بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
(A Listener of the Qur’an)
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surah An-Nur (The Light):35]
Life is a continuous striving. People want to excel and do not want to become ‘losers’ in the sight of the world. Those who are so busy that they don’t have time to pause and look around are the real losers. When we look around and notice the smallest of things, it draws us closer to our Creator.
Recently, I happened to visit a jewelry shop. (No, it was not my first time!) However, this time around, I was able to make a comparison in light of the Qur’an; something I had never done before.
In Surah An-Nur, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) highlights the difference between a true believer, a disbeliever and a hypocrite. As I was looking at the different kinds of gems, it was apparent that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) has created each gem with a distinct color (emerald, rubies, topaz, amethyst, zircon, and diamonds). I thought to myself, “Why are some of these so sought after by people and so precious while others are kicked around?”
The Street Stones
Those following the footsteps of Shaitan are the unworthy street stones. They are the ones who because of their misdeeds, are kicked around and stepped on and will end up in hell fire.
Those Who Waste Away Deeds
In the jewelry shop there were also some uncut stones. They reminded me of good humans who do a lot of selfless good work to improve the life of others but without the cut and polish of eeman (faith). They do not believe in Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) and do good deeds without the niyah (intention) of pleasing Him. Hence, their striving is useless.
These people may become famous and might be appreciated a lot for their work by people of the duniya because of where they are. They are like those stones which are placed on famous buildings and are used to beautify them. This is like the example of the disbelievers who are appreciated in this world because of their current position and not because of their final outcome.
Then there are some ‘tricky’ stones. Zircons are like the hypocrites who trick people into thinking they are diamonds, until they are put to the test and they fail. They glitter just like the diamonds but that does not change what they really are from inside. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) alone purifies whom He pleases.
I thought the precious gem stones were like the true believers; their true worth known only to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). Yet, they are valued in this world as well for their inherent good qualities and because they are rare. To attain this quality they go through the tough procedures of cutting, buffing and polishing. After enduring all this, they change from ordinary to extraordinary. They are cut in such a way that all the sides are sparkling just as a Mu’min (Believer) should be. Within a Believer there is the shining spark of faith which is a means of spreading light upon light.
The Best of the Believers
The diamond goes through a rigorous process enduring with patience for years and years. It turns from a black coal to a sparkling, pure white stone, whose sparkle can be seen from afar. It is worth a lot and it is appreciated a lot.
It brings to my mind all those nonbelievers who became the best of believers or those who turn away from sin after realizing Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) ’s Supremacy. Yet every coal does not become a diamond. The one to whom Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) does not give light will have no light.
Subhan’Allah! How Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) has created all things and even created a variety within them for us to reflect upon and learn important lessons!