Thursday, March 29, 2012

The World, The Beggar and The Goodness Implicit in Imperfection

"Come and pray on top of me." said the lonely hill

The whole world asked for my company
But I gave my company to a beggar…
The stream said,
“Come pray beside me,
You can make ablution with my water
That I wish to give you freely.”

My bedroom said,
“Come pray in me,
You will pray easy and at peace
Just as you do while sleeping in me.”

The tree said,
“Come and pray beneath me,
I shall shelter you from the sun and the rain
While you call unto God with your gentle hymn.”

The Gypsy said,
“Come and pray by my caravan
For you will find no better travelling companion
Than me who will take you to far off and wonderous places.”

The lonely hill said,
“Come and pray on top of me
That you might find the silence and solace
In private commune with your Maker.”

The ocean said,
“Come and pray beside me
To the music of my wave and surf
That Adam first heard when he arrived
Disconsolate, tired and unhappy.”

Finally I heard a beggar say,
“Come and pray with me,
For I am lost, lonely and weary.”
To this, I readily consented,
For the beggar was no one else but me.

It lowers your blood pressure
It is good to pray. The ablutions encourages cleanliness, the meditation lowers your blood pressure, the melodious chant fills the air with musical hymn, and you have a couple of minutes to rest your tired conscience away from the taxing trying reality of this world - "Work? Career? Family disputes? Scandal? War? Famine? Money? No, not now." You say, "I am taking a five minutes break."

"Come and pray beside me." said the stream.

Pray with yourself first. My religion encourages praying in a congregation, even if it is just two. I think it is a good idea because it fosters brotherhood, tolerance and unity. But someone told me this yesterday, "It is good to pray with people. But you should pray with yourself first, before praying with anyone else." And I think he is right. We take for granted we are here. And when we are praying we take for granted we exist in the present. But the problem is our thoughts and imagination often drift away from the present, either meandering to some contemplation of the past - "Gee, did I forget to lock the car?", or some reflection of an urgent future - "Oh no! I need to sort out my tax filing today!"

Not being perfect ain't so bad after all. I think all religions have this same problem. But perhaps it is wrong to call this a 'problem'. I would like to call it a process, a path that we must pass through. You will not get your prayers perfect because perfection is a state of Divine Attributes. But as a human being you can certainly get it better and better... 

The Good Thing About Not Being Perfect
So we should thank God that we are not perfect. 
And that for us there is always a better tomorrow around the corner, 
A better moment just waiting to happen, 
A chance for a better cup of tea, 
A chance for a better you and 
A better me!

Thanks for dropping in, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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