Aadmi (man) and insaan (human) are under
the constraints of spatiotemporal limits, but the tendency to feel the
limitations differs in both. An Aadmi can travel to distant places via
thoughts, but the body remains where it is. This ability to move around with
the pace of thoughts is the attribute of insaan, that is inbuilt in the aadmi.
The fact that the physical body (aadmi) does not accompany us to the location
of our thoughts indicates that an insaan is free to an extent, whereas the body
of clay is destined to decay.
With regards to life within paradise, the Lord of the universe says, "And eat both of you freely with pleasure, of things therein, from wherever you will." (Quran, 2:35)
This verse requires careful consideration. The phrase " ... from wherever you will" highlights the ability to subdue time and space and corroborates the fact that the heart knows the whereabouts. But what the heart actually is, still needs to be unraveled. " ... With pleasure" portrays the atmosphere of the paradise, where one's happiness does not fluctuate as they remain in harmony with the will of God. On the contrary, life outside of paradise follows happiness after sorrow, and sorrow after happiness in an ever-shifting state.
A young gentleman asked a venerable man, "Please enlighten me on how one can break free from this prison called the world?"
He replied, "Die before death."
The young man asked, "How is it possible to die before death? What is death actually?"
The elderly man said, "On the extremities of death, there exists life. If you solve the mystery of death in this zone, it can liberate you from the bondages of the transitory world."
"If the answer to the mystery is already here, then how this world is a prison?" the young man asked.
"It is not,'' came the reply. "The sight through which we see it is imprisoned. Have you noticed that the time and people gone by, relay on our minds within a flash? How does this happen and where are they now?"
Creases formed on the young man's brow.
The old man said, "Unaware of the surroundings beyond, the frog thinks of the well as the entire world. Similarly, when layers of ignorance take root, perspective becomes narrow and that confinement limits the sight. You think of this sphere we are on as the only world, and hence grow attachment to it, ignoring everything that lies beyond. Even animals have the tendency to see certain things that you don't. "
"So, if this world is ever changing and shifting from one prison to another, how is it possible to liberate oneself when living within it?"
"The world is constant as per divine law. You believe that the childhood has passed and that you have grown up. Why don't you close eyes and imagine your childhood?"
The young man complied. At first, he was curious and then a subtle smile surfaced, followed by a surprise, and ended with a wide smile. His countenance was proof that he was back to being a child, unaware of the present moment.
The elderly man touched his shoulder and asked, "What did you see?"
He opened eyes and said, "My mother was cooking food and feeding me with her own hands. When my father came home, I hid behind the curtain and screamed, 'Where am I?' He obviously knew where I was hiding but pretended he couldn't see me and kept looking elsewhere. After a short while, when I couldn't sense him nearby, I peeked out - and there he was smiling. We laughed loudly and hugged each other.''
The elderly man asked, "How did those emotions resurface and how did you relive them when they have passed?"
He had no answer, so the old man continued, "Old age, youth and childhood are all apparels of the body and present at all times. Therefore, one can adorn the apparel of their childhood as per their will. There is no alteration in God's system, it is we who see it otherwise."
The answer held the young man's fascination and urged him to ask more, "We can reach a desired place in our imaginations, but why does our body not teleport there? Is the body captive or we are imprisoned by it?"
The venerated man explained, "We trust that it is the body which discerns and perceives, hence the imprisonment. In actuality, this is not the case. Our thoughts linger to places irrespective of our physical presence. When we are fully absorbed in a thought, things present before us become invisible. When that occurs, who is it that perceives and why do our eyes become dysfunctional after death? The physical body is static during the state of sleep but our emotions and needs are still satiated. In some cases, so much so that one must bathe to cleanse themselves. What is the standing of the body then? Who is it that perceives when the physical eyes are shut? What are we looking at when the very principle of vision is not correct?"
Irnrnersed in deep thoughts, the young man said, "You are right. We discern alteration whereas things are present as they are. The world is not a prison cell, it is our vision that is confined."
Dear Readers! This world is a beautiful place. Its beauty is explicit in enchanting landscapes, majestic mountains with clouds hovering above them, in the colours of the rainbow and the sweet, earthy scent after the dew forms. Its grace is expressed in the soothing fragrance from flowers, in the prayers of a singing bird, in roaring waterfalls, lush green fields and the unfathomable sea. The Insaan absorbed in contemplation, the innocence of a child, a mother's love and a father's affection are all splendours of the world. It is our prerogative to decide the kind of world that we want to live in.
