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]
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.
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.”
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.
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]
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]