Thursday, September 26, 2013

Twinkle twinkle little star

Why did Allah open the surah of Al Buruj by swearing upon 'the skies that have stars/constellations'?

I don't know, and i have been wondering about it for some time. The rest of the surah does not touch upon astronomy. In fact, the surah tells the story of a group of believers who lived under a tyrannical king. This king gave them an ultimatum: Renounce islam, or jump into a fiery pit and die.

Imagine the terror they must have felt. In a hadeeth, Rasulullah told us of these people, and one of them was a mother carrying a baby. The mother must have been heartbroken, imagine throwing your own child into a blazing pit! But by the will of Allah, the baby spoke and told the mother that she was on the Truth. So she jumped in.

These believers were steadfast in the face of overwhelming force, and Allah honoured them. Their story will be recited until the Day of Judgment.

So back to those stars. What could they have in common with these believers?

Just think about it.

Fact #1: Stars were used since ancient times to navigate. Even today, navies and sailors are trained to read stars in case electronic equipments fail.

Fact #2: What we see is only light from the stars. Some of that light took millions and millions of years to reach Earth. So if you look at a star, you're seeing that star as it was 1 million years ago. The star might not even exist anymore.

Now do you understand why true believers are stars?

Like stars, the believers of the past navigate the believers of today. We gain strength from their firmness, we can face any hardship because we know they faced even worse trials.

And like stars, the light from these believers took a long time to reach us. And they no longer exist physically. But their spirit lives on, and their light continues to spark the flames of iman in the heart of every mu'min.

And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision, (Ali Imran: 169)
Some stars might be very far-off, they might be alone in an unknown galaxy. They continuously shine even though they don't know where their light will reach or who will benefit from it.

The believers in surah Buruj might be called 'failures' in the worldly sense. They did not establish an islamic state. They did not defeat the king's army. All of them were burned alive.

But we do not measure success and failure according to worldly standards. In the end, Allah preserved their message of tauheed, praised their steadfastness and mentioned them in the Qur'an as guidance for the ummah of Muhammad. Being in the New York Times' headlines is awesome enough. Imagine being in the Qur'an, which never goes out of fashion.

So brothers and sisters, carry on your da'wah, struggle and persevere even though you feel like everything is going wrong.

Because someone, somewhere in a galaxy far far away might be needing that light.


Anonymous said...

A great enlightenment. Jzkk. :)