The Unwalked Roads

25 08 2010

At the middle of your road, turn off your car or get down from your ride, start walking in that area that you’re not familiar with, that area that you never stepped foot into before. Start walking as if you know where you are heading to, don’t look around like tourists, don’t look back to remember landmarks in order to go back easily, take sharp turns, walk bristly, never stop, you may follow someone else, you might not find someone to follow, arrive at your destination (the one that you have never seen before), take a good look at it, enjoy your achievement!

I used to do this…every day.
And that joy I used to get when I reach there, cannot be matched.

I used to wake up before dawn, I used to get myself in a totally unknown area, my goal was simple: to pray Fajr everyday in a mosque I never entered before.
I used to hear Fajr calls while walking in a totally strange street, I used to adjust my path to follow the sounds of Azan coming out from minarets, I used to differentiate the sounds to determine which is near and which is far, sometimes I’d still have time…that’s when I headed for the far sounds. I used to keep an eye for minarets, I used to follow people getting out from their homes…because they certainly know where they are heading to!! I used get this cool and freshness whenever I see the mosque’s doors open, people inside waiting for prayer and me blending in smoothly.

Before starting doing this, my biggest fear was to keep wandering and reaching no mosque till the prayers were done…and then I would have lost time and effort and maybe the prayer itself if I kept wandering till sunrise. That never happened. In fact, I never missed the Eqamah.

At first, I was worried to wander and get nowhere. But then when day after day proved that I always arrived to a mosque in time, fear was replaced by excitement, I was always excited to meet this new mosque, the one that I never laid my eyes on before, the one that I most probably will never see again, that’s why I used to take a good look at it when I reached it. A nice feeling was developing while getting on foot and walking with confidence knowing that I am on my way to reach something that I never reached before, that I WILL reach it, for me, I got the feeling that the whole earth was mine, it was made for me to pray.

Years later, I tried to really figure out why this activity was particularly enjoyable to me. I figured out the following: “I liked to do this because it represents life on earth”. On earth, we our life is a long walk in unknown roads, we seek a goal (I name it Jannah) while walking , we never seen our goal before, but we have rough description of how it looks like so we should know it when we see it, we don’t know where it is, we’re not even sure the roads we walk in will lead to it, and sometimes we follow people or even signs to get there. I think I liked doing it so much because it always proved to end happily, I think it was feeding my inner hopes that my life will end happily.

I learned much from my walks. I learned that the known roads to me are nothing, Absolutely Nothing, compared to the unknown roads out there. That the known roads are a special case, and that the general case was called “Unwalked Road”. I learned to walk in confidence in all roads, because if I am gonna feel confident only in my known area, that would mean feeling confident in only 1% of my time. I learned that looking back while walking is utterly meaningless by all meanings this word can carry. I learned that I shouldn’t be knowing everything in order to get “there”. I learned that fear of failure is such a disgusting thing, and that you will Never know how disgusting it is unless you conquer it and discover the great things it was holding from you. I learned that “being able to do what once was never thought of” leads to only one truth: that right now I am able to do something I never thought of, yet it can be done, which is a handy fact to remember from time to time. I learned that the loud and busy streets at day are the same very quiet streets at night, that I may sometimes -maybe most of the time- walk in daylight and not talk to any human till I reach my destination, and same happens at night, and then I realized that we are Always on our own, I never learned that till I walked in empty streets. I learned that places can change, but as long as it is the same me, then it doesn’t matter, unknown roads are just like stair steps, you don’t need to know them step by step in order to climb and reach your destination, when you encounter stair-steps you simply climb them without much thinking, they were made to serve YOU reaching what you want, and I learned that I should treat the “unknown” just like I treat stairsteps, it’s not something to be afraid of, it’s just something to pay attention with. I learned to “love” the unknown, because that’s my true real path…and my small trials in streets told that walking with true believe inside…gets you there !!!

Reda Maged