A friend of mine went fishing and managed to hook a big fish. However, he could not pick it up with his rod so someone came to help him. They held the line together and pulled it out but suddenly, the rod snapped and the fish fell back into the water. I told my friend that in this, lies a great lesson. Look at the situation from the point of view of the fish. Whilst swimming, all of a sudden it is pulled in a direction that it is not swimming towards. The fish understands that there is a problem here so it tries to swim and set itself free, but it fails and now it is pulled out of the water.
Unable to breathe or swim, the fish has reached a point of despair. Survival seems absolutely impossible. However, Allah decreed life for that fish so the line snapped and all of a sudden, the fish got its freedom back. This is the cycle of a trial. On a spiritual level, nafs and shaytaan are constantly pulling us towards sin. Together their pull can become so strong that our attempts to escape go in vain. Once they get a grip on your spiritual heart they will try to suffocate it but if you remember Allah, He will cause their rope to snap in seconds and immerse you back into the waters of ease. When we are faced with a difficulty in life too, sometimes no matter how hard we try there seems to be no way out. Life goes on but the trial continues to weaken and hurt us. During such moments hold onto Allah, remember Him and take heed of His comforting promise that “whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out for him and he will provide for Him from places he did not expect”.
Every creation is a masterpiece handmade by Allah. He is here to help us and when that mighty help of Allah descends, though your world may seem bleak now, your fate can and will change instantly. Just like the rainbow comes after the rain, the sweetness of ease will always come after the bitterness of hardship. There was a famous man in the time of Umar رضي الله عنه who used to play the harp and sing in a melodious, beautiful voice. Crowds of people would gather around him to hear him sing, so he was used to fame and attention. However as time went on, he aged. His looks faded away and his ability to sing slowly faded away too. That is the nature life, a motorcar that was once the talk of the town causing heads to turn every time it drove past, a few years later, that motor car is thrown in the scrap yard because now there’s a new motor car that has stolen the limelight. We too may live in the limelight for a while but once our talents are no more, we too will be forgotten.
The only people that are remembered are the people of Allah. For example, there are many who have passed away years ago but their Islamic books are still read today and thus, they are still remembered on earth. However, those whose talents are restricted to just worldly earnings, they will be forgotten as the world moves on to a new craze. So this old man, as his looks and talents faded away his fame did too. He became saddened so one night he went to the graveyard, entered an empty grave and laid there waiting for death to come. His entire life was spent in disobedience so far but now he made a change and spoke to Allah, seeking his refuge and forgiveness. That same night Umar رضي الله عنه had a dream. He was told to wake up because there is a servant of Allah who is in a difficult position in the graveyard. Give him food, shelter him and take care of him.
Imagine his situation, everyone that once loved him deserted him. No-one wants to hear his voice anymore or see his fingers stroke the strings of the harp. In that condition, he raised his fragile hands and with a coarse, broken voice, he sought help from Allah. Despite those years of disobedience, Allah answered him in the most beautiful of ways.
Therefore, from this story we learn that we must have hope in Allah at all times. Disconnect from sins, connect to Allah and maintain that connection. He is the friend of those who believe and like the loving Friend he is, He will take you out of darkness into a light that will light your path. Allah himself is light, guided are those who seek His light and then fortunate become those who are blessed to see the light of His countenance.
May we be amongst them, Aameen.
— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above in an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 22/07/17. To listen to the full audio, please click here.)