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Al-Jabbar- Mending the Broken Heart by Jinan Bastaki
Taken from Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog
In our journey to gain tranquility of the heart, we explored what we need to know when faced with difficult situations. We need to understand that Allah has told us we will be tested, that these tests are for a reason, and that there will be relief insha’Allah (God willing). When we are worried thinking about the future, we need to work hard but have full trust in Allah that He will not leave us, and we must always think well of Allah because that is what we will find.
Yet in certain circumstances we just feel… broken. Perhaps it is the death of someone close, perhaps a hurtful word, or perhaps a reason we can not pinpoint. Yet this feeling of brokenness can be an invitation to be better acquainted with al-Jabbar.
The root of al-Jabbar is ja-ba-ra and has a wide variety of meanings indicating Allah’s strength and majesty, which Sr. Amatullah explained to us in this excellent article. One of the basic meanings of this name is the One who compels and restores, and demonstrates Allah’s Majesty and Strength over His servants. This is a Name for the tyrants and oppressors to be aware of, because their misdeeds will not go unpunished.
Yet this Name has another dimension: al-Jabbar is the One who is able to restore and mend what is broken. Some of the great scholars would supplicate “Ya Jaabir kul kaseer” when they were faced with overwhelming difficulty, meaning “Oh You who mends everything that is broken.” The Arabic word for a splint that is used to help an arm heal when it is broken is “jibeera” from the same root ja-ba-ra. Thus, when we feel broken, we need to go to the only One who can mend our state–al-Jabbar. Sometimes when we get this broken feeling, shaytan (satan) tells us not to go to Allah because we are being hypocritical by only going to Allah when we are down. Yet this is untrue– Allah has named Himself al-Jabbar and given Himself this attribute; you cannot go to the One whose attribute is mending what is broken, and not be healed by Him.
The example of the Prophet ﷺ is a beautiful one. Imagine being 50 years old, having just lost both your wife of twenty-five years and your uncle who took care of you as a child. Imagine walking into a town in order to ask people for their protection, and instead have them throw stones at you until your feet bleed. How would you have felt? How exhausted, both spiritually and physically, would you have been? And yet, the Prophet ﷺ calls out to Allah in one of the most beautiful and heartfelt du`a’ (supplication):
“O Allah! To you alone I complain my weakness, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by people. O Most Merciful of those who have mercy! You are the Lord of the weak, and You are My Lord too.
To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair?
But as long as You are not angry with me, I do no care, except that Your favor is a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descend upon me.
Yours is the right to reproach until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”
Read those words carefully. The du`a’ of the Prophet ﷺ was not “O Allah, please give me x and y.” It was literally the call of someone broken– complaining to Allah of his situation and expressing to Allah how he felt. What did Allah give him? A young boy by the name of Addaas saw the Prophet ﷺ, came to him with some grapes and kissed his bleeding feet. That is al-Jabbar. Imagine how the Prophet ﷺ must have felt after that, the relief he must have felt after the cruelty he was subjected to. And al-Jabbar healed the broken heart of the Prophet ﷺ in another way – He bestowed upon him the miraculous journey of al-Israa wal Mi’raaj (when the Prophet ﷺ traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to the Heavens in one night).
If we think about the journey, it did not accomplish a great victory nor did it help to convince the Quraysh that he was a rophet. Rather, Allah honored him after all the hardship he had gone through. Think of the resolve the Prophet ﷺ must have had in his heart and the tranquility he must have felt after such an experience.
Therefore, we have to always remind ourselves of this blessed name al-Jabbar; Allah will mend your broken heart. It may be through a kind word from someone that brightens your day or it may be a talk that you attend. It may even be something greater. But call on Allah like the Prophet ﷺ did, recognizing this attribute, and know that He will manifest this Name in your life.
Highly recommend reading “How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series” on Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog.
Are You A Carrot, An Egg, Or A Coffee Bean?
A certain daughter complained to her father about her life and how things have been so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and she wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that just as one problem was solved another arose.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed the fire on high. Soon the three pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the other he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently wondered what he was trying to do. She had problems, and he was making this strange concoction. In half an hour he walked over to the stove and turned down the fire. He pulled the carrots out and placed them in the bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in the bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her he asked. “Darling what do you see?
“Smartly, she replied. “Carrots, eggs, and coffee.
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Her face frowned from the strength of the coffee.
Humbly, she asked. “What does it mean Father?”
He explained. “Each of them faced the same adversity, 212 degrees of boiling water. However each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after going through boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg was fragile. A thin outer shell protected a liquid center. But after sitting through the boiling water, it’s inside became hardened. The coffee beans are unique however. After they were in the boiling water, it became stronger and richer.
Which are you, he asked his daughter? When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with the smallest amount of pain, adversity, or heat you wilt and become soft with no strength.
Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? A fluid spirit. But after a death, a divorce, an accident you became hardened and stiff. Your shell looks the same, but you are so bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart, internally.
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean does not get its peak flavor and robust until it reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better.
When things are there worst, you get better. When people talk the most, your praises increase. When the hour is the darkest, trials are there greatest, your worship elevates to another level. How do you handle adversity?
Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
Taken from Qisas
Abu Musa Al-Ashari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said, “Say; There is no might or power other than Allah; because it is one of treasures of Paradise.” [Reported al-Bukhari, Muslim 4:2076]
Shaykh Muhammad then went on and advised:
Say La hawla wa la quwata illa billah’, there is no power, there is no capacity but by Allah. ‘Hawl means ‘capacity’, and ‘quwa’ means ‘power’- there is no capacity nor any power but from Allah and by Allah. So if you do dhikr ‘La hawla wa la quwata illa billah’, it is a form of dhikr, and it is repeated for those people who can’t handle their affairs. If you have done all your best and you can’t get out of the problem then say ‘La hawla wa la quwata illah billah’ because you’re doing it by your own means, you have to refer to the means of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. You think you can solve your problems? This is why your problems are not solved, leave them to Allah, Allah will solve them for you, provided you do what He commanded you to do –with the ibaadat together.
La hawla wa la quwata Illa billah – this sentence is a treasure ‘kanz’, was revealed to Rasulullah ṣallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi wa ṣalam from Al Jannah.
Seven Advice of Mevlana
1. In generosity and helping others be like a river
2. In compassion and grace be like the sun
3. In concealing others’ faults be like the night
4. In anger and fury be like the dead
5. In modesty and humility be like the earth
6. In tolerance be like a sea
7. Either exist as you are or be as you look
‘Al Kauthar’ are a group of artists’ who sing traditional songs from Arabic Andalusian and Turkish sources. I first came across their live performance during the ‘Imam al-Ghazali’ programme with Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus in Spain (2009). Ever since I heard them live, I always wanted to get hold of their album as I really liked their style and vocals.
I was really happy to finally discover them online and thought I’d share some of my favourite traditional songs here. They are good for the heart and soul…… Enjoy