May I relate a wonderful incident-
There lived in a town a Him-fearing merchant

A man came running from another town
And told,
“Your ship in waters has gone down”

The merchant looked down for a while
And then said with smile “Al hamdu lillah”!

After some time there came another news
“The ship that sank was not yours”!

Again, he looked down for a while
And then said with smile “Al hamdu lillah”!

The people around was struck with surprise
What was this secret, they could not appraise

They wondered why his reply for both was same
For the first one, ‘Inna lillah’ why he didn’t exclaim?

The merchant in return replied
Why hamd had he mentioned

“When I heard that the ship had submerged
I checked my heart to see if it was disturbed

When I found it was not shaken
I praised Him for not being forsaken

Then when I heard that the ship was not mine
I checked my heart did any special joy gain

When I found it was like before still calm
I praised Him for keeping my heart firm”

O Tasbih!

A believer and world
Is like ship and water

As long as the ship is above the water,
It will sail smoothly over the latter

But when water enters inside the ship
It will be destroyed during its trip

A believer lives in this world
But not world inside his heart

June 12 2004. Inspired by a religious lecture

Notes

Inna lillah : To Allah do we belong. This is the words said when a believer comes across any unfavorable news

Hamd: The praise of Allah