Jasim was hosting his friends from the neighborhood in his majlis (sitting room) at home. They were all welcomed with coffee and dates followed by something special. It was the Oud passed on to every guest. The scent of the Oud filled the majlis. "It's wonderful. Where did you get this from?" asked Saoud. "I bet it's Cambodian. Truly, the scent of heaven. I wish the scent could remain forever." said Ahmed. "Yes, Cambodian indeed. I got this on my recent trip there. It's called the Kina, a very rare and expensive form of Oud." said Jassim.
Oud forms an integral part of Arabian hospitality and culture. It has been traditionally called the "Scent of Heaven". As demand surges in the Gulf for its use, its cost has also increased manifold. The price of the best quality Oud is at par with the rate of gold in the market. However, supply has been diminishing due to the scarce availability of the Agar wood tree that produces the Oud in the wild, making it rare and expensive.
To truly savor the scent of Oud, the wooden chips of the Agar wood tree have to be burned. It is only when the wood is completely burned that the true fragrance of the Oud is released. How sad! We pay so much for it.
We wish that the smell of Oud can remain forever, but over time, even the scent of heaven can die out. No scent of this world can last. We can only truly be satisfied with a scent that is indeed sent from heaven, that which is not produced from nature. Is there such a heavenly scent? Yes! The best thing about this scent is that although it is heavenly and expensive, it is free for all us who choose to use it.
Two thousand and sixteen years ago, a Man came to offer us this eternal fragrance. He offered to make us pure and clean with the real scent of heaven. Just like how the wooden chips of an Agar wood tree are burned to get the scent, the Lord Jesus Christ was burned completely on the cross through his crucifixion to pay the penalty of our sins which were laid upon him. His death became a sweet smelling aroma to God. Today, we can experience the scent of that lasting Oud by faith in Him. All the scents of this world will only give us an external fragrance. But if we savor this heavenly scent, we will be filled to radiate the fragrance of Christ's scent to those around us. (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)
Please pray that the Arabs of the AP will experience the true, living, and eternal Oud - Jesus Christ himself!