April 16, 2010

Who am I?

The question that is bringing about a change in my life! I was asked this question a few weeks ago. The question looks simple but it is quite the opposite! The only thing that came to my mind at that instant was, that I’m a Muslim boy with a Pakistani nationality! But then Uncle Tariq, the uncle who I told you about in my previous post, helped me out a bit. He said that I’m a brother to a loving big brother, I’m a son to very amazing parents, and several other things which were so obvious yet I overlooked them. That made me think that I should remind myself about these things as it seems very ungrateful and I don’t want to be left speechless again if I’m asked such a question. All this, being my so-called identity was nothing of my own doing! Everything that defined me was a result of someone or something else. This fact made me feel really tiny, and I thought to myself that if all this is nothing I’ve contributed to then what is!

I started to feel really useless, and thought that my identity is not really mine to start with. Then I was given a quote of Einstein to ponder over:

“A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.

I went online and looked up a few forums to see what people had to say about this. To me it seemed that Einstein was saying, if one lives in a world looking at everything with his own perspective, he’s stuck to a very narrow view of life, if he take a chance to look at things in other’s perspectives it will give him a better understanding of the world he’s living in. Another idea I came up with was, that because every thing around us is part of us….as in, the universe is so interlinked that we can not isolate ourselves from it. But there’s a lot more to it than I was thinking!

The analogy I was given was that of an egg-shell. The identity I mentioned earlier is a part of that shell, and every other thing that I have gained from others without having a choice to do so! My mission was to crack myself out of that shell! The first step was to realise that I was in a shell, and after all I had thought of in the past few days, it was quite clear to me that I am stuck in a shell! The second step is to start cracking the shell! But first let me tell you more about what its made of to make things clearer. The biggest part of the shell is the religion we’ve been taught by our parents. Parents being the authority of what we are to believe in teach us what they’ve learnt or been taught! We accepted it because they told us to do so and because of the young age we just stored it in our memories and kept doing what we were told to. But all of that which is learnt and not felt is not yours but only a part of the shell around you. Realising the reality is what makes the difference. Knowing Who Allah is, understanding why we were created by Him, and all the questions that come in one’s mind during some point of their life! Those of you who read my post “Awakening” know that these questions are bound to come up in everyone’s life some time or the other. This is something I discussed with my cousin and it helped clear things for me! It all ends up to the fact that, we human beings and everything we see around us are dependent! Allah is Independent! And my conclusion is, that if we solely depend on Allah, all other dependencies of ours will vanish! I put a lot of thought on this and I will discuss it in another post.

Getting back to the fact that rediscovering ones beliefs is necessary because that’s your belief! Not what you are taught but what you feel! It’s an amazing feeling. Life changing, I must say! And its the first thing one should grab on to when stepping out of the shell! Another reason why faith is so essential is that, knowing our Creator is the best way of knowing ourselves! Although I’ve not grasped it completely but surely feel it! Reffering to a pervious post again, “AIM”, meditation is something which really helps one through this stage! But remember to ask Allah for protection while doing so, as Satan is waiting to pounce on vulnerable minds!

Uncle asked me, if I were to change my name today and go to university, would I be able to do so! My immediate reaction was that it would be difficult, as that person wouldn’t have the background I do. But then thinking bout it, I realised that when I go meet new people, they don’t know me by my background is but for who I am! The impression I make in front of them is me! And whether my name is Ghazi or George, it’s not going to change the way I am. This was an eye opener for me! I felt as if I had finally stepped out of the shell!

I’ve come up with quite a few analogies to this, one is the butterfly analogy. We live in our cocoon and keep living in it! Most of us die in that cocoon. But those who evolve into butterflies are the ones who live a beautiful life, just like the butterfly, fluttering from flower to flower! Letting the breeze carry it to heights! What a life that is, you can only know once you come out of that cocoon. The other analogy which I came across a few days ago is the seed analogy. We all are seeds in the ground. It is only when we split open the seed, that life starts! Our roots hold onto the soil, in our case faith! And the immaculate tree we become is what the world sees, the stronger and deeper the roots, the tree stronger and taller the tree! Our duty for the upcoming generation is just to create that seed and give it enough energy to split open, and shed it! The rest is up to it!

I’ve been meaning to write this for many days now. I tried to write before, but every time I would think of starting I wouldn’t feel ready! Today, I’ve finally passed that hurdle! I’m starting to know myself better day by day! Since I was comfortably living away in that shell of mine, I feel kind of insecure at times. But now its time to grow those roots and stand strong!

May Allah help me in my life outside the shell, and everyone else who has or is trying to step out! Ameen


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