THE PROPHET'S SAYING. There is an old hadis (saying) of the Prophet who was said to have once advised his restless flock, “Rest when you have passed away”. Maybe I am a fool, and perhaps I have not lived long enough to grow weary, but I am not sure I want so much rest after I have died. This is why.
HEAVENLY PROMISES. A whole lot of heavenly bling and pleasure have been promised to us by God Most Generous if we just say our scripts right, don’t bump into the furniture and act as decent humans while we are still alive. And the ability of God Most Awesome to surprise and impress us, I have no doubt. But this is the problem. God has been too successful.
EARLY MORNING CONTEMPLATION IN AN INDIAN RESTAURANT. From the moment I wake up each freakin’ day, I feel good. I taste the fresh air, I hear the incomprehensible Indian (Tamil) song blarring in this restaurant, and I see the early morning birds (golfers, health nuts etc…) walking in for a cuppa after or before their strenuous activities. All these things fill me with contentment. I have the whole wide world to experience, and I have people to share it with. Good, kind and loving people. How will heaven be any better?
DIVINE EXPECTATIONS. I have certain expectations. It has been my experience with both mortals and immortals, that we cannot experience life and love without some form of attachments and expectations (in spite of the most Sufi pretensions of detachment). Indeed, God, Who has been most prolific in telling us Who and What He truly is, has Himself asked (nay... pleaded to) us to seek Him and His aid in all things. So really, if I do have expectations of the Compassionate and Loving nature of God, it is all His fault. “Call upon Me,” He says to me. “By My beautiful Names, the Most Compassionate, and Most Merciful.” So I call upon Him that way. As per instructions.
PHYSICAL REST. So back to my earlier remark about heavenly rest. I will accept that after Taufiq has snuffed it, there may be no physical stress anymore. I shan't need to sleep, perhaps. I don't have to work, or exercise or generally wear myself out to the bone. Upon death, when my complete soul is returned to me, and I have finally graduated into the Realm of the Heart, is there really anything I would physically need? The Laws of Physics and our need for physical work and rest ends when we are finally lowered into the awaiting embrace of the earth. Thereafter, really, there is no horizon to the Writ of Love, and all things become possible.
SPIRITUAL WORK. But the point here is that I do not expect to stop my spiritual work. If you wanna call it work that is. For in my short life here as a mortal, I have found many things strange, enchanting and wonderful. But nothing comes close, indeed nothing matters really other than Love. It is through the window of Love that I look out and see the immense glorious beauty that is this world and its inhabitants. My family, my friends, my love and my son. If my temporal stay is permanently cut short now, and I am transported to the Here After, really, would my concerns and attachments change?
SOME THINGS CANNOT CHANGE. No, I would still love and care for those I have ‘left behind’. Assume I do get to heaven (okay, assume very, very hard, please), I will be in daily congress with the Arch Angels, with Saints and the Saintly, the Prophets and of course, with Muhammad Habibullah and his Most Beloved, aka God Himself. Face to face, heart to heart, why should I now stop caring and loving my beloved family and friends? I imagine spending so much time observing and conspiring nefarious plans to bring those that I have left behind to a state of greater and greater spiritual strength and beauty. I would be knocking on God’s door endlessly, I would be trailing the Prophet daily and habitually I would be bothering the Angels in their duties, ALL for the purpose of advancing the success and salvation of my people, my nation and my kin. And what begins with my family, my friends, my neighbours and would necessarily encompass the whole of humanity. After all, I have been through it all. So I KNOW how tough life can be sometimes. But I have also been granted the sight to see just how enormously wonderful, beautiful and magical this world can be, if only we would but listen to the music of our conscience and the voices of the Universe. Together they are weaving a loving spell in our lives.
MERCY TO THE WORLDS AND THE PROPHETIC INTERCESSIONS. So this is me. A poor dumb sinner, but even I can feel this way. How do you think the Prophet FELT and IS feeling at this very moment? Has he forgotten his people? Has he forgotten what he felt when he was walking the sandy dunes of Arabia all those long years ago, calling unto people to Love and Wisdom and to reject Hate and Ignorance? Has he forgotten how to love? Has He forgotten us? Has Muhammad, Habibullah, Mercy of the World, Most Beloved of Creation forgotten you and I?
LOVE UNDIMINISHED. You know the answer already. Such is the nature and attributes of God and His Beloved, that the answer to all such questions shall always be a vehement no / nyet / no-way-ho-zay. Ask the ant, ask the Sun, ask the trees and ask yourself. We are held, as one nation, between the Sun and the Moon, between Ahad and Ahmad – Who are in Truth, Love Personified, Love Defined, Love Undiminished by any ebbing of the tide, by any sunrise or setting of the Sun in our short life.
This writing wearies me. Writing the Truth often wears me out. And it simply makes the yearning to finally say hi to God and His Prophet all the more melancholic, but even more sweet. How lucky I am. How lucky we all are, sunshine. AND IF my idea of Heaven is not the same as yours, so what? We, you and I, we are 70% water after all, and water mixes well with water. Such are the signs that God has left in us to remind ourselves that we are nothing if not brothers and sisters, united in the worship of the One God.
Have a thoughtful Sabbath, my friends.