Words Rashida A.
Illustration Fatema A. (cosmicweavers)
When I look around trying to make sense of the state of things in this digital world, where the media has flooded all forms of normality, where fashion and trends have overtaken customs and tradition, I see a rat race where each one is trying to outwit, outlive and outsmart the next.
There is a relentless drive for the finest food, the most charismatic cars, and the most palatial of homes. Unfortunately there is an ugly downside to all this materialism, for we occupy a place where permeability is an illusion. When tragedy befalls we call it fate, karma, bad luck or whatever else that comes to mind. I like to think of it as inevitability.
The boundary between pleasure and pain in this world is interchangeable.
The delicious food we so recently savoured can also become a source of unbearable abdominal pain.
The car that cost millions may depreciate due to a sudden crash.
The majestic house overlooking the beach may be swept away by an unstoppable tsunami.
The reasons behind these inexplicable happenings are never apparent and hence we all need an anchor, a rock. For me that is my religion.
I can’t face the endless aisles of innumerable brands of something as mundane as tissue paper at my local supermarket. Being constantly bombarded with so much choice drives me insane. So how do I make a sound choice when it comes to the big things in life? What do I choose? Who do I follow? Who can I trust?
In the face of such insurmountable uncertainty I have looked right and left and then have chosen to follow my Moula. My faith in him is my moral compass. It is calibrated by my love for him and it points me in the direction of answering one question in the face of every dilemma and difficult decision that comes my way;
What would my Moula want me to do right now?
And the answer never fails me. It surfaces out of my conviction and is delivered through a connection fuelled by pure love, providing fortitude, guidance and sustenance in my darkest hours.
As a child I used to notice and mark spots in the ground where Moula’s feet had trodden and later on I would return to that spot and collect its soil. I would feel connected and secure with it in my palms and once home I would carefully deliver it to a fruit tree knowing that I was giving that tree a gift it would always treasure.
I remember that since I was left handed I had difficulty wearing my watch on my left hand. It was much easier to wear it on my right hand but as I used to closely study how Moula dressed, I knew Moula wore his watch on his left hand, so one night in my dream I saw Moula he was beaming at me with a smile that took my breath away. And he said, “I wear my watch on my right but you can wear it wherever you like.” Believe it or not I woke up the next morning and I was ambidextrous. I very naturally put my watch on my left hand. This anecdote paints a picture of the depth of love I feel for Moula. When you love someone so deeply you love everything about them. This love goes further than any other, it is truly unconditional. It is the bedrock of inspiration for living life to its fullest.
For me, my choice of religion simplifies my life greatly. My faith allows me to connect with all the Duat Mutlaqeen, Aimmat Tahereen and Panjatan Paak through Dai Zaman.
When I see him I see them all. It is that simple and that clear.
Burhanuddin Moula RA used to always say:
“You need to be garbed in Shariah’s armour from head to toe.”
What does armour do? It protects. That’s what Shariah does for me. It protects me from head to toe. By choosing to follow the tenets of Shariah in their entirety and not just the directives that suit my lifestyle or seem logical to me, I am ensuring that my seat belt is on, and my destination is always in sight and the journey is as pleasant as can be.