Tag Archives: Quran

1 Part of Mercy

The Pacific Giant Octopus mother will find a den to lay her eggs in. After laying them she will stay with them to guard them from predators, brush them so algae doesn’t form and to make sure they are well oxygenated. She never leaves the den. In one of the her last actions she will blow water at them to help them hatch. Due to starvation she dies in the den so that her children get a chance to hatch. You’ll find God has written the most beautiful love stories written in the fabric of the universe.

This reminded me of this hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says

“Allah Ta’ala has divided mercy in hundred portions. He kept ninety-nine portions by Him and sent one portion in this world. It is through this one mercy that the creation has mercy amongst them, to the extent that a horse will lift its hoof from its young fearing that it might harm it.” (Bukhari)

The Giant Octopus may well be the most devoted mother in the animal kingdom and yet its mercy is still only derived from that one portion of mercy sent to this world. Everyday Muslims stand up in prayer and declare “Allahu Akbar”, that God is greater. A declaration that no matter what concerns us in this life and the limits we can reach in our imaginations about mercy in this world, God is much greater than any of that. SubhanAllah, Glory be to God.

These moments of wonderment, awe and amazement is what I think as the quintessential experience of the believer. The experience that no matter how much of the Universe becomes clearer to us, that no matter how much we begin to see God’s attribute in His creation it is always just a beginning. It’s impossible for the human mind and heart to comprehend the greatness of God’s attributes. Even the molecules and atoms contain so much of the mercy God sent to this world. The hydrogen bond causes water to go against the norm and expand when it solidifies so that it floats above the lakes and oceans. Because of the of this the fish in the water  can continue to thrive in the frigid winters.

We are engulfed in God’s mercy. The Quran reminds us of this reality and begins with “In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. All praise is due to Allah , Lord of the worlds. The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful” Surrounded by His Mercy we praise Him.

Laugh and Cry

My nieces were playing outside today and one was crying because I took her toy hammer away, and the other was laughing as she pushed her tricycle around. I was reminded of the verse in Surat An Najm (The Star) “And that it is He who makes [one] laugh and weep” (53:43). Our emotions are so profound and diverse and we have yet to truly explain them. We can identify chemicals that trigger certain emotions, but I don’t think we’ll ever be able to physically explain why certain things touch us the way that we do. 

Allah lets us know that it is He who makes us laugh and weep. The verse is followed by one about how only He causes death and gives life. Meaning God is with us all along, through the whole process. From the planning of our very existence, to the small emotions that we feel throughout the day. God is truly closer to us than our jugular vein. (50:16) Find ease and be pleased knowing how meticulously involved Allah is in our lives. So if today you spend your time weeping out of sadness, find ease in knowing that perhaps Allah is planning for you a beautiful happiness to come where you have never laughed so much in your life. Even perhaps a life full of sorrow will be found smiling and laughing at how pleased they are when they meet their Lord. “Some faces that Day will be beaming, Laughing, rejoicing at good news.” (80:38-39)

My niece who was laughing, went over to her older sister who had been crying for five minutes and started hugging her over and over. By the fourth hug her sister was laughing with her. Allah subhana wata alaa caused that. We might not be little kids anymore, but we are definitely in desperate need of Allah. Through all the laughing and crying of this life, you will find Allah with you if you just pay attention. 

Half of the Testimony

Ashadu an la ilaha illallah wa ashhadu anna muhammadar rasulullah
I testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Perhaps the greatest honor and the greatest illustration of the rank of the Messenger of God is that to enter Islam you have to say the testimony of faith and half of that is testifying that the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam is the messenger of God. Profound because faith can’t even begin until you accept and testify to that reality. You can believe in God, but the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam is how to believe and how to worship God. He is the perfect slave.  Its like the first part is admitting you are a slave and the second part is the how. The how to be a slave is following the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam.

I wonder how is it then that we miss the message of Islam. The revelation begins with “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim, in the name of God the most merciful the most gracious” (1:1) and in its heart Allah tells us that “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”. (21:107). When Allah describes the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam further He says “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” (68:4) The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) himself emphasized that, “I was only sent to perfect noble character,” (Narrated by Ahmad) and said, “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi).

