إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
Verily! In this is indeed a sign, yet most of them are not believers. 26:103
I was reading surah 26 today and couldn’t help but notice how Allah Azza Wajal kept repeating the above ayah 103.
Ayah 121: There truly is a sign in this, though most of them do not believe.
They denounced him as a liar, and so We destroyed them. There truly is a sign in this, though most of them do not believe.
The punishment fell upon them. There truly is a sign in this, though most of them will not believe.
Right after mentioning the transgression of the previous nations and their subsequent destruction, Allah Azza Wajal would remind us that these are indeed ayaat. So what is an ayah?
We often wrongly translate ayah as a verse but the more correct translation for ayah is a sign. The ayaat of Qur’an are signs for us to reflect on and take heed! Imagine we told each other, ‘have you read the signs of Allah today?‘ How much more meaningful this question is versus ‘have you read the verses of Allah today’?! Maa shaa Allah!
If we don’t read the Qur’an we are in fact not seeing the signs Allah azza Wajal left for us to see and reflect on.
What happens to a driver who does not see a sign telling him there is a sharp turn or a stop sign or bumps ahead?
How many people ignored signs, took a turn too fast and perished?
Signs are there to keep us safe, to direct us so we don’t get lost, to warn us so we can be careful.
How vulnerable do we allow ourselves to be by ignoring the ayaat of the Qur’an?
When we read the Qur’an with understanding regularly, we are in fact reminded to see everything around us and inside of us as signs of the existence of Allah Azza Wajal and we are therefore reminded of Allah Azza Wajal and of our purpose on earth.
I will share with you an example of an ayah that I thought of recently.
I have lived in Atlanta, Georgia for almost 20 years and those who know Atlanta know it’s a city in a forest. I had been accustomed to listening to the birds by my bedroom window so much so that I took it for granted. Then four years ago, I spent the month of Ramadan in a very busy area of Brooklyn NY and all I could hear all day and all night, was the train, the cleaning truck, the people outside talking, the honking, etc…
They say NYC is the city that never sleeps. Well, I experienced that fact first hand and I can tell you I was not pleased. When we returned home after Ramadan, the first sight of trees and the sound of birds chirping felt like a warm welcome home to me. I told myself there is no way I could ever live in NY. Yet, Allah Azza Wajal, The Best of Planners had other plans for me. Last year, we moved to NY, but this time we stayed in a different location.
The first thing I noticed when I woke up for Fajr was the chirping of the birds. When I opened my window I saw a few trees and a rose garden and Aah I felt so happy. I felt like a little bit of Georgia had come with me.
Now, let me share with you how the birds became an ayah for me.
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ
See you not that Allah, He it is Whom glorify whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, and the birds with wings out-spread (in their flight). Of each one He (Allah) knows indeed his Salat (prayer) and his glorification, [or everyone knows his Salat (prayer) and his glorification], and Allah is All-Aware of what they do.
I read the above ayah and tafsir and thought why did Allah Azza Wajal specify the birds out of all His creation? He already mentioned that everything is glorifying Him and then He mentioned the birds. Is it because we can often hear them glorify Allah? Is it for us to be reminded? Are they to become an ayah for us, a sign?
Allah knows best, but I believe these ayaat in the Qur’an that tell us about the worship of the birds are there as signs for us to remember Allah Azza Wajal. If we remember that they are worshipping and glorifying Allah Azza Wajal then they should act as triggers for us to also glorify our Maker whenever we see or hear them.
Thus, my tadabbur led me to this conclusion:
Use the birds as a trigger, a reminder, a sign for you to remember and glorify Allah Azza Wajal. Let’s compete with the birds, sisters for the remembrance of Allah Azza Wajal. Next time you hear a bird glorifying His Maker do not be left behind! 😊
May Allah give us the tawfeeq to study His signs and be warned and reminded. Aaameen!
And Allah knows best.
Binta Umm Yahya is the owner of Al An For U which is an online platform for Qur’an lessons, Islamic studies and Lifecoaching for Muslimas and women interested in Islam. She has been teaching for over 7 years now and is an ongoing student of Qur’an with her husband imam Ahmed Abu Suhailah. She loves reciting, teaching and reflecting on the Qur’an. She also coaches sisters helping them gain clarity, focus and understanding of their religion so they live their best life connecting to their Maker. Whenever she is not teaching or coaching, you can find her staring at the sky, reading or journaling with a big cup of tea. 🙂