By Fatima Ariadne
My Survival from 12 Years of Downward Spiral
“Verily, with adversity there is ease. With adversity there is ease” (Suraa Al Inshirah 5 – 6)
For around 8 years in my childhood and early teenage youth, I was afflicted in poverty. Due to this, many people picked on me and my family. My classmates, teachers, the other sides of family, even complete strangers. You name it.
There were several times we couldn’t even afford a gas to light a fire in the kitchen, and we had to buy a cheap wood pile where every several hours my mother and I had to fan it to keep the fire lit up. But I’m grateful that at least we still had something to eat throughout the day.
As if it’s not enough – I also battled with depression for 4 years, and I had this constant suicidal thought. Everyday my mind crafted several morbid ways to end this life. Everyday I woke up thinking “why should I continue to live? Why did I survive that childhood illness and lived?”. Or, “I wish I never been born at all”, “the world will lose nothing if I die”.
There’s one thing prevented me to do actual suicide, though, no matter how tempting it was. Suicide is a grave sin in Islam and a fast ticket to hell. Why should I try to escape the hell in this world, only to jump into a greater hell in Hereafter? After all, why should I face God in an unclean soul state? I could’ve done some improvement first in my deeds, then I’ll be ready to die.
Hence, I was determined that Allah is the best healer in the Universe, and not a single day passed without me asking Him for cure.
I also visualized there is always a LIGHT in the end of tunnel. So no matter how hard I fell, I would remember I was actually walking toward the light. And it’s closer and closer within my grasp in each step.
But isn’t it ironic that God’s timing is not our timing. To me, 12 years in total of downward spiral is not a short time. Enough to strip out any good hope. Now looking back, I am THANKFUL that God gave me lessons and wisdom in such an early age. I may not be a Hellen Keller clone. But I am thankful to learn my own lesson earlier that life is worth striving for, not wasted.
The Force of Contrast Inside the Universe
Why do death exists? Darkness? Evil? Cruelty? Poverty?
Sometimes the Divine logic is not our logic.
When Qur’an stated “And all things We created in pair” (Suraa Adz-Dzaariyat 49) —- it’s not necessarily meant the male-female pair. This is including the contrast force. We cannot define light without darkness, sounds without silence, joy without grieve, giving without taking.
If you go to outer space without oxygen supply, you would die suffocated compared to when you’re standing on Earth. Regardless, you wouldn’t think for a second here “humankind have devoured so much oxygen, how if we run out of it?”. Oxygen is not as priceless in this earth because it’s ubiquitous, and it is also a human nature to more valuing thing when its supply is limited.
“Good VS Evil” by anda0105
The Ancient Chinese had even understood this contrast force as Ying and Yang.
Though we would like to think in a divided black and white box, “bad” versus “good” — in essence, these are just the two antagonistic force that “balances out” each other. Though hard to discern, this is just how the Universe works.
Let’s see how Qur’an describes this force of contrast, and how in each cycle of contrast, there is a balance maintained between them :
“You make the night to enter into the day, and You make the day enter into the night. You bring the life out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give wealth and sustenance to whoever You will, without limit” (Suraa Ali Imran 27)
“Say (O Muhammad) : Do tell me! If Allah made the night occurring non-stop for you until the Day of Resurrection, which deity besides Allah could bring you the daylight? Will you then not hear (the call to guidance)?” (Suraa Al Qasas 28)
“Verily We created all things according to a determined measure” (Suraa Al Qamar 49)
One of Rumi poems on his magnum opus Masnavi describes it eloquently :
As night there is no light, and colors are not seen
Hence we know what light is by its opposite, darkness.
Opposite shows up opposite.
The opposite of light shows what is light,
Hence colors too are known by their opposite.
God created pain and grief for this purpose :
To wit, to manifest happiness by its opposites.
You : The God’s Little Phoenix
For zillion reasons I never buy into anything saying that phoenix is a bird, ascension bird blah blah blah. No doubt, phoenix is actually an ancient aircraft, a sophisticated machine, not a lil’ birdie. However I don’t want to derail this into some ancient technology theories. So, continued…
Regardless, it’s the myth behind the phoenix that’s interesting. And for the very same metaphorical reason, a lot of military symbols used phoenix – including Pakistani armed forces, and some European countries after the Second World War. Here goes :
Phoenix is said to live for several hundreds of years and when it dies, it burns itself. And from the ashes, a new phoenix is re-born.
Realize it or not : YOU are the Divine Creator’s little phoenix.
Through trials and adversities, God wants to remove, to kill the old you. The question now is how strong you’re able to stand yourself being burned in the process. At times the “burning process” can be brutal, so much that you may feel like your world is shattered in a lightening speed. But if you can stand the flame of trials, then just like a little phoenix – a new you will be born.
Just remember when you’re hurt, you’re not alone — every person has their own temporary living hell, only in different measures. And what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
“Whoever Allah wants good for him, he puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Just like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. He put them to tests, trials and difficulties.” (Hadith Bukhari and Muslim)
TO BE CONTINUED! Next Part of the Series : “Every Soul is a Living Pearl : 5 Lessons Sufferings Are Trying to Tell You” === CLICK HERE TO READ!