Through miraculous ways that Allah SWT had planned, Abdullah found himself on an airplane to Canada, after an arduous journey off the island and to the nearest international airport. He was absolutely distraught that he had become an orphan and was angry at the world for everything that happened in his life. When he landed in Canada, he had just entered the pre-adolescence stage of life and barely knew anything about the deen of Islam, having lived all of his life under threat of destruction and chaos. His uncle, a pious man, had adopted him and brought him over, in the hopes of providing him a chance at leading a decent life. He enrolled Abdullah in Al Manarat Heights Islamic School, as he wanted Abdullah to grow in the deen and learn the path towards Allah SWT. Abdullah was at first quite reluctant to attend an Islamic school in the West. He thought it made no sense for him to continue believing in Islam when he had to face such tragedies in his life at such a young age. He quite bluntly blamed Allah SWT for taking his family away and leaving him behind without any support or guidance. So, attending an Islamic school did not seem like the most appealing idea for him at the time but he reluctantly agreed to go.
While resentment was still high in Abdullah’s heart, he started cynically interacting with other students at school. With a lot of patience and wisdom, the other students convinced Abdullah to explore the deen of Islam through exploring Allah’s names; the topic that their teacher had introduced to them in class that same day. Together they embarked on a journey to explore what the different grades in school were learning, interacted with them and learnt a magnitude of things from each group of students they met. It was clear that all the students across all the grades were learning about Allah’s beautiful names and attributes and were attempting to see how these attributes manifested in our day-to-day lives. Some of the students explored the great outdoors and realized the importance of the water cycle and fresh air, others marveled at the ability of birds to fly and show off their colors, while some others were mesmerized with the way Allah SWT has created human beings out of literally nothing. Throughout their journey from classroom to classroom, Abdullah and his friends learnt Allah’s names of: Ar Rahman, Ar Raheem, Al Hayy, Al Qayyum, Al Samee, Al Baseer, Al Qaadir, Ar Rauf, Ar Razzaq, Al Jameel, Al Tayyib, Al Muqeet, Al Muhyi, Al Mumeet, Al Khabeer, Al Aleem, Al Qabit, Al Baasit, As Saboor, As Shukoor, Al Ghafoor, Al Khaliq, Al Baari, Al Musawwir, At Tawwab. From the different stories and activities in each of the grades they stopped at, they realized how these names of Allah SWT were beautifully applied in our lives and our surroundings.
Through this journey of discovery and learning, Abdullah essentially rediscovered his fitra or his natural moral compass that Allah has placed in every human being, to be constantly aware of what is right and wrong in our lives. Abdullah went from being reluctant of the deen to completely submitting to Allah’s glory and absolute wisdom. He understood how Allah gives life and takes life as He wills, how this world and its life is a test for the Muslims, and how he should submit to his Creator to truly understand the creation. After 5 years of studying at Al Manarat Islamic School, Abdullah leaves with his uncle’s family to go to the Caribbean islands where his uncle got a new job. He bids his goodbyes to his best friends and leaves them behind.
Fast forward to 20 years later, and we uncover that Abdullah is now a wise Muslim adult and also the current President of his ancestral land Tooba, SubhanAllah, which he was able to transform completely through his complete reliance on Allah SWT and his 99 names and attributes. He had finally understood that in order for him to understand the creation viz. this world, his fellow human beings, and all the events that unfold here, he needed to actually broaden his horizon and learn this facet of Tawheed that can only be understood through the 99 names and attributes of Allah SWT. Once Abdullah had achieved that insight and understanding, Allah SWT had blessed him with the highest position of authority in his country and allowed him to bring back prosperity and goodness to a once forsaken place.
