بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“And [in] the alternation of night and day and [in] what Allah sends down from the sky of provision and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and [in His] directing of the winds are signs for a people who reason..”
When I read this verse, what comes to mind is the reality of the hearts. Our hearts change. All the time. There’s a spiritual essence that lies within us that is capable of distinguishing right from wrong. The part of us that searches for the meaning of life. This can be referred to as the heart. You know how some days we are very enthusiastic about doing the good things in life, and we’re enthusiastic in striving in our acts of Ibadaah (worship) and doing our best to be the best in what we do. Some of us will want to read lots of Qur’an, we’ll want to wake extra early for the prayer, we make tons of dua with so much hope and eagerness. We may be on a spiritual high. Then there are the other days. My God, and they come so randomly when we’re drained and have no motivation to strive. Sometimes we don’t even want to wake up in the morning! We eventually drag ourselves to continue living life. However the thirst to aim high is gone. And we’re probably thinking, “Ugh. Why. Why do I even bother.” But we were so on track yesterday. What happened? Well , most likely we can say the key factor behind this sudden change was the heart. The spiritual standing of the heart has changed. And it will change, that is in the nature of the heart. A name for heart in arabic is “Qalb.”
”Imam al-Raghib in his Mufradaat says that qalb literally means to turn something around on its face, or to flip something over, such as the turning over of a cloth, or the turning of a person when they turn away from the direction they were going in to another direction.”
We can understand why our hearts are called “Qalb.” Its something that will never be constant. One day you love this, next day you cant stand it. One day you want this, another day you want that. One day your so excited about something and the next day you could care less. Someone may ask, “Why? What happened?” You might say, “Meh, change of heart I suppose” So thats the heart for you. Flip. Flip. Flip back. Flip. Flip.
In the alternation of night and day, we can see a similar fashion. Is it ever always daytime out? Or is it ever all night and never day? No. Its flips back and forth, back and forth. All the time, just like our hearts. And who is in control of the sun and moon? Similarly the one in control of the alternation of night and day is also the one in control of our hearts.
” Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. “(Saheeh Muslim The book of Destiny Book 33 Hadeeth 6418)
The earth, like the alternation of night and day, also changes. It has seasons. Sometimes the earth is dead. Nothing grows out of it. Its dead, dry, still. You may think that it may never come back to life. But Lo and behold, after winter comes spring! And how beautiful is it! It rains. And that helps the the earth become full of life. The flowers are budding, green is everywhere. Its a sight! And amazing too, when a short while ago everything was dead.
The heart can also go through seasons. There’s the heart full of life and the heart that is dead. Now in our times, the person with the dead heart may still have a beating heart, but their spiritual heart is dead. They don’t feel anything anymore. They can do the worst of thing and not feel remorse or regret. They just don’t care. Then we have the hearts that are not dead or alive, they’re just sick. They may suffer from hypocrisy, pretending. These ones don’t want to hear anything about guidance and they turn a deaf ear to the words of Allah. They’re not too concerned about the next world, in fact they are in doubt of it’s reality and they just turn away from the remembrance all together, prefering the life they live now. They simply will not reflect. They have no spiritual inclination. That is because it is sick. It fails to recognize what will give it health and life. But even as the dead earth can be brought to life, so can the hearts! Even when it is dead. Doesn’t Allah give life to dead earth?
Allah shows us this with the rain he sends down from the sky above that give life to the earth. Now isnt it interesting how we also need something sent down from above for life to be given to our hearts. Well, who is sending down the rain. I mean if its sent down, then there’s one doing the sending.
And if you asked them, “Who sends down rain from the sky and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness?” they would surely say ” Allah .” Say, “Praise to Allah “; but most of them do not reason.
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
“Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its death! Indeed, We have made clear the Signs to you, if you but reflect [upon them].”
This is something Allah wants us to think about. If water from above is sent down to give life to the earth. Then there is something that will also give us life. Then what is sent down to give life to our hearts? Something must be sent down to give our dead hearts life. That to which Allah calls us to is what gives us life. Allah calls us to Islam, to believe in him. Allah sends down revelation, the Holy Quran.
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“And We sent down from the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism).”[17:82]
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُم لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
“Believers, listen to God and the Messengers when they call you to that which gives you life. Know that God is between a man and his heart and that before Him you will all be brought together.
So we can see that it is revelation from him that gives us life. Similarly how rain comes down upon us, to the earth so we can live and eat, revelation from above, the Quran is also sent down so our spirits may live, so they can be brought back to life. The Quran not only gives life to hearts, but its also heals the diseases in our hearts and uplifts us. Is not the one able to give life to the dead earth able to give life to the dead?
Every year we see changes in season. We see changes in the sun. When it goes down, it will definitely be raised again the next day. You can guarantee it. It will rise up in the morning. Every morning until you die and then you will be the one to rise up, not the sun anymore. It will be you. All of these things happening around us. Allah wants us to think. The dead earth. Every winter the earth is dead but soon after it comes back to life. Again and again and again.You see this, and you’ve been seeing this for the past 20, 30, 40 years of your life. And its still happening. Its happening so we can make sure that we know that we will definitely meet our our lord and be raised anew. Without a doubt.
Allah asks us,
“Is not He (Allah Who does that), Able to give life to the dead?”
And Allah knows best.