SHAFAQNA | by Mohamed Alnajjar: There are many perspectives that one can have when wanting to look at any situation. There are many pieces to the puzzle that may look like something else individually, however when all the pieces are put in position the big picture becomes clear. The same can be applied to one’s life. It is unfortunate sometimes that we don’t see how the pieces of the puzzle make sense when it comes to the plan of Allah (SWT). There are many litmus tests that we can take that would act like a lamp in the midst of darkness. In a darkness that only Allah (SWT) can take you out from, when God confirms in the holy Quran saying:
“God brings them out from darkness into the light. “ (Quran 2:257)
The question is how do we know if we are in darkness or light at the moment? How do I know that I am doing what Allah (SWT) wants me to do? How do I know that I am fulfilling my purpose on earth? How do I know that what I am doing at the moment maybe a good thing but it’s not the best that I could be doing and there is a more solid approach that I can take to reach my lord faster?
All of these questions may take encyclopedias to answer, and this is what we seek to answer, such questions that strike the our minds on a daily basis however it’s that we don’t have the right resources to answer these questions or it’s that we don’t pay attention to them when we are thinking and just let it go as one of those questions that can sit on the back burner. If we are lucky then we might even remember to ask the scholar during Ramadhan or Muharram to ask the scholar for an answer.
As an introduction to this article I mentioned the word “puzzle” and “pieces to the puzzle” and I compared it the plan of Allah (SWT) and said that life can also be compared to a puzzle and the little obstacles that we may think are hurdles to our happiness or success may be looked as “pieces of the puzzle”. This is why when we say in our supplications:
الهي افعل بي ما انت اهله ولا تفعل بي ما انا اهله
Oh Allah (SWT) do with me what you want and don’t do with me what I want
Another point that I will mention that will make the example of the puzzle clearer is when Allah (SWT) mentions in the holy Quran:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ
“Indeed, Allah (SWT) has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise.” (Quran 09:111)
We need to question, what is it that Allah (SWT) is trying to tell us in the holy Quran. It’s not about how many pages of the Quran you read it’s about understanding what Allah (SWT) is trying to tell us. We don’t even have to go into the commentary volumes that explain the meaning of the verses. What we need to do first is once we read any verse of the Quran we need to ponder and think, what is it that Allah (SWT) is trying to tell me in this verse? I will complete the main idea of this article, and will seek to complete these answers holistically following this article as a series of articles that will answer questions that deal with an Islamic lifestyle.
Questions such as how can I lead an Islamic lifestyle on a daily basis? What kind of litmus tests are there that I can take to make sure that I am already living an Islamic lifestyle based on the daily actions that I take on a daily basis? Are my daily actions matching my values and principles or not? To complete this article as a prelude of a series of articles I will say that firstly we need to see the big picture, the conclusion, or what others may call “the end result.” In material means you may have heard of the saying: “The end justifies the means.” Well in Islam we don’t believe just any kind of means will justify the means or the result.
For example, when the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima killing 500,000 innocent souls to justify their superiority among other countries and nations in regards to their atomic power was not justified in killing all those innocent people. Actions such as Supporting dictators to kill innocent people for oil and natural resources, to occupy lands and usurp the natural resources of other nations and countries, or create hostility between two nations to destroy Islam, as they tried to do with the leader of the Baathist regime and the Iranian nation when they along with their allies supported Saddam with all their strength, could not bring the nation of Iran to its knees. It’s because their intention was not to fight Iran or create enmity with Iran or vs. their intention was to kill Islam, and when they intended to kill Islam they intended to fight Allah (SWT), as it is stated in the holy Quran:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّـهِ الْإِسْلَامُ
“Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah (SWT) is Islam”. (Quran 3:19)
Allah (SWT) answers the non-believers and says:
يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّـهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللَّـهُ إِلَّا أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ
“They want to extinguish the light of Allah (SWT) (SWT) with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect God’s light, although the disbelievers dislike it”. (Quran 09:32)
Brothers and sisters, this light that Allah (SWT) injects into the hearts of whom he desires, is not a kind of light that we will receive when we open just any book, however if we want to start to gain access to this light, I speak to myself before you the reader and say that it is the holy Quran that we need to open and allow our hearts to be illuminated with the remembrance of God almighty Allah (SWT) by reading its verses and contemplating upon its meanings. As our holy dear prophet (PBUH) says to his dear companion Abu Thar :
“Thinking for one hour is better than worshipping Allah (SWT) for 70,000 years.”
Therefore, in conclusion we need to think upon the verses of the holy Quran and through this approach we can come to understand the Quran better and pave the way to our final destination in the eternal abode with his chosen creations, prophets and Imams.