Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

Lesson 17 – The Depressing Twilight February 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saima @ 5:10 pm
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Rabi Al-Awwal 13, 1431

“And from the evil of twilight when it becomes dark (or depressing).”

Surah Al-Falaq (Surah 113), verse 3

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After my last post, I had a eureka moment later when I realized that all of the four prayers in this Surah are so well-knit. The first prayer (2nd verse) is about asking refuge from all evil that has been created. We know that Allah is the Creator; by mundane logic, we could connect the creation of evil to Him… but let’s not forget that when shaitaan realized he could only ask Allah (because he’s powerless without Him) for time and leverage to corrupt mankind, he DID and he made it his mission to spread evil, and create evil. Sure, Allah Created him and we could again use that to distort our views of Him… but there’s obviously more to this than most of us want to understand.

The second prayer (3rd verse) mentions twilight and a tendency for depression around those times; I know for a fact, that depression does lead to feelings of envy and injustice. Of course I’m not the kind of person who’d go on to think about magic and voodoo dolls and whatever else that goes in the minds of freaks, but it’s understandable there are people who would.

The third prayer (4th verse) is what I covered in my last post… but I read a beautiful elaboration on how this “blowing of knots” encompasses more than just black magic. I’ve never read a more elaborate and thorough description of this Surah (alongwith Surah 114, Al-Naas and their comparitive study) than this, and I feel enlightened at best.

The last verse of the Surah has covered what most of us think consider to be the root(s) of black magic – jealousy and resentment. I remember the times when I hit the low points in my life how I was  “upset” with Allah and I could only think of people around me who seemed happy, content, lucky and all things positive. If I had had my faith in the right place, I’d have deduced certain things then that I have now and I’m glad I figured out things before I strayed any further. To be able to feel satisfied is dependent your frame of mind, not on your circumstances. If you knew the life of Sarmad Tariq, you’d think differently, if you knew somebody personally who struggles on a day to day basis but has hardly shown it, you’d maybe start feeling more content with your share. I was lucky to have met him at a conference and it’s not like I remember him every time I have an aura of negative energy around me, but that image of him amusing us with stories of using his wheelchair as an excuse to break queue lines is something that always knocks a bit of sense into me… and I try to use it as a way to counter shaitaan’s whisperings about my “deprivations”.

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Lesson 16 – Voodoo Child? February 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saima @ 10:11 pm
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Rabi Al-Awwal 9, 1431

“And from the evil (of groups of those who practice occultism by) spitting on knots.”

Surah Al- Falaq (Surah 113), verse 4

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This Surah starts with a prayer asking for refuge; the above is just one of the 4 things one should ask refuge for.

Muslim matters did a wonderful article on this and I feel a little stupid and ignorant even attempting to write on this; nonetheless, here I go…

When we’re in the hospital (and we are working in Pakistan), no doctor ever thinks about occultism. Of course we need to have that frame of mind in order to get to the root of the person’s symptoms; nevertheless, it’s important to not discard concepts which have been mentioned in Quran.

We don’t know why people do what they do, we don’t know why mothers-in-law and other family members (I know somebody personally who’s a victim) want to cause harm to their blood relations and not-so-blood relations, we don’t know why it’s so satisfying to see somebody lose. Somebody I know who has been successful in worldly relations but has faced a specific kind of problem in her life that need not be mentioned, once said to me,”You know people want good for you, it’s not like they don’t… but only to a certain limit. They want you to be happy, but not too happy; they want you to be successful but not too successful.” And basically it comes down to what each person’s limits or criteria for success are. It’s unfortunate that envy is so deep rooted in us… and I have come to believe it’s our lack of faith and our lack of acknowledgment of His Power and His Being, what with us finding such little time to talk to Him, to pray to Him, to ask for help from the Ever Powerful, Ever Merciful Allah.

This one time I was working in the paediatrics ward (children) when a couple came in with their baby son and his X-Ray. The X-Ray evidently showed needles (or metallic objects if you must argue) in his chest and it was mind-boggling to say the least. The baby had an older sister and the doctors immediately started thinking along the lines of abusive family members (parents and relatives both) and/ or sibling, while the couple suspected black magic. Now I’m not saying the doctors were wrong and the couple right, but the fact that they completely discarded the idea of black magic now feels like they were denying its existence and power. I never got to see the end of the case because I was assigned to be in that ward for only a limited time, but a after discussion with a cousin whose knowledge in Quranic matters is splendid, I came to a conclusion that we should have at least suggested recitation of Surah Al-Falaq to them because the true knowledge of where the needles came from is with Allah alone and He has the Power to relieve the parents of this perplexing condition (?) if they were suffering through black magic at all.

That Pakistan mostly comprises of uneducated, poor, basically illiterate people doesn’t help matters. It’s easier to think that black magic is talked about by this set of people only, so obviously its root is in the ignorant minds. That the human race has come such a long way, anything remotely retardive or supernatural is but a figment of our imagination. That we have discovered and invented once-unimaginable things, that we have improved people’s lives remarkably… all help us push aside the concept of things we have little understanding of. So what do we do? Essentially, we need to believe His word.

Another thing that happens that I’ve seen too often now (because I’m training to be a doctor, my interaction will mostly be with a limited type of professions) is the God complex some people develop. Not all do. Just the ones who’ve received immense success, a consequence of their knowledge and training combined. What they have forgotten is HOW they started and Who Allowed them to enjoy that kind of success. This is a bit tangential for my current post, my point though, is just that we cannot deny things we don’t understand and we must admit to our ignorance on a myriad of subjects to keep our arrogance in check.