Monday, 27 June 2011




Take the color grey. Some people will say it's a dark shade of white. And others will say it's a light shade of black.

A half glass of water. Some people will say it's half-full. And yet others will say it's half-empty.

Each version is right in it's own sense.

Just depends which vantage point you're coming from.

But it is this very vantage point of viewing, understanding, accepting, and dealing with the events in our lives which makes a great difference on the quality of our lives that we ourselves carve out for ourselves.

Many things occur in our daily lives which affect us in many ways, which we have little control over. We can always reflect and assume and presume that if we had done this or that previously, then it would have likely produced this or that result. Perhaps, and perhaps not.

But little good is such reflection other than it is a lesson to be learned in order to not make similar mistakes in the future. Such reflection cannot change what has happened. And it is what has happened to us already which we must deal with.

So, what will we do with what occurs to us in our lives? Will we take the lesson to be had, accept what is real, make the best of it, and move on? Or will we sadly ponder over what could have been, hopelessly wishing things could be different, digging a ditch for ourselves and remain utterly emotionally stuck in a rut-being miserable and perhaps causing misery also to those around us?

Truly, the best way to handle all things in life (which is also what is taught by Islamic principles) is to try to make the best of each and every situation. Even if you may consider it a calamity. Still, accept what has come, take the lesson to be had, learn from it and move on. Do not dwell depressingly on the dark side of things.

A relative of mine was recently stopped for speeding. And as so many here in Saudi have such high disregard for the speeding laws and fines, a newer and more severe punishment has been put into effect for those who are found to break this law. A ticket fine of 1,000 S.R. is issued (somewhere in the neighborhood of $275 US$), plus the car is impounded and the offender held in prison for 48 hours!

Now, believe you me, this last slap is a real dingy! I mean, it is this punishment that they have come up with which is really teaching folks a lesson!

Slap a fine on them, they will either grudgingly pay it or perhaps defer paying until a later date. Makes little difference. They just turn around to speeding yet again, perhaps heading down the road (sometimes literally) toward a fatal accident.

And the car-well, they can impound the car, and the offender will just go off to get himself yet another death machine to create yet more havoc.

But literally pulling him in and off the road, with no escape or outlet for 48 hours-now that's a real brainstorm! The offender is literally put in idle and safely off the roads for 48 hours. And no mobile or other distractions to pass away his time. (As all prisoners, all such personal items such as mobiles, keys, wallets, etc., are put away for safe-keeping until their release.)

All they have for amusement is the walls and bars of the prison, fellow inmates, and plenty of 'free' time for some deeper inner thought and soul-searching.

After some interfering and pleading from some influential parties on his behalf, my relative was released after a 24-hour period rather than the more regular and official 48-hours. Still, the experience was enough to shake him well enough.

He is not a habitual speeder. In fact, his driving is normally quite safely within the range. But he was in a hurry to catch a plane that day. And boom! No flight for him on that day!!

All praises and thanks be to Allah. Perhaps being stopped for speeding and held for a time saved him from a fatal accident had he been let go to continue on his speeding way to catch the plane.

He has come out of this experience wiser and more notive of his own driving, even advising others of safety measures.

And he has also learned, first hand, the beauty and value of freedom. Such a precious ideal indeed. And something that so many of us take for granted until it is taken away.

Try your best to make the best of each situation. And thank Allah much, regardless of what refalls you. Be patient and turn to Allah in prayer to find consolement.

Remember that He has promised us that He will not burden us with anything more than we can bear.

'Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.' (s. 2, v. 286)

In times of his greatest distress, the prophet(SAAW) was known to admonish Bilal to make the call for prayer, so that they could all find peace and tranquility for what had befallen them.

So take the example set for us by our beloved prophet(SAAW) and turn to Allah in prayer, and you too will eventually find peace and tranquility.

Many storm clouds may pass over us through our lives. But remember, as the old saying goes-to each cloud there is a silver lining.

So search for those silver linings. They are there. With each and every cloud. You just have to search for it. Do not view the darkness of the cloud itself. Rather, reach inside till you can grasp the silver lining!

Remember-without the storm clouds, we cannot get the blessing of the rains with which comes the promise of new and fresh life.

May Allah bless and guide us all.


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