DAY 22. COVID-19 LOCKDOWN.
The village mayor wrote a poem and read it to Nasrudin.
“Did you like the poem?” he asked.
“No, not really,” Nasrudin replied, “it wasn’t very good.”
The mayor was enraged, and he sentenced Nasrudin to three days in jail. The next week, the mayor called Nasrudin in his office to read him another poem he had written. When the mayor finished reading, he turned to Nasrudin and asked, “Well, what do you think of this one?”
Nasrudin did not say anything, and immediately began walking away. The mayor inquired, “Just where do you think you’re going?’
“To jail!” Nasrudin replied.
The choice Nasrudin made was to be honest in the first place although it got him into jail. The second time, he is honest as well and knows what the consequence proving that he is making choices on his integrity. We on the other had would have praised the mayor to avoid jail time but that would be lying and that is what Nasrudin avoided. The choices we make will shape the nature of our character. You and I will undergo trails and tribulations and the choices we make in those situations will show up who we actually are. Nasrudin’s choices showed in his actions and his quirky nature won the hearts of people too. He did not hide behind any facade.
The following ayahs (signs) from the Holy Quran will take us further on the discussion of CHOICES.
﴿١٥٥﴾ وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
155. We will certainly test you with some fear, and hunger, and loss of possessions and lives and crops—but give good news to those who patiently endure.
﴿١٥٦﴾ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
156. Those who, when afflicted by a calamity, say, “To Allah, we belong, and to Him, we are returning.”
﴿١٥٧﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
157. Upon these are blessings and mercy from their Lord. These are the guided ones. (SURAH BAKRAH)
“No fatigue, nor disease, nor anxiety, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A Muslim, male or female, continues to remain under trial in respect of his life, property, and offspring until he faces Allah, the Exalted, with no sin record” (At-Tirmidhi).
The power of choice is yours to make and when you choose its a door you walk through.
The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world and has put us in a different normal that we will either shed or establish as part of your life. It is a time that we can still learn the value of being mindful. The wisdom of being mindful begins with the self understanding that we do everything for the pleasure of Allah, the High the Great. To do things for the pleasure of Allah, the heart as to be aligned to free itself of relying on mankind for assistance. You and I make choices on what resides in the heart, because the heart is the repository of our thoughts and actions.Let us pay attention to the ayah from Surah Baqarah above.
Yes, will be tested with fear, hunger and loss of possessions and lives and crops which we are experiencing today in these times. The good news is for those who bear it with patience. Patience is how you experience the incident at the moment it happens and not after because, afterwards the sense of reason and logic comes in. Ebrahim (as) at the moment of being flung into the raging fire said:
﴿١٧٣﴾ الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
173. Those to whom the people said, “The people have mobilized against you, so fear them.” But it increased them in faith, and they said, “Allah is enough for us; He is the Excellent Protector.
At that moment he called out to Allah the Majestic because his life in essence was already aligned to Allah. A wise sage of Islam said: “ The servant attains the radiance of Allah’s light at the beginning of an action started sincerely in HIS name.” What does means is that the action attains a spiritual light that ascends to Allah and Allah will make that action radiate because it is not done for any other being. So when we say “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return” we actually affirming our iman because IMAN defines how we will believe. IMAN is the treasure of the believer and he has to look after it though actions done to please Allah, the One. Affirmation is saying to Allah, that nothing can do but Allah and you negate the intervention of any being. Therefore, Allah confers blessings on those who are patient.
Patience must also teach you lessons and it should also establish in you a different routine because you have learnt a lesson. Like the Quran has the parable of the people, on a ship that was caught in a storm and the people cried to Allah in the instant for help. When they were delivered from the storm they went back to their old ways. This shows that their patience was not strong enough to establish a habit of goodness that they wanted at the time of the storm. Look into the life of Nabi Muhammad (S) at every moment his patience established greater things for example, the conquest of Mecca – he entered with humility and forgave everyone . This patience gives credit to his noble reputation as a him being mercy to mankind. Nabi (s) could do this because it was part of his routine to be patient. So to us now – what in our routine thus far has given us a new routine? From the dishes to floors, we became domesticated but, what lessons have we derived from it and what patience has it given us?
The point made thus far is that our internal realities became your observable behaviours and this defines your character. The choices we make come from within therefore, we need to introspect to find out how we actually want to behave and how we really behave. When you remember Allah, the Majestic in your choice, you are going to have more guidance and less confusion because, Allah says that if you remember HIM he will remember you. This is the great motivation.
Choices are like going through doors. When you enter the door then only will you see the other side. We all have bad feelings in the main when we think of making decisions we make. The feeling that something wrong will happen is more overwhelming than the possible good. Therefore, train yourself to think that the positive that will happen when you make a choice because the mind is active to send messages to the body on the feelings you generate in the heart too. In essence, when you make a choice you need to tie your camel and put your trust in Allah, the all Knowing.