It's not normal for me to get depressed. In fact being a Muslim has bought so much contentment to my life, yet sometimes a sort of dark cloud seems to cover that warming light of Allah's guidance. Maybe it is remoteness from Him, the Merciful, due to forgetfulness, but that cloud brings a shiver of cold, emptiness.
As I was cycling to work a few weeks back it seemed the long and cold winter had taken its toll on me. Perhaps it was that seasonal disorder that some people get affected by when they don't get enough sunlight. I find myself pining for the long hot summer days. Bar-b-Q's, badminton and bike rides; praying on the grass in the fresh evening breeze as birds sing in the leafy green trees.
The winter was long, the trees bare, the ground cold, the wind biting. It seemed as if summer would never come. Then the first day of spring! The air warmed and that miracle of those first flowers, crocuses and daffodils. I was looking and smiling.
I had a group in the mosque that day. University students studying theology, and the topic of suffering came up, and I thought of the daffodils and the sun and the winter and the cold and realised that if it were not for the winter, we would never appreciate the summer. It was the contrast with what came before that made what came after taste so sweet. How would we know good if there was no evil, or health without sickness, or joy without sadness. How would we really understand the reality of Allah's forgiveness without sinning and repenting from those sins and feeling the reality of Allah's Mercy engulf us and experience the bliss of Him lifting the burdens from our backs?
yaa mukalib al kuloob, thabit kuloobana ala deenic.
Oh turner of hearts, turn my heart to your obedience!