DAY 6. COVID-19 LOCKDOWN.
THE bird-bath sparkled with water in the early morning as the sun rose to its majesty and its inviting rays caressed the brim making a kaleidoscope of colours dance around. Chirping of birds like a symphony opened the day to a song of peace. Alas! half the world is still asleep. In a flight of delight one bird made it to bath, sipped water and bathed itself for the day – a sight so enchanting to the mind, spellbinding to the eye and calmness to the heart that it filled the atmosphere with harmony that was made real with the crisp fresh air that filled the lungs. The birds left their nests hungry and thirsty and they found their providence.
Thirst is a driving force and its deeply rooted within our psyche as a feeling that must be satisfied otherwise it can definitely lead to a gruesome death. However, it also works on the heart’s desire to be successful, famous, generous, wealthy and all the mores one can dream of. Not fulfilling that desire of the heart otherwise known as a thirst for having it, can also lead to depression, hopelessness and all the negativity that is associated with it. Therefore, when we look at what ‘thirsts’ we have, we will know what is at the core of our being.
The core of our being is so hidden from ourselves because we wear so many social masks, not the ones we wear to be safe against COVID-19, rather the facades we have and the constant act to keep it savvy and sound has layered our lives with false credentials. Majestic yet frightening is the striking of lightening but, the clarity of sound and supersonic speed is so full of catharsis that you would gasp, scream, shake, run or take cover is clear that when realisation hits home, its like a bolt of lightening. The story below from IRSHAD, Wisdom of a Sufi Master, (page 155) made this real for me. It reads as follows:
The Man who ate lots of Salted Fish
A certain person wished to see the blessed Messenger in a dream, but he seemed to be incapable of achieving this vision. He therefore approached a noble saint, imploring his advice. That noble being was an intimate friend of Allah. He said: “My son, on Friday evening you must eat a lot of salted fish, then perform your prayer and go to bed without drinking water. Then you will see.”
The man followed this advice. He spent the whole night dreaming that he was drinking from streams, fountains and springs. When morning came, he ran crying to the saint: “O Master, I did not see the Messenger. I was so thirsty that all I dreamed about was drinking from fountains and springs. I am still on fire with thirst,” The saint the told him: “So, eating salted fish gave you such a thirst that you dreamed all night long of nothing but water. Now you must feel such a thirst for Allah’s Messenger and you will then behold his blessed beauty!”
COVID – 19. The world is thirsty to find a cure for it in light of all we experiencing and are we behaving like the man who ate salted fish! He knew what he wanted and the saint knew his spiritual malady. He had to be made aware of his indisposition through a crazy enough remedy only to be taught his heart’s misguidance that needed alignment to that which he thirsts for because its so pure and fluid – once tasted never to let go; never tasted always a yearning to be in its flow. Today, in our LOCKDOWNS around the world, we are all, in general, trying our best to fight the virus but, have become negligent with the value of patience. Like the man eating salted fish and staying away from water, we are the same – staying indoors but we are running out of patience in thirst of getting on with our lives as we used to. Until we don’t establish patience of a high order we will become miserable with ourselves and candidly upset with authorities who in our view are taking too much time sorting matters out.
I taught pupils about the plaque that ravaged England and about other plagues too, including the ones in biblical times to make them realise that it will always be Allah, the High the Great who will bring it to a close as it came from HIM in the first instance. Our most sophisticated weapons cannot fight this microbe because its makeup outsmarts all our artificial intelligence and also because it ingenious Creator, Allah, who fashioned us too is teaching us a lesson of faith like that man eating salt fish. Allah is the best saint and we need to seek HIS magnanimous countenance through becoming human again. Develop the thirst to be human again full of virtue away from the seven deadly sins listed as: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.
We need to love for our brother what we love for ourselves and forego our rights to fulfil the rights of another to the extent that we ‘Die Empty’. We need to do this and we need to start with ourselves first. Begin to forgive and count your blessings given that you alive and not in the grievous situation in Italy. If you were there in all probability you would be writing your last will and testament if it’s not ready yet or, you could be no more. Today, these thoughts plagued the mind because all we are hearing is COVID-19 related deaths coupled with the refugee crises, the 10 year way in Syria, the war in Yemen and the continued LOCKDOWN of Kashmir by Indian forces amongst a host of other realities of despair. We hearing and seeing all that but, we are relatively safe here in South Africa hopefully never to experience what Italy is going through therefore, should we not become thirsty to change?
Postings on social media has become a recipe hotspot, a comedy circle of short videos of how to pass time, a world wind of jokes, a series of preacher forums, a host of religious inspirations and more and more but; little have we given ourself a space with ourself because all of ourselves are a part of everyone else’s lives! Sad, is it not. Lets limit our interaction with the virtual world and ground ourselves in the real present and like the saint’s advice at the end, let us develop a thirst of finding who we are with Allah.
DAY 7 HAS DEVELOPED ITS THIRST TO QUENCH THE DAY. Are you thirsty for a new beginning in your life? If so, get a move on tomorrow – you will 24 hours to yourself.