بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّـهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ
“And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment, [they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.” [Al-Qur’an- Surat Al-Baqarah(The Cow): 165]
Attached below is a thought provoking video of a young blind boy who was interviewed by Sheikh Fahad Al-Kanderi on his T.V series of ‘Traveler with the Qur’an‘. The enthusiastic and motivated boy struggled to travel long distance to his teacher to memorize Qur’an and at times he was given only a verse to memorize. Yet, he never gave up hope. He also talks about how his blindness is a blessing and a means of seeking Allah’s special Mercy on the Day of Judgment when he will be questioned about what he did with the Qur’an.
So, what do WE have to present on the Day of Judgment in terms of our efforts towards learning the Words of Our Creator?”
Watching this video clip, I had in my heart, for a moment, the wish that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) would also take my sight away, so that I, like that boy, would have the excuse on the Day of Judgment, and the compensation of Jannah. Then I thought about it again. Would I be brave and dedicated like this boy?
My test of sight is so much smaller. I have been wearing glasses for 28 years, my eyesight declining to the point that I cannot read a book at normal distance without them. At times, I forget where I put them and need help finding them but sometimes, I am alone. Even with the glasses, I transition more slowly between seeing far and close, and need to sit closer to the whiteboard in class. Light is blurred at night, and I have a lot of difficulty reading the bus numbers when they approach. But I still make do , and at times, I remember to thank Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) for glasses, and remind others too of the blessing of sight.
I cannot imagine entirely losing what preciously remains of my sight – how greatly it would impact everyday tasks. But as a visual learner, the greatest loss to me would be my ability to learn by reading and strategically taking notes in a way that they can imprint in my mind.
Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) guided me to Islam after 21 years, I am so grateful that I can read and study Qur’an and not only benefit myself but also others around me. I begged Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) at ‘Arafah during Hajj to make me an expert in Qur’an and its language, and He has opened all of these doors for me. Alhamdulillah, with the help of TQE (Taleem Ul Qur’an) and Bayyinah, I’m able to work and strive towards my goal. I pray for Ilman nafi’an (beneficial Knowledge) and the tawfiq (ability) to continue to be grateful for this blessing of Qur’an in my life.
Being grateful to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) in every situation means to remain patient and to stay positive in not just the times of ease, but also during hardships. In theory, this seems easy; however, in actuality, it is very difficult to adopt such a noble attitude.
I once read a post by one of the Scholars , where he mentioned that the people who are the quickest to blame Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) when calamities befall them, are also the same people who never thank Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) during the “good times.” I find this to be very true. If we never attribute our happiness to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) , then we will have a misconstrued and negative understanding about Him. Therefore, just as we are eager to understand the personalities of our loved ones, we should get to know our Rabb (Lord) at an intimate level. We can do this by learning His Asma ul husna (The Most Beautiful Names) and by reading the Qur’an, thereby pondering over the verses that describe His majestic traits. It is also essential that we integrate du’as (supplications) into our lives. We should set aside a timeframe every day, when we sit down, raise our hands, and have a conversation with our Rabb. One of the Scholars once stated, “Want to know how close you are to Allah? See how long you can make Du’a (supplication), because you never tire of talking to someone you love.”
The young boy from the video is a prime example of what it means to embody intense love for Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) .
“…..And those who Believe have Intense Love for Allah…” (2:165)
The boy has a firm grasp on what it really means to show gratitude for the blessings of Hidayah Irshaad (knowledge) and Hidayah tawfeeq (implementation of the knowledge). One moment that really struck me was when the boy said that he traveled a very long distance just to learn *one* verse of the Qur’an. What’s interesting is that we refer to “one verse” as “only one verse?” or “just one verse?” We don’t contemplate the miracles that just one verse of the Qur’an carries. The boy not only understood this, but also internalized it, which is why he didn’t mind traveling such a long distance to learn one verse. I, for one, certainly have a long way to go before I reach the level of commitment and perseverance as that of the boy.
Moreover, I found it heart-wrenching that although the boy was blind, he was more knowledgeable than myself, and much younger in age too. It makes me wonder what actions am I taking to show gratitude for the blessings of hidayah irshad (knowledge)? I think that in order to do so, firstly I need to embrace the journey of seeking knowledge with optimism. I need to face every struggle along the way with contentment. Secondly, I need to be willing to travel to seek knowledge. I live in Mississauga and I only have to travel for a couple of kilometers to arrive at Al-Huda Institute. I sometimes look at the rest of my classmates, some of whom commute from completely different cities, like Hamilton and Toronto, every day just for the Love of Allah. Masha’Allah, they must be earning so much reward for their efforts. Thirdly, I need to count my blessings. I have the ability to move, see, hear, and speak. Because I have been given so many more blessings than others, I have no excuse to become lazy and quit the path of seeking knowledge.
As for hidayah tawfeeq (implementation of the knowledge), in my opinion the judgment of this should be left to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), as none of us will ever know if we have been given this kind of hidayah. This is partially because hidayah tawfeeq entails ‘amal (actions).
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (رضى اللهُ عنهُ): The Prophet (صلي اللهُ عليهِ وسلم) stated, “O people! The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So, whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle, and whoever emigrated to take worldly benefit or for a woman to marry, then his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book 1, Hadith 1]
It may seem that we are acting in accordance to the Qur’an, but if our intentions aren’t sincere, then we’ve got nothing to gain. So, instead of feeling a sense of security that we have been given hidayah tawfeeq (implementation of the knowledge), we should take a few steps back, and pray that our ‘amal (action) is filled with Ikhlas (sincerity). May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) purify our intentions for seeking knowledge, and accept from us. And may He guide us to Sirat Al-Mustaqeem (The Straight Path), and keep us firm upon Al-Haqq (The truth). Ameen.