No where in the realm is one more intensely conscious of Allah’s immense power and all engulfing love as is evident in every breathing moment by the ocean………..looking at it, feeling the waves and discovering the treasures left behind by the receding tides.

You wonder what sort of a Creator would send you to a place as a punishment for disobedience but then out of His Mercy and Rahma adorn that very place with beauty, love and grace.

As you walk the shoreline and watch the entire flock of seagulls soar in a curve, dive down for fish and then return to the shore to watch the sunset, you know he wants us to know him, feel his presence and be in awe of Him every living moment. He shows us this to allow us to admire Him, adore him and place Him far above all those that can be adored.

Why is the island such a place where the consciousness of our Creator is a fine honed sixth sense being fed by the basic five.  The senses evolve into a state of being where one exclaims “O my God” or “Allah!” when the sun rises over the water like a fiery baby being born from the cool blue womb of the sea.

Fear of His disobedience touches you as the winds whips the leaves and waves into frenzy at night and the howling sound seeps through the tightly closed panes of the windows reminding us of the fragility of our abode in the face of a hurricane.

His power is leashed and yet when the waves rise up in a storm and thrash on the shore which was previously virgin of ever being touched by water, I am reminded of the manifold power of the Creator of these powerful waves.  As the sand dunes are eaten away bit by bit, by incessant encroaching strength of the waves, one shivers at the thought of that power being unleashed upon our dwellings and yet it is not even an nth of the power of our Creator.

His Majestic presence is nudged into our consciousness with a realization when in the dark night in this tropical island the white face of the moon emerges from the clouds and casts a silvery light enabling me to find the car key that I had dropped on the path.

In the silvery light of the full moon, the waves rise higher and higher till I feel they will reach the second story of the house where I stand looking at them and a shiver goes through me as I acknowledge the Almighty and His attributes some of whom are staring me in the face.

So I turn back to my room, where the sisters are fast asleep, who have retreated from the hubbub of life to search for the answer to How to live with Taqwa?

Taqwa is a complex word, complex in meaning, and complex in understanding and even more challenging in living with it.

What is easy on the island will be a struggle at home. Thus each of us is eager to learn how to embody the essence of living with Taqwa within us.

Learning about living with Taqwa is like flying a kite. We need the right balance of the string, the kite, the wind and an alert sense of where we are poised in life. We need the constant vigilance of all that is around us coupled with quick reflexes to save us from disaster which could result in a kite that is downed or stuck in the electric wires or trees, or an effort at becoming a Muttaqee which may be half hearted.

Thus it is how I begin the first hours of my retreat to the island to learn how to live with Taqwa……….

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