Our Families; Coolness of our Eyes

7 coolness of eyes

This Dua is at the conclusion of the 25th Surah of the Quran, where Allah (swt) tells us to say:

“And those who say: Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.’” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

“Our Lord”

Those who say: “Our Master, our Lord, gift us, grant us…” We are asking Him to give us a grand, unexpected, and beautiful gift. This prepositional phrase is brought earlier, especially for us. We are asking for a special favour from Allah (swt). What is this favour?

“Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring…”

In other words, you are not asking for children only; you are requesting for your lineage, for your future generations, to be the coolness of your eyes. Make our eyes cool by means of our spouses and by means of our children.

Benefits of this Dua

I call it my favourite Dua for two reasons. One, I am married and I do have children and a spouse. Two, all of us have to appreciate the power of this Dua because of the crisis of the world today. The world’s fundamental institution of family is under attack.

Almost nobody is immune from this problem. In many of our homes, there is a storm. When you find coolness of the eyes, you find refuge from the storm. This storm is not “outside” the house; it is actually “inside” the house! The family has become a place of sorrow, of depression, of sadness, of anger, and of rage. You tend to get away from home to get away from the yelling, the screaming, the name-calling, the insults, the depression, the sadness, and the friction between husband and wife, and between parents and children.

Since there is a crisis inside the home, what better Dua to ask Allah (swt)? Here, Allah (swt) tells us to ask so perfectly, so eloquently that the home should become the place of refuge. Your refuge… your safe haven… should be your spouse and your children and that is inside your home. When you see them, your worries should disappear. But for most of us that’s when our worries begin! It’s the exact opposite.

I want to give you a further appreciation of this remarkably beautiful phrase and how it is used in the Quran. I want to explain this feeling to you that Allah (swt) wants us to have with our families.

Do you know the most strongest of all emotions that exists in the humankind? The strongest emotion that I can think of is the emotion a mother feels for her child. It is the strongest bond. Can you imagine the state of Moosa’s (as) mother’s heart? She puts her baby in the water. You can’t even leave your child outside the hall. You start calling your husband: “Where is he?” “Have you seen him?” You just can’t stop. You are 30 minutes late picking your child up from school. What happens to you, you know. (I know, because I have been late picking up my kids from school before. So I know what my wife goes through.)

Now can you imagine the feelings of Moosa’s (as) mother; she had put her child in what for her was apparently certain death because what was behind was even more graphic. So she was in this desperate situation. Did she know what would happen to the child? She did not. Can you imagine not knowing what is happening or going to happen to your child when you know that they are in a dangerous situation? Subhan’Allah!

On the other hand, there was another woman in the same story. She was married to the Firawn (Pharaoh). You know some times women are in a difficult domestic situation. Now in the case of the Pharaoh’s wife, we don’t know if there was any physical abuse, but the Quran certainly indicates psychological abuse. So much so, that she had to ask for rescue. She had nowhere to turn. So the only place she could turn to was Allah (swt)!

When that baby washed up you know what she said? Now think about this… She picked up the child and she said…

  • “He will be the coolness of my eyes for me.” (read Surah Al-Qasas)
  • “He will be my refuge from the storm.”
  • “He will be my only source of joy because… I am in the middle of sadness.”

She was with the child… that childless woman was with a child now. All of a sudden, all her problems disappeared. That was her first reaction to the child. Subhan’Allah! On a separate note she said to the Pharaoh, “I won’t discuss with you.” She separated herself from the Firawn even in that. Further she said: “He will be the coolness of my eye for me and even for you.”

Even to the Firawn, she didn’t say “for us” because she did not associate herself with him. Subhan’Allah! May Allah be pleased with her!

Now, one last thing about this coolness of the eyes… and why this Dua is so beautiful, powerful, and eloquent.

When a mother has lost her child, which in this case she had, and she is re-united with her child, can you imagine the feeling of that mother? Can you imagine the tears of happiness? Can you imagine that emotion?

Now understand how Allah (swt) describes that emotion. Allah (swt) tells his favour to Moosa (as). He says: “So We restored you to your mother, that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve.” (Ta-Ha 20:40) Allah (swt) is describing the most amazing joy! The most amazing relief! The most indescribable feeling in the heart of a mother! And what expression does He use? The coolness of the eyes!

And so we ask Allah (swt): “Give us from our spouses and our children…coolness of eyes.” When somebody says, “I want to get married,” he should go further than just wanting to get married. Say: “I want to get married to a spouse who will cool my eyes. I will be the coolness of their eyes and they will be the coolness of mine.”

