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Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters.
Living in a wooded, hilly area, it is no rare thing to see 30, 40-foot trees uprooted after a thunderstorm. We had another thunderstorm today, which sparked a discussion between the boys and I about lightning and thunder. Watching the storm from within the safety of our apartment made me think about a hobby I had a few years ago.
You see, I was a ‘lightning-chaser’! I had this deep fascination with lightning and used to try to get as close as possible to lightning. Our apartment sat on a hillside, overlooking a wooded area and lightning just seemed to be attracted to this area every time there was a thunderstorm! The opportunities to view lightning were almost endless. I would experience an adrenalin rush and a sense of euphoria after watching the lightning strike a tree nearby. During thunderstorms, I am usually found outside on my balcony, waiting with anticipation for the lightning to strike. The nearest I got to a lightning strike was 25-feet. It was amazing. I could feel the force of the lightning’s energy coursing through my body as it hit a tree.
Some would say my hobby was suicide. Some would say it reflects a certain arrogance, fearlessness to go into a thunderstorm and not worry about the consequences. The truth is, I felt a great need to experience first hand the awesome might of Allah subhana wa ta’ala. I once stood on my balcony when suddenly there was a crack of thunder and it was then I saw just how easy it is for Allah Almighty to destroy the nations who earned His wrath. Allah Almighty said in the Quran, Surah Fussilat, verse 13,’ But if they turn away, say thou: ” I have warned you of a stunning Punishment (as of thunder and lightning) like that which overtook the ‘Ad and the Thamud!”. Yes, my heart shook and my body trembled hearing the sound of the thunder. But still I could not imagine the fear that must have struck the hearts of the people of ‘Ad and Thamud, as the force of the thunder burst their eardrums and the lightning destroyed their cities.
I gave up my fascination with lightning after this incident. It was dark and a thunderstorm was underway. I prepared to go out onto the balcony when I heard Adam pleading with me,’ Mummy, please stay inside! Don’t go out!’ I turned and saw my 5-year old son looking at me with fear in his eyes and that’s when I knew chasing after lightning wasn’t worth having my son be afraid for my safety.
Alhamdulillah, the timely reminder from Adam helped me realise I am blessed to have sons who care for my safety and well-being. Giving up something that I enjoyed, for the sake of my children, is a worthwhile sacrifice. Now, if only I can get the same adrenalin rush from reading books…