September 19, 2009
My Epiphanies (XIV)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
(These Roman Numerals are starting to get more complicated.)
The last two days have been nuts and today will probably be nuts as it is potentially the last day of Ramadan. But I am not sad. I am not planning to leave Allah swt’s presence after Ramadan. In fact, Ramadan is here just to give us a gentle nudge or ‘recharge’ or another way to remember to constantly turn back to Allah.
With that said, don’t be disheartened that Ramadan is ending. Allah’s love will be with you. He is the Most Loving.
Anyway, the topic(s) of today’s epiphany(s) deal with yesterday (Friday). Thursday deserves its own post, but because yesterday is still fresh in my mind, I better write it now:
I went to a different Masjid to attend the ending of the recitation of the Quran and the ‘khatm’ duaa afterwards. I don’t like to use the term ‘khatm’ as it suggests that the Imam ‘ended’ the Quran. He actually finished it in the 19th rakah, and in the 20th, he started again with surah Baqarah. The reason for this is so people don’t think you simply ‘end’ at the closing of Ramadan. Islam is this constantly cycle of renewing ourselves and going back to Allah. It kind of reminds me of the Expanding and Contracting cycle–>we keep going in and out, but we must always keep coming back.
So after the 20th rakah, we all sat and the duaa began. The first half of the duaa was in Arabic and I understood a good portion of it because some of the duaas the Imam were making were duaas I have learned. Some of them were beautifully spoken (in terms of language) and some I simply didn’t know. I obviously broke a few tears and prayed for everyone’s forgiveness, spiritual state, relationship with Allah swt, etc. etc. until the Imam started to speak in English.
At this point, if there wasn’t someone who wasn’t already crying, they were now. One point that struck a chord with me (although I have thought about it, but I guess when you are in an emotionally sensitive state, it seems even more profound) was that we keep sinning and sinning, intentionally, unintentionally, privately, publicly, knowing Allah is watching us, and whenever we do, we are insulting Islam, Rasulullah saw and Allah swt. And whenever we do sin, Allah has the power at that moment, in shorter than a blink of an eye, to completely annihilate us from existence. But He doesn’t; He lets us live. He lets us turn back to Him. He WANTS us to turn back to Him.
And the Imam also prayed for our state on the Day of Judgment, our forgiveness, our dealings in our jobs/school/life, for people to be united (family, friends, relatives, etc.), to be forgiven for major and minor sins, to be cleansed of spiritual diseases, to have love (Ishq) for Allah swt and Rasulullah saw, to fulfill our Islamic obligations, to be blessed with Jannah and to be kept as far away as possible from hell, and many other things. There was a time where we were allowed to make personal duaa and I made some involving everyone having complete trust, hope, faith, reliance in Allah swt, having pure adhab and being blessed with Light, etiquette, grace, elegance, beauty, gentleness, kindness, peace, goodness, barakah, and all these other things in everything we do, think, feel or say. I also prayed for peace, contentment and certainty with Divine Decree–I just tried to cover whatever the Imam may have missed out on. Everyone was in tears–even the Imam had to pause his duaa because he was crying so much. May Allah swt bless EVERYONE who came for the duaa, their families, their friends, the Muslim ummah, non Muslims and all of creation and existence. Aameen.
But okay, what about this epiphany, Faith786? Well, let me begin:
1. We must constantly turn back to Allah. It is a never ending cycle. We mess up, we go back to Him. And we rush to Him even if we didn’t mess up.
2. Make duaa. For everything. But make sure you also pray that whatever is good, that it be accepted and if you accidnetally asked for something bad, that it does not occur. But duaa is so essential for being a Muslim. It does wonders to your spiritual state and it gives you a connection with God. I read once in a book that one thing that can change or affect Divine Decree is duaa. (I don’t know if it is accurate; may Allah forgive me if I am incorrect.) So keep asking for that which is good. KEEP MAKING DUAA. ALWAYS.
3. Show love to others. That was another part of the duaa. That may we be kind and show love to others in hopes that we will learn to love Allah swt. If you cannot show kindness to creation, how can you develop a deep relationship with Allah?
4. CONSTANTLY SEND LOVE AND RESPECT TO RASULULLAH SAW! People do not do this enough. Seriously. He is the perfect human being. You may not know it, but he wishes the best for you. He wishes the best for everyone. He isn’t like the mean strict cold hearted scholars or Imams that everyone thinks is holy. He smiles, he hugs, he loves with the purest of intentions. He is also in our hearts. Don’t think he is somehow detatched from us.
5. Do not forget your place. We may think we are all that because we are Muslims, we pray and fast, etc. etc. But (at least for myself) I am a TERRIBLE sinner. We don’t even deserve existence. The cosmos all praise Allah swt constantly and I am complaining about Microsoft Excel.
6. Cry for the sake of Allah, but do not—NEVER—have despair. Make your duaas with hope AND humility. This is a bit of a rough line, but I just don’t want people making arrogant duaas or hopeless ones.
7. Smile. Not the creepy one. A genuine one. One that says, “Life might be hard, but I know Allah’s love and light is with me wherever I go in life.” And I don’t know why, but whenever I see my calculus professor do a problem on the board or when my chemistry professor writes some mad chemical structure, I cannot help but smile. Maybe it is because math and science are two things that just *sings* to Allah swt. Maybe it is just me, but I think that math and science worship Allah swt too. They follow His orders and keep everything together by His word. Pity I haven’t smiled in my history class….
8. (This one is more for me than you) Say it loud and clear in your soul: I LOVE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING GOOD FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH. The blades of grass swaying in the wind, the gentlest breeze, the gusts of wind contracting and expanding around me, the rain falling, the sun blaring Allah’s name, the clearest sky to the foggiest day, the smallest pebble to the tallest tree–they are praising Allah and they are filled with barakah. I know people think I am weird for constantly touching a tree when I pass it or to brush my hands over bushes as I walk pass them, but I swear, I think… I can… FEEL the barakah….
May Allah swt bless us all and forgive us for being so negligent of Him.
…and I think I am going to cut this list here.
I’ll continue my other thoughts in another epiphany or post.