The Four Orange Rinds

Orange Rinds

Suleman loved fruit, and there was plenty of it to enjoy in Pakistan. Living in Karachi, he enjoyed mangoes, oranges, pomegranates, pears, peaches, grapes, melons… such a wide variety of fruit, which came one after the other throughout the year from all parts of Pakistan. Today, after a heavy dinner at home, he had an orange. It was so sweet and juicy that Suleman, not a very religious person, spontaneously uttered ‘Alhumdulillah’ with pleasure. Suleman then forgot all about it. His career, work and entertainments kept him very busy and happy with his life.

Zaheeruddin Niazi was very grateful to Allah (swt). His orange orchard had 742 trees on his 20-acres farm. He loved each tree like his own child. His oranges with sticker “Shireen Sweet – Niazi Farm” were the best oranges in the entire Attock Mianwali area. They fetched the best price and were sold out in advance well before season.

FSC113 was the angel responsible for fruit supply to Suleman. There were hundreds of angels with all types of duties for fulfilling the needs of each individual on earth. Some angels were providing the exact Rizq appointed each year for a person; some were protecting the body, ears or eyes, while others were responsible for all types of food supply. FSC was an easy designation for the angel in charge of ‘fruit supply chain’. Since there were hundreds of fruit varieties, there were over 150 angels for bringing different fruits to Suleman. Allah’s (swt) vast network worked day and night for bringing Rizq and sustenance to His creation. All was planned to perfection and ran like clockwork.

Currently, FSC113 had the single duty by his supervisor to supply the best oranges available in Pakistan to Suleman. He had to supply 240 oranges in that particular season, which was not a bad bargain for offering Shukr for one orange! Suleman had shown gratitude, and Allah (swt) never forgets such things. FSC113’s job was not easy. He targeted Zaheer’s farm, since it was the best. Next, he targeted trees number 303, 304 and 305, which were in the best location and produced the most succulent sweet oranges in the entire orchard.

FSC113 settled next to these trees, in order to oversee their production for the next four months. He was dozing, when the hot sunrays jolted him awake; too much sun, he noted. The oranges will dehydrate and lose some glucose content and sweetness! FSC113 rushed skywards and instantly arranged for a cloud cover from his fellow cloud angel, which cut down the sunrays to just the right amount for providing sunlight, but not too harshly. FSC113 sighed with relief. He was well in control. He handled numerous daily challenges, such as ensuring the right amount of water supply, fertile soil conditions, absence of disease, and pest control when needed. He either brought the matter to the attention of Zaheer through intuition or whisperings or took help from his fellow angels, like he had done just now.

Finally, the oranges ripened and were packed and ready to be sent to Peshawar. But, at the last moment, the wholesaler called Zaheer that he had lots of stock, so if he wished, he could send it elsewhere. Zaheer had bookings from everywhere, so he directed the fruit to Quetta. Suddenly, it started to rain heavily in Quetta valley and the truck driver was instructed to change the route to Karachi. The Shireen Sweet were meant for a Gulshan fruit vendor. The truck driver, however, was obliged to grant a favour to his friend in the DHA fruit market. He promised the Gulshan vendor to bring his oranges on the next trip.

One day, Suleman got out of his office, intending to head straight home. But, as he approached the high street, he remembered that they were out of fruit. At the last moment, he turned his car, parked in front of his fruit vendor, and called him through the car’s window:

“Oranges hain (Do you have oranges)?”

“Jee Sahib; abhi taza aye hain. ‘Sweet Shireen’ bohot aala aur meetha hai. (Yes sir. Fresh oranges are here. ‘Sweet Shireen’ are very high quality and sweet.)”

“Theek hai, theek hai bhai, do dozen do – aur jaldi. (Alright, alright, brother. Give me two dozen and hurry!)”

He pays and drives home.

After dinner, Suleman asks his wife for an orange, but she is busy enjoying her banana. He tells his daughter, Sharmeen, to bring one for him. She picks one up, her phone rings, and she puts it down again. Suleman grunts and picks one up for himself. He cuts it in his usual four slices and eats it. No doubt, it was absolutely delicious. Suleman gets up to wash his hands, when he hears the Adhan and suddenly remembers Mufti Sahib’s talk of last Friday on Shukr. He sits down again, brings his hand together and says: “Alhumdulillah”.

