Ramadhan Musings 3

– The Message of a falling leaf –

Which of the events of nature can be seen everywhere, all the time? The plain answer to the query could be as simple as “falling of a leaf”. It’s a common scene. This minuscule event can be observed at many places, at home and garden or at the time when we go around for a walk. The falling leaves off the trees sensationalize us with the feelings of soothing breeze and motivate for a brisk walk.

Well, there are two known theories about the leaf drops. One, a leaf fall off trees because of too much or too little watering and the other, the tree shun its leaves to restore the required energy level to cope up with the changing environment. Regardless of the nature of its detachment, we are studying the case of a leaf dropping from a different perspective.

Falling of leaf isn’t it an insignificant event when considered in the backdrop of huge changes taking place from the colossal explosion and merger of the heavenly objects in the skies to gigantic move of the tectonic plates beneath the earth? There are many more on the heavens, above and beneath the earth and the event of a leaf-fall for sure is infinitesimal. The leaf, small or big, most of the time its dropping goes unnoticed.

The beauty of Quranic guidance is that it diverts attention even towards those areas that at times considered negligible, as is the case here. The Book takes the human consciousness from an inconsiderate situation to make it sensible and productive. Look how our attention is being diverted:

وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا۔ ۔ ۔ الانعام:59

there is not a leaf which falls that He does not know about

This is a part of a long verse of the 6th chapter that deals with a glimpse of Almighty Allah’s immeasurable knowledge. While delving with its details, above part of the verse exemplifies that even a single leaf falls with Almighty’s permission. How do you articulate this? How do you get to the essence of Allah’s knowledge of this stature? Does it mean, every single leaf that falls at any given point of time and at any part of the world has an endorsement of Allah’s permission? What does it infer?

If pondered, the leaf-fall event makes us understand:

  • The vastness of Allah’s sovereignty
  • The minuscule details of His knowledge
  • Tip of the essence of Allah’s knowledge
  • Everything small or big happens with His permission
  • His monitoring covers even infinitesimal aspects beneath and above the earth.
  • Conceptual details of joy and sorrow
  • The Authority of the Creator and His control over human lives
  • He is the Sustainer and causes vegetation to grow and sustain
  • The accuracy and expanse of His decisions and the way they are being implemented.

Of these, let me deal with the conceptual details of joy and sorrow, as they aptly align with the event of a leaf dropping. The seasons have different shades, of them spring occupies a prime place. Everyone enjoys the spring season. This season infers that the trees have there leaves intact. It means Almighty Allah has not given permission them to fall off the branches. The leaves are intact hence the spring season. Its application in human lives would certainly make us understand:

مَّآ أَصَابَكَ مِنۡ حَسَنَةٍ۬ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ۔ ۔ ۔ النسا:79

Whatever good happens to you is from Allah

And when the Almighty Allah permits the leaf to fall, every leaf would detach at its appointed time. Now you have a season diametrically opposite to the spring; its “autumn” (fall), dryness and dropping leaves everywhere. If you articulate, it could be tests,  trials and hardships of life. To be specific, it means you are being surrounded with calamities and difficulties:

مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ۔ ۔ ۔التغابن:11

No affliction ever befall except by Allah’s permission

The ultimate message vehemently clarifies the true spirit of guidance. It’s all about a sense of gratitude. It should prevail all the time; regardless of the situation one should be thankful. This is what suits best to the servants of Allah. The life of a believer has to be an embodiment of gratefulness, Allama Iqbal says:

Ye Naghma Fasl-e-Gul-o-Lala Ka Nahin Paband

These melodious songs are not confined to time when rose and tulip bloom

Bahar Ho Ke Khazan, La Ilaha Illallah

Whatever the season of year be No God but Allah must ring till doom.

 The fastings of Ramadhan gives us a daily glimpse of the feelings of “spring” and “autumn” from dawn to dusk.

© Muhammad Abdullah Javed – June 2017

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Falling leaf

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