No Surprise To Me

// December 2nd, 2008 // Blog

I'll admit: when I am upset, I don't always turn to the right places for comfort. The kitchen is usually my first port of call. Sometimes sleep. Sometimes friends.

But what happens when your stomach doesn't fill?

And your brain refuses to switch off?

And friends don't pick up the phone?

So, I climbed the two and a bit flights of stairs to my room. I stood listless for a moment, in the space behind the door.

My eyes began to slowly scroll across the bookshelf, hoping that something would jump out at me. Running out of space to wander, they finally came to rest on the last book, on the uppermost shelf. My hand moved slightly, a reflex reaction, but was stopped in its tracks after my heart whispered:

“I am not clean”.

“It doesn't matter,” my brain instantly responds, offering the relevant fiqh ruling on cue; as if it had just consulted Sheikh Google to check.

Thus, my hand followed through with its original inclination.

I opened up the book, not knowing where I would land. I threw my gaze out like a net into the open waters of the smooth pages in front of me – and this was my catch:

That is (the Bounty) whereof Allāh gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.” And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof: for Allāh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (service).

What! Do they say, “He has forged a falsehood against Allāh”? But if Allāh willed, He could seal up thy heart. And Allāh blots out Vanity, and proves the Truth by His Words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts.

He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.

And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase of His Bounty: but for the Unbelievers their is a terrible Penalty.

If Allāh were to enlarge the provision for His Servants, they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds through the earth; but he sends (it) down in due measure as He pleases. For He is with His Servants Well-acquainted, Watchful.

He is the One that sends down rain (even) after (men) have given up all hope, and scatters His Mercy (far and wide). And He is the Protector, Worthy of all Praise.

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills.

Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.

Nor can ye frustrate (aught), (fleeing) through the earth; nor have ye, besides Allāh, any one to protect or to help.

And among His Signs are the ships, smooth-running through the ocean, (tall) as mountains.

If it be His Will He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful.

Or He can cause them to perish because of the (evil) which (the men) have earned; but much doth He forgive.

But let those know, who dispute about Our Signs, that there is for them no way of escape.

Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allāh is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord:

Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry even then forgive;

Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance;

And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allāh; for (Allāh) loveth not those who do wrong.

But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame.

The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.

But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.

Holy Qur'an, Ash-Shura, 23-43. Translation of the meaning by Yusuf Ali.

It could have been an ayah about permissible foods. It could have been a verse on paradise and the hell fire. It could have been a section about the names and attributes of God.

Rather, it was a randomly selected set of verses that perfectly described my present situation.

And yet, I did not exclaim, “Subhanallah”. My eyes did not widen in amazement. My knees did not buckle – not even slightly.

Because I knew that would happen. I knew, before I drew the Qur'an out from its exalted position, that these are Allāh's words, and that, of course, He would show me what I needed to see.

It was no surprise to me.

8 Responses to “No Surprise To Me”

  1. Media Guy says:


  2. Organica says:

    Allahu Akbar.


    Al Azeem.

  3. Nicely put.
    Thats an interesting way to put it,

    “And yet, I didn’t exclaim, “Subhanallah”. My eyes did not widen in amazement. My knees did not buckle – not even slightly.

    Because I knew that would happen. I knew…

    It was no surprise to me.”

    -The Muslim Kid-

  4. misspecs says:

    SubhanAllah, that’s such a comfort because one always finds something relevant. Then again, its a miracle of Allah so like you said, there’s not much to be surprised about.

  5. shaz says:

    no surprise to me either.. :)

    i needed this verse too. it caused me tears and a smile. alhamdulillah.

  6. Shahrzad says:

    “what happens when your stomach doesn’t fill?”
    You become fatter and fatter! :D

    “And your brain refuses to switch off?”
    It drives you crazy..

    “And friends don’t pick up the phone?”
    Then you call instantly and drive them crazy!

    “But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.”

    It has a big subhanallah here.. It’s exactly what i needed to hear.. Oh my God..

  7. hfm says:

    This is so beautiful.
    Reminds me of what a teacher used to say:Make Allah your best friend and things will be okay.
    He loves us best.

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