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High Hopes

by | Feb 28, 2021

We all have desires and aspirations, but there is a big difference between them when it comes to realizing them. Desires are attainable through resolutions (which we covered a few months back). However, aspirations are big hopes, often long term or life long projects, things that you strive for and might not even attain, but you still long for them.

Some aspire to become a world-class athlete, some aspire to become a doctor, and others aspire to become famous regardless of the reason. To have an objective or an employment plan is nothing to shun away from, and is even sound reasoning, but to make it your aspiration are two different things. For a Muslim, his aspiration should start with the satisfaction of Allah, and the aspiration itself should not be something small; the greater the dream, the greater the accomplishment. When you shoot for the stars, you still might land on the moon.

In keeping with last week’s theme, this is another story of Salah Ad-Din (Saladin). In 1168, Nur Ad-Din Zengi commissioned a Mimbar (pulpit) for the Masjid Al-Aqsa (Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Palestine). However, at his time, Jerusalem was occupied by the Crusaders for 70 years. So why build a pulpit dedicated to the Aqsa Mosque if you don’t detain its key. That is when aspirations come into play. During the construction of the Mimbar in the city of Aleppo, Saladin was visiting the ruler of the land (and his uncle) and saw the Mimbar being built. He asked the craftsman at which mosque will this Mimbar find its home. The craftsman replied that it is for the Al-Aqsa mosque. Saladin vowed that he will be the one to make Al-Aqsa its home.

Now, this event is debatable, although Saladin was in Aleppo during that period, there is no proof of this story. However, Saladin always vowed to liberate Al-Aqsa and he actually put the Mimbar in its place almost 20 years after its construction. How is that for fulfilling your aspirations! The Aqsa Mimbar stayed in its place for almost 800 years.

Saladin got to see victory, but it is not all people who do. You see, some get a glimpse and some don’t. But this does not mean that their aspiration or their strife was in vain. You see, what is even more important than seeing and living victory is building it. It is this selfless act that lays the foundation for great things to come, and it is this subject that we will visit next week In Sha Allah.

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