As we, Muslims, enter our third Friday without a congregational prayer at the mosque, I find my self reflecting on two Quranic verses that play a major role in my life.
Muslims, when hit by a calamity or going through a tough time are often reminded of the verse
قُل لَّن یُصِیبَنَاۤ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَنَا
Say, "Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us”
At-Tawbah, Ayah 51
It’s offered up as means of comfort and peace in a tumultuous time. For some, the mere reminder is sufficient. It gives them serenity and solidifies their trust in a Wise and All Knowing God. But to others, the ayah leaves many unanswered questions. Why was this written for me? Why am I going through this while others are not? I’m a good person but these terrible things keep happening to me, so why me?
As I contemplate these questions and many others like them, I find myself gravitating towards an answer that is perhaps simplistic, but to me does the trick.
The answer is: I don’t know!
It’s not a defeated “I don’t know” but rather a realization of my own limitations.
On the intellectual level, it fuels my desire to know. To continue to seek to understand the wisdom of, and to find purpose in, whatever I am going through, good or bad.
On the faith level, it humbles me as I compare my knowledge, wisdom and intellect to an Omnipotent, Wise and All Knowing God.
I anchor that realization and that faith with another verse of the Quran
لَا یُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۚ
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.
Al-Baqarah, Ayah 286
This is not to minimize what one is going through or to label one weak if they are struggling. Rather, I understand this as a promise. That I have within me the ability to handle whatever situation I’m in, because God has promised that He will not burden me with more than what I can handle. I dig deeper and find motivation in this while seeking knowledge and understanding.
I know my reflection may not do the multitude of feelings, struggles and tribulations a lot of justice. I just hope that, as we go through this life of learning and discovery, sharing what living between these two verses has done for me can help.
Have a blessed Friday
Palestinian, Muslim, American, Husband, Father, Academic, Pharmacist, Coffee Addict, Nutella phene, Pseudo writer, Soccer player, former Canadian, Community servant, Pinch hitter imam, interfaith ninja, Intellectual vigilante, and the undisputed KING of snark