The Blink of an Eye


The only way to conceive of the tragedy that surrounds us in this world is to understand that this dunya (this mortal life) is like a dream … and all that really matters about that dream is what state we are in when we wake up. The time spent in this dream is like the blink of an eye.

Where did I come from and what am I supposed to do here? My soul is from elsewhere, of that I am sure… And I intend to end up there

Meanwhile I am like a bird from another continent, sitting here in this aviary… The day is soon coming when I will fly off

– Jalaluddin Rumi

Today I found myself stressing out over a crystal ornament that had been broken.  I came home from work and found it shattered into pieces on the coffee table.  As I sat down and as I felt tears welling up in my eyes my son came in and apologized for breaking it and then asked me why I was so sad.  I looked at him, thankful that he had not cut himself on the shards …. and as I prepared to respond, I realized that I had no answer.   It wasn’t a memorable keepsake from my travels or a handmade gift or family heirloom with any sentimental value?  It was just a trinket… albeit an expensive one… But still just a trinket, and nothing more.

I often find myself blinded by the glitter and sparkle of this dunya and find that I can not see what is really important.  We spend all of our waking time chasing after expensive toys,  cars, money, social status ….  Without realizing that it is all in vain.  All of these things disappear after we die.  And what stays with us?  The intentions we hold in our hearts and the deeds we have done,, good or bad.

God willing, I am able to focus less on improving my status and comfort in this Dunya and instead focus more on improving myself and building in preparation for the Akhirah (the hereafter) because no amount of glitter can substitute for feeling the Nour (the true radiant light) of our God shining upon my face when I depart this world.   And unlike glitter, Nour does not blind … it illuminates all.

Our time spent here wandering this Dunya is so short in comparison with what is to follow.  As inhabitants of this world we are as significant and insignificant as a teardrop falling into the vast ocean. This life is nothing but fleeting and transient — merely a ladder towards the next world…. I will never get anywhere if i continue to desperately cling to each rung along the way.  When will I learn to simply let go… and ascend?

Woe to every scorner and mocker

who collects wealth and continuously  counts it

For he thinks his possessions will make him immortal.

-Surat al Humazah

May the Peace, Blessings and Mercy of God be with us all and His Light Illuminate our lowly existence. God Willing.

-Shams Al Ghayeb