What went wrong? Why is it that some people seem void of mercy and good character? Then I remembered the story of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam and the woman who would put trash and thorns in his path to bother him. One day they were missing and he noticed and went to check on her to see if she had fallen sick. Notice he didn’t sigh due to relief because his dua was answered, because he would never make that dua. He was concerned for a person who we would consider his enemy. He went to visit her and because of the mercy he, salallahu alayhi wasalam had towards her she became Muslim. The example of the Prophet Muhammad is more merciful to his enemies than most of us are to our families, friends, love ones and communities. Meaning He, sallallahu alayhi wasalam is more merciful to people we normally hate (enemies) than we are to the people we love.

We are like that person who marches into Mecca when it was conquered by the Muslims wanting to annihilate its people, but the Messenger of God, salallahu alayhi wasalam announces that the people of Mecca who fought him, humiliated him and killed his family and companions were pardoned.  The people of Mecca were fearful that they’d all be killed for what they had done for the last 20 years of hostility, but the Prophet of God responded to their fear with love and mercy. I remember relearning about this moment as I was getting back in touch with Islam and that hard-hearted person I used to be broke down crying because I knew this was the truth. I cried due to immense gratitude to Allah for making me a person honored to be part of the community of that man, the perfect slave of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wasalam. My heart knew the truth, it knew “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” and it tasted what Allah meant by “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” I wasn’t even a good Muslim then. I wasn’t even a decent person. I had a hard heart and bad character, but at least I knew and realized then, that the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam is the man I want to follow and emulate for the rest of my life. His example is the medicine to my diseases and the ease in my heart in times of hardship.

The Quran is a guidebook and Allah sent us with it a guide. We are blessed to know how to implement each verse in our lives because the world has seen it implemented through the Chosen One, salallahu alayhi wasalam and all the righteous people who have followed him throughout history. I mess up a lot. I make plenty of mistakes. I have many shortcomings, but I just want to stand before Allah and be able to say I tried and hopefully I’ll be able to say I tried my best.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.

Searching For Proofs

People are searching for proofs of God, but if they were to look with an open heart they would find that no proofs are needed, because His existent is the most evident thing in reality. It is reality itself. It is ingrained in every fiber of creation. His attributes manifest in every aspect of creation: from the spinning of the sun and earth, to the electrons racing and to a baby’s smiling face.

It was by this reality that Abu Dhar (may God be pleased with him) would prostrate to God before he ever heard a word of the Quran. It is by this reality that eyes go moist seeing the crimson horizon of the sunset. It is by this reality the birds wake up in the dawn and sing praises all morning in their melodious song.

I do not know how God created the universe, nor do I need to see it happen. The universe in me; the way it transformed, the way my body grows, that my mind is, that my heart lives, that my tongue speaks and my love grows is sufficient. The man praised the scholar who had 100 proofs that God existed and the old woman heard this and said that he only has a 100 proofs because he had a hundred doubts. I’d rather be that old woman, no doubt. Certainty is much more beloved to me.

We live in a modern age full of modern technology and luxuries and somehow people have become so disillusioned that they question the thing that is built into the fabric of every living and nonliving thing: God exists. By His care and His sustenance the Universe persists. The only Uni I need is tawheed (God is One). I know that beyond these majestic stars and galaxies is much more. I think we misnamed the sky we are living it, we are not in a Universe but in a single verse of many. But maybe by Uni they did not mean whole-verse but meant a single. And the only verse I truly need is the first verse in the Quran: Alhamdulillahir Rabbil alimeen. All praise and thanks is due to God, the Lord of the worlds. Worlds: Plural.

When does the sun need proof it exists in the daylight? Its manifest that it exists. The existence of God is more evident than that. He is the Creator of the sun and everything. The sun just makes light. Have we become so caught up in ourselves to see that the nourishing rain is like Rahma(mercy) falling from the sky, or that torrential rains that floods and overpowers man is like sublime majesty descending from the heavens.

Verily some people have eyes but cannot see and some people do not have working eyes, but can see. The sight of my heart is more precious to me, but the heart needs to be open and clear just like our eyes to perceive anything.  Abdullah ibn Umm Muktum (may God be pleased with him), the blind companion could see reality better than Abu Jahl, the father of ignorance. Abu Jahl a man who used to sneak around in the dark of night to hear the recitation of the Quran, but was too stubborn to testify to its reality. How many of us are like Abu Jahl who had eyes, but could not see the truth and how many of us are like Abdullah ibn Umm Muktum who regardless being born blind, could see with his heart.

