|I don't need your salam! Go awaaay...!!!|
The Ego's Salam
I am a Muslim!
I am about to say something
Rather important and heavy here!
Did you not hear?
I said As-salamu alaykum!
Listen and pay attention to me!
I am about to divulge information
Of great serious-ity!
3 Meanings. People use words in all sorts of different ways, as my brother likes to say. And this is the same regardless of what words they are. My brother was mentioning this yesterday in the context of the greeting most used by the Muslims, which is As-salamu alaykum, meaning (as generally accepted) 'Peace be upon you'. Most people of course knows this, but perhaps we can go a little further.
This beautiful greeting is recorded in the al-Quran in context of the Angels coming to greet the believers who have successfully endured the trials and tribulation of this life to receive the Pleasure from Allah (s.w.t.) in a number of connected verses of Chapter 13. In the 23rd, the Angels are...
|(Saying) : Peace be unto you because ye persevered. Ah, passing sweet will be|
the sequel of the (heavenly) Home. (Quran 13:23, Marmaduke Pickthall)
1. The Angelic Affirmation of Human Perseverance, Prophetic Intercession and Divine Compassion. When the Angels thus spoke, the greeting is their affirmation of what has come to pass for you - a celestial garden of joy and pleasure for you. An eternal abode for the patience that you have shown in your devotion, and ultimately, submission to what God had bequeathed you in this world. All the smiles and tears, all the success and failures, all the laughter and sorrow that make up our life, each and every single day we are here. But of course this cannot happen, the Muslims believe, by our efforts alone. Above our struggle is the divine intercessions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), in answer to which is the unimaginable Mercy and Compassion of Allah (s.w.t.), He Who forever looks upon His creation through His infinite Ocean of Forgiveness.
2. The Beautiful Prayer. And as for us wingless non-Angels? One Grandshaykh describes the greeting as a prayer. And how beautiful is the prayer! - I am greeting you with brotherly love, and looking upon your graceful countenance, I am asking Allah (s.w.t.)...
"O' my Lord! Let our discourse begin with peace and end with peace!
Grant unto him the peace that only You can give.
Grant to us in our meeting the brotherly peace that only You can bestow,
Grant us Your peace for our today and all our tomorrows."
Whatever conversation that may transpire after that... be it about personal matters, about work, about money or health, isn't this a good beginning? May we always remember how we began!
3. The Ego's Salam or 'Overcome by the Gravity of the Situation'. And of course, humans are sometimes overcome by the brevity of the occasion - an example is when he/she is a politician / preacher about to begin some important religious or political sermon. Then he/she will say As-salamu alaykum in a heavy, serious and modulated tone... to accentuate that he/she is about to say something really, really important and that you had better pay attention. He he he.
My brother's view, and I agree with him, is - Oh come on, just get over yourself, will you?
Salam to the Perfect World. So to conclude this meandering tale, we reckon that the best way to give salam is with a smile, a skip and a joyful hop, as if the world is perfect, that there is no hate or hubris, and the certainty that the Eternal Garden awaits us at the end of our journey through this world's garden of beautiful souls, inspired by the Inspired Mercy that is Muhammad Habibullah (s.a.w.s). For actually the world is perfect, isn't it? Would Allah (s.w.t.) have given us an imperfect abode, even if it is only temporary?
Dunya, The Perfect Fascmile
Peace be unto thee, o' Dunya,
If you are transient, You are perfectly transient,
If you are illusory, You are perfectly illusory,
If you are a fascimile, You are the perfect fascimile,
And I shall take you as my beautiful abode,
The Garden before the Garden,
If only for a while.
43 years old, and only just starting to learn how to say As-salamu Alaykum. I am a late-bloomer, what other excuse can I give?
But you will forgive this old sinner, won't you, sunshine?
wa min Allah at-taufiq
Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way