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A Prayer for the Plains

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Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Oman for a day, and my God. What do I even say about this country? There is a beauty in its nature that truly humbles you and reminds you of the small miracles that Allah has placed upon this Earth for us. In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d be as blown away as I was, but the moment we passed through the border from the UAE into Oman, I was floored. The mountains were breathtaking, the air crisp, and the people so much kinder. And subhanAllah, I felt something in me be entirely moved in a way I can’t quite use words to explain without doing the feeling a grave injustice.

This single day in Oman was everything I needed to understand this verse from the Qur’an that I read recently:

Have they not traveled over the land so that they may have hearts by which they may apply reason, or ears by which they may hear? Indeed it is not the eyes that turn blind, but the hearts turn blind —those that are in the breasts! [22:46]

While I’ve always know that travelling can open up one’s eyes to the Truth, I never quite contextualised it to my own travels. But this time round, it required no active efforts of my own. It is in the country’s untouched beauty and the gentle mannerisms of the people that I could see the essence of my faith being echoed. In the peals of laughter from schoolchildren in the playground, the gentle hum of the prayers being recited at the masjid close by, and the sound of the waves crashing against the sand, I felt my heart swell with joy and contentment at this life that I have been gifted with and this land that I have lived upon.

In light of this, I would like to share an old piece I once wrote as part of a ‘letters of love’ project I did at some point during my teens. The prompt was simply ‘Dear Earth’, and honestly, it fits perfectly into today’s post:

Dear Earth,

I’d like to thank you for all that you’ve provided me with. For being the home away from my Lord, I thank you. For being the plains upon which I lost myself, and found myself again, for being the plains upon which I hurt the hearts of the ones I loved, and showered them with love again, I thank you. For constantly changing and throwing doubt on every ignorant fool, I thank you.

Sometimes, I take the peace of mind you give me, for granted. On those days, I make it a thing to look around to the places on your beautiful land, which are in utter turmoil. I remind myself that what I see now is the least of your destructive powers. One day, you yourself, will swallow me whole.

My dearest earth, I apologise for all the times I stood on you without knowing your worth. I apologise for all of whom still stand upon your soils without understanding the fire that rumbles in the depths of your belly. From the bottom of my heart, I bring you my sincerest apology for all those who commit atrocities in your name. For all those who wage wars and shed blood in your name, in your protection, I apologise.

My dearest earth, I wish all would take the time to see, that you are a gift from our Lord. He has given us a little world upon which we can set the foundations to build a bridge to His. I thank you for all the times you have been there for me. For all the times you have been my protector, my saviour. For all the times you have answered my prayers without my knowing, I thank you. I hope that on the Final Day, you stand up in my defence. I pray that I have not wronged you so.

Admittedly not my finest piece of work, but it truly captures my love for nature and all that life has to offer us. It is a reminder that I am so grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me, and for the people who remind me daily of the love and light of Allah. I hope that this small insight into my love for the world will let you see your own surroundings in a different light and allow you to make a small prayer for the plains upon which you live.

Life exists in the small details, and I pray to God you get to see them because once you do, it is everything you need and so much more.

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Ayesha Khanom

Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a student, but mostly caffeinated. This blog is a terrible attempt at writing out my thoughts - think of it as the 'comments, complaints, and suggestions' section of my brain. Nevertheless, I hope that some of these words will find a place in your heart and will stay with you even when I do not. If you'd like to get in touch, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on one of these posts and I'll get back to you at the best possible time.

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