Friday, March 2, 2012

The Quest of Knowledge and the Light of Empathy

Kiara Cemetery
I Did Not Know...
I did not know how many people walk everywhere
Until my car had a puncture in the middle of town,

I did not know how many people use chairs in their prayers
Until my knee was injured and I had to use a chair myself in the mosque,

I did not know how many people are orphans
Until my mother passed away ten years ago,

I did not know how patient people can be
Until I saw myself as a test of patience for someone else,

I did not know how often a grave is dug in the cemetery
Until I frequent the cemetery regularly,

I did not know how hopeful people can be
Until I myself fell in love and wondered,
“Dear God, what will this mean for me?”

The Quest of Knowledge. I do not desire to bring forward the date of my demise or anyone else's. But the fact is we do not know when we are fated to die. But I do hope to learn something while I am here. I do not wish to go back totally without education. Imam Ghazali, a man who contemplated life and death with saintly vigour had this to say in his chapter entitled The Alchemy of Happiness... "God has sent on earth a hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets to teach men the prescription of this alchemy, and how to purify their hearts from baser qualities in the crucible of abstinence. This alchemy may be briefly described as turning away from the world to God, and its constituents are four:

1. The knowledge of self.
2. The knowledge of God.
3. The knowledge of this world as it really is.
4. The knowledge of the next world as it really is."

Then the Great Shaykh goes on to elaborate further in his amazing discourse. 

The Light of Empathy. There are not many lights that can shine a more illuminating path to understanding such realities than the Light of Empathy. We cannot be walking in EVERYONE'S shoes, so a sense of empathy is the only way we can have some limited perception of someone else's perspectives of life. My admiration for those with a highly sensitive sense of empathy knows no bounds. They are all my great teachers...

Have a lovely Friday, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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