Our dear Nabra, why do bad things happen to good people?

#Nabra

“Why does God let bad things happen to good people?”

In the face of tragedy, it is this question that burns in many a heart. The youth are especially vulnerable, and find that it is all too easy for their faith to crack under the strain of the world’s heartaches.

You see, that same God gave us a precious gift of free will. It’s the same free will that led Nabra to choose to be a giver, a helper, one who fed her friends and spent her nights praying to her lord. And it’s the same free that her murderer used to make the choice to take her precious life.

These tragedies are consequences of our free will.

The angels understood this, for when they heard from Allah that He would create generations of humans on earth, they immediately questioned why He would create beings that would sow seeds of corruption and shed innocent blood. So it has been a given that we would misuse this free will.

But what did Allah say?

He said, “I know that which you do not know.”

You see, He knew that for every human that used their free will to cheat, steal, maim, and kill, there would be many more humans of beauty and faith. There would be humans like Nabra, who would use their free will to fast by day, feed her friends, and pray by night.

Without that opportunity for us to actively choose to do good, our free will would be a farce.

But Allah doesn’t just leave us here on this earth to fight it out, kill and be killed, suffer and toil, and have that be an end of it.

He’s “maaliki yawmid-deen.” The Master of the Day of Judgment. The word “deen” means that it is a day of recompense. A day where justice is served. A day where the evil ones will get only the amount of punishment that is justly due to them, not an ounce more, but where the good ones will get a reward that is infinitely beyond their deserving.

Not only does he amply recompense and care for those victims like Nabra, but his mercy is so gloriously vast that every second of pain her loved ones feel will also be recompensed. Every tear of her mother. Every ache of her father. Every fear, sorrow, and hardship of her friends and community will all be recompensed on that Day.

His Mercy is so vast. We are grieving, we are weeping as we reap the consequences of a world in which humans have been given free rein to make choices that can build or destroy.

Don’t think that He has left her, that He has left us.

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ اللّهَ غَافِلاً عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ

“Do not think that Allah is unaware of what the evildoers do” (Surah Ibrahim: 42).

وَلَدَيْنَا كِتَابٌ يَنطِقُ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

“And with us is a record that speaks the truth; and none shall be wronged.” (Surah Muminoon: 62)

Dear Nabra, may Allah give you a reward that will erase every second of your pain. May He give your family and community ease and healing. May you be now rejoicing in peace in His Gardens of bliss. Aameen, ya rabb.

Advertisements

the pain of a fast-free Ramadan

Not everyone can fast, but Ramadan is for everyone.

Those of us unable to fast sometimes feel shy about Ramadan–like we are outsiders looking in. Please know, dear friends, that Ramadan’s arms are open wide for us as well.

It’s painful to be left out of the excitement of fasting. Sometimes you feel like a fraud at iftar time, when everyone is passing you a date. And those quiet tears when no one is looking burn when you think about the fact that this one of the five pillars and you can’t do it.

It’s been almost a decade since I have been unable to fast and while it has become easier to come to terms with it, I’m not going to lie. It still hurts.

Surely you have heard the discussions about how fasting takes away the body’s food and drink so that you can nourish the soul.

Think about it this way: illness has already stripped away the comforts of our body to the point that we cannot endure the hardship of also taking away food and drink. Therefore, our souls are already primed to be nourished during this month.

Our challenge while not fasting is to create a deep sense of spiritual awareness throughout the day.

Start with your sense of sorrow over not fasting. This is a spiritual opportunity being presented to you. Take it, ride the tails of that feeling and indulge in the sorrow with the point of feeling closer to Allah.

Take care to turn this sorrow towards a sense of poverty, humility, and weakness in front of Allah. Do not fall into the trap of turning into despair and thinking “I can’t possibly benefit from this month without fasting.” This line of thinking is a trap that only immobilizes your spiritual growth. It’s a type of hopelessness in the mercy of Allah.

Instead, use that sadness to infuse emotion into your Qur’an recitation and du’aa. Let it comfort you to know that Allah has given you the tawfeeq to care so much about Ramadan.

And lastly, make the Qur’an your best friend this month. After all, Ramadan has been honored by the revelation of the Qur’an. The verse that obligates fasting starts off by saying that Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an has been revealed.

This is our lifeline this month. We may not be fasting, but we will cling on to this Book like the drowning one clings to a rope. We may not be fasting, but we will read and read and read this book to give blessed food and drink to our souls. Our bodies may be broken, but our souls still thrive. Let it be so this month, Ya Allah. Aameen.