Appreciating Allah through the lens
Every now and then I find myself playing the role of an insignificant paraphernalia in the gears of this worldly machine. Striving, studying, working, I often find myself drifting away from my Creator in the sea of fortune and career; it is times like these when I like to shut off the distractions of this world and turn to nature. I would go out with nothing more than the Qu’ran, a pair of extra cloths, some jeans and t-shirts perhaps; along with my water bottle, some money and my trusty camera. I head for the wilderness with an intention to capture some of my Creator’s magnificent creations; and in doing so I feel closer to my Allah.
Funny thing about this venture of mine, I always feel humbled and calm. Aggression, depression, stress and worries take the back seat as my soul is driven by the appreciation I feel for Allah. Pictures that I take remind me how detailed and perfect every little creation is; even if I had the power to add to them, I fail to understand how I would make it more perfect. Take this flame for instance, nothing special just a candle in my room; although the wick is small and tiny the flame is three folds, bright and illuminating. The colors; blue, yellow, orange, white ending with a tint of red make me wonder how can something so small lighten up my surroundings so brilliantly. It makes one wonder, the candle is manmade; but the wax used to make this candle, or the fiber in the wick comes from the bees, the trees and cotton which my Creator made. If you look closely, every single thing we use has its roots in nature, the electricity, the computers, the TVs, the tables, our expensive cars; every single thing that we use and are so proud of come from Allah the Magnificent.
Often there are times when I don’t even have to wander out of my home, Allah’s beauty is truly all around us; the only thing missing is a vision which unfortunately is often blurred by the distractions of this world. The other day as I was working on my computer my mother called me, I went to her and found her standing on the terrace praying; I walked up to her and asked her if everything is alright. She answered, look at the sky, I looked up and I saw a blanket of clouds creeping ever so softly over the sky. I ran back to my room and got my camera out, to much of my dismay no matter how much I tried I could not capture the true beauty of this sheet of cotton gliding so gracefully in the enigmatic blue sky.
I ran to the other balcony with a hope that I might be able to see more of these lovely clouds covering the bronze evening sky and surely I did. A truly magical sight; with the sun on one end, gracefully descending from the sky and on the other a blanket of cotton clouds. I asked my mother to thank Allah for the beautiful sight and to thank Him for giving us the ability to stop and observe this beauty. The day, until I saw the clouds was very hectic. I had to submit a project which was nearing its deadline and no matter how hard I was working on it I thought I would miss the deadline; but after I saw the clouds, a feeling of calm prevailed, my focus and concentration became sharper and soon I was able to finish the project; as a matter of fact I finished it two days before it was due. When the project was complete I went back on the terrace, it was dark by then; I thanked Allah, for I believe if it hadn’t been for the clouds my project would definitely have been delayed.
Many a times, I have heard people question how Allah helps us, if at all. Little do they know, Allah helps us every time and all the time. We have become so materialistic we simply do not understand His means of helping and providing for us. My late father (bless his soul) often used to quote a short story of a pious fisherman who had a hole in his boat, many people came to save him but he refused and said to all of them that “My Allah will save me…”; the poor old man surely drowned. When he was presented in front of Allah the old man asked “O’ Allah! I spent all my life praising you, my nights were spent in prayers for you and my tongue only had your name on it, why didn’t you come to my aid?” then Allah replies “I came to help you, I sent help for you; the people who came to rescue you were sent by me…”
My brothers and sisters, Allah works for us through us; we can only understand these details if we open our eyes and look. My mother, my aunty and I were blessed with the honor of performing Hajj in 2009; the experience was simply beyond words. Besides performing my duties there, Allah also gave me many opportunities of observing His beautiful creations, a favorite hobby to be honest. One of my biggest worries during Hajj was my mother’s health, she had recently undergone heart surgery and she could not tolerate heat. Surely Allah helped me again, it rained the night we arrived and the locals told me it hadn’t rained like that in Macca for years. The temperatures soon became very pleasant and Alhamdulilah my mother’s health was perfect throughout the Hajj.
The next morning after I performed my Tawaf of the Kaaba, I set off to see the Holy place. I wanted to walk all around with an insatiable desire to walk on the path our Holy Prophet did. Amazingly, I saw many pigeons sparrows and cats but no crows, ravens or dogs. One of my fellow Hajjis who had been on Hajj a number of times told me that they don’t have Allah’s permission to enter the Holy place therefore they don’t come there. Amazing! The streets were filled with birds and they were going about their business with ease and no fear from people.
This one cat caught my eye, the fur was a brilliant grey and the eyes sparkling yellow with a tint of green. The sun was making the cat glow so intensely I had to put on my sun glasses to capture this image. While I was going back to my hotel, a fellow Hajji told me about the many angels and Allah’s servants wandering around the place; when I told him about this strange cat he simply smiled. I was startled, maybe what I saw was more than a simple cat? The Hajj was remarkable, it was our first but the entire journey was very comfortable and easy all thanks to His grace.
Allah’s beauty and magnificence is all around us, it is there for us to see and praise. Every now and then, a Muslim should get away from the daily routine and get out to explore, see and observe. Just imagine, we are a tiny grain of sand in this world that is no larger that a peanut in this solar system, which is not any bigger than a marble in this galaxy which is simply a grain of sand in this universe. So how small are we then in this universe? When you think about things like these, you become humble; you walk on the ground meekly and you go about your business modestly. Allah loves modesty my dear friends; so the next time you get a chance, take out that camera, observe and Praise Allah so He may remember you!
Richard Edwards has been blessed with a mind that is always open for knowledge and a soul that seems to have the sole purpose of enlightening others. A HR expert by profession with four years of experience in the field of Human Resources and a Masters degree in Business Administration, Richard was exposed to various facets of the human life; through his passionate creative writing he intends to broadcast his learning so that others may benefit from it.