Posted by: Dawud Israel | December 28, 2009

Cracks in Existence


{ We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except with truth, and for an appointed term. But those who disbelieve turn away from that whereof they are warned.}[Quran 46:3]

I find it a fascinating theme to look through the world and all you see as true, as nothing more than a series of cracks. The space that is between the Heavens and the Earth- the space that we occupy, is nothing more than a big gigantic crack between the heavens and earth.

The cracks we see emerge among people who conceal their sensitivities, show us humanity. We see the inability of others, engender mercy in our own hearts- the cracks in the confused, cause even greater cracks in the sincere, creating more humility and soft-heartedness.

The brief glimpse of cracks we see among the unassuming, ordinary Muslims that make us wonder if they are Awliya. Wonder is a crack made upon the closed mind…opening it and showing it the vastness of Allah’s work.

The cracks in our thinking, the flawed nature of our discourse, those glaring cracks in our reasoning, speaking to us…”Well I tried my best, but this shortcoming, this glaring crack in my work, is a signature of who I am, of my human nature before Allah.”

And what is kindness but a crack, a breaking of a social norm for the sake of sincerity? What are miracles but cracks in our everyday normal experience, to remind us there is a Being, a cause behind the construction- and destruction- of this world.

And when the sky is torn away, (Surah Takwir)

What would the scientist say? “There has been a rip in the time-space continuum!”

What would the Sufi ascetic say? “Allah gifts His beloved righteous servants by tearing away the veils”

Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam’s) Isra wal Miraaj occurred as if between the closing and opening of a door.

Cracks are short and brief- Nuh described his 950 years of life on Earth, as like entering a house through the front door only to no sooner, just walk out through the back.

What happened to Musa when He asked to see Allah? Wasn’t the mountain blown away to bits?

No, rather we are to see Allah not in His full form, but through the lens of the cracks. Glimpses, peeks, like whispers…and then what is Qiyamah but when too many cracks have been made upon our reality, and it is time for us to come face to face with the One whose Majesty caused these cracks to ripple through the human experience.

What happened to the Red Sea when Musa called out “Inna ma’ia rabbi sayahideen– My Lord is with me and He will certainly guide me!” ? The Red Sea split, it tore and became a new creation, a watery hall sculpted by the Divine for Musa to walk through? Perhaps that is the nature of all cracks, to become a new creation to testify His greatness.

Look at the cracks on your skin, there are wrinkles in your brain, dimples in your smile. Their exist cracks on all idols, waiting to be shattered by Tawheed, God-consciousness and piety.

Isn’t that the nature of tazkiya and tarbiya? For us to fast, to become great…to endure trials to become stronger, for we could not become a new creation unless that crack had been made in our life, unless we endured difficulty to become a new creation.
Allah loves those cracks and makes them permanent if they are with the truest intentions and with the highest idhqan.

And rida (contentment) is that quick transition between a crack, and the birth of a new creation.

Does not Allah call us to look at the seed when it splits open revealing life within? How many times is agriculture in the Quran compared to good deeds?

Did you ever notice how when you see a truly good act coming from someone, a crack is made in how you perceive the world? Perhaps, the Qurans analogy of agriculture and good works, is fitting, since these cracks are what keep us going. The breaking of bread, for eating and as a sign of peace.

Isn’t poetry a cracking of language?

What is life but a crack between the darkness before birth and the darkness after death? And the grave but a crack in the Earth?
A heartbeat but a crack between silence, breath a transition from one side of a crack to the other,
taste, a crack between tastelessness
sight, but light breaking through a crack in the darkness
and tears, a crack in our very soul.

This is what I see in between the cracks…what do you see?

“Long before writing was invented, human beings read their world. They interpreted their dreams and the flights of birds. They read the intestines of sacrificial animals and the memories of their ancestors. They read the things that surprised them, or the things that reminded them of something else. Most of all, they read in the places where there were holes — spaces — gaps. They filled up the blanks of the universe, as though they were pages, with writing. Leonardo advised aspiring artists to “discover” the pictures to be found in the cracks in walls; Chinese sages were conceived as their mothers stepped into the footprints of unicorns; all of us make up our lives out of the cracks in the walls of our past memories and the unicorn footprints of our future. The making of a life is similar to the making of a text. We live by reading our own stories[…].” -Lynda Sexon

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

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