You all remember the famous nursery rhyme “Row, row, row your boat?” (c’mon, we all were brought up singing this!) Well, our beloved teacher, Shaykh Afifi al-Akiti (May Allah preserve him and allow us to benefit from him) used this nursery rhyme as an analogy to explain life. Shaykh Afifi said:
Row, row, row your boat (hard work in this life)
Gently down the stream (your life is being directed by Qada’ and Qadar)
Merrily,merrily,merrily, merrily (enjoying life)
Life is but a dream (the reality of this life is summed up in this last verse!)
Hence, the Shaykh mentioned that “wisdom” is the lost camel (property) of the believer. Therefore, we take wisdom from whatever source it comes from, even if it is from our enemies. The Shaykh prayed to show things as how they actually are, and for us to know good when it is good, and to know bad when it is bad, without being distracted by the outer veil.
(Jazaka’llahu khayran to sidi Tun Wildan for narrating, and reminding me of this beautiful gem!)