Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim!
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Merciful!
DR. PASHA'S ISLAMIC SOLUTIONS
Muharram 2, 1426/February 11, 2005
United States of America
Assalamu Alaikum and welcome to E-Letter # 2.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim!
In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most merciful!
I am, Alhamdulillah, not unaware of the shades of difference in the Arabic usage of those two expressions. But when it comes to their English equivalents, “the most merciful” is where I am at – at least for the time being.
And I see things in this repetition that I had not seen before: that this is no ordinary human speech. Human beings don’t write like that.
This is the glorious Qur’an throwing down the gauntlet right from the word “go” and alerting its readers that they were now face to face with God’s own word. They were now looking directly at a miracle.
Before we got thus far, we had to go through two major security clearances: one Wudu, assuming we didn’t needGhusl, and assuming of course we had Iman, and the other, reading A’oodhu Billah.
Yes, we pretty much invented the concept of security clearances – Islam did. And our Allah did. And how comprehensive and thorough they are the way Allah taught them to us!
The first is cleaning and protecting the body – and the mind and the soul – from all hostile elements through Ghusl andWudu, and then erecting the wall of Allah’s powerful protection around us from all evil and hostility that could flow from the invisible enemy Shaitan – and his many visible minions.
It is then that we are allowed the privilege of saying Bismillah! – picking it right out of the pages of the Qur’an. That one word now unlocks the door to the world of worlds that the Qur’an is.
We are now in direct interface with infinity – in meaning; in complexity; in simplicity; in clarity; in richness; in elegance; in grace; in power; in glory; in majesty; in beauty; in sheer divine light – layers upon layers of light.
What we get out of it is not a function of the ocean now lapping at our faces and at our souls. It is a function, rather, of the container we bring to it. Buckets and teacups will haul away only what they can hold. And those with holes in them will leak and lose what they are given.
The miracles began way back when an unlettered man in a cave in the burning Arabian desert mandated both bathing (Ghusl) and washing (Wudu) with mind-boggling frequency and regularity.
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
For anyone with eyes to see, he was the greatest miracle of all. And for all the creation of Allah, his presence was the greatest Rahmat of all.
His sender was Rabbul 'Aalameen – master of the worlds. And he sent him as Rahmatul-Lil-'Aalameen – mercy to the worlds.
And the Qur’an, this most amazing book that he brought from God, is Dhikrul-Lil-'Aalameen – something for all the worlds to notice, to pay heed to, to read, to learn, to contemplate, to memorize, to remember, to discuss, to chant, to use and to practice.
We have now entered the world of that Qur’an using the divine code of Bismillah that is built right into the Qur’an. At the beginning of the Qur’an, it lets us into the Qur’an at Surah Al-Fatihah, and then thereafter it opens for us everySurha individually – except Surah Taubah.
Yet, the tally of 114 is complete, miraculously matching the total number of Surahs in the Qur’an with the total number of Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim. If Surah Taubah does not begin with it, there is an extra Bismillah built right into the text of Surah An-Naml (27:30). The total is still 114.
Just the thought that this unlettered man, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, sitting in an empty cave, in the granite belly of an Arabian rock, 1400 years ago, made up this formula all by himself, and then, Ma’aadhallah, lied about it being from God, is enough to send humanity to eternal damnation – if it weren’t for what is to come.
It is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim to the rescue of a besodden, befuddled human race, so full of folly, foolishness and arrogance.
We have now come full circle. And – miracle of miracles! – we ended up holding the Qur’an in our frail hands – the same Qur’an that would blow a mountain to bits if its light were to shine upon it. We are now right upon the threshold of that Qur’an.
Once in we cannot turn back. The pull of the Qur’an is far too powerful for those who have what it takes for the magnet to produce effect. For, a magnet does not work on wood or leather.
We cannot now turn away from the feast of miracles that is in store for us in the Qur’an – and in the worlds (Al-'Aalameen) that the Qur’an in turn is about to unlock and throw open for us.
It is one wondrous experience after another once we set foot into the miraculous world of the Qur’an.
The wonder of being able to use the code of God’s glorious name – Bismillah! – to unlock the invisible door in that majestic wall that surrounds every Surah of the Qur’an!
The awe and wonder of receiving an introduction of God directly from God himself – simple, elegant, clear, powerful, sweeping and yet precisely targeting the most important concerns, anxieties and insecurities that every human being has: What will become of me?
And then the wonder of all wonders – the wonder of being told by God Almighty himself how merciful, kind, compassionate, loving, forgiving, caring and full of grace he really is!
That he is Ar-Rahman!
And he is Ar-Rahim!!
In quick and cemented succession, two superlative expressions of his own choice, driving home from two directions the same central theme of God’s boundless mercy, love, grace and compassion!
Wasn’t one of them enough? After all, one-hundredth of one feeds and sustains every manner and manifestation of love, mercy, compassion, caring, kindness, charity and tenderness on earth from whenever the world began to whenever it will end.
But no, a point had to be made, and made clearly and loudly – for all to know and to hear: the utter and infinite predominance of his Rahmat over all else!
And of course those hauled to the gates of the Qur’an, where no one comes without an invitation, were to be welcome, in the royal presence of his word, in a manner that his Rahmat and his Karam saw befitting the status of one for whom he created everything on earth, and then put the sky in place to complete the structure, and then to whom he made the angels prostrate thereafter!
What a place to be!
What a welcome to have!
And what a beginning indeed!
As someone put it:
Na Mi Danam Chi Manzil Bood Shab Jaayi
Ki Man Budam.
I have no idea what place it was where I was last night!
No, I am not done talking about Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim! How can I be done talking when I have not even begun? And how can I begin when I don’t even know what it means?
These are just some random thoughts – that is all they are, some random thoughts – as they flood the mind. I wish I could say the soul.
But I must stop – for fear of adding to your electronic overload.
And, in the meantime, if you can and if you will, please do remember me, my parents, my ancestors, my teachers and my family in your Du’a!
Allahummarham Ummata Muhammadin,
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Ya, Allah! Cover in the canopy of your Rahmat the Ummat of Muhammad, Sallallahu wa Sallam!
And may Allah make this new year – 1426H – and every subsequent year thereafter, a most wonderful one – for me, for you, for all our families and friends, for the Muslims and for all of his creation!
Think about it if you wish – the New Year I mean. Maybe we will talk about it sometime if that is what Allah would have us do – Inshallah!
Wassalamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullah!
© 2005 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.