Al Hijr

Bismillah..

إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ
45. Indeed, the righteous will be in Gardens with springs.

ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلاَمٍ آمِنِينَ

46. (They will be addressed) Enter in peace and safety.

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ

47. And We shall remove any bitterness from their hearts: [they will be like] brothers, sitting on couches, face to face.

لاَ يَمَسُّهُمْ فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ

48. No weariness will ever touch them there, nor will they ever be expelled.

نَبِّىءْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

49. Tell My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Merciful

وَ أَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمَ

50. But My torment is truly painful


One way to reflect on the ayaat where Allah describes His Jannah is by comparing it to the reality of dunya. Here, what’s beautiful is that Allah (swa) lists one blessing after another for the believers to enjoy, without any separation between each one. In dunya, it’s possible you might come across a garden or beautiful hidden spring, but you may not be in peace internally or it may not be safe. In dunya, sometimes people carry around all sorts of negative feelings and resentment that can prevent them from truly enjoying a moment of peace, even if they are surrounded by beauty. A process of detailed planning and weariness often precedes any kind of travel to a nice destination, because of the nature of travel and our own stamina. Once we arrive, the experience may be wonderful in every way, but you still have to leave at some point. In Jannah, Allah (swa) tells us the believers get it all .. health, peace, safety, gardens, springs, brotherhood, Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, and it never ends. :) May Allah make us from them, and help us to love and appreciate every hint of Jannah we experience on earth, ameen.

-Fi Amanillah-

Br. Ahmed Abu Ali

Bismillah..

Every so often, I reintroduce myself to this moving recitation of Surah Furqan by Br. Ahmed Abu Ali. The eyes naturally swell with tears.

May Allah release him soon. Just the other day, I passed by the exact place at the masjid where he once recited these ayaat .. how times change ..

Blessed is He who has placed in the sky great stars and placed therein a [burning] lamp and luminous moon. (61)
And it is He who has made the night and the day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude. (62)
And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. (63)
And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing [in prayer] (64)
And those who say, “Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell. Indeed, its punishment is ever adhering; (65)
Indeed, it is evil as a settlement and residence.” (66)
And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate (67)
And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. (68)
Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated – (69)
Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (70)
And he who repents and does righteousness does indeed turn to Allah with [accepted] repentance. (71)
And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity. (72)
And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind. (73)
And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” (74)
Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect. (75)
Abiding therein; excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to dwell. (76)
Say, “What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication?” For you [disbelievers] have denied, so your denial is going to be adherent. (77)

-Fi Amanillah-

“You are the Most Merciful of the merciful”

Bismillah…

Forgot to mention the reason why I posted the recitation of Surah Maryam in the last post. A friend of mine taught a wonderful short course a few months back on the concept of practical spirituality and shared some gems on du’a, highlighting the example of Zakariyya (as).

كهيعص

ذِكْرُ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّكَ عَبْدَهُ زَكَرِيَّا

[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakariyya

إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَاء خَفِيًّا 

When he called to his Lord a private supplication.

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا وَلَمْ أَكُن بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا 

He said, “My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.

وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِن وَرَائِي وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا 

And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir

The difficult feelings we sometimes experience in life such as disappointments, sadness, anger, frustration, embarrassment, etc. should always be channeled to du’a. It helps to drastically change the way we manage the situation.

In Surah Maryam, Allah ‘azzawajal explains to us the story of Zakariyya (as), showing that there are others before us who experienced similar difficulties. This helps to normalize the presenting challenge and makes us feel connected to a common human condition. In social work practice, there is a rather effective means of treatment known as group therapy where people with similar issues come together for support. People feel less alone and more capable when they see others are facing something not too different from their own predicament.

Allah says that Zakariyya (as) called out with a deep sense of desperation, as indicated by the word نِدَاءً. At the same time, his crying out was also light and quiet, خفيّا
He called out to Allah from his heart and no one heard him but Allah. We learn from this that he, ‘alayhis salam, called on to Allah (swa) without a shred of doubt and as a beggar would. He then tells Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) how desperate he really is. He says that not only have my bones become extremely weak, but I’ve become engulfed in gray. An overwhelming show of humility here, followed by glorification of Allah (swa). Zakariyya (as) says that I have never ever been, in exchange of making du’a to you oh Allah, been left deprived and unfortunate; meaning every time I’ve made du’a to you, I have never been left unhappy or miserable.

So many amazing etiquettes of du’a we learn from these few ayaat.

  1. Make du’a to Allah (swa) knowing how greatly we are in need of Allah, and having certainty in Allah’s ability to respond to us according to Allah’s limitless knowledge, wisdom, and mercy.
  2. Tell Allah your situation and the extent of your neediness
  3. Glorify Allah (swa) and make mention of being pleased with Allah as your Lord. Express sincere gratitude for all the khair and blessings Allah has bestowed on you in the past, indicating you only have husn ad-dhann in Allah (swa) for the future.
  4. Make your request to Allah (swa). Express your concerns and fears with full certainty that Allah hears and knows all things.

