Wow, where do I start with this one. Here we go, bismillah!
To begin off, I have 5 pairs of beautiful doves. Let me talk a bit about them. Who they are and what they mean to me? As explained beautifully by my brother (who in fact created a fan page on Facebook for my doves! Due to the fact that he no longer could take it anymore). I was in love.
On the fan page, he writes:
“The Time has come folks! Tariq has grown passionately fond of his birds (as evidenced on Facebook and twitter lol) for they are indeed beautiful fragile creatures. Like our souls, they are tender and need to be cared for and nurtured. This page is dedicated to those well-deserved doves who spend their winters pecking the icy cold grounds for the grains remaining to eat. In spite of the hardships, these doves persevere and make it through. hehe Like this page if you too share the same love for birds!”
Haha my brother is jokes!
Moving on, my passion actually grew for these wonderful birds. I mean passion in the sense that when they flew around the house, I would be outside at the instance watching them soar high, up in the sky. And I would say, those are my birds (while pointing at them). It’s quite a nice feeling. You feed your birds, you provide water, you clean up their mess. And when they fly, you can pat yourself on the back and gently smile. In the beginning they flew a bit, since I bought them young at an auction. But as time passed by, they extended their flight time and distance as well. They went up to 20 min+ one day (yes I actually counted time and had this recorded!). Winter is a bit tough, since the feed and water freezes from time to time. And taking care of them is bit of a hassle, but nonetheless I struggled and continued to provide for them. Though I learned, they actually eat snow in times when water’s frozen (believe me I had to change water daily at one point!). That was a relief!
They still live to this day, Alhamdulillah. I bought them because I was fond of birds from a very young age. And the idea of buying doves especially was to create a pass time for me, a hobby in essence. Doves/Pigeons are creatures that come back to their homes once they find sustenance. So my birds never left me. Very loyal! hehe
But wait, I am not done. There is more to it than just the love. This is the good part of the story, really it is. “The realization of my love for these birds.” It occurred to me after a few months somehow to use this hobby, this pass time as an opportunity to be rewarded by Allah. Taking an action and changing it’s intention for a higher divine cause, for His sake. So whenever I would take a step to feed and provide water to these birds, I went with the intention for Allah’s sake. So that He may show mercy upon me, grant forgiveness for my wrong doings, and continue to guide me aright. It’s the little things that matter. I took it as a means for me to be saved on that day when we’ll have nothing but our deeds to rely upon. A convenience not to be missed, and esp. as a hobby in this case. So that “they become a witness over you” on the day of Yawmul Qiyyama.
1. ”Al-Ghazali was equally interested in birds and their ways, and he frequently refers to them in his writings. He may himself have kept pigeons, as it was a common custom to keep doves of many colours about the palaces of the great, and he must surely have been speaking from personal experience when he refers to the pigeon-fancier, who will stand on his feet all day in the burning sun, and does not feel the heat to be trying, because of his delight in the birds and their movements in flight, as he watches them soaring and wheeling about in the vault of the heavens.”
2. ”The dove coos in the watches of the night,
Perched on a branch, while I lie here asleep.
I have lied, r swear it, when I said I was a lover,
For the doves surpass me in their lamentation,
While I assert that I am beside myself with love
To my Lord, but I weep not, while even the doves lament.”
-Taken from ”Al-Ghazali The Mystic”, by Margaret Smith. M.A., D.Lit.