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Despair is not for the believers

One of the most inspiring verses in the Quran, and one that always enters my mind whenever my brain tells me "it's impossible!" is Prophet Ya'qoob's words to his sons after they despaired of rescuing their captured brother:

Do not despair of God's mercy, for indeed none despair of God's mercy other than disbelieving people. [12:87]

This verse has taught me to never lose hope. God has the power to get us out of any trouble we could possibly get into. All that's needed is to stay steadfast on our path, to always stay close to God, for as He says:

And whoever has taqwa (stays constantly mindful of God), God will create for him a way out, and He will provide for him from sources he never expected. And whoever puts all his reliance on God, then God is all that he needs. [65:2,3]

What a wonderful promise to the believers!

The end

“Do you think we’ll ever get to the end?”

“Inshaa Allah,” I respond, patting Ibrahim gently on the back, in an attempt to encourage him.

“Ammi, there are six pages between me and Ya Sin,” says Ibrahim, looking down into his mushaf.

“You are six,” pipes in Amna.

“I am not six pages,” is Ibrahim’s response.

“Yes, you are,” responds Amna, starting to put on a fighting face.

“No, I am not,” sounds out Ibrahim slowly, increasingly frustrated.

“Just a minute, both of you, please,” I say stretching out my arms to keep them from coming to blows. “You’re right Ibrahim, you are not six pages, and you are also right, Amna, he is six. So how about rather than arguing about all of this, we try to channel some of our energy into memorizing?”

“Ammi, I really don’t think I can do this,” responds Ibrahim, shaking his head. “It’s just too long. It’s like four Surah Al Nabas lined up. You never did that when you were my age; how am I supposed to now?”[1]

“You’re right. I was definitely not on Surah Ya Sin when I was six, but I do remember hearing my Daadi recite, and I vaguely remember her trying to teach me... what if we take it one ayah at a time?” I say, then continuing, “and finish when we finish.”

“What is that supposed to me?” asks Ibrahim.

“Supposed to mean?” mimics Amna, nodding her head.

“There’s no due date. No expiry. We just start learning, and let Allah Subhanahu wa-ta‘ala do the heavy lifting, like we did all throughout Juz Amma.”

“Ammi, I really don’t understand you. No expiry, like the milk? And what do you mean by ‘heavy lifting’?” follows up Ibrahim.

“We take our time, baita, and we hope and pray that Allah in His infinite mercy will help us. Anyway, 83 ayaat are actually not that many. Technically, it’s less than two Surah An Naziats if you think of it that way. And you remember that beautiful hadith on our bookmarks?”

“The one about running?”

“Yes,” I say smiling, and then read out from my bookmark: I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.[2].

“I speed,” responds Amna. In her customary way, she starts running in between the porch pillars, which accent part of our new backyard.

“I go faster,” says Ibrahim, leaping up and starting to chase after his sister.

[1] Surah An Naba spans approximately one and half pages in a 15 line Uthmani script mushaf (Uthmani script refers to the notation in the mushaf and may be contrasted with an Indo Pak script, with the latter providing additional notation for the non-Arabic speaker). For this reason, Ibrahim likens Surah Al Ya Sin to 4 Surah An Nabas. In terms of total ayaat, however, Surah Al Ya Sin is 83 ayaat, or only approximately double the ayah length of Surah An Naba (which is composed of 40 ayaat).

[2] The above noted hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Abu Hurairah, Radiallahu Anhu (RA), and related by al-Buhkari, as well as by Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah.

Continue reading... at A Qur'aanic Odyssey blog.

The above is an excerpt from the first chapter in the sequel to ‘A Qur’aanic Odyssey: Towards Juz Amma’, published by Greenbird Books in April 2012. The sequel, 'Ya-Sin' narrates the family’s ongoing journey through the Qur’aan with a focus on Surah Ya Sin, the surah they set out to learn following completion of Juz Amma. Although each of the chapters are connected, each one may be read as a stand-alone text.

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