Continuing with our reflections on verses from Chapter 29 of the Quran, Sura Ankabut [The Spider], in verse 65 Allah says:
So when they ride in the ships they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient to Him, but when He brings them safe to the land, lo! they associate others (with Him) [Holy Quran 29:65]
Have you ever been on an airplane during severe turbulence? So much turbulence that you begin to think about your mortality. Did you look around and noticed how quiet everyone became? Or perhaps you were too busy praying yourself to even notice what others were doing? Silently praying and perhaps promising God about how you will turn your life around and be faithful to your values only if you are given a second chance at life?
This is the human tendency that the above verse refers to. Human beings instinctively call upon the Creator when the going gets really tough. They turn to Him when others fail them, when the crisis seems far too big and we begin to realize that only Divine intervention can save us.
Once a man came to Imam Sadiq (as) and said:
"O son of the Messenger of Allah (saw)! (Please) guide me to Allah that who He is, because the tempters have made me bewildered."
The Imam told him: "O' servant of Allah! Have you ever embarked a ship?"
The man answered he had.
Then Imam said: "Has it happened that your ship was broken where there was no other ship to save you and you did not know how to swim?"
The man answered: "Yes."
Imam said: "In that state, did your heart tend to this matter that there is something that can save you from that affliction?"
The man answered: "Yes."
Imam Sadiq (as) said: "That entity is Allah Who is able to save (anyone) where there is no deliverer and succours and where there is no helper."
As we said yesterday, obstacles and crises in life can be a great way to wake up to the truth of this existence and the next and to get in touch with our priorities and to our true purpose.
So far so good.
The problem is not that we wake up during the crisis. The issue is that once the crisis is over, we are oh so likely to get back to our old ways of being. Human beings are forgetful creatures. We are creatures of habit. We forget the promises we made to Him and to ourselves during the crisis and we tend to go back to our old ways.
This verse reminds us to keep our word and fulfill the commitments that we made in times of crisis once He safely "brings us back to land"
The world has recently gone through a global pandemic and many of us may have been brought to our knees during this time.
What did we say we would never take for granted once the pandemic was over? What plans did we make not to go back to the old and broken way of living life? What promises did we make to pray and to cling to Divinity?
In this time of (relative) respite, are we living up to those plans and promises?