Today, a stranger, a lad from UK who calls himself 'fortune sufi' wrote an interesting email to me. The subject of his email was unusually long. It was a question: "Are you going to marry when you are 80?" In the body of his email, all he cared to type was this emoticon : )
Hmm...what do you think? I think he was motivated to ask that question when a little bird told him that I am 40 and single. Allah Hu Allah!
Guess what gifts I got for having to put up with people like 'fortune sufi'? I got myself two great books. One is by Ibn Ata'illah and the other one is on the great Sufi As-Sulami. Alhamdulillah.
Up until today, I have been reading Ibn Ata'illah's Al Hikam in Malay. As I began to read its English version 'The Book of Aphorisms/A Translation of Kitab al-Hikam, I came across two very fitting lessons which might answer the question from 'fortune sufi'.
Ibn Ata'illah said:
"Don't let the delay in getting the gift (answer), despite your persistent appeal, fall you in despair. For, He has offered to reply to (your appeals) in a way He chooses for you rather than what you choose for you and at a time He desires rather than the time you desire."
If you insist on getting instant responses for your prayers, it shows your impatience and your incapability to understand the way, manner and method of His responses. He may be delaying the answer to give it in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time. Since you do not know what is good for you today and what will be good for you tomorrow and even what was good for you in the past, let Him decide on the time and manner of the answer. By showing frustration and impatience over not getting what you aspired, you are really doing an injustice to yourself.
In another aphorism Ibn Ata'illah said:
"Do not ask Him for taking you out of a situation so that you will be employed in a different situation. For, had He intended so, He should have employed you in it even without changing your circumstances."
Asking for a situation other than what Allah has selected for you betrays your disbelief in Allah's ability to make a suitable choice for you. How can a sincere servant disbelieve Allah as to what He held in store for him?
I just want to say cheers to all the nice people out there. And cheers to 'fortune sufi' too, may you live up to your name!
|Alhamdulillah for everything!|