A Flicker

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين العالم الخبير العزيز الحكيم والف الصلاة  والسلام على الحبيب المصطفى المحمود  وآله الكرام وصحبه وسلم أجمعين

All praises and gratitude are forever due to our Sustainer and Creator, He who is so gentle yet firm with us. Rabbuna al 'azheem, laka kullu al hamd wa ash shukr.

I'm learning that the power of the mind is extraordinary as defeat begins there and ends in the heart. Despite the potential fickleness of the heart, it can be ruthless. It is a characteristic from which I tire but appreciate. There is such an intricate balance between the two that I don't know how to retaliate in the face of an attack. Do I start with the heart or the mind? Regardless, I get a fine beating from them both and have failed to gain the upper hand thus far. No surprise there.

I'm learning that I'm odd. This descriptor has been mine for as long as I can remember, but I didn't know how or why, and I'm still not sure if it is to my advantage or not. Nonetheless, there is no escaping it.

I'm learning that people's opinions of me are overwhelmingly inaccurate. But I guess that's a secret between me and my Lord, so I chastise myself only for my failure to even attempt to be who I like to think I am. A tangled web of denial.

I'm learning that loyalty is as much my weakness as it is a strength. So I try to be loyal to what is true, but many times I can't separate fact from fiction. A shame really.

I'm learning, quite happily alhamdulillah, that I don't let people bully me for long. Actually, I think I intimidate some people, but that is an old realization because some perceive my silence as deep thinking when in fact there is an absence of thought. Misinterpretations make for false impressions.

I'm learning that it's okay to have a sensitive nature because it is my nature and there is little I can do about it. I'm a sensitive soul that has to learn to wed my sensitivities to knowledge of what is ahsan or most pleasing in the sight of Allah. Again, tall tales of ambitions. But it is better to hope for something great than to resign myself to nothing. The latter, unfortunately, adorns most of my outfits, except when speaking of anything other than myself. Hypocritical I'm sure.

I'm learning that I have a connection to Arabs in general. And perhaps that is simply because the Arabs I know are some of the best examples I've seen of generosity, kindness, hospitality, and care, and I love them for it. That is part of the legacy of our beloved Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam. It is beautiful.

I'm learning that Allah's generosity with us is so vast that we cannot even pretend to grasp it. One of its greatest manifestations is in my parents. Allahu yuziduhuma fi kulli al khayr, ameen. Allah decreed that they are the means by which I learn to respect my existence and the existence of others. Respect is essential for me. Where it fails to exist, so does the relationship.

I'm learning that I am selfish, greedy, and self-indulgent in ways I don't fully understand. A sad and burdensome reality. Allahumma ishfi qulubana, ameen.

I'm learning that I have much to learn, but I know I cannot teach myself. Perhaps if I can empty my heart of its thorns, Allah will fill it with His jewels. Allahu al Musta'aan.

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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]