Many thoughts of gratitude

Assalamu alaikum, peace be unto you,

 

Alhamdulillah (thanks and praise to God), I’ve had a lovely few day. First due to an amazing camping trip to a small island off the coast of Vancouver. I was touched and deeply humbled by the concern of my non-Muslim camping buddies that I keep my prayer on time…and I must say, there is no feeling as beautiful as standing under the trees on the grass close to the ocean in the state of ‘salat’ (the Muslim ritual worship, it is a physical ritual with meditative quranic recitation and repetitive praise of God made by the tongue or in the heart). Alhamdulillah! a deep peace and glimpse of utter serenity. Especially to wake up with the first light at about 4 am (impossible to sleep with sunlight streaming through a tent!) and be fully woken taking the ‘wudhu’ (ritual purification with water, the best translation of the word in to English is ‘lumination’, from the greek ‘lumos’, meaning to make light) with freezing cold crystal clear water and then to stand on a rock by the ocean and enter the salah. Mashaallah (by God’s grace) the weather was amazing, and the sunrise a beautiful pink and red. I wish I had taken pictures, but I did not want to wake my sleeping camping buddies…and perhaps it is that some images are better preserved in the heart. Having said that, I thank you my dear reader, for listening as I type out this verbal imagery, for indeed it stamps the memory on my heart and for that I am grateful.

 

There is much more I want to write and share, but enough of words from me for now. Let me leave you with a ‘du’a’ (this is more like what the English word ‘prayer’ means, it is supplication made to God) that was found some days ago recorded on the back page of an old notebook I had used when learning sacred knowledge. I do not know where it is from, but it is beautiful, wise, and universal. So I hope you benefit from it.

 

I will inshaAllah post some of the camping trips photos below for your pleasure 🙂

 

Du’a

O Lord, please help me to say the truth in front of those who have authority. And please help me not to say that which is false in order to gain advantage. And please help me to see the other side of reality. And please protect me from bearing false witness due to difference of opinion. O Lord if you give me money, do not take my money. If you give me health please don’t take my sanity. If you give me success don’t take my humility. If you give me humility don’t take my dignity. O Lord, please teach me to love others as I love myself. And teach me to question myself as I question others. And please teach me how to forgive. Because the ability to forgive is the greatest of qualities. And because revenge is a major sign of weakness and regression. Please O Lord, protect me from arrogance upon my success. And protect me from despair upon my failure. O Lord, please remind me that failure preceeds success. O Lord if you do not give me success, please leave me determination to overcome failure. O Lord if you do not give me health, leave me my faith. O Lord, if I hurt others please give me the ability to apologize and if others hurt me, give me the ability to forgive. O Lord, if I forget Thee, don’t forget me as You are the Forgiving (al-Ghafur), the Clement (al-Halim), the Great (al-Kabir), Dominant and Able to do all things (al-Qadir).

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– Deer everywhere on the island…I was very happy with that!

 

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– Campsite 🙂

 

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– a precious moment as Otter arrive shortly after the dawn prayer (‘fajr), it was quite and still and I was thrilled by the sighting

 

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-pretty island farmhouse. Idyllic and the best part is it is a functioning farm. The family that owns it, gifted much land to make a park for Canada!

 

 

Image– golden sunset on my way home. MashaAllahu ta’ala!!

 

As promised and some reflections

Assalamu alaikum, peace be unto you,

I promised sometime ago to share some photos from Sydney, so I’ll attach them here. Since I went to Sydney mashaAllahu ta’la I’ve traveled through Colombo, Singapore, Tokyo and Minneapolis. Some of these places I only stayed in an airport and others I had time to visit a bit. But it is a great blessing to travel and see the differences in this massive earth. To be in airports and observe the great multitude of variation among peoples. To see the pious next to the ignorant next to the forgetful next to those obsessed with worry and care. It is a great blessing to stop in these places to pray and touch your forhead to the ground and hope that the earth will bear witness for you that you did so, on that day we must all face. It is a great blessing to know that it is Allah that is upholding this amazing world. To travel way above the earth, to be with the clouds, to race the rising sun as you traverse oceans and cross time-zones, to wonder at the might and completeness of Allah’s creation and plan. To recognize that I am just an insignificant jot, a mere instance in the passage of time. And yet, Allah loves me so much, He has given me intellect and sight and sound and travel and more than this, has given me my faith. That Allah has given me time and so much of reading and the wonder of knowing oneself and learnign of oneself. To think this is true for so many thousands of people, millions and billions of people, existing now and who have existed and who will exist inshaAllah. So Allah gives each of us a universer of care, and yet we are insignificant jots on this great plane of existence. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the One, beyond time and place, beyond gender, beyond our human comprehension, the First and the Last and the Everlasting. Praise be to God, my Lord, and thanks and thanks and thanks be to God and God alone. God, please send your grace and salutation upon Muhammed, your beloved and my beloved, the last of the Messengers and a mercy to mankind.

Sunset from Mosque window in Colombo
Pelican in Colombo suburb, and the tower with satellites were not there a few years ago
Sunrise in Colombo
Sunrise in Colombo on a foggy morning...those brief few moments you can look at the sun!
From Australian National Museum, look at the diversity of skeletons
Skeletons of Marsupials, again from Australian National Museum
Frangipani! what a beautiful name for such a beautiful flower...Thanks to God!
Lotus flower 🙂 Praise to God
Ibis roosting on tree tops, Chinese garden in Sydney
The moon gate from the Chinese garden in Sydney...highlighting water and trees, praise be to God who created our appreciation for beauty and art in architecture
Look at this beautiful old man, walking slowly at the back of a procession marching for International Women's Day in downtown Sydney, asking for equal rights for women. A noble sight indeed and one I found deeply humbling
A young student in an old building, reading on the stairs of 'the strand' ( I think) which was a Victorian era construction, built to honor Queen Victoria. How then Allah knew the day the building went up, that this student would be sitting there a century or more later, reading, and I would be passing by, traveling all the way from Canada, to take this picture, later to post it up on the www, and you my dear reader viewing it now. Subhahanallah! Glory be to God!
When leaving Vancouver...a place I spent many years of my life below me. How the view changes when we are far above, so I glorify my Lord, who is the subtle and near ('Latif', an attribute of Allah in the Muslim theology) and the Great and Overarching, Manifest ('Zahir' another attribute of God in the Muslim theology)

‘God is beautiful and He loves beauty’

The above is one of my absolutest favouritest ahadith!!! They say you can find heaven on earth or you can find hell on earth. It is true, and it’s all about the attitude you face life with isn’t it? It sometimes feels like the angels smile with you as you surround yourself with what is beautiful and pure. As you ‘find seventy excuses before accusing a believer’, as you ‘speak the good or be silent’, as you stay in dhikr (remembrance of God) and everywhere you see His beautiful blessed ‘face. Oh how gloriously beautiful our Lord must be, He who created such beauty on earth.
It is spring in Vancouver and impossible to feel ‘sad-ly’..there is such a quiet energy in the air, suppressed joy, exhubarence at the incredible swift growth that is soon to take place. Ah, one’s soul in sync with the universe, is in complete peace, completely trusting God. Pray that is always so.

Here is sharing some of that beauty, random photos from around my neighborhood taken some time ago. This earth is an amazing creation indeed. Imagine then, heaven!


Not sure what these are called, but they are lovely


ahh…cherry blossoms…


and more cherry blossoms….these are actually from a few weeks ago, they are fuller and framed in new leaf now.


New leaves a’comin to face the world


Happy evening at home with flowers by the sofa

Peace to all.