An open space for global conversation
Bismillahir Rahamanim Rahim- In the name of God, the most beneficient, the most merciful
Can you look this badger in the eyes?
This photograph must be included for several reasons, among them indeed in order that you may look into its innocent, playful eyes. It is not that I am trying to be a ridiculous person or make some kind of joke, here. The world is already filled with enough absurdity to last for eons of funny jokes. It is to honor a new story, which in this case I suppose is going to have to involve a badger. We will call him Bucky. Bucky the deep dark field badger.
There is an end to this thinking that woodland animals are supposed to be nice and likeable creatures. They are not all like that. Let us consider the badger, with it's pointy teeth, and disturbing similarity to the forest racoon, who has always tended to be extreme with rabies.
So.. why is it humans God chose to punish? This is the question. Are we punished? What makes us unlike the badger, in this way? Is it our connection, our capacity to question- to ask and therefore pray?
By the sky containing great stars
And [by] the promised Day
And [by] the witness and what is witnessed,
Cursed were the companions of the trench
[Containing] the fire full of fuel,
When they were sitting near it
And they, to what they were doing against the believers, were witnesses.
And they resented them not except because they believed in Allah , the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy,
To whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. And Allah , over all things, is Witness.
Indeed, those who have tortured the believing men and believing women and then have not repented will have the punishment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the Burning Fire.
Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great attainment.
Indeed, the vengeance of your Lord is severe.
Indeed, it is He who originates [creation] and repeats.
And He is the Forgiving, the Affectionate,
Honorable Owner of the Throne,
Effecter of what He intends.
The spirit of prayer contains an unmatchable depth and intensity. It is utterly unmatchable.
I have heard the story from my aunt about my uncle Rajesh, who has passed, a brilliant man, whose mind snapped when my grandmother died. What happened? I've heard the stories of the partition, my grandparents were refugees from what is now Pakistan. They would put them in lines- Hindu, Muslim, Hindu, Muslim...people were beheaded. My mother had yet to be conceived. The youngest of eight to six, now five. There was a caravan involved, filled with lifeless bodies, which saved them from harm.
The reaction to this story is the spirit of prayer.
What have we learned? Maybe we are just not a learning animal. I don't know any learning animals. I suppose we could consider orphans and badgers, the look in their eyes. It doesn't quite glimmer. That is a different kind of fierce.
This post is far from perfect. Why? Because it is a post in the spirit of prayer.It is impossible to even think about making something perfect in that state. Prayer is naturally disorganized. Such is simply the nature of the deepest depths. They contain always only chaos.
And it is not yet finished.
By the dawn
And [by] ten nights
And [by] the even [number] and the odd
And [by] the night when it passes,
Is there [not] in [all] that an oath [sufficient] for one of perception?
And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, "My Lord has honored me."
But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, "My Lord has humiliated me."
No! But you do not honor the orphan
And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor.
And you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether,
And you love wealth with immense love.
No! When the earth has been leveled - pounded and crushed -
And your Lord has come and the angels, rank upon rank,
And brought [within view], that Day, is Hell - that Day, man will remember, but what good to him will be the remembrance?
Holy Qu'ran 89:1-6, 16-23
The spirit of Islam reminds me of a very basic missing. Over and over. We miss Him, we miss Him, we miss Him. Just over and over, again and again. That's literally what everyone is so upset about.