I looked at this photo today, and every time I did, I found tears fill my eyes. It was a sunset on the beach. Stunning. And above it the ayah: Rabanna ma khalaqta hatha batilan subhanak (our Lord you have not created all of this for nothing, subhanak.)
And that’s just it. All of this. The sadness, the accidents, the smiles, the peace, the pain, the love, the loss, and the sacrifice: it’s not for nothing. It is not without purpose. It’s not a mistake, some sort of oversight or a random course of events.
I looked at the image and suddenly I was filled with such a deep sense of nostalgia. For a time, I have no memory of.
“And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.”” (Qur’an, 7:172)
I was overcome with the feeling of missing someone. Missing Him. Missing being with Him. Missing a time that was or will be. A time so certain, it is as if it already happened. That’s why when Allah talks about the hereafter in the Quran, He uses the past tense.
When you fall in love with a work of art, you’d die to meet the artist. I am a student of the galleries of Pacific sunsets, full moon rises on the ocean, the clouds from an airplane, autumn forests in Raleigh, first fallen snows.
And I’m dying to meet the artist.
“Some faces, that Day, will be radiant, looking at their Lord.” (Qur’an, 75:22-23)