Does Nature repair us?
11 months, 4 seasons, and a whole lot of learning are what we experienced when Allah’s plan led to us being uprooted from our home of many years in the UAE and being planted in a totally different land, one unknown to us in more ways than one, the UK!
And that’s when I came across the ayah:
وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاس
Such days of varying fortunes We give to mankind in turns.
(Sūrat Āli Imrān, No.3, Āyat 140)
Likewise, as we stood staring at the new night sky, seemingly different yet familiar, we knew – this was a “season of change” for us as a family, akin to how Allah has created the ‘nature’ of this worldly life in a manner of “shifting fortunes” over varying periods of time ( الايام ), so that we believers become neither too attached to the temporary comforts nor too eager to affix only a worldly motive behind our Imaan. Rather, the changing circumstances sow the seeds of yearning in our hearts for the Hereafter, to strive to reach the one place where our happiness and delights would be truly unending.
However, being pushed out of our comfort zone has also been a blessing for us. It made us realize the numerous ease that we had often taken for granted and caused us to work harder to remain patient in the face of difficulties. One of the more important lessons we learned was that little children like our own, are inherently resilient! How they, despite being in the midst of a major life change, learned to smile through it all, and just be – children – innocent and brave! What made this even more evident to us was seeing how our kids observed more deeply and truly thrived in the vast and mesmerizing nature that we were witnessing all around us in this new country – there was always something they would see and become awestruck by, سبحان الله!
Allah says :
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
“Indeed in the creation of the Earth and the Heaven, the alteration of the night and the day are signs for the people who understand”
(Surah Imran: Verse 190)
Thus it was, that along with our children, when we happened to observe something new in nature that we’d never seen before, we’d then search to see what Allah has said about it in His Qur’an, or from the sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ, reflecting upon the words in Arabic as well! Love for this beautiful language increased in our hearts and brought us closer to Allah because we were reflecting even more on His آيات in nature, just as mentioned in the آية above, الحمد لله! Indeed, this past year, we connected more with the Qur’an, and advised our children at different instances, all while pondering over the transformations in nature ( في طبيعية )around us – and as if in tandem, within us!
في الشتاء الوحيد –
In the nippy, lonely winter, when we first laid eyes upon the bare trees looking forlorn yet tall and forbearing, with nothing except roots and bark, the bare essentials to survive, it was our living parable reminding us to relieve ourselves of trivial things, the ‘زينة’ ‘adornments’ we’d held dear, for they weighed us down in attachment, in order to truly understand that our good deeds in this world and not our worldly possessions are what will weigh heavier on the scales on يوم القيامة!
الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا
Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world; and the ever-abiding, the good works, are better with your Lord in reward and better in expectation.
Surah Al – Kahf, 18:46
في الربيع المزهر –
When the first blooms appeared and we got to witness the beauty of spring around us, we reflected on the Qur’an being the spring of our hearts, that no matter the circumstances we may be in, reciting and reflecting upon the Qur’an always opens our heart to the رحمة of Allah. Just like the flowers and plants are rejuvenated by His رحمة during the spring season, we asked Allah to make the Qur’an the ‘spring’ that revives our hearts, beautifies our Imaan, and reinvigorates our souls..
”..اللهم اجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي”
في الصيف الوفير –
Witnessing the abundance of delicious fruits, lush green grass, and full trees and looking at the marvelous sights of life thriving in the summer season, led to our profound reflection on how Allah takes care of the sustenance of the tiniest of creatures, from the insects to animals to us human beings! Our reliance should be upon Allah alone, our only true Sustainer and Owner of all good! We reflected on the true meaning of رزق and explained to our children that no matter where we may be, our sustenance is by Allah alone!
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن دَابَّةٍ لَّا تَحْمِلُ رِزْقَهَا اللَّهُ يَرْزُقُهَا وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
And how many a living creature that does not carry its sustenance: Allah sustains it and yourselves; and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Surah Al-Ankaboot, Verse 60
في الخريف الملون –
As the bright orange, red, yellow and golden leaves painted for us the most beautiful, most colourful autumn, and as we observed how silently they glided down from their trees, we were left amazed at how Allah already knows about every single leaf that falls, as He says in the ayah:
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures—none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.
Surah Al-Anaam, Verse 59
Moreover, Allah uses the word ورقة in the ayah, for the leaves that fall! The word ‘ورقة’ also means ‘paper’ in Arabic. And indeed, these dry leaves that so beautifully lay scattered on the ground everywhere, lining the roads and streets, were so akin to ‘leaves/sheets of paper’ (أوراق من الورق), that even their rustling gently in the breeze sounded like bunches of paper being ‘leafed’ through with fingers! الله أكبر what an incredible آية it was all around for us to reflect upon!
في المطر المنعش –
Not long after, when the grey clouds loomed above, and the sky opened up, we rejoiced in the rain that we used to crave so much for in the past years back in UAE! Where before we would be happy to have even just one day of rain, here we were witnessing the downpour of Allah’s mercy for days in continuity!
وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَاتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا
And We send down from the clouds water pouring forth abundantly
Surah An-Naba, Verse 14
My son had learned a dua’a to be said at the start of salaah, and in it are the words – اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلْ خَطَايَايَ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ – sure enough, one after the other, we got to see water (as rain), ice (as frost) and snow, in that exact order! And we reflected upon the dua’a and how we are asking Allah to cleanse us from our sins, using these elements of nature, just as they washed away the remnants of dirt and dust and left everything fresh and feeling anew!
A year since our first winter here in the UK, as we stand now, staring at the dark, windy sky, it’s موسم الشتاء once again, and we are slowly faced with yet another beautiful realization – perhaps this is what is “.. من طبيعة الاشياء”, “from the nature of things..” – the only ‘constant’ is ‘change’ in this Dunya – and only Allah is الحي ‘The Ever-Living’.
و إنه من طبيعة الإنسان – and indeed it is from the ‘nature’ of man too, to be impatient and hasty! We like to be challenged, so we can grow. Perhaps that’s why Allah has created الطبيعة (nature) all around us that is continuously changing, serving as constant signs of His Magnitude, an indication of His Glory, a proof of His existence, and a perpetual reminder of the true purpose of our creation, as well as our lack of control over the grand scheme of all things in nature, and in like manner, our affairs in life, as Allah says in the Qur’an :
ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ
That is Allah, your Lord, there is no god but He; the Creator of all things, therefore serve Him, and He has charge of all things.
Surah Al-Anaam, Verse 102
Reflection (& photography) by: Zahra Venkat
Zahra is a convert to Islam and a mum of 4 littles, residing currently in the UK. She is keen on capturing photographs through the lens of a believer. Passionate about all things pen and poetry, she also loves to share her reflections about life, nature, and deen on her Insta: @the_ninjamummy . She is also a student of the Arabic language, presently studying the ARABPEAK Conversational Fus-ha Arabic course with Ustadh Eid Saalim.
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