slip-sliding away…..

“One year on”

Posted by Yacoob on January 26, 2007

…and back in this meeting room.
Same subject, different people (partly).

People spend many years at this place:
           years, decades.
           some even a quarter of a century (and more).

There’s stability in the workings here:
          exam times, orientation, start of the year, summer school(s) -

each year, the process – the events – remain the same;
yet the faces change;

every 3 or 4 years, a generation leaves:
graduates; the completion of their metamorphosis.

matric caterpillars now grown to fledgling butterflies,
ready to spread their wings.

Out there, in “the world”, they’ll find themselves away from
the comfort of being with their own kind – their generation.

Not quite dust in the wind, but they are to be dispersed
among the grown-ups.

Some will remain here: honours, masters, further studies.
Delaying the inevitable migration from the cocoon.

Others will remain here further: studying here, to working here -
never leaving the comforts of their palace on the hill;
this prestigious palace of knowledge and academic excellence.

Would I remain content to stay in this zone of comfort?

The job stability, the people, the comfort of annual repetition;
the beauty all around, as well as the beautiful people -
many of which I must strive to avoid, for a glance can be a poisoned arrow of the devil;

and what the eyes enjoy, the heart desires.

The abundance of the young and gorgeous is clear as day:
always there, like the mountain in the near distance -
towering over this place of social and academic congregation.

But the struggle is easier when the heart,
and, very importantly,
the mind,
accepts the Guidance.

When, after and through experience, the self truly understands
WHY we are advised to guard our gaze and modesty.

A natural security system, against the temptation all around,
and especially apparent in a place such as this -
a real-life fashion show, where many show off their precious forms -

somehow no longer precious to them, it seems;
no longer sacred – as it was created to be.

Instead, they become like mannequins:
    on display for all to see,
    and finding many admiring window-shoppers.

What drives such a loss of self-respect?
Such delusions that the shell is the treasure,
whereas the pearl inside is of no importance in the world.

Perhaps its a reflection of modern society at large -
a world blinded by the superficial glitz,
encouraging their lusts and gorging on that which was once so special -
but is now seen as a mere pastime.

Perhaps that’s the society we live in – the image that is evident.

But it does not represent the people;
the individuals;
all of us, collectively, making up this population.

But is our image of our collective self -
that of “society” – really a reflection of who we truly are and want to be?

Or is it a fraud?
A nonsensical picture of the world,
fed to us by the forces that pervade our modern world of information and media.

When will we be rid of these deceptions?
Free to reconnect – without pollution – with the Truth of our very existence and purpose of being.

Is revolution – pure and uncorrupted, free from all covert forces – really possible in the world today?

It starts with the individual,
but when the individuals, these enlightened members of the world,
unite to try and bring about a change,
are the forces of ignorance and evil too strong?

Can we really change the world?

Or are we waiting for our new ‘heroes’?
Our new revolutionaries?

Dr King, Ali, Mandela…all historical figures to us now.
But have their struggles really come to an end?

Though certain external factors would say ‘yes’,
does the essence of what they fought for,
what they gave and gave and struggled,
sacrificed for -
   is the essence of their enemy still here;
   just disguised in a different form for a different time?

2006 to 7.
Then comes 8, 9, 10,
and on and on and on
until the world ends;
or this ‘society’ disintegrates - 
      self-destructs,
      for destruction is the result when such perverted seeds have been planted
      and watered all these years.

The hope, though, is unbreakable.
In the end, the victory will be for the righteous.

So what is left for us is to correct our own selves,
and remain steadfast and know that the world is but a station of tests:
   challenges and hardships,
   but also joys and comforts.

In all of these – good and bad – the enduring thread is that
it IS a test.

And as we travel through life,
we gather the deeds that we’ll take with us beyond this realm.

The question is, after its all over, how will we fare in the Final Exam?

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6 Responses to ““One year on””

  1. Zahera said

    Beautiful :-)
    SubhanAllah dreamy you write so wonderfully. Most definitely an enchantin piece of writing that touched my heart.

    “Be in this world like a stranger or travellor.” :-) Its my most favourite and most inspirational hadeeth. I take so much from it. Thats all I have to say really.

