Navigating

Scientist have recently discovered that the dung beetle navigates the night using the stars. The same map that seafarers and travelers in the desert use is used by this tiny beetles that roll around balls of dung. The sea turtle is famous for returning to its original nesting grounds it was born in. It does so by using the Earth’s magnetic field. Because of the Earth’s Iron core, Sea Turtles  are able to navigate through oceans back to the place it hatched.

This in essence, is one of the meaning of Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameen (1:1). All praise and thanks is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds. The Rabb, the Master that takes care of the affairs of those under Him, is the Rabb who ornamented the sky with stars. “Indeed, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars” (37:6). This the Rabb of the world of Dung Beetles and Sea turtles. The Rabb who sent down Iron from the heavens, and created this Earth with an Iron core. “We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” (57:25) With Iron humans build shields, swords, weapons and skyscrapers. Because of Iron, the Earth has a magnetic field that protects the Earth from harmful radiation and solar wind that could easily wipe life off this planet. The same Iron that had to originate from an exploding star in a Supernova to be created in the first place. Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameen

There is this saying that when navigating the desert you could use landmarks, but the map from the heavens is more accurate. This has its obvious meaning in which using the stars to navigate is more accurate, but also that Divine revelation that descends from the Heavens is always going to be more accurate than any guidance we can derive on the ground here on Earth. We call them ayat in the Quran for a reason. Ayat meaning a sign. Signs made to point us in a certain direction, so we don’t have to feel lost and walk around aimlessly.The human too was given a map to navigate with through this world. The sea turtle is able to make it back to its origin and so is mankind if they use the map given to them by Allah, the Quran.

Look at your map as much as you can. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. To Him we Belong and to Him is our Return. What’s beautiful is that the Quran has Ayat, signs pointing us back home and helping us navigate, for different groups of people. The Mutaqqeen, people of Taqwa, the Mumineen, the believers and most interestingly, An Nas, the Mankind. Even if you don’’t accept the Quran as revelation from God, God still speaks to you and offers you guidance.

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (49:13). Allah calls on every single one of us, and lets us know that we are from one family and that we were made to know each other. Imagine if people throughout history would know this. Colonization, Genocide and Racism wouldn’t need historical navigating to arrive at a conclusion of their immorality and their destructiveness, God already let us know those things are unacceptable and outside our purpose to exist.

What a wonderful road map we as a human race and we as a Umma (religious community of Muslims) have received. I have discovered that in this time of darkness, it is not because we do not have light to navigate our way that we are currently lost, but it is because we stop trusting our map and tried to navigate on our own. Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with Him) said “We were the most humiliated people on earth and Allah gave us honor through Islam. If we ever seek honor through anything else, Allah will humiliate us again.” I for one prefer the map given to me by the One that created the worlds and everything in it. Allah even informed His Messenger, salallahu alayhi wasalam, of the ending of this plot with knowledge about the end of times, so we would stop wasting time focusing on how this story of Humankind ends. Instead we are meant to be people who just plant those trees regardless of how much time we have left, because we are people who spread goodness for His sake. The scholars of our community are the experienced astronomers and navigators of the sacred text, they translate things down to our understanding so that we may too find direction.  I hope we listen to them carefully, internalized their wisdom and take that road map and start living the way we were meant to live.

Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameen. All Praise and Thanks is due to the Lord of the Worlds.

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