The frame of things

In a world of colours and multiple shades, of different tones, sounds and musical scores, of the exotic and esoteric, and of the fantastic and the beautiful, we have traded it all for the blase, debased and the unimaginative.

We have lost our sense of wonder and awe. Our body, mind and soul have begun to atrophy. We are fast losing the plot of true and correct living. Hence, everywhere we see the past and the future is colliding.

Our sins and handiworks from the past are fast catching up and the uncertainty of the future rapidly approaching like a run-away train. In our direction.

Fresh water and virgin forests always come together as a package.

Put differently, we have been on a degenerative decline, down an increasingly slippery and steeping slope, made up of a plastic slide in an artificial wet world resort. In fact, we have become a danger not only to our own selves but to the rest of nature and the environment.

We have despoiled our environment and have created an artificial world of monstrosity and ugliness. And the pandemic came. Or shall we say, so the pandemic came.

The pandemic has opened our eyes as to the vital role that the natural environment plays in our wellbeing and survival. With one eye on the past and another on the present, images flip through our perception, like blurring scenes in an old black and white movie.

Some of them transpose images on our brain which leaves a stronger imprint than others, like a Robert Lango painting, which stands out from the crowd. Others just flow through our perception as a blurring train of black and white images, just indecipherable monochromatic forms dancing to monotonous, unpleasant sounds of an archaic projector.

An impending and ominous metaphor for a total eclipse. Stories and narratives are recorded in religious scriptures of incidents and events in the past to serve as reminders and warnings to us.

So, we cannot plead ignorance or unfairness. Whatever it is that we are going through, and experiencing, are what we have earned and brought upon our own selves.

The pandemic helped put everything into focus. It is the frame that focuses us on things that truly matters. We cannot ignore the images we see nor the messages that underlines what we see. It is crunch time. And if we have failed to act, we would have ignored the warnings, the implorings and the passionate appeals sent our way.

Messengers and messages may come in many forms, shades and colours. This time around it was in the form of the corona virus. A tiny and invisible thing, not even a living thing in common parlance and understanding.

Be warned that we ignore the message of the coronavirus at our own peril. Remember the tales of old, where punishment and retribution came quickly on the heels of the ignored Prophets and warners?

Not a leaf falls but that He knows it.

The unbelievers and the overtly fractious were all swept away, like the dirt they were, off the crowded streets of unfaith and rebellion or drowned in the churning seas like the paranoic hordes mentioned in the holy scriptures. They have earned their own fate and just rewards.

It is stated in the Holy Quran that Allah SWT has knowledge of all things, thus:

“And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.” (al-An`ām 59)

Imagine that, even a single leaf falling does not go unnoticed. And yet we think or act in such a manner, as if no one is watching. We think we can hide our acts and the iniquities we have caused in the land.

We also need to take note, and be mindful, of what is said in the book of Isaiah 59:7, an ominous indictment of mankind’s record, thus: “Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways.”

If even a single leaf falling down a tree does not go unnoticed, what more the acts and thoughts highlighted in the passage quoted above?

The frame to view things has been given. It behoves us to pay attention, to re-assess our actions and to make the necessary changes, before it becomes too late. From the frame of things, as it currently stands, get the right perspective.

Not a leaf falls but that He knows it.