As-salamu’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
I was just going through some old photographs last night and came across this one of a bird which I took on one of my trips in Istanbul.
This very bird flew alongside the boat we were in, from one side of the sea to the other. I remembered how I marvelled at its compelling form; its beauty and at its speed; its peaceful and calm disposition; and how Allah subhanahu wa’tala has made it so easy for birds to remain aloft. As He subhanahu wa’tala says in the Qur’an:
“Do they not see the birds held (flying) in the midst of the sky? None holds them but Allah [none gave them the ability to fly but Allah]. Verily, in this are clear proofs and signs for people who believe (in the Oneness of Allah). (16:79)”
Whilst reminiscing over this picture, one of my favourite quotes came to mind:
“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one”
~ Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Isn’t it amazing how we often find ourselves moving back and forth from one idea/reaction to it’s opposite! I find myself in this situation quite often actually, where at the time, I can be so adamant and convinced that one idea/reaction is right for me, yet days later (sometimes even minutes!), I change my mind to the complete opposite!
Just like Allah subhanahu wa’tala has given birds the ability to maintain aloft and balance themselves with their two wings; we as humans are given the gift of having two “wings” to help us keep that balance in place for us. Allah subhanahu wa’tala has given us the ability to learn, explore and deal with things in life through various ways and means, and quite often it is through the means of opposites. For example, the wing of fear and hope will always work together; when part of us is in fear, the other part will be in hope. The wing of darkness and light will always work together; the light will always show and help us in the darkness, and so on. Just like Rumi says, to give us two wings to fly and not one!
I’m sure Rumi’s quote can be interpreted in many ways, and the above is just a couple of my thoughts…..
To end, another profound quote on a similar topic which comes to mind is:
“The Heart, in its journey to Allah subhanahu wa’tala is like that of a bird:
Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the
head and two wings are sound the bird flies gracefully; if the
head is severed, the bird dies; if the bird loses one of its wings, it
then becomes a target for every hunter or predator.”
~ Hafiz Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi