“My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.”
– Dua of Asiya found in Surah At Tahrim
Asiya, peace be upon her, is one of the four greatest women to ever live. She makes this dua while she is being tortured by the Pharoah, her husband because she believes in Allah. Its so beautiful because she says indaka “near You” before she says baytan “a house”. Meaning she placed being near Allah above everything else. The priority of her dua was to be near Allah, as if being in a house in Jannah wouldn’t be meaningful to her unless she got to be near Allah. If she was given a house in jannah, but didn’t get to be near Allah, that would be like hell for her.
She begins the dua by saying “Rabbee” meaning my Lord. Rabbee signifying the name of Allah that describes how He takes care of those under Him. Rabbee a name that signifies closeness. She doesn’t call out by beginning the dua with Ya, but by saying the name of her Lord who cares for her in every moment “Rabbee”. She mentions being “near You (Allah)” before she even mentions her current circumstance of needing to be saved from Pharaoh.
This is a woman who truly loves Allah. There’s this story of Rabia of Basra, in which she was asked about what made a person a great. She was asked about a person who is patient in hardship and thankful when given blessings and she said no. She was also asked if it was a person who in hardship was thankful and when given blessings was patient and again she said no. Eventually they lamented and asked her what a great person was and she replied the one who whether they are given blessings or hardship they don’t lose sight of Allah.
The one who doesn’t lose focus on their Love; Allah. This is the kind of woman Asiya is. She does make dua to be saved from Pharaoh and his deeds and to be saved from the wrongdoers, but her priority and her focus is always the same: Allah. “indaka, near You”
She is a person who drew close to Allah in the life of the dunya, but also a person who wouldn’t be able to be satisfied with anything in the next life except with closeness to Allah.
“My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise” Ameen.
I say that a name is linked to an intention. It reveals the hopes and dreams of parents for their children. We often name children after those that we already love, perhaps hoping that they too will carry a trait of that person that was the fuel to that love. Sometimes we name them after good meanings hoping they will grow into those meanings.
I was named, Asnavy. In my native tongue, it means the light of the sun. Although almost no native names exist anymore in my culture, my name remains used. All my brothers are named after Prophets for example. My mother says that naming your son that will mean that he will be knowledgeable and intelligent. Its considered a good name.
Today I learned that my dad says he actually chose it, even though my uncle, my mom’s brother is also named that. She loved the name also. My dad said he chose my name because of the attribute it carries with someone being intelligent and that he knew someone growing up that he looked up to. The man was knowledgeable in Islam and went to Malaysia and won this large Quran recitation competition.
After learning this, reading the Quran and learning Islamic knowledge has become different for me. I truly was the prayer of my parents in more ways than one and I hope I can fulfill that intention of theirs.
اللهم إني أسألك علماً نافعاً، ورزقاً طيباً، وعملاً متقبلاً
‘Allaahumma innee assaluka ilman nafia, wa rizzqan tayyeebun, wa amalan mutaqabilan,.’
‘O Allaah indeed I ask You for beneficial knowledge, and a good provision, and actions which are accepted.’
Winter is when the storm of my spirit rages inside. My spirit comes alive in these long nights. Winter four years, I went through my hardest difficulties and honestly became a new person on a completely trajectory.
Winter one year ago, I was sitting at a childhood friend’s wedding and a love song came on. I Love You So by Maher Zain. I started to reflect on how the song was actually a love song about God. Then suddenly my heart was speaking with God, Allah.
Whatever You think is best, I am happy about, alhamdulillah, all praise and thanks is due to God. You are the best of planners. I’ll keep doing the work, but even if your plan includes things I wouldn’t prefer for myself, You are sufficient for me. What more could I ask more than having You in my life? Nothing. I am the most blessed man on the Earth because I know You! Because I can feel your presence with me, and Your plan is greater than any plans I can make.
Its been a year now, and I feel invigorated and I feel like a much better man than I was before, alhamdulillah, all praise and thanks is due to God. These winters have a secret in them, I pray that I will transform even further this winter. One of my favorite things I’ve learned that sums up the sentiment of that conversation I had is with a Prophetic saying that we are recommended to repeat every morning seven times:
Hasbi-allahu la ilaha illa Huwa ‘alaihi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rab-bal ‘arshil ‘atheem
حَسْبِ اللهُ لا إله إلا هو، عليه توكلت
و هو ربَ العرش العظيم.
Allah is sufficient for me. There is no God but He.
I have placed my trust in Him, He is Lord of the Majestic Throne.