My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.
My sister teaches a Sunday class at a local mosque for new reverts to Islam. She once told us a story about one of the ladies who attends the class. They were discussing prayer and wodhu (ablution) in Islam and when and how each of these acts should be performed. They were specifically talking about things that could make your wodhu invalid. My sister said that as long as one doesn’t break their wodhu then they could carry on praying throughout the day without having to make wodhu again.
Suddenly, one of the ladies in the class started crying and my sister asked her what was wrong? The lady told her that she worked as a cleaner at a hotel and that her boss was giving her a really hard time because she was taking too many breaks to go and make wodhu so that she could perform salat (prayer.) The staff bathroom was far away from the rooms she had to clean in the hotel and she thought you had to make wodhu before every single prayer for it to count. She didn’t realise that by keeping her wodhu from her morning prayer, she could carry on praying without having to make wodhu again.
She told my sister that she was crying from happiness. She felt like praying was a burden before. She was so scared that her boss would end up firing her but she didn’t want to stop praying. She was so dedicated to her faith and wanted to gain a sense of fulfillment out of it and now she could do that without feeling worried.
That little piece of knowledge that we take for granted changed someone else’s life. It made her happier and she was able to practice her deen better as a result of it. It reminded me of the following hadith:
Narrated by Anas ibn-Malik: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Do you know who is most generous? They [the companions] said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Whereupon he said: Allah is the Most Generous, then I am most generous to mankind, and the most generous people after me would be those who will acquire knowledge and then disseminate it. He will come on the Day of Resurrection singly, like a ruler.” Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 93
Don’t withhold knowledge from others and don’t shun or ridicule a seeker of knowledge. With the right knowledge comes responsibility so always strive to seek and share it.
It’s crazy how much we take for granted. We’ve all been endowed with such great blessings, we can’t even begin to count them. We get too caught up by what has been given and offered to us that we rarely take a step back to reflect on all that we have.
I woke up this morning because of the alarm I had set the night before on a phone that I had the financial means to purchase. I woke up in a bed, a warm bed, fully clothed and with a roof over my head. I was able to open my eyes and get out of bed with ease. I was able to go to the bathroom and run clean, hot water from the tap to wash my face with. I didn’t have to walk miles to get that water, I didn’t have to worry about getting diseases as a result of using it. I could feel my stomach rumbling. My throat felt dry but I knew there was food downstairs in the kitchen I could placate my hunger with, water to quench my thirst with. I knew there was a family living happily in that house, no arguments, no sadness, no break-ups. I was not afraid or scared of them. I did not hate them. I felt safe and loved…
I can go on counting and recounting these blessings but they only come to acquire a true meaning when we attribute a feeling of gratefulness to them. Alhamdu-lillah (all praise is due to God.) Such simple words yet they hold so much meaning. Only when we come to realise the gravity of those words do we begin to realise the importance of praising and thanking Allah through our thoughts and actions. Be humble. Never, ever forget the true source of all your blessings and never stop being grateful for them.