بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Modern day lifestyle is busy. It is crowded so much so there is not enough time to contemplate. Mobile phones have become much like a mini computer. It is a portable distraction that fits right in our pockets. There is also the radio, iPads, iPods, television and so on. All this media demand our attention. Do you ever wonder how sometimes you hear yourself think? While closely related thinking is not the same as contemplation. Contemplation requires you to focus for a period of time resist the urge to check your phone, listen to something or going on FB. Contemplation when practised and one becomes familiar with it I believe it is a valuable skill for which you crave for. During this period creative juices start to flow you make more informed choices in life. Think of the movers and shakers of the world. Think Albert Einstein think prophet Muhammed (saw). They were thinkers. Revelation came to our prophet while he was in the cave of Hira, doing what? You guessed it contemplating. Imagine during the moment when Einstein was hit over the head with that Apple he thought ouch, lets see whats on facebook. Where would we be today?
Contemplation is highly encouraged in Islam we should be making time in our hectic life to do just that. Alhamdulillah he is Allah that gives us many chances to do this sometimes more than we deserve. In some instances a situation arises where we are given an opportunity to contemplate. Whether we choose to take the opportunity to do it or shrug off the feeling depends on how conscious we are of this need to think and ponder. To delve into our thoughts and enjoy our time there. Here are my thoughts while thinking about a orange tree that I have been seeing for the last seven years. What could it teach me? What lessons could I derive from its existence and how did I translate that into my life?
This particular orange plant is neither neglected nor well looked after, lets just say its owners are not gardeners but they try. Some years it produces sweet juicy oranges and in another year it produces small dehydrated oranges with slight bitter taste, most often they are mixed. What caught my attention was how this year winter (2015) it was right on schedule once again producing fruit. You see I like this plant and appreciate the fruits I get. I eat them and give them to my family I strongly believe it has contributed to the wellbeing of my family for many years warding off colds and the like due to its nutritional content. Best thing about it its organic! How many things can you say are truly organic with hundred percent confidence? Not many these days. Not to mention it is always free.
While I like this tree for reasons mentioned above I have been known to dislike some of it’s sour tasting fruit, instead I buy supermarket oranges in search for that sweet sugar. This year while staring at it I thought to myself cut the plant some slack. While you have benefitted from the fruits many times you have also been too busy to contribute towards its growth. Not once have a made an effort to water it let alone give it fertilisers . Every year for as long as I have been seeing it, it has never failed to sprout fruits despite the lack of contribution on my part. It makes use of what it has and produces its fruits right on schedule. Wouldn’t I (or we as humans) be productive in life if we committed to producing a benificial product like this plant does?. In a timely manner consistently without giving up. Would it not be a treasured skill the ability to use whatever little resources that we have. Despite been in a situation where resources are against us we strive to produce the best fruits that we are capable of.
Could the reason for the resilent nature of this plant be because it recognises its purpose better than we know our purpose? Its strives to serve its master, us human beings. What is our purpose in life and who do we stand to serve? Too often we have critiqued the work or ‘fruits” of others while we have not contributed to their work in anyway. Do you know of such people? Are you one of them. You know individuals who themselves are bitter criticising negatively what others put forth while they also benefit from this persons work. May Allah safeguard us from such personality.
I believe we as the muslim Ummah have become consumers rather than producers. There was the golden age of Islam we often hear. The sadness lies in the term “was”. I am sure I am not the only one who has thought of why we have stopped producing the fruits. Perhaps we have forgotten what we stand for, our purpose in life and consequently stopped nourishing our souls and life with the Qur’an and Sunnah. Maybe we need to strive just as hard as this plant in hope to become just as resilient as it is, maybe then Allah will reward us for our efforts.
This contemplation was an opportunity that I was given while looking at this plant. The more I thought of it the more it pulled me in. Did I over think it? maybe so. While pondering over the plant its features and what it does for humans I came to realise some of the points mentioned above. I wondered when my season for producing would come, I wondered would I ever be ready to share my fruits if I had any? I believe that there is something that makes us all unique some of us come to realise it while others may not. I don’t know If staring at a plant and drawing similarities between it and human life is a norm for most people but hey I had fun doing and benefited from it. After all Allah does encourage this;
“Would one of you like to have a garden of palm trees and grapevines underneath which rivers flow in which he has every fruit? But he is afflicted with old age and has weak [i.e., immature] offspring, and it is hit by a hurricane containing fire and is burned. Thus does Allaah make clear to you [His] verses that you might give thought.” [Quran 2: 266]
Long story short this has been what has led me to start this blog. I plan to share and produce work that Inshallah will be thought provoking and beneficial to contemporary muslims. I understand and expect some of my fruit to be a little bitter sometimes to some people. I However plan to work with what I have and work towards continuously improving on it.
Assalam Alaikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatu