Thursday, June 6, 2013

Do You Praise Your Lord When Your Feet Hurt?

It is true that wealth is a test. It’s like when we get that promotion and we start acting like our socks don’t stink. We start riding on high horses; clobbering anyone in the way of our rose-petaled path. And worse of all is when we dare to to claim that our good fortune is all of our own doing. May Allah protect us from that ungratefulness! Make us humble when we are blessed with the riches of this world! Ameen!

While all of that may be true, I must confess that it really is not that hard to pull up to the masjid in a drop-top cream-colored Bentley coupe, drop a bean in the sadaqa box and make salat shoulder to shoulder with the ummah in custom made threads, looking like you just hopped off the money train!

However, it is hard to to catch three buses with three grumpy kids, feet hurting from a long week at work, coming to the masjid on Sunday for ta’leem because bossman not trying to hear nothing about getting off early on Fridays for jummah prayer! But you throw on them dusty worn out threads, tearing on the seems and frayed on the edges, hoping it will looks like you just trying to be stylishly tattered. Then when you finally get off that third bus, you have to walk up a steep hill in ninety degree heat pushing a brokedown stroller and dragging the other two tagalongs, determined to make it to the masjid because you are trying to instill in them the importance of striving for the deen.

Alas, you have arrived at Allah’s House. You slide off your dusty shoes and the first step onto the lush green carpet is like a dream. The cushiony fibers welcome your sore feet, relieving pressure from your throbbing bunions and painful corns. A week of hurried walking and standing in unfit footwear all day long has taken it’s toll on your undeserving hooves.

When everyone lines up for the afternoon prayer, you tightly hold in your arms and legs quietly praying no one will take a whiff of your sweaty odorous body; the parts that could not be remedied by wudu. Allahu Akbar... Looking down, it’s evident the holes in your socks have widened during your travels, now revealing those tired dogs- those poor mistreated feet, covered in ash and soars from years of living life in the hard lane...

... But you made it! All praises are due to your Lord! You made it to this place of worship just in time to make prayer with the congregation. And suddenly life doesn't seem so bad, if only for the two hours you spend amongst the believers. Now you have the energy and the faith to make it through another week. Alhamdulillah!

You empty your wallet into the sadaqa box; only a few singles and some change, but the feeling you get from knowing you are contributing to your community is immeasurable. You will not allow throbbing feet and empty pockets to be your story. Your story is that of a righteous believer, striving to make good in this life- striving for peace and success- the kind of success that can’t be bought with dollar bills. No, the success you strive for will follow you into the grave and will make your existence here on earth worth the walk up that hill!

So the question remains my sisters and brothers, Will you praise your Lord when your feet hurt? Will you praise Him when you pockets are flat and your car is broke down? Will you praise God amidst calamity and death? Don’t let the test come before you can answer this question. SAY YES NOW JUST BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU ARE BLESSED.

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