Al Baqarah, 21-25: Get the best of both worlds.

Now that’s the Righteous, disbelievers and the hypocrites covered. What next? How can the Righteous live up to their label, the disbelievers switch off their disbelieving mode and the hypocrites- well- let go of their hypocrisy? Quran does not just mirror our potential weaknesses, it gives us a to-do list to work on if we’re willing to change for the better.

Here’s how the Three Categories of Mankind can get the best of both worlds-

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ – الَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ فِرَاشاً وَالسَّمَآءَ بِنَآءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَتِ رِزْقاً لَّكُمْ فَلاَ تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ أَندَاداً وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

21. O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa.) 22. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He alone has the right to be worshipped).

There you go, the solution to all the problems, the right to undo all the wrongs and the key to eternal blissfulness- worship your Lord; show gratitude to the One who branded you with a soul, fashioned you into the most beutiful peice of walking art and gave you all the privileges (what did you ever do to deserve all that you have at the moment while others don’t?). You are one of a kind, an original masterpiece of the Shaper who crafted each detail of yours with great care. How do you say thank you to that? Feel grateful, be humble and worship Him. Though gratitude is the real factor that can drive you into submission, that really makes you want to go down in prostration and never get up.

Take a night stroll or an early morning walk. Look around at the other wonders the Creator has placed at your service. Contemplate. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) recognised his true Lord by observing the heavenly bodies and thinking. And so can we develop this feeling of gratitude by really appreciating everything around us. Count your blessings. Take your insight to the next level. 🙂

Now comes a warning to those who are so shallow and unimaginative that they have trouble believing in everything Unseen. In response to the creation of the universe and living beings, they came up with harebrained theories- some random Big Bang and Evolution to name a few. If I tell you a junkyard exploded out of its own accord and the trash assembled into a fully-functional jaw-dropping, head turning model of a Ford, will you believe me? Honestly, these nonsensical ideas make more sense to them than Divinity. So Allah gives them another point to figure out-

وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِى رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ – فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَلَن تَفْعَلُواْ فَاتَّقُواْ النَّارَ الَّتِى وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ

23. And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur’an) to Our servant (Muhammad ), then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful). 24. But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.

And they tried. They still are as we come to know of people trying and trying again to thwart this challenge. Some even accepted Islam while they were at it.

So, on a cheerful note, Allah (swt) has concluded this topic by addressing those few lucky people who switched on to the right track either by contemplating on the signs of Allah or by scrutinizing the Quran and realizing that no man on earth could compose a prose with verses this beautiful, deep and intriguing, set to a heartbeating rythym while at the same time preserving a bulk of knowledge that leaves big scientists dumbstruck.

وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُواْ مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقاً قَالُواْ هَـذَا الَّذِى رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَأُتُواْ بِهِ مُتَشَـبِهاً وَلَهُمْ فِيهَآ أَزْوَجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

 25. And give gladtidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), and they will abide therein forever.

You know what to do now, right? Fine-tune your ibadah, put some feeling in your prayers and taste the beauty of it. 🙂 Ramadan is the best time for it. Let yourself get overwhelmed with gratitude at iftaar. 🙂

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