Sunday, August 12, 2012

#ThoughtsDuringTaraweeh

Finally, that feeling of just being blessed. That moment when you just "feel it." To attempt a description would be unjust. You don't know what I'm talking about unless you have felt it yourself, and if you have felt it, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

The beautiful abaya and scarf on the lady in front of me blew gracefully with the fan as I stared at it, focusing my eyes there while listening to the imam's recitation during Taraweeh. I understood some of the Arabic recitation, I didn't understand some. The fluctuation caused my mind to wander, attempting to stay focused, but I'm human and it's only natural. This time, my mind just went. There was first the point when the mind realized what the eyes were staring at, and it just looked so beautiful. The scarf and abaya matched, of course. It's sort of like when you're staring at someone and don't realize you're staring at someone because your mind is fixed on something else and you're deep in thought about something. And then you realize it, and it can get real awkward real quick. That's when concentration is best, and that's what I've heard is recommended (rather than close your eyes) when you're praying. Although sometimes I still do need to close my eyes, such as in the witr dua, when they pray for all the countries of the world and for ourselves and I understand most of it, alH. When my mind was wandering this time, and as I was becoming conscious of my subconscious thoughts, I found that one of them was looking forward to the witr prayer. This year, they added Burma to the prayer. Every year, new countries are mentioned in that witr prayer, and every year, more and more of these countries are Muslim nations.

I also noticed that I was standing and praying next to people of all ages, all races, and all professions. I thought of how my dad was going to Makkah soon for Umrah, in which all men wear white towels and you cannot tell apart a janitor from a homeless person from a doctor from a president. It's a beautiful thing and it captures the essence of equality. That led me to remember a few of Malcolm X's quotes in his autobiography, in which he talked about what it felt like to put his head down on the ground in complete submission and humility before God, and his shock upon seeing everyone pray together around the Kabah despite race. This led to his conversion, which led to a change in his message when he came back to the US and started preaching equality instead of revenge via black supremacy. He took what he learned from Islam as practiced in Makkah, brought it back with him, used it to help him change his approach in the Civil Rights movement, and essentially changed American history because this approach was successful. Islam is a part of American history, and now all of a sudden politicians are using "Islamophobia" to distract citizens from real issues, and all of a sudden they think Islam is a threat to America. Even though it helped shape American history, from the time of the Muslim slaves to the time of the Civil Rights Movement to now.

I understood some verses now, he was talking about hell and repeated that verse 3 times. He talked about heaven after that. I noticed that in the Quran they're always talked about together, and often heaven is more often mentioned than hell. He started crying and I felt jealous of the crying Arabs near me, who understood everything. They're right, only in the language of Arabic can you grasp the essence of God's words. Wow, it goes by faster when you're listening and paying attention, and when you can understand. Before I knew it, it was time for Witr. Like I mentioned, the witr prayer included prayers for ourselves, for forgiveness, for the countries around the world, and the imam cried with those behind him as he mentioned countries specifically. I loved this part.

This year we added Syria and Burma to the list. I anticipate that next year, unfortunately Iran will be on this list as well. It's so scary to think that so I'm going to stop anticipating what else could be on the list next year. The imam repeated the prayer asking for forgiveness three times, and he prayed for Burma three times. He prayed for Syria six times. With each repetition, we felt the power of prayer. What if one random person's prayer for Syrians in the US, in a Chicago suburb, is answered and that it leads to one child's life saved in Syria? I believe it could happen, subhanAllah. I felt connected, to those around me and to God. There's no bond like the spiritual bond you get when you pray or worship with others. And this connection to God that I felt - this is the blessed feeling I mentioned in the beginning. If anything, I felt guilty for even receiving this blessing, knowing that I did not do anything to deserve it, and probably, definitely, did not deserve it. It's true - take one step towards God and He takes two back towards you. This is also mentioned in Malcolm X's autobiography, & I think in the Bible as well. I took one step towards God after so long, and here it was: the most undeserved yet indescribable feeling of just "being blessed." SubhanAllah is right. 

1 comment:

  1. nice piece of work it's really inspiring masha'allah :) hope it's only the beginning inchaallah

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