“O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous - [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him]. And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah , if you should be truthful. But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers. And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, “This is what we were provided with before.” And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.”
[Al-Qur'an - Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) - 2: 21-25]
How do you feel knowing that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) asked you to worship Him for your own benefit so that you will be eligible for Jannah?
Taken from hibamagazine.com
Though I have always known what Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has created us for His worship, it is the intensity of the underlying meaning behind His command that changes over time for all individuals. The knowledge that I need to worship Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) for my own benefit is clearly apparent in my worldly life. I need to do things the right way for Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)’s Rahmah to come. I need to worship Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in the prescribed manner, as per Sunnah to please Him because, after all, He (سبحانه و تعالى) is my Creator and the Creator of all things.
Earlier, I had never really specifically thought about worshipping Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) only to go to Jannah, but Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) gives us motivation by describing Jannah to us in the Qur’an and making us realize that all we should truly want is in Jannah, and so we should always strive towards righteous deeds.
Narrated AbuHurayrah (RA) Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “When a believer sins there is a black spot on his heart, and if he repents and asks pardon his heart is polished; but if he does more it increases till it gains the ascendancy over his heart. That is the rust mentioned by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) Most High, ‘Nay, but what they were committing has spread like rust over their hearts’.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it, Tirmidhi saying this is a hasan sahih tradition.]
The Reflections School had assigned the children to represent the above ayah as a project. The idea behind the project was to draw the children’s attention to the reality that sinning affects the heart.
This heart represents Manahil Jawed’s heart and every night before going to bed, she had to count all the bad deeds she had done that day. Once she had done that, she had to put that many dots on the heart.
How come we as adults forget such an important message? If our hearts were to be opened up at the moment, think what would be there?
“Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”
In marriage or in any other relationship, do I focus on rights due to me or do I give others rights as well?
I think in reality, I do both yet I feel the best way to keep myself happy would be to keep my list of expectations reasonable. After all, if I do not fulfill other’s rights, how can I expect others to fulfill mine?
Although forgiveness may seem very difficult, I know that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) loves those who forgive, and if we forgive, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will give us the reward for being patient and for the forgiveness. Also, we should not harbor grudges, because they only tend to contaminate our heart. When there is something bad we should move away from it and distance ourselves from it, all the while being mindful of the other person’s right. May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) protect us all from injustice and from doing injustice towards others, especially in terms of their rights. Aameen.
“Do they not see the birds suspended in mid-air up in the sky? Nothing holds them there except Allah. There are certainly signs in that for people who believe.” [Al-Qur'an: Surat An-Nahl (The Bee) - 16:79]
Due to the force of gravity, all bodies in air will eventually fall to earth, either quickly or slowly. Everything, living or otherwise, is subject to gravity. But as a miracle of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), birds are able to resist this force and fly upward and downward in the air. They manoeuvre themselves in the air, and sometimes even fold their wings and glide through the sky without even the flapping of their wings!
All details in birds, from their feathers to their lungs, from the arrangement of their feathers to the shape of their wings, are equipped with a special feature and order intended to enable them to fly. A chick totally unaware of the act of flight and the laws of aerodynamics is born with the ability to fly. The chick launches itself downwards and begins to fly, just as if it knew its body was created for flight. This is not just information that is taught subsequently or what a bird learns by trial and error. The way a bird knows it has the body structure needed to fly, finds the courage to launch itself into the air and then flies without hitting the ground, all happens through Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)’s inspiration.
The Arabic word يُمْسِكُهُنَّ “yumsikuhunna” translated as “holds” in verse 79 of Surat An-Nahl means “not letting them go, taking them, catching them, or holding them.” The word is the present tense of the verse “amsaka,” meaning “to catch with the hand, hold and pull back.” With this word, our Almighty Lord reveals that He holds the bird in the air and that it flies by His command. Bird flight is still the subject of wide-ranging research by scientists. Having observed the perfection in bird flight, scientists use the avian body and avian flight as direct models in producing such vehicle as air-planes and jets.
Verse 79 of Surat An-Nahl may in one way be indicating the way that birds comply with the aerodynamic laws created by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) as they fly. (Allah knows the truth.) The science of aerodynamics studies the behaviour of solid bodies in a fluid environment such as air. For example, as a plane moves through the air, various forces emerge that affect that movement. In order for the plane to move as planned and not to run into any unexpected forces or resistance, the plane is tested beforehand against the resistance exhibited by the air. Its movement is planned as a result of lengthy calculations, measurements and experiments.
The way that birds comply with the principles of aerodynamics continues to astonish scientists. Using no form of trial and error, they cope with the laws of aerodynamics in the most perfect manner. The use of the word مُسَخَّرَاتٍ ” musakhkharatin” (suspended) in the verse to describe bird flight is exceedingly wise. Because it suggests that they have been “encouraged to a specific end, have had to do something, have submitted or bowed their heads, have bound themselves to Allah or have submitted to His laws”. In that way, the verse may be indicating the way that aerodynamic laws have a determining influence on bird flight. (Allah سبحانه و تعالى knows the truth.)
