You Have Only a Few Hours to Live
Imagine emerging from the soil, the dust shaking from your body. An uncontrollable urge rushes through you and your feet start running. Then you see millions— no, billions— of fellow humans, with indescribable emotions on their faces.
Where is the world? It is over. Years made of uncountable days and hours in which you felt sad, worried, or overly happy and smiley, are all gone, and you now realize that your whole life was but a few hours.
In this week’s central ayah Allah ‘azza wajal gives us a thought-provoking reminder:
The Day they see it (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an (`Ashiyyah) afternoon or its (Duha) morning. [Quran, 79:46]
Let’s discover two beautiful angles from which to view this ayah, insha’Allah!
Angle One: Relief From Worldly Pain
Your heart might hurt; people might have bruised you, disappointed you, or even left you when you needed them most. Your body might have been ill, leaving you feeling hopeless and wishing you could be stronger. The pressure of your household might have left you feeling drained.
Imagine now, somebody telling you that the worst pain you will ever feel will only last a few hours and then never return? Wouldn’t that change your perspective on how you would deal with that pain?
When you stand up from your grave and go to the place of Gathering, you will feel that the period of the worldly life was so short, that in fact your whole life seemed like it was only an afternoon. Thousands of moments of sadness, worries, stress and pain, joy and pleasure, will now feel like one experience squeezed into a couple of hours. Bring this ayah to your heart whenever you feel hurt by this world, and take strength from it!
Angle Two: The Importance of the Quran
Isn’t what you do with the few hours in this world very, very important? The Quran contains the answers to all your life’s questions. It heals you as you read it and intercedes for you on the Day of Judgment.
Bringing the Quran to your daily life is the best you can do in the couple of hours you are in this world. One of our friends at Understand Quran Academy beautifully said: “The speech of Allah ‘azza wajal has 6,326 ayaat, or signs. If you could translate 63 ayaat into your mother tongue, you’d know just one percent! It is of the greatest urgency that we understand the Quran.
The good news is that you don’t have to start big!
Four ways to give your brain a new Quran habit
Have you ever told yourself, I’m going to read at least half an hour of the Quran each day (especially after Ramadan), only to find out your “Quran habit” didn’t stick? Motivation naturally decreases with time. Here the importance of habit comes in.
Once your new habit is established you are less dependent on motivation and willpower to do it. 95% of your life is dictated by the subconscious mind— the part of your brain that runs activities on autopilot, like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, etc., without thinking about it. Here are four ways to create a new neural pathway for your daily Quran habit!
1. Start small.
Big goals are exciting, but small, “boring” goals are more likely to bring success. Small actions trick your brain. Your subconscious likes to be in control; it doesn’t like change, and a big change often sets up resistance.
Action: Read at least one ayah a day and interact with it. Open the Quran and just pick on ayah. Read it, translate it if needed, and, most important, feel it. For example, if the ayah about Paradise, be there in your mind and imagine what you would see. If it’s about Hellfire, imagine the pain and regret. If it’s part of a story, like the story of Yusuf ‘alayhi sallam, be a spectator.
Double action: Check www.ayahjournal.com to make daily (or weekly) ayah missions!
2. Use triggers.
Pick a time which normally suits you best to read Quran. If you commit to always reading five minutes before you go to bed, then after a few weeks you’ll automatically think about reading before you go sleep. Visual triggers work well too.
Action: Have a Quran lying around wherever you are. You can have Qurans in the bedroom, living room, and kitchen. Having the Quran next to your bed will encourage you to read when you go to bed in the evening.
3. Make it convenient.
Make your reading comfortable; sit in a comfortable position and relax. The more comfortable you make your reading, the more likely you will stick to it.
4. Don’t break the chain.
A writer started the habit of writing new material daily using a wall calendar and a marker. Every day he managed to write he would put a big red X on the calendar. He didn’t want to see any blank days that “broke the chain,” so this encouraged hum to write each day.
Action: Try this for one month, insha’Allah!
That’s the Quran habit in your life, but what about all those others? Our friend asked this question, too: Did you distribute a Quran to those who don’t have one? If I can gift five Qurans every month, then I will be gifting 60 Qurans per year. If I am 60 years old, then I could have gifted 1200 Quran in the past 20 years! Can you make up what you didn’t give in the last 20, 10 or even 5 years?
The Prophet sallahu alayhi wa sallam said: The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it. [Al-Bukharee]
The next best thing to gifting a Quran is gifting someone with the ability to read and understand the Quran! My mission, and I pray to Allah Al-Qadeer, The Powerful, to make it possible, is that each of you who reads this “teaches” one other person by sponsoring one student who can’t afford it.
If we all do it, the effect could be world-changing! So don’t delay— beat Shaytan and go here now:
Praying you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yahya – United Kingdom
THE AYAH JOURNAL is dedicated to inspiring you to open the Quran every day, pick one ayah, and apply it to your own life by making acting on that ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Quran to our daily lives! Check www.facebook.com/ayahjournal for examples.