On the third day of Ramadan, May 29, 2017, I, along with my two youngest daughters, attended a Ramadan lecture series entitled “Light, Science and Spirituality” at UP Institute of Islamic Studies.
When I reached home, I was inspired to scribble my thoughts in three points which could perhaps draw a deep interrelation to the said lecture: Nurturing the Heart (Light), which concerns Love; Sense of Gratefulness (Science), which concerns the Lover; and The Pain of Separation (Spirituality), which concerns the Beloved.
The respected patriarch of the family, my husband, who happened to be the lecturer in the said event, did not certainly act as a father but as a curious professor to our daughters. He loves to ask them about any subject anytime (during mealtime, bedtime, at the car or during casual conversation) to refresh their minds. At this moment, he needed clarification. As he stepped down to his ignorance, he called our kids.
“Hannah, does the earth rotate around the sun every twenty four hours? He asked and wanted to clarify the duration of its movement.
“No. The earth rotates twenty three point nine hours.” Hannah (grade 2) answered.
He was surprised that the earth does not rotate exactly at twenty-four hours.
“How about other planets. Do they also rotate on their axis and revolve around the sun? Can you name some planets and their rotation? He continued.
“The rotation of Venus is 243 hours. Jupiter’s rotation is ten hours per day. She replied.
“Do they rotate in a clockwise fashion? He wanted to know.
“No.” Hannah said.
“What are the planets that rotate otherwise?” He asked.
“Venus.” Hannah replied.
“In other words, not all planets rotate in a clockwise direction. Thank you very much.” He giggled with satisfaction and told her to go back to her seat.
As he highlighted the rotation of the earth around the sun in 365 days, which one-month of that is holy, he wondered if there was a way to understand this. Since he harped on that all planets rotate in the macro level, even in the micro level the atoms make their own rotation around the nucleus. But he was unsure if they have a similar rotation with the planets in the universe.
Now he called Careema (grade 5), our third daughter who was the only one born at home (of my own volition) in the holy month of Ramadan.
“How many particles of atoms? Do they also rotate similarly?” He asked.
“There are three; protons, neutrons and electrons. In the case of electrons, it can move either clockwise or counterclockwise” She replied.
At this time, he emphasized the consistency of one of the teachings of Islam with the macro and micro level movements of an entity that seem to be in harmony with the natural order of things such as the circumambulation of the pilgrims during hajj in Mecca; they rotate counterclockwise and stop only during prayer time.
Now as my kids sat beside me after being called, a thought ran around my head: If I will be asked about the heavenly and the mundane rotation, I will answer this way:
As a silent builder, I represent the sun that gives light, which you rotate closer to. As you rotate around me in all directions, out of love, the revolution of my love for you is a non-stop activity. I think of you all the time. Wherever you are, I am always with you. And as a homemaker, the things around me represent other planets. And I evolve as they rotate around me.
The washing machine rotates clockwise and counterclockwise which is symbolic of cleansing the impurities of the dominant ego inward and outward. The gas tank controller rotates to release gas in order to fuel the fire of love in the blessed pot of the spirit. The faucet rotates to release water to wash off the stains of the heart and quenches the thirst for nearness of the Loving One.
How powerful the electric fan as it rotates to cool one’s anger and protects the spirit from the threats of damnation. While the ladle rotates to stir the food to nourish the body with strength and compassion, the teaspoon rotates to mix the coffee with honey in order to sweeten it with unity. And as a dancer of truth I revel in joy as I rotate to the left where my heart is located in order to embrace love and increase my intimacy with the Beloved.
As we all live and rotate in a circular space, which symbolizes one, all the planets and other objects revolve for our sake. Hence, it is better to engage in the rotation of the self and evolve in love with the Beloved rather than to take part in the revolution of a fruitless battle and dissolve in enmity with the rebellious self. -JoyWadi
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