Allah (swt) took the Dua further and then we understand why he talked about future generations. I’ll conclude with this: “And make us leaders over those who are cautious, conscious, fearful, pious, righteous, and those who are fearful before Allah (swt).”

This makes you realize your relationships right now are not just about you. You are setting a precedent in your family for generations to come. So when you are not acting as good husbands, good wives, good parents, and good children, then what are your future generations going to be doing? Who is going to be answerable for that negative trend that was started by you?

It’s an intelligent Dua that we should find coolness of the eyes not only in our immediate family, but the future generations should be amongst the righteous too. When we are raised on Judgement Day, we will be the Imam (leader) over the entire family, whether they were messed up or not. So we better ask for such kind of people in our lineage who elevate our ranks and not drag us down on the Judgement Day. We beg Allah (swt) that He gives all of us those kinds of families. This Dua is something you and I …everyone… every Muslim… even non-Muslims need today. Make this sincere Dua to Allah (swt) as mentioned in the Quran:

“…Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

Original transcription courtesy www.nakcollection.com; edited by hiba’s team with permission.

Coolness of the Eyes – What Does it Mean?

cool-water-wallpaperThere’s a powerful expression in the Quran. It’s captured in two words. Those two words are “Qurrata A’yun” meaning “Coolness of the eyes.” It is mentioned in a number of occasions and it is also found in ahadeeth of the Messenger (sa).

Before I tell you how it is used in the sacred text, I want to tell you how the ancient Arabs used this figure of speech. We can’t really understand it literally as it means something beyond that.

the Arabs had two figures of speech. One is the “eyes becoming cool” and the other is “eyes becoming warm.”

The first thing I would like you to know is that the Arabs had two figures of speech. One is the “eyes becoming cool” and the other is “eyes becoming warm.” When somebody is shedding tears of sorrow, he is suffering from the worst kind of fate. He is in deep depression, sadness and calamity. If an Arab would look at him, he would say that his eyes have become warm.

One of the worst curses in the ancient Arabic language was: “May Allah make his eyes warm,” which means may he suffer the worst kinds of sorrows in his life.

The exact opposite of this expression is what? The eyes becoming cool. For your sorrows… for your sadness… for your pains to be removed completely and for you to feel peace, tranquillity and joy like nothing else.

I’ll give you a simple example of coolness and warmth of the eyes. Imagine you’re at the airport and there are two pairs – each of a mother and son. One mother is saying farewell to her son as he is flying off somewhere. And the other mother is greeting her son who flew in from somewhere. Both the mothers are crying. But for one the eyes are cool. And for the other the eyes are warm. One is shedding tears of joy as she sees her son after many years; her eyes are becoming cool. But the other is letting go of her son. This is what? The eyes becoming warm. I hope you understand the difference.

A few pieces of context before I go further.

A poet, who was also an assassin in Arabia, said that the eyes of my tribe will remain warm. He was waiting on a sand dune, waiting to kill the tribe leader that had offended his tribe. He made poetry in the meantime (I guess he had got a lot of time). Anyway, he said: “My tribe’s eyes will remain warm…until my dagger isn’t warm with his blood.” In other words, when I kill this guy, only then my tribe’s eyes will become cool. The rage, the frustration, and the humiliation that they felt would only disappear upon this guy’s death. “That’s what I’m here to do, to cool the eyes of my tribe.” So it was a means of relieving frustration, anger and ill-feelings. This is the context in which it is used.

in literature we find the precedent of the “eyes becoming cool” equated with “finding refuge from a storm.”

I want to share a final yet beautiful context in Arabic literature where this expression is found. The Arabs used to travel in the desert and there they would experience sandstorms. And in a sandstorm, the Arab used to wrap his face up because obviously your face is being pounded with sand. That Arab was riding on a camel. Subhan’Allah, Allah (swt) has created the camel in a magnificent fashion. The eyelids of the camel actually trap sand and drop them. It doesn’t even have to blink. It’s got a screen in front of his eyes that captures sand and drops it. We don’t have that ‘screen system’ in our eyes. But the camel does. Now the rider couldn’t afford to cover his eyes… could he? Because if he covered his eyes, he wouldn’t know where he was going! He had to keep his eyes exposed and so finally he found a cave; he found some refuge and he said interestingly, “My eyes have finally become cool.”

In other words, in literature we find the precedent of the “eyes becoming cool” equated with “finding refuge from a storm.”

Original transcription courtesy www.nakcollection.com; edited by hiba’s team with permission.