More than 150 angels, who had worked hard to bring these oranges to Suleman’s plate, were all standing by the table, waiting to see the effect of their handwork. Suddenly, all of them broke out in a thunderous applause and bowed down to Allah (swt) saying what they said, when they bowed in front of Adam: “Allah Almighty, yes, You know what we know not!”

Allah (swt) then signals to His Archangel, who then just for a moment lifts the veils of ignorance from Suleman’s mind, giving him the gift of understanding and perception. In a flash, Suleman sees where his oranges were grown, how they were protected from sun, rain, disease, and pests and how they were switched from going to Peshawar to Quetta to Karachi and then from Gulshan to DHA. He saw how, by the greatest of miracles all the way from Mianwali traveling over a thousand miles in a period of four months, the oranges landed on his plate!

The veil lifted, and he was back in the world, sobbing like a child. He could barely make it to his bedroom, where he fell on his prayer mat, his body racking with sobs of Shukr, Shukr, Shukr – Alhumdulliah. “Oh Allah (swt), in my slumber, I did not know, but now I know how Rahim how Karim and how Rahman You are. Oh, the Mighty One! Oh, the Great One! Accept my thanks and also accept my repentance for not being grateful for my daily blessing. I know now, and I will be your true and grateful servant for the rest of my life.”

Suleman then collected the four rinds of the orange. After drying them in the sun for a few days, he had them carefully placed in two jars. One jar sits on his plush office desk and the other in his study at home. They serve as constant reminders to be grateful and not to forget his great enlightening experience, which changed his life forever!

From the Diary of a Revert

diary-copyAs I look out through the window, I recall about how my life was before I met Him. I was born and raised in France till the age of 21. Then I moved to the UK. Many French and European young immigrants (including me) suffer from a social breakdown.

Sometimes, I think about how my life would have been if I had continued my life without Him. Before meeting Him, I was lost like an orphan without parents. But now I know He is there whenever I think of Him. I will never be lost again. Once being a non-Muslim, I am very grateful to Allah (swt) as He called me towards His path and made me a Muslim. Today, the Quran and the Sunnah are my way of life.  Now when I walk on the streets with my hijab, I feel secure and honourable.

When I pray, I ask Him to forgive my sins. May Allah (swt) forgive us. Ameen. I ask Him to protect Islam and guide the non-Muslims towards His path. There is a sense of peace that I feel when I meet my Lord five times a day during Salah. I love to share this feeling with all my Muslim  brothers and sisters around the world.

May Allah (swt) bless our parents and bestow His favours upon them; the favours of this Dunya and the Akhirah. I feel so proud whenever my parents are pleased with me. I am happy whenever my husband is happy. I pray to Allah (swt) to protect all the married couples from Shaitan and bless them with pious children. I thank Allah (swt) for giving me such beautiful and healthy children. May Allah (swt) bless the Ummah of  our  beloved  Prophet Muhammad (sa), the Prophet of Islam. Ameen.

No One Can, None Other Except..

muslim-mother

Her frail legs carrying my growing load,
Facing hardships, yet such care she showed,
Despite being delicate and petite,
Always active and up on her feet.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Indulgent hands work for hours on end,
On her gallant soul I can always depend.
Her eyes well up seeing me in pain,
My loss is her loss, my gain her gain.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Her valued advice, devout and sincere,
She’s always listening, she’s ready to hear.
Warm are her gestures, reassuring too,
Blend of love n care, she’s a soothing hue.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

That encouraging pat she gives to my back,
Giving me whatever I seem to lack.
Her supportive words echo in my head,
‘I know you can do it,’ she has always said.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

She lends me her shoulder to cry on,
I know she prays for me at early dawn.
Hiding her worries while smiling at me,
Disguising her fears being brave as can be.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Solemn tears she sheds while praying for me,
Beseeching her Rabb, they are part of her plea.
Her Duas do wonders like nothing else would,
They turn evil away and then it’s all good.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Oh how much I long for that cheering hug,
Those Duas she makes on her prayer rug.
Her presence makes my day worthwhile,
I could give the world for her single smile.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

There’s nothing more pleasing than her charming face,
She’s the essence of comfort, compassion and grace.
Her thoughts are honest, her feelings so pure,
She can never mean harm, I’m always so sure.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

How blessed I am for His favours to me,
Her being in my life is written in my decree.
Feeling a glimpse of Allah’s love in her ways,
Inexplicable it is, in a single phrase.
I now know who loves me more than my mother,
Allah it is, He is like none other.

Image courtesy: www.mentalhealth4muslims.com