Bettering ourselves in the spiritual, social, and self-care spheres
VERSES TO REFRESH OUR SOULS
سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
They said, ‘Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except that which You have given us; You, indeed, only You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.’
Surah Baqarah Aayah 32
This beautiful du'aa from the Qur'aan draws our attention to our knowledge, and how we know nothing other than what Allah has taught us; as people and as humanity in general. We are reminded of how He always has more knowledge than the most knowledgeable amongst us.
This month, let us recite this du'aa, and humble ourselves, realizing everything we know is a gift and mercy. Let us ponder at how much more others in our very own field know compared to us; then, how many other fields we barely know anything about. If this hasn't made us feel infinitesimal already, all the knowledge that every person on earth has, is a drop in the ocean compared to the knowledge of Allah. This is how negligible our knowledge is compared to that of Allah SWT.
Let us recite this du'aa knowing that when things happen to us, our knowledge base of reasons and understandings is so small, whereas Allah's knowledge and plans are surely greater and perfect, so surely He is gifting us in ways we would never even have realized.
FILLING THE VOID
When we are in a conversation, or find ourselves in the presence of others, and there is silence, we fill the void of silence, with words that may not be meaningful.
Our beloved Muhammad (SAW) has taught us to do better.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RA), it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
"Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent." (Bukhari and Muslim)
He (SAW) teaches us that the void of silence is better than words that aren't good.
The void of silence seems so tangible, background noise becomes so loud, and words are so easy to put in place to escape it.
The voids within society become apparent in the way we fill voids of silence in conversations. The voids within ourselves become apparent in the way we fill voids of silence.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people."
A reflection of ourselves is how quickly conversations drift to other people and their doings. If our minds are enriched with knowledge and experience, we will draw on those in our conversations. If we discuss the good qualities within people that we can emulate, this is ideal. But sadly, virtue turns to vice very quickly in conversations, and speaking about the good in people may suddenly and subtly turn into speaking ill of them.
There may be people whom we don't particularly enjoy the company of, for whatever reasons, yet imagine arriving on the day of Qiyamah and seeing all the good actions we've done, in the account of another person; and, to add insult to injury, in the account of a person whom we never even got along with?
This is what we do by discussing the ills of people in their absence. We, out of dislike, give people the greatest gift ie. reward on a day when no mother even gives her child a second thought; by wasting our speech in this world on mentioning their negative qualities. Ironic indeed!
This month, let us conscientize ourselves to where our words and minds go when a void of silence arises. Let us consciously decide upon speaking good. Let us repent for the times we have filled voids wrongly.
THE GUT BRAIN AXIS
A fascinating developing field is that of studying the gut-brain axis. The complex connections between the brain and what is in the gut are becoming the focus of research.
The term "gut feeling" is seen in a new light following the advances in information regarding the role of the gut and how it does more than what we previously thought it was limited to.
This draws our attention further as Muslims, to the importance of halaal nourishment, and how everything we consume doesn't just give us energy to perform either ibadah or sin, but also affects the environment within the gut, which in turn has connections with the brain.
This month, be extra cautious about what you let enter your body, and make du'aa for beneficial nourishment; physical, mental and spiritual.