Friday, March 23, 2012

You are here again. Is it because you love Me?

The Meaning of Praying
Ho seeker! Said the Lord,
What are you doing here?
You are not obliged to talk to Me
Until the next cycle…
Do you miss talking to Me?
Do you miss My nearness?
Do you miss being free with your feelings?
Do you miss the intimacy you share with Me
Which you cannot share with any other?
Do you miss the hymn, the meaningful pauses
And gentle silences?

Oh, you noticed, did you?...
The carpet and curtain of flowers
That I drew for you when you stepped
Out of My mosque?
Oh, you saw, did you? ...
The yellow blooms falling gently
And you wondered, “Is this a farewell for me?”

You were obliged to come to My House,
But no obligation is compelling you now,
So why are you here?

Is it because you think you Love me?

The meaning of Sembahyang / Solat
It is difficult to talk without pretense. For our multi-layered personality manifests itself in what we speak. It is not that we wish to talk falsely, but as human beings we are quite good at misguiding ourselves. So even if we speak the truth, it may not be the whole truth.

Manifestation of the Complete Truth is only before The Truth
It is only before Truth Himself that the whole truth of what we say and the whole truth of who we are, manifest itself. For one of the known attributes and names of God is al-Haqq, meaning The Truth. Yes, we do confide our happiness and sadness, our problems and successes with a beloved, be it a mother, a father, a BFF (best-friends-forever), mate or spouse. But he or she will not read the complete truth, for he or she is not God. 

Natural as Breathing
Perhaps that is why people of any religion, when they bow, kneel or prostrate themselves before God, hold praying in the highest of regards. For them, it is not a chore nor a ritual. It is as natural as breathing. And that, I think, is the essence of the perfected faith.

Umar al-Khattab Mosque, Bukit Damansara
The Perfect Host of the Spiritual Feast
As a Muslim, a sembahyang / solat (sembahyang is the Malay word for prayers, in Arabic it is solat, we use them interchangeably) is like accepting a keen invitation – obligatory because there is nothing finer that you can do for those brief minutes you spend in prayers to God. It is an invitation to an intimate soiree, and sometimes, when you are praying in a group, God as the Perfect Host has even designated a singer, the Imam (leader) in front of the congregation, to recite in melodious harmony the poetry in perfection that is the Quran. At this feast, spiritual food has been prepared and perfected for anyone to partake. And there is no end to the dishes for your delicate tastebuds – Dishes refined in Divine Love, Beauty, Poetry, Compassion, Tolerance, Friendship and Servanthood. A compelling spiritual menu for any human being hungry for spiritual succor. That is the meaning of Sembahyang / Solat to me. Alas, how can it be any other way when your Host is God Himself?

Well, this is my understanding of prayers at this point anyway. Tomorrow, who knows? Perhaps it will get better and better. I hope so too...

God bless you, sunshine. May you find solace and joy in your pious rituals, however you may pray to the One God that we all share.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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