All of the prophets advised the masses to contemplate in the universe, and to abandon the ever-shifting state and embrace the Truth. Those who did not pay heed, faced fatal consequences. Prophet Noah's (PBUH) nation mocked him for building a ship when he foretold the great flood. The level of disobedience can be gauged by the fact that his own son refused to accept the message despite being surrounded by the calamity.
"And it was sailing with them amidst the waves like mountains. And Noah called out to his son, who was at an isolated place, 'O my child, come on board with us and don't be in the company of the disbelievers.' He said, 'I shall take shelter on a mountain which will save me from the water.' He said, 'There is no saver today from the command of God, except the one to whom he shows mercy.' And the waves rose high between the two, and he was among those who were drowned." (Quran, 11:42-43)
Not only did the fountains erupt from the earth, but there was also torrential rain for forty days and forty nights. The mountains were submerged under the water and everything that existed drowned, and the great flood brought the developed civilization to naught.
Similarly, the Aad, the nation of Prophet Hud (PBUH), turned into specks of dust by a terrifying tornado. The people of Prophet Saleh (PBUH) were struck by thunder and lightning. Rain of sulphur and fire poured down onto Prophet Lot's (PBUH) nation - their remnants are present to this date. About 4,000 years have elapsed, but the desolation and dreariness of the affected area does not vanish. The Dead Sea is one of their remains and is the lowest point on Earth. It was a dry land, and the habitat of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those from Sodom were punished with a severe earthquake that jolted down the land 400 metres below the sea level.
The Dead Sea is drying up now due to climatic change.
Synopsis: Disobedient nations were wiped off the surface of earth leaving lessons for the nations to come.
The scholars of the inner knowledge say that after the lapse of 10,000 years on Earth, water takes over the dry land and vice versa. The land before the great flood of Prophet Noah (PBUH) is still deluged in water today. It is believed that 10,000 years have passed since that disaster, which reshaped continents. The world is engulfed in storms, torrential rains, earthquakes, whirlwinds, and moral and other epidemics yet again.
• The wind blows towards the south from the north, and its collision with clouds results in rain. Clouds are analogous to sponges. When the wind compresses the sponge, it squeezes water out of it. This also applies in the formation of clouds and rainfall.
• The wind lifts up water vapour to a high altitude. Its pressure releases at the altitude of around 100 km (62 miles) where vapour accumulates and clouds are formed. Therein, the clouds are propelled by winds from north to south and south to north. It compresses the sponge-like clouds and water falls down as rain.
• The clouds are also like a shell. When a cloud filled with water vapour is not compressed by the wind, it flies away.
• Innumerable amounts of vapour floating in the atmosphere are yet to shower.
• It is said that the Earth has completed its 10,000 year cycle. History has witnessed that with the increase in global warming, the wind from the opposite direction (south to north), will escalate, and the collision will intensify the frequency of rain. Glaciers will melt fast, the suffocation and temperature will increase, wind storm, thunder and lightning will strike, calamities - big and small - will hit and one similar to Prophet Noah's (PBUH) time can deluge the world.
Abdal-e-Haq Huzoor Qalandar Baba Auliya (RA) says,
"The system of the world is established upon forbearance. The Divine power grants a grace period to amend wrong doings until the very last moment. Therefore, it sends guides to educate people on good and evil. The obedient are rewarded with peace and the disobedient are afflicted with misery after having being warned ample times. The Earth shifts every 10,000 years. The shifting of the belt is due to the fact that the area designed for the comfort and well-being of the creations has become compact and the Earth is writhing in pain due to adulteration, greed and disobedience. A miser accumulates things, ignoring the truth that when a life is born into this world, it brings nothing along. All resources are arranged before their arrival. The symbol of greed is self-ostentatiousness. The gold and silver hoarded is left behind, but all depart from this world just like Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raji 'un (To God we belong, and to Him shall we return)."
May God forgive our mistakes, negligence and guide us to follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Amen.
It is certainly the right time to collectively recite istighfar (prayers to seek forgiveness from God).
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