Striving for Excellence in Taqwa & Character

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Let’s continue our journey with the Quran during the month of Ramadan. A lunar month is 29 or 30 days and that is decided by citing the moon of the new month. The Quran has 114 chapters (surahs) in 30 parts so it makes good sense to decide to read one part a day to complete the recitation of the whole Quran in the month of Ramadan as was mentioned in a previous article.

Something caught my attention in the first part. There is a sentence that was mentioned three times (Sahih International translation):

Verse 2:38 {We said, “Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.}

Verse 2:62 {Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.}

Verse 2:112 {Yes [on the contrary], whoever submits his face in Islam to Allah while being a doer of good will have his reward with his Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.}

Fear will not befall these group of people and neither will they grieve and be saddened not just on the day of judgement but also in this life. In another verse in the Quran (10:62) it is the awlia or friends of Allah who are granted these blessings. The protection from fear and sadness are great blessings.

One fears something that is happening now or expected in the future; it could be real or imagined. Life is full of uncertainties and responding with fear of the unexpected has become a normal response. You may call it being prepared for worst case scenarios or simply not wanting to be complacent.  But what happens when this preparedness turns into a desire to control? What happens when ‘not being complacent’ becomes ‘not being content’?  What happens when fear turns into a suffocating anxiety?

Sadness is linked to the past: a missed opportunity or a regretful action and the frustration could be expressed as anger.  Sadness and the baggage it comes with are like a ball and chain.  Can you imagine the difficulty that person would find in moving forwards or even sideways with their life. Whenever they are presented with a glimmer of hope they respond with a ‘but’. They are totally drawing from their previous experiences and making direct links.   I wonder if what they are doing is using their pessimism to sustain their failure norms.

So if I am not constantly worrying about the future neither lamenting the past, I only have the present to be in. Make the most of now. I trust that Allah is my lord who created me and knows what is best for me. Whatever action I take it is by his will and mercy and my reward is with him. I have no control over the outcomes other than attaching my heart and hope to him alone.  Then is there a sense is being sad for what had passed? I can only reflect and seek forgiveness for myself and others. The reality is that the granting of that forgiveness is linked to my sincerity because Allah is the most generous and kind.

Going back to the verses, each has a different context and I encourage you to read the commentary and explanations in books of tafsir like Ibn Kathir’s . The theme that I can see is when these people accepted the guidance and took action they were granted protection from fear and sadness. The guidance is given in the Quran and the Prophetic tradition. As a Muslim, it is of paramount importance that I learn the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).  Knowledge cannot sustain itself and only bears fruit when acted upon.

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