Re-Connecting on a Safari*
By Hend Zaid
Rihla Reflections by Hend
As we embarked on our journey into the serene Australian Outback, feelings of curiosity and excitement filled our hearts and minds. Unsure of exactly what it was we would experience, there was one thing I was certain of; I would embrace and enjoy all that we encountered regardless of what it was, for everything is a beautiful blessing from Allah. Little did I know or expect the immense effect that this life changing experience would infuse in me.
Being surrounded by the beauty of nature and the friendship of wonderful companions instilled a sense of contentment and overall peace on a magnitude I had never experienced before. I felt connected and at one with my surroundings, completely present and in my element, appreciating and contemplating on all that Al-Khaliq (The Creator) has created and the forms He has given them.
From the tiny granules of red sand which so smoothly and quickly ran through my fingers returning to the earth as I picked up a handful, to the amazing beauty and extensive view of Mount Deception, I remembered Verse 21, Surat 59 in the Holy Qur’an, Al-Hashr (The Gathering),
“Had we sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which we put forward to mankind that they may reflect.”
This compelled me to ponder deeply on my life and current state.
While trekking through the different terrain in the desert, away from the comfortable lifestyles we lived, bonding with our camels, such large yet gentle and soft creatures, whom we developed a fond attachment with we were blessed to get a slight insight as to how our Beloved Prophet, Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him and his companions travelled through the land. We could only imagine the hardships they may have encountered and connection they built with their camels while travelling together over a long period of time.
This spiritual journey which allowed us to connect with nature, get back to basics, and rediscover ourselves. It also awakened a connection, appreciation, and love for all that Al-Jalil (The Majestic) has created and decreed. Most importantly it strengthened my connection and increased my love for Him and His Messenger, whom He sent as a mercy to mankind.
All praise and thanks are for Allah who placed me amongst such wonderful individuals. Their wise words and company I learnt so much from while we journeyed together through the beautiful Australian land which surrounded us to the far reaches of the horizon.