‘The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.’
– The Dark Knight
This surah is absolutely perfect for the times we are in. It fortifies one’s Iman and reorients our hearts and minds towards that which is most important – supporting Allah’s deen and firmly adhering to it times of difficulty and fitan.
During times of fitna, you will find that most people want to stay out of it but yet they also want to know 103% of the details lol. In our class with Sh. Muhammad Zidan, he explained that one of the best things a believer can do in difficult times is to stay consistent / have istiqamah with regards to their ‘ibadah. The reward of doing this will be multiplied for them because such few people will be doing this. Instead, many people will be engrossed in the fitna itself (excessive discussions, wasting time online, taking pictures/posts, etc), which further perpetuates the fitna rather than curtailing it.
Imagine a glacier coming down with incredibly high speed. The cold, chilling ice water is rushing down a massive mountain and you are standing right at the bottom on flat land. This fitna is sweeping everything along that comes comes in it’s path, but you are standing firmly and holding on to the only pole in sight as tightly as you possibly can. You know this glacier will pass but you have to exert every ounce of Iman and willpower to withstand the rushing ice water until the glacier passes. This pole is our deen and it is our choice as to how strongly we hold on to it when we find ourselves surrounded by challenges. May Allah (swa) help us plant our feet firmly and hold on to the most precious gift He has blessed us with until our last breath, ameen.
وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ
In Surah ‘Ali Imran, Allah (swa) says:
The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to [His] servants.” [3:30]
The use of Allah’s name – Ar-Rauf mentioned in this ayah, right after the statement that Allah warns us of Himself, requires much pondering and reflection.
This name of Allah comes from the root, rā hamza fā (ر أ ف), meaning to be compassionate/kind/merciful. It gives the meaning of having pity, tenderness, of being clement and mild. This is one of those names that makes you love Allah so much.
Allah (swa) sees our situations when we engage in good deeds and sins, and he realizes our state. Compassion is to feel what the other feels and understand their experience at a deep level. Our closest friends are those who understand us and get what we’re going through. Only then do we open up to them and feel like we can be vulnerable. Even at a basic level, when we ourselves see someone suffering and have the urge to help them .. that is ra’fa. Allah is extremely compassionate and wants to help us knowing what we are going through. Allah knows what we miss, what we want, what we’d really like to have.
This beautiful name of Allah (swa) indicates that He not only knows our struggles but he is compassionate towards us because of his knowledge and understanding. In this life, we are bound to make mistakes and sin. Keeping in mind that Allah warns us of himself, we should be alert and conscious of our every action and thought, exhibiting as much control as we can knowing that our deeds will be presented to us one day. Allah even foreshadows how people will express their regret, wishing there was a vast and timeless distance between them and their bad deeds when it is time for judgement. So if and when we fall into a mistake, remember that Allah is Ar-Rauf, especially towards His ‘ibaad. He understands us and knows us in ways that no one else can. If this isn’t heartwarming, I don’t know what is.
Looking at this ayah from a literary perspective, only Allah (swa) has such unique speech where such clear statements that elicit fear and hope are mentioned so closely together.
Alhumdulillah Umrah was such a personal and introspective experience at all levels. I thought to myself that it would be so neat to share what it was like through a detailed post but I quickly realized that no form of expression could truly capture what it felt like to revisit Madinah al Munawwarah, see the Ka’ba, and just have the opportunity to exist for a few days on the lands that changed the course of history. I could write an endless post and it wouldn’t do justice. Nevertheless, a few gems are still beneficial to share :)
Left part of my heart in Madina, may Allah make it so we can make Umrah every year without fail, ameen. <3
– Fi Amanillah-
P.S.: When packing for Umrah, pack LOTS of sabr. :) (corny but important)
CAN NOT WAIT!!!! Alhumdulillah Allah answers the call of His believers when they call upon Him. I have no words for how in awe I am of Allah’s name – Al Lateef.
“We wanted to leave our sins, so we found it in Salat-ul-Duha.We wanted the light in our graves, so we found it in recitations of Qur’an. We wanted to cross the Siraat, so we found it in fasting and sadaqah. We wanted the shade of the ‘Arsh, so we found it in salih (good) friends.”