2020: Between your station and your destination – Part 2
Eventually, I became located in the womb of my mother. I became like a tendril – I was engrafted unto the womb of my mother by a power beyond me. I had no independent existence. I needed to breathe; I did that through my mother. I needed to eat; she was my food supplier. I needed a fine bed to sleep; nothing proved more luxurious than her womb. Where exactly was I? I never know. Was my mother’s womb my destination or station?
On the day I was born it became clear to me that my mother’s womb was indeed not the destination but a station in my life. If I had been told while still in her womb that there are better pleasures and enjoyment in this world such would have made no sense to me. If I had the chance, I would have preferred to remain in her womb forever. But immediately I came to ‘know’ this world, I forgot the pleasures of the womb. The moment I tasted life on earth, I pooh-poohed all the pleasures my mother’s womb afforded me. This world became my destination. It feels as if I am in another ‘womb’ – the womb of the world. Here all information about another life after this world is a fiction.
Brethren, though we are in the fifth month of Islamic lunar calendar, today marks the eighteenth day in the month of January in 2020. If you happen to be the perceptive type, you would have discovered that the passage of time from yesterday to today, the passage of one year into another, is like the passage from life into eternity. In other words, nothing extraordinary usually takes place to herald the ‘birth’ and ‘death’ of a year. Great portents do not usually accompany the passage of time into time. They all happen, in silence. The same way darkness pervaded the horizon last year, the same it does till this day. But what has actually changed and is changing is you and me. What is changing is the clock; the unseen clock which ticks inside me and you. Yes. I looked at my hair the other day and I discovered I have more grey hairs than I did last year. I contemplated my face in the mirror I discovered some ‘miracles’. Somehow the Abdul Hafis of today looks completely different from that of yesterday. I knew my face has changed. How it did without me knowing remains a miracle. It changed silently; without me knowing. I knew something has changed in me. I know I am changing. How did I change without knowing it remains a miracle.
Now dear brethren, of all lessons life keep teaching me is that for me to be successful not only on a yearly basis but on a daily I must constantly be in touch with my creator. The line connecting me with Him must be active. It should be a direct line; a line which admits of no intermediary or intervention. To be connected to the Almighty means I must avoid all frivolities and shun vain talk. To shun vain talks implies pitching your tenth with the truthful. This, no doubt would be a very difficult virtue to imbibe particularly in this clime and time. The truthful, in this clime is usually an enemy of earthly principalities; the truthful in this time is often a loner, the wretched. The truthful usually finds the doors of the rich and powerful ever unattractive and loathsome. He is seen as an enigma if not someone suffering from dementia. The truthful amongst human beings would most likely not be found in the circle of the politicians, he would most likely not be a comrade to the moral Lilliputians who luxuriate on a daily basis in the vanities of the temporality of earthly positions and the illusions of bodily enchantments.
To be successful in life means I should be patient with my creator. Lack of patience is responsible for the way Nigerians change their center and places of worship on a daily basis.
To be successful in life, you need to keep up your prayers. Cultivate the virtue of observing tahajjud (night prayers). (Q73). If you desire to succeed and overcome the turbulence of this year you need to cultivate the habit of waking up at night when everyone else is asleep in order to connect with your Creator. The Prophet says: “the Almighty has said: “… My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than what I have made compulsory upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with nawafil (supererogatory prayers) until I loved him and when I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, and his eyes with which he sees, and his hand with which he grasps, and his foot with which he walks, and if he were to ask of Me, I would surely give it to him, and if he were to ask of Me, I would surely give it to him, and if he were to ask Me for refuge,I would surely grant him it”
But is this place and space really my destination? No. Is 2020 a station in my long journey back to my origin, back to the Almighty, back to my destination? Yes!!!
Oladosu is a Professor of Middle Eastern, North African and Cultural Studies, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan,
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