DAY 24. COVID-19 LOCKDOWN.
I watched the above Youtube in awe because I wondered how would the ship dock now that it has lost its anchor. The violent snapping of the huge chain from its source indicated the sheer power of the water below and how insignificant the colossal anchor is in comparison to humungous ocean floor. The anchor is of vital importance to the ship and it safety too because it brings the ship to a stationary position and when anchored it cannot move.
The above Youtube video brought me to realise that the anchor has to embed itself on the huge ocean floor which has the capacity to hold the ship in a place amidst the strong relentless waves and the high winds above. If the ocean floor is weak, the anchor even if its the strongest will not be able to get a firm hold or grip to keep the colossal ship stationary. This made me think of our relationship with Allah, the High the Great.
The following hadith, saying and story below will inspire the conversation below with better understanding.
Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Prophet said:
“Indeed, Allah is more happy with the repentance of His slave than a man who stops in a barren, desolate land; with him he has his riding animal. He then goes to sleep. When he wakes up, [he realizes that] his mount is gone. He searches for it until he is on the verge of dying. He then says, ‘I will return to the place wherein I lost it, and I will die there.’ He went to that place, and he was then overcome by sleep. When he woke up, his mount was [standing] right beside his head: on it was his food, his drink, his provisions, and the things he neded. Allah is more happy with the repentance of his believing slave than the aforementioned man when he finds his mount and his provisions.” [al-Bukhaari: 6308 ; Muslim: 2744]
“Do you have an anchor? I have found that a solid anchor is indispensable to one who intends to live life fully. To have an anchor is to be centered and well grounded. It is to have a vital spiritual base.” ― Steve Goodier
THE TRUE TREASURE
A burglar scaled the wall of Maalik bin Dinar’s house one night and easily managed to get inside. Once inside the house, the thief was disappointed to see that there was nothing inside actually worth stealing. The owner of the home was inside at the time, he was busy performing prayer. Realizing that he was not alone, Maalik quickly ended his prayer and turned around to face the thief. Without showing any sign of being shocked or afraid, Maalik calmly extended greetings of peace and then said, “My brother, may Allah forgive you. You entered my home and found nothing that is worth taking, yet I do not want you to leave my home without taking away some benefit.”
He stood up, went to another part of the room, and came back with a jug full of water. He looked into the eyes of the burglar and said, “Make ablution and perform two units of prayer, for if you do so, you will leave my home with a greater treasure than you had initially sought when you entered it.”
Much humbled by Maalik’s manners and words, the thief said, “Yes, that is a generous offer indeed.”
After making ablution and performing two units of prayer, the burglar said, “O Maalik, would you mind if I stayed for a while, for I want to stay to perform two more units of prayer?”
Maalik said, “Stay for whatever amount of prayer Allah decrees for you to perform now.”
The thief ended up spending the entire night at Maalik’s house. He continued to pray until the morning. Then Maalik said, “Leave now and be good.”
But instead of leaving, the thief said, “Would you mind if I stayed here with you today, for I have made an intention to fast the day?”
“Stay as long as you wish,” said Maalik.
The burglar ended up staying for a number of days, praying during the late hours of each night and fasting throughout the duration of each day. When he finally decided to leave, the burglar said, “O Maalik, I have made a firm resolve to repent for my sins and for my former way of life.”
Maalik said, “Indeed, that is in the Hand of Allah.“
The man did mend his ways and began to lead a life of righteousness and obedience to Allah. Later on, He came across another burglar he knew. [His friend] said to him, “Have you found your treasure yet?”
He said, “My brother, what I found is Maalik bin Dinaar. I went to steal from him, but it was he who ended up stealing my heart. I have indeed repented to Allah, and I will remain at the door [of His Mercy and Forgiveness] until I achieve what his obedient, loving slaves have achieved.”
Our lives are all contaminated with sin, flaws, shortcomings and evil that overshadow our striving for good that we become despondent. However, the scenario is like this: THE huge ocean bed is the metaphor of Allah’s mercy, the anchor is our belief in Allah the Merciful, the chain of the anchor is our deeds and the ship is our life. Your expectations of Allah, the Majestic, is dependant on your association with HIM through your actions. If you were look into your life and dissect it, would you find the connection with Allah in every action? A question we all need to answer.
The fact that you have an anchor it has to be strong otherwise it will not hold ground when you need it most. You need Allah the most every single day therefore, you need to work on your anchor with each action. If you lose your anchor because of some weakness of faith or sin and if you don’t turn back to Allah, the reality is worse than the ship above loosing its anchor. The point made here is that the external circumstances should not deter you from returning to Allah, the Healer of the broken bone.
Today, our anchor (belief) is tested from all sides and as a case in point this COVID-19 LOCKDOWN. However, it is teaching us a lesson. The lesson is that if we don’t anchor every thing with Allah then we will be looking for answers in places that have no solid ground and therefore, would not ground us. Success in the next life is determined on your relation with Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful. Hence, we need to work on ourselves so that we also can be those who people can anchor on to be guided.
Consider the detail of the story above. Maalik bin Dinar was such an anchor of belief and trust in Allah that he turned the life of a crook towards Allah. He could do that because his heart was attached to Allah and how all of humanity should be saved from Hell fire. The anchor he threw to the crook was that of repentance. Repentance is the steel of the anchor and the strength because it is an expression of weakness and regret in the face of Allah, the Forgiver and the Abaser. The reality that Allah’s forgiveness and mercy outweighs HIS anger, why would HE abase you when you through in the anchor of repentance in HIS infinite ocean bed of mercy? Allah loves to forgives and He will forgive because in the Holy Quran Allah says:
On my slaves who have transgressed against themselves despair not of the Mercy of Allah. Verily Allah forgives all sins. HE is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Sura 39:53)
Build your anchor! Tie your camel and put your trust in Allah, the Majestic.