Dec 12, 2013

In a Moment of Despair

Sometimes, we just feel lonely, isolated and rejected. We feel our own pain in shouldering the stress of a loved one, the loss of a cherished one, the falling of tears from someone who has given up hope. 

But perhaps there's a reason for the pain. Perhaps, -in those moments of defeat, of frustration, of confusion, of separation and of rejection- is a chance for us to intimately connect with one who has experienced so many forms of grief and loss. Perhaps our toil in finding ourselves, in searching for our identities, is one meant to allow us to relate to the confusion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he had no idea what had just happened to him and who he would become upon receiving revelation. 

Perhaps in the heart-wrenching grief of losing a loved one, of learning they have a terminal illness, of praying upon and burying someone who meant more than the world itself to us- is the opportunity for us to dwell in the humanity of the Prophet (peace be upon him), when he lost his mom, his grandpa, his father-figure uncle, his incredible, blessed, beloved wife, his children. He didn't just lose one child. He lost every single one of his children in his lifetime, with the exception of Fatima (may God be pleased with her and them all). He lost his children in their infancy, toddlerhood, in their adult life. He lost his uncle and friend, he lost those whom he loved who he had mentored. And he would sit and weep for them, just as we sit and weep for our lost loves. May God be pleased with them all. 

Perhaps, in the rejection we experience, in the social isolation, in the humiliation- is an opportunity for us to intimately experience the reality of the Prophet (peace be upon him). What was it like to be praying in front of the Kaba and to feel the filthy insides of an animal thrown upon you, by one of your biggest bullies in the city, in front of everyone....only to have your young daughter witness your state and be the one to remove it from your body? Of course he knew and taught her that God would aid him. But imagine if it were us, what would it be like, as a parent? 

What was it like to go to Ta'if after experiencing years of boycott- complete social isolation- after losing your father-figure uncle, after losing the love, light and joy of your life- hopeful, anxious, eager for acceptance of your message and support- only to be laughed at, insulted and chased out of the city by kids hurling stones until your shoes were filled with blood? 

What was it like to be called names constantly, to be teased and ridiculed- to see those who had once praised you and sought your counsel, turn their backs and plot your murder? 

And yet, what would it be like if you continued, if you had so much dedication and determination, that your relationship with God and spreading His Message was enough to keep you going even in your grief? 

There's a reason the Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered so much loss, rejection and isolation. Perhaps one of those reasons was to help us, every single one of us, regardless of what we're going through, connect to him, love him and be able to take his life as an example. He experienced pain and grief, yes, but he had something that continually kept him determined, and that was his connection with God and his life's mission. Part of his life's mission was even to touch people today, centuries later, all throughout the globe- and that includes me and you. 

When we experience emotional and physical pain, remember: so did he. But he kept going, finding strength through his relationship with God. 

We can too.

اللهم صلِّ على نبينا وحبيبنا وقرة أعيننا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين

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