I praise and thank God for having eyes that can see, and I praise and thank God even more for having a heart that can see! I regret each moment I ever needed proofs, but I praise the One who guides and wills for opening the lens of my heart and clearing its sight. Like the eyes who takes in light, so does the heart.

Alhamdulillahir Rabbil alimeen.
All Praise and thanks is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds.
(1:1)

Humble Origins

You are over 100 thousand years in the making. Know that everything in this society wants to point out your imperfections, but will not tell you the perfection of your imperfection. They want you to feel bad for that nose you don’t like, or those eyes that aren’t right, or your hair that’s too flat, but they won’t let you know that within you are the genes that have traveled through every ancestor of yours finally culminating in you. You are the crescendo of the orchestra, the masterpiece of a long history of struggle and life. Perfectly imperfect. Your genes were willed and chosen by God, the Creator of those beautiful stars in the sky. You are like that sunset, gleaming and crimson and you only have a short time on this Earth, don’t waste it thinking of your imperfection.

Because every gene was chosen. In arabic, the word Nutfah is translated as sperm drop. Its used in the Quran in the description of the fertilization process.  The origin of its meanings used by the Bedouins is if you pour a bucket full of water out, Nutfah is the small amount of water that stays in the bucket. This is you, that small amount of water left that chose how you would look, like that single egg and that single sperm among millions. Your body, your face, your smile is exactly how it was meant to be. Alhamdulillah, All praise and thanks is due to God for choosing us how we were meant to be. What are the odds? How many millions of coin flips and DNA duplication and even DNA mutations did it take for you to exist.

And even beyond that story of your body that is over 100 thousand years in the making is the reminder that you are not a body that happens to have a soul, but you are a soul that happens to have a body. A soul that spoke to God.  The only odd,probability or number we need is One. God is One and He made one of you. Precisely the way you are meant to be. Every spiral of DNA confirming that Perfect is our Lord, the most high. He hears all and knows all.

The Term Hijabi

American Muslims are obsessed with the terms Hijabi and Non Hijabi. Thanks tomy friend  Uzma, I came across a beautiful reflection: In the Quran, Allah doesn’t call anyone that, at least that I know of. He refers to Muslim women by terms such as Believing Women. Allah has spoken the truth and has defined the terms and categories in the world, who are we to divide each other? Why do we prefer what we say and how we group each other when Allah has already spoken the truth on the matter? Then I came across this verse:

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (9:71)

If we held on to just this verse, 90% of our gender issues and inter-gender issues would be over. “Believing men and believing women are allies of one another.” SubhanAllah, such a short, concise, simple, yet high aspiration to strive for. Bismillah.

To Love Intensely

“We are all crazy in our love, every single one of us and its because we learned from the craziest lover of them all: Mom.”

I sat in the car with my sister talking about love and in the way my siblings love people. My family comes off crazily loving sometimes. We all developed different aspects of our parent’s love. I realized I’m my mom in many ways; stubbornly loyal to people she loves regardless if they wrong her. I’ve observed my whole life how people would hurt her and yet she never gave up, even to the disapproval of her children. She was usually right too, people come around. The door of forgiveness is open, love is waiting for you to walk through. I love like her because its the love that I know.

9 siblings, 2 parents is a big household. People will make mistakes, hurt each other and life’s trials will come. Life is a battle sometimes and our family is composed of veterans of war, who love each other deeply because we’ve enjoyed the good times, but more importantly endured the most difficult times. What our parents armed us with is an undying and persistent forgiveness of people. We were forced to grow into gratitude because life is impossible without it. Sometimes I look at other people and I see things they are blessed to be raised with, but then I remember that I too was blessed with things that are unique to my upbringing.

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) “That you may know one another.” Such a powerful reality. Each peoples, nations, tribes and even families equipped with their own strengths and weaknesses. Imagine all the beautiful things we could teach each other. Perhaps this is part of the wisdom that God made good deeds so varied, from visiting and caring of the sick, to building places of worship, praying for the oppressed in the night, smiling, feeding the poor, etc, because the people who will go out and be the most righteous will also vary in their strengths and their way of contributing to the human fabric. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.