“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."
"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 ]"