The Fly of God

Have you ever wondered why a mosquito or a fly lands on your face at precisely that moment in the early dawn when you know you should wake up and get out of bed? Did you swat it or did you thank it for waking you? In over 40 years of crossing that rubicon of consciousness from the dream world into this world at dawn in order to pray, I have always marveled at the obedience of these creatures following their orders from above – “Wake that man from his sleep!” is the command from on high! I once had a wonderful tabby cat called Louis who at every dawn would amble into my bedroom and lurk very near my head. He knew I knew he was there and if  I didn’t wake up and get out of bed he would whack me on my head. How could I be annoyed with him? After all he too was just obeying orders; an innocent creature.

We all know enough theology to believe implicitly in the decree of God, that everything is intended, everything is written, and that the ink is dry and that all things happen by divine decree and fore-knowledge – and yet we still utter things like ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Touch Wood’ as if life is just a random lottery. Which is why it seemed important to view that fly waking me at dawn as intimate divine attention and not to see it as anything else.

I have only been robbed a few times in my life and it is not pleasant, as anyone who has experienced it will tell you. You feel shock, violation, loss, anger, humiliation and other unpleasant emotions. I might have even entertained notions of physical revenge but not knowing the criminal involved it was a pointless idea. But in rationalising the experience you eventually have to concede that the Lord of the Worlds permitted them to break into your car or into your house and that there is not much you can do about it. Maybe it was a tax on your property for not giving out enough.

For about eight years in the 1990s my wife and I ran a tiny sub-post office in Cambridgeshire and I employed various devices to protect it from thieves as I knew that a post office was a soft touch, carrying a fair amount of money at most times. I placed an ayat al kursi above the entrance as well as reciting it around the whole property. We had no burglaries over the whole time we were there but I know that the people who took on the post office from us had several break-ins over the following two year period they were there. Coincidence? I think not. Another one of those phrases we use all the time…” just a coincidence”.

I’ve learnt now to see everything that happens as having meaning and that there is no such thing as a random event. Even to the point that if I am in a hurry driving my car and the car in front is slowing me down, I can now accept that I am being slowed down deliberately and probably being saved from some accident (another of those words!) which I might have been hurtling towards. As was pointed out to me many years ago by a friend: don’t hurry to the airport to catch a plane, as when you are crashing down from 30,000 feet you’ll be cursing yourself for having hurried to catch it. Food for thought.

Once understood, all this explains just about everything and it’s a very useful knowledge to have in my opinion. It explains where your food comes from, where your work comes from, where your provision comes from, provision of food for the body and food for your eternal soul. Every single little thing that happens in your life in other words good or bad.  This is really the secret of relief from anxiety and to be content with one’s life. And here is another secret, trivial though it may appear. It’s how to find a parking place for your car when you cannot easily find one. Just say out loud and sincerely ” I totally give up looking for a parking place.” See what happens. For me it rarely fails.

Lord of all flies. Lord of all parking places.

About Ian Whiteman

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9 Responses to The Fly of God

  1. Faatimah says:

    Inspired, masha’Allah, thank you for sharing

  2. nay says:

    so what are your thoughts about someone reciting and still getting robbed?
    Or those people who have never recited anything and never been robbed?
    Or what about the fly that repeatedly lands on your face when you are praying?

  3. nay says:

    or what about the countless animals that dont wake anyone up?
    didnt they get the memo?
    next you will tell us you saw an arabic word in a fruit or chapati, as further proof
    just as the Catholic sees his icons in a burnt piece of toast.

  4. ian whiteman says:

    I know of people who have been robbed whilst making tawaf of the Ka’ba and possessions stolen whilst praying in mosques….and worse. What do I think of that? Pretty bad. And what do I think of people who never pray (recite) and who never get robbed? Probably got good security and remember to lock their doors at night. Can’t say I’ve ever had the fly landing on my face while praying experience. But what happens happens and I for one can’t second-guess the decree of God.

    As for my fly story, I’m just telling you what happened to me and what I thought of it. It taught me not to curse little irritations and that there might possibly be some reason for them. OK?

  5. nay says:

    “I for one can’t second-guess the decree of God.”
    Thats exactly right.

  6. Shadee says:

    Perfect. This is what will put the anti-depressant/stress relief industry out of business. If we could just get this out to ppl, they could save their money.

  7. acairominute says:

    Beautiful article sir!

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