What Are These Eyes For, Anyway?
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And which One Does Not?)
There is a most beautiful Hadith of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam – and which Hadith of his is not the most lovely and beautiful one on earth? – that talks about a very special man – an individual very specially blessed and favored by God.
That Hadith Sharif – that most beautiful and noble saying of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam – seems to indicate, if I recall it right, that there is a certain kind of individual whose heart will be so filled with God’s fear and love that he cannot think of God without being emotionally affected, without his eyes filling up.
Without that individual being overwhelmed.
Frankly – may God Almighty forgive me for even uttering these words or thinking these thoughts – I do not really understand what God’s Fear is all about.
Most powerful and beautiful expressions abound – some of them directly from the Qur’an:
And so on.
And it is not just human beings. Even mountains will crumble and turn to dust when hit by Fear of Allah – Khashyatillah!
As this Aayat makes clear:
Lawu Anzalnaa Haadhal Qur’ana Alaa Jabalin,
La-Ra-ayitahu Khaashi’an Mutasaddi’an
If we had sent down the Qur’an on a mountain,
it would have collapsed and crumbled out of Fear of God –
Again, I am scared stiff saying it, but say it I must, my heart and my mind really do not seem to know what these expressions mean.
Fear of God I mean. That seems to be a level of exalted human existence on this earth that is bestowed upon only very few people.
I have heard – or read – or did I? about people who simply dropped dead on the spot when someone told them “Ittaqillah!” – fear Allah.
I can understand that part.
If someone really believed in Allah the way one should; if that someone knew Allah the way Allah should be known; and if that someone feared Allah the way Allah should be feared, (if any of these things is truly understood or possible), what other effect would those two words “Ittaqi Allah!” have on such a person other than instantaneous death?
What other response could they possibly evoke?
Remember the Aayat Karimah – that most glorious passage from the Qur’an:
Ittaqullaha Haqqa Tuqaatihi?
“Fear Allah the way he should be feared?”
So, how else do you fear Allah the way Allah should be feared, if not collapse on the spot and stop breathing?
And I am – and I have always been – in this terrible habit of not claiming or owning up to things I do not have or possess. So, truly and in the proper sense, I have no idea what it means to have God’s Fear in one’s heart – to be afraid of God as it were.
So, all I can do is turn to Allah, Rabbul ‘Izzat, and beg him:
Allahumma Aati Nafsee Taqwaaha!
Anta Khayiru Man Zakkaahaa!
Anta Waliyyuhaa wa Mowulaahaa!
Now, where and when did I read these words?
But I do seem to have some inkling with regard to certain other things associated with our very complicated relationship with God. Often, I am ashamed of myself, embarrassed at some of the most terrible and egregious things I do.
And at all the failings I have piled up and all the shortcomings I am keenly aware I have.
But “Fear” per se? I truly and honestly don’t seem to know what it is – whether that fear is of God, or of anyone or anything else.
Quite possibly, I have been that way from childhood.
So, the special person the Hadith is talking about will be someone whose heart will be so filled with God’s love and fear that when he, all alone by himself, sometimes thinks of Allah, his eyes will fill up.
Just imagine that!
You are alone, all by yourself. No one is watching you. No one knows what you are doing –or thinking.
There is no room for affectation, or falsehood, or airs, or pretensions, or posturing of any kind. It is you and you alone – all by yourself.
It is utterly, absolutely, you and your God – alone, and in each other’s company.
And in such a moment of utter, absolute, unalloyed solitude, you think of God, and your heart wells and your eyes fill up.
If I recall the Hadith right, such a special man, the Hadith says – and special woman of course – will, on the Day of Judgment, be housed under God’s Throne, the ‘Arsh.
That will be a day when the burning sun will be so close, and the boiling heat will be so intense, that there will be no shade of any kind available to anyone except the shade of God Almighty’s Throne – the ‘Arsh.
And every time this Noble Hadith crosses my mind, I ask myself:
What are these eyes for anyway?
If not for crying when you think of Allah?
Humans, whatever else we may or may not be, are a crying, tear-shedding species.
We go to movies to see tear-jerkers. People are known to run through entire tissue boxes crying in theaters.
We cry when a favorite cat or dog dies.
We cry when a loved one departs this world.
Our eyes fill up when we are in awe.
We go gaga, with eyes sparkling with unshed tears, when the admiration of something or someone overpowers us.
Moisture steals into our eyes, when some of us pick up a cute baby and coo and caw with it.
We cry when we are in love. We are used to gazing at our beloved object through a filter of tears – with eyes brimming.
And some of us cry for no reason.
So, when it comes to crying, shedding tears, eyes filling up, that is us: the humans.
A crying species par excellence!
So, my question then is: If we are ready to cry, and if our eyes will fill up and flow, at the drop of a hat, why would they not do so when thinking of God?
What else are our eyes for?
God is love!
God is beauty!
God is sweetness!
God is high and mighty – and most awe inspiring.
Everything about him is such that it should overwhelm us with sheer admiration and adulation.
So, why would not our eyes – given by him in the first place – fill up and begin to flow at the remembrance of him? Whenever his thought fills our heart.
What else are these eyes for anyway?
Here are the words of the Hadith to the extent I can recall them:
Dhakarallaha Khaaliyan Fa-Faadat ‘Ayinaahu!
What beautiful words. So simple, and yet so profound and telling!
“A man who thought of Allah,
All by himself,
And then, all of a sudden,
His eyes began to fill,
And his tears started to flow!”
God Almighty, make me of them!
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