Human beings are by nature born seekers. We can all agree that we seek warmth to bask in. Enjoying the gentle rays of the sun as they caress our skin. For those of us fortunate to live by the ocean we find comfort in the gentle waves and the knowledge that these giant bodies of water both connect and separate us from the larger world. In every large city people flock to public parks seeking the comfort that nature brings, while in the country people seek out the company of others in the downtown district. We seek beauty, knowledge, comfort and love. Above all else we seek a higher cause, a higher being -God, whether we know it or not, who encompasses all these things in its most magnificent and purest form.
Just as the trees are not spread evenly across the earth, some places being barren deserts while others are teeming with life in all directions. So too is spiritual bounty more concentrated in some places over others, in Islam we call this ‘Barakah’.
Likewise, physical beauty is not shared uniformly amongst all the individuals of the world. Some of us are breathtaking showstoppers, able to distract even the noble ones in our midst if they are not careful as was Zulaykha by Yusuf (1). Others turn away the faces of even the kindest among us. Spiritual beauty and light works in much the same way.
Makkah, Madinah, and Jerusalem: These places are places like no other places on earth. God has made it so. He in His infinite wisdom has made it incumbent on us to seek out these places and honor them in ways that are commensurate with their station. Many spiritual secrets are held in the reality of being in these places. Many others are to be found even in the journey itself.
There are also in the world individuals whom God has elevated amongst others. He has given them of His beauty and His special light in proportions not found elsewhere. The Prophets exemplify this the most, and none more than Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, after whom no other new prophet will come. Yet even after him as a sign of God’s mercy He continues to supply us with those individuals. He has made some elevated souls as beacons and lighthouses for those who seek it. Our beloved, peace and blessings be upon him, has said, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. We know God has said that when He loves someone He makes creation to love him or her also, it is as the modernists say today “the universe conspires in your favor” I pray we can all find, and become those loved by God.
Just as we seek the physical beauty and comfort of this world and as sure as I know that my backyard is not equivalent to the Botanical Gardens. We should also seek out those individuals who possess beauty in quantity and quality not commonly found. With the eyes of our hearts, and pure intention, by the permission of God we will find and bask in it as well.
Makeda Knight is a wife and mom of five from New York City currently living in Doha, Qatar.