Archive for October, 2004

How many of you have this (or variants of this) conversation every Ramadan :

“Would you like some lunch/a drink/food?”

“No, thanks.”

“Oh come on, you have to eat something.”

“I’m fasting.”

“What does that mean?” or “Is that because of your religion?”

“Well simply put, we don’t eat or drink during the day for 30 days.”

“You don’t eat or drink for 30 days?!!”

“No, we can eat and drink after the sun goes down. We fast from dawn till dusk.”

“Ok. But you can have water, right?”

“No water.”

“Not even water?? What happens if you’re in the desert? What happens if you’re working outside in this heat?”

“If you’re going to die or do yourself serious harm by fasting then it isn’t compulsory. That’s the simple version though It’s a little bit more complex than that.”

“Oh, man! I could never do that!”

Sound familiar?

Umm Zaid has asked, “What’s your favorite surah? Your favorite ayah? Your favorite Qur’anic stories or parables?”

I think, like all of us I have many favourites :

al-Kahf, Maryam, Ar-rahmaan, Waqia

Surah al- Kahf – I’ve been reading every Friday since I was very young. Allah subhanwa ta’ala loves consistency and this is something my mother has always encouraged me to do every Friday. I would read in Arabic and it wasn’t long before I was quite fluent in that particular Surah, alhamdulillah. During Arabic classes, I recall the Imam listening to my Qur’an reading and we happened to be reading Surah Kahf. He let me read a few lines, then began to translate as I read. MashaAllah la howla wala quatta! I was amazed at the stories – the men asleep in the cave (with the dog of course!), the story of Musa (alaihi wasalaam) and his guide, the two men with beautiful gardens – one thankful to Allah, the other thankful only to himself.

Surah Maryam – I read this one often, especially since it’s right after Surah Kahf. This surah speaks volumes to me. The first “lesson” I learned is the qualities of a good chlld – being not overbearing and being obedient to one’s parents. It’s mentioned a few times in this chapter. Go, go and read this surah!

Surah Ar-rahmaan – Even if one does not know the meaning of this Surah, the recitation will give you goosebumps! Knowing the meaning will bring tears to your eyes. “Which of the favours of your Lord do you deny?”

Surah Waqia – The three types of people in the akhira – Those on the right, those on the left of Allah and those closest to Allah. May Allah grant us all the blessings of being one of those closest to HIM in the hereafter.

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