Walking in the Straight Path
The other day, I was walking within a horse pasture close to our home, deep in thought. It was a very cold and cloudy morning.
The grass in the meadow was very golden, dead and dry. The haze came down and touched and caressed the small hills.
I walked on the straight path.
There were very few other hikers. It looked like a silvery landscape with the dew hanging on every blade of grass. Coyotes were out looking for rabbits and small animals.
Warm in my hat, the breeze tenderly catching the tendrils of my white hair.
I walked along thinking about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). What would he say or react to me if I said “I love you”, when many days I feel I am caught in my own ego and every mundane day, I did not place any importance upon him. I am afraid that he may ignore me.
On Defending Him
I remember the dreams of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that I had when I was much younger. I saw people throwing books and articles at him; he would tell me to write the truth about him. He told me to defend him.
I wrote many articles on Islam defending him. I painted many paintings of spiritual themes. But I did not live by what I expressed, still I was dealing with pain and self-righteousness.
But in my personal life, did I show Prophet Muhammad how much I loved him? Did I emulate him when dealing with my family, society, and strangers that I did not know? Did I follow him through my worship and love of Allah?
Was I always honest with others or myself? Did I wear a mask to get others’ approval?
Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most honest man in his dealings with others, and he was just. He never broke a promise. He thought about others putting himself last; and he was generous even if he had less. I wonder if I have been that generous or kind.
In newspapers, books, and cartoons, people have tried to slander him. He would never seek revenge when others slandered him; even when others tried to harm him, he would forgive them.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was especially kind to the poor and the orphans. He would, for many days, only have dates to eat.
I felt, in many instances, I have not behaved like him. I had tried with my ego to be very ambitious and very judgmental. At times, I feel very self-righteous. I would work hard neglecting those who love me. I put aside my faith and responsibility.
Only feeding my ego, and feeling my value, I neglected those around me who were suffering, and those who needed me. I have hurt others by my poor judgment.
Getting Rid of Our Ego
I thought of all this as I walked within the fields in this hazy, cold morning, imaging him walking beside me. Would he be disappointed with me?
The mourning doves are cooing in the distance. At the moment, I am alone in my solitude. It is not enough to send salawat (blessings) and not remember who he was, not to live by his example of mercy and kindness.
We should read the Quran, read his Sunnah and obey all its commandments if we love him. We should truly rethink our actions, especially adab; and how to serve others unselfishly and put ourselves last. We should get rid of our ego and learn how to master it.
Living Less Materialistic
During this period of time, with Covid, and many dying, we have no choice but to be aware of our own mortality. We have no choice, but to be less materialistic.
Hours are spent alone in loneliness and contemplation. This is when we reach out to Allah.
We are not in the consumer mode, buying things we do not need. Many buy things to fill the holes within their soul.
Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) chose to live with less and a very simple life. He chose not to live very lavishly, even though he was a ruler.
These moments alone make us think about our priorities. We realize what we do not need, and not to waste. We realize how our relationships with others are very precious. And we think about what we should do before death comes upon us.
We should show our love to Prophet Muhammad in our daily actions towards others.
Living by Prophet Muhammad’s Example
I walked within this field, admiring the first hints of sunlight shining around, and rays come through the clouds, people bypass me with their dogs. Crows and hawks call in the distance.
The soft, cold breeze freezes my face. I feel the companionship of the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) walking beside me, as I am enveloped by this fairy world, to go back to my reality; my family, friends, and home.
I feel the disappointment in myself, and vow to try harder. The pain of hurt and the disappointments that I felt kept me from trying harder.
Even with those around me, sometimes I feel very empty and lonely, forgetting that me and Allah are there.
I make my way out of my solitude, and on my way home I know He loves me, but I know within myself, that I have to feel worthy of His love.
So, I have to put aside my ego, live with simplicity, and not demand so much attention on being important and materialistic, but to be among the least, and to live the Prophet’s example.
Through our actions and living by his example, we express our love to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).