The end of April 2012 marks my blog’s first anniversary. I don’t tend to make big fuss on my own birthday, but I’ve developed a ritual for completing an annual a writerly duaa to meditate on what’s happened in the past year, where I am, and what I aspire towards and hope for.
I thought it would be fitting to do such a prayer on my blog’s birthday as well. This time, it won’t be for myself, or even this blog, but for the readers who have tuned in with it, once or consistently. Because click by click (currently it’s reached over 9,000 views), comment by comment, following by following, readers such as yourself have been the ones who have given back to me. Some of you stepped in for the space of one post, left a courteous comment, and left. Some went out and spread the word about the things I am saying here. Others became deeply cherished friends. I’d like to think that I have started building a community here; a community of people not necessarily brought together just by being Muslim or liking what I say, but for taking it seriously.
Last term, I took a course in which we attempted to undertake a diplomatic analysis of nontraditional documents such as websites, blogs, and wikis. We learned looked at such dynamic documents in light of genre theory, in which genres defined as being rhetorical actions that are responses to recurrent situations. One of the actions of a genre (such as a blog) would be community building.
It’s fair to say that this blog is one of the responses to the recurrent situation of Muslim spiritual displacement. However, you don’t have to feel displaced to read it and identify with it. You don’t even have to be Muslim. One of the most illuminating things I learned from that class is that a community is not about consensus and agreement, but ongoing dialogue about a subject of pressing and great interest. As far as I am concerned, if you’ve clicked through to this blog even once, you have become a part of its community. If you have taken it seriously at all, you are a part of this community. And let me tell you; no matter who you are, it’s a joy to have you here. I wish for you to accept this post as a sincere expression of my gratitude.
I read somewhere once that the secular counterpart of prayer is hope. So I ask the readers who are more secular in their beliefs to take what I’m about to say below as something I hope for them.
Ya Allah (Dear God),
My readers come in all stripes and colours, and I ask that you accept these prayers in light of what is best for them.
I ask that their affairs be made easier for them, and the good things they seek be granted to them so that they become fulfilled, generous, and content.
I ask that they triumph in their endeavours and that they become proof of the valuable potential of these strange times, not a victim of them.
I ask that they become productive people who are certain of their lives’ purpose.
I ask that their prayers and hopes be heard and addressed, if not then granted.
I ask that their struggle to understand their purpose is met with meaning and reward to give them fulfilling, blissful, enriched lives.
I ask that whatever learning they engage in and whatever experiences they have be a source of much baraka, or bounty.
In the cases where they have been generous enough to accord me respect in the form of their comments, following, and support, I ask that they be given back something multiplied in manifold.
I ask that their families be protected and nourished and be a source of comfort to them.
For those who are lonely, I ask that they form connections to worthy companions.
For those who have companions, I pray that their relationships become better and a source of good.
I ask that they all cultivate a sense of gratitude and greater awareness of their place in the universe.
Ya Allah, give them communities that are a source of good to them and to this world. You have made us social beings–help us connect with others in the most enriching and affirming ways.