Hamna Salman – Hiba content writer
Look up from the page you’re reading. Slowly turn yourself around a full 360 degree. Note everything in the room, inanimate or otherwise, however small or seemingly insignificant. Now imagine not having them.
What if the window wasn’t adorned by those curtains? A room with absolutely no privacy – doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it?
What if doorknobs didn’t exist, nor did automated doors? Instead of a simple turn of the wrist, you might have to push against the door with all your might to open it.
What if cabinets, drawers and cupboards were missing? All your belongings would be scattered on the floor in a big heap, a disorganized recipe for disaster.
What if our walls were not painted? The room would look awfully drab and plain, would it not? Of course, such a room would also have an impact on your mood, for how can anyone feel any sort of cheeriness while staring at dark grey cemented bricks?
The luxuries that Allah (swt) has provided us with, go far beyond having food on the table, clothes on our back and a roof over our head. ‘An attitude of gratitude’ is something we are all very familiar with. We all acknowledge our health, our family and our homes, as our blessings, but it is the little things given to us by Ar-Rahman which we take for granted.
No amount of gratitude can ever do justice to all the blessings we have been provided with, as some seem too minute for us to even acknowledge, such as maybe the comfortable seat you are currently on, or invisible to our eyes such as the natural probiotic in our guts that ensures healthy digestion of the food we eat.
A primary characteristic of human beings is their weak memory. It is human nature to forget and slip, which is why Allah (swt), being The Wise, and The Merciful, gave us a gift in the shape of Surah Ar-Rahman.
Surah Ar-Rahman is a grand exhibition of Allah’s (swt) blessings, and understanding the Surah is enough to make someone fall in love with their Master’s love and benevolence.
The Surah begins by identifying Ar-Rahman as the One who taught us [humans] the Quran. It is interesting to note that the first people to be taught the revelations of the Quran were the disbelievers of Makkah. They too became recipients of Allah’s (swt) Mercy, despite being steeped in Shirk. Allah’s (swt) Mercy and Guidance reaches every single one of us, no matter how sinful, and that, more than anything, is a sign of doors of Taubah being open until the time one sees either the Angel of Death or the sun rising from the west.
In verse 5, Allah (swt) also speaks of the sun and moon working on their orbit saying: “The sun and the moon are (bound) by a (fixed) calculation”. The sun is neither too far nor too close, and the moon provides just enough light to illuminate the darkness, but not enough to cause a hindrance in one’s sleep. While heat waves are scorching, even they are precisely calculated by The All-Knowing, as they serve as a reminder of the world being a place of tests, and Jannah providing eternal bliss. This is exactly what is meant by the world being “perfectly imperfect”.
Allah (swt) also speaks of our ability to communicate. Allah (swt) being fully aware of our fundamental need of companionship, gave us the means to fulfill it. Forget our survival needs, Allah (swt) also made sure our need for belonging and recognition as well as our recreational wants were not neglected!
Despite making life on Earth a test of our faith, Allah (swt) gave us incentives in this Surah to pass this test. He reminds us of the joys of Jannah – the rivers, gardens and companions. His description of the punishments of Hell – the scalding water, and tree of Zaqum is used to inhibit our tendency to fall prey to sinful temptations.. He instills fear of the punishment, while tempting us with Jannah to ensure we live our life in a manner that will benefit us the most in both worlds.
There is no article, and no words that can do justice to His blessings. No one can enumerate them, and all our best efforts will fall short. What we should most focus on is to use these blessings to earn Divine Pleasure and not waste them.
The knowledge given to us should be sought and implemented, and speech should be used for good. Saying “All Thanks to Allah” as a mere lip service is not enough – the best gratitude is practiced through Salah and regular worship. The best way to thank Our Lord is through incorporating Islam into our lifestyle, and staying firm on it.
May Allah (swt) enable us to become Abd (slaves) of Ar Rahman and mirror the mercy shown to us in the Quran and modeled by the beloved Prophet (sa), mercy for mankind.