wondered about the ways of this world I decided that our position of privilege leaves us in a position of responsibility, and responsibility leaves us in a position of accountability. Accountable to who? Well, I'm sure you're smart enough to figure it out...

And when you do figure it out, attempt to do something about it, and please invite me to join you because I’m still trying to figure out what it is that I need to do.

May the Almighty guide us all, fill our hearts with love of Him and His Habib, peace be upon him, and let our hands begin and continuously remain in work that is pleasing to Him, ameen.

Pray for me please.

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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]