💎TWO POETIC GEMS💎

The fact is, for the vast majority of people, being in lockdown isn’t just another holiday or period of relaxation. We rarely get to take a sabbatical throughout the year amidst the hustle & bustle of everyday life. Sure we have been given an opportunity to focus on other, more beneficial activities, but many people might be inclined to succumb to worry & concern over what lies ahead.

We all know of the challenges we face in our respective countries, financially and otherwise. It’s natural to stress about how we will support ourselves & our families in this uncertain economic terrain. After all, we are only human. We have bills & we have needs.

man in gray sweater covering his face with face mask
Photo by Gustavo Fring

I just thought I’d share some inspirational words of wisdom that I find to be a source of comfort & admonition in these distressing times.

You know, we don’t have as much control over our Rizq’s (livelihoods/sustenance) as we may think. We need to reconcile with the fact that our destinies have already been preordained (this isn’t to say that effort, dedication & perseverance is not required of us). In the Beautiful words of Umar Ibn Khattab (R.A.), “What is destined will reach you, even if it be underneath two mountains. What is not destined, will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips.”

Recently, I have been reading a lot about the teachings of the late Imam Shafi’i; whom I have always admired. He possessed so many admirable qualities, which set him apart from the average mortal. He was way ahead of the game when it came to his firmness in faith, his superior intellect, his contentment of heart as well as his level of understanding. Each poetic piece, literary work or quote I come across causes me to develop an even greater appreciation & respect for the man. His teachings are universal, timeless jewels that address the exigencies in our world; they would find an application even in the unfamiliar times we find ourselves in.

photography of book page

The following poems are two of the more well-known pieces by the learned Imam, and I’ve decided to post them due to their relevance:

”It is upon you to have Taqwa (mindfulness/awareness) of Allah (God) when you are forgetful,
sustenance will come to you from where you do not know.
How do you fear poverty when Allah is the provider,
indeed he provided for the birds and the whales in the sea.
And whoever thought that sustenance comes with power,
when the bird ate something with the eagles.
This world goes by you and you do not know,
if the night covers will you live until Fajr (dawn)?
How many healthy died without a reason,
and how many weak live forever?
How many youth go to sleep and wake up laughing,
and we buried him at sunset and he didn’t even know?
So whoever lives a thousand then a thousand years after that,
no doubt there will come a day when you will go to the grave!”

 

“People will live amongst people, for as long as they live,
For without doubt, fortune and goodness will come and go.
The best of people amongst others is a man who,
Upon his hands, the needs of others are settled.
Never withhold your assistance from anyone,
As long as you are capable, for fortune tends to come and go.
And give thanks for the bounties of Allah,
If you are the one to settle the needs of others.
Indeed, people have died, and their virtues died too
And some have lived, but they are truly dead among the people.”

Don’t, for a second, think that you have certain bounties in your life due to your intellect, enterprise, physical strength or family wealth. We praise the mind that invented electricity, aeroplanes & the internet, but we forget about the mind that invented the mind.

The thing about life is that we are on borrowed time – everything comes and goes, be it wealth, loved ones and material possessions. When these things disappear, we feel hard-done-by and cheated, as though life has been unjust to us. “Who will take care of us now and attend to our needs?”… and to that I say, my friends, “The very same one who fed you in the womb of your mother; who brought you up, fulfilled your needs and continuously provided for you”. You received everything you were meant to receive no matter how much you transgressed, faulted or drifted off the path of righteousness.

All things are fleeting and so are these moments – we should enjoy what is and never let the stress of tomorrow steal from the happiness of today. Even when people turn their backs on you (and at some point, they surely will), just remember that the almighty is always there and that his mercy is infinite (even the amount of droplets in the oceans are minute in comparison). ✌

 

Three Quotes for the day

I just thought I’d do a switch up from my forceful rants & over-opinionated viewpoints to share a few quotes that inspire me. These quotes are by no means literary masterpieces or poetic gems (well apart from Khalil Gibran – the literary master, poet & philosophical legend!). These little quotes of wisdom are capable of bringing solace to the distressed & may invoke reflection in the indifferent. Take from them what you will.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence & tranquility”

– Khalil Gibran

“Some people are dead but their character has kept them alive, while others are alive but their character has killed them”

– Imam Shafi

And lastly, the below saying of Bob Marley that addresses the need for unity in such a great way. The truth is, it’s always easiest destroying something from within and the powers/leaders know that we are weakest when we are divided. They would even resort to creating fictional barriers to fuel separation. It’s all about maintaining control and keeping the free thinkers silent. Think of every revolution ever, it all started with a united people and ended with tyrannical governments isolating the educated, inducing fear & dividing the people.

“They don’t want to see us unite; all they want us to do is keep on fussing & fighting. They don’t want to see us live together; all they want us to do is keep on killing one another”

– Bob Marley 

Respect for the elderly

In a world of democracy, equality & freedom you would expect a certain level of respect for all beings. They say we are all created equal, but that isn’t the way we necessarily treat each other. We hear it all the time, “Respect is earned”. Well, I don’t agree with statement at all. I strongly believe that each person should be given respect until such time that their actions & behaviour warrants otherwise. Besides, being respectful and courteous says more about YOU as a person than the people you engage with.

