Remembering the Garden…

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A patch of dirt for some, a new beginning for others. These thoughts come to mind as my wife became excited while examining a neglected garden in back of the place where we were staying.

The landlady had given her some scallion sprouts and a tomato plant. She later added some ginger buds. Clearly, the two of them had a “special agenda” that I was not privy to. All I know is that slowly, with a little effort, I was witnessing the beginning of a lush garden start to unfold.

Surely those who believe and do good deeds, are the best of all creatures.
Their reward with their Lord shall be the gardens of Eden, beneath which the rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. God shall be well pleased with them and they shall be well pleased with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord. (Surah 98. Al-Baiyina, Ayah 7-8)

This was a sign from God! He sees all and is ever present!

You start with a vision and work to make it happen. InshAllah, you will achieve success.

I have observed this many times during my life but never really thought about it from this perspective. It was such a clear example. I thank God for giving me this realization. Allahamidulilah!

I used to think of gardens in purely romantic terms (http://wp.me/p2wvqF-1g), now there are added dimensions to the metaphor. It is a shelter from the storm of uncertainty, a haven of contentment, it is a place of of everlasting bliss… This is what we all striving to achieve.

The garden is the reward for one’s perseverance!

 

 

 

 

“Your Secret Garden…” This Is My Beloved. N.p., 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 17 Jan. 2016.

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Stargazing One Night in Saint Lucia: a New Experience…

I was recently on a business trip to St. Lucia, one of the islands in the southern Caribbean. As on most of the other islands, the people are friendly, the cuisine is quite good, depending on one’s palette and the weather was much more desirable to that of which I am much more accustomed to at this time in New York (it was 20 degrees F. when I left, compared to about 70 degrees F. in St. Lucia when I arrived).

Anyways, this was a business trip! Who said it had anything to do with enjoyment of the warmer weather? One night, after meeting with a client for dinner, as I was waiting for a local taxi to take me back to my hotel, I looked up into the blackened sky and beheld to a truly wonderful spectacle.

The most beautiful site I saw in St. Lucia was the night sky. The dark sky has so many fascinating attributes that one must be fortunate to view them in his or her lifetime. It has become quite a struggle to find those dark places nowadays. It was so dark outside with only the Moon and stars to light the way. I could have spent hours just looking at the wonderful tapestry God had painted. The sounds of the rainforest, crickets and frogs in the background gave me a sense of comfort that I was alone to view this celestial picture. I watched this ever-changing scene. I witnessed constellations that I could not name but remember studying in junior high school long ago. It is not often that I feel at “one with the universe” but this was certainly one of those special moments.

My cab arrived about 15 minutes later allowing me adequate time to thoroughly enjoy this view…

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Islam, Karma and the Seven Flies

I was making myself breakfast today just as any other day when I noticed that there were seven flies in the kitchen. Normally, the kitchen is bug free but there they were flying around the ceiling about to make a nuisance of themselves. I saw that one of the windows was slightly cracked open and postured that this was the way they entered the kitchen.

I wanted to eat my meal without having to experience the annoyance of these insects. Warily, I consumed my meal and watched them with the precision of a Hawk! It seemed as if they wanted to leave the kitchen but had lost their way. They flew close to the window’s opening but I wondered if perhaps if they perceived it too narrow to exit? I proceeded to open the window slightly more. Eventually all seven flies flew out the window.

I thought about this with great introspection as I finished my meal. It tasted wonderful! Allah (SWT) is Creator of all things, great and tiny. He tests and challenges us all the time. There are lessons everywhere! I believe there are Signs all around us. We must clear our minds and open our hearts to see them. I also believe that one should never give up hope. “As one window closes, a thousand more may open.” We must continue to persevere.

There are times when we may relinquish just when victory or salvation may be just around the corner! The flies were so close to the opening of the window but it seemed as if they choose not to venture out. My gesture of opening the window a little wider enabled them to escape unharmed on this particular day.

My actions cost me nothing but created harmony around me in that brief moment. Perhaps, that is a lesson as well…

Feeling my Lord

I’ve been reading a lot of Rumi and Hafiz lately. These are two early Islamic mystical poets of great renown. Their work really transcends any one religion. They are the inspiration for the following poem:

The wind was blowing, causing trees to bend,

I could sense God’s presence.

As the sound of thunder roared in the background,

I imagined hearing His voice.

Suddenly a bolt of lightening split a huge boulder nearby.

I felt as if I had just witnessed one small iota of His power.

Then there was calm and I realized God was just flexing His muscles.

Attitude & Empowerment

I had a major dislike for cold weather but in spite of my displeasure it came and continues to come every year, in varying severity. This is how I learned to endure harsh weather. It’s really all a matter of one’s perspective…

It was unbearably cold outside.
I could sense the warmth of the Sun on my face.
It was like a kiss from God upon my forehead informing me that I was alive.
I inhaled the cool crisp air only to warmly expel it a brief moment later.
I felt empowered!

Beautiful Snow

It snowed last night. The first snow covering creates a beautiful tapestry around everything it touches. 

When a snowflake falls upon your face think of it as being touched by a wonderful giving spirit. Inhale the cool fresh air that accompanies it. It is reinvigorating. Acknowledge that it is good to be who you are. You are capable of a higher state of awareness. In spite of all the problems that exist on this earth, you are able to transcend the calamity.