As a sincere seeker of truth, I seem to have been gifted with advances in understanding in bits over time, as I became ready for them. I had to live “in the dark” in order to choose “the light.” It is clear to me that I have been given ample gifts: education, family, beautiful and good children, a wonderfully kind husband, overall excellent health and faculties, and very interesting experiences in life. It occurred to me a couple days ago that I felt that I had not done enough “good” with my life. I needed a respite from projects, stress, and stuff. Then BAM! Two days ago, I suddenly had opportunity to write 3 articles that require investigation, making new informational contacts, and that should hopefully result in more learning for me and progress in the drive to move the Halal Movement forward. Two articles will be in HalalConnect, one about animal by-products in feed, and another about gassing poultry and its effect on health and determination of Halal certification. The other article will be for Islamic Horizons about a marketing company on the East Coast that applies H decals on ShopRite stores to indicate that they sell Halal certified products. The company also does consumer education and promotes food sampling of Halal products to the mainstream public, emphasizing the health benefits of Halal foods.
Sometimes it becomes discouraging to be associated with the Muslims solely because there are many Muslims who are really messed up, and Christians—if we could judge—that are much better “Muslims” than the Muslims. Some people of other faiths have greater consciousness of our Creator than some people who claim to be Muslims. With this, I bear in mind that Allah has His reasons, and only He can judge. If we were all the same, there would be no impetus for inquiry. I believe in His genius; He plans this deliberately, but I also do know that Islam gives more guidance to the human than any other religion I have ever known. In this is great comfort.
It appears that people generally look at this life as the Waiting Room, a place to indulge, seek greater material gains and power, and generally wallow in the stuff of this world while waiting for their time to be up. Nothing could be farther from the truth though in how to perceive and act on the time given on Earth. This life is a grand opportunity to live as large or as small as one chooses. Most people are fearful of exploring new things, stretching and reaching beyond what they have known others in their crowd to adhere to. This applies to beliefs, political parties, social, and economic circles. Why people tend to act like a herd is beyond me. It represents small thinking, and does not do justice to the grand prospects possible for humans. We have choice, the ability to learn, the potential to organize and build upon the efforts of others. Why do we not break free into the highest heights of our capacities? It is such a loss, a product of complacency in a time when the world can ill afford such benign neglect. We need leaders, leaders who inspire others to follow. It also requires many dimensions of heart. And each dimension has its qualities, elements, and nuances to savor, to protect, and to develop.
At this time also, in the history of the world, we have transitioned from the lesser signs to the greater signs, I think, toward the end to come. Each day is a precious gift, and amidst the storms and challenges, the toils of life, the best guidance and advice is Trust Allah. This has been my mantra when times are rough, when we suffer and do not understand why we have difficulties and anxieties. We strive to do right, keeping in mind that the more we are given, the greater is our responsibility to give and be grateful to Allah.
One day the time runs out, and I hope I have enough deposits of “good” in my account when it does. I’m reminded of my mother who succumbed to ALS, also known as Lou Gerhrig’s disease. In retrospect, although it seemed tragic at the time, we were all given the time to prepare and positive things were derived that may not have been had she lived a longer term. Either way, I live with the prospect that I may have some genetic propensity to have the same disease, and I am keen to note any numbness, muscle weakness, and other signs I noted in my mother’s convalescence. Mentally, I am prepared—though not wishing for—the same to happen to me. If it were to be, I believe that I would handle the inevitable with dignity and would focus on preparing my family for it. We all go sometime, and I hope to have patience and strong faith that whatever happens is what is best, as I have sincerely tried to live with deliberate consciousness in balancing my life with enjoyment, appreciation, and good works. Naturally, I have fallen from the highest degree of virtue, as most; but I am hopeful that in correcting my ways, I may be redeemed. Meanwhile, I’ll leave it to the Judge of all mankind.
I continue to feel like I’m dragging from my lowered thyroid meds and irritated knee, but I have been able to run across a parking lot from a deluge of rain, and biked on an easy gear for 8 miles! It just pains me under the knee cap when bending it going down stairs. Time heals all wounds? It seems to be so, but scars are reminders of the life lived. Live it well…each day…enjoying the unfolding of revelation and favors.