Ramadan Reflections (Day 16/17)

Bismillah

He said, “My Lord, indeed I fear that they will deny me, and that my breast will tighten and my tongue will not be fluent, so send for Aaron. And they have upon me a [claim due to] sin, so I fear that they will kill me.” [ Allah ] said, “No. Go both of you with Our signs; indeed, We are with you, listening. [26:12-15]

I love this set of verses. They depict Musa’s (as) fear and anxiety. Those very real feelings that we ever so often have. These feelings don’t mean you don’t have imaan. It’s beautiful to have these human characteristics displayed by a Prophet in the Quran. It’s also beautiful to see how Allah swt reassures Musa as.

[Pharaoh] said, “Did we not raise you among us as a child, and you remained among us for years of your life? And [then] you did your deed which you did, and you were of the ungrateful.” [Moses] said, “I did it, then, while I was of those astray. [26:18-20]

When Pharoah calls out Musa for having committed murder, Musa as admits to it, he acknowledges his mistake, he doesn’t pretend he didn’t do it. He doesn’t say, “Well hey, I’m a prophet now!”. I love how humble and real Musa’s (as) response is.

[Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” [26:62]

This. With me is my Rabb, I shall get through this, this moment, this day, this week, this test. Allah swt is always with us.

And rely upon the Exalted in Might, the Merciful, Who sees you when you arise, And your movement among those who prostrate. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing. [26:218]

Allah set sees us, knows us, and what our wants, desires, prayers consist of.

And We inspired to the mother of Moses, “Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.” [28:7]

Allah swt reassures Musa’s (as) mother that Musa will be returned to her. His care for Musa’s (as) mother is so beautiful, so gentle and touching. Allah knows what we are going through and He swt cares and will guide us.

And the heart of Moses’ mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart that she would be of the believers. [28:10]

How many times have we almost given up, but Allah swt kept us firm and pulled us through? How many times have we wanted to throw the towel in, but Allah swt kept firm our feet?

So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know. [28:13]

The Promise of Allah swt is true.

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Ramadan Reflections (Day 14/15)

Bismillah.

Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection. [19:96]

The word used here for affection in Arabic is “Wudda”, which comes from Wudud, meaning love. May Allah swt allow us to be those who earn his love, ameen.

And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring. [20:131]

Let’s look at those below us in blessings, and not those who have more than us, so we can be grateful.

And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers. [21:87-88]

Allah set is the Mujeeb, the one who responds, no matter how many darknesses encompass us, all we have to do is call upon Him.

Who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts are fearful, and [to] the patient over what has afflicted them, and the establishers of prayer and those who spend from what We have provided them. [22:35]

Patience, prayer, charity.

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Ramadan Reflections (Day 13)

Bismillah.

Today’s reflection isn’t mine, but one shared by Abu Eesa. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have an intense love for Surah Yusuf! The reflection is based on this Surah, so thought I’d share it:

So, Allah jalla wa ‘ala says in Yusuf, 101:

“Let me die in true devotion to you. Join me with the righteous.”

You know how millenials have coined that whole “KILL ME NOW” phrase when they see something mildly irritating?

Yes? Ok so let’s keep the same idea but take it to the next level. Obviously they say this as a joke but getting serious for a second, most suicides or assisted suicide/euthanasia occur when people have gone through genuine incredible stress and difficulty and have given up hope. Of course, none of this is permissible or ever to be considered an option but at least we understand where that act comes from i.e. the intense despair they are experiencing.

Note: in Islam it is only permissible to ask Allah for death if seeking martyrdom, or if one fears a threat to their iman through some type of fitnah. This is like what Maryam (a) asked for, not because of the pain of labour but because of the fitnah that was to follow. But wishing for death because things are difficult, or you’ve been afflicted with loss etc, is something not allowed. It’s *understandable* but it’s not allowed.

And you won’t get a more beautiful example of this than in the ayah above. The story of Yusuf (a) is breath-taking, detailed and so fulfilling. But in places it’s gut-wrenching to read and very emotional too, obviously because of the sheer raw pain you feel. I mean, can you imagine that despite being in the most impossible of situations, he never ever let his despair overcome him so as to even *consider* death or ask Allah to get him out of there?

Just imagine:

He was separated from his parents whilst still a young boy.

He was the victim of the most heart-breaking of experiences, to see those in his childhood innocence he loved and trusted most in the whole world betray him to a level you wouldn’t do to your worst enemy.

He lay dying, alone, in agony, in darkness, for a length of time only God knows how long.

He was treated like a slave and then sold as one despite being from the most free and noble of all nobility – his liberty gone forever.

He was a toy in the hands of the powerful and forced to endure a trial of sexual desire that most men would crumble at and one that affected him hugely.

