I was nominated to do a 7 day Quran Challenge on fantastic Facebook- you post a verse of the Quran for 7 days, and on each day nominate someone else to do the same. I decided to take a photograph everyday that I felt expressed my thoughts about that particular verse. Enjoy!
~ Quran Challenge Day #1 – And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. (2:186) ~ ~ Quran Challenge Day #2 – [Al-Khidh r] said, “This is parting between me and you. I will inform you of the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.” (18:78) *** As it was the blessed day of jummua today, I decided to take inspiration from Surah Kahf. The relationship between Khidr and Musa is an astounding one, and a reminder that there is always the unseen which we may not comprehend, but someone else can. The sibha in the photograph is a personal reminder of this. God bless my teacher and his teachers. Ameen.~ ~ Quran Challenge Day #3 – So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.’ ” (19:22-26) *** After looking after my sick daughter and having a sleepless night worrying about her, my mind today was drawn to Surah Mariam / Mary, mother of Jesus. I remember reading this chapter during pregnancy, and when in labour, thinking about Mary, may God be pleased with her. Although her test- birthing a Prophet of God- was a much bigger responsibility and trial than any of us will have, her dignity, faith and strength as a woman and mother still leaves me in awe and inspires me. The birth of Jesus was lonely and frightening, as God tells us about her fear. For me, it is a reflection of motherhood as a whole. If can be a lonely, worrisome place at times. Whether you’re awake all night worrying that your child may choke on her own vomit, so you stay near her and watch her, or you are sending your teenage son off to college- you worry and stress, and often not many people understand the panic you feel when you think of the amanah you’ve been given. But as God reminded Mary, He is there. May the mothers and mothers to be seek inspiration from Mary’s faith and bravery, and never forget that our reliance on God is of utmost importance during our journey as mothers, ameen. ~
~ Quran Challenge Day #4 – But when there comes the Deafening Blast. On the Day a man will flee from his brother. And his mother and his father. And his wife and his children, For every man, that Day, will be a matter adequate for him. (80:33-37) *** Surah Abasa has always been one of my favourite chapters of the Quran. It’s tone really stands out to me. Over the last few days I’ve been contemplating alot. And my contemplation lead me to these verses, which for me, is the greatest reminder of what we as humans should be focusing on: God. In focusing on Him, we fulfil the rights of others, but do not let them distract our hearts away from the One who created us, because there will come a day when we will stand on our own. Our loved ones will even flee from us, or testify against us. May our faces be bright on that say. Ameen. ~
~ Quran Challenge Day #5 – Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. (33:35) *** This photograph wasn’t taken especially for this 7 day challenge, but as soon as I revisited this verse of the Quran, it took me back to this time. This photo signifies a turning point in my life. A time of growth and the acquirement of knowledge. My faith was restored and I saw support come from sisters and brothers who were on similar journeys. It was Ramadhan and we were fasting at this point, walking to meet our teacher after a whirlwind of travel and emotion. But we were there for one purpose: betterment. And that is what this verse is about for me. Betterment. I have always loved how this verse sounds in Arabic. It’s meaning to me is simple: equality in deeds, morals and improvement. It contains advice about how to conduct ourselves and treat eachother, and for me, denotes that we are support for one another. The fact that God reminds us here that He is forgiving, shows that we are not supposed to be perfect. We will make mistakes. But if we keep on returning to Him by following the guidelines in this verse, if we keep making an effort, we will know Him. Ameen. ~
~ Quran Challenge Day #6 – Go to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed.” Moses said, “My Lord, lift up my heart, And ease my task for me. And untie the knot from my tongue That they may understand my speech. (20:24-27) *** Over 10 years ago, a sister I met on a residential tajweed course wrote this inside of my Quran: “Surah Taha Ayah 24”, after I told her how nervous I became when I had to recite the Quran infront of people. What she didn’t know was how nervous I became when speaking in general, and how I found, and still find it extremely hard to articulate myself verbally. So she wrote this in my mushaf, and told me to recite it. Regretfully I never told this sister how much of an inspiration she was. So much younger than me, she was everything I aspired to be. I was newly practising, and I looked up to her. We would later go on to become friends, aspire to start a Quran school together, and endeavour to learn tajweed under a Shaykh. A whole new world was opened up to me, along with a new love for the beautiful science of tajweed. So this verse reminds me of all of this. A time of eagerness. A time of youthfulness- where everything was new. A time when a sister reached out to help me. A time when a duaa of a Prophet, peace be upon him, was introduced to me. And every time I use it to relieve anxiety relating to a job interview or a presentation, or anything else, I think of this sister. I feel like she gave me the key to being understood: a blessed prayer plucked out of an ocean of knowledge and love: the Quran. May we continue to help each other to be better. Ameen. ~
Quran Challenge Day #7 – He is the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is all knowing about everything. (57:3) *** And this is what it all comes down to. Allah.