بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By: Mariam Wasti
وَهُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ نَبَاتَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهُ خَضِرًا نُّخْرِجُ مِنْهُ حَبًّا مُّتَرَاكِبًا وَمِنَ النَّخْلِ مِن طَلْعِهَا قِنْوَانٌ دَانِيَةٌ وَجَنَّاتٍ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُشْتَبِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ انظُرُواْ إِلِى ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَيَنْعِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكُمْ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
“And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees – of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” [Al-Qur’an – Surah Al-‘An’ām (The Cattle): 99]
It happened to be a long weekend and on Friday the children were home in the morning so we decided to ‘explore’ some fruit before Jumu’ah prayers.
Alhamdulillah, for every flower, fruit, leaf and every seed on every plant that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) has ever created or intends to create. Allahu Akbar! It was like we had discovered a new place to visit! SubhaanAllah! Delight! Eating fruit became an activity full of excitement, color, discovery and gratitude towards the One Being, Our Creator who arranged it all not just for us but for the benefit of so many other creatures! Outside is the harder casing, smooth and a subtle, dull shade of pink. The shape so inviting that you are encouraged to explore the contents. Once you cut the outer casing and get inside there is the beautiful arrangement of ruby red glistening ‘gem-like’ seeds arranged side by side… the delightful, finely packaged pomegranate seeds. These groups are hidden behind curtains of white protective layers clustered together closely. Each one distinct yet united for a common purpose. When the curtains are removed and the seeds fall into you hands, just feeling them and rolling them in your palms is itself a source of delight – almost therapeutic! Then, once they enter your mouth initially you are able to feel the soft, smooth outer texture of the seeds and then when you squeeze them even slightly between your tongue and palate the burst of sweet juice is so exciting- refreshing!
الحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنِي هَذَا وَرَزَقَنِيْهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْل ٍ مِنِّي وَلا قُوَّة
SubhaanAllah! It is amazing how this much beauty, nutrition, taste and joy exists within this one encasement that hangs on a tree under the sun for many days before being explored. Protected, cared for and at the same time showing full servitude towards its Creator doing what is required of it. It is as if these packages of delight are a celebration of that submission of a single seed that was buried in the ground many years ago, stayed unnoticed and undiscovered for so long yet was well-known by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), Our Creator. When it was time, He alone enabled that little seed to germinate, then the sprout crept out of the soil, then through different seasons it endured ‘change’ and grew into a tree with many leaves and fruit; that process of growth so lengthy and a result of the collaboration of so many different resources and factors that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) arranged!
فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ سَكَنًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَانًا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ
“[He is] the cleaver of daybreak and has made the night for rest and the sun and moon for calculation. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surah Al-‘An’ām (The Cattle): 96]
It all started with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )’s decision to place that one seed in that one spot… and then so much Khair sprouts forth from it! Through this so many signs for all of us!
Can we ever thank Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) enough for the countless blessings He sends our way despite our many shortcomings?
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن آيَةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ
“And how many a sign within the heavens and earth do they pass over while they, therefrom, are turning away.” [Al-Qur’an – Surah Yusuf: 105]
The spontaneous and most befitting response from any loyal slave to the One Most Merciful Master can only be:
سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
“We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.” [Al-Qur’an –Surah Al-Baqarah(The Cow): 285]