Mourning: The Tears of Purification 31 July 2006Posted by MOZAFFAR in MOZAFFAR, Spirituality.
For anyone who is grieving.
Ours is an era of diminishing hope. It’s an era of increasing cynicism about those things we hold most sacred. It is hard enough in our era to be a believer in God. It is even harder to believe in virtue, and harder still to believe in hope.
But, that is the nature of belief itself, isn’t it? Belief requires hope, and (consequently) belief requires fear. That is the nature of belief. We don’t necessarily have hopes that our beliefs come true; if you believe in God, then you believe in God.
Rather, we have hopes that the consequences of our beliefs will come true. We have hopes that we will someday meet our Creator, that we will recline in gardens, without a worry about anything. And, we also have fear that the consequences of our beliefs will also come true. That, if I choose the temporary, vanishing bounties of this world over the permanent bounties of the last world, and the exhiliration of that meeting with Him, I will have made the greatest of errors. This world is nothing but a set of moments. The next world, is a timeless eternity.
Such is belief. The world around us is here for no purpose, but to serve us. The world serves us by sheltering us, nourishing us and comforting us; that is the world’s obligation to God: to serve us.
Still, a few elements in this world attempt to distract us. The computer screen or piece of paper you are now reading is no less temporary than a fleeting thought in your imagination. It’s all temporary. It’s all a veil. And, on the other side of that veil is your Creator, looking straight at you, and He is seeing things within you that yourself might not see.
But, those few elements in this world around us, and in this world within us, attempt to convince us that this world is more permanent than it really is. And, these elements attempt to convince us that our Creator’s knowledge, bounties and love are limited. But, we seek refuge in God from those elements because we know that our Creator’s love, bounties, and knowledge are without limit. The comfort that He provides for us, in that most delicate of places — the heart — is a comfort that only He can provide.
So, our beliefs are marked by choices. We choose to see this material world as immaterial. This world is nothing but a set of moments.
But what happens, in those particular moments, when the terms expire, and one of our loved ones leaves this world? Is it okay then, to mourn?
That mourning is a mercy from God. Of the different types of tears we have, one of those types includes the tears of purification. We may cry out of envy. We may cry out of hate. But, when we cry out of mourning, we experience those tears of purification. There is of course, the risk that those tears of purification turn into a frenzy, like when an upset child loses his/her temper; just make sure we don’t let that happen.
Think of our beloved Prophet (May the peace and blessings of God be upon him). When his beloved son Ibrahim, a young child, was reclaimed by God. Think of the Prophet -p- standing at Ibrahim’s grave. Think of the sweet tears that came from the Prophet’s -p- eyes. His tears are a mercy for us, and the tears of mourning are too a mercy. Without such sweet tears (running from our eyes, and running through our hearts), we would truly suffer.
Think further about this beloved Prophet -p, who outlived not just Ibrahim, but all of his children save for one: his beloved Fatima.
In our material world, death never seems to come at the right time. When we’ve given up our hopes, it seems to come too late. When we are filled with hope, it seems to come too early, and it comes so early that it sometimes shocks us. But, we know that our moments of death — for each of us — is already set. No need for regrets. No need for doubts.
So, when one of those near-to-us leaves, they leave us with this void, this deafening silence. It is a shock, followed by silence. We find ourselves searching around our homes, to see if s/he or is hiding somewhere. We search for them in our dreams, hoping that the shock was itself nothing but a dream. We sometimes see their faces in the faces of others, and for that second, we hope that our loved one has returned.
But, as time passes, we only hear silence.
Such then is the journey of the believer through the temporariness of this world. It is the journey through these silences. We must take these silences, and turn them into memories. Remember each moment you can think of. Honor those companions who can share new memories for us.
And, use those memories as fuel for gratitude to Him. For if, from the depths of our hearts, we can feel that deep, refreshing impulse of gratitude, we have accomplished something that few have accomplished. Be grateful for those wonderful moments.
But, there is more to the picture, isn’t there?
Think further about this beloved Prophet -p, who lost his close wife, his beloved companion, Khadija. She believed in him before he believed in himself.
Sometimes, despite our tireless conviction in God, we sometimes need a simple reminder: we need to believe in ourselves. We need to know that we can make it through the days ahead of us.
For that, sometimes, we need only a comforting hand. So, to my fellow readers, if you see someone in such need, extend your warm hands and warm thoughts.
And, the last point grows from here. Part of the diminishing hope (of our era) is that sense of alienation we each may experience; it is part and parcel of the modern experience. And, as insan — being those who need interaction and intimacy — this alienation is painful even when times are good, and is isolating when times are rough. Thus, in this modern world, when we mourn for our loved ones, we often mourn alone. Pagliacci, the clown, makes his audiences laugh; when alone, he cries. Such is often our experience.
So, it’s a request that we take an extra-step in our consciousness of those around us who are suffering, near and far. As insan, we may also forget their suffering.
Pray with confidence that we will be reunited with those whom we love.
May God bless each of us, and we express our loving praise and gratitude to Him, and we seek His blessings upon the Prophets -p, and we seek God’s pleasure on their companions. And, for each of those who have departed from our world, we seek from God to provide them with comfort and forgiveness, and we seek the same for those who still remain.
May Allah bless you.