April 15, 2005

Raindrops keep falling on my head

It seems like blogs have become all the rage now, even among family members. I believe I started this thing towards the end of November 2004, but have not updated it much thus far, aside from my Hajj journals.

Anyway, it's been a full two weeks since I returned to Canada after my three-month excursion that took me from Montreal to Toronto to Vienna to Cairo to Jeddah to Madinah to Makkah to Kuwait to Delhi to Lucknow. Thus far, we've covered in the Hajj journals. I went back to Delhi after some time, from where I was sent to Vaniyambadi, a small city not far from Madras in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The city had not received rain in several years, to the point where shrubs growing on the mountains there literally caught fire from the intense, dry heat. It was a disturbing sight, seeing charred ashes of greenery littering what would otherwise be a beautiful mountain landscape. Somehow I felt confident that before we left South India, Allah Subhana wa ta'Ala would provide rain to that community through our collective prayers. And thus it was destined, that a heavy rainfall did occur shortly after we left Vaniyambadi, to the neighbouring city of Ambor. Incidentally, Ambor also received their first rainfall in a long time during our brief stay there.

"Is not He ( best ) who created the heavens and the earth , and sendeth down for you water from the sky wherewith We cause to spring forth joyous orchards , whose trees it never hath been yours to cause to grow . Is there any God beside Allah? Nay , but they are folk who ascribe equals ( unto Him ) !" 27.60

We rely so heavily upon the favours of our Creator, and yet we still tend to ignore Him. Over and over again, we are reminded of the favours of Allah SWT but even then we persist in disobedience. When we are thankful of the favours of Allah SWT, Allah SWT will increase our bounties. And as for those who reject those favours, well, the Creator is not in need of our thankfulness.

Rain fell down upon the pilgrims in Mina on the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, and we scrambled and panicked. People died in the ensuing floods. At the same time, rain came down upon the aforementioned cities of South India, and the people celebrated. It should be understood, then, that creation cannot inherently provide harm or benefit; harm and benefit are for Allah SWT to decide, and the creation is simply a means for that harm or benefit.

On a related note, a scholar mentioned that sometimes people sacrifice for the sake of religion, ask from Allah SWT, and become surprised when they see their prayers answered. This surprise, the scholar mentioned, is due to our lack of conviction in the promises of Allah. Had we possessed the proper conviction (yaqeen), we would not be surprised by such things; rather, we would be surprised when the help of Allah SWT does not come. If a person puts sugar in tea, he should not be surprised that the tea becomes sweet; rather, he should only be surprised if after putting sugar in, the tea does not become sweet. If we have true conviction in what Allah SWT promised for His loyal servants, then divine help will surely follow us in all aspects of our life.

And since rain has been the underlying theme of this post, one more anecdote seems fitting. The same scholar mentioned that when rain falls upon a certain area, it does not leave those areas which may not provide fruit. The rain falls on everything, and will bring about whatever fruits the buried seed will produce. The effort of the rain is one, but it brings about various fruits without discrimination. Similarly, when one wishes to make effort for religion, the effort should be general, and no one should be excluded. Some people will produce certain fruits, others will produce other fruits. Still others will produce no fruits whatsoever from the effort of the inviter (da'iee). But even if we do not expect results from the effort, we must do the effort nonetheless. And whatever fruit is unearthed through our efforts is indeed a great bounty. If the fruit is not to our tastes, that should not bother us. Somebody will surely benefit from that fruit.

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