Then… oh boy,
Then, we are not just praying’…
To Him we be talkin’!
Motivations. Let’s face it. While we like to think that we are attracted to love, to purity and beauty, and we live our life with a sublime motivation impelling us to good, but truth be told, a little stick goes some way to also encourage our obedience to the straight path. Sticks and carrots, it works on donkeys, mules and asses, and sure as God made apples, it will also work on us.
Recitations. It might sound nuts, but I must confess that I am constantly reminding myself of what I am reciting, and its meaning and what I desire from it and where I wish it to take me – this is true regardless whether the recitation is silent or verbal, done in formal prayers or otherwise, or whether it is the verse from the holy Quran, a dzikr (remembrance of God’s names and attributes) or a salawat (greetings and praise upon the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s.) that I am reciting. Because a lot of what we do in our prayers to the Divine can (and often does) become ritualised and monotonous, a holy monotony as I impudently put it in the poem above.
Holy Monotony? But coming to God cannot be monotonous. It surely cannot be derivative or dull, or just another same-old-same-old like yesterday, like the last prayer time today, like the last dzikr or salawat we recited just two minutes ago. But in all frankness, I often catch myself kinda reciting some holy verse, dzikr or salawat while thinking about the McDonald’s fried chicken I want to order for lunch later. Because as you know, fried dead poultry is more important than the Creator of the Universe or His Beloved Habibullah (saws). Alas, that is the physical condition of humanity while we exist in this material ego-world.
Forgetfulness, it’s all planned. All this doesn’t and cannot makes sense. But then… oh ho! We remember (ironically) that we are created by God to forget. Especially the important stuffs. Stuffs like God Almighty, stuffs like the moral dos and don’ts. Stuffs like doing charity and worshipful attendance to the meaning of our prayers to Him. Why? Because God wants us to have the opportunity to be forgetful (and ergo, sinful), and to come to Him, tearful and beggarly, seeking forgiveness, so that He will be known as the Most Forgiving.
The Choice. So here we are, sunshine. Basking in the realisation that good or bad, remembering or forgetting, we cannot deviate from the path that Allah (swt) as set us upon. But there is at least one matter that we do have power over. And that is the power to choose. The power to surrender. The power to affirm our intentions and seek our Lord’s forgiveness again and again and again, as we forget and we sin, again and again and again.
Meanings Matter. The meaning of this world, the meaning of the words we recite, the meaning of our actions are subtle and are deep in substance as only Allah Almighty knows! But whatever we mean, it all matters – because what we mean will make our actions, make this world, and ultimately make us who we are. Thus may Allah (swt), through the infinite mercy of His Habibullah (saws), grant us deeper and better understanding of His Meaning, and His words and His actions, that we may dive deeper and deeper into the Endless Ocean of His Mercy and Knowledge.
But you know, please don’t take my word for it. After all, who is Notrumi but a blighted old sinner. Guidance may be found with a friendly Shaykh in a neighbourhood near you. You need only to ask, sunshine. He he he.
wa min Allah at-taufiq
Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way