Day 1/114: Al Fatiha الْفَاتِحَة - The Opening⁣
The first chapter of the Quran is one that is recited in each standing part of the daily prayers, making at least 17 times by practising Muslims.⁣

One viewpoint is that it is also a sort of a preface; a seeker of guidance and knowledge (the reader) calling upon the source of guidance and knowledge (God), and what comes in the following chapters is the answer to that. ⁣

From darkness, into the light.⁣

Day 2/114: Al Baqarah البقرة - The Cow⁣
“When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.” [2:117]⁣

The second chapter is also the longest at 286 verses. In this particular passage, we are shown the power of God in the way he is able to ordain a matter.⁣

Consider how long it takes to produce anything, whether this piece of animation, a blog post, or a meal. Aside from the outright time spent on the task, it may take several months or even years of practise and expertise. But God is separated from this effort, as He is once again, the source of knowledge and power, and is able to determine anything at will.⁣

Day 3/114: Aal Imran آل عمران - The Family of Imran
“Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds.” [3:96]⁣

Perhaps the most iconic building related to Islam and Muslims is the one seen here, the Kaaba. ⁣

Located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, it’s the focal point of every prayer, no matter where one may be in the world. Circumambulating it also part of the Hajj pilgrimage, which is taking place today [11/08/19] and for the following three days, with millions of pilgrims completing this rite.⁣

They say in regards to Tokyo and New York as “the cities that never sleep”, but nowhere in the world has quite the buzz and the presence of Makkah all year round. Such is this status, that the phrase “The Mecca of X” refers to any place that regularly attracts a large number of dedicated followers for a specific purpose.

Day 4/114: An-Nisa النساء - The Women⁣
“Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” [4:103]⁣

The five daily prayers is likely amongst the most well known aspect of the daily life of a Muslim.⁣

The prayers take place throughout the day, with their times being determined by the movement of the sun.⁣

Nowadays however, the times are able to be calculated in advance, so you are likely able to find a timetable for any location in the world, but the original principal remains.⁣

Referred to as “Salah” in Arabic, it’s the one act of worship obligated upon every adult Muslim.

Day 5/114: Al Ma’idah المائدة - The Table Spread⁣
“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles” [5:6]⁣

A requirement of prayer is also to cleanse oneself prior. In Arabic this known as being in the state of ”wudu”. To stand before God requires one to do so being clean. The above verse sets out guidelines on what parts of the body to wash.⁣

So if you ever walk into a restroom and see somebody with their foot in the sink, don’t be alarmed! They’re probably just preparing for prayer. 😁

Day 6/114: Al An’am الأنعام - The Cattle⁣
“And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom?” [6:122]⁣

The example of light and darkness is used once again in reference to knowledge and ignorance. This specific example is referring to spiritual knowledge and belief, though the parable is also found in the English language. ⁣

A person “in the dark” is somebody uninformed about a particular situation or thing. Likewise the Quran is also referred to as a “light” earlier:⁣

“O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light” [4:174]⁣

Just as you need a light to see through the darkness, so too knowledge is a necessity in order to trudge the path of unfamiliarity.

Day 7/114: Al A’raf الأعراف - The Heights⁣
“And the weighing [of deeds] that Day will be the truth. So those whose scales are heavy - it is they who will be the successful” [7:8] ⁣

The idea of a day of judgement, and a final accountability is mentioned often. The nuance mentioned in this verse is not only the weighing of deeds to be an event itself, but also that very event being an ultimate act of justice.⁣

Back when I began studying Law, our lecturer gave us a scenario:⁣

“Young men of colour are often reported in the news to have committed various crimes. Have you ever considered whether these men are actually guilty, or whether they simply couldn’t afford a lawyer?”⁣

That scenario has stuck with me ever since in reminder of considering every possibility before passing critical judgements. No doubt, it’s a great shame that so many well known and otherwise individuals and corporations get away with so many crimes, but one can always maintain hope that they will, without doubt, be brought to justice one day.⁣

Day 8/114: Al Anfal الأنفال - The Spoils of War⁣
“And do not be like those who say, "We have heard," while they do not hear.” [8:21]⁣

A phrase I often used to hear during my youth as a form of criticism of others (and sometimes myself) was “it’s gone in one ear, and out the other”. Kids being kids can naturally be forgiven when they learn of a thing or a principal, usually through reinforcement or outcome.⁣

From adults, I’ve often heard “ignorance is bliss” and “what I don’t know, can’t hurt me”. But how far are either of these remotely true? How much can a human being afford ignore particular issues during their life, only to continually fall and fail to derive lessons from setbacks?⁣

Have you ever learnt something, only to look back and realise the lesson was persistent in various forms in the past?⁣

Day 9/114: At-Tawbah التوبة - The Repentance⁣
Have you ever considered doing something, but thought:⁣

- I’m not good enough⁣
- I don’t have time⁣
- I don’t have the right tools⁣
- I don’t X and Y⁣

And so on. Especially for creatives, we often make excuses for various things, or to find every reason to procrastinate.⁣

Just start. What you have is enough. And you have all you need to succeed.⁣

“Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.” [9:41]⁣

What are we doing to make the world a better place? Our communities a better place? Our lives more enriching, both for us and our families?⁣

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. ⁣

“Say, "Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way."” [17:84]⁣

Day 10/114: Yunus يونس - Jonah⁣
Criticism hurts.⁣

At least, the wrong type of it does. When was the last time you were criticised for something, perhaps at work, by a family member, a friend even? Sometimes it gets so bad that it becomes a form of personal insults, to push you down lower and lower.⁣

When putting out work, whether an animation, a blog post, a personal piece of art, the fear of being criticised and mentally demolished can be debilitating, and often cause the onset of extreme forms of procrastination.⁣

I read a great book recently which mentioned that it’s no longer a choice for a modern creative to not be engaged at a political level, that it is a duty upon us to use our abilities and our skills for the greater good. ⁣

This is one reason I chose to embark on this project. I first I feared the onslaught I’d receive for even mentioning my beliefs, my religion, considering it’s skewed understanding in the wider public domain.⁣

I am no longer afraid. This is who I am.⁣

In this passage, prophet Muhammad ﷺ is told to not let the speech around him to cause distress. If a leader is demoralised, what hope will there be to lift the people?⁣

“And let not their speech grieve you. Indeed, honor [due to power] belongs to Allah entirely. He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [10:64]⁣

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