Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
2. He is The One Who created you from clay, and decreed a stated term. There is in His Presence another determined term; yet you doubt!
This Ayah commenced with the creation of humankind from clay, a feat the human mind can not grasp. I am reminded of an Islamic class I held seven years ago in which I explained the creation of Adam. My young students were clearly in pleasant amazement and one asked, “But with muscles and flesh?” “No,” I explained, “from clay only. Thereafter, the clay became muscles and flesh.” The class was very lively. My students held no doubts, only wonderment.
Another area of confusion and doubt among some Muslims is the issue of Qadaa. There are many interpretations of this, a couple of which are:
a) Believe it or not, there are two facts: one known to creation and the other known only to Me.
b) Do not sit down waiting for Me to change things that are within your power to change, just as you do not sit down at home for Me to drop food through your roof right on your head. Pray to Me. Rely on Me. Trust Me. Then, act within your power and ability. I will do much more than that. I will grant you much more than you strive.
How much of Allah’s Words do we doubt? How much of Islam do we explain away to gain the goodwill of others?
Note the use of the second person plural in the pronoun (you) and the verb (you doubt). This is a direct address to Muslims, distinct from the usual third person for non-Muslims.
3. He is Allah in the Heavens and on the earth. He knows what you conceal and what you reveal, and He knows what you earn.
This Ayah commenced with the statement that Allah is Allah in the Heavens and the Same Allah on earth.
Ironically, some Muslims behave as if Allah were too far away to have any idea about what they are going through in their life. They propagate the notion that unless one meets Allah with physical and emotional scars, Allah will have no way to ascertain who wronged whom and will not be just. Allah clearly states that He is well-aware of our actions – covert and overt – and our rewards. No one needs to be in a miserable state to draw Allah’s Attention.
12. Say: “To whom belongs all that is in the Heavens and the earth?” Say: “To Allah”. He has decreed Mercy an obligation on Himself. He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. Those who have destroyed themselves are the ones who will not believe.
Am I the only one who reads this in the Qur’an?
32. This life is nothing but fun and games, whereas the Hereafter Home is much better for those who are conscious, will you not then reason?
The Hereafter in comparison with this existence is far too substantial.
This Ayah is saying:
Fulfil your roles here on earth. Enjoy this life, but do not lose sight of the real deal, Jannah, which is full of real pleasures.
How many Muslims ignore the fact that there is no Hereafter without the present life? Our seat in the Hereafter depends on our activities in the present life.
Jannah itself has been described mostly with imagery – the refreshments, the social life, the residences – that humans enjoy right here on earth. Hell, on the other hand, has been described with the most unimaginable of pains.
Do we really strive for Jannah, while we disregard our comfort here on earth?
36. Those who respond positively are none other than those who listen. As for the dead, Allah will raise them up; then to Him will they be returned.
Listening entails existence and choice. Only those certain of their own existence exhibit the right of choice. When we affirm our existence and choose to listen to good, our thoughts confirm with a positive understanding and response.
Those who are unsure of their existence have no inclination to choose. Instead, they hear and follow whatever is the norm in their social circle.
42. Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you. And We afflicted them with suffering and adversity, that they might learn humility.
There is a common perception that hardship is a punishment. Perhaps, but it is also an excellent lesson in humility. This Ayah gives meaning to my personal experiences and thoughts.
Humility, here, is in reference to Allah and is not to be interpreted as self-imposed situations to endure self-inflicted or other-inflicted pain. If the suffering does not bring one closer to Allah, it is empty suffering.
44. But, when they forgot that with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment of what they were given, We rapidly took them to account, and they were plunged in despair and desolation.
“That with which they had been reminded” here means not just the Revelation, in this case the Qur’an, but also the suffering and adversity.
Clearly too much of everything is detrimental to ones well-being. And if that is coupled with disregard of and disrespect for the frequent reminders Allah places before us in our life, the result is an unhealthy fear of punishment. Once one reaches this state, one equates Allah with hell.
53. Thus did We try some of them with others, that they might say: “Are these whom Allah has favoured from among us?” Does Allah not know best those who are thankful?
My response to that is “Of course, He does”. What is yours? Do not underestimate Allah! Allah has excellent knowledge of those who appreciate the good He has bestowed on them, and those who acknowledge that they are in a better condition than many others.
54. When those who believe In Our Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) come to you, say: “Salam ‘alaikum” (peace be on you); Your Lord has decreed Mercy a duty on Himself, so that, whoever among you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and rectifies, then surely, He always forgives with remarkable Compassion.
Why does Allah repeat the same theme: Your Lord has decreed Mercy a duty on Himself twice in one Surah? Where do the negative people get that Allah is about hell?
The previous Ayah states that the grateful are not ignored by Allah. This Ayah is a relief to those of us who acknowledge Allah’s Mercy; our gratitude to our Lord is not nullified by inadvertent blunders on our part, for Allah forgives more than the negatives give Him credit. He forgives not because ‘someone twisted His Arm’, but out of Compassion for His Creation.