Day 11/114: Hud هود⁣

When was the last time you were put off doing something, or achieving something, just because you were unprepared to dedicated years of your life to it? Perhaps you were worried you may run out of patience or interest?⁣

“And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration” [11:37]⁣

The story of Noah is also found in Islamic literature. Though what most amazes me most is his life span, mentioned in another place to be 950 years. ⁣

The sheer level of determination required to focus on a career for 30, 40 odd years, perhaps a hobby, or any mission for that matter is a daunting task to most, so something 10x the lifespan of the average human today is almost inconceivable to the human mind. But such is the example of unwavering belief, that an enormous length of time is no obstacle in achieving a goal.⁣

Time goes on, and humans inevitably pass, but the work done remains behind for many years, perhaps even decades and centuries to come. ⁣

What legacy are you leaving behind?⁣

Day 12/114: Yusuf يوسف - Joseph⁣
Do you believe you are destined for greatness? Even when you find yourself at the bottom of a valley, enshrouded by darkness, with no end in sight? ⁣

Keep going. Tomorrow is a new day. And tomorrow will be better.⁣

Aim for the moon, for even if you miss, you will land among the stars. ⁣

Prophet Joseph is another who’s story is mentioned, with the entirety of this chapter dedicated to it.⁣

Near the beginning, as a child he was thrown down in to a well by his own brothers, and later found and sold as a slave. Further into the story, he is also accused of adultery, and even thrown into prison. ⁣

But near the end, he was made treasurer of Egypt, and his special ability - that being able to interpret dreams - also made way to his success and prestigious position at the end.⁣

He also realises that this was his destiny all along, having understood that a dream that he had as a child also foreshadowed what was to come.⁣

“And he said, "O my father, this is the explanation of my vision of before. My Lord has made it reality. And He was certainly good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you [here] from bedouin life after Satan had induced [estrangement] between me and my brothers. Indeed, my Lord is Subtle in what He wills. Indeed, it is He who is the Knowing, the Wise.” [12:100]⁣

Day 13/114: Ar-Ra’d الرعد - The Thunder⁣
Day 13/114: Ar-Ra’d الرعد - The Thunder⁣

All of us go through tough times. All of us face trials of opposition, difficulties, health, and wealth, to name a few.⁣

Rather than being a form of outright pain, they are a way to separate those who are in it for the long run. Those of true grit and determination, who are built to last.⁣

Look around, and you’ll find that the people you admire and look up to, didn’t reach their success overnight. We see the the names in the lights, the awards, the accolades, and find ourselves disheartened when we don’t reach immediate success.⁣

Try. Fail. Try, and fail again. And again. And again. ⁣

Eventually the results will come.⁣

Those who hang up their gloves, are like the foam of the sea, while the rest of what remains of the ocean carries on.⁣

This verse carries the example of truth and deceit being filtered in such a manner.⁣

And thus, we too must endure much, before we too find ourselves as bright diamonds.⁣

“He sends down from the sky, rain, and valleys flow according to their capacity, and the torrent carries a rising foam. And from that [ore] which they heat in the fire, desiring adornments and utensils, is a foam like it. Thus Allah presents [the example of] truth and falsehood. As for the foam, it vanishes, [being] cast off; but as for that which benefits the people, it remains on the earth. Thus does Allah present examples.” [13:17]⁣

Day 14/114: Ibrahim إبراهيم - Abraham⁣
Nature and farming are commonly used throughout to describe various ideas and metaphors. ⁣

In this particular example, a good word is likened to a tree which is not only strong rooted, but produces fresh fruit throughout the year. Rain, sleet, or snow, the fruits are always there, night and day, to whoever wants them. The tree does not discriminate.⁣

It also stands the test of time, feeding generations of men and animals. ⁣

And when you plant a tree, it doesn’t become strong over night. It grows from a seed, and takes years to flourish.⁣

Just like so, a good word, may seem meaningless, arbitrary even, in daily tumultuous life. But it’s effect lasts a long time. Its potential to inspire may outlast generations. ⁣

You may compliment a person, give them a word of encouragement. And you may receive but half a smile in return, but that may have been the highlight of the day. ⁣

Never underestimate the good that you have within you. ⁣

“Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky?⁣
It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded.⁣
And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability.” [14:24-26]⁣

Day 15/114: Al Hijr الْحِجْر - The Rocky Tract⁣
Here’s something I often come back to.⁣

Following on from the last post, another example of nature. We have jobs, we earn our keep, we feed our selves and our families.⁣
Rain is often used as a descriptor of “sustenance”. Especially in the example of a farmer, who’s very means of living is dependant on particular amounts of rain, of sun, of pest control, temperature, and so on.⁣

