I used to never like coffee. In fact, I hated it. Whenever I went to a restaurant or got into a plane and they asked
"Coffee or tea, miss?"
It was always tea. Always. I even wondered how can everybody like coffee so much? The taste is bitter and the colour is also well, not very pleasing considering that it will leave stain on your teeth.. no, that is a weak argument. Tea also leaves stain, dont they? But I guess you get my point
There was a time, as I was studying in my school's study room a few years back, I saw one of my friends making coffee in the middle of the night (it was a boarding school, that's why we studied until midnight). Although I was soo sleepy that night and wanted to sleep but I had a lot to cover. So I went to this friend of mine and asked her whether I can have a packet of her coffee and being a kind-hearted person she was, she passed one, with a smile.
I went downstairs, headed to the 'water cooler' machine and made my first cup of hot coffee. So that was it. First time in history! I could not even believe it my self. I took the courage to drink coffee. Yay me! And believe it or not, that was the first time I know that coffee can actually stimulate your brain and help you gain focus. I did not feel sleepy at all after that and can continue studying. Yes, it still taste bitter, but somehow, I could adapt to that taste. And today, you name it- cappucino, latte, espresso, frappucino- coffee is no longer alien to me :)
So, why am I telling you this story? Who cares when was the first time I drink coffee, right? Isn't this just a waste of your time? Wait. Let us go through this together :)
Don't you think that our life is always a matter of choosing between coffee and tea? What I mean is, in this life, we are always presented with choices- one which looks pleasing to our eyes, and one, the opposite. Oftenly the decision we make is always because of what our eyes perceive is cool- having great looks is cool, having amazing car and house is cool, hanging out with friends of opposite gender is cool. It is sad that our perspective of life is so narrow that we allow others, especially our circle of friends and the media, to make us agree with them although we ourselves know how the reality is.
As Allah said in the Quran,
And did We not show him the two highroads (of good and evil)?
Sometimes, our mind is blurred from seeing things that are supposed to be good because things like I said, from the influence of media itself and most importantly, from our own nafs. Take these examples:
1) You know performing ibadah will increase your reward for the Hereafter but your nafs tells you that you shouldn't be doing much, you think your body needs a rest and you feel like at least your ibadah is better than some people who don't pray at all. Hmmph...
2) You know watching too much tv is a waste of your time, but you are still doing it because there's this show that you've been following and you dont want to miss that although you have another important task to be done.
3) You know studying will help you to improve your grades but your nafs is telling you there are still plenty of time before the exams! "Rilekslah oii", your heart whispers.
Those are only a few examples. But I'm sure you can come up with more. We already knew that if we choose a path that is harder ( extra ibadah, cut down entertainment, avoid procrastination) will give us tremendous benefits, but how many of us are actually taking that path? But rather we are pleased with the easier road and being in the state of 'chillax' everytime..
This is where the analogy of coffee comes in. Coffee may taste bitter, but later on, you can count on it to stimulate your brain in the early mornings and help you to achieve more in your work (by the will of Allah, of course), but plain tea- although it comes with sweet taste and scent, won't be able to do it.
Choosing a path to please Allah might need a lot of self-discipline and consistency, whether you want to do da'wah or just to become a better person. But this is the jihad of the nafs. And one who choose this path should feel proud that he's given the honor to worship and be the servant of his Creator. I remember hearing a lecture from the inspiring sister Yasmin Mogahed. It goes like this,
'When a person is being given a chance to do something for someone who is much respected to him or whom he admires (a rockstar for example), he always like to do it- even to tie that person's shoelace, he will boast about it, take his picture with that rockstar and tell everyone about it. He thinks he is honored. Now this is the King of the Universe we are talking about, the One who give us sustenance, shouldn't we feel more than honored to serve Him?'
It struck me deeply when I first heard it. May all of us take the chance of our health and time to serve our King and to be able to give our best in becoming His servant. Allahumma ameen!
I pray that in this blessed month of Ramadhan, the month where the shaytans are all chained, will give us the opportunity to train our nafs, increase our taqwa, and for Allah to guide us in every decision that we are about to make, and to not ever leave us even in the blink of eyes. The path to Allah may seem hard, and not so glamorous but we have to be certain that what's waiting in the Akhirah is totally worth it, or to be accurate, beyond worth it. May the path that we choose, will make you and me see each other again. And I hope that will be at a place called Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen.
O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment.That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of 'Adn - Eternity ['Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success (As-Saff: 10-12)
IZ: I hope that whoever is reading this does not think that I'm promoting coffee brands nor coffee shops here, or provoking you to stop drinking tea LOL. I have nothing against tea for your info. But as for these days, I'm #TeamCoffee :p