Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nothing, am I.

When I sit to write usually, even though I talk of what I know, I  try having a general theme, so that everyone can relate to it. But today (at the risk of being presumptuous) what I write will not appeal to many people. To gulp down this post you will need to have some faith in the unseen, and a strong belief that the human soul is an entity that in fact exists. Now I do not call upon a debate because we have enough 'men of faith' fighting this never ending battle on much more serious battlefields, like "youtube" and random pictures on "facebook". I am sharing what I think is worth sharing, if you agree I am glad, if you don't, well; 

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
(To you be your religion, and to me my religion)

Al- Quran, Chapter 109, Verse 6.

So I don't know how many people do this but during prayers, I have usually wondered how I can make it genuine, how I can stop my thoughts from digressing and in those five minutes that I spend on the prayer mat, I talk to God, and him alone. This process usually begins with me closing my eyes, then a little visualising, I see clouds, an entire expanse of them, and I am there all alone. In front of me is a light, on a throne, a light. Once the visuals are complete I say the words out loud, recalling the translations in my head so I know what I am saying. And even though all this is going on I still find my self reminding myself to concentrate. So today thats how I began this little ritual for sundown prayers, and even though what ever follows was my thoughts digressing, I hope it's worth while in the grand scheme of things.

So when I was bowing down I pictured the throne, but then my mind wandered. I started recalling all the reasons why I pray in the first place. It's my time with God, away from everything else, and if I truly love him like I think I do, then I should not want to think about other things at this moment. Once I got to this point, the throne imagery seemed a little harsh, I choose to believe God is all around me and a part of me he is not on some throne, and if I do what he says it is, above all, out of love. Now with out the throne I needed another concentration point, somewhere to converge my attention on so as to stay focussed, at that moment something I heard in a song(Ironic) came to mind;

مسجد ڈھا دے مندر ڈھا دے 
ڈھا دے جو کچھ ڈھیندا 
پر کسی دا دل نہ ڈھانویں 
رب دِلاں وچ رہندا 

بلھے شاہ
Demolish the mosque, demolish the temple
Demolish whatever you can demolish
But don't demolish anyone's heart
For God lives inside the hearts

Bulleh Shah

So one thing led to another and now I was looking down through out, talking to my heart. Suddenly there was a shift in feelings, there was a warm feeling inside me, things felt a little more intimate. I liked it. Now every physical gesture I made felt as if I was trying get closer to the heart, I knelt trying to get closer to this centre, it didn't work, what now maybe bowing down would help. And as I was on the floor with my head down I felt like I am enveloped in this feeling of love and security, it felt good. Out of the blue, everything was beginning to make sense. 

The institution of prayer now seemed so much more. Its a humbling experience, when we walk on this earth proud of our abilities, its nice to bow down to someone and remind yourself; the there is someone who "alone we seek for help." Now I hear voices telling me there will be those who think I cannot think for myself and I am just trying to justify what ever I've been told my entire life, but to them I say, being down to earth is never a bad quality.

Coming back to this experience, I remember the loud recitation began to get slower as I told myself I was talking to my soul, which (as believed by several literarians and scholars alike) is a part of God's light. So praying to it, in some way, seemed sensible. I was then reminded of how Marvell spoke of the soul being trapped inside this body and if that is so, I imagine it would feel good hearing about its home, like any prisoner would, trapped in a foreign jail cell, for what feels like a lifetime.

So there it is, as much as it feels weird to admit it, I find myself preaching about things people might not always want to hear about. But I hope you can see the honesty that went in to this, none of what I wrote was for the sake of presenting things in a flowery way. As Iqbal says;

دل سے جو بات نکلتی ہے، اثر رکھتی ہے
پر نہیں، طاقتِ پرواز مگر رکھتی ہے۔

Words when spoken from the heart, have impact,
For they do not have wings yet have the power to fly.


  1. Little brother! This touched my heart and Im amazed at how I realize we are not so different when it comes to the reason of our prayers. My prayers are my time alone with God, and very often when Im done I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, for being able to speak to Him, what I cant speak to anyone else.
    Be blessed, and be well, Im so very proud of you! -Arlene

    1. I got a tremendous feeling of joy when I read your comment. Almost watered my eyes to see how you can touch people's hearts when you have never met them. I am so glad you said those thank you sis. :)

  2. 'I truly love him like I think I do, then I should not want to think about other things at this moment.'.. exactlyyyyy.. its all about love and how we perceive the presence of him, like an ultimate power right in front of us or an ultimate power inside us. amazing work dude. ALLAH bless u. :)

    1. Thanks a lot Saran, I am so glad you could see where I am coming from. :)