He was humiliated in front of the public and imprisoned for several years whilst being completely innocent.

He had to take ultimate responsibility for an entire nation as it had to tighten its belt for seven years and then after that as it was afflicted with seven years of drought and famine.

Indeed, just imagine.

And what’s mind-blowing is that despite all these impossible trials which frankly the vast majority of us would have tapped out of at the very first minute, let alone endure a whole life-time of missions, yet Yusuf (a) never *once* gave up, or asked Allah for a get out of jail card or asked for death and relief from these trials.

And yet here in this verse all those years later we see him turn to Allah and ask exactly for that: it’s his first ever mention of death in his life, it’s his first request for it, and he asks for it to be given to him whilst he’s still Muslim تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا and that he maintains that devotion and submission to Him jalla wa ‘ala.

That’s because the difficulties of his trials had finally overcome him, right?

Eh? WHAT DIFFICULTIES?! He’s *smashed* all those tests and trials by the grace of Allah, those missions that we’d have packed it in over ages ago, and now he’s living the DREAM! He’s reunited with his family, had confirmation that Allah is happy with him, he’s a ruler of the land, every ease and convenience at his feet, it literally is impossible for his life to get any better!

And NOW he wants to go back to his Lord?! NOW he wants to die?!

Actually, yes. *Now* is the real test that most folks will lose their hearts and minds in – when everything is going fabulously well. It’s easy to forget Allah when things are going great. It’s easy to think this is all a result of all your sacrifices and that Allah is happy with you, and so you take your foot off the gas. It’s so tempting to relax and just play the game out without pushing yourself. And this is such a dangerous place to be for one’s iman, it really is. That’s why we all find it so easy to turn to Allah when we’re ill, or when we’re in pain, or when we suffer loss, or when we need help. It’s the most natural thing to do, or at least it *should* be the most natural thing to do! There are so many lessons for us all to take from these points!

Yusuf (a) as a human being is not just a Prophet, but someone on a whole different level. He’s not from this dunya man, wallahi he had no interest in it. His love for Allah was so intense that the very second everything clicks into place and all his trials are over and he starts to live Heaven on earth, he realised it was all fake and that he needs the real Heaven *off* this earth: to be with Allah and the righteous people.

I’m just going to stop there before I ruin it. Yusuf you KING!

#QuranicART
#ChapterThirteen

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Ramadan Reflections (Day 11/12)

Verse-set 1: 

 And there is not a thing but that with Us are its depositories, and We do not send it down except according to a known measure. And We have sent the fertilizing winds and sent down water from the sky and given you drink from it. And you are not its retainers. And indeed, it is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritor. And We have already known the preceding [generations] among you, and We have already known the later [ones to come]. And indeed, your Lord will gather them; indeed, He is Wise and Knowing. [15: 20-25]

This verse serves as a reminder … for some of the most common questions. Why was this person blessed with it and why wasn’t I? Why do some people have more (wealth, children, status, or whatever) than others? It’s because Allah swt knows best who to give what to … it’s a test at the end of the day.

The rest of the verse is humbling, to realize that it isn’t just us that need and want things and are blessed with them, but there are generations upon generations of people, all of whom were taken care of and provided for by Allah swt.

Verse-set 2:

Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do. Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy]. Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord. [16:96-99]

I LOVE this set of verses! It’s beautiful how Allah swt says that he will reward the people who are patient for the best of what they used to do! He won’t look at people’s lesser efforts or even average them out (thinking like a teacher!), but He swt out of his generosity will reward his servants for the best of their efforts.

The next portion of the verse is even more uplifting. Most of the time people will tell you that hey, if you don’t have it in this world, you’ll have it in the hereafter. It’s all about the hereafter. Be patient. This verse doesn’t say this, it says that the slaves of Allah swt will be blessed with a “good life” and be rewarded in the hereafter as well. It gives us hope. ❤

I’m intrigued by why this verse is followed by a recommendation for reciting the istiazah. I don’t really know why. Allah knows best.

Verse 3: 

Say [to them], “If you possessed the depositories of the mercy of my Lord, then you would withhold out of fear of spending.” And ever has man been stingy. [17:100]

Alhamdulilah that it is Allah swt who is the provider, and this task isn’t delegated to some stingy human being like us. 🙂

Verse 4:

And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect. [18:28]

If we don’t have it all yet, and we are struggling with life, then it’s so essential we make sure we are surrounded by good people, practicing people, God-conscious people, so they remind us. Ya rabbi, allow us to be people who always remember you often, and place you above all else in life, ameen.

