Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Canary and His Bath

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

Oh you who Believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are the truthful ones.
Surah At-Tawbah, ayah 119

Along with a cat, I have six birds: three budgies, one canary, and two latest which were given as a hadiyah, finches. I had the canary next to the budgies since I bought him, about three months or so, and not once did he take a bath, which I found really odd. All the other canaries that I ever looked after took baths! What was wrong with this one? In any case he was perfectly healthy and sang from sunrise to sunset, so I didn’t mind much. And, my budgies never took baths either, in fact, they hardly even drink water. Strange, but they too are as healthy as can be.

Now once the two finches came, I decided to put the canary next to them. The finches are totally different; they love to take baths, every day in fact. Now one positive effect I saw today was that out of the blue, the canary began to take a bath! He literally sat in his water bowl, tossing the water about with his beak, waggling his tail and flapping his wings, water flying out of the cage and splashing on me. You could see he was enjoying his bath, he kept leaving his bath, and then once again hopping back in.

A few hours later, I was listening to a poem of Hazrat Hakeem Akhtar saheb, and paused at this verse:

Mujhay kuch Khabar naheen thi tera dard kya hai ya Rab
Tere ‘aashiqon sai seekha tere sang dar se marna

"I had not a clue what Your love was oh Lord
I have learnt from your lovers to die at Your doorstep"

And it struck me, that the same way the canary seemingly learnt how to take a bath from just being next to the finches cage, in the same way a seeker will learn how to love Allah, live by His commands and die with belief in Him by being close to those who are Allah’s lovers. The seeker will see the overwhelming love an ‘aashiq feels when the word Allah is mentioned, and in the seeker’s heart will grow the yearning as well, that “I want this as well, I want to learn to love like he does, I want to taste this sweetness he tastes.” And with continuous connection and contact with an ‘aashiq, Allah Ta’aala will turn the seeker into an ‘aashiq as well with His karam.

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