"...indeed the disbelievers have hearts of stone. But even from stones, rivers can flow...." - Al-Qur'an
You've guessed it - I'm a Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fan. And solely because, I fell in love with Peter Jackson's movies - his labor of love.
So love, begets love. LOTR is now a vital part of our contemporary mythos. Right up there with Star Trek, Star Wars, Braveheart, Gladiator and the other 'epics' of our time.
In my opinion, out of all 3 movies - the Two Towers is by far, the magnum opus of all the masterpieces. I doubt whether its sheer caliber and scale will ever be replicated on the silver screen, ever again.
As the Fellowship of the Ring is fast on the trail of the kidnapped hobbits, they approach a dark, old forest called Fangorn. Gimli the dwarf asks in shock, "What madness drove them, there..?"
Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli venture forth. The elven warrior senses that the forest is old, and heavy with anger.
It can be said that Fangorn Forest is a metaphor for this duniyah - or more specifically, for our Earth/nature. When we humans sin, or gorge on its resources without care, the earth becomes angry. In the Qur'an, the earth is even described in a personal sense; and also, as bearing the brunt of our in-humanity - be it sins, mischief, injustice or arrogance. God also warns us how earthquakes (in Surah az-Zalzalah) are a way of our earth's RELEASING this burden, when it reaches critical mass.
Yet, even in the thick of this forest, Legolas senses a ray of hope. And he proclaims:
"The white wizard, approaches..."
This is a reference to Gandalf's progression as a wizard, from his erstwhile "Gandalf the Grey", to Gandalf the White. And this progression came only after an intense, relentless struggle against Balrog, a formidable denizen from the evil depths that Gandalf fought until the last breath.
The Islamic parallels we can derive from this, startle me. Innal`Hamdu`Lillah.
Gandalf the grey, is Rajab. Rajab is the month of Allah, as ahadith inform us. The ulemah have said that Rajab is a time of intense preparation for the holiest month of all - Ramadhan. Ergo, Ramadhan is Gandalf the White. The final hope for us all. And Ramadhan is the month of our ummah, where the shayateen are held back or bounded, so that we may run faster towards the Most Loving, the Almighty Bestower.
Balrog is our most vicious enemy - our Nafs, fueled and made fierce by the fury and might of Shaytan. The rest of the year, he got the better of us. When we wanted to pray, or do dhikr, or help out a friend or stranger in real financial need - Balrog intervenes and compels us to be selfish, to postpone God's remembrance, to forget the larger picture. To sin now, and repent tomorrow. Let it be said, Balrog and his minions have millenia of experience, in understanding the human psyche and its frailities.
But Rajab is here. And before Gandalf the Grey descended into the pit with his Balrog, he told the rest of the Fellowship to run, to flee - and he called us FOOLS, for daring to stand and watch. All too often, sin and ghafla (heedlessness) paralyze us into inaction and apathy.
Will we heed Rajab's call? Or will the power of the Ring continue to grow in our hard hearts, until even Ramadhan cannot save us no more?
Oh Allah, we seek refuge from such a despicable fate. Ya Rabb-ul-Izza.