It’s a crazy time in South Africa at the moment. Students have been protesting for months to get rid of university fees, it’s so bad that the entire academic year has been threatened. More than once, these protesting students have taken to violent means to express their frustration. Busses have been burnt, cars have been stoned, and clashes with police have been reported on. All this violence seems unnecessary, especially in the midst of worldwide violence, one has to wonder how much worst things will get.
And as if that’s not enough, the entire political system is in turmoil. Allegations of fraud, summons of government officials, cases made to cover the tracks of corruption. Who knows what dirty political games are played behind closed doors and high walls. (It’s none the better anywhere else though is it?)
It would seem that there is reason to lose hope, but then, amidst all the chaos, there is still so much beauty in the world. While driving on the streets of Johannesburg the other day, spring in full bloom, I couldn’t help but marvel at the wonderful beauty all around me. Bright purple Jacaranda trees regally decking the sides of roads, its flowers laying down a carpet of purple bliss. Lush green trees, and red and yellow flowered ones in between, and all this continues to thrive even though rain has been scarce. The natural beauty of this city is sometimes so encompassing it makes everything else seem so futile. How can so much evil go on when there is so much beauty?
SubhanAllah, I am hit with a stark realisation or re-realisation if I can put it that way. The beauty comes from the Almighty Creator, and all the turmoil has been created by us humans. Perhaps this reminder is necessary to help us strive to please Allah, perhaps it should be reminding us to be grateful. I know with certainty that it creates hope. It provides peace in a world filled with madness. It brings joy when it seems that everything is falling apart.
Years from now those strong magnificent purple trees may be witnessing completely different scenes played out. Who knows? Maybe students will succeed in their fight for free education, maybe politicians will end their corruption, maybe rain will come in abundance and the droughts will end. I’m certain though that if those trees continue to stand, they will serve as a reminder, an epitome of beauty and grandeur, and maybe this will make someone think; If this meagre creation of Allah is so magnificent, imagine what the magnificence and grandeur of the One who created it must be like. It cannot be imagined at all, but the thought that there is a Creator who is omnipresent and all-knowing is definitely soothing and comforting.
There is beauty in every turmoil, we just need to look for it!
Image 1 from here
Image 2 from here