Today we flout our civility & progressiveness, feeling as if we are beyond our tarnished histories of savagery and brutality. Though, with certain values it seems as though we are regressing. As time went on we have become arrogant, self-absorbed & condescending to a level where we don’t have any regard for the seniors. The old among us are not shown the same level of respect that they would have been shown of, lets say, a hundred years ago. I wonder why that is. It is particularly disheartening since it is the old among us that can teach us the greatest lessons, they can teach us valuable life lessons coupled with wisdom which can only be learnt by life experiences. Their roles in our lives are greatly undermined – we ignore them, not give them their due respect and view them as members of society whose roles are redundant. We fail to realise that they are the backbones of families, the pegs that keep families together and link us to our past. Sadly, we only feel the impact of their absence once they are no longer with us & unfortunately , by then, it is too late to do right by them. I feel that having old parents/grandparents is a gift from the almighty whereby an opportunity is given to you to gain his pleasure. How ,you ask? Simple, by serving them when they need you & giving them unparalleled respect & love until the end of their days. What would be a better farewell than that? There’s not much that the elderly ask of us – they just want to be heard, loved & respected.

A New World order: How twisted ideals are shaping our world and conditioning the next generation of sheep

I recently made a trip to Moscow, Russia, to participate in the Street Workout National Championships where I had the honour of representing my country in a sport I’m deeply passionate about. In addition to it being an adventure and learning experience, for a change I found myself having some down time, aloof from the stresses of daily life and the responsibilities back home. I used this time to clear my head, to gain some clarity, to do some self-reflection and , in general, to just question the plight of this spinning sphere we’re standing on. You can easily dismiss yourself from situations and nullify external influences in life but the same doesn’t hold true when it comes to the thoughts that run wild in your head. Try to run, but you can’t run from yourself!

(Pictured above: Taking a tour through Red Square with my trusty backpack)

I often wonder about this world we live in, nothing seems to make sense. Material possessions are held in the highest esteem and, strangely enough, your value is based on what you have rather than your qualities. People have made money their Lord and utilise people as a means to an end. Do the right thing or try to make positive changes, and you will be considered strange, an outcast and often ridiculed by those who don’t understand you. Blend in and portray a superficial image, be fake, be selfish (every man for himself) and nobody bets an eye. This twisted sense of reality is nauseating….celebrating/respecting men who behave more like women and women detesting the very qualities in them that we respected from the beginning of time. The liars are called truthful and the truthful are called liars. Speak the truth, be straightforward and you will be hated because people would rather have you lie to them beautifully. Indeed, a promise is a comfort to a fool. Deception has become the norm and falsehood is the order of the day. Everything we do is motivated by love. Even fear and hate are born of love, so be careful what you love 👌✌ .

(Gorky Park, Moscow City, Russia)

The captivating scenery pictured above is from the well-known Gorky Park which runs along the Moscow river and encompasses a large area of land, containing everything from beautiful flora and pathed forrests to an indoor soccer complex and training facility. All of that aside, it had an overall relaxed atmosphere with positive vibes.

Try as I might, I still couldn’t help but think of the people back home (Johannesburg, South Africa) where many issues seem to plague the country. Poverty is rife and rears its ugly head on every corner, the crime rate is amongst the highest in the world and nobody feels safe , and decent employment and education is but a luxury. And we have a government that would much rather ignore the problems, misappropriate funds, committing daylight robbery against its people by blatantly stealing from the ones who need it most. I guess that’s just a common theme in this world, in life. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It’s always those at the lowest spectrum of society that suffer most. They punish those who ask questions, and those who possess, steal from those without possessions.

“You can easily tell the character of a man by the way he treats those who can do nothing for him”

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the world as i see it ,or people, for that matter. Well, its simply that people give to receive. They don’t like to “help” if they don’t see any personal gain in it. This is just a common theme with people in your life if you see it on a smaller scale. Their level of respect for you is based on what you can either do for them or their image. In that sense, even the blessings and goodness of charity is lost. It’s frustrating living in a world where people are so self driven and their greed has dehumanized them.

Though the world is filled with so much darkness, best believe that the almighty has blessed people with light in their hearts. There will always be those people who don’t blindly follow the rules that society has set for themselves. The ones who don’t give a Damn about image, the servants of justice, advocates of the truth. The ones who are raw, real, genuine. The ones who say what they mean and mean what they say. Those that are both free from judgement and immune to it at the same time. By being themselves, they unconsciously allow those around them to be too. In this superficial, fake ass world…This may seem impossible but there ARE such people out there. Those are the priceless jewels of life. If you are lucky to find just one of these people in your life, hold onto them because they are products of a dying breed. These are the true soldiers and their mere existence is a rebellion against the New world order!

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