Friday, 4 July 2008

Day 7: Rajab

Today is the first day of Rajab, which means it's almost Sh'aaban, which means it's almost Ramadan. I can't believe how fast the year flew by, Subhan Allah. Almost everyone decided to fast today, so the ziyaras got cancelled and we got to sleep until 'asr (getting up for zuhr of course). We used the time to catch up on some much needed sleep, and elhamdulela I feel so well rested now.

The rest of the day progressed as usual: rawha and then class. After 'isha we met a group who had just arrived—5 from Belgium, 5 from Sweden, and 5 from Denmark, who were also here for the Dowra, though were staying in a separate accommodation.

Thought: I walked alone to a class today and I was looking around when I realized—in addition to the fact that there are goats strolling around unattended—that Tarim is literally nestled within mountains, which surround it on all sides. And not mountains that are far away in the distance, but really close ones that you can walk to (at least on two sides). It's a whimsical notion, but I thought that that explained why Tarim was the way it was—as if a storm had passed over the whole world, and the mountains had protected the village, like soldiers.

Today's quote: "Doing good doesn't necessarily mean you are good, but leaving the bad means you must be"—Habib Umar.

After 'isha, I picked up a book of supplications (the kholasa), and I found this hadith written on the inside cover:

It sounds strange, but I feel like it was a message written to me, most probably by a previous Dowra student. When I was a kid, my mom tried to explain to me the life in this world by telling me to think of a traveler crossing the desert. He stops for a little while under a tree, but ultimately has to move on. The time under the tree, of course, symbolizs our time in this world. So my mother's advice is kind of the same--really good advice, though of course, very hard to implement.

Update: It turns out both my mum's story and the hadith are part of a hadith of the Prophet PBUH:

"Be in the world as though a stranger or a wayfarer, and consider yourself one of the inhabitants of the graves" and "What have I to do with the world? The likeness of myself and the world is that of a rider traveling on a summer day, who found a tree, rested underneath it awhile, then went on, leaving it behind."

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