بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This tarbiya is not specifically on a particular topic but inshallah a reminder to all of us in appreciating and thanking Allah that we are Muslims. In two ways, firstly that Allah has guided us, and secondly the actual beauty of Islam. Indeed, we should constantly be in awe of it.
So firstly, thanking Allah that we are Muslim. We feel this especially during Ramadan, but it is something we should keep in mind throughout the year. We must remember not only to be grateful for material things that Allah has bestowed upon us, but the greatest gift of all, Islam. Allah informs us concerning his messenger, “And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds” Al-Quran (21:107). Furthermore, “Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will” ( Surah 14:4). Recognising this can be seen as being integral to having the right and the best of intentions, because we will act for the sake of and for the love for Allah. To know that Allah has blessed us with this complete and perfect religion, the greatest blessing that many have not, or not yet, been blessed with. “Don’t be like those who forgot about Allah, and He caused them to forget about the best interest of their own souls. [59: 19].
Not only has Islam been given as clear guidance on how to live our lives in order to attain the best in the hereafter inshallah, but the way this has been done is something that we should continually appreciate. Many of those born Muslim suggest (or even complain) that a Revert is much more pious, and even lucky, because they have discovered Islam, learnt it from anew, and so seen it from a different light. We have all read reverts’ stories that have described Islam as simple and logical, and often describing a moment “where it all came together”. Yet I’m sure, revert or not, this has happened to all of us, when we are struck by a particular verse from the Quran, or a story of one of companions, or a Hadith. That beautiful moment when it does indeed all come together, and inshallah this feeling always remains with us. To never “get used” to Islam, that it should never be seen as a tedious obligation upon us. Of course all of Islam is beautiful, so I’ve just picked some examples that jump out at me.
ALLAH’S MIRACLES THAT WERE GIVEN TO THE PROPHETS (pbuh them)
The Quran is one of the largest miracles that we should constantly be in awe of. And this is deliberately so. Each Prophet was given miracles by Allah as proof of his truthfulness and his message. These miracles were wisely selected by Allah in order to be in the same field as that which these people excelled in so that they could fully comprehend the magnitude of these miracles. Allah’s miracles given to the prophets were far greater than those of those fields, in an intentionally spectacular way. For example, Mousa (pbuh) was given the miracle of Magic. And SubhanAllah, what a fitting way to show Allah’s power than by Mousa’s (pbuh) snake eating up all the little snakes. How symbolic. When we picture such a scenario we cannot help but be in absolute wonderment of the certainty of the message. The defeat of pharaoh’s magician is certain and absolute.
Certainty is a running theme when we look at this gift of Islam
And then we have the miracle given to the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), the Quran. At that time, the people of Arabia excelled in poetry, they composed it and memorised often great works of poetry. They took great pains to make it as concise and beautiful as they could, one word often reflecting a complete image. They would spend entire years preparing their poetry in anticipation of a yearly face-off of the poetic compositions of their peers from all over the country. So the sense and simplicity in the act of bringing down the Quran is magnificent. A piece of work that cannot be rivaled and confounding all from any legitimate criticism. This is ascertained by the several times the challenge is posed to write a better chapter than the Quran, when the shortest one is only 3 verses long.
“Or do they say: “He (Muhammad(P)) has forged it?” Say: “Bring then a surah (chapter) like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can, besides Allah, if you are truthful!” [10:37-38]. They could not. This in addition to the fairness, justice, and logic of the Qur’an, it eventually won them over and slowly more and more people became Muslims.
So let us remember this next time we pick up the Quran, to remember that we are holding and reading the greatest piece of literature that can ever be because it is the Word of Allah. Let it be our pleasure, and not an obligation. Indeed, many of us can notice the beauty of the words, and of course, though it is ideal to read it in Arabic, sometimes even through the translations the meaning is so powerful and so comforting that simply repeating it make us more in awe of it. For example, “We verily created a man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” (Qaf:16). The general consensus is that this means He is closer to us than our own selves in His knowledge. What a beautiful meaning and what a beautiful way to describe it. The vein being the very thing that keeps us alive.
