Monday, May 26, 2008

Behind the long grass (lalang)

“Argh… not again! The lalang had grown in my lawn.” some homeowners might say. Yes, the lalang… of course, they are everywhere. In forests, at houses and even beside streets and roads. They are oft seen as a nuisance to people. A few days back, my friends and I had this very interesting conversation of this undelightful plant. Much to my surprise, the lalang, as we discovered, had a lot to tell us, and a lot to teach us, if we’re able to look beyond their simplicity. And I decided to share some of our discovery here.

The leaves of the lalang… they always go with the flow. Yet, have you ever noticed them fall apart or break away? Ever seen them destroyed by wind? Their roots must be very strong to be able to withstand all the winds and wither storms to survive. If we look at ourselves, at our own lives… as humans, we are piled up with obstacles along the path. These obstacles are just like the winds that threatened the life of these lalang. Yet, can we survive the tests that we face? Are we able to endure the rainstorms that we face throughout our lives? With strong and firm hold to our roots, I’m sure, insya-Allah we can all do so. But what are the roots that we must establish in ourselves? The roots that will ensure us to face the challenges that lies ahead? They are, of course, our iman and our trust in Allah the Almighty. If we have this, we will indeed be able to confront any enemy along the way to eternal happiness…

The lalang are always seen as pests. However, they always manage to live on, despite being trodden upon, cut and poisoned. Although some may die, there’ll always be a few that survived. Notice that those who work for Islam also fits this description perfectly. As workers spreading Islam, this is how we must be, never letting our work stop, and go on, despite hardships and hatred received from others. We have to expect people to try and stop us, but we must not falter because of it. The Prophet (PBUH) faced a lot more hardships on his path to spread this Deen. He even gave his whole life for the struggle. Let us ask ourselves, are we willing to hold on to the light and spread it on, no matter how dark the place is, and no matter how dim the light may be. For we must believe that there will always be rainbow at the end of every rainstorm, and ligt at the end of darkness.

“We are stronger when we work together,” was a saying for groups and teamwork. Yet, how many of us really face our lives like the lalang. The lalang, if we ever observe them, was always with their friends, and never alone. They live in groups, never alone. This is how we must be, always united and looking out for each other. If we do this with friends who is in the same road, fighting the same battle as we are, insya-Allah, the Muslim world will be strong and Islam shall strive, just as they had in the days of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions. Let us take the lalang as an example, unite in one aim, and remain with our friends through the thick and thin of this battle. For this battle of fighting jahiliyyah around us, and upholding what is right in His eyes, is never easy. We will need help from friends along the way t pull us back when we falter, to lean on when we feel like giving up, and simply, to go on.

These are just some of the many things that the lalang intends to teach us. There are many more for us to think of. I have no doubt that the readers can think of more. Let us look beyond the simplicity of His creations for something deeper. For each thing he created was meant to be pondered upon by us, his Khalifah.

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