Written by Imran Nazar Hosein
Sunday, 22 Rabi'ul Awal 1426
“And the moon,
We have measured for her
Mansions (to traverse)
‘Til she returns
Like the old (and withered) branch
Of a date palm.”
(Qur’an, Yaseen, 36:39)“Do not abuse Time
For verily I (Allah),
I am Time.”
How we measure and respond to the passage of time in our lives is a matter of truly great import for it reflects our personality and can determine our happiness!
Omar Khayyam lamented in his Rubaiyyat the passage of the years:
“Whether in Nishapur or in Babylon,
Whether the cup with sweet or bitter run,
The wine of life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The leaves of life keep falling one by one!”
But the same passage of time in life provokes a quite different response in the heart that possesses faith in Allah Most High! It provides a means for the believing woman, for example, to express her gratitude to Allah and to thus increase her faith.
When she was born it was as though a new moon had appeared in the sky. The world adored her, and took her in its loving arms as she crawled and walked, - played and laughed, - sang and danced. She had narry a care in the world as she playfully traversed the springtime of her childhood and youth. She was a miracle to behold.
Then she blushed with shyness as she welcomed her summertime when she bloomed and blossomed into a woman and the world paused in wonder to admire her beauty. And this, also, was a miracle to behold.
And then autumn overtook her as the green leaves of life began to turn to brown. Wrinkles appeared around her eyes and her hair began to turn gray.
Finally her winter arrived when, like an old dry withered branch of a date palm, she rocked gently in her rocking chair and made ready to gracefully fold her tent and say goodbye to the world.
But she was so full of gratitude to Allah Most High all through the journey of life through time.
She thanked him for all the seasons of her life. She had no sorrow over the arrival of autumn or winter. Not for anything that the world could offer did she ever wish to remain permanently in spring or summer and so deny herself, or deny us, the experience of her autumn or winter. She aged gracefully. The older she grew the more beauty she radiated – an external expression of inner beauty. And when the time came for the angel of death to take her away, and for the moon to disappear into the darkness of the sky, there were no regrets in parting from the only world she had ever known. She did not sigh!
She never abused the passing of ‘time’, and so never abused her Lord, – because He is ‘time’.
What a wonderful lesson did we learn from her! The older she grew the more precious she became to us. The joy, smiles and laughter that the babies brought to us were equaled by the love, respect and reverence we showed to the elderly. Our ‘coming’ and ‘going’ were both recognized as equally a part of the drama of life.
Islam also teaches that there are different dimension of ‘time’. This one, in which we measure the passage of ‘time’ with days, nights, and the seasons of our lives, is provided to us that we might learn to read not only the pages of the book of history that are gone, as well as those still to come, but also to penetrate other worlds of ‘time’ beyond our own world. The Qur’an has spoken about that journey through different dimensions of time:
“And by the moon
When she is full moon,
(I swear to you)
You shall surely travel on
From dimension (stratum) to dimension (stratum).”
(Qur’an, al-Inshiqaq, 84:19)