Delightful Little Finely Packaged Seeds!


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

By: Mariam Wasti

وَهُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ نَبَاتَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهُ خَضِرًا نُّخْرِجُ مِنْهُ حَبًّا مُّتَرَاكِبًا وَمِنَ النَّخْلِ مِن طَلْعِهَا قِنْوَانٌ دَانِيَةٌ وَجَنَّاتٍ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُشْتَبِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ انظُرُواْ إِلِى ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَيَنْعِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكُمْ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees – of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” [Al-Qur’an – Surah Al-‘An’ām (The Cattle): 99]

It happened to be a long weekend and on Friday the children were home in the morning so we decided to ‘explore’ some fruit before Jumu’ah prayers.

Alhamdulillah, for every flower, fruit, leaf and every seed on every plant that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) has ever created or intends to create. Allahu Akbar! It was like we had discovered a new place to visit! SubhaanAllah! Delight! Eating fruit became an activity full of excitement, color, discovery and gratitude towards the One Being, Our Creator who arranged it all not just for us but for the benefit of so many other creatures! pomo1Outside is the harder casing, smooth and a subtle, dull shade of pink. The shape so inviting that you are encouraged to explore the contents. Once you cut the outer casing and get inside there is the beautiful arrangement of ruby red glistening ‘gem-like’ seeds arranged side by side… the delightful, finely packaged pomegranate seeds. These groups are hidden behind curtains of white protective layers clustered together closely. Each one distinct yet united for a common purpose. When the curtains are removed and the seeds fall into you hands, just feeling them and rolling them in your palms is itself a source of delight – almost therapeutic! Then, once they enter your mouth initially you are able to feel the soft, smooth outer texture of the seeds and then when you squeeze them even slightly between your tongue and palate the burst of sweet juice is so exciting- refreshing!

الحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنِي هَذَا وَرَزَقَنِيْهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْل ٍ مِنِّي وَلا قُوَّة

Alhumdu lil laahil-lathee ‘at`amanee haatha, wa razaqaneehi, min ghairi haulimmin-ni wala Quw’wah
(Praise be to Allah Who has fed me with this food and provided me without any effort or power on my part)

pomos2

SubhaanAllah! It is amazing how this much beauty, nutrition, taste and joy exists within this one encasement that hangs on a tree under the sun for many days before being explored. Protected, cared for and at the same time showing full servitude towards its Creator doing what is required of it. It is as if these packages of delight are a celebration of that submission of a single seed that was buried in the ground many years ago, stayed unnoticed and undiscovered for so long yet was well-known by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), Our Creator. When it was time, He alone enabled that little seed to germinate, then the sprout crept out of the soil, then through different seasons it endured ‘change’ and grew into a tree with many leaves and fruit; that process of growth so lengthy and a result of the collaboration of so many different resources and factors that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) arranged!

فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ سَكَنًا وَالشَّمْسَ  وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَانًا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

“[He is] the cleaver of daybreak and has made the night for rest and the sun and moon for calculation. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.”

 [Al-Qur’an – Surah Al-‘An’ām (The Cattle): 96]

It all started with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )’s decision to place that one seed in that one spot… and then so much Khair sprouts forth from it! Through this so many signs for all of us!

Can we ever thank Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) enough for the countless blessings He sends our way despite our many shortcomings?

وَكَأَيِّن مِّن آيَةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ  يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ

“And how many a sign within the heavens and earth do they pass over while they, therefrom, are turning away.” [Al-Qur’an – Surah Yusuf: 105]

The spontaneous and most befitting response from any loyal slave to the One Most Merciful Master can only be:

  سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

“We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.”  [Al-Qur’an –Surah Al-Baqarah(The Cow): 285]

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Spring, A Time of Hope and Renewal


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

by A student of the Qur’an

The koel bird is here. It balances on the electric wires in its gleaming black cloak of honour.

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَافَّاتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا الرَّحْمَنُ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ بَصِيرٌ

Do they not see the birds above them with wings outspread and [sometimes] folded in? None holds them [aloft] except the Most Merciful. Indeed He is, of all things, Seeing.
[Al-Qur’an: Surat Al-Mulk (The dominion): 19]

IMG_20150502_161544-2Its bright red eyes survey the area. Then it sends a repeated whoop, heralding the approach of mango season.

سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ [Subhana wabi humdihi (Glory be to Allah and Praise be to Him)]. This year we have a delectable treat for iftar, In sha’ Allah as the long awaited mango season is almost here and Ramadhan around the corner.

Actually, here in Karachi, our spring comes in the winter whereas other countries are experiencing the season as we speak. The glorious seasonal flowers that are usually seen in the spring in other parts of the world  have already come and gone in December for us! We now see those plants that are made of tougher stuff and must brave the summer. And sadly, not all will make it through.

For a student of Qur’an like me, every single aspect of life brings about a connection to Rabb. Like us, the plants also come from earth and must return to it.

يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَيُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَكَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ

“He brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and brings to life the earth after its lifelessness. And thus will you be brought out.”

[Al-Qur’an: Surah Ar Rum(The Romans): 19]

Where I grew up in America, there were four proper seasons. The change from each season to the next was remarkably subtle, yet quite distinct. Winter; the delight of pristine new snow and icicles. These were toys from Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) for the child in us all as we loved to play in the snow. Spring; the fresh green buds erupting in surprising places and ways Allah’s (سبحانه وتعالى ) signs of things to come. Summer; the lazy air, hot and heavy with floral scents, perspiration and chlorinated swimming pool water. It was a time of activity and contemplation. Autumn; a  paint box of colored leaves sprinkled on the hills. A marvelous montage from the Creator for those who look. Mounds to rake, then jump in the middle and throw at each other or up in the sky. Then rake again. it was a child’s play and mum’s work.

