As I finish my morning adkaars, I glance out to see the gold of the early morning reflecting on the ocean. The sun is cloistered behind a cloud so not much is seen of its dazzle.
I am impressed by the subtlety with which it uncovers itself, every morning be it at the oceanside or the river.
The first sign of the morn is the spreading haze of a gloriously subtle peachy light, which spreads evenly over everything. I recall when Ibrahim AS witnessed the glorious sunrise he said “Is that my Lord?” and of course he also answers his rhetorical query with “it cannot be because it sets” I note that a cloud hides it.
Allah SWT has programmed each of its creation to do things on time and yet I find myself always behind since I do not do the things when they are supposed to be done.
Some call it procrastination I call it “swapping “. All the essential things do need to be done and have to be done, if they are not done at the designated time they take someone, or something else’s’ time and get done. All this swapping increases the stress level in me.
However, not the sun, the moon and the stars, they are truly obedient to the commands of Allah SWT and do His (SWT) bidding not only on time but at the precise moment, not even a millisecond here or there. I bet they are never stressed, as we are for a deadline unmet.
I decide to walk out to observe how Allah’s creatures perform Dhikr in the morning.
Since by the time I set out to the oceanside, the sun even though partially hidden behind a cloud is up and perhaps I have missed the fajr Dhikr? I note that some of His (SWT) creatures are looking for sustenance, in their own unique style.
The sandpipers on their slim short legs run with a speed that beats me, to find their morning meal brought in by the incoming waves. After pecking precisely for their food in the sand, they rush of to another section keeping one eye on my proximity.
I note that when finished with their morning meal, they neither waste nor store, nor take in excess and there is no israaf in their behavior. They fly away having eaten to their fill with the complete confidence in their Lord that when the evening comes He (SWT) will provide them with sustenance.
The seagulls are slower and less hurried in seeking their sustenance. They relax by the water, wading in it perhaps doing their morning dhikr and are in no rush to eat and leave. They also unlike the sandpipers do not need company. The cool morning breeze ruffles their shiny feathers as they seek their morning sustenance brought to them with the incoming waves. I note that interspersed with periods of looking for food are periods of mediation and Dhikr. They seem to be enjoying and appreciating their surroundings with serenity.
I walk on and suddenly the tall reeds on the dunes light up in the morning light and start to sway in the gentle morning breeze. Perhaps this is their dhikr. Allah SWT says in the Quran that all His creatures are in Dhikr and each of His creation including plants and even rocks are in tasbeeh. I find myself at their side, as the nod in the breeze and the morning light transforms them into golden rods.
I find great harmony, serenity and solace in this scene enveloping me, where all the creation of Allah SWT is in morning Dhikr. I find myself saying ‘Subhanallah’ again and again and realize that I too am in Dhikr.
As the sun, sporadically peeks around its cloud hijab, I find two dogs frolicking in the water, what better way to express to their Lord, the appreciation of His bounties!
I begin to head back, Subhanallah on my lips and Alhamdollillah in my heart; I leave the ocean and enter the forest to return home. I see a glossy black salamander sunning on the flattened brown part of a palm leaf. He is so silent and so immobile that for a moment I am unsure if he is alive or not. As I bend down to photograph him, he slides off and disappears into the underbrush leaving me with a tinge of regret at interrupting his Dhikr.
As I round the bend I come upon the shady humid part of the forest, and I find the sentinel mushrooms rooted to their spot in silent Dhikr, patient and immobile and sabir in their immobility.
By now, the heat of the sun is on me and I am attacked by the ‘no seeums’ who suck my blood with a vengeance leaving welts on my arms and feet. I guess Dhikr is ended and hunting begins in earnest.
I return home feeling that I am a minuscule part of Allah’s creation that is in dhikr. I am overwhelmed with the symphony of Dhikr that I witnessed this morning and am sobered by the fact that none of them were human beings.
Why had I not noticed the symphony of nature in Dhikr before?