  2. bb-aisha said

    ditto zahera. im actually sppechless- alot to ponder over.
    All I can say for now is ‘yes, i do believe we habve the power to change things and thus change the world’ beautifully written, mashallah

  3. alia said

    slms. thanks for the blog-referrals, iv since then discovered a whole new world of meS!! as in me plural! anyway im so xcited about this project u wont believe i hardly do but its a small contribution to b made to the huge struggle. i dont know if this pertains to this piece but i always feel that we as a living ummah fall hugely short of our duties-we occupy ourselves with pretty much ourselves that we forget y we are put on this earth-when comparing today’s muslims, all of us, with the sahabi, one gets a grossly sad result. and i know many of us try our utmost and that we will never even come close to the goodness of the worst sahaba, but i think we are not trying hard enof. its so easy to say oh i have work, a routine have to cook have a deadline. yes these things are important and most of our duties are part of our ibadaat BUT , and a very big but, are we striving to fulfill our duties in an efficient manner thereby giving us tym for learning/teaching islam? Are we even saddened that we do not each day contribute a minor contribution to the fate of islam? Its sad and its not like we don’t have tym seriously, if we just look for it we’ll find it. And yes this world is disintergrating, but is it not also our duty as muslims to save it? Its hard and we can just look after our own imaans but that in itself is selfish. We shuld be saddened to the point of tears when we see a fellow muslim doing wrong. I shuld hate that my older sister doesn’t wear hijab. I shuld fear for her as I fear for myself. But if I grapple with hijab myself then how do I expect to be convincing enof to make her understand? I don’t know the answer and it perturbs me (in no way am I making this your prblm expecting an answer, its just really disheartening to know I fall into the catergory).

    You’re words get to me>>year in and year out we fall into the same routine, when we have the option of bettering that routine. Yes constancy is good and loved by Allah much but we need to better our consistency-kinda like making cake dough-u have to add to it, sumtyms remove from it, to get just the right consistency-that’s life we are nowhere near perfect and thus cannot remain in a routine-(if we were by all means that would be advicable but not the case). I think its tym for me to up my game. I think instaed of looking to speak only to those who get me, I need to make those who don’t, do. Make sense? Anyway my sheikh too got to me last nyt when we were doing tafseer of surah kahf->>Allah adresses the believers saying to them warn those who don’t believe of a severe punishment-not Nabi (SAW) only but US- me and you ordianry believers-we don’t need to be muftis to do so –we need to be able to call ppl to faith-I havent even got one non-muslim person interested in islam-he also said that we shuld do it in a non-judgmental way, turning to logic instaed of argument based on principles.but I am so illogical geese I cant even get my point across to muslims who believe the same as me.
    Anyway your blog just made me think-campus and ppl on it it’s a perfect environment to give da’wah-simply by being good. But if our minds are so easily corruptible how do we mingle to even give da’wah?
    Anyway gtg
    My post’s neither here nor there
    Peace,al

  4. Dreamlife said

    THanx Zahera and Bibi-Aisha. Not to sound stupid, but Zahera, why that Hadith? Why bring it up on this topic?

    Alia – ur so right about our duty to try to correct it, try to save it. i kinda struggle with that same thing – how i turn away from all these things; for wanting them not to harm me – but then the thing is, u don’t make a difference to the rest of the world.

    i think whats needed is the confidence to try to make a difference – cos when u see wrong, u should try to change it. i formally tried that earlier today – was sumthin in this neighbourhood which i found extremely offensive (an ad at a bus-stop), and its been up for a while. didn’t think of the Advertising Complaints Commission till yesterday, but lodged a complaint now…so hopefully sumthin can happen from that :)

    nice analogy – cake dough. not being a baker, i wouldn’t have thought of that at all ;)

  5. Zahera said

    LOL- sorry i guess its because you write about time moving on, and changes and i dunno- just the whole,moving from one stage to another in life(or remaining in the same one), going through hardships and trials- to me its as simple as that hadeeth. We are ONLY travellors in this duniya- we have to do the best in this life to attain what will be our fate eternally :-)
    Apologies if it doesnt make sense- my mind works in fuzzy ways! heheh :-D

  6. Dreamlife said

    ok, i get it now :)

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