Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Quran, the Jews and the Christians

I am reading 'If the Oceans were Ink" by Carla Power.

Carla Power is 'Jewish', Not a Jew, just 'Jewish', in her book, in the words of director, Jonathan Miller.   She is a close friend with a Sheikh whom she wants to learn the Quran from.   More for research purpose, then for spiritual quest.  She wanted to find our similarities that can, hopefully, dispel extremist ideas about Islam.

In the first chapter of this book, she tells of the session where she was introduced to Al Fatihah.   All was good, until she came to the last 3 verses.   

She was disturbed that 'people who have incurred God's anger' may refer to the Jews, and 'people who have gone astray'  might refer to the Christians.    After the lesson, she went to the library to go through tafsirs about the Quran's relationship with the Jews and Christians.  She was appeased by a verse she found in the 2nd surah (Al Baqarah 2:62) , whose loose translation reads "Indeed those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans - those who believed in Allaah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will be upon them, nor shall they grieve."  That was the end of the chapter.

This got me thinking.  Isn't that what we do?  We look for what we want to see, we listen to what we want to hear. 

I think it is wrong to think that anyone could come to some conclusions or opinion about Islam based on the few verses in the Quran.   Even in these two sets of verses - we cannot settle for just it's words, but in what context the Words were revealed. 

To try to understand the relationship between Quran and the Jews and the Christians - one has the read the WHOLE Quran, because there are SO MANY areas in the Quran, where God addressed the Jews and the Christians directly. 
However most people wouldn't believe, if I say, the Quran is not just for the Muslims, it is for the Jews and the Christians too - if they'd like to know what God has to say to them, in the latest and last revelation from God to mankind.   

Even if an ayat (a verse) would seem to a Muslim, unconfortable, we cannot change it or hide it  - because this is God's Words.  God's right to address to all mankind, and no man should change of hide God's message.

Which brings me to another point.  I don't think we, as Muslims, should feel guilty or uncomfortable or ashamed by what is mentioned in the Quran.  it's not OUR words, we didn't author the Book.  It's God's Words, and if they are angry about it - they can take it up with God. 

As for us, or at least me, as a Muslim - I believe in the latest revelation, that is the Quran, to be the Word of God.  As such, I will learn the book as a whole, and apply what is relevant to me - and if one reads the whole Quran, one will see that God is full of Mercy, and that all that is expected of us, is to believe in Him, put our trust in Him, submit to Him and do good. 

If you want to know what are the messages God is giving us after the messages to the previous prophet before Muhammad S.A.W. - read the Quran.

On to Chapter 2.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Letting the Quran shape us

I am currently reading "If the Oceans were Ink" by Carla Power.   The title is taken from the translation of a part of the Quran, which was describing God's knowledge and God's Words. If all the trees on earth were pens and all of the oceans were ink (and even if it is doubled or multiplied by 7) never will they exhausts the Words or God and/or God's knowledge.

Anyway, a line I read, triggered this post. when the author asked a Sheikh, which surah or ayats in the Quran, or which Hadith from the Prophet have guided him in his life.

It got me also thinking about that, of myself.  Is there any that has impacted me, that has influenced me in the way I act or think or feel?

I'd like to think there were several.   I hope and pray that I am shaped by the teachings in the Quran.

I believe the Quran is that powerful.  If you want to be shaped by it, be guided by it, it's important to understand it's importance and significance in our lives.

The book also said, (and this coming from a nonbeliever), "The Quran is invoked more than it is read, and it is read more than it is understood."  

All these also got me thinking if there is something that I can do, to understand the Quran more and to promote the understanding of the Quran.  May Allaah guide us all.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Missed you

Hi blogger.

I've missed you.  I have thought about you sometimes.  Especially when I have so much going on, in my mind.  Things I thought about, and don't want to forget.  My observations of life and nature and places - masyaaAllaah.

It takes more time and care to write here, than in Instagram.  At this moment, I don't do Facebook or Twitter.  Alhamdulillaah, I've weaned off those.  I may check it once in a blue moon, but I no longer feel attached to them.