The Thunderstorm – Winning Short Story

Winning story of “A Life-Changing Experience” – a story-writing competition organized by Hiba Magazine

By Shagufta Shahzad

ThunderstormIt was the mid of July. I was sprawled on my comfortable bed and watching a movie, when my mother came in and asked me to get ready to go shopping; she wanted to collect her bangles from the jewellers. She said that she wanted to come back before Maghrib.

Fifteen minutes later, we were on the road. The sky had been cloudy since morning. As it began to drizzle, I became more conscious on the road. I had been driving fast, so I slowed down to avoid risks. The drizzle changed to sudden downpour as we neared the shop.

People on the road started to run frantically for shelter. Vehicles slowed down on the road as well.

Suddenly, we heard a very loud crack of thunder followed by a bright flash of lightning outside my car window. Within a few minutes, roads and streets had turned into streams and rivers. Many trees were uprooted. The storm plunged the city into darkness. Advertisement boards began to fall and damage vehicles around them.

We seemed to be frozen on the spot. It seemed impossible to move because I could feel water inside my car. I became confused and switched off the engine. My mother started reciting a Dua loudly. People from outside suddenly started to gesture and shout. They were asking us to move forward or leave the car because a neon sign board was about to fall on us. I immediately turned the ignition on, but the engine turned off. Just then, a man came and asked us to jump out. Throwing all caution to the winds, we did as told before it was too late.

“O Allah! Do not kill us with Your anger, nor destroy us with Your torment, and save us before that.” (Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai and Al-Hakim)

We walked to stand near a wall, desperately in need of a ride home. At the time, we were totally oblivious to the fact that the sign board had indeed crashed into our precious car. I have no idea how long we stood there, soaking wet with a huge amount of cash in our bags. There were no rickshaws or cabs to take us home!

People were frantically moving in groups, holding hands to save each other from falling into any open sewerage or gutter. Whenever they would pass by us, they would ask us to get moving too. Honestly, we were too scared and too confused to think straight. Suddenly, a boy came near us and asked us where we wanted to go. He told us that there was no option but to hold hands and move from here as it was already dark and we two women were all alone. My mother held his hand and we started walking. The whole place was flooded; we had no clue where we were placing our foot. We were just praying and moving. We recited the Sunnah supplication taught to us by the Prophet (sa):

«اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَقْتُلْنَا بِغَضَبِكَ، وَلَا تُهْلِكْنَا بِعَذَابِكَ، وَعَافِنَا قَبْل ذَلِك»
“O Allah! Do not kill us with Your anger, nor destroy us with Your torment, and save us before that.” (Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai and Al-Hakim)

Verses 19 and 20 of Surah Al-Baqarah related to my situation easily. Allah (swt) says:

“Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder, and lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allah ever encompasses the disbelievers (i.e. Allah will gather them all together). The lightning almost snatches away their sight, whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Certainly, Allah has power over all things.” (Al-Baqarah 2:19-20)

That was one of the most memorable nights of my life. It changed the way I interact with people. Now, whenever I am out, I try to find people who need my assistance, and help them in every way I can. No good deed looks too small to me. They are all significant in my eyes. 

Flashes of thunderbolts helped us to find the way and move forward. At that point, we all were hoping that these flashes remain calm so we could reach our destination.

People left us when they reached their houses and soon only that boy was left behind with us. When he reached his house, he offered us to come inside and stay there for a while. He took us through a narrow street. We were puzzled but he was the only hope.

It was very dark, as only lightning was showing us the way. He stood near a small curtain, behind which was a small door. He went inside, while we were standing outside confused and frightened. Then we heard a middle-aged woman approach us. She smiled and asked us to come inside.  As we walked in, feeling like we’ve just been on a battlefield, the lady offered us a hot meal and dry clothes.

In the morning, after praying Fajr, the lady prepared breakfast and her son went out to arrange a ride for us. It took us an hour because the roads were badly damaged, but Alhumdulillah, we finally reached home.

After the storm subsided, I decided to visit the family that had been of such great help to us that night. However, despite many attempts, I was unable to locate them. Maybe it was too dark when we had arrived and left…

I still pray for them whenever I can. That was one of the most memorable nights of my life. It changed the way I interact with people. Now, whenever I am out, I try to find people who need my assistance, and help them in every way I can. No good deed looks too small to me. They are all significant in my eyes.

O Allah, indeed, I am the witness to the day you saved us and in that dark night you sent thunderbolts and strikes as a blessing to show us our path. O Allah, bless my companions and myself with your guidance. Make us firm on the path of guidance and do not allow us to deviate from it. Ameen.

Image courtesy: http://www.walltor.com