Allah has always been generous to me. His magnificence never fails to amaze me. His signs, his bounties, his blessings multiply. On Friday evening I decided to bring this weblog to a close and thus I brought it off-line, leaving just a few significant words on the front page for anyone who might pass by. Words worry me. The responsibility we shoulder when we use words is great and so I worried, as I often do, about the existence of this weblog at all. Allah has granted me the ability to write and indeed He has decreed that my writing has developed quite significantly over the last few years. Thus I felt that I should use this gift for the greater good, to His Glory if you like. But still I worry. Is it a gift or is a test? A very dear friend of mine pointed out that all gifts can also be a test. Our spouses are a gift for us, but they are also a test. Still, the concern remains and on Friday night I decided to close The Neurocentric down.
Not for the first time, however – the same happened last time I decided to give up my writing – I received an email that evening, not very long after I wound the weblog down. It was someone I don’t really know telling me that my writing was useful for them. The timing: Allah’s Generosity? Why is it that every time I conclude that my writing should cease somebody has words for me? Is it a sign or is it a test? Allah knows best, but I know that Allah is always generous to me. He never ceases to shower His blessings upon me, despite myself. Allah is Great, magnificient.
Some weeks back I sent a manuscript I am considering publishing through my cottage-industry Press for review to two totally unconnecting individuals. The weeks passed by and I began to wonder whether I would receive any feedback. The author was pressing me for a response, but I had to explain that it was still out for review. But as I say, Allah is ever generous. This weekend without any prompting, without these two individuals, strangers to one another, coming together, one in Arabia, the other in America, I received feedback from both of them, within hours of each other. Alhamdulilah. What can one say, other than all praise is for Allah? Allah showers his blessings.
We say that Allah is the Most High because everything around us bears witness to this. We say He is Great, we say Allahu Akbar, because this evident all around us. I think of His generosity on Friday when He caused my computer to crash when I had finally decided to write a response to a comment left beneath one of my posts. When first read it on Thursday everning, I wrote a response, but while I was doing so I chanced upon those words that I reproduced in my posting ‘Words before the Hour’ – and so I decided not post that response afterall. But a while later – I suppose Shaitan was playing on me – I decided it did indeed warrant a response, and so wrote something else. But then I reflected on those Hadith and those Ayat again, and so I hurriedly deleted them once more.
By Friday evening, however, I decided this time, yes, I would respond. And so I spent maybe an hour writing something down, until the time came when I was ready to publish it. Alhamdulilah, my computer timed out. I tried posting it three times, but it would not go, and so I emailed the text to my Hotmail account, planning to do it later from my home computer. But when I got home, it crashed once more, and just then I recognised Allah’s Generosity. What was to be gained by responding? What was to be gained with those words? I recognised His generosity at last, and so finally I deleted that email, wiped away that text and Alhamdulilah the computer worked once more. Allah’s Generosity. Were matters within my hands, were I able to control such things, were I able to decree anything, I would decree that I land face down in the hell fire. But Allah is ever generous, ever protecting us from ourselves, ever granting us an escape from our own wickedness. He is the ever generous, and this is why we call Him the Most High, the Great.
A few days ago I was feeling sad, and so I returned to my Lord in prayer, making du’a, supplicating to Him who has the power to Grant and Withhold. I was feeling confused, recognising that without His help all of us will go astray. And so I prayed as best I could. What can I say except that Allah is ever generous? Without any effort on my part, He sends aid, He sends Guidance. Yesterday I conceded that it was time I did the painting I have been promising my wife all year, and so I went down to the hardware store to get some paint. Alhamdulilah, a member of staff there told me that the Islamic Studies classes were starting in the mosque at last the following day. He walked with me to the carpark and fetched me a timetable from his car. So this morning my wife and I walked the ten minute trek from our house, across the top of the hill and down through the graveyard to the mosque in that splendid sunshine, for the first class beneath that stunning calligraphy in the dome. The gentle Algerian introduced us to half an hour of tafsir of the Qur’an and half an hour of the biography of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
For half an hour he began to tell us the meaning of Hamd, and for half an hour he decribed to us the appearance of our blessed Prophet, upon whom be peace. What can one say except that Allah is the Most Generous, the Most High? What can one say except that we count the Blessings He showers upons us every day? Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
We learnt this morning that Allah has said that very few of His servants say Shukr. And so we begin every prayer with Alhamdulilah – a gift from Allah, that we thank Him for those things that we are aware of and those things that we are not. Alhamdulilah. Allah the Most Great saves us from ourselves, gives us the words to say because He knows that we would not say Shukr on our own accord. Alhamdulilah. Allah is the ever generous.
I could go on to talk about all of the bounties which I have felt this weekend, but it would take up too much space and too much time. But Allah has made me aware of His generosity – this is His generosity in itself. I feel humbled and blessed. Allah has granted me so much, despite myself. He has granted me so much, though I am so undeserving. Time after time He protects me from myself. Allah is ever generous. I wish I could repay Him, but I know I never can. I know I never can.
And so all I can say is this: I seek refuge in Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, from myself and I pray that He guides me and does not let me die other than as one who has earned His pleasure. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.