We know that every human being is born with a fitra, or a natural inclination to believe in Allah SWT and to be dutiful to him. However, with modern education and other worldly influences, this fitra can get buried deep in our hearts and lost, resulting in us (Allah-forbid) straying far away from Allah SWT and His chosen path for us. At Al Manarat Islamic School, our first and foremost responsibility as educators is to ensure that the fitra within each and every student that enters our doors is preserved and kept intact. We can only do that by instilling the love of the deen in our children at a young age and ensuring that they grow up with self-confidence and the pride to be Muslims. Almost every Muslim living today knows that Allah has 99 names, even if they aren’t familiar with what those names are. They are still living their daily lives under the influence of the attributes of these beautiful names of Allah SWT. It is our responsibility as Islamic educators to educate our students on this aspect such that we as a community learn about these beautiful names of Allah SWT and try to implement them in our daily lives. Hence, for our Annual Event at Al Manarat Heights Islamic School in Mississauga, we wanted to explore this concept and wanted to make our students and parents realize the importance of recognizing the 99 names of Allah SWT and prioritize the use of these beautiful names in our duas and in our daily existence.
The above story that you just read was the plot summary of a wonderful skit performed by our students for their parents, other students, and community members. It was beautifully executed by the students and especially the teachers who spent countless hours preparing the scripts, the props, the costumes, and training the students in their respective roles. The students who participated had a surreal experience through this activity in the sense that they had never thought about Allah SWTs names and how they actually manifest in our daily lives. They realized that everything we do, hear, see, say, or think, is not without Allah SWT’s infinite knowledge or permission. Hence to be able to beautifully visualize this concept through a very easy-to-comprehend skit helped us really drive the point home for everyone present. At the heart of the skit, we witnessed a beautiful poem on Sabr and Shukar through their personification and have shared it below to conclude this blog.
Patience is the best – ask those who go through strife.
Gratitude is the best – ask those who are alive.
When times are tough, or in up and down motions.
Whether I’m an adult, or in my childhood.
It descended on the blessed chest, as he was soft-hearted.
So, what’s the matter with you, why don’t you become from the Shaakireen?
Through me, they get closer to Allah, Ar-Rahman, Ar- Raheem.
Through me, Allah gets closer to them, so why don’t you do some gawr-o-fikr?
Dealing with societal, financial, and medical issues required dedication.
For the Jinns, the birds, the humans, the greatest kingdom in the world, 24/7, he was mindful.
Asked him to believe in Allah, the One with all the power.
Dutiful to his family, his parents, especially his mother.
Because he was patient for 950 years and he never quit.
Because of his shukr, duas are never rejected.
The mother of Musa (A.S) was rewarded for her sabr, she left her baby in the river.
And Allah returned him to her, and this is recorded in history forever.
She became his mother and from the four women of Jannah, like no other.
He became the king of Egypt, his family united, and he was no longer alone.
He was steadfast on this path, and with me, he was in a different zone.
But Wisdom cannot be exercised without sabr,
look at all the examples you can find.
Wisdom is given to the people of Shukr like Luqmaan AS
You both are important for the life of a believer.
However, what brings Sabr and Shukr is me, Al-Wadood – the Most Loving.
I am the reason Allah loves His creation so much and keeps Giving.
The two beautiful attributes of Allah, As-Saboor and As-Shakur are derived from me.
Every single day, we experience these two qualities, yet we fail to see.
We fail to recognize that we are patient and thankful every day.
Sabr and Shukr are with us, and they never go away.
And because Allah SWT is Al-Wadood, He is As-Saboor and As-Shakoor as well.
Whose example we see in the form of our mothers, a fitting parallel.
A mother loves her child so much, that when she gives birth, she shows patience.
Staying up all night, putting her child to sleep with love and affection.
She feeds her child, while she herself is hungry and starving.
She sacrifices for her child, has patience in tough times and continues striving.
The mother appreciates her children on the smallest things they do.
Hugging her child when he starts to walk, treating the child when he begins to talk, if only we knew.
Why does a mother do this? Because she deeply loves her child.
Despite her child’s mistakes and failures, you’ll see that she always smiled.
And this is the attribute of Allah Al-Wadood, The Most Loving to this nation.
Through this love, His qualities of As-Saboor and As-Shakoor manifest in front of His creation.