Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

Lesson 19 – Not The Kind You Can Imagine March 4, 2010

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Rabi Al-Awwal 15, 1431

“They do not recognize scope and strength of Allah’s Power as is the due of such power to be recognized. Indeed Allah is Strong, Almighty.”

Surah Al-Hajj (Surah 22), verse 74


Either we’ve strayed too much from Allah’s message or we’ve gotten so busy in our lives (read: strayed away from Allah’s message) or trivialized our practice of Islam (read: strayed away from Allah’s message) or forgotten our priorities (read: strayed away from Allah’s message) but whatever it is, we’re losing out. Big time!

We just don’t ask Allah of things. We don’t ask Him to wake us up for fajr, we put on our alarm clocks to do the job for us. I can’t enumerate the times when He woke me up after I’d “talked” to Him to please do before going to sleep. I’ve tried that without putting on any alarms and I swear to you He woke me up… and not with any kind of laziness on me, but He woke me up with a palpable desire to offer my prayers. With our current routines of having more things to do and less time to do them so that we’re busy with this and that in the wee hours of the night, things like getting up for fajr, get thrown out of the window. We’re so caught up with trying to “secure” our eight hours of sleep, everything else kinda takes a backseat.

We don’t ask Him to get new things for us, we ask our fathers/ mothers/ siblings. It’s unfortunate that we forget how Powerful He is and that, He, in fact is THE PROVIDER. Recently, a cousin of mine won a laptop, something she had been wanting for a while. She got the best deal out there in the market and she had to pay nothing for it! Allah meandered her path to acquiring the laptop so beautifully that if you just stepped back and analyzed her situation, you can only be amazed by how Kind and (again) Powerful He is. He doesn’t need “circumstances” and “situations” and “ways” to provide His beings with what they’ve asked for (with clean intentions, hopefully; and for things that they’ll put good use to, too), He just Provides.

Because Allah Understands me more than I do myself, I’m not surprised by how succintly He’s saying what He’s saying in this verse:

  • The scope AND strength – two different entities. Quantity and quality. He can Do WHATEVER He Wants, HOWEVER He Wants to. Just ask Him – for guidance, for your plans, for your career, for new gadgets, for your new clothes, for your exams, for your desires, for your needs, for Jannah, for respect, for happiness, for intelligence, for a better memory.
  • Recognize. Reckonize His Power, yo(u)! I don’t think we have any, and by any I mean ANNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYY idea of how Powerful He is. If He has Created the person/ object (and the person who creates a powerful object), that you think is powerful, then how Powerful must He be? Are you imagining? Well, you should, so you first have an image of imaginable power and then you should have an image you can’t define, can’t explain.
  • Now notice how He ended the verse with the words “strong” and “almighty”, reiterating His qualities with a different approach. Strong = capable of much, almighty = having unlimited power. We clearly need to deliberate on who and what we’re going to ask from, from now on.

Lesson 4 – Power Isn’t Always a Bad Thing February 10, 2010

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Safar 25, 1431

“And recall Our servants Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqoob (Jacob). They were powerful champions and perceptive (with resourcefulness, and presence of mind).”

Surah Saad (Surah 38), verse 45


This is a Surah that mentions a lot of the prophets’ names and tells about their different qualities that (a) were pleasing to Allah, (b) carry lessons for us lesser mortals. This particular one mentions three of them to whom, Allah gave power and perception. Power spells corruption when you see so much going around, as we normally do. There are a lot out there who go to great lengths to uphold the responsibility that comes with being in power, but because there are so many more (people you see everyday) who continue to misuse authority, one starts wondering if power is any good at all. It can bring out the worst in a majority of people; it re-defines the word ego altogether for some; in some cases, you see errors of omission, not really a “misuse”of power, but a “lack”of complete responsibility comes into play either because of an issue with resources (in terms of money and manpower) or because the job duties are poorly defined. Whatever it is, the person in power is in constant scrutiny (as  he should be!). I, for one, will always choose to be NOT in complete power because of the potential it carries to change and/or corrupt people, but see how He has called these men “powerful champions”, meaning they “won” whatever battles they had to fight be those in wars or in everyday struggles that men are subjected to. I think it’s important to know that power does NOT necessarily lead to corruption, as I usually think of it as, but a responsibility that, like everything else in life really, has to be carried out with integrity, logic and trust in Him.

As for being perceptive, it’s basically a quality that develops with maturity and faith. As you grow older, you learn how to deal with different experiences and you compare your current reactions with those you had, say ten years back, only to realize that had you not bothered to learn from your earlier mistakes, you’d probably react the same way you did, those ten years back. The reason why I think faith is involved in being perceptive, is that it allows you to take decisions you think you’re incapable of, it allows you to “leave” the results of your “crazy (rather, crazily well thought-out)” decision to your Creator – that in itself, will please Allah, because then you are openly submitting to Him, come what may.