Pearls of Peace – An Extract from Surah Al-Fatiha

Pearl-in-a-shell1We praise Allah (swt) Who has blessed us and granted us this beautiful month of Ramadan and such a beautiful opportunity to earn His countless Blessings. May He grant us with the blessings and forgiveness in this month. May He increase the love and bond in our hearts that we have for one another and alleviate the suffering of humankind all across the globe; relief the ones who are going through difficulties and turmoil including ourselves.

Imagine if Prophet Muhammad (sa) was among us and recited the Quran. Imagine if the companions of Muhammad (sa) were to recite the Quran; what type of recitation do you think it would be? It would be miraculously beautiful as it would come from the depths of the heart and true love for the Quran. Hence, that is the kind of recitation one should aspire for.

The theme we have chosen to speak about this year is Pearls of Peace from the Noble Quran. It is the Book of peace and indeed full of the ingredients of peace. Many of us are searching for peace, contentment and happiness so that we can alleviate whatever suffering we are going through, but we have not searched through the pages of the Book of peace; coming from the Owner of peace, AsSalam.

The theme we have chosen to speak about this year is Pearls of Peace from the Noble Quran. It is the Book of peace and indeed full of the ingredients of peace.

Types of peace

There are two types of peace:

  • The inner peace – the peace within one’s heart and mind
  • The outer peace – is amongst one another; within our family, our community, with the Ummah at large, with humanity, and with all the creatures of Allah (swt) and this is the peace we are searching for.

As we search for this peace and we open the Book of Allah (swt), do you know what is the first word of peace that we find? Amazingly: Audhu billahi minash shaytanir rajeem. Analyze the statement. This is the statement of peace. Before you commence with the Quran and its recitation, you need to utter these words because Allah (swt) has declared,

So when you want to recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).” (An- Nisa 16:98)

The ways to acquire peace

Without seeking protection of Allah (swt) from the devil, how will we be able to acquire peace? Many of us, when we read the Quran we have no concentration. That’s because the devil has contaminated our heart and our mind. He makes us fight and argue; splits and disunites us. This is why we start off with Tawuz. Let’s remember this powerful supplication and use it.

Now the next most powerful statement: Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem “In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Most Forgiving Most Merciful.”

This is Allah (swt), this is peace! Peace is connected to the mercy of Allah (swt). Look at the manner He starts. He has told us to start off by saying His Name, acknowledging that He is full of mercy, compassion and forgiveness. If He wanted He could have said, “Say: In the Name of Allah, the Owner of the severe torment and punishment.” He could have said that; but the heart requires that flicker wherein we all have hope in the mercy of Allah (swt).

Pearls extracted from Surah Al-Fatiha

Allah (swt) has chosen to open the Quran with what is known as Surah Al-Fatiha – the Opening Surah.

“(All) praise is (due) to Allah, the Rabb of the worlds.”

What is the meaning of Rabb? The One Who created, nourishes, provides, and protects, the One Who is in absolute control of every single aspect of the entire existence. All praise is due to Him, Who created you and me and everything in existence. Praise Him regularly and you will achieve peace.

Immediately after this powerful opening statement He says: Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. A loser he/she will be the one who does not receive the mercy of Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) make us from the winners. Imagine, if He had said, “I am never going to forgive certain people even if they seek forgiveness.” Did He ever say that? Never! Even a person who has committed Shirk, if he seeks forgiveness, Allah (swt) says, “My doors are open for him, I will forgive him.”

Maliki yawmi addeen – “He is the Owner of the Day of Judgment.”

From this we learn that we are answerable to Allah (swt). Let us learn not to become judgemental when it comes to deal with one another. Sometimes a person who might not appear religious outwardly is perhaps much more religious within. They may be struggling to adopt the commands of Allah (swt) one by one just like we are. None of us is perfect. We are all trying. Eradicate your bad habits. Seek the assistance of Allah (swt).

Iyyaka nabudu wa-iyyaka nastaeen – “You (alone) we worship and You (alone) we ask for help.”

A powerful statement that we utter almost five times a day.

Do you want peace? If yes, then worship Allah (swt) alone. Ask Allah’s (swt) help and assistance. Remember, He is Rabb-al-Alameen, the Owner of every single aspect of existence.

Ihdina assirata almustaqeem – “Guide us to the straight path.”

This is the Dua that we make for ourselves. The path of peace, the path to attain the pleasure of Allah (swt). If Allah (swt) has given us Hidayah (guidance), what more do we want? We will be the happiest people in the Dunya.

“Amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit; If he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best for him.” (Muslim)

Allah (swt) has always blessed us in every single way; yet sometimes we do not realize and recognize. We only pick on certain things that our soul desires and we keep on saying, “Ya Allah (swt)! You did not give me this. You did not give me that.” But when you look at the favours of Allah (swt), they are plenty.

These were some of the blessed pearls that we extract from Surah Al-Fatiha.

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s Peace of Pearl Series, Cape town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)

 

 

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

Do you want to be one of the Rabbaniyun?

Apr 11- Towards effective Quran classes

“It is not (possible) for any human being to whom Allah has given the Book and Al-Hukma (the knowledge and understanding of the laws of religion, etc.) and Prophethood to say to the people: ‘Be my worshippers rather than Allah’s.’ On the contrary (he would say): ‘Be you Rabbaniyun (learned men of religion who practice what they know and also preach others), because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it.’” (Ale-Imran 3:79)

Rabbaniyun means the devoted worshippers of the Rabb (swt). These are people who obtain Ilm (knowledge), practice what they have learnt, and also worry about passing on the Ilm and Amal (actions), so that it transforms into Tarbiyah for oneself as well as for others.

Now, how can you be one of the Rabbaniyun?

  1. Attain knowledge both of the Deen and the Dunya. If you don’t have knowledge of this world, you will not be able to comprehend, reflect and benefit from the knowledge of Deen. Once, you have sufficient knowledge of both, you can reflect, as Allah (swt) constantly tells us in the Quran that He has revealed these Ayahs of the Quran for those who use their rationale and intellect.
  2. Once these Ayahs have been truly absorbed in your heart, mind and soul, then Insha’Allah, you will be able to stay on the Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem “Hanifah”, without swerving. You will be able to obey Allah’s (swt) commands without questioning them.
  3. Be concerned about the etiquette and behavior of fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. Yours and their character should excel and represent the true essence of Islam.
  4. Following from the previous point, practice what you preach. There should be no contradiction between your actions and what you request others to do.