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Surah Al-Kahf, Verse 29

وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا

And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about; and if they cry for water, they shall be given water like molten brass which will scald their faces; evil the drink and ill the resting-place.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

LESSONS FROM A ROCKSTAR

You never know who you meet who will inspire you 
As we stood in line to ride our next roller coaster, Ahmad and I didn’t realize that someone was listening in on our conversation.  We stood there talking about a lot of different things on that hot summer day trying to pass the time of the long wait.  I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but it was enough to have the person in front of us in line turn around and ask, “Are you guys Muslim?”  Just his pronunciation of the word “Muslim” made my hair stand up.  His dirty tank top, ripped up jeans, scruffy face, and long, shaggy hair made us wonder what kind of ignorant statement might come next.
“Yes, we are,” we responded.
He then continued, “I used to play in a rock band.  We used to jam in my buddy’s basement.  And I remember a couple years ago, I was going through some really tough times in my life.  That’s when I noticed that my buddy had a Quran on his shelf.  So I walked over and picked it up.  I opened it up to any random page, and I put my finger on any random verse.”
What happened next blew us both away.  This scruffy looking wannabe rockstar then proceeded to quote a verse from the Quran in English, with no mistakes as if he sat and memorized it.  Or at the very least, it penetrated his heart for him to know it word for word after all these years.  Allah’s words had clearly had an impact on him. We both recognized the verses from Surat al-Kahf.

“Say, ‘Shall We tell you about the greatest losers in respect to their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life and who believe nevertheless that they are doing good.’”
He continued, “And that verse just hit me!  I thought, man, what am I doing with my life?  What am I really doing?”  He then continued his story, “Then some time passed, and I went about my life.  And about a year later, I started going through some really tough times again.  So I went back to my buddy’s house and grabbed the Quran off his shelf again.  I opened it to any random page and put my finger down on any random verse,” he said as he gestured opening a book and pointing into it.  “Same exact verse man!!  Same exact verse!”  He then looked up towards the sky and pointed his finger up and said, “I hear ya man.  I hear ya.”  Ahmad and I started laughing at his unexpected story.
We spoke to him for a little bit longer and before we knew it, it was time to get on the ride.  After we said our goodbyes, never to see this man again, Ahmad and I were amused with the whole situation and this man’s story.  We joked about how crazy we thought our whole conversation was.
It wasn’t until later when I thought about our conversation that I felt that there was a lesson to be learned from the rockstar that Allah sent us that hot summer day.  I had to ask myself, when was the last time I turned to the Quran when I was going through tough times – taking the opportunity to hear what Allah has to say to me?  I thought to myself, don’t I have as much right to the Quran as he does?  It reminded me of a couplet I heard once before:
“Say, ‘Shall We tell you about the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?  Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life and who believe nevertheless that they are doing good.’”

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