✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

On New Year and the metaphor of the butterfly

Dear brethren, when the Arab-African sociologist and theorist, Ibn Khaldun, said that ‘the past resembles the future just like water resembles water’, he was probably…

Dear brethren, when the Arab-African sociologist and theorist, Ibn Khaldun, said that ‘the past resembles the future just like water resembles water’, he was probably goaded into reaching that conclusion after a close contemplation of the slippery features of human life and the contradictions in our existence. What Ibn Khaldun is saying in essence is that nothing in today’s world is new.

Brethren, though today is the 6th of Jumadah Thanni 1444 A.H, the whole world is at the cusp of a new Gregorian year; the year 2022 is at the ‘departure hall’. If you happen to be the perceptive type, you would have discovered that the passage of time from yesterday to today, the passage of one year into another, is like the passage from life into eternity. In other words, nothing extraordinary usually takes place to herald the ‘birth’ and ‘death’ of a year. The same way darkness pervaded the horizon last year, the same way it would tomorrow when the year 2023 ‘enters’ unto us. What is actually changing is you and me. What is changing is the clock; the unseen clock which ticks inside me and you. I looked at my hair the other day and I discovered I have more grey hairs than I did last year. I contemplated my face in the mirror and I discovered some miracles. Somehow the Abdul Hafis of today look completely different from that of yesterday. I knew that my face had changed. How it did without me knowing is a miracle. I knew something had changed in me. I know I am changing. How did I change without knowing it remains a miracle!

New police recruits to be deployed for 2023 elections – IGP

Zamfara recruits 2000 ‘anti-thuggery’ personnel

Now dear brethren, of all lessons that life keeps teaching me, the most solemn appears to be that to be successful not only yearly but on a daily basis, people need to be in constant touch with their Creator. The line connecting me with Him must be active; it should be a direct line; a line which admits of no intermediary or intervention from a third party.

To be connected to the Almighty means I must avoid all frivolities and shun vain talk. To shun vain talks implies pitching your tenth with the truthful. This, no doubt, would be a very difficult virtue to imbibe particularly in this clime and time. The truthful, in this clime is usually an enemy of earthly principalities; the truthful in this time is often a loner, the wretched. The truthful usually finds the doors of the rich and powerful ever unattractive and loathsome. He is seen as an enigma if not someone suffering from dementia. The truthful amongst human beings would most likely not be found in the circle of the politicians, he would most likely not be a comrade to the moral Lilliputians who luxuriate on a daily basis in the vanities of the temporality of earthly positions and the illusions of bodily enchantments.

To be successful in 2023 is to be patient with your Creator. Lack of patience is responsible for the way Nigerians change their center and places of worship like the diapers of their babies.

To be successful in 2023, you need to keep up your prayers. Cultivate the virtue of observing tahajjud (night prayers). (Q73). If you desire to succeed and overcome the turbulence of 2023, you need to cultivate the habit of waking up at night when everyone else is asleep in order to connect with your Creator.

To be successful in 2023, please ponder this story: “A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So, the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Allah’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Brethren! Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If the Almighty allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong. We would never be able to “fly”!