Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ramadan 16: Leave Them

The Prophets, peace be upon all of them, had to go through many trials: fire, jail, public ridicule and threats. But, for me, I think one of the hardest challenges was in leaving behind those loved ones who were not frue believers.

Prophet Noah couldn't take his son with him on the ark. Father had to watch his son drown. Imagine that! Did he have any real chance of saving someone who doesn't want to be saved? No!

In the case of Prophet Abraham's nephew Lot, his wife had to be left behind. It was paramount to flee Sodom and she couldn't stop thinking of what she was leaving. She turned to look back. Did she become a pillar of salt, as it says in the Bible? She somehow ceased to be.

Read this poem by Anna Akhmatova:

Lot's Wife

And the just man trailed God's shining agent,

over a black mountain, in his giant track,

while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:

"It's not too late, you can still look back

at the red towers of your native Sodom,

the square where once you sang,

the spinning-shed,at the empty windows set in the tall house

where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."

A single glance: a sudden dart of pain

stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .

Her body flaked into transparent salt

,and her swift legs rooted to the ground.

Who will grieve for this woman?

Does she not seemtoo insignificant for our concern?

Yet in my heart I never will deny her,

who suffered death because she chose to turn.

The poet says, "chose to turn," yet I'm not so sure that those who love the world too much really make a conscious decision to do so. It's like they live by their animal instincts. They do what feels right. They love this world too much because they love what they can enjoy with their senses. The promises of their Lord are not enough because they aren't visible or readily understandable; they are faith-based guarantees for those with commitments with God.

If we choose, as Muslims, to follow the path away from the pleasures of the world, then we need to commit to God even if it means leaving behind somone we love. They can be in our prayers, but cannot be in our lives. It isn't hateful to admit when we have to love from a distance. It is self-preserving.

In the end, all of us will stand alone. All of us will be judged alone. We cannot go through life with our human relationships as our primary goal. We would then find ourselves lost at sea or turned to salt, wishing that we had one more chance.

We have only one chance; one life. However, within our life, each day is another chance to do better. If we have allowed a dysfunctional friend or family member become the focus of all our energy, it's time to refocus. They don't deserve our endless devotion--that belongs to Allah.


Anonymous said...

Not much I can say here sis. I am estranged from my mother, my only parent and though it is not ideal, it hurts less than when we "talk." I am well aware of the rights of parents and that is why I think my current situation is truly a blessing.
Used to say in John Irving fashion "Keep passing the open windows."
Now we got something better-best-
Keep pressing that forehead to the floor!
Love and Peace,

Yosra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
egyptchick7 said...

This morning I read the post and was like "huh, is she saying we should leave our non-muslim influences"? I don't know you are saying that or not but I just realized you might have meant, which makes more sense to me, leave those who bring you deen down.

My ex brought my deen down to such a disgraceful level. I am happy I left him and am having the most fulfilling ramadan spiritually ( not quite up there but the best) in years.

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom Brooke,

Sorry to hear that I'm not the only one with these issues.

For me, the thrice said, "May their nose be rubbed in the dust," would haunt me if I hadn't tried to live with my mother. I have tried. I was not allowed to continue. May Allah be merciful on me for my failed efforts.

Love that line, "Now we got something better-best-
Keep pressing that forehead to the floor!" I'll try to hold on to that :)

Asalamalaykom EgyptChick,

Beatles just sang, "..bringing ya down," as I started to type this message to you.

Now they are singing, "She's got a ticket to ride and she don't care."

Ya, you got it! That's YOU! Use that ticket, EgyptChick and don't let anyone bring you down again, inshahallah.l