Thursday, May 10, 2012

the candle that burns itself

zainab al-ghazali (may Allah have mercy on her) wrote a shocking memoir about her time in prison, under Gamal Abdel Nasser. In English its called 'The Return of the Pharaoh'.

One story that struck me was zainab's recounting of how the Muslim Brothers lived in prison. This particular episode was regarding food.

Besides the Brothers, there was also a group of socialist youths, if i remember correctly. And zainab wrote in admiration about the difference between the Brothers and the other youths.

When the Brothers got their food, they didn't fight over it. They distributed it among themselves, even if it was a single piece of bread. But the other youths, they used to fight over such things like the bed, measuring it to make sure no one crossed his line. 

This spirit of selflessness, i believe, not only helped the Brothers to survive prison. It was the key to their success in calling people to Allah. Their sincerity struck at the hearts of people. "he doesn't want anything from me. he doesn't want my money, my food, my things. he's not asking from me anything other than islam. this religion must be true."

i long to see such men, and lament their absence. Where is our selflessness? today i see people uphold the policy of 'our stomachs first'. 

I remember back in the days when i was new in D&T. One day, someone cooked something, but some people were not satisfied by it. So they went to a nearby restaurant. But they went quietly because they did not want the brother to get offended. They were embarrassed and hid what they did. No words, what more photos and updates.

Let us rekindle the spirit of selflessness. If we think we have it tough, remember that others are having an even more difficult time. While we eat luxurious food and spend freely, others are struggling because they don't even have lunch money.

This is a reminder to myself first and foremost. forgive me if i've been selfish dear brothers :'(

everything takes time, i guess. To love our brothers more than we love ourselves is a hard attitude to build, especially in today's individualistic society. But its not impossible.

in a land far far away