Instagram is better to me, because mostly, I see beautiful things, well at least from the accounts I follow.  Like Jewel says.. "if we are surrounded by beauty, some day we will become what we see."

I have been to places that I wanted to jot down here.  I realise that past experiences that I recorded here before stays more permanently than those in other accounts.  I've lost some pics from... i forgot what it's called, when it shut down.   I have some pictures on fb.  I wish I spent more time recording it here instead.  Now to move it here, it's like homework.

I've been to places - Alhamdulillaah.  Since the last travel I recorded here, I've been to Makkah/Madinah (for Umrah and Hajj), Oman (with hubby), Dubai/Abu Dhabi (to visit hubby), Jeju/Seoul (with my girls only),  Tokyo/Matsumoto (with my friends).   I've loved all the different, truly different, experiences.

You want to bring back the good things with you, back to where you live.  The good habits, and character, and customs, and healthy food :).

I've decided that I want to do what (good, fun and beneficial) I can do, at the moment I can do it.  I should not think too much into the earthly future.  You don't even know if you'll live that long.

Monday, September 18, 2017

It’s the thought that counts.

Yes, it is really the thought that counts.    Not whether a gift is given or not.   Sometimes, not giving the gift is a better consideration than giving – because it’s the thought that really counts.     When people give gifts, it’s not for a single reason – there are many reasons and types of gifts.  Among the different types of gifts :

A loving gift.
You love them, they come to your mind, and you see something that you think would make the person happy to receive it.

A caring gift.
You know the person you’re giving it to, wants it, or is in need of it.  

A thoughtless gift.
It’s their birthday, you feel obliged to get them something, but you don’t’ know what to get, so you just get whatever is on sale or easy to get, regardless of whether the person would like it, or if the thing is useful or not, or if the recipient already has 10 of that in their possession or or or – no thought at all.

An inconsiderate gift.
You have something you don’t want, because it doesn’t work anymore or it’s not in fashion or you can’t finish the food you thoughtlessly cooked/ordered, as such you want to get rid of it – by giving it to someone else – so that the thing is out of your mind – without consideration if the person really wants it or not - or if it would be a burden to the recipient.

A selfish gift.
You give a person something, that they can use to satisfy your OWN needs e.g. getting a smart cooker for your wife, so that she can cook for you.  Or getting your husband a massage chair, so that you can use it.

So really, when you want to give a gift to someone, be sincere and put some thought in it.  If you cannot be bothered to think about what the person would want or need – then don’t get the gift - because truly, it’s the thought that counts. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

To Japan and back.

Last night before I slept, I was reading up on some Japanese Art of mending broken things (kintsugi).  Love it.
I also thought about my upcoming trip to Japan (not so soon).   And… I had just finished reading Story of Your Life, as I mentioned in previous entry.

Last night, I had a wonderful vivid dream.   I was in Japan.

I was in Japan and I was trying to experience being in Japan as a whole, like I was able to feel the whole trip.  However, the scenes are still quite linear.
In my dream, my usually decent looking Japanese colleague, Teru-san, spotted long shoulder length hair which is cool, and was looking charming.   The first night I was there, I slept over at his house, which he shares with his sister and brother in law.   After that, my colleagues from office joined us, as we begin touring the local area.

I remember seeing some beautiful Japanese art and craft products – and there was another quaint souvenir shop next to the shop I was at.  The shop I was at, turned into a restaurant – and we ordered noodles.  It was halal – they all said so, and I saw no meat.   After that, my colleagues said the noodles were they best they have ever tasted, and couldn’t get enough of it, even though they have eaten two bowls of it – so they ordered more.    I am satisfied with mine, so I decided to go into the shop next door that was selling souvenirs.  In dreams, sometimes you don’t see yourself walking, you teleport to wherever you want to go.    So I was suddenly at the front of the souvenir shop.  I remember seeing some beautifully crafted key chains and small decorative stuff.  Of course I saw some kintsugi objects also.

Then I awoke and I was back on my bed, at a time when I’m suppose to be leaving the house already. 
In any case, alhamdulillaah, I still managed to reach the office in time for my 8am teleconference with some Japanese members. :p

I’ve been to Japan and back, masyaaAllaah.