The 4th story of my Ramadan journey

Have you ever wondered how Allah has made us in such a way that we can see everybody except our own selves… isn’t it the most amazing aspect of our beings that we can note even the slightest change of expression on other people’s faces yet we don’t know how we look when we are talking… how we frown when we are unhappy… how our eyes shine when we are excited and delighted… how mean we look when we are thinking bad about someone… how ugly must be the expression of pride and arrogance when we are proving to others how good we are…
But we cannot see ourselves… how blind we are! If you think that looking in the mirror shows you as you are… well that’s not the case because you stand in front of the mirror only with a controlled expression on your face… and so it is an edited version of your true self which stares back at you every time you look into it.
The fact is that the picture we have formed in our imagination about ourselves is the one we see when we look in the mirror.
And this is true not just for our physical appearance but also regarding our morals and characters we have made an image in our mind about ourselves… and unless we see our true “self” in the light of Quran, we can never know our real character… Because only the Quran has that special light that can penetrate deep into the hidden chambers of our heart so that we can truly see ourselves as we are…
This fact became apparent to me during my Ramadan journey this Quran. It used to take me around one and a half hour of travelling both ways so I had ample opportunity to contemplate about the words of Allah as I went to and fro… often shocking myself with discoveries about my inner self…
One such example is of the day when we were about to start the 27th juz and I was super excited about it because I had several surahs of this juz in my heart and so have a special kind of love for this part of Quran. I had decided to go early so as to get place in the foremost rows and listen with the greatest concentration etc. But as I was about to leave the house, I got a ring from my friend who lives close by. I assumed she must be calling for me to take her along so I stopped by her house and gave her a message to hurry up… but she neither came nor called… it must have been a couple of minutes but to my impatient mind it seemed like hours. When finally she did attend my call she said she didn’t need the lift now but would like to come with me on the way back…
My heart was so full of resentment at this non serious attitude… why couldn’t she have told me earlier to save all this time that had gone waste for nothing!! And as we drove off, my heart was heavy with the feeling that I won’t get a place in the front after all the effort I had gone through… just then I saw the same friend in her car as she overtook us and went by in great speed… my own vehicle was too slow in comparison and that made me feel even worse… for the first time in my life I had the discomfort that someone else is getting ahead of me… and that too because I had stopped for her sake!! And then I remembered that the previous day the teacher had discussed this feeling which most people have that they cannot bear to be left behind and cannot bear to be overtaken by others. She said that this feeling of competitiveness should be saved for the hereafter because Allah gave it to us for that purpose only. At that time I had thought that I was not capable of feeling this kind of jealousy because I had never been a victim to it ever before in my life.
But today I was shocked to see these feelings in my heart… that too for a friend!! Anyway I asked Allah to remove this bad thought from my heart and give me something good to think about. Because I didn’t want to go with a heart full of resentment… and suddenly Allah made me realize that as far as He is concerned, I am not the one in the loss… because in His books I have gained a lot of marks for giving up my desire and stopping to help a friend. So I am not a loser at all…
This thought cheered me up so much that I was relaxed and optimistic about a lot of other things too which had saddened me before in my life… because I began to re-evaluate them in the light of this recent revelation on my heart that we should not judge our success or failure only in the worldly or physical terms. The real winner is the one who will win in the Akhirah and so if you give up some worldly achievement for the sake of Allah’s pleasure then you will surely be compensated for whatever loss you might have gone through.
As all these thoughts crossed my mind I was laughing at myself for my childish emotions which were burdening my heart a moment ago… just then I got a surprise when we stopped at a red light… because when I glanced to my left I saw my friend sitting in her car…!!! How had it happened that we were both on the same spot even though she had crossed me quite a while ago? And I felt like telling her the whole thing and enjoy a hearty laugh
The story didn’t end there because after that she again disappeared from sight racing away in her fast car… but then after a couple of traffic signals she was again standing in the same line as ours… this game of hide and seek continued till we reached our destination… together!!
How can I ever hope to express the IMMENSE love and gratitude I experienced in that moment… for ALLAH my most loving and caring RABB… who appreciates all that we do and cares for our feelings and gives us hope and fills us with joy just because we think of Him and give Him importance above all other things…
We will remain imperfect and we will keep on making mistakes but our success is to accept these imperfections and put them before Him in utter humbleness and ask for His forgiveness day in and day out… till the day we meet Him… and I pray that He makes it the best day of our lives… ameen



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