Bring up the idea of all humanity being connected as one organism, and most people, Muslim or not, will probably look at you like you followed the Grateful Dead on tour for too long…
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said that this Ummah is like one body. When one part of it complains, the rest of it responds with fever and wakefulness. But what I was thinking about last night is simply how people are in tune with each other, outside of empathy or sympathy for pain and suffering.
Some people say that this “psychic abillity,” but I think what it is is simply human instinct. Some are more attuned to their inner voices than others. A lot of people are taught to ignore their instincts, esp. women (we talked about this last year). But when you think of all the “strange” things, those funny “coincidences” you’ve experienced…
I know I’m not the only mother out there who is doing something, say, cooking, or reading, when I suddenly have the feeling that I must go now b/c the baby is about to wake. And sure enough, as soon as I step into the room or sit down next to where he is, his eyes pop open. This must happen to me at least twice a day, maybe more.
Or how many times do you pick up the phone to call your husband and he’s there on the other end? This happens to us all the time. I also, almost all the time, know when he’s coming down the street, even though I can’t see or hear his car unless I’m standing right at the window (which I’m too busy to do). It isn’t a coincidence. It’s being part of the same body of humanity. There is some connection there, through the hearts or through blood, something that ties us together, mash’Allah.
Is this connection stronger for the Muslimeen, because our hearts are inclined a certain way? I don’t know, but so, so many people, throughout the centuries, have attested to special connections like these among the people who are close to a particular teacher or who are in a tariqa, and especially among those who are close to the Prophet (sallalahu aleyhi wa salaam) in terms of sending salawat on him and loving him as Allah commands us to, and those who are close to Allah because His Name is never far from their lips. Asra Adiba talks about this connection between the Muslimeen, between family, between students and teachers, and between the Muslim, Allah, and His Messenger in the halaqa entitled, “Boundaries of Love.”
Anyway, I just wish that we could be more conscious of this than the things that preoccupy us. We are supposed to compete in doing good works, but so often, we compete in one upmanship. Even da’wah workers are not immune to this. People get caught up in having control, authority, leadership, and exclusivity. We lose sight of the big picture; sometimes temporarily, and sometimes until it’s too late. Being aware of our human and Muslim connection would lead to things like courtesy, like a real unity… It’s a small thing, but you have to start somewhere.