…do you not see how Allah makes comparisons? ….Allah makes comparisons for people so they may reflect. (14:24-25)
…over the past few weeks the same topic that has arisen with numerous encounters with the Hujjaj revolves around how Iman can be increased when the conditions of being in extreme crowds and rapid developing surroundings leaves one fighting for survival and distracted rather than deepening the spiritual connection to the rites, or the sacredness of the holy places. Those who are returning to Islam’s hallowed lands, make comparisons to past visits with what they see and experience in the now while those blessed with a first time invitation compare what were expectations with what has been the reality.
We cannot turn back time, nor freeze it, nor preempt the future. Submission to all that is as it is, because this is what Allah Ta’ala in His Wisdom has decreed, is what is required of us regardless of how we may perceive the changes.
Discussions revolved around how to invest the limited time given on this precious journey to deepening connections to Allah Ta’ala and His Habib SallAllahu alaihi wasallam when the external conditions are testing on so many levels. The massive changes in and around the Haramain certainly are distractions compared to the simplicity of even just a few decades ago, let alone hundreds of years ago. There is no comparison between the lilting rhythm of a camel traversing the arid landscape from Makkah to Madinah, taking three to four weeks, and twelve plus hours in a bus covering a few kilometres. And what of the contrast between tent accommodation and lavish hotels? Or the hustle and bustle of shopping that has crept to the very edge of the Haramain compared to trading in dusty wind blown deserts…
How to deepen connections? What comparisons gain reward and take the Iman to soaring heights?
All the black and white prints are from a current exhibition in Dubai entitled Mecca: A Dangerous Adventure, based on the works of Snouck Hurgronie (1857-1936). This article explains more about his life and work.
The above is Arafat then…
…and this years Day of Standing…
…then: Our Noble Lady Maymunah RadhiAllahu anha’s grave site.
…as it is now. Click on photo for more information.
This stunning image of calm and serenity is from another exhibition currently at the Photographic Gallery at the American University of Cairo, as appearing in this article, along with other selections from the exhibition.
…while this is a moment in time from Hajj just gone…both exuding sublime worship in contrasting ways…vicariously compare the different conditions and the effect on the soul…
…compared to now…
…brothers now…from Dear Sister Iman’s Hajj captures. Visit her site for more of her recent Hajj experiences.
…Alhumdulilah Allah Ta’ala’s Love and our Blessed Resident of the Dome of Peace SallAllahu alaihi wasallam’s mercy remains constant, SubhanAllah!
…veils that distract us from our link to Allah Ta’ala and our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam need to be lifted…hearts need to be filled with reliving the life and following the footsteps of Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. So as we slide over polished marble in comfortable shoes we allow the heart to imagine walking on course sand and rubble wearing thin leather soles, in the hope that just one footstep may be treading where the best of creation once passed. Allow the eyes to no longer see the glamour of modern buildings, and are downcast passing the throngs of vendors thrusting items at all who pass by. Turn the inner eyes to what the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam may have witnessed as he walked around Makkah and his Radiant City. Allocate more time reading the Seerah and Qur’an, reciting Dhikr and Salawat, sharing the message of a Hadith, seeking to improve in oneself the noble characteristics of the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, especially forbearance, patience, acceptance, justice, grace and tolerance.
Insha’Allah we devote time this Juma’ah making comparisons between the perfection of the character our Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and the effort we make in our lives seeking to emulate him through his Sunnah. May this Juma’ah be a day when we make a firm and conscious decision to rekindle our Iman with the flames of love for this glorious Deen. May we make comparisons between the vast history of our past and critically assess how we may be assessed by Allah Ta’ala right now in this present moment.
…Allah makes comparisons for people so they may reflect.
Click on images for source.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.