“So, what are your future plans?” he asked over steaming kebab and pilaf. To which I replied in a rather meaning sort of a way: “To have fun! Endless fun! Inshallah!”
Then I added after pausing a second or two for effect, “Right here in this world and, hopefully, if Allah is merciful, in the next world, after my death.”
The silence that followed could have been carved with a butcher’s knife. It was broken only when people began to react with visible signs of surprise.
In response, I recited that most amazing Aayat of the Qur’an – that most incomparable gift of Du’a or prayer that Muslims have in their possession, in many cases unbeknownst to themselves. A prayer given to them by none other than God Almighty himself.
“Rabbanaa aatinaa fiddunyaa hasanatan wa fil aakhirati hasanah!”
How in the world do you render in English that most amazing Qur’anic expression Hasanah? The best I can do is “something good, something wonderful, something amazing, something indescribably joyous and felicitous.”
Having, mashallah, brought up, as they say in this part of the world, three children in America – may Allah bless them and give them the best of both worlds – boy, do I know a thing or two about what those two words, “Something Good,” mean!
For child after child, may Allah bless each one of them, that has meant the endless quest for something nice, wonderful, exciting, amazing, rewarding – and fun. Of course, all this within the bounds (hudood) of what is right, lawful, Halaal – and also affordable for the parents.
The results generally were endless hunt for parents and endless joy – not only for the children, but also, in some inexplicable way, for the parents as well.
And here is Almighty Allah teaching us to ask him for “Something Good” – right here in this world as well as in the next world. Does that mean Allah loves us like the most doting of parents in this world love their children?
To answer that question, let me tell you two things, one from the Qur’an and the other from the Hadith.
Does it also mean that it was We-the-Muslims who gave American culture and language that beautiful expression “fun”? But about that some other time, inshallah.
Allah, “The Most Loving”
In the Qur’an, Allah calls himself not just Rahmaan and Raheem (most merciful and most merciful), Ghaffaar and Ghafoor (most forgiving and most forgiving), and Jawaad (most generous) and Wahhaab (greatest giver of gifts and bounties) and Kareem (most generous and noble), but also Al-Waduud.
Very respectfully, let me give every reader a simple assignment: Please somehow check the meaning of that expression Al-Waduud in an Arabic-English dictionary. Or check it in an Arabic-Urdu dictionary, if you will. Or ask someone else to do it for you.
If it turns out to be something like “Most Loving” in English and “Bohut hi mohabbat karnay waalaa” in Urdu, then go ask the Muslims how come they never told you this, when they were busy thundering everything else at you from the Minbars and other public platforms.
That was the Qur’an. Now let me tell you about the Hadith.
In the Hadith, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says that Allah sent down one percent of his love and mercy into this world – his Rahmah. And it is out of that one percent that every animal and human mother finds the love, which it showers upon her young.
How much clearer does it get that Allah is a “Most Loving God”, whether you look at it using the Hadith or using the Qur’an?
The Miracle of Ar-Rahmaan: A Simple Question No One Asks
This is not to attack, insult or put down anyone or anything. This is just a simple question that everyone must ask and yet no one seems to do.
It is actually two questions in one. And here is the first question: Who do you know, other than God Almighty, in the Qur’an, who calls himself Ar-Rahmaan – the most merciful, loving, caring, compassionate and doting one?
Does anyone know anyone by that name? Or as the Qur’an puts it: Hal ta’alamu lahoo samiyya?
That is the first part of that two-part question if you want to call it that. Who do you know, other than God Almighty in the Qur’an, who goes by that name or title – Ar-Rahmaan?
We are not talking about a certain exotic name lying buried in the obscure and rarely read pages of this or that book in this or that cave. We are talking instead of a well-known and famous name that is on the lips of almost everyone everywhere every day? At almost the same level as the common expressions God and Lord?
I don’t want it to come out sounding the way it is going to, and I certainly do not want to insult anyone’s religion or culture, but here is my question, and it is an honest and humble one: Who else is out there that has a God named Ar-Rahmaan – the most merciful, loving and compassionate one?
Is there anyone else there with a God with that name?
Hal ta’lamu lahoo samiyya?
This is the case the Muslims failed to make.
Allah bless the Muslims. They owe the world an apology for sitting on this treasure like a snake and not sharing it with the people of the world.
The Miracle of Abdur-Rahmaan:
An Example from the Life of Ordinary Muslims
And the second question, which you can consider a corollary of the first question, is this: Who else, other than Muslims, other than the followers of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, go about calling themselves the “People or Slaves of Ar-Rahmaan”?
Do you know anyone by that name? I don’t. I am not saying there is no one in the world with a name like that other than the Muslims. All I am saying is I don’t know anyone by that name. Do you?