It’s the last month of both the Islamic and Gregorian Calender. The season of Hajj is in the air, and tomorrow is the Day of Arafah. (Or Idd, depending on where you are.)
For the past ten days, since Dhul Hijja started, I’ve been reciting the recommended du’as for these days. Most of the ones for this month seem to prepare us for the new year and Muharram.
Supplications are amazing sources of inspiration, but these ones never fail to wow me. They are declarations that were meant to be shouted out aloud from the hilltops and to the open skies, calling everything to witness what it is that you are proclaiming:
There is no god but Allah*, as many times as the number of days and nights,
There is no god but Allah, as many times as the number of waves in the sea,
There is no god but Allah, as many times as the number of thorns and trees,
There is no god but Allah, as many times as the number of hair strands and fur,
There is no god but Allah, as many times as the number of stones and mud particles,
There is no god but Allah, as many times as the number of blinks of the eye,
There is no god but Allah, as many times as the number of desert winds and rocks
You say the words every afternoon, and then one day it just hits you…this is what you believe, this is how strong your faith must be and most importantly, you can never again look at a thorn or a leaf or pebble or even a strand of hair without pausing to think about what its existence indicates, about the Designer who caused it to Be.
I’ve read so many times that human beings sometimes feel like they’re being watched. That’s one of the reasons for the belief in an alien conspiracy and the Big Brother fears. This sense deep inside that we’re being studied and observed and every move we make is being monitored.
Well, I came across another passage the other day that made me realize that we ARE being watched, but perhaps not quite in the manner we think… 🙂
All Muslims are brought up being taught to try and behave – and think – in a manner that is beyond reproach at all times. A Muslim knows that it doesn’t matter whether you’re alone or in public, God is watching you at all times and it is His Opinion that matters.
But we’re human, so we forget and sometimes we do things, say things, or think things in the privacy of our minds that we wouldn’t be caught dead doing, saying or thinking in front of others. I think it’s for times like those that this Hadith al-Qudsi** was narrated:
O Son of Adam, whatever you say or do, whether it is little or much,
My angels are watching you every day and night to write it down.
Whatever you see, My heavens stand witness to it.
The earth stands witness for every action you perform on it.
The sun and the moon and the stars are witness against you,
for whatever you say or do.
Whatever is hidden in your heart,
I know it very well.
So next time you’re doing something you shouldn’t be and feel the urge to look over your shoulder. Rest assured you don’t need to – the witnesses are all around you.
And next time you do something solely for His Pleasure, don’t feel embarrassed to give a knowing wink to the stars or lean over and whisper to the nearest leafy branch: “One more to put on my record, eh, ol’ chap?
Because, while you can hide your secrets from another human being, to the rest of the world, you’re an open book…
*Allah – Simply means God, but the Arabic makes the sentences above more readable.
*Hadith al-Qudsi – Traditions quoted directly from God, but not part of the Holy Qu’ran.