Rays of Splendour


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Ramadan Day 2: Everything is from Him

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“It is We who have placed you with authority on earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that you give!”

Al-A’raf, Chapter 7, Verse 10

Reading this verse took me back to a time back when I was a teenager. I vividly recalled being 14-years-old at that time and grappling with the question of “Why am I here?“.

Back then and without the light of faith guiding me, I had questioned the purpose of my existence. I couldn’t conceive of the logic behind being born (Why me? Why was I born in Singapore, as a girl, a Muslim, to this particular family, at this particular time and not as say, a boy, a British, a non-Muslim, or even back in the 1700s? Why this identity, why this life and at this time? Is it all a coincidence?), going through the normal life cycle of growing up, earning a living, getting married, having children, growing old and then to die.

In retrospect, I’m quite thankful that Allah swt protected me from going astray with those questions because based on what I’ve seen of life thus far, it is precisely these questions that could potentially establish deep cynicism of the existence of God and push someone away from Him.

Now almost two decades later and when I came across the aforementioned verse again, I realized that the answers to my questions reside in this particular verse.

I’m here because He has placed the authority for me to be here. Perhaps the wisdom behind it is still too complex for me to comprehend but that aside and if I were to look at the larger picture, I would realize that He has placed me here with everything that I need in order to live.

The point is to be grateful for this life and His blessings. It is the only thing that we have and it is our responsibility to navigate it so that we can be the best person we can be for Him, our Creator, given the things that He has equipped us with and the term in life each of us have been appointed.

Sometimes, we tend to question things. That’s allright as long as at the end of the day, our questions lead us to the realization of the immense mercy and blessings that He has endowed upon us without us even asking for it instead of driving us towards heedlessness. And that at the end of the day, everything that we are and have right now – including the life whose purpose we question over and over again – comes from Him for if He hasn’t allowed it in the first place, we wouldn’t even be here right now.


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Ramadan Day 1: How well do you know Him?

Whenever the month of Ramadan approaches, it’s been a habit of mine to do the following things:

  1. Make lots of doa that Allah swt will grant me the opportunity to experience yet another Ramadan
  2. To ponder upon a goal(s) that I want to achieve during the month of Ramadan

With respect to point number two, I found that I still couldn’t pinpoint an exact thing that truly captures my heart even when Ramadan officially started yesterday. It was only after I was done with the fajr prayers that I found it.

‘It‘ being to write my reflections on a verse(s) that struck a chord in me as I read the Quran this Ramadan. I figured that for this month, it would be good to do this as a step-up from what I usually do – to simply read the Quran and its transliteration but only dedicating a minute portion of time contemplating its Messages which is technically more important.

I’d like to clarify from the onset that these contemplations would be on how the verses reach my consciousness based on merely its transliteration and not on the more appropriate means like considering the occasion of revelation, the usage of a certain word as opposed to others, and many more. The latter is something I’m not qualified to do.

As I start to embark on this particular goal, I’m also aware that I may not be able to commit fully for 30 days straight. It is a tall order to jump from blogging sporadically and only when I felt like it to suddenly doing it everyday for a month!

Hence, I’ve since lowered my expectations for this particular goal and decided to merely blog about the verse on days when I really do not feel like writing a reflection on it and, should I feel like writing one, it would be something that is concise As long as there is an archive of the verses that struck a chord with me this Ramadan or a short reflection of a few sentences stored somewhere for me to read in future, I guess that is sufficient for now.

And so to end off this blog entry and to kick-start the journey towards achieving this Ramadan goal, I’m going to share one verse which caused me to pause, ponder and left me humbled for a while today:

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“No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet He is acquainted with all things.”

Al-An’am, Chapter 6, Verse 103

This verse reminds me of how Allah has the absolute power and reigns supreme in this universe. It also reminds me of how whatever knowledge I have about Him – or rather, what I thought I knew and understood of Him – is only what He has allowed to be unveiled to me.

This then begs the questions: What/Who is God to me? How else can I seek to know Him better?

This consequently made me realize how much effort I had spent on understanding and getting to know my family, close friends, acquaintances, colleagues and others but not Allah swt.

My priorities are totally skewed. Instead of spending more time to know Allah swt on a more intimate level daily, I’ve instead spent a disproportionate amount of time to aggravate myself emotionally as well as mentally on understanding others (whose relationship with me are, at the end of the day, transient in nature) but Him (whose relationship with me will endure even after my death). There should hence be more balance when it comes to forging a relationship between these two aspects.

I pray that Allah swt eases our effort and lifts these veils so that we will be able to get to know Him on a deeper level, amin.


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Ramadan 1433

The August sky just before fajr this Ramadan took my breath away. The glittery stars coupled with two planets – the last I checked online, it said that they were Mars and Venus though I’m not too sure of the reliability of this information – greeted me nightly as I stood at the balcony of my apartment to take my ablution. After almost two weeks of seeing those stars, I felt compelled to read Surah An-Najm which brought me to another level of awareness about something I was previously incognizant of.  Upon retrospection, I realized that there are also many verses from the Quran which I’d read this Ramadan that had offered me food for thought and brought new levels of awareness and perception towards the world, alhamdulillah.

I’m definitely going to miss the baraqah that Allah blesses all mankind during Ramadan. Beyond the obligatory act of fasting, the beauty and sense of peace I derive from simple pleasures like reading the Quran, performing my prayers and many more makes me feel utterly grateful to Allah for allowing me to live just that bit more to experience Ramadan and perform some ibadah during this month.

I cannot begin to imagine what the future will bring for me within the next one year. Regardless, I really pray that Allah grants me an opportunity to experience yet more months of Ramadan in the years to come, insyaAllah amin.