In the five lives of man, none is as potent in taking him away from purity and peace as the one in which he walks the earth after birth till death.
In his first life he is a genome of Adam, filled with Light and imprinted with the covenant to Allah as his Master, waiting in line to enter the womb of his mother. In his second life, which is in the womb, he is exposed to the shenanigans of the mother and her environment. He is jostled with the good and the injurious. He manages to clutch to his inner Light as he rides the waves of the Nafs of the mother.
At 16 weeks he has a visitation in the womb wherein an angel arrives with tidings for his future, his sustenance, his death and his circumstances. These are pasted on his forehead for all to see if they could see within the womb. However before he exits the womb his forehead is covered up and his fate is no longer visible to onlookers.
Each child of Adam is born with the inherent knowledge that Allah gave Adam of the names and the supremacy of Allah. He also carries within him the pure Light and the heart is its carrier.
After the expulsion from the womb he finds himself helpless to the buffeting of the wims of his parents and circumstances. He is beginning his third life which will end with death.
As time passes he realizes that he has choices. If his choice does not match his parents he expresses it in sounds of disgruntlement, facial expressions and when these are of no avail the shrill sound of crying emanates as a cry for help. If still his needs are not met, he fights with all his might, which the adults call a “temper tantrum”. This fighting out by a helpless child is the outcome of a communication breakdown between the adult and the baby. If still there is no response from the adult and no resolution of the conflict between his choice and his caretakers, he withdraws and begins a period of sadness in which he feels helpless, and untethered.
All through this his heart in which the Light shines to show the path is struggling against the darkness of his environment.
What is shown to him in love, hate, connectedness, communication, joy and appreciation of the bounties of Allah by his caretakers affects his heart.
What food do his caretakers put into him also affects his heart. Allah has given guidelines for foods that lead to health and happiness.
If the food being fed to the child is not halal and tayyab it may make his body respond to it either violently with immediate expulsion or if the parents persist in giving it becomes a rumbling defiance of the body against impurity manifested as an allergy or “intolerance to food”.
These are the early days of childhood and at this time he is influenced by the actions and behavior of his caretakers. He is entirely dependent on them emotionally and physically, though the Light shines in his infant heart and sometimes out of his eyes and face as a smile.
If he is constantly barraged with negativity and his caretakers lack God consciousness that contravenes his Fitra, it creates a war within him. This conflict within may manifest as oppositional behavior, acting out and general obstinacy against what his caretakers want him to do.
However if at this time his caretakers turn to Allah and become God conscious in their actions an aura of peace settles within him, as he is reassured of his connectedness with Allah and his caretakers.
God consciousness in his parents brings the mercy of Allah to his house and environment, allowing the inner Light in his heart to shine and show him the way to happiness and put joy in his existence.
It reassures him that his caretakers are his connection with Allah and they will not exert their physical power over him to sever his tie to His Creator
With this comes a sense of peace and the child is described as a well-adjusted child, happy and at peace with his environment.
The presence of rituals like Salah that turn his parents to face their Creator several times a day anchors him and he learns to dial the number to communicate with his Creator bringing to him an additional layer of security. His inner Light strengthens as he outstretches his hand to the Divine in these rituals though his lips are yet too immature to utter the words.
Every day of his life he stands at the crossroad of pleasing his Nafs for immediate gratification or pleasing his Creator by delaying immediate gratification of his Nafs. Every day he has to make a choice.
His choice is easier to make if he has had years of “settling” within him, with protection from the grime of disobedience of Allah that collects and blinds the heart. If his caretakers become God conscious this will provide him the opportunity to keep his heart polished so that the inner Light shines and becomes a beacon of guidance for making his daily choices.
Choices will be presented to him as long as he is in his third life, i.e. the life on this earth. By his actions in his third life he will be choosing what happens to him and where he goes in his fourth and fifth life.
To be continued…………..
Acknowledgement: I gratefully thank Sheikh AL Najjar for introducing me to the five lives of man on the journey to Marrakesh from Fez.