*Dedicated to Amma Wadi and my Dad*
*Special Thanks to Fatima Altaf for pushing me to blog and Noor Saeed for proof-reading*
The other day I received my registration from PEC (meaning I can now go around saying “hi i`m engineer malo, whats your name?” :-p) and well saying I was super-excited would be the understatement of the millennium So I thought back to how hard I worked, you know how I burnt the midnight oil (probably like the Quaid himself:p) conveniently forgetting how I barely scraped by in Signals & Systems and how I would have panic attacks in Digital Signals Processing and how I cried like a baby in front of God to change my Programming for Engineers ka abysmal grade (psst it worked ). How many times do we do that? When it`s bad, we rave and rant and cry to God to help us and when it`s all good we give ourselves a pat on the back and move on, forgetting to thank Him for His mercy. Again and again the Qur`an warns us about this attitude:
And if We give man a taste of Mercy from Us, and then withdraw it from him, verily, he is despairing, ungrateful. But if We let him taste good (favor) after evil (poverty and harm) has touched him, he is sure to say: Ills have departed from me. Surely, he is exultant and boastful (ungrateful to Allah).” (Surah Hud :9-10)
“And when We cause mankind to taste mercy, they rejoice therein, but when some evil afflicts them because of (evil deeds and sins) that their (own) hands have sent forth, behold, they are in despair!” (Surah Ar-Rum :36)
“And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, Lying on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed the harm from him, he passes on as if he had never invoked Us for a fair-seeming to the Musrifun (extravagant) that which they used to do.” (Surah Yunus:12
“And when We bestow Our Grace on man he turns away and becomes arrogant (far away from the Right Path). And when evil touches him, he is in great despair.” (Surah Bani-Israel: 83)
See how the verses show the roller-coaster ride of emotions we all go through, gallivanting between extreme happiness and intense despair? A believer is supposed to be grateful in times of happiness and controlled in his expression of joy. In Surah An-Nasr which foretold of great success for Muslims, the Prophet (S) is cautioned about what to do when victory comes to them. It is said:
When comes the Help of Allah and the conquest
And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes.Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him- Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance. (Surah An-Nasr)
So the next time you`re tempted to yell “Take that Sucka!” keep this in mind. A little dignity is definitely called for. Even fake dignity won`t be so bad, especially if it will save us precious lives on New Year`s, Basant, or when Boom-Boom Afridi does something. It`s all very well to celebrate but please guys I like my morning paper with coffee and bereft of news of “Brother of five sisters killed by aerial firing”.
Also, a believer has Tawakkul in times of despair and does not let go of his shred of dignity in times of tribulation (read: does not post wimpy status-es OR wimp-ier dps of “why me?!” )
To accept each situation as it comes – is the true sign of Tawakkul- unknown
I learnt how to say “Thank you God” from a lot of people but mostly from my dad and the amma who works for us. My dad when he discovered three of his arteries were blocked, got the doctor to show him his angiography results and where the blood flow was getting blocked (to his heart). So we are all sitting there looking at the screen, all worried and he looks at the screen and goes:
“Subhan`Allah! and there are thousands of those (arteries)!”
At that point I was like “Dad you`re kinda missing the point here”:P
But it was an important lesson, one that I am not likely to forget soon (Thanku dad<3) . And that IS the attitude of a Believer, he can look up positive things in the worst of times, connect them to Allah (s.w.t) and show gratitude. A grateful believer is a happy believer. Happiness IS after all a state of mind.
The other day my sister had a paper and told amma wadi (the maid, “wadi” is punjabi for “elder/older” and she`s pretty old so out of love we call her amma waddi or Big Mom ) about it. She grinned and told her not to worry cz she (amma wadi) would be praying for her and:
“me bari ghareeb aa, Allah meri dua bari sunda hai”
(I`m very poor so God listens to my duas a lot)
The happiness radiating from her and the one-toothed grin that accompanied it while she swished off with her latcha trailing after her was inspiring Amma Waddi might have been oblivious to the effect of her words but I can honestly say I had visions of super-maid for a very long time. I mean talk about having a super-cool attitude in the worst of times, masha`Allah!
I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves. Alexander Humboldt
So the next time something good happens to you, sure celebrate (post a status, whatever) but don`t forget to celebrate the infinite mercy of your Lord while you`re at it. Remind yourself of the tough time and get down on your knees (the way you did when you thought you were flunking for sure) and thank Him. Why? Cz God was there when you felt like your heart was being punctured in a million different places and God was there when it was inflated like a hot-air balloon. Yes God`s always there, Be afraid, Be very afraid. And celebrate His praises!
O ye who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.
And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon
It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light and He is ever Merciful to the believers. (Surah Al-Ahzab 41-43)