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Welcome to Al Misbaah Students' Blog: Where Your Reflections Matter"

Welcome to Al Misbaah Students' Blog, an open sanctuary where your thoughts, reflections, and personal journey with the Quran find their voice. Here, we invite you to share the depth of your feelings, insights, and experiences as you engage with the sacred text.

This blog is your canvas—a space where every emotion, realization, and contemplation inspired by the Quran can be articulated freely and respectfully. We encourage you to pour your heart onto these digital pages, expressing what the Quran means to you personally.

Your contributions, whether profound or poignant, joyous or thought-provoking, are the threads that weave our collective tapestry of understanding and connection. Let this be a platform where your voice resonates, where your thoughts are cherished, and where your journey enriches the broader discourse on Quranic study.

Join us in this enlightened space, where your reflections find a home, your expressions are valued, and your journey with the Quran is celebrated!

The backyard Tree - by Tehseen Khatib (QI 2016)

When my family moved house two years ago, we moved into a villa for the very first time, with a small garden going all around the house. There were five tall trees in total with the tallest right in the middle of the backyard, next to the water tank, behind the house. The trees central location made it the only one almost completely visible to us inside the house from the tall staircase windows. So every time we went up or down the stairs, we could see the tree. It filled the entire window space with its thick trunk and long spread out branches going in every direction. It rose up well above our villa and some of its branches leaned towards the neighbours villa, reaching up to their terrace. It was a very large tree, but it was completely bare.

When we first arrived the tree was completely lifeless without a single leaf on any of its branches. Several of the branches were broken; some in more than one place and the overall appearance of the tree was dry, dull and dead. Even though there didn’t appear to be any sign of life, both my parents started to water it. Abba would water it along with all the other healthy growing trees and plants in the early evening and Mumma would pour all the washed vegetables water on to its thick protruding roots in the late mornings. The back kitchen door opened right onto the backyard where the tree stood tall so it was our constant companion in our comings and goings, outside and inside the house.

When the moon shone through the windows at night time, surrounded by the dark leafless branches of the tree, it was an oddly serene sight to behold. Usually the leaves on a tree will sway slightly even on a moderately windy day but being leafless, this tree stood stock still, stationary and rigid, with not the hint of any movement.

Then my parents started leaving food out for the birds under the tree. All the leftover rice we used to feed to the pigeons near our old house was now being happily pecked upon by grey collar doves, robins, bulbuls, mynahs and tiny shrikes. They would hop from branch to branch of the tree, lower and lower till they finally landed on the ground next to the rice for their meal. So now, during the day the tree was abuzz with activity and the twittering of birds

After the birds, the cats began to arrive and my parents started to feed them as well. And then one day, quite unexpectedly, leaves started to grow! First on one branch and then all the others that weren’t broken. The tree wasn’t dead, after all! There was life, we just couldn’t see it.

It got me thinking on how we sometimes feel that we have strayed from the path of deen, or sinned so much that we are beyond help, beyond repair; we even judge others on their outwardly visible sins. We drown in our despair, we give up on people… but the truth is that there is always hope. Just as rain (water) gives life to the dead earth, the Qur’an gives life to a dead heart.

“O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.”(Qur’an, 10:57)

The cats had started using the tall branches to climb high on to the tree and hunt birds, even making their way up on to the neighbours terrace one time! The tree was full of leaves now, growing, swaying in the wind, no longer still, and bursting with life and benefit. Alhamdulillah, there is khair in all of us, no matter how far away we stray, while we are still alive, there is always a way back. Because our hearts are rusty, it may take a while but it will happen.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When a slave commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. But if he gives it up, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart will be cleansed. But if he repeats it, (the blackness) will increase until it overwhelms his heart.”

[Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

One morning, during a fierce wind storm we heard the loudest cracking sound coming from the backyard. Rushing to the window we watched in shock as the tree broke from its base and fell onto its side. It missed the house, Alhamdulillah, but fell on the water tank instead, breaking it from the roof and exposing the water within it to a shower of leaves and splintered wood. The branches which had dragged along the back wall of the house, as the tree fell, had left dark marks behind.

The majestic tree which stood tall and strong only just yesterday was gone, broken and defeated by the onslaught of the wind. Perhaps it had been without water for so long that though it had life in it, it wasn’t strong enough to withstand a real storm. So, what about us? Those of us who delay following our religion properly to old age or to after we get married or after we just… ‘live a little’. ‘We’re so young now!’ you say. But sometimes, it’s too late. If you delay returning to the Qur’an for later in your life, it’s possible it will simply be too late for you. If you are hit by a trial before this time, you might not get through it at all. And what if you die before you turn back to Allah? How much regret will you have then? A lot I’m guessing but it won’t matter anymore. Breathe life in to your life while you still have a life, don’t wait.

The municipality workers came in and took the tree away piece by piece, reducing it further in size with a chain saw. We replaced the broken water tank after a few days. Looking out of our staircase window which was now completely bare, I missed seeing the tree there and the moon shining through looked quite lonely on its own. The birds no longer had their vantage point, to hang upon the branches, looking out for the cats before they flew down to the ground for eating the rice we had put out. There was confused chattering for several days.

It’s been months since the tree fell and for a long time the only reminder of its existence were the wooden stumps the Municipality workers had left behind. The birds had moved on to the neighbouring tree, the cats had too and my family at home, had all gotten used to seeing more of the sky through the windows as well. But then, something unexpected happened, three individual shoots had sprouted out of the old roots of the tree and in a matter of a few months they were tall enough to reach the first floor! SubhaanAllah, we thought the tree was gone, but its roots were still strong! These young potential trees all share the same roots of the old tree and are thriving and green, gradually attracting the attention of the birds again.

So the next time you think it’s all over for you, that you are beyond helping, know that whatever good was in you in the past, is still inside you, however deep down it’s buried. Work on yourself to bring it out. Like the backyard tree which held on to life even with a little water, flourished again, then weathered a strong wind storm; and though it broke and fell, it still remained alive and held strong to its roots to start over.

Life goes on, even after the storm. So, don’t give up, turn back to Allah.

“Allah wants to accept your repentance, but those who follow [their] passions want you to digress [into] a great deviation.”(Qur’an, 4:27)

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Dont be Sad - by Tahseen Khatib (QI 2016)

So young, and yet you have seen More pain, than anyone needs You try to smile, through-it-all But your face is cracking… From all the tears, Your heart is breaking You were free, you were brave Strong


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