All of us have dreams. Dreams for the future, dreams of happiness and success.
Some are able to chase these dreams and are able to make them reality. while others dream on, yet never worked towards obtaining them. Just like the popular Malaysian folk-tale of Mat Jenin. Some others chase their dreams, but are not quite there yet. Or, just was not able to make the dream come true.
I would like to bring the readers into the life of a figure skater (ice skating). A figure skater, whose dream is to be the best in his field, needs to put in a lot of hard work to make that dream come true. He usually trains on ice every day, or six days a week, spending up to 6 hours (or more!) perfecting his skills. Even after training on ice, in order to stay agile and have good balance, he needs to go to dance or ballet classes. Sounds like hard work? Yes, indeed. He needs to sacrifice time, money and his youth, to focus on this aim. Only those who really wish to succeed, and strive hard enough, will. By the way, all the hard work he puts in, will be judged only on the rink, for less than 3 minutes (short program) and 4 minutes and a half (long program). That's it. But it takes brain, brawn and real work to be the best, putting everything into those few minutes.
Yet the outcome, of course, if he is good enough, and lucky enough, the gold medal might just be his. The video up there, is one of the figure skaters who compete during the recent Winter Olympics. He obtained the bronze medal, although I personally enjoy his skating more. Both on skills and artistic wise. Hence I decided to put his video up (^_^).
Anyway... that is just one of the many stories of chasing dreams. I am sure you can think of so much more. Decide to share regarding ice skating because I enjoy skating a lot. But let us reflect back on The Dream.
There is one dream that so many of us want to achieve. Even the worst of man (if he is a believer, that is), deep down, still wish for. That is, The Dream for everlasting happiness in the next life, in paradise (Jannah). Yet how many really work hard towards the dream? Or should I say.. towards the ultimate dream? Not just letting it become a far-away dream, but a goal, and aim to strive for.
And surely Paradise - it is the goal! (al-Naziat:41)
Jannah, which, Allah the Most High had told us, the best place to be, the place where each person can have land and goods as much as this world and more. Allah said in the Quran:
But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness that their portion is Gardens beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom they say: "Why this is what we were fed with before" for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions (pure and holy); and they abide therein (for ever). (al-Baqarah: 25)
Say: shall I give you glad tidings of things far better than those? For the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord with rivers flowing beneath; Therein is their eternal home; with spouses purified and the good pleasure of Allah, for in Allah's sight are (all) His servants. (ali Imran:15)
There are so many other verses of the Quran like the once above. Many more beautiful ones too. Is Jannah not the most wonderful place to be?
Yet... how many of us had done what the figure skater did to win his medal? How many of us strives our very best, day and night, to obtain Allah's pleasure and His reward, Jannah? Isn't Jannah a much greater reward, more worth working hard for, than the most wanted gold medal on earth? Or for the matter, is it not more prestigious than the Nobel Prize people are so in awe of? Is it not worth sacrificing for?
Yes, Jannah is indeed very special. Hence, in order to dream of passing through the gates of Jannah, we must be well equipped. If a traveler travels to an alien country, he would first prepare passports, obtain a map of the place, surf around for a good place to stay, discuss with his friends and family... and so on. Well, if we want to set foot on the Paradise, we are also embarking on a long journey towards gaining Allah's pleasures. This journey, of course, needs plenty of provisions. Without having any provisions, how are we able to weave our way towards this dream and goal of ours?
Unfortunately, so many people dream of the paradise, saying that they want to enter the paradise, without willing to sacrifice. Without wanting to collect the provisions. Or even more doomed, those who dream, but not even begin the journey in the first place.
Vie with one another in seeking to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness; and to a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which has been readied for those who have attained to faith in God and His messengers: such is the bounty of Allah which He grants unto whomever He wills -for Allah is limitless in His great bounty. (al-Hadid: 21)
Those who did not put in any effort in finding Allah's pleasure and working hard to obtain Jannah, will simply drop out of the journey. For along the journey, Allah had set so many trials and tribulations. Allah will demand us to sacrifice and work, in order to attain this ultimate dream.
Indeed Allah has purchased from the Believers their lives and their possessions, promising them Paradise, in return (at-Taubah: 111)
If you notice, I had interweaved the dream of Jannah and attaining Allah's pleasure several times throughout this article. It is because the two is so closely related. Paradise can only be attained when we seek Allah's pleasure, and when Allah's pleasure is gained, we will indeed be granted Jannah, or paradise.
Is this your ultimate dream as well? Have you done enough in order to attain Allah's pleasure and his reward, the Paradise? What are the provisions you bring along?
I'll end this post here, for us to ponder... to dream, and work to make the dream become a reality.
That's it for this post, i guess. Actually, this discussion can be continued so much more, but I think the post is long enough as it is. InsyaAllah, I will post more points next time, insyaAllah.. Reference for this post is from: In The Early Hours by Ust Khurram Murad.