In Surah Anbiya, the du’a Ayyub ‘alayhis salaam teaches us the adab of telling our difficulties in ayah 83 when he says that ‘a little bit off difficulty has touched me’ (مَسَّنِيَ) the root word of which indicates ‘to touch or feel something with the hand, to afflict or be distressing’. And yet, we know the extent of difficulty he went through, alayhis salaam. Beyond this, he also uses the name of Allah (أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ) also showing his hope in Allah’s mercy. When we use the names of Allah (swa) in our du’a, the response is linked to the name of Allah that was used, just like ayah 84 in Surah ‘Anbiya.

 فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِ مِن ضُرٍّ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَابِدِينَ

So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him [back] his family and the like thereof with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers [of Allah ].

This further teaches us the importance of using Allah’s names in our du’as. The Anbiya of Allah knew their Rabb very well and thus, their du’as reached Allah in times of ease and in difficulty.

We ask Allah (swa) to help us increase the sincerity and frequency of our du’as, and to call upon Him with certainty in His names and attributes. What an amazing abode awaits the One who sincerely repents and desperately calls upon Allah (subhanahu wata’ala).

-Fi Amanillah-

Parallels

Salamualaykum,

I was listening to Surah Ar-Ra’ad on the way home today. Absolutely beautiful sets of contrast presented in this surah, one after another.

One of the parallels we can benefit from is the similarity between water and the Qur’an itself. Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) has created water such that it is not only pure, but also purifying. The Qur’an too is pure and purifying in the effect it has on people. Just as water comes down from the sky and gives life to the earth, revelation also comes down from above and gives life to the earth (the homes where Qur’an is not recited are compared to lifelessness and graveyards). When water comes down, all sorts of plants and forms of life benefit. When Qur’an comes, different kinds of people benefit. Thinking even more deeply about this, water is consumed and utilized in so many different ways. Similarly, the Qur’an brings benefit to people in countless ways .. by its recitation, by its meanings and rulings, by ruqyah, and so on. The Qur’an reminds us of good news when we need uplifting, and reminds us to stay on track when we need to hear a warning. Allah tells us in ayah 4 of this surah, that although the same water is coming down and supplying the same nutrients …

 وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِي الأُكُلِ
“..We make some of them exceed others in [quality of] fruit.”

…Some of the fruits come out good and others not so good. The Qur’an comes to the same household with the same message, but one person may take the message and the reminder, the other may not. One sibling may attend every halaqah in the community, and the other may be in a completely different world and lead a totally different life. Different responses to the same message.

With some plants, they actually become a source of life or protection for other plants. Think of the moss that grows around the lower sides of a tree or the insects that rely entirely on shade that’s provided over them .. if they were exposed directly to the sunlight, they would perish. Similarly, the Messengers of Allah (‘alayhis salaam) “took the heat” so that we would be provided shade. SubhanAllah.

This surah in particular reminds me most of my dad and his love for farming. Allah has blessed my dad with a kind of wisdom that’s fueled by his interaction with nature. If I sit with him for an hour, at least 2-3 examples or metaphors he’ll present to me will have something to do with the process Allah has created for foliage to sprout, grow, and eventually die. Allah bless his efforts and give him a long life, ameen.

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P.S.: Notes are from Al Huda and previous classes.

-Fi Amanillah-

22.

Salamualaykum,

Alhumdulillah, 22 years old today :)

The theme for this last year has been trying to experience the essence of صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ.

Allah ta’ala says at the end of the first juz,

صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً ۖ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ

The “sibghah” of Allah, and who can be better than Allah in “sibghah”? And we are His worshippers. (2:138 )

Sibgha means coloring or dye, that is not the original state of something. It is the color that has been put on. It can be of two types:

  • Tangible: which is to take the color of something
  • Intangible: which is to take the influence of something.

The first part of the ayah “sibghatullah”  means khuthuu sibghatullah, take the sibgha of Allah. The ‘color’ of Allah that is being referred to here is our deen, Islam. It refers to the effect of Islam that you can see on a person through 1. Their identity and the way they submit and 2. Through their characteristics: every part of our lives are influenced by this deen.

I asked myself during different experiences and endeavors .. How much of this color do I have? How can I seek out the color of Allah in my life and in myself? What are some ways I can immerse myself completely in Islam and color myself with Islam?

Interestingly, making an effort to answer the questions above also led me to discovering new colors on my own palette .. colors I didn’t think I had.

colors on a paint palette

Notes are from Al Huda

-Fi Amanillah-

Surah al A’la

Salamualaykum,

Probably one of the best recitations of Surah al A’la, masha’Allah tabarakAllah. And at my school =) If you haven’t studied the meaning of this incredible surah or the musabbihaat in general, try to make time to do so insha’Allah.

P.S.: Sandy is reminding me of Surah al Mursalat. “By the winds…”  Stay safe friends.
P.P.S.: For anyone who read the last post and wondered where it went, I decided an hour after posting it that I wasn’t looking for anything from readers. I typically think about what I’m looking to do with/through my posts before posting – ex: Sharing a reminder, looking for feedback, showing points of view, etc. but with that one, I realized I wasn’t looking for any feedback, support, questions, thoughts, or anything else from people. I just had to write it down. That’s all.

-Fi Amanillah-

“I can’t seem to read the Qur’an”

Salamualaykum,

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely. [Surah Anfal, Ayah 3]

 

May Allah make us among those, whose hearts come alive at the remembrance of Him, ‘azaawajal.