At first sight there would appear to be nothing to make it difficult for birds to fly. But according to aerodynamics, any object flying in the air is subject to various different forces. The best-known of these are gravity, propulsion, drag and lift. In order for meaningful flight to take place, these forces have to be balanced. For example, if gravity is stronger than the other forces, the bird will fall to earth. That is why the word in the verse is the best possible expression of birds’ condition as they are subjected to these forces. The presence in the Qur’an of expressions containing such information at a time when no science of aerodynamics or mechanics existed, once again reveals that the Qur’an is a divine text.
The illustration shows the main forces acting on a bird during flight.
The tops of birds’ wings are curved, the bottoms flat. This shape produces lower pressure on the top compared to the bottom. This difference in air pressure produces a lift force that enables the bird to rise in the air by beating its wings upward. (right)
(1) The air moving rapidly around the bird’s wings produces the lift force. (2) The bird bends its wings in order to obtain greater lift force. The air flowing over the wings is thus accelerated. (3) If it inclines its wings upward at a very steep angle, air cannot easily flow to the upper parts of the wings and the bird loses speed and stalls. Through Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)’s inspiration, birds make use of the principles of aerodynamics as they fly.
A type known as ‘Bird of Paradise’
These are the world’s most dramatic and attractive birds rarely spotted by people. There are about 42-44 species of the birds of Paradise which are found only in New Guinea and north eastern Australia. Most are distinguished by striking colors and bright plumage of yellow, blue, scarlet, and green. These colors distinguish them as some of the world’s most dramatic and attractive birds. Males often sport vibrant feathered ruffs or amazingly elongated feathers, which are known as wires or streamers. Some species have enormous head plumes or other distinctive ornaments, such as breast shields or head fans.
Males put their bright colors and unusual ornaments to good use when they display for females. Their elaborate dances, poses, and other rituals accentuate their appearance and put on a phenomenal show for both female birds and any humans lucky enough to be in the vicinity. Such displays can last for hours, and in many species they consume a significant part of the male’s time.
Most female birds of paradise make a cup or dome-shaped nest and lay 1-2 eggs. Fruit and insects are the main foods of the birds of paradise. Some also eat leaves and buds.
Blue Bird of Paradise:-
Blue birds of paradise are one of the most beautiful of the bird of paradise species. Their bright blue feathers are a welcome addition to the green foliage of the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea. The males are adorned with two long and delicate streaming tail feathers. To impress the females, they show off by hanging upside down from a branch and fanning out their wings – it is a spectacular display.
The Paradise Rifle-bird is a medium-sized, long-billed rifle-bird without plumes. The adult male is velvety black with a metallic oil-green sheen to crown, nape and upper breast shield. The tail is very short with iridescent (shining) blue-green central tail feathers. The remainder of under parts are velvety black with the tips of feathers an iridescent dark green. The bill long and curves strongly downwards. The female and immature have greyish-brown upper parts, rufous on the wings, a whitish eyebrow and throat. The under parts are buff with black ‘horseshoe’ markings. The magnificent rifle-bird gets its name from its loud whistling call, which sounds like a passing bullet.
“He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him Belong the best names. Whatever is in the Heavens and on earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise one.”
[Al-Qur'an: Surat Al-Ĥashr (The Exile) - 59:24]
“Do you not see that Allah is exalted by whomever is within the heavens and the earth and [by] the birds with wings spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has known his [means of] prayer and exalting [Him], and Allah is Knowing of what they do.” (An-Nur (The Light):41)
This is our Lord, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). The Best of Creators, if we come to think of the Majesty of our Lord, mere words just seem to be too little to express His Greatness, His Power, His Mercy; how Beautiful will be the One who created such a beautiful world yet we fail to take lesson from His signs!
“And how many a sign within the heavens and earth do they pass over while they, therefrom are turning away.” (Surah Yusuf:105)
Everything in the Heavens and the earth praise Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) fulfilling the purpose of their creation it is only the foolish man which refuses to recognize its purpose and submit to the All Powerful, the All Mighty one.
With the advancement of science we are discovering the amazing functioning and purpose of creatures which we thought of as insignificant; and also discovering creatures which no one would have thought could exist; one of them being the birds of paradise! All of these discoveries only help us in exploring How Great our Master is; How Vast His Control and Mercy is.
“Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient.” (Surah Al-Hadid (The Iron):16)
Quran Reflections is a collection of thoughts and experiences of students of the Holy Quran. The blog aims to educate and inspire others to realize the beauty and significance of Allah's Book so that it may also impact the lives of many more around the world.