Sunday, 19 February 2017

Every bit of blessing...

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” ― Henry Ward Beecher

When I reflect back, going through post natal depression is actually a blessing to me. One of the things that caused me stress and anxiety was seeing wastage.

I flipped when I saw the tap being turned on full blast with water gushing out. Wastage of water. The sound of water gushing out made me mental and guilty at the same time.

"Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, passed by Sa’d while he was performing ablution. The Prophet said, “What is this extravagance?” Sa’d said, “Is there extravagance with water in ablution?” The Prophet said, “Yes, even if you were on the banks of a flowing river.”

Hadith Ibn Majah

The other thing that drove me mad was to see wastage of food.

O children of Adam! Attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.

Quran 7:31

Now, I'm almost fully recovered from my post natal depression but certain things I noticed stayed with me. I still can't abide wastage in any form especially food and it can drive me nuts. It seems that the after-effect of being sick left me with a sense awareness. That's why I said it was a blessing. Otherwise, I would like continue living being oblivious and insensitive to my surroundings.

Last night, my husband and I went to a restaurant to meet some friends. The place was full with patrons. The food was good. As we looked around, we were dismayed to see plates of unfinished food on the table.

Now, that both irritated and saddened me at the same time. The fact that we live in a world where's there hunger even in our own neighbourhood, but yet, there are still people who are wasting food.

Did you know that every morsel of food is a blessing from God?  By throwing away unfinished food is akin to throwing away His blessings and telling God, that we don't want His rizq.

Jabir (RA) reported: “I heard Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: ‘The Satan is present with any one of you in everything he does; he is present even when he eats food; so if any one of you drops a mouthful he should remove away anything filthy on it and eat it and not leave for the devil; and when he finishes (food) he should lick his fingers, for he does not know in what portion of his food the blessing lies.’” 

Sahih Muslim

Anas r.a said:"The Prophet Pbuh ordered us not to leave anything on the plateand he said: "You do not know in which portion of your food Allah has put the Barakah (Blessing)"

Hadith Muslim

Every time we pray, we ask for rizq but yet when He gives it to us, we simply throw it away without a blink or feeling or remorse. What have we become?  A wasteful nation or an ungrateful one?

Sigh! This is what we can do the next time we dine out or even at home. If we can't finish the food on our plate, for whatever reason, then have the waiter pack your leftovers. Bring it home for you to eat later or give it away to some who needs it. It's far better than throwing it away. Don't be wasteful.

Don't let the possibility of a small morsel of food be the cause of our rizq and blessings being withdrawn from us......

Friday, 3 February 2017

Brief Darkness

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

I remember once, reading about one of Prophet's companions who used to get distraught if he had not fallen ill for a long spell.

When I read that, I thought it was a bit weird. I mean, who in the right frame of mind would asked to be sick instead of healthy? I understand about the part where sickness can reduce our sins but still....being sick is quite nasty business actually.

"I visited Allah's Apostle while he was suffering from a high fever. I touched him with my hand and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You have a high fever." Allah's Apostle said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you have." I said, "Is it because you will get a double reward?" Allah's Apostle said, "Yes, no Muslim is afflicted with harm because of sickness or some other inconvenience, but that Allah will remove his sins for him as a tree sheds its leaves."

Hadith Bukhari

"Abu Sa'id al-Khudri r.a. reported that the Prophet said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression --even a thorn's prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it."

Hadith Bukhari & Muslim

Anyway, last week, I was given a glimpse of the answer to my wondering. I was stricken down with dengue fever. For those who had this fever before,  would know how physically painful it is. People call it the 'bone breaking' fever because you literally would feel like every bone in your battered body is breaking.

Prior to that, I couldn't pray as I was on my usual monthly leave so when I was admitted into the hospital, I was still in the state of impurity hence I couldn't pray.

On one hand, it was kinda relief as I was in too much pain to move and spent my time lying on the bed. I suppose God was giving me time off so that I can recover physically but on the other hand, I have never felt so alone in my entire life! It was a spiritually feeling of being alone.

Yes, it's true that I could do other things such as zikr but somehow, it wasn't enough.

At that time, I felt darkness had descended on my soul and I was spiralling into utter depression. I desperately wanted my physical link with my Creator but I couldn't. I didn't like it one least bit!

I don't know about others and I don't judge but for me personally, not being able to pray and be the closest to God during sujud for a long period of time is just horrible.

Every prayer we start with the intention to perform the prayer for the sake of Allah SWT. Then, we recite 'Allahuakhbar' which means 'Allah is Great'. It is an intimate meeting between us and God that no one else can intrude. To not be able to do that 5 times a day for a long spell is just depressing and complete darkness to me. I needed the 'light'. My body needed to feel it's not alone eventhough my soul knows He is near.

Now, I understand why the companions had asked for sickness. Being in that vulnerable state somehow heightened our senses and in my heightened state, I felt I needed to connect to the right channel otherwise I would feel lost. Make sense? Hhmmm....somehow, to me, it does...

"And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]"
Quran 2:45