This is a post that is in its entirety shukr. Its intention is shukr. Its objective is shukr, and its essence is shukr. It is inspired by Maula’s bayaan on the necessity and importance of shukr, and one form of shukr that I can do is by expressing it here.
Shukr for what? Shukr that I am here in Mombasa. I know how close I came to changing my mind and not coming. How close I came to thinking that this Ashara would be just too much and a bit too far. But I came anyway, inspite of all the rethinking, and I am sure now that I came because Maula decided that it was essential that I come.
Why shukr? Shukr because I have felt my faith be reborn in the last 6 days. Those doubts, those concerns, that frustration with the spiritual side of life that I’ve harboured for almost two years, every month becoming more acerbic towards faith and malcontent with life, has dissipated. The darkness of doubt and over analysis, has been banished by the living beacon that is Maula.
What’s Changed? I’ve found a new direction, and that new direction is the old direction. As Maula said in his waaz, an old day is followed by a new day, the new day is the same as the old day, in that same way today is the same as yesterday, but for all that it is no less new. Yet anther bayaan of Maula touched a cord, Maula said that mumineen are fresh because of their dai, and the barakat of Imam Hussein that reaches them through Maula. I should modify that sentence, because the truth is that almost every bayaan of Maula has touched a cord, every bayaan seemed tailor made to addressing an open question in one part of me or another.
This has helped foster a change in my perspective and attitude towards Ashara and waaz for which I am grateful. I have been offered the suggestion that I should see each waaz as a personal conversation, an opportunity for Maula to convey a message specific to me. Not to convey one message, or a few messages, but to convey my message, if I am willing to read between the lines and see the emphasis and the effect that Maula’s words are meant to have in the context of my own situation.
A large part of the opportunity to reflect on this, to reflect on what the waaz means to me personally, and what questions and issues of my own it deals with, I’ve found through the Waaz Talaqi sessions that are organised. Every evening after waaz, in what seems to be the tutorial to Maula’s lecture, mumineen have the opportunity to analyse what the underlying message was one or two excerpts of that days waaz, and what that insight means for us practically going forward.
I’ll admit that it can be pretty hit and miss, and so far only 2 have been fantastic sessions, but a lot of that is a function of who is on your table, and how they approach the questions asked, as well as the way that those who plan these sessions run that particular day.
I’ve tried to expand that invitation to apply this kind of critical analysis to all aspects of the waaz, and to keep each insight cumulatively together, to try and discern the overarching theme that must be part of these 9 special days. Since my insights are my own, and personal, I’m going to keep them to myself.
The one insight that I will share, is that for my spiritual growth, for my spiritual side to survive, it is necessary, it is vital, that it be nourished by the barakaat of Ashara and the barakaat of Maula.