Tuesday, May 05, 2009

In the remembrance of God

Alexandria is a beautiful city. This time of year is not as crowded as usual, although I still fear for my life (i.e. that I’ll be run over by a car) whenever I’m out. The weather is also quite lovely – sunny and warm during the day, but still enough breeze and shade to be comfortable.

I received some sad news a few days ago, and the beauty of this city began to wilt before my eyes. Regardless of how many palm trees were set against the horizon, or how bewitching the crescent moon looked in the night sky, I couldn’t derive any joy from it. Before the sad news, everything was an adventure. After it, every day seemed like a chore. Every trip to the corner store to buy bread or milk, every taxi ride and outing felt meaningless and empty.

When I’m sad, I don’t binge eat or want to lie in front of the television for hours on end. I don’t want to complain to people, or “drown my sorrows.” I’ve tried all these routes before (except for drowning my sorrows), and none of them make a positive difference. Food loses its sweetness; television numbs one’s mind momentarily but achieves no effect; complaining to people often makes matters worse, especially when they agree with your sadness, therefore serving to reinforce it.

I keep to myself when I’m sad here. The days are quiet and my heart is uneasy; there is no daily bustle to occupy my mind and limbs or good friends to distract my thoughts. It’s not a loneliness that I can describe in words; rather, it’s something you need to touch, feel, and experience yourself.

These days I’ve been replaying the verse in my mind: “ala bi dhikr-illahi tatma’in al-quloob” “verily in the remembrance of God do hearts find peace and comfort.” When I take the time to reflect on this, I find it quite fascinating how I sometimes try to circumvent the most obvious solution to my problems.

I cannot physically rectify the circumstances to soothe my sadness; I cannot speak words of apology to anyone or offer any material goods as reparation. I am completely powerless to change the sad news. What humbling moments this sadness has exposed my heart to! It has reminded me that it is only Allah who has power over our affairs. And when we are confident that things will turn out a certain way because of our own efforts, that confidence is often shaken by Allah’s ultimate Will.

I believe that these things happen to shake the foundations of our disobedience. Only the sin of true arrogance could have made me believe that I was in control of my future. And although there is a silent but profound sadness in this heart, I will still always believe at my core that Allah is the Most Merciful. I remember the verse: “‘asa an takrahu shay’un wa huwa khairun lak,” sometimes you feel hatred towards the things that are actually good for you. And sometimes you feel love towards that which will bring you harm. Allah’s Mercy could very well be manifested in the thing that hurts you the most right now. Perhaps this hurt is the seed to something beautiful.

My sister had a baby girl that same night I received the news, right before fajr. Feeling the weight on my heart, and watching my sister go through labour pains, it dawned on me that this life is not meant to be easy. At every turn there is some new challenge, some looming hardship. But we are made out of difficult times; easy times do not mould the people we become. Adversity is what makes our roots grow firmer into the ground. Adversity waters the soil so that the branches of our Iman may reach up towards the sky.


Lyrical Brother said...


May Allah make every affair easy on you. As He says:

inna ma' al 'usr yusra

which means: with every hardship is an ease.

Like you mentioned, nothing will ever ease your heart to the extent that the Quran will. It is hudan lil mutaqeen, a guide to those who put their lives in Allah's hands.

It is mentioned that whenever A'isha rady Allah 'anha had a problem, she would turn to the Quran. And whenever a calamity befell her, the Quran would save her. Like when she was accused of adultery, she was saved by the verses that were revealed in the Quran. Similarly when she had to make wudu but there was no water, the verses about tayammum were revealed.

Trust in Allah. It is the only way to be successful.

May Allah bless you and everyone around you. Ameen.

yaser said...

i don't know what you're going through, but whatever it is, i pray that it becomes easier for you.

take care.

7 Years Old With Attitudes Says : said...

One day I decided to quit... I quit my job, my relationships, my spirituality... I wanted to quit my life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me...

"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth.

Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again,nothing came from the bamboo seed.

But I did not quit on the bamboo". He said. "In the third year,there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.

In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit." He said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.

Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant.
But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots.

Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."

He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don't compare yourself to others."

He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern, yet, they both make the forest beautiful."

"Your time will come, "God said to me. " You will rise high!"

"How high should I rise?" I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned.

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.

Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness. Bad days give you experiences. Both are essential to life.
Keep going...

Happiness keeps you Sweet,

Trials keep you Strong,

Sorrows keep you Human,

Failures keep you humble,

Success keeps You Glowing,

but Only You keeps You Going!

"Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special."

“Do people imagine that they will be left at ease because they say 'We have faith!' and will not be tested? But certainly We tested those who were before them..” [Quran 29:2-3]

Don't let the sadness overcome you, soon you will be back to home

And trust me it could be just a sadness because you are away from the things you love to do and you can not do down there or it could be a home sickness and manifest itself in a shape of sadness along with the sad news you have down there, I get this a lot, I know it is hard to do, regardless the sad news, I don't want to know, and you should tell.

Try to get hold of your emotions and that is the key, do something you love, like reading Quran, or make funny faces, make people laugh at something even at you if you had too, just bring a positive thoughts around you and around your family members, and it should turn this sadness into tears and ultimately laughter till fajr time

you have a safe trip coming back, and recite Duaa on the plane to all the people you know, and the people you don't know. That alone should bring happiness to your heart. Duaa is just a very good weapon against sadness.

emotions control is the key, use any means necessary to do, read Quran. walk by the beach, and I mean long walk a 3 hours will do, write a poem, you good at this.

Hope you like the story above, I got it via email long time ago, Trust Allah almighty, and things will change in a blink of an eye


Nauman said...

May Allah (SWT) make it easy for you...

...and don't be afraid to ask for answers to your questions from those around you and from Allah (SWT) - you may not get answers each time necessarily but you'll know that you paid your due diligence at least. :)

sara said...

you always remind me of things that I constantly forget.

this is probably my favourite post ever.

I won't offer any words of reassurance because you are wise and know this will all work itself out.

I got a postcard from Fathima today. I miss my bestest pals.

Anonymous said...


Asmaa, not cool, you should've told me it was here. LOL, i need a life.

Sometimes we need to hurt (I should know) to really praise Allah when a blessing of all blessings comes your way.

May Allah(SWT) settle your heart and give you the blessings of all blessings! Ameen!
- China!