THE CLARITY OF THE GUIDANCE GIVEN TO US
Again, just one small example of what is a vast area.
In the Quran it says Mousa (pbuh) was commanded to go to pharaoh and “speak to him a gentle word” (20:44). When speaking to people, we should remember that we are not more righteous than Mousa and our brother is not more astray than pharaoh. (from Hamza Yusuf’s book).
Look at how it incorporates all situations. When we have something like this in our mind, we cannot help but relate this to our every action, because everybody we deal with is not more evil than Pharoah. The clarity and certainty of such guidelines is amazing. We cannot disregard such a lesson, nor should we want to. It is this clarity that is comforting because we know how we should act.
HEROES AND ROLE MODELS IN ISLAM
We are given many, many real example of shows of compassion, strength and belief that we cannot but help be inspired. Many examples where we must pause for a few moments to fully comprehend the enormity of their actions. One that has always stuck in my mind is that that the Prophet (pbuh) recalled from his Al Mi’raj journey to the seven heavens.
He had an encounter with a woman called “the Hair-dresser of Pharoah’s Daughter.” As he (SAWS) ascended, he could smell an exquisite fragrance filling the air. He then he asked Jibril (AS) what the smell filling the air was, and Jibril said that it was the smell of “the Hair-dresser of Pharoah’s Daughter”, and her four sons. She was secretly one of the followers of Musa (AS) and she believed that Pharoah was not a God, but she never revealed it in order to protect herself.
One day, she was combing the girl’s hair and the comb accidentally fell on the floor. The first word she said was basmallah (invocation of the name of Allah). The girl said, “You mean father?”
The Faithful woman, unable to hide her faith anymore, said, “My Lord and your father’s and yours.”
The girl then exclaimed, “Do you have another God than my father?!” The hair dresser repeated,
“Yes, my Lord and your father’s and yours,” The girl told Pharoah, so he summoned her and asked,
“Do you have another God than me?” and she insisted, “My Lord and yours is Allah”.
Pharaoh thought he knew how to make her break down. He asked if she had children and when he was told she had four, he ordered his guards to bring them all. He also ordered them to make a brass oven in the shape of a cow. Imagine how she felt as he pulled her sons one by one towards it.
He asks, “Do you have another God than me?” she kept answering confidently, “My Lord and yours is Allah,” and he threw one of her sons in the oven. People heard him cry for a while, then silence reigned, and his other brothers followed.
When the only one left of her children was the baby in her arms, she held him tight while they tried to pull him away, so the baby miraculously said, “Mother, persist for you are the one who is right” Thus, she and her baby were taken and thrown with the rest of the children. It is a mercy from Allah that she was burnt with her children, so she could be saved from a life without them.
The story ends here, but to us it does not. The Prophet (SAWS) could smell their pleasant fragrance filling the air as he ascended. Allah (SWT) gave them this fragrance, as a compensation for the day they were burnt to death when the last smell was that of their flesh burning. As you sow, you shall reap seems to be the rule. Allah (SWT) never forgets to reward his worshippers their rightful rewards. (Source: Amr Khaled)
The resoluteness and preference of this women who had to endure the worst possible form, and certainly most of us can agree that this is worst possible form of torture, stayed true to Allah. We can all agree her strength is unimaginable, as is her courage when speaking to pharoah’s daughter let alone when he was actually punishing her. It gives us hope and strength and evidence that whatever may test us in this life, nothing should test our faith in Allah and what better way to do it through this example.
These are a few examples of just the beauty of Islam. Beauty beyond words, that sometimes render us speechless and a fraction of what I’m sure many of you have in mind. Just for us to reflect and appreciate every part of Islam and the fact that Allah has blessed us with it in the first place.