You told me once that our knowledge moves like the compass on paper – the most vital thing is to stay focused at the centre as our thoughts twirl around.
‘Stable thoughts create a stable circle’ you said, ‘and whoever holds your compass at the top will guide your thoughts forever’
‘What do you mean, grandfather?’ I asked you.
‘No one forms perfect circles in the beginning. Once you reach the age of reason, your mastery over your thoughts is still at a premature level, and the circles will turn out weak, unsteady, and incomplete,’ you paused, ‘hold this compass, Abdullah’.
I held the compass firmly.
‘Now draw a circle’.
I secured the needle of the compass at the centre, and then with my right hand, turned the compass across the page.
‘Think about one thing, one thing only’ you repeated, ‘and keep all your thoughts in line with it. Do not let your mind jump off to extremes, or to quick conclusions. Just focus on one clear line’
I did as you said. I thought of one thing: my father. Why does he no longer see us? Are the rumours true? Did he ever love us?
‘Abdullah, take care’ you raised your voice, ‘you are losing control of the circle, it is not steady’
I took a deep breath, and then started from the beginning.
Why does he no longer see us? I asked again. Was he lying this whole time?
‘Abdullah, you must control your thoughts as you control the circle’
‘But I can’t do it,’ I replied in agitation.
‘Let me help you.’
You placed your right palm on top of mine and then guided the compass.
‘Your thoughts represent the circle. If they are disconnected, the circle will be incomplete, and if they are too fast, it will be shaky’
I watched the compass slide carefully across the page, creating a clear and even line. My focus was now less on my thoughts than it was on the compass and the circle.
‘What are you thinking now?’ you asked.
‘Nothing. Just flashes of questions…but each one of them keeps disappearing’
‘Ah, yes’ you nodded, ‘this is how you master your thoughts. Focus on the circle, and all the irrelevant thoughts will vanish,’
‘And then, what will remain?’ I asked.
‘The centre’ you replied, ‘and this applies to everything else in life, Abdullah. Everything you’ve once had will flash into non-existence, whether it is work, money, or family – they all leave. At the very end, it will be the centre that is most precious’.
It was then that the compass completed the circle, and there was only one thought in mind: God.