Happy New Year 2006 etc etc. I'm not really into the celebrating of new year (no offence to those who do, ya) with all the fireworks & merriment. It is after all, the passing of one day and the start of another day. What I would celebrate is, the meaning or sentiment attached to a certain date. Reflect on the past, think of how to handle the future.
Having said that, I do wish that the future hold better things for all of us, insyaAllah. 2005 has been a year of awaking for me in many ways, and I hope to put the past in its place and step forward into the future with recharged batteries. Meanwhile, here's a little tazkirah which I got in an email recently, translated and shortened for easier reading.
Long ago, there lived a cruel & hateful king who always abused his subjects. One day, he fell very ill. All 'tabib' from the whole kingdom were called, but nobody could cure the king. Finally one old tabib concluded that the illness can only be cured by eating a certain type of deep-sea fish, which is unfortunately not in season at the moment. Some servants were despatched to the sea, lo and behold, they found an abundance of the off-season deep-sea fishes actually coming up to the surface of the water for them to catch. The king ate the fishes, and soon regained his health.
In another place, there lived a kind & beloved king who was always good to his subjects. He also fell ill, and the royal tabib concluded that the illness can only be cured by eating a certain type of fish which was in season and easily caught as they always come up to the surface of the sea. But when the people went to the sea, they couldn't find even a single fish of that type even though it was in season. The kind king soon died because of that illness.
The malaikat were stumped, and asked of Him "Ya Tuhan kami, why do you send those off-season fish to the surface and consequently the bad king is cured, meanwhile you hid away the in-season fish at the bottom of the sea causing the good king to die?"
Tuhan berfirman "Wahai malaikatku, the bad king once did one good deed and I have now repayed his good deed during his lifetime. When he comes before me in the afterlife, he will come with all his sins without any good deeds, and therefore he will be sent to the bowels of hell. The good king meanwhile, wronged me once in his lifetime, and he has been punished for that wrongness before he died. When he comes before me in the afterlife, he will come with pure goodness as his sin has already been retributed. He will go to heaven."
Lessons to be learned are :-
(1) Some wrongness are punished immediately, so that the sin is retributed in this world and not counted in akhirat. Have faith in this, to help us be strong in times of musibah.
(2) The musibah falling onto a person does not necessarily mean that he/she is a bad or sinful person. Have faith in this, to help us discard prejudice towards other people, and to increase our compassion to help others yang ditimpa musibah.
(3) If you have never had a bad incident, do not be content because who knows maybe the good things you've had so far are merely a 'cash repayment' of your good deeds so far, and you may be running out of good deeds for the afterlife. Have faith in this, so that we will always balance the worldly and the spiritual aspects of our lives.
(4) Lastly, maksud Allah siapa yang tahu? Nobody can predict, only He knows.