Allah the All-Wise has shared a beautiful piece of advice with us in Surah Qaaf (Chapter 50) of the Quran, a counsel that can make us more productive.
This advice is only for special people like you and describes a way to:
- lift your emaan when you feel low;
- get to know Allah ‘azza wajal and His Power; and
- reap lots of barakah (blessings) on your spiritual journey.
Reflecting on Nature
And the earth – We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah ]. [Quran 50: 7-8]
Observing and contemplating nature is a very important aspect of a Muslim’s spiritual journey.
Nature Reflects Allah’s Beautiful Names
In the above ayaat Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa commands us to ponder over His Works. Why? What is the first thing we realize? Tawheed. Oneness.
Looking around yourself, the skies, the plants, the oceans, the mountains, the alternation of the day and night, and the process of childbirth are all created in a state of perfection. All of these signs are a great proof that Allah is the One and Only, the True God.
All aspects of nature originate from one of the Beautiful Names of Allah ‘azza wajal. We have the All-Just, the All-Shaping, the All-Harmonizing; each level shows nature in a specific light. So one of the ways to get to know Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His Power, is simply by looking around you.
You Are the Living Example!
In fact, you are the living example of the ultimate power of Allah. There is no one but Allah ‘azza wajal able to create YOU.
When people feel anxious and stressed out, what do they do naturally? They go for a walk. They go outside. They get some fresh air.
However, as Muslims, when someone comes to you complaining of low emaan, have you ever advised them, “Go and look at the sky and the trees”? Allah tells us in this ayah that nature gives insight, and not only that, it is also a reminder. But to whom? For every servant who turns to Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa.
That’s the difference between people who just “walk” through nature and people who “interact” with nature like Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa told them to. By interacting with nature the way Allah ‘azza wajal tells us to do we can truly become more productive.
Practical Tips on How to Interact With Nature as a Muslim
It is so easy and it doesn’t cost you anything. It can raise your emaan when it feels low, reignite your relationship with your Creator, and therefore make you more productive as a Muslim.
Here are some practical tips on how you can spiritually benefit from reflecting on nature:
Realize the Power of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. If He can maintain the skies without any flaws, don’t you think He can solve all your problems, which are much smaller?
Night and Day
Remind yourself that the worst day is only 24 hours. Just as the night alternates with the day, hardship will alternate with ease in your life. If you only expect easy times you could be disappointed. Don’t worry about the future, but prepare for it. A believer will be tested by Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa and it will only be good for you.
Flowers and plants.
In the ayah above [Quran 50:7] Allah ‘azza wajal mentions ‘baheej’. This one word means something which becomes extremely beautiful, bright and pleasing to the eye. It makes you smile. Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa makes beautiful things grow out of the earth which make you feel happy and delighted when you look at them. So look at all these beautiful plants and flowers and smile!
Fertile Lands vs Deserted Lands
In this life you will find people with hearts full of faith, engaged in good deeds and trying to please Allah ‘azza wajal. Their hearts are like fertile land, they are alive and knowledge reaches their hearts. Then you have people with dead or hard hearts. Their hearts resemble deserted and dead lands; it is like the signs which Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa placed around them bounce of their hearts. When you see fertile lands and greenery, think about your heart and make dua’ Allah ‘azza wajal makes your heart alive and beaming with faith in Him.
Apart from rain being one of our body’s main nourishing sources (water), it is also one of Allah’s greatest reminders in nature for our souls.
Rain reminds us of the Resurrection. Look at this beautiful description: On the Day when the earth shall be cleft, from off them (they will come out) hastening forth.) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored will send down rain from the sky. From that rain the bodies of the creations will grow while they are in their graves, just as the seed grows in soil in the aftermath of rain. When the bodies grow to their full strength, Allah the Exalted will command angel Israfil and he will blow in the Trumpet (for a second time). The souls will be enclosed in a hole in the Trumpet. When Israfil blows in the Trumpet, the souls will depart from it and will fly between the heavens and earth. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored, will declare, “By My grace and power, each soul shall return to the body that it used to inhabit,” and indeed, every soul will return to its body. The soul will enter its body just as poison enters the body, then the earth will be uncovered from above them, and they will all stand and head towards the Reckoning place hastening to obey the command of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored.. Tafseer ibn Kathir
When you see the rain, remind yourself of this day and prepare yourself.
An Extra Blessing
As if the rain in itself is not a great blessing to sustain us, Allah ar-Rahmaan added another special mercy of Him to it. Narrated Sahel Ibn Sa’ad radiyallahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Two will not be rejected, supplication (dua) when the adhan is being called, and at the time of the rain.” Al-Hakim, Abu Dawud, ibn Majah
Remember the famine in Somalia recently? Mothers had to leave their own children dying and move on in search of water. Our brothers and sisters. Then you have people on the other end of the world complaining it rains too much. Let the rain remind you of showing shukr (gratefulness) to Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa.
So, next time you feel low, go for a walk and remind yourself of the power of Allah. Feel your role on this earth and make sure you are of those making a change. And if you can’t because it’s raining, sit in front of the window, look at the rain, make dua’ and count your blessings!
Make it a habit to take at least 5 minutes each day to sit down, day or night, actively look around you and remember Allah ‘azza wajal.
Reflect on nature. Allah is the greatest and one day you will stand in front of Him.
I pray you will benefit,
~Khawlah bint Yahya, United Kingdom
THE AYAH JOURNAL, Qur’an & Productivity is a global project with the exciting goal to inspire every Muslim worldwide to open the Qur’an every day, pick one ayah and apply it to your own life by making acting on the ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Qur’an to our daily life! Check www.ayahjournal.com and follow us on www.facebook.com/ayahjournal for vibrant Qur’an & Productivity tips.