Indeed Allah is With the Patient – Experiencing the Qur’an

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer, indeed Allah is with the patient [2:153]

I am always amazed by how easily the Qur’an nourishes you. And how the same verse could make you feel differently at different points of your life.

Whenever I read the translation of the Qur’an, I bookmark verses that leave a huge impact at the time. And coming back to them feels like when a fragrance allows you to relive a memory and connects you to it in the deepest possible ways. Through feelings and it feels like yesterday because what you feel does not know what time is.

Some verses do that to my imaan. I can feel all the depth of the faith I felt eons ago and it never gets old.

I still remember the nourishment I felt as a new revert to Islam from the imaan that was now flowing alongside the blood in my veins.. Alhamdulillah.

We are always looking for something that resonates, something that helps us figure out ourselves. Or make sense of who, what and where we are. And as always the Qur’an has the answer.

When I read this verse the first time as a new revert in difficulty, it simply meant that if I needed help I should seek it through patience and prayer. Allah’s help was the aim. Getting out the other side was the goal.

But later, in a quiet moment, feeling like I was existing in a vacuum is when I read the last part of this verse with much more care. No not read but savored it, consumed by it, turned it around in my mind as if examining a stunning work of art, how every deliberate crevice and shape felt and how it looked in different lights.

indeed Allah is with the patient

Sometimes it takes a lot of time, pain, work and sweat to be able to grasp life as it is meant to be. It takes hell lot of growing to learn to see God in the details. This part of the verse forced me to see tauheed in a whole new light. That Allah’s company is reason enough to be patient. May be that itself is the goal of patience.

 

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Psychological Muslim – How Our Words and Actions Affect What We Do

I have a thing for psychology. I find it extremely intriguing how our minds work and sometimes how counterintuitive they can be. But most of all what interests me is how our mental behavior affects our everyday life.

For instance, our thoughts alone don’t affect our actions. It’s the other way around as well!

Take the Benjamin Franklin effect. It says you can force someone into liking you by asking them to do a favor for you. When the very likable Benjamin Franklin wanted to get a political acquaintance, who hated him, to like him, he simply asked to borrow a book from the person’s library.

And after doing the favor, Franklin thanked him and the person in question was forced to align his actions to his beliefs, “if I did this guy a favor it means I must like him or at least I don’t hate him as much.”

Mission accomplished.

Like the Qur’an says:

And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. [41:34]

I always thought this verse meant how we react. But it could also mean adding a positive equation to our encounters and to do away with anything that is wrongful.

The Franklin effect perfectly sums up why the good and the evil are not equal and never will be. The next time you find it hard to deal with someone, try getting them to help you, then sit back and watch the tables turn 😉

 

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image credit: pinterest

 

Words & the subconscious

Another thing I noticed is how our words can affect us.

As a now Muslim, when I meet up with old friends and I need to make some halal eating choices or schedule our meetings around salah times, it’s like my friends have come to believe that I am not *allowed* certain things. Instead of the fact that I am choosing to do something.

I don’t blame them. My language reflected passiveness.

And yes for a long time I kept up with it until I noticed the way Muslims are perceived. Instead of just Muslims, Islam is blamed for what happens around us. You would think Islam is imposing some things on us and a lightning bolt is waiting to strike us the moment we slip. And we are oh so obedient.

Sure we care about our accountability but the point is we do all of this out of our own choice and yet we fail sometimes. We do it out of awareness of the truth.

The moment I started replacing “I can’t eat this/ I am not allowed to do this” with “I won’t eat this/ I won’t do this” I was sending a message that I take full responsibility for what I do and I am *choosing* to practice my faith. The message was for both the people around me as well as my own mind (as I realized later).

I felt a certain empowerment and responsibility towards my faith. No one is forcing me! I choose it and if I have chosen it, it’s because I have sworn allegiance to it.

When you focus on this part, you can see your relationship with Allah clearly. You can see you are actively involved in your faith instead of having a passive mindset. And inshaAllah, it does wonders for your taqwa because you are aware you are constantly making some choices, choices that come from looking up and knowing Allah sees you, even if you don’t.

The angels are putting pen to paper every time I *do* something. It only makes sense to be aware of my free will and the responsibility of having one.

Also, it turns striving to become a better Muslim into such an experience. Give it a try.

Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness. [4:79]