A day’s lapse OOPS!
I’m back! To talk about the religious people i mentioned.
To put it shortly there’s a teacher and the people are his students, and if you trace his teacher, and his teacher’s teacher, and go all the way up, it reaches the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I did attend one class, and this is how i can describe what my teacher taught:
It is both factual, obvious, yet bewilderingly enough things i have not realised. It preaches good, makes it clear who are enemies are (for the record he explicitly said ‘you have only two enemies, Shaitan and your nafs (self). These two will always pull you towards bad things and so you must fight. The Jews and Christians are not our enemies, please be very clear of that. What they want to believe is between them and God, it is not our problem) and it was all very clear and good.
I saw how he treated the children there (one of his student’s nephews) and there was an older man, first timer, whose demeanour and questions got a bit heavy to bear at times but my teacher was patient, pleasant yet firm with him the whole time. He allowed the man to speak, to question, yet made it clear what he misunderstood or said wrongly, in a polite way.
And all the fine gentlemen who were there? You could see they were at peace. There was a stillness to them and a light on their faces. These were good men, who were in life situations not unlike mine, but who lived theirs with more grace and beauty that i do mine. They were welcoming, nice to me, and some familiar faces. The familiar ones were the people i went for Umrah with (a minor pilgrimage, the major one being the Hajj) and they were the same people who showed care and concern for me when i was down with chicken pox, miles away from home (some fellow pilgrims kept their distance from me, but i do not blame them).
So the big question is:
If i have nothing against these fine men and have found a teacher such as himself, why am i not walking the path with them? Why have i not gone back for a second class, meditation session, anything??
And this is where i find myself puzzled. It’s as if a precious gem is held in front of me to take and i’m just turning to walk away. Questions in my head are:
- is it really a gem as my intellect says it is?
- am i truly turning away or perhaps not ready to take it
- are we ever ready
- could this just be my nafs and shaitan whispering to me
With all these feelings i truly have gotten much closer to understanding how some people can be so exposed to Islam yet not embrace it, or know so much of what they should do yet neglect it; it’s just this… gap. A void of nothingness, there’s no pull to cross it yet there is nothing keeping us from standing at that cliff’s edge and just looking over, admiring the beauty of what’s beyond the chasm.
When i probe deeper, a curious view of me emerges: that the me who is to be isn’t a religious scholar or saint or anything of that sort, but more like their helper and assistant. I see myself more as the muscular right-hand-man ready to do their beckoning, first to step up to get any dirty work done. Maybe because i’m that much more crude than these pure people, or i am too noisy and excitable to be a totally calm and stately teacher. Either way i am intrigued by what my mind says.
So in the present, my way forward is to continue with the daily litanies prescribed, and to pray for guidance and for my path to be open. And then with every step i take i will know and believe that it is not truly me who chose to act in that way rather it was chosen for me and i have responded.
This path is a mysterious one and i don’t know where i will end up. But one thing i am sure of is my gratitude for having had the honour and pleasure of being in the company of so many great people, and that at least a few of them now know me. With their prayers and blessings, i am fine; i am looked out for. He brought them into my life, so i am thankful for His gift.