This is so beautiful.
This is so beautiful.
I don’t know if anyone really cares about your latest heart-to-heart; your apology, if you can call it that. For whatever it is worth, it is not me — nor your brothers and sisters in humanity at large — to whom you owe words of penitence or remorse. These are just words of desperation; the clamour of the ego, seeking to be loved once more. If the common folk have turned their backs on you, no matter; rejoice in those that still run to your aid, embracing you, indifferent to all that has come to pass. There is no need to say sorry before all the world in a video meant to go viral. Just make amends with those you wronged. Continue reading “Dear fallen idol”
If you have wronged yourself, but have managed not to wrong others in the process, have faith that your Lord is forgiving and merciful. The door to repentance is open wide.
If you have wronged others, but have managed to rectify your affairs with those you wronged, may Allah have mercy on you: may He accept your sincere repentance and replace your bad deeds with good. Continue reading “Whom He wills”
True repentance is undoubtedly liberating, but that does not make it easy. Sometimes it means letting go of all that you have become attached to, to reject a part of yourself, or to turn away from what you treasure, or desire, or wish for beyond the worlds. But in the end you know that you have no other choice: you let go of everything that holds you back, no matter how much it means to you, because you want to regain the favour of your Lord. In your heart there is a pain; a feeling of alienation. You are distant from faith and all that was once so dear to you. It is clear what is wrong and where the problem lies: you know it is a step you have to take. But it is the most difficult step. To say sorry and to tear down the wall that separates you from your Lord. To replace one set of investments with another better than it. To be patient and sincere and to take that final step, to make everything right. Yes repentance is truly liberating, but it exacts a heavy price from the soul.
Why do we have to expose the man with the foul mouth on the train?
These are the contradictions of our society. We demand more investment in Mental Health services for people suffering from schizophrenia, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and addiction. But when we encounter people exhibiting signs of mental health issues in public, our natural reaction is anything but compassionate.
The behaviour of the latest individual to fall foul of the communal censors was clearly unacceptable and unpleasant for his victim… but he was shown swigging wine from a bottle and was clearly over-intoxicated.
The wise before us worked amidst the despised, seeking to reform their body and soul. Our generation secretly records them on the ever-present smart phone and uploads the video to YouTube, like a modern-day freak-show, where it can the be Liked and Shared a million times over, even by those claiming to follow the Prophetic Path.
Rest assured, there is nothing Prophetic about these acts. The Messengers were friends to the poor, the slave, the sick, to women and men, to those cast out by society… even to their avowed enemies. Yes, the Messengers would have reached out to that racist in the train.
Remaining steadfast after repentance: what is the trick? The repentance that came from nowhere on the 15th of Muharram was so sincere and sweet and true. It was like a new beginning. A night in prayer. Tears. Forehead to the floor. There came that resolve never, never to return. To pull back. To start anew. There were evident signs in the air. A week of goodness followed. And then what? What changed? A door opened a crack? A passing thought made real? Wonderment? Doubt? Addiction? The assault of the eternal what if? And though I repent again, it does not feel real like last time; how can it be accepted now, after the fall, the return. Here the month of Mercy. Could it be expiation for my sins? Could it purify me and rectify for me my affairs? Will I let it? Can I remain steadfast and true? Or shall I forever remain like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind? What is the secret of the steadfast?
Dear Younger Self,
I am writing to you from the future. In a couple of years I will be 40; you have just passed 20. The year is 2015 and while it only vaguely resembles to world of 1989’s Back to the Future II, it is shaping up to mirror the dystopian nightmares of other works of contemporary fiction: ours is an advanced technological society, supported by wars without end overseas.
The Internet, which you have recently discovered, has grown exponentially and has had a vast impact on our lives, both for good and bad. That brick of a mobile phone in your pocket has evolved into a handheld computer, vastly more powerful than that huge beige machine on your desk. Your 100MB Zip disks are long obsolete; today we can store 128GB of data on a slither of plastic smaller than your fingernails. As for your dreams: instead of working in International Development, you work in a new-fangled field called Web Development. I’m not sure how that happened, but I blame you! Continue reading “Letter to myself”
We claim the good amongst us and disown the bad.
Those before us claimed both and sought their redemption.
No new resolutions for me, but a reminder for my daily living… What does it mean to believe?
“And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off evil;
Those who spend of that which God has given them in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; God loves the good;
And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember God and implore forgiveness for their sins — Who forgives sins except God alone? — and will not knowingly repeat the wrong they did.
The reward of such will be forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever — a bountiful reward for workers!”
In summary, those who believe should be:
If we can try to act on these daily, then perhaps we too can be counted among those being referred to. The best of resolutions, inshallah.