Okay so it was a bit more than a weekend, but at least I had an enjoyable Winter Break. I am going to start right where I finished, so if you do not remember you might want to look at the earlier blog. The first section italicized is the ending of the first part.
…and I was able to zoom past the cars (well crowds of people) and catch all four rakats (the units of prayer). Allah Akbar, I felt great as I was coming back to my office and I felt that I finally learnt my lesson (the bike was evidence in itself) so I got distracted and watched some more videos and that night I dreamt something that is not significant in any way to the story and I do not even remember the dream.
Saturday comes and since I have two exams coming up (Monday and Tuesday) I end up spending all morning and afternoon studying. Evening comes and once again I go back to my office to try to crack the program. Being the excellent time manager I am I plan to finish the whole project on Saturday night so that I have time to study during Sunday for my Biochem exam on Tuesday. I get stuck on the project, just completely stuck and this is at a time when I have only finished 4 our 6 datasets and did not even start part two. The reason I got stuck, because I decided to use matrices to solve my problem not even realizing that the program I am using is not even equipped to handle this. It was midnight, I did not want to give up, but I had no choice I was stuck. However, I needed to leave on a positive note and so I planted a seed by sending a SOS (Save Our Salah) letter to my professor and went home for the day.
Sunday, I spend all morning getting ready for my Monday afternoon exam and I headed to my lab after praying Zuhr (or noon). I start my computer and the seed I planted yesterday night grew, the ships responded to my SOS (but only by saying hello and not saving me). Okay enough metaphors, the professor answered and gave me a hint. For those three seconds as I read the letter, I felt enlightened and understood what path I must take: more complex matrices. So I work on it and get stuck again (since as stated above the code is very hard for matrices), send an email to the professor and keep fiddling with the code. While waiting for his response, my surroundings got dark (figuratively and literally) and I felt lost and confused. This time I refused to give up and I kept my duaa(praying) for a way out as I struggled with it. After a couple of hours, I got an answer and the same scenario repeats itself, a couple of times. By the time I had asked my fourth of fifth question, I was very deep into matrices and I even found a way to overcome the system. I felt happy and sent an email to the professor about my success and kept working on each dataset slowly but surely. I had two datasets left that were a bit more complicated than the others when the professor responded and told me that I am doing everything wrong and I should read chapter one again.
It was about 8 PM, I just found out that everything I have been doing this day was wrong. My concentration was collapsing and I was about to give up and call it a day. On top of this I was not able to spend not even one minute for my Biochem exam, my hardest subject. It was a really dark time for me but somehow I got the courage to continue. And I made even more duaa (prayer) and opened my binder to chapter one and started back again from scratch and this time slowly but surely (I love that word) I got it right. It took my four hours with some guidance from my professor to finish the project. And just after 12 am I completed my project and I felt so good and so happy to complete that I went and slept in the masjid (well I technically did that to gain some studying time, since we have an excellent library, kitchen and of course community).
The reason why I brought up this long winded and somewhat boring story was that it made think of life in general. I believe that every one of us (humans) at some point of time experience something (call it enlightenment if you want) that tells us and confirms in our heart the existence of God. Yet these time points are between all this darkness and confusion, in which it is very easy for us to get lost. And by getting lost I mean lose our purpose and focus in this life and that is to worship our creator and get closer to him and learn how to love and fear him at the same time(think of your parents, you love them dearly but you fear to make them angry[especially if you live in the Middle East]). Yet if we have patience and keep working on it, when the next time the enlightenment comes we get closer to God and get to experience these enlightenments more and more often as we continue to seek God. Yet it is also so easy to get lost and end up following the wrong path, but as long as our intentions are pure, I believe that God will always lead us to the straight path.
On a side topic this story also made me think of the example of the hypocrites in Quran, who when lightning strikes the get up and move and when it becomes completely dark they sit. As I thought about it, I realized the key difference is that in the case of the believer, he is seeking God regardless while the hypocrite waits until the light appears before he does any action. Below I have pasted the verse along with its explanation.
“ The lightning terrifies them as if it would snatch away their eyesight. When they see light, they walk a little, and when it becomes dark for them, they stand still. Indeed, if Allah willed, He could take away their sight and hearing. Allah has power over all things.” (2:20)
Explanation: As we notice from the above verses, the disbeliever and the hypocrites suffer from confusion in the mind. Sometimes they act as though they see the truth; sometimes they are hesitant with fear and excitement, and sometimes they are in complete darkness. In spite of this inner turbulence, Allah preserves their sanity. Those who want to believe, believe; while those who wish to disbelieve, disbelieve and prepare themselves for eternal punishment.
In the end, never forget your purpose in life and that is to worship God and always be patient, seek God and make sure that you make a lot of prayers for God to lead you, since the blind can never lead the blind.