IMG_20150502_161549

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ  وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاء مِن مَّاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخِّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ  لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason.”

[Al-Qur’an: Surah Al-Baqarah(The Cow):164]

When we moved to the United Arab Emirates for a while, many years ago, seasons disappeared. We would joke there were only two seasons, summer and August! The Qur’an only mentions the two seasons of trade in the Arabian peninsula; winter caravans went South to Yemen, and summer caravans went North to Syria with the vital and lucrative business in the barren land of Makkah.

لِإِيلَافِ قُرَيْشٍ

 إِيلَافِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَاء وَالصَّيْفِ

فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ

الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ

“For the accustomed security of the Quraysh, Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer, Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear.”

[Al-Qur’an Surah Quraysh: 1-4]

IMG_20150501_202034

Finally, as spring arrives and the excitement of expectations takes hold, there is a joy and an energy and revitalization it brings along. It’s time to get busy with “Spring cleaning”. It’s time to sort out the garden. In other words, it’s time to put the house in order and get  ready. Ready for what? When we prepare for our house in this duniya, are we also preparing for the final home? We know what we need to do. We know how and when to do it. Yes, spring is a time of hope and renewal. Yet, let’s see if I choose what I am able to renew. Will it be revitalization of my imaan (faith) and obedience to Allah              (سبحانه وتعالى )?

The question I ask myself – How do I clean my heart?

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) knows best, and His punishment is terrible, and His reward is wondrous beyond imagination. May Allah(سبحانه وتعالى ) guide us all to which pleases Him the most. Aameen.

وَالشَّمْسِ  وَضُحَاهَا وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَا وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَاهَا وَالسَّمَاء وَمَا بَنَاهَا وَالْأَرْضِ  وَمَا طَحَاهَا وَنَفْسٍ  وَمَا سَوَّاهَا فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا

 “By the sun and its brightness, And [by] the moon when it follows it, And [by] the day when it displays it, And [by] the night when it covers it, And [by] the sky and He who constructed it, And [by] the earth and He who spread it, And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it, And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness, He has succeeded who purifies it, And he has failed who instills it [with corruption].”

[Al-Qur’an  Surah Ash Shams (The Sun): verse 1-10]

Posted in Monthly Special | Tagged , | Leave a comment

*Starting Afresh!*


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Khudaija.A.Nagaria

My happiness knew no bounds!
My heart wouldn’t stop to pound!

I caught this lady and said, “I was in!”
My tears couldn’t be controlled within!

It was an unbelievable achievement!
It left me shaking in bewilderment!

My sins started to occur in my mind!
My thoughts were set to *rewind*!

I held that lady,  and told her that I was selected!
How else could I thank Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ), for my sinful soul He hadn’t rejected!

While in Ruku’, I burst into tears again,
When came Sujood, my consciousness, I couldn’t regain!

I thanked Him, I laughed, I smiled,
Like a little baby, that day I cried,

I couldn’t believe my fate,
I had been chosen, so what if late?

Such is the Mercy of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) beyond comprehension!
Human errs and errs again, yet He gives you attention!

It only takes sincere intention and heartfelt du’a,
He runs towards you, When you walk towards Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )!

“Oh Allah, please make this journey easy for me,
May I benefit from it and spread the message of Thee,

Ya Rabb, please forgive me and cleanse me of my sins!
I want to start afresh, as my journey towards Qur’an begins!

Aameen!”

January 8th, 2015

An expression of our Student’s gratitude to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) on getting admission in Taleem al Qur’an Course 2015  offered at Al Huda Campus Canada.

Posted in Personal Stories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Like a Ship, Not a Piece of Wood


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 by: Naheed Sattar

unnamed

A man with a goal in his life is comparable to a ship, whereas the one with no purpose is like a piece of wood. If a piece of wood is thrown in water, it keeps moving and floating aimlessly, as the waves push it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t reach an aimed destination. At times it just goes back to where it came from. On the contrary, a ship has a set terminus. It is not pushed by the waves; rather it pushes the waves to reach its destination.

As humans we need to be like a ship, with a goal in mind, a sense of direction as to where we are headed; and despite the obstacles coming our way, we must keep going. The good and bad circumstances are like waves. Sometimes they help us to move on and other times they move us away from our destination. However; one must not be disheartened or lose one’s vision.

Our deen also lays emphasis on planning and aiming for leading our lives. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )   says in the Qur’an,

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ

“Verily all things have We created in (planned) proportion and measure.”

[Al-Qur’an- Surat Al-Qamar(The Moon): 49]

Hence a true believer leads life with the goal of acquiring success in both the worlds; and more so in the Hereafter. In this life this success is achieved by being an obedient and humble slave of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ). Consequently, he is rewarded in the Hereafter. The ship moves smoothly when we listen to the commands of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) and seek His help whenever needed. Giving in to our desires will move us away from our final destination. 

Coast

Be the slave of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )  and not the slave of your soul, and then see how you are carried and pushed towards that which is good.

ACTION POINTS:

  • Determine the goal: To please Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )

  • Enter into Islam completely

  • Don’t follow your own desires against Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )

  • Follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلي  اللهُ عليهِ وسلم)

  • Be steadfast

  • Make dua

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , | Leave a comment