COVID-19 LOCKDOWN STILL A REALITY!
The Penumbral Lunar Eclipse occurred on 5 June 2020 without much fanfare amidst the COVID-19 drama that eclipsed the world and many of the world’s inhabitants knew nothing about it. The Penumbra is that area where only a portion of the light source is covered by an obstructing body. Whilst the umbra is the innermost part of the shadow, the moon as the opaque subject that does not transmit light, still had its magnificence in a way that excited the imagination. Your life, like the moon will face the umbras and penumbras and that too is a magnificence yet we don’t see it because we have not come out of the shadows of our misfortunes.
The COVID-19 LOCKDOWN has cast huge umbras on the world to the extent that we have become phobic. Our phobias have escalated as the result of the rate of infections and deaths around the world thereby making us more vulnerable. Our vulnerability has led us down the path of stigmatising and marginalising COVID-19 victims because we fear death through the pangs of the virus. The umbra is so dark that we have forgotten that we called on to perform.
We have to come out of the umbra that we are in, find the penumbra and move to the light. Total penumbral eclipses are few and far between centuries and in a very general sense it occurs when heavenly bodies are not aligned congruently thus creating the shadow effect. Our lives are also not aligned in congruence with the laws of Allah, the Creator of the Umbra and the Penumbra therefore, we face the shadows of trials and tribulations and find it very difficult to come out and perform feats of courage. The first feat of courage is to fight the enemy within that aligns itself with the umbra of pessimism and self-defeat. This dark crib offers no space save that you wait for a helping hand after crying loud like a baby hoping to be lifted to safety. The crib of pessimism holds the looming penumbra as the occluding object is your lack of self-esteem and lack of belief that you can fight off with the awaiting stimulus from an expert conductor of a symphony. When called by the conductor of symphony, to play your part that will add harmony to the whole orchestra, you fight the demons with a smile and put your cheek to the violin and harmonise the whole cacophony in a symphony of astounding beauty. You did it only because you were called to perform!
This COVID-19 PANDEMIC is calling on you to perform at every step. You need to watch the conductor! The conductor is manifest in the trials and tribulations you face that put you in the penumbra that leads to the numbra – a place you don’t want to be in because mankind is averse to darkness. We want to be brought out into the light because ignorance is darkness and knowledge is light. The saving grace of fighting a lack of self-esteem is the power of one. You! The power to know that darkness is weak in the face of light and like the penumbra making its appearance few times in a century, it lasts for a few hours only and many are ignorant of it; so too are your darkest moments. Your darkest moments last a short while in comparison to the great things you have seen through out your life. The fact that you have not come out of UMBRA you don’t know that PENUMBRA exists at the edge of all glorious light! A ray of light destroys the darkness of umbras but, we need to move into the light. ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light’ because even though you might have ‘frail deeds’ they account for greater things in the eyes of the ONE who does not sleep so, rage against the darkness of your shadows of misery and take flight into light. The light of positive energy and thought.
The conductor of the symphony only has on stage those who are masters of their craft and know the subtle call to harmonise sounds to make music that is not vulgar or crude similarly, Allah the Harmoniser has put you on the world’s stage to perform! The subtlety is natured in HIS call because Allah is the Subtle. The subtlety is that moment when you feel a sense of realisation but fear to embrace it and call out HIS name or attribute the condition to Him or, the moment of utter joy you scream but; realise it was only a primeval sound and would have been more refined to say HIS name. These subtleties tell you that you have been called to perform. Oh! how we miss the opportunities to perform.
Yes, they are not great feats of building a bridges across oceans or the strive to summit the highest mountain peaks. It is the best bridge you have built between you and your broken self that was caught in evolving darkness of the umbra you created. It is mountain you climbed over your innate fears. This feat of finding yourself in the darkness of your umbra is a manifestation of your desire to be more the person you are because; there is a life goal you suddenly realised that can never be erased and this is what brought you out of the umbra to the penumbra to light. Like the moon that face the penumbra again after a long time in this century, 2015 the last I read, it had more centuries without it wherein we praised our lovers by comparing them to its glory and the moon still waxed and waned and gave the oceans its tides. And is your life – it will give you the tides in the wake of all trails and tribulations save that you don’t take it into the darkness of your fears that you make phobias.
High above there is a Conductor and He is calling on you to perform. What is your act? What is your tune? What are your ‘musical instruments? Who are are friends? Where is your gaze in this symphony of life – on the Conductor, on the ‘instruments, on your friends and on what is the call you can make.
The moon tonight will have no feeling of the penumbra that overshadowed it on 5 June 2020 but it will have it in it’s memory as a transient occurrence. The COVID-19 pandemic is passing and it will last and will do what it’s destined to for that’s it’s performance whilst ours as the best of creation is to be strong and courageous as when it passes we know we have given this world a chance for our inheritors to live a better life. In the end, the conductor and the orchestra walk off stage but their melodies live on to serve memories of soothing embrace. Think deeper and know how the greatest Conductor looks down upon you knowing that you performed good deeds and walked off life’s stage by HIS will and left deeds of light to guide humanity of the umbra of ignorance.
‘Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.’
In this momentous indulgence I am drawn to that ‘performance’ by the bedouin who called out to Allah in his time of umbra. His prayer was heard and today it graces the life of the recorded traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) as a feat that manifests a unique connection with Allah, the Conductor of the World.
Imagine the setting of this prayer as I have. Perhaps this poor man was in the throes of an umbra that made him so desperate and he remembered Allah and this was his moment to perform and his performance reached the beautiful ears of the perfect human being, Muhammad (s). Imagine it. Live it. Experience it. Reflect on it. Think on it. Love it.
Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) passed by a bedouin while he was supplicating in his salah saying:
“O You whom no eyes have seen, no mind can comprehend, no describer can depict, and no effect can change, He who fears not from the change of events. He knows the weight of the mountains, the measure of the oceans, the count of rain drops, the number of leaves on the trees, the amount of things which are concealed by night, and those things upon which the sun shines. Nothing is concealed from Him; not the Heavens, nor the Earth, nor the seas and their deep corners, nor the mountains and their pathless terrain; [I ask] that you make the end of my the best part, my last deeds the best ones and that you make the best of days the day in which I meet you.
Thereafter Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) sent someone to fetch him saying “ When he finishes praying bring him to me.” When he finished praying, he brought him. Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) had been given some gold as a gift, so when the bedouin came he (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) gave it to him. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said “O bedouin, Where are you from?” He replied “From Bani ‘Amir bin Sasa’ah, O Messenger of Allah”.
He (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said “Do you know why I gave you this gold?” He said: “because of the lineage between us O Messenger of Allah”. Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
“Lineage has its rights but I gave you this gold because of your wonderful praising of Allah”.
Today, tomorrow and years on you will be called to perform – do it!