“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
As salamu alaykum to all my dear Ideal Muslimahs around the globe!
Who would have thought that we can learn the one-oh-one (101) of how to be a Muslimah from a flower which is a form of a plant? Confusing, don’t you think? Allow me to elaborate.
The beauty of a flower is that it grows from different types of soil and from all parts of the Earth. Each has its own benefits, be it medicinal, edible, aromatic, or beauty. Bees use them to make honey, shelter a caterpillar, ant and what have you.
Allah has created each and every flower uniquely and each flower was created with a purpose to serve this earth. Similarly, we were all created from different types of soil and come in different and beautiful colours. We each have a purpose in this life be it a doctor, engineer, author, artist, astronaut, chef, Imam, mua’athin etc. We were all created with a gift we can share with mankind, but ultimately our greatest purpose in this life, like the flower, is to worship Allah.
One the best forms of natural fertilizers in the world is manure (I know, how crappy). It is essential to a plant’s growth. Emulate a flower and rise above any crappy situation that life hands you and bloom like a flower. In plants, Allah has developed a system to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen with the use of light. What we can take from that is, when we are in a poisonous environment (like carbon dioxide to a flower) Allah has created within each of us our very own mechanisms to help us convert that situation into a positive one. Be assured that ultimately you can rely on the light of Allah through “dark” times. He is Allah, An-Nur (The Light) after-all.
What about the thorns on the stem of a flower? Allah created flowers with thorns to protect it’s giving nature from the harmful disturbances of birds and insects, the same way Allah shielded the woman in Islam with the protection of the Hijab. When we buy an arrangement of flowers, despite the fact that it will eventually wilt and wither away we still water it, feed it floral foods, and give it sunlight. A bouquet of flowers could have probably lasted longer in its garden, but the moment we displaced it and gave it a new home it was just a matter of time before it dies. As Muslims we have been displaced from our real home – Jannah so, we aren’t bound to last in this temporary home we call Earth.
Ultimately, our aim, when we pass on, is that we leave a legacy in the form of sadaqah jariyyah (continued charity). That could be represented as a bowl of potpourri – scattered debris of flowers.
To conclude, we as woman need to stop devaluing one another or devaluing ourselves. It only causes us division, low self-esteem and animosity. Each and every Muslimah is like a single, beautiful flower with her faith being the stem that keeps it structured. A single flower without its thorns, leaves and stem could stand beautifully but it is vulnerable and can be easily broken. In retrospect, if we gather all those beautiful flowers and arrange them into a bouquet, it’s virtually impossible to break them, and those who try to break them might even get hurt trying. There’s a unity in numbers. There’s a raw beauty in unity. All complete halves to make a whole. We are all long beautiful flowers but it’s much more beautiful when we form into a bouquet. So, let us strive to be a beautiful, colourful bouquet of flowers In Sha Allah.
This article was inspired by my dear sister Zahra (Arabic for Flower) Dhubow. She woke me up from my slumber one afternoon and told me to call her back. As I went downstairs to grab a glass of water before I dialed her back, I happened to notice the bouquet of flowers my landlord had on the kitchen island. Those who know me, know that I LOVE puns and analogies, so I inwardly chuckled “haha” it’s a bouquet of “Zahras” (I know a lame joke, nevertheless it tickled my soul and yes…I most certainly did laugh at my own joke). It then dawned on me that the water needed to be changed as I started to see the flowers wilting and next thing BAM my next idea for an article; alhamdulillah!
The plot twist in all of this is that here I thought I had an original idea and I’ve rewritten this piece, at least, five times and at one point during my revision, I figured I have the space to insert a verse from the Qur’an about how this Earth is but a temporary life; and Subhan'Allah what happened next was shocking!
The very first ayah that I see, in Surah Al-Hadid where Allah had already used this analogy of the life to that of a plant and here I thought I came with an original idea. It just goes to show that this is a sign that The Holy Qur’an is indeed all wise with the most beautiful of metaphors already put into place.