It is a joy of its own to recount back the days I had in Japan. I love being able to write during the shinkansen (bullet train) and train rides in between gazing through the window. Hence this post is a continuation of Japan: A Land Steep with Reminders - Part I which has long overdue. I really need to stop promising you readers regarding the date of my next post. I am absolutely ashamed of myself.
Day 4 - The Illusion of Death
We were at the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, sparring some time for rest and prayers. There were a number of crows which reminded us of Uchiha Itachi. We wondered why the crows are there. It's not like the place was dirty. Given that Uchiha Itachi liked to disguise himself as a crow, I bet that crows are closely related to Japanese culture.
|My brother praying at the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. That white plastic bag is not litter but his.|
After praying, we took a stroll on the grounds and came upon a tree on top of which the Sakura flower was blooming in magnificent pink. From what we gathered from our stroll, this is one of the few Sakura blooms on the castle grounds. The rest were still dead or appear dead. Kindly note that we went to Japan during early spring.
|Sakura blooming on the castle grounds|
The Sakura flowers that appear dead, or basically any forms of fauna, are similar to us humans and our lives. With our limited knowledge and foresight, we reached to a conclusion that certain people and situation will forever remain gloom; that their hearts are dead and there is not even a glimmer of hope. We simply couldn't see that a drug addict could be clean one day, that a dyslexia child will fulfill his or her dreams, or that a country will eventually see peace. Even worse, we might view ourselves as a hopeless case.
But we always take for granted the fact that the appearance of Sakura obeys the seasons in accordance to ALLAH's will. The same goes with humans and situations that we view as dark and hopeless; they will change according to ALLAH's will. We always assume that the key reason for people to change is advice from us. Wrong! The key reason is because ALLAH wills it. Our efforts and that person's (the one who should change) effort are secondary reasons.
|Surah Al-Anfal  verse 24|
In the case of hopelessness within ourselves, we should always be reminded how the flower although dead in winter, was able to reborn during spring. People all over the world would flood to Japan just to admire the beauty of Sakura when it blooms. Japanese even hold picnics to admire them. These teach us that mistakes we made and the hardships we go through make us a better and mature person; a more beautiful person up to the point where we will touch people's lives. Thus we should make tawbah (repentance) every time we commit sin and shake of the slithering whispers that say we couldn't be better. On top of that, we should also hold on, be patient, and persevere when the world seems dark.
|Surah Ash-Sharh  verses 5 - 6|
|Surah Al-Baqarah  verse 257|
Day 5 - Tawakkul (trust in ALLAH's plan) and the Fleeting Life
We were at the brink of panic. We need to reach the airport by 9.30am but according to Google Maps, the earliest JR Haruko shinkasen is at 8.48am. That is too late for us! Ditching Google Maps, I remembered that I read earlier before our Japan trip that we can also catch a JR Haruko train at Kyoto Station. Being a central hub and the fact that Japanese take their public transport and time seriously, there must be one train that should give us enough time to reach the airport by 9.30am. I trusted my intention (which was inspired by ALLAH) and put my complete trust in ALLAH. It turns out that I was correct.
In the shinkansen, I didn't write much. Instead, I soaked in the views, cherishing the last moments of my stay in Japan. 5 days went by so fast. But we knew that we had made the most out of the five days. It makes one wonder whether one have made the most of one's time here in this world? Did I actually do something with my life? Will my Maker be happy with me when my time is up?
|Surah Al-Mu'minun  verse 115|