June 24, 2017

Life’s journey

Eid Mubarak to every one of you! As we say goodbye to another Blessed Ramadan, we are returned again to the task of regular daily living. But something must have changed in us for the better, for that is the stuff of Ramadan; and life's journey continues. Ramadan refreshes our minds of the essence of this journey. metaphorically we reflect. Here is a peek into my thoughts of this. 

From the moment we are born to the moment of our death we are on this journey of life. It is interesting to note that when we board the ship we are crying (perhaps because we already know the hardship of life) and others are laughing. And when we disembark at our death, others are crying and we are laughing (if we have lived a good life).

So how do we live a good life? How do we make that happen? One approach to living a good life is the worldly one. We can do so by accumulating wealth and indulging in the pleasures of life with not a bit of thanks given to the Provider of all this bounty. We indulge in this kind of hedonism when our eman is low and we have no thought given to the advent of the Hereafter. Some of this group actively believes that there is no Hereafter. What we have is here and now. Still, those that believe so know they are on a journey but for them it is more a cruise-ship of fun than a moment's ride to a destination. The other way is to balance this worldly comfort without forgetting the merits we need to accumulate for the Hereafter.

Metaphorically, our ship of life, as is any ship, is guided by two very important groups of people; the captain of the ship and the crew of the ship. If we can imagine our body to be the ship, the captain is our conscious mind and the crew is our subconscious mind. Whatever command the captain gives, the crew follows because the subconscious mind does not evaluate the command and give a feedback to challenge the captain’s command. It follows the orders. Now, we must know that our subconscious mind is the confluence of such commands it has received over time from the time we wore born to this present time in our lives. It has defined our personality, our habits and our values and our assumptions right or wrong. So we guide our ship in this collective consciousness imbued by this historical and cumulative experience which we call our basic wisdom framework. So we are wiser than others. And yet others are more creative or compassionate or cruel or deceptive or resentful than others; all based on how our captain has commanded the crew of our body.

But Allah is wise and so he created us not in complete hard-wiring but with the ability to rewire and become different as we wish. But the change has to be based on changing the captain’s command. When the captain can be made to change the command for some length of our temporal time we can change old habits and beliefs. Our power of self-will and choice is what gives the responsibility for ourselves. Yes, this world is a test, and each one of us believers in a Supreme Being, must pass the test to achieve the Hereafter  Just like our achievements on our school prize giving day or winning a trophy in game of physical endurance, Allah will handover to us our report cards on the day of judgement. Some will be enthralled in joy while others will have their share of tears. We can ask Allah to give us hidayath, for in the asking is the answering. When we don't ask we don't get. That is the power of dhua.

Yes, now is the time to struggle and accumulate the goodness we need for the prize of the Hereafter. We need to fill our baggage with the right goods we can use in the land of the Hereafter when we get there, and we are sure to get there no doubt. This requires a conscious packing of our baggage with the right kind of clothes and adornments and also ensure that the Captain gives the right orders right from the beginning of our journey.

Our short sojourn in this world is to accumulate the goodness that will be the investment for the Hereafter. Selfish action does not give us merit. It is social good that we do that adds to the merit. See that we do no harm to others. It's not enough just to focus on doing good, but quite as important also is about not doing harm to others. Allah SWA counts this also as merit.

Allah SWS calls on us to enjoy this world even as we seek the Hereafter. But why is it that some people commit suicide? Some want to leave the ship even before time. They don't want to be with the ship. Why? Much research shows that they left in dispair because of another person's hurtful action. Otherwise no one will leave this ship by themselves. So don't hurt others to the extent of pushing them off the ship. We may not be doing it in awareness but in ignorance. Still it is our action. So let's not make that happen to others. When we don't engage in hurting others, we do a great service to mankind.

So, as we board the next leg of our journey, let us fill our bags with the best of what we can use in the hereafter. And that is the best of deeds; not money or wealth or fame or position in this worldly society. Surah -Takasur attests to the folly of being distracted from the Akhirah in our desperate accumulation of worldly wealth.

To get dhuniya we have to do fikr and to get jannah we have to do zikr.


No comments: