Dyed … and no sign of Heaven

Yup, my hair’s black once again.  No silver Storm-like streaks to make me look funky.  My mum didn’t appreciate the analogy when I tried it on her.   I guess it does look better in the movies than in real life.


***


Joy to the world … words that come from a Christian hymn, but could not be more true when applied to this day in Islamic history.

People wonder at our mourning on Ashura (and over two months) for Imam Husayn (a), but rarely do they get to know of our celebration on the birth of this king.  A king who rules over land, hearts, ideals and time.  A king whose reign is as powerful today as it was centuries ago.  A king in the true sense the word was created for.

How is it possible to explain that Imam Husayn (a) is alive here, now and today and he has always been?  How to decipher that phenomenon when we can barely understand it ourselves?  We know it, we sense it, we feel it, but so few of us truly imbibe it.

For a long time, I was at the forefront of the IslamEqualsLogic lobby, but recently I’ve been forced to re-evaluate my ‘solid’ opinions.  Yes, there is no doubt that Islam is based on logic, but precisely because it is such a perfect system, it caters for all aspects of the human being – physical, mental and spiritual.

As empowering as it is to be able to say that I subscribe to a faith that satisfies me on an intellectual level (and encourages me to explore the limits of my mental capacity), it is also fulfilling and beautiful to be able to say that I follow a faith that allows me a chance to achieve that deep inner peace that the whole world covets at some point in time or the other.

A lot of us think that by admitting that the last step of faith must be taken not with pure logic, but with pure feeling and emotion, we are somehow sullying the name of Islam or demeaning it.  That is the biggest mistake we make.  I’ve found over time that the simplest analogies are usually the most effective.  (Why go around the long way, when the short one works just as well?)  So here goes.

Nothing in this world is made of simply one medium, because none is perfect for every job.  The potency of any system is when it makes use of the best and strongest qualities of a number of different materials.  You use iron in foundations, and then concrete or stone for the building and glass for windows.  You’d never think to build a house on a foundation of glass or use stone for making windows, because each material has a different unique characteristic that makes it perfect for its application.

Religion is pretty much the same.  To make a perfect belief-system, you build on the strengths of the entire human being.  You appeal first to logic and then compound that logic with practical application, and finally strengthen and give it a sheen with the glaze of faith. 

Blind faith doesn’t work because it’s not based on logic.  But that doesn’t mean that educated faith is based on logic alone.  If you are standing on one side of a wide ravine and can see a bridge suspended in front of you, as long as it is stretched out vertically and is stable to your foot, it doesn’t matter if you can see the other end or not.  You know it’s safe to cross.   You know something is holding it up at the other end.

The more rickety the bridge seems, the less likely you are to trust it. Your choice should depend on whether it’s a swaying rope-bridge that could lose slats along the way or fray when you’re half way across or whether it’s a well-lighted concrete structure with a smooth, paved path.

Islam, I believe, not only has the most solid structure, it’s also got the best lighting along the way 🙂


***


It is Shaban, the only month in the entire Islamic calendar without a sad event to commemorate.  And the month in which 4 of the most influential personalities were born.  If you know of them, then be glad that you were blessed with this mercy.  

Because those who live their lives without ever knowing how much they owe Imam Husayn (a) and Abbas ibn Ali (a) for the moral system they rely on today, or those who have never recited and wept over the perfection of the du’as of Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen (a) or those who are not waiting for the Hidden Sun to re-appear from behind the clouds or do not sit to write him letters of love every week… these people are deprived of the true essence of life.  And they don’t even realise it.


S’laams
Bint Ali

P.S. My USB flashdisk did burn out.  All that info – poof!

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