By Syed Faraz Luqman
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Day 11: Ramadhan 30st 1433 / August 18th 2012
There is a spellbinding sense of achievement when you accomplish something you set out to do. You jump and cheer and feel elated beyond words. You feel proud, happy, thankful and overjoyed with yourself.
I feel none of that.
10 full days, 11 full nights if worship and obedience. Of an attempt at attaining piety. An attempt at renouncing the world and turning to Allah alone. At the end of it, I don’t feel like I achieved something great. I just feel a clean sense of calm. A thoughtful peace which is reassuring and comforting like a loving teacher to whom you have just submitted your work and the teacher smiles and says in the most caring manner, “Good, take your seat, I’ll check your work”. You know and believe deeply that you shouldn't go wrong…and desperately pray you don’t.
Its comforting but I'm afraid to go back into the world. Its too chaotic out there. Life in here was way too simple. I ate, slept, prayed. These were (and are) the most important things in life. Now upon return, I shudder to think of work, projects, university, family, friends, rent, clothes, society, food, media, world…….How much of all this do we really need? And even under those topics, how much is important and how much is unwanted baggage?
I have no idea yet.
But I do have an idea of myself. Inside here I've realized something I've to do out there. Something that will balance my ability with my performance. Something people (including me) talk about, but never really have the guts to do. Something small or big I don’t know…but something meaningful..that I know.
In addition to it I've realized that there is a scale we've all been given. One to measure right and wrong. I say measure because sometimes they are the same thing with different perspectives. The scale, guideline is an aid to adjudicate haq and batil. The furqan. The criterion to understanding and classifying life. This sense is an ability which we all have, but it dies because we don’t exercise it.
The last day was fast and normal. Slept, read and broke fast. After that we waited for the crowd to subside. Then I and Nauman went down to perform tawaf al wida (The farewell tawaf)
Nauman said a very nice thing yesterday, he said, “The tawaf is a very high and very powerful form of worship. If you look at the universe, everything is in a state of Tawaf..
- The revolution of the galaxies (spirals)
- The revolution of the stars and planetary systems around the galaxy’s epicenter
- The revolution of the earth and planets around the sun
- The revolution of the moon around the earth
- The revolution of humans around the earth’s axis every day
- All the way down to the electrons revolving around the nucleus
This allegory speaks of the centre A centre around which we go around. In the tawaf of the Kabah, we are going around the closest epicentre of the deen on this planet. SubhanAllah.
The tawaaf went smooth due to the less crowd. After the tawaf prayed isha in the mataaf area and then made one last effort to get close to the Kabah. I wished to touch it like every time so went and did it. It was humbling to see all the people there in various states of prayer and conversation with their lord, some in tears of pain, some in tears of thankful joy…it was beautiful.
I turned and left the Masjid with Nauman and as I left, I felt I was going away from home. As I walked across the courtyard and stepped over the boundary of the masjid…. I felt a quiet ounce of painful separation from the haram. I was no longer the throbbing part of it that I had been for the last 10 days.
P.s. Had a shawarma with meat and vegetables. It tasted Alien.
I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)