DAY 21. COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
The Ant سورة النمل
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
١٧﴾ وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ17.
And gathered for Solomon were his troops of sprites, men, and birds—all held in strict order.
﴿١٨﴾ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَتَوْا عَلَىٰ وَادِ النَّمْلِ قَالَتْ نَمْلَةٌ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوا مَسَاكِنَكُمْ لَا يَحْطِمَنَّكُمْ سُلَيْمَانُ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ18.
Until, when they came upon the Valley of the Ants, an ant said, “O ants, go into your dwellings, lest Solomon and his troops crush you, while they are unaware.”
Zuhtu Pasha Rescues an Ant
Zuhtu Pasha, the author of a religious textbook used in the old secondary schools, held office in the Ottoman Ministries of Education, Finance and Public Works. He built the noble mosque which bear his name in Kiziltopak. While the mosque was under construction, Zuhtu Pasha never failed to stop by the site each morning on his way to the Sublime Porte and on his way home each evening. He followed the progress of the work and kept it under control. One morning he was visiting the site as usual and saw that the workmen were busy slaking lime. Noticing an ant on the hot lime, he rescued it with his stick and left it in a safe corner.
That night he had a dream in which he heard a voice say: “Zuhtu, I had not accepted that mosque you are building, but I have pardoned you because you have rescued My ant.” After this dream Zuhtu Pasha praised and extolled his Lord. He did not visit the construction site again until the mosque was completed, explaining to those who wondered why: “I have proof that I have been pardoned by Lord.” Source: IRSHAD. WISDOM OF THE SUFI MASTER.
Look at the mindfulness of Allah, the High the Compassionate in that He makes us aware of HIS hearing of the ants on the approach of the army and confirms it as a chapter in the Holy Quran and; pardons Zuhtu Pasha for saving an ant. The tiny ant is known to Allah, the all Knowing so much so that’s precarious position as in the cases above are also known. So mindful is Allah, the Majestic of His creation that He arranges for it also to be saved and care for as a case in point.
Mankind is a superior creation to animals therefore, how much more will Allah, the Merciful respond to us when we call unto Him? Allah, the Beneficent says in the Holy Quran: “Ask Me and I will give you.” Therefore, if we become more mindful of this our prayers will be rise up to the heavens with greater sanctity. Why? Because we are attentive in our prayer to Allah, the Enricher and aware of His Majestic dominance. The kind of trust you have with Allah, the Noble is relative to your mindfulness of Him.
Today was supposed to be the last day of LOCKDOWN and things were to start normalising but, it was not supposed to be. This got me thinking on why we are so keen to get out of our houses yet, it is the safe haven. The ants on the approach of the army feared for their lives and needed to get back into their homes. Fear was the factor. Fear is also a factor that keeps us in our houses. The ant Zuhtu Pasha saved was probably going home but was trapped in lime until saved and sure enough was in fear in that hot lime. In all of the cases above, fear is the thread but, it is Allah, the Mighty that knows what the true situation is.
The building of the mosque which still stands today was less significant to the life of the ant. So, how much more is the value of our life? This LOCKDOWN has brought this home – life is important and even if the economies have to suffer more. This is the value we are missing – the value of life and how valuable it is because it is the means to attain pardon from Allah, the Merciful. Today we want our life busy at work and full of pace and let tomorrow come, we will want peace and quiet in our life again. Our life is a clock ticking backwards from the allotted time we were given therefore, we have to make every second count for something.
Ask yourself the question: “What was Zuhtu Pasha more pleased with?” You will realise that he was more pleased with Allah, the Merciful forgiving him then the mosque he was building. This indicates his mindfulness of his connection with his Lord. Furthermore, his mindfulness enables him to enter into a dimension of life in each moment and see the real freedom from destructive emotions. This is the dimension we miss because we don’t stop what we are doing to concentrate on the moment and move our attention to what’s in front of us therefore, we lose the deep spiritual moment that resonates with meaning. The meaning of life in its most sensitive and quintessence space – the space open to the reflective mind at the moment of full attention for the one that is aware.
When you look at an ant today or tomorrow know that its in the remembrance of Allah, the All-Embracing pay due attention and say to yourself: “Allah knows this ant, surely HE knows me too so I should ask from HIM all I want…” In this moment of concentration on the ant, you will find how tiny you are in the world too but, you have significance as a human. Can you imagine your life as an ant? All the enjoyment that awaits us in Jannah is so much more the pleasure of this world. Live in the moment because the ant is. The ant carries ten times its weight and walks the mile so silently in obedience and love for work – be like the ant and let go of your burdens and sorrows for you carry the greatness of life better than all creation because you have been given the liberty of choice. Mindfulness must guide your choice as Allah, the Presever hears the ant and will surely hear you calling out His names.