In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Surah 114: An-Nas, the second of the two cries for refuge and protection, takes its name from a recurring word which marks the rhythm in the Arabic. In this case protection is sought especially from the evil in a man's own heart in the hearts of other men. An early Meccan revelation.
Revealed at Mecca
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
1. Say; I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, 2. The King of mankind, 3. The God of mankind, 4. From the evil of the sneaking whisperer, 5. Who whispereth in the hearts of mankind, 6. Of the jinn of mankind. (The Meaning of the GLORIOUS QUR'AN, The Final Revelation, An Explanaory Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall)
When I was young; when I could finish off two or three durian fruits in one go, at that time my wallet was thin, my purchasing power was not strong enough so I had to be satisfied by having a small portion of the fruit.
But sad to say when I grew older and my wallet became 'fatter and fatter' each day, I could not eat much of the fruit as I had now developed diabetes, have high blood pressure and my cholesterol level is too high.
Nowadays with the money I have, I can not only buy a fruit or two but baskets of durians, perhaps a lorry tucked with durians but the problem is that I could only sample (have a taste of) the fruit.
So, dear teacher, how could I accept this situation with an open and contented heart, not blaming Allah SWT for the 'misfortune' that had befallen to me? In short how am I to lead a happy, contented and meaningful life?
If you wish to buy a basket or two baskets of durians, please do so. But as you could not consume it, what about donating all the fruits (accept one for you to sample) to those who can eat them for example to pupils of a 'tahfiz' (school for remembering the Qur'an) or to a group of children in your neighborhood; they would gladly finish them off in a few minutes…!
The above question was posed by me to a ‘tok guru’ (religious teacher) during a question and answer session after the ‘tok guru’ had given a ‘kuliah subuh’ (post dawn prayer class) on the topic of ‘Allah’s Blessing’ in a masjid not far from my home recently. The answer pierced deep inside my heart...ooh, what an easy solution to my problem. If you could not eat or consume something, give them to those who could...!
The ‘tok guru’ continued: “To attain calmness in life one has to do the ‘dhikr’ (remembrance of Allah SWT at all times). Allah, the Exalted, is remembered in all kinds of ways, whether in our hearts, verbally, during prayer, by reading the Qur’an, by discussing Islamic issues or by reading different kinds of Islamic books.
“You should ‘basahkan lidah’ (wet your tongue) with words of praise, glorification, affirmations and supplication to Allah SWT such as ‘alhamdulillah’, ‘subhanallah’, ‘allahuakbar’, la ilaha illalla and so on. ‘Dhikr’ will give you calmness; you would accept whatever Allah SWT has given to you; your heart should be tamed in acknowledging that Allah SWT knows what are the best things for you.”
At home, while lying on my bed, I kept on thinking what the ‘tok guru’ has said – accept and be pleased whatever Allah SWT has set upon us and in my case – of not having enough money to buy ‘good food’ such as the durian fruits that I had mentioned when I was young and could consume a large amount of it and at a later age, I had the money but was restricted to taking only a little of the fruits as I had developed some serious illnesses.
So what is the moral of my case? As I lie down on my bed, I realized how vulnerable, weak and small we human beings are; we are at the mercy of Allah SWT, even though I had the money (and power) to buy large quantities of durians, I was only able to sniff and have a little taste of the fruit.
Had I not learned a lesson here – money and power could not buy everything. Perhaps you too could buy trucks of durians because you are rich, but you too could only eat a little of it. If you try to ‘beat the advise’, remember there were cases people die after consuming too many durians.
The same could be said about love – power and money could not buy love. Great kings and princesses could have beautiful women and girls as their consorts but to have their love, it was a different story.
Sickness is one form of warning from Allah SWT that one has to constantly remember that his days in this world are coming to the end. The same could be said about a person whose hair starts becoming white by each day. Allah SWT gives us ample time to repent but most of us waste that golden opportunity.
The warning from Allah SWT should be appreciated, because it means Allah SWT loves us; if not we would be like the Pharaoh at the time of Nabi Musa (Moses) who was said did not once fall sick during his lifetime of about 500 years.
The same could be said those who Allah SWT blessed with loads of treasures; an example given in the Qur’an is that of Qarun; the keys to his treasures were loaded on camels of a caravan; he was so rich but his wealth could not help him; he was destroyed by Allah SWT.
Regarding richness and power; it was reported that, as the great Caliph Harun Ar-Rashid was taking his final breaths, he selected a shroud and, staring at it, recited the Qur’an verse 69: 28,29, with the meaning: “My wealth has not availed me. My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me!”
The ‘tok guru’ also advised congregators at the ‘masjid’ to broaden their knowledge because a person who has some knowledge about the reality of life, his attitude about life, and its goals and ambitions will be different and so will be the ways of fulfilling his desires. He will found himself bond to adopt only the fair and legal ways even if they are bestowed with money and power!
Knowledge enable its possessors to distinguish right from wrong; it lights the way to Heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament amongst friends, and an armor against enemies.
By often reading the Qur’an one could get closer to Allah SWT and on the road to attain calmness in life for Allah SWT says: “…For without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (Qur’an 13:28)
If in this world we could not take too much durian (or any other food), do not feel sad; why not from this second, work hard to attain the pleasures promised by Allah SWT in His Book (Qur’an) to those who enter His Paradise. Allah SWT says: “Its shading branches will droop down over them, its ripe fruit hanging ready to be picked.” (Qur’an, 76:14)
Allah SWT also says: “In them are fruits and date-palms and pomegranates.” (Qur’an, 55,68); “And fruits in abundance never failing, unrestricted.” (Qur’an, 56: 32-33)
Of course in His Heaven, there is no such thing as diabetic illness, so you could have ‘durians’ as much as you like! So work hard to attain it - donate your baskets or trucks of durian in this world so that you could have your 'durians' in the HereAfter.