4 – A practical example of tadabbur

Here is a practical example of tadabbur to get you started.

This is a verse we’ve all memorised and recited countless times. It is the first verse of the closing chapter of the Qur’ān, surah al-naas. Let’s see what gems we discover as we delve into it…

قل أعوذ برب الناس

‘Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind!’

The word Qul (Say!) at the beginning of the surah reminds us that the Qur’ān is the word of Allāh Himself. Allāh Himself is the speaker. The Messenger of Allāh repeats whatever Allāh has revealed to him, word for word. This shows both the magnificence of the Qur’ān, as well as the great station of the Messenger of Allāh upon whom it was revealed. We should also realise that when we’re reading the Qur’ān, Allah is actually speaking to us. Whilst supplications and prayers are a way for us to communicate with Allah, the Qur’ān is the other way round – it is Allah’s way of communicating with us.

This verse instructs us to seek refuge in Allāh (from whom? The following verses will explain). A refuge is a place of shelter, right? When there is a storm outside – thunder, lightning, hailstones, and so on – we run to the nearest place we can find in order to be safe from the stormy weather! That place is what we call a refuge. Or for instance, when a child sees a nightmare and feels frightened, he comes running to the arms of his mother, knowing he will find the love and protection he so desperately needs. The mother of that child is its refuge. Have you ever thought of Allāh as your refuge? I can’t write the answer here, it’s a personal introspection!

Allāh wants us to take Him as our refuge. This also awakens us to the reality of the storm outside. Yes, in our journey through life, we will face difficulties. We will see storms. Life isn’t a bed of roses. And we will need a place of refuge in which to take shelter. Both believers and non-believers will face difficulties which will bring them to their knees. But the difference is that the believer always has a refuge in which to take shelter! A non-believer goes through life alone, seeking refuge in shelters which are as shaky as he is, and he gets disappointed over and over. It’s like during an earthquake, whatever you hold on to is shaking and crumbling as well. But the believer has a shelter which never breaks or disappoints him. In fact, the believer’s shelter only makes him stronger in order to continue his journey with greater determination!

In this verse, Allāh calls Himself ‘the Lord of mankind’. When we take pride in an achievement, we like to point it out to others. We say, ‘I’m the one who scored that goal!’ or ‘I’m the one who got the best marks!’ Allāh is the Lord of all existents, yet, He makes a point to call Himself the Lord of mankind specifically. This shows what a great creation the human being is in the eyes of Allāh! This should be enough to solve any self-confidence issues we may be facing! Remember what Allāh thinks of you 😀

These were just several points that came to mind when spending a few minutes thinking about this verse. The remaining gems are yours to discover!

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