Keep on trying… keep on learning!!

Memorizing Quran is a blessing in itself… just the process of recording the words of Allah in the deepest chambers of my heart is something which fills me with a deep tranquility and satisfaction… But then due to lack of good memory and lack of discipline; I end up forgetting more than I remember and so I re-start the process again and again…

It reminds me of a story I had read when I was in second or third grade… a boy comes late to school and when the teacher demands an explanation he said that the path to school was very muddy due to the rain and so whenever he took a step forward he slipped back two feet… you would think that such a child would not reach the school because at some point he will give up trying… but he did make it after all… better late than never!! So it gives me hope that the essence of success is in trying and not giving up!!

And through this whole process of learning and forgetting… I have discovered that the benefits of Quran are so miraculous that even forgetting is a blessing… how is that?? well the answer is that every time I re-learn a surah my feelings are completely different and I see the words in a totally different light than before… Just yesterday I thought I should try and recite Al-Qalam (which is the 68th surah in the 29th juz) in the zuhr prayer. As I reached near the end I began to feel exhausted and wanted to end it there but then I decided to carry on and complete it anyway… and suddenly as I recited the ayaat about Prophet Younus (a.s) I felt like a totally new door of enlightenment had opened up for me and I was so amazed how I never saw it before in all the years I have been reading the Quran and especially in memorizing it I must have repeated these verses hundreds of times and yet I never saw this one point which seemed to fill my heart with the joy of experiencing a closeness to Allah through understanding His words… a joy which can be felt but not something that can be described in words…

Allah says:

فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تَكُنْ كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَىٰ وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ {48}

So wait with patience for the Command of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish,- when he cried out in agony.

لَوْلَا أَنْ تَدَارَكَهُ نِعْمَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ لَنُبِذَ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌ {49}

Had it not been that the favour from his Lord had reached him he would indeed have been cast off into the wilderness of the shore, in disgrace.

فَاجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَجَعَلَهُ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ{50}

But his Lord chose him and placed him among the company of the righteous.

We have all heard about this amazing miracle of Allah which was experienced by Prophet Younus (a.s.) when he was swallowed by a fish and when he made dua Allah made him come out of the fish onto the sea shore… and through this story we learn the lesson that even we are in such a deep problem, we should still not lose hope because if we repent sincerely and ask Allah for help then surely he can take us out of any trouble even if it is from deep down the ocean… even if it is from the belly of a fish…

But the amazing lesson which I learnt this time… is that to come out of a problem is not the end rather the real blessing is when Allah chooses a person for righteous deeds and joins him among the righteous people…

This lesson is so important for us because most of the time when we ask Allah to relieve us from a difficulty, all we think is that if we can just get out of this problem or that then we will really be blessed and all will be well… but no… we should not forget that the real blessing is not just to cross the various obstacles of life… rather we should ask Allah to bless us with opportunities to lead a righteous life and to be joined with righteous people both in this life and the next… because that in fact is the real favour which Allah bestows on those who seek it, who yearn for it, who work for it and who beg Allah for it day and night… therefore it is only for such people that the trials of life become easy to bear because their focus is on something much higher than merely leading a smooth and comfortable life… May Allah make us of those who stuggle to achieve the real success… ameen

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