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Ramadan Reflections (Day 10)

Verse-set 1:

And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us and then We withdraw it from him, indeed, he is despairing and ungrateful. But if We give him a taste of favor after hardship has touched him, he will surely say, “Bad times have left me.” Indeed, he is exultant and boastful -Except for those who are patient and do righteous deeds; those will have forgiveness and great reward. [11:9-11]

Oh man, subhanAllah. We are so quick to become stressed out and fixated on the things that are going wrong, although we have countless countless blessings that we’ve been given. This is such a reminder. The believer needs to keep faith in our Rabb, and not loose track and become depressed. This is a huge reminder for myself first, because I don’t handle stress well.

The other part of the verse talks about how when Allah swt blesses us with good times, we think “it’s all me, I’m awesome”, we forget that without Allah swt helping us and guiding us we couldn’t have accomplished anything at all!

The last portion of the verse serves as a reminder that only people who are patient and do good deeds, will be able to not fall into the above categories … they’ll be optimism and grateful despite hardships, and be humble when blessed with good things. These are the people that will be blessed with Allah’s forgiveness and reward. May we be blessed to be amongst those who are always grateful, ameen.

Verse-set 2:

And [Noah] said, “Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.” And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.” [But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah, except for whom He gives mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned. And it was said, “O earth, swallow your water, and O sky, withhold [your rain].” And the water subsided, and the matter was accomplished, and the ship came to rest on the [mountain of] Judiyy. And it was said, “Away with the wrongdoing people.” And Noah called to his Lord and said, “My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true; and You are the most just of judges!” He said, “O Noah, indeed he is not of your family; indeed, he is [one whose] work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant.” [Noah] said, “My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers.” It was said, “O Noah, disembark in security from Us and blessings upon you and upon nations [descending] from those with you. But other nations [of them] We will grant enjoyment; then there will touch them from Us a painful punishment.” [11: 41-48]

This set of verses, is just heartbreaking. It truly is. =( Serves as a reminder that no one, no one at all is able to protect us, except Allah swt. This verse teaches me that I’ve constantly got to refocus my life and learn to place my trust in Allah swt.

It is also a very heartbreaking verse because we all may have some family members who aren’t practicing. We want them to be upon the right path, and under God’s protection, but sometimes this isn’t the case. It hurts to see them this way. Ya rabbi bless our families and us with living and dying upon imaan, turn our hearts and make us firm upon the deen, bless us with Jannah without azab and hisab, ameen.

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Ramadan Reflections (Day 8/9)

Verse-set 1:

So He penalized them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they will meet Him – because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they [habitually] used to lie. Did they not know that Allah knows their secrets and their private conversations and that Allah is the Knower of the unseen? [9:77-78]

So, hypocrisy may be placed in our hearts if we are those who habitually lie, and fail Allah swt in fulfilling our fard/promises. This is scary subhanAllah, considering how easy it is to fall into lying. I love how this verse ends! It’s scary if you look at it from a guilty conscience. However if you look at it from a perspective of hope, that hey, I don’t know what people’s secret conversations/lives consist of, but Allah swt knows, and he’s my Wali, my protector, then it becomes very uplifting.

Verse-set 2:

And when affliction touches man, he calls upon Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove from him his affliction, he continues [in disobedience] as if he had never called upon Us to [remove] an affliction that touched him. Thus is made pleasing to the transgressors that which they have been doing [10:12]

This is terrifying. Today, here, now, maybe we are being tested with something, and we are desperately praying to God, each moment of the day. But what about tomorrow, when the test ends, will we continue praying to Allah swt? May Allah swt make us of those who are always close to him, ameen.

 

 

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Ramadan Reflections (Day 7)

Bismillah.

Verse 1:

I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. And if they see the way of consciousness, they will not adopt it as a way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as a way. That is because they have denied Our signs and they were heedless of them. [7:146]

The beginning of this worse made me ponder … maybe we can’t grasp the Quran, and we feel distant from it because we have arrogance. It seems from this verse that Takabbur, or arrogance is a direct way of falling away from Allah swt. I just find that interesting.

Verse 2:

Said Moses to his people, “Seek help through Allah and be patient. Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah. He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” [7:128]

Have patience. Know that Allah swt is all-capable. He gives to whomever he desires. If we stick to the basics, Islam, practicing as best as we can we will succeed, iA.

Verse 3:

And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment. And when the earthquake seized them, he said, “My Lord, if You had willed, You could have destroyed them before and me [as well]. Would You destroy us for what the foolish among us have done? This is not but Your trial by which You send astray whom You will and guide whom You will. You are our Protector, so forgive us and have mercy upon us; and You are the best of forgivers. [7:155]

Anytime the name “Al Wali” of Allah swt is mentioned, especially in a dua form, I’m drawn to it.

Verse 4:

O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered. [8: 24]

This is profound and I’ve discussed this before (I think). They say that for us to make dua for something, Allah swt placed that desire in our heart, and he wants to give it to us. How profound is this? SubhanAllah. ❤

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