Strange are the ways of the world and the ways it teach and you learn are even more stranger. When we are unfocused, we lose it all. When we have it, we are never unfocused. But what is it exactly? Read more and you shall come to know!
Abdullah is a very ordinary man living his everyday life here in this country. His life starts with two slices of bread and a cup of tea, and then, he works all day long. He earns well, but he is not satisfied with his life. He thinks that he deserves something better for himself, for he believes that he has been specially made to do special things in his life. But the world, like always, does not understand him. They do not know his heart, they do not care about his victories, but they smile whenever he is failed.
Today is just one of those days. Abdullah is lonely, disappointed for not doing well in his life. He is a very social person, people do shake hands, but he has no friends at all. And because he has no friends at all, he shares his personal life only with God. Today, however, it sounds like God is angry with him for something. It does feel bad when your friends are not available when you need them, but sometimes, when you need someone to your death, and even your God is not available for you, you feel dead. God, however, is always there, but such are the times when your heart is sold out, and you have nothing left to feel God.
Abdullah tries to talk to God in his room where he lives alone, but nothing happens. He feels that God might not listen to him for the way he has been. Therefore, thinking that there would be some noble people out there in the mosque, and the environment might help him converse with God, he goes to a mosque nearby and starts praying for everything that is dear to his heart. But he is out of spirits and so weak, confused and frustrated for the way things seem to ruin his life. He can’t get shivers when he prays and thinks that he probably has done something wrong, or has not done something right, which has resulted in the breakage of his spiritual flow. We humans have a spiritual flow, which can get broken, get mended and enhanced with either virtues or sins. When we are unfocused, we lose it all. When we have it, we are never unfocused. So, it was complicated for Abdullah to understand it fully.
He prays but his heart does not cooperate with his brains and their joint enmity makes him feel worse while he joins his hands and begs before God . Even though he knows that Allah is more aware of the secrets buried in hearts, he wonders if he has gone way too sinful that God isn’t even allowing him to pray properly. Doing so, he is actually requesting Allah to take pity on him and shower His blessings onto him, even with his broken faith and weak love.
But nothing happens. He does not find his prayers worthy enough to be carried to his Lord, wrapped with purity, loyalty and faith. He thinks, “May be, I’m not following the proper manners for supplications. May be, there is something bad I have done, which is not helping me mean whatever I say. Am I having any doubts that my request won’t be answered? Perhaps, my soul is not pure or is it some devil hiding in my heart? I am not feeling like Allah’s
be some unfulfilled responsibilities or some promises that are broken. Man.
“Yes, there must be something wrong within me. Otherwise, Allah listens to my prayers; He tells me and makes me cry when I’m ecstatic. And He makes me shiver when He enters my heart. All these things are just not happening now! I’m not feeling like a man with faith; and the devil is whispering to my subconscious that I should rather quit praying right now because my prayers do not have any Taseer (effect, strength). I am somewhat believing this devil of mine, thinking that I should go and live one more day of my life to write some virtues in my black book and to whiten some sins. Then, may be then, I will have a Taseer that is desired by my prayers.”
The devil is always wrong, but he sounds damn right . Abdullah, however, does not trust his devil and keeps praying. He prays for the acceptance of his prayers when an old man approaches him from behind and sits along with him on the floor. Abdullah watches him, with his malevolent eyes, waiting for a response that could explain the purpose of the guest’s arrival, but nothing happens. The old man keeps humming something in his mouth and his body seems to grab a rhythm with every word he hums. After sometime, the old man’s voice gradually disappears, but his body still vibrates. Both of them watch each other, but they do not say anything. Abdullah discreetly turns his gaze and begins to supplicate again. And right then, the old man comes closer to Abdullah, holds his hands for a minute and shapes them like a bowl. Abdullah looks at the old man, his eyes questioning, his heart distracted and fear filling his inside.
“This is your bowl. And it’s bigger than this world.” The old man stares into Abdullah’s eyes. His eyes are shiny green and his face is stern, with a long beard that has been beautifully trimmed and styled. But he still looks abnormal – He looks obsessively strange and Abdullah is just surprised at his sudden response. The old man continues, “Mohammad… Follow him; reach God.”
Abdullah is confused, and a bit afraid. There is something very odd about the old man’s behavior and his varying talks. Abdullah fails to connect two different things that the old man has said together: A bowl bigger than this world, and the last Prophet of God. Nevertheless, Abdullah keeps quiet, for something speaks in the old man’s eyes, which calms Abdullah, willingly. The old man, odd but graciously sober, has very concise choice of words, with obsessed depth.
“Raise your bowl, son. Pray! Take a look at your fate. Don’t stray!”The old man raises his hands, inviting Abdullah to mock him. And he smiles mysteriously.
Abdullah, now gets the feelings that this old man might be some angel sent by God. So, he feels his words, trusts him and is eager to follow. Abdullah now innocently stares at his fate, engraved in his tiny hand-made bowl. With all his sins, virtues and fate, he raises his hands, higher, his elbows reaching his lower ribs, just below his heart.
“Say Bismillah! Say it to your body and tell your heart.” The old man says in a very mesmerizing voice, very effective; and Abdullah feels the strength of the old man’s presence around him and it took him closer to God.
“Say your prayers; see your prayers, close your eyes . Remember your fears; shed some tears, tell no lies. Believe what you say; feel what you see, and just be.” The old man is speaking aloud now. So loud that Abdullah hears his voice echoing in the entire mosque. Caught in the strong effect of the old man’s voice, Abdullah follows whatever he says, while the old man continues. “Say Bismillah; say Rahmaan; say Raheem. It is a magic, Kid; it is a power. Set some beliefs; and touch your heart. Say Bismillah, and change your life.” The old man comes to a sudden pause. And the silence helps Abdullah listen to his heartbeats – wild heartbeats. The old man puts his hand on Abdullah’s shoulder, and presses it very softly, saying, “If faith is there, in your heart, it will be easy, never hard. Have faith, in faith!
Abdullah has never sensed the actual feeling s of saying Allah’s name ever before. He begins his prayer with Allah’s name and reads it again and again, not knowing what more to say.
“Allah defines His love in Mohammad (PBUH). Love the love of God. Acknowledge Allah’s love, and do it thrice. Send Salaams to your Prophet (PBUH), and be sent Salaams by God. Thrice, I said; it then stays in your heart. Remember Allah’s mercies and realize who is your God. So to understand that your requests are nothing, when you make requests to God.
Abdullah cries, his body trembling with fear and excitement. He feels so close to Allah, more than ever before; and he keeps saying His name. All of his problems and wishes suddenly start to look so conquered, so invaluable to him that He does not feel like making any kind of materialistic requests anymore. He feels that his unsaid requests have already been answered - He feels that God is listening to him, watching his visions, coming closer to his heart.
"This world is just a word away from me, for I know you are listening, for I know you care, and I know you do what’s the best. You know everything in my heart. What else should I say when you are my sight.”
The old man watches Abdullah and smiles mysteriously. He somewhat seems to know what is going through Abdullah’s mind. “Now, ask for His love; and yours faith. Forever, and everyday.”
And this brings the story to a beginning and not the end :)
Dear Readers: Just close your eyes and ask yourself for once, “If this is how close you are to me, my Allah, what else do I pray for? For this world of mine or this love of yours?" And you shall have your answers.
P.S. I would like to thank one of my old blogger friends, Harun Jilani for giving this beautiful gift to me when it was needed the most. And I earnestly hope that it will serve in rekindling the Divine love in you!