Sunday, April 2

Somnology

My brother called late last night to tell me that my dad tore some of his chest muscles shovelling snow a week ago. The muscles are located near the upper part of the diaphragm, right above the heart. I'm so ineffably blessed, because "chest pain" in that area could have certainly been unimaginably worse. Al Hamdulillah.

I talk to my parents every day, multiple times, and they didn't even tell me.

If I ever have professed any kind of truth on this blog

(besides Qur'an), this is it*:
My parents are the greatest blessing Allah has given me.

Al Hamdulillah--exponentially.


We all have to face making the ultimate decision at some point of our lives, to varying degrees, and probably more than once; whether or not we will submit to Allah, The Oft-Returning, The Merciful.

Every one of us loves. We may love others, ourselves, things, desires, etc. But we all are capable of (and arguably inevitably prone to) becoming enslaved to all that which we love. Take two scenarios; Person A who loves his parents, and Person B who loves her material wealth (gender for the persons was chosen randomly--one may adjust if so one prefers).

Person A cannot be with his parents 24/7 if he also wants to have time to go out and pursue a career by which he will have the financial income necessary to care for his parents. Say he gets a job that allows him to stay home with his parents (like those on-line/telemarketing types). Say he makes every arrangement possible, including hiring a live-in hospice nurse, a dietician, a psychologist--the whole works. Well, we all must sleep. Who can wake his parents up every day from this phenomenon called slumber that continues to fascinate and confound our civilization's most prominent somnologists? Who wakes Person A, himself, up every day so that he can care for, can love, his parents? Person A, having considered this at some point of his life, and having realized his humble (or even total lack of) power in helping that which means most to his existence, must certainly experience worry, anxiety, fear.

Person B, whose object of love is much lower than that of Person A (though her love may be more intense), will eventually find herself in the same state of fear and paranoia. Greed is usually coupled with misery--not necessarily in wanting more of what one has, but a person's desire to hold on to the possession, to maintain it solely, to protect it from decreasing. Allah is The Protector.

We all must face our mortality, and I would argue, our inevitable subjection and finite human reality. All of our objects of love (be it even relationships with other people) are accompanied by growing fears and anxieties until we come to terms with The Omnipotent--until we find peace (Islam--yall so should have seen that coming).

And once that realization is actualized, that is, once we have submitted our wills to Him, inwardly and outwardly (by intention and action, respectively), that fear--the anxiety that Sartre wrote of in Nausea--becomes lighter...until we find an ultimate Peace, inshaa'Allah. And somehow, in this actualization, what once seemed burdensome becomes sweet and light blessings we choose to place in His Hands with trust and hope--the opposite of fear and anxiety.

Islam is beautiful, not because it makes the world a perfect place, nor because it makes us perfect people; It is the perfect tool to help us with all our incapacities, our mistakes, our guilt, our fears, and our hopes--our inescapably human existences.

Al Hamdulillah :)













Qur'an, 2:255 (~translation by Yusuf Ali: "Allah! There is no god but He,
-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).")








Qur'an, 30:23 (~translation by M. H. Shakir: "And one of His signs is your sleeping and your seeking of His grace by night and (by) day; most surely there are signs in this for a people who would hear.")

*Not to say that I've gone out of my way to say an untruth on this blog, because, well, that would be silly. Who lies on their own blog?

6 comments:

Nuri said...

You make me want to read the Quran!
Although I alredy feel peace. I was raised in a strict catholic school but somehow I never grew up to be very religious. In fact, I'd like to feel faith sometime but... it's just too complicated. Faith and reason often collide and I'm much too logical.

Katie said...

Hey Samira. Guess whoooo.

Samira said...

Dear Mononoke,

That wonderful, addictive, absolute world of logic is something I too find myself endulging in...And although I'm sure you've probably heard that "faith" by definition implies believing in something beyond the logical realm (which I agree with), I think if you honestly, sincerely pursue "logic" with more of your heart and soul--that part of you in which the desire to seek truth originates--rather than the formulaic structures of "logical thought" that consume our minds (though help us understand much of our world at times), you will find that "logic" and all other faculties of reason within us have an innate tendency to seek faith.

But yes, in the end, there will always be that jump to the place logic cannot connect us to, that "leap of faith" that defines us and becomes evidence of the very fact that we believe.

And just a side note: My dad actually attended an American private all-boys Catholic school from 1st grade through 10th (or it's equivalent in the formerly "East Pakistan" education system). He still talks about his teachers as Brother Hobart and Brother so-and-so, and all that he learned from them. Your comment just reminded me of this :)

And most importantly, if you want to read Qur'an, it's only a click away (click on the "Qur'an" link available on my blog's right sidebar; Let me know if you want more info). And I'm certain that a hard copy can be found at any library and definitely at a local masjid in your area. The thing about Qur'an is that it IS Islam; It is the HEART; It is where IMAN, or faith, originates for all who submit to The One God. As Muslims (literally, "those who submit"), we believe it is the Divine, unchanged Words of Allah, Himself, and every copy of the Qur'an you find on Earth is exactly the same.

I hope you pursue your curiosity, because truth is best believed after it has been tested, and tested, and tested...and FOUND to be truth.

From one seeker to another,
Peace Be With You :)

Nuri said...

Thank you Samira.
I will read it once I finish what I'm reading right now, I've been quite curious about Islam for some time now, and you've just triggered a bit more my interest. It's on my "to do" list...

Samira said...

You're welcome :)

Nuri said...

Samira, don't you think it's time for you to update your blog???

:-)