The Circle of Life

By Fasiha Jafri

I felt humbled at the notion that I was requested to write for this blog despite the existence of the plethora of amazing writers in my midst who awed me with their terrific work. I’m not quite sure if I’ll ever amount to them, but nevertheless, I hope Allah (swt) accepts my feeble efforts.

It may be cliché to start off my first article with such an introduction, but there was no other way I could express my appreciation to all my fellow writers. I was entranced when I first visited this site, and the dynamic range of writing amazed me. May Allah (swt) reward you all and may you earn a place in Jannat in the presence of our Holy Masumeen (a.s.).

Balance dunya and deen. That’s what we’ve always been taught. And it is difficult. Sometimes life comes at you like a barrage of little snow flurries in a blizzard. And instead of traveling your predestined route, the wind sways you another way. I’ve actually never been in a blizzard. It doesn’t snow where I live. But let’s move on.

There are some days on which after having performed an amazing prayer, and having reinforced that link with Allah (swt), you feel as if the only place you wish to be in the world is on that musallah. You want to severe ties with everyone and go sit in a corner and read Qur’an, hoping no one interrupts you.  Then there are those days where after coming home from a party, you don’t notice the desert of dust accumulating on the Qur’an on which there was an ocean of tears a few days earlier. You perform your namaz, but the only benefit you receive is burning a couple of calories from the biryani you ate earlier. Your imagination behaves like “an ever-jumpy and restless bird flying from a branch to another, and from one thing to another.” (Disciplines of Prayer). And to perfectly tame this bird is a feat that can only be acheived by our Masumeen, for whom even the sensation of pain becomes a worldly attribute when a deeply embedded arrow is removed from the sole of their feet.

So how then, are we to manage to live successfully in this world, yet still create a home for ourselves in the hereafter? Forget home, I’m sure all of us would be perfectly happy sweeping the doormats of the servants of Bibi Fizza (sa) or Hazrat Salman (as).

I, for one, was lost, until I heard something in a majlis that changed my perspective. Molana Mohammad Raza Rizwani said something that blew me away. I literally sat there, my eyes widened, marveling at the wisdom in the metaphor, all the while trying to get the Lion King song out of my head. Why, you ask? Well, you have to read on.

He said there was a boy, who was in about third or fourth grade. He was doing his homework assignment for school and was required to draw a circle on a piece of paper with a compass. Try and try as he may, he could not make a perfect circle. Hearing his frustrated sighs, his grandfather came into the room to help him. He told him his mistake was that he was putting the emphasis and the pressure on the pencil part of the compass, which was causing the compass to extend, thus ruining the circle. He told him to direct his force in the center point of the circle, the markaz, and when his grandson obliged, it emerged perfectly. He then placed his hand on his shoulder and said: “My son, remember these words. This circle you just created is symbolic of your own life. Though that center point is completely unseen, failing to put emphasis on it was ruining your circle. However, when you took your attention away from the drawn line and focused your attention to the center, your drawing emerged flawlessly. My son, Allah (swt) is that center point and the line you drew is your life. You do not see Him, but if you fail to recognize His existence, your life will fall apart. But if you do recognize His might, and live your life in accordance with His laws, your circle of life (now you know I don’t randomly think of Disney movies while sitting in a majlis) will fall perfectly into place.

One thought on “The Circle of Life

  • MASHALLH, that was truly amazing you opened my eyes to reality. I was actually skipping namaz right now to go watch another movie. How stupid of me. Deen and dunya are two different things that are very hard to manage, but with the right tools and leaders you can. Love the metaphor.

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