In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful
The insanely famous Egyptian singer Amr Diab sings so many wonderful songs, and among my favorites are his ballads. One in particular, “Osad Ainy,” or “In Front of My Eyes,” strikes a particular nerve in me. The lyrics are exceptionally beautiful, and the narrator speaks about his love, and how she is always on his mind and “in front of [his] eyes.” Whenever I hear this song, apart from the beauty of his voice and how he sings the powerful lyrics, I think about my Precious Beloved, and I pray: “Lord, please keep Yourself always in front of my eyes.”
The most powerful part of this song is the Chorus:
Once again, I am certain I will return
I am melting and full of yearning
And I would never sell you out,
No matter who is in front of my eyes.
And I can’t take the days [apart]
And words cannot describe my desire
And throughout my night and before I sleep
You are in front of my eyes.
Indeed, these are very powerful words, especially in light of a powerful love between two people. Yet, there should be an even more powerful bond between the Lord and His servant. That bond should be stronger than any other bond on this earth. For, it is the Lord that has given us life when we were dead; it is the Lord who has provided us with everything in this universe; it is the Lord Whose mercy will save us when we finally come back to Him. Truly, it is the Lord who should be “in front of our eyes” at all times, day or night.
The song’s narrator definitely speaks the truth when he says:
There will be a meeting between us,
Even if we are far apart.
It is certain that I will return,
Even if there are many nations between us.
The song’s narrator continues:
In a day, we shall return.
Between us is a promise.
And in your absence,
It is certain that hope is still alive.
No matter where we are going in this world; no matter where we travel, whether up or down, we are all moving back to the Lord. All of our destinations end up before the Face of the Precious Beloved. And so, why not make the inevitable meeting with our Creator that much more pleasant by following in His path as best we can?
And we can do that by keeping Him “in front of our eyes” as much as possible. Whenever we transact with another human being, whether it be our spouses, our co-workers, our children, our neighbors, we should always keep the Lord “in front of our eyes.” No matter if no one can see what we are doing, we cannot mistreat anyone if we can see the Lord “in front of our eyes.” It is the way we can police ourselves from doing wrong: by keeping in our mind the fact that the Lord is always with us.
It is what the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) meant when he said that excellence is “worshipping God as if you see Him.” When you do everything in your life as if God is watching you, it is hard to do anything wrong purposefully and wontonly. When our Lord is always “in front of our eyes,” then we are always on our best behavior. We treat our families well because, our Lord is “in front of our eyes” We treat our friends and neighbors well because, the Lord is “in front of our eyes.” We treat our co-workers, customers, patients, and clients well because, our Lord is “in front of our eyes.”
It is not easy, and Lord knows that I have fallen way short of His ideal every day of my life. Even though I try to keep the Lord “in front of my eyes,” I have made so many mistakes in my life. I struggle every single day to live up to this ideal. But that is the point: it is a struggle, a noble “jihad,” in fact. What’s more, this struggle to be as best a person one can be; this daily strive to keep the Lord “in front of my eyes,” is an essential aspect of the much-maligned and feared “Sharia.” This is not sedition, as some in our country would have you believe. Rather, it is helping make me a better man, a better father, a better husband, a better doctor, a better neighbor, and a better citizen.
Yet, here is where the “hope” that the song talks about comes in. As we travel this path, trying to keep the Lord “in front of our eyes,” there is always the hope of mercy. As I make those mistakes, I must always keep the hope of God’s mercy alive in my heart. In every single sermon I give, I try to always remind the faithful that, no matter what we have done on this earth, nothing is greater than the mercy of God. No sin is greater than God’s mercy. When we keep that in mind, then our lives will always be filled with hope and light and, hopefully, God’s soothing, caressing mercy.
The emotion in this song is very, very strong, and the English translation does not give the song justice. But, as I listen to this song and reflect, it is my hope and prayer that I can love the Lord as much as the song’s narrator loves the person to whom he is speaking. It is my hope and prayer that I can yearn for the soothing Face of my Lord each and every day that I am away from Him on this earth, each and every day I move ever more closely back to Him. It is my hope and prayer that, day and night, I can see the Precious Beloved “in front of my eyes” and before all that I do. And I know that, when I do look at Him, I will see nothing but Beauty, Love, Happiness, and Ecstasy.