But there are many species, for whom we may never see, or even come in contact with, but they too have to feed themselves and their young. ⁣

God is in control of it all. ⁣

In the last few years alone, there have been floods and draughts. Extreme heat, and extreme cold. As I type this, the Amazon is burning.⁣

All of it is under control. There is a method to the madness.⁣

"If you all depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk". - Prophet Muhammad ﷺ [At-Tirmidhi].⁣

“And the earth - We have spread it and cast therein firmly set mountains and caused to grow therein [something] of every well-balanced thing.⁣
And We have made for you therein means of living and [for] those for whom you are not providers.“ [15:19-20]⁣

Day 16/114: An-Nahl الْنَّحْل - The Bee
Bees are outstanding. ⁣

Not only are they diligent workers, but they have an incredibly important role in pollination, with around one third of the human food supply dependant on insect pollination, a large amount of that accomplished by the industrious bee.⁣

The honey they produce is not only sweet and nutritious for human consumption, but also has its own medicinal capabilities.⁣

In recent years there have been reports of declining numbers due to climate change and other various issues threatening their population. The loss of bees would also mean loss of plants and crops, as there wouldn’t be any left to pollinate them.⁣

“And your Lord inspired to the bee, "Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct.⁣
Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you]." There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” [16:68-69]⁣
Day 17/114: Al Isra الإسراء - The Night Journey
In western societies, it’s the cultural norm to leave the house at 18, to find your own way, to create your own life. A side effect of that is that some inevitably grow distant from parents, especially when careers and families are established in distant towns and cities. People move on, people move away.⁣

Elsewhere, predominantly in south Asian cultures, it is the norm to stay, perhaps even ones whole life in the same house. Generations grow up not only surrounded by uncles and aunts, but cousins, and grandparents too. It’s how they’ve lived for a long time.⁣

Islam puts great emphasis on dutifulness to parents and treating them well, especially in old age.⁣

The phrase “wing of humility” is used. A bird lowers its wing to protect its young from predators. It brings them close. To be close to someone physically is to be close to their heart - a place of love and protection. Just like we, in the wombs of our mothers, felt ultimate security and protection, and felt no outside danger, and no sadness, except that which our mothers felt. It was a place where we were physically connected.⁣

So when we’re older, with our own careers, our own schedules and lives, it’s easy to cast them aside and forget. Hence, the “wing of humility” is not only one of protection, but putting aside pride when one could easily choose to leave.⁣

“And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small."” [17:24]⁣
Day 18/114: Al Kahf الكهف - The Cave
The name of this chapter is in reference to the first of four stories narrated within, with reference also made to it in Christianity as “The Seven Sleepers”.⁣

In short, it’s the story of young men who escaped religious persecution and hid in a cave, where they were made to sleep for three hundred years. ⁣

A lesson comes to us at the end, as people who witnessed this story began to argue about trivial affairs - one being how many of them there were.⁣

How often are we taught lessons in life, but we start nitpicking on unimportant details, rather than take the lesson and move on? Maybe you missed out on achieving something, or earning something, but that was for the greater good?⁣

When was the last time something happened, and you went off on a tirade? Only for a passage of time to give you perspective on what the true lesson was?⁣

Sometimes we all need to retreat from the bustle of life into a proverbial cave of our own, into a sanctuary, only to emerge energised and armed with wisdom.⁣

“They will say there were three, the fourth of them being their dog; and they will say there were five, the sixth of them being their dog - guessing at the unseen; and they will say there were seven, and the eighth of them was their dog. Say, [O Muhammad], "My Lord is most knowing of their number. None knows them except a few. So do not argue about them except with an obvious argument and do not inquire about them among [the speculators] from anyone."” [18:22]⁣
Day 19/114: Maryam مريم - Mary
The chapter is named after Mary, mother of Jesus, the story of which is also narrated within.⁣

Yet another prophet that is recognised in Islam, with a key difference being that Muslims believe that he is not the son of God.⁣

Mary is mentioned as being one of the greatest women to have ever lived, having perfected her faith.⁣

“And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east.” [19:16]⁣
Day 20/114: Ta Ha طه
This chapter is one of many places that references a time in the story of Moses. In particular, when God spoke to him directly, grabbing his attention by way of a fire in the middle of the desert.⁣

I’ve always found this particular incident pretty cool, and when it was explained to me, I pictured a scene similar to the video games I used to play where there would be a character with a spotlight shining on them, ready to give you a quest.⁣

When you’re stuck in the dark, sometimes you literally need such an incident to guide you in your most troubled times. In the modern world, all the information, the tools, and the guidance that one could require is but a fingertip away. We just need to open our eyes to see it.⁣

“When he saw a fire and said to his family, "Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance."” [20:10]⁣
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