It is here…the most blessed of months. Ramadan ❤
What I am hoping to do here is InshaAllah post verses from the Holy Quran in the coming month….as nothing more but a reminder for myself. For when we share knowledge with others, we inevitably are the first addressees of it. These verses are not in any particular order. But each one has touched my heart and taught me what I needed to learn. May we all be able to act upon each verse of the glorious Quran. Ameen.
“And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.” (20:44)
So imagine this. There is this person who is arrogant, rude, dismissive, and thinks it his right to not just demean you but also threatens to kill you. And knowing him, he will. Yet, you are asked to go to him and share with him with utmost sincerity what will make his life better, both here and in the Hereafter. But your being sincere does not mean you cannot anticipate that this person is going to humiliate and insult you publicly…you are well aware and are expecting a terrible response. Yet, you are told to swallow your pride and go to him, hope and believe that your sincerity MAY bring out the inherent human goodness in his heart, and here comes the tough part…..speak to him gently and mildly….modulate the tone of your voice in a way that it is polite and congenial and choose words carefully. May be…just may be….he may understand.
This is what the two Prophets Moosa (as) and Haroon (as) are being told to do as they are being sent to the court of Pharaoh. What a massive, massive test of faith!
For those who have studied the 20th chapter of the Quran, Surah Taha, from which this verse is taken, would know what a touching chapter it is, as it talks about the entire odyssey of Moosa (as)…. from being separated as an infant from his mother, to being brought up as the adopted prince of Egypt, to having to live in the desert as a nomad, and then being called upon as a Prophet to lead his people out of bondage….and confront the very person he would have most liked to avoid confronting….and on top of it do that “gently”.
What a life! And through it all, Moosa (as) as Allah’s apostle is very human and real…showing human emotions like anger and fear….yet always obedient to his Creator.
For those of us who have had a life less ordinary, this Surah is like a mirror. It tells you about how Moosa (as), a role model for us, handled “change” in life.
It is much too easy to be harsh….much too easy to be snappy and rude and intimidate people with sarcasm or taunts or a loud harsh way of speaking. They may be quietened. But then they do not really listen to you. It takes courage and a big heart to speak gently.
This verse reminds us that it is not only important that we keep a track of what we say but how we say it. In person, or on social media. In agreement or in disagreement. The choice of words, the tone, and also the sincerity matters….for even if sometimes the tone is soft and the words are mild, the words under-laced with sarcasm do not touch hearts.
May Allah help us speak gently….from our heart.
Some beautiful lessons from Surah Taha:
· Open my heart. What a dua! Open-heartedness helps us develop empathy, and shun selfishness. (20:25)
· Pray for better communication skills. It enables you to understand and be understood. (20:27/28)
· On the path of Allah’s pleasure, don’t take a solo flight. Get some steam from your family. Develop a support group from within your closest circle. You need the support so pray for it. (20:29)
· If you are popular and loved, it is also a blessing from Allah. It is a special gift. Use it well. (20:39)
· It helps to remember some mistakes you made in the past. If you have repented and turned around, don’t pretend your past never happened. Acknowledge it, and thank Allah for the chance of having turned around. This keeps us humble. (20:40)
· Allah makes us go through ups and downs and various stops and stations in the journey of life because Allah is grooming us and carving us for something we are meant to do at a later stage. Trust His decisions. (20:41)
· Always believe in the inherent human goodness. You never know when someone may have a change of heart and turn over a good leaf. (20:44)
· The process of learning never ends. Keep learning; keep growing. For a deeper understanding of the Quran, step one is attending daura or classes. But you also have to do self-study…..ghaur o fikr….reflect….individually. How will you do it? Take one ayat. Read repeatedly. Reflect on the many interpretations. Then read many tafaaseer of it. Then ask your teachers about that verse. Don’t just say “Rabbi zidni ilma”. Take each verse of the Quran and when you are reading it ask Allah “Ya Allah, explain its meaning to me”. (20:99/100)
· Turning away from the message of the Quran has lasting detrimental effects on our lives. One of them, mentioned here, is a restriction of the heart – having everything yet not being content, unexplained sadness, easy things becoming difficult, deep-seated depression. (20:124)
· Looking longingly at blessings of other people robs us of contentment. Appreciate what you have instead of constant comparisons. (20:131)