Use the gifts you receive from Allah ﷻ to give back to Him.
Last year, in October 2019, my husband Jawad and I went to Konya to celebrate his 50th birthday mashaAllah. There we saw the whirling dervishes outside the resting place of Mevlana Rumi.
The whirling dervishes whirl in devotion to their Lord as the Quran reciters and munshids recite their verses, litanies and odes. They whirl as an act of worship, placing their right palms up to the sky, as a means of taking blessings from Allah ﷻ, and they place their left palm down to the ground, giving the blessings the receive back to the world. Watching them is a mesmerising experience.
Turkey is the home to world-class calligraphers, and right outside the maqam of Mevalana, we found the Mystic Art Gallery selling original pieces by the calligrapher Osman Yilmazer. I wanted to buy something special that would remind me of Konya, not just the most popular inscriptions of the testimony of faith, or of the 7 Advices of Rumi, but something extra-specially meaningful. And then, one particular piece caught my eye. It was calligraphy done in the shape of a whirling dervish, with the right palm pointing up and the left palm pointing down, and read:
Movla’dan al, Mevla’ya ver
Take from your Master, Give back to your Master
I immediately fell in love with it, knowing immediately what it meant and how perfect this proverb was! You see, Allah ﷻ loves those who spend in His cause, and that spending doesn’t have to be just money. It can also be our time, resources and skills – which are all gifts from Allah ﷻ.
Allah ﷻ asks us:
Who is he that will loan to Allah ﷻ a beautiful loan, so He may multiply it for him many times over?
And as we take these blessings from Him and give them back to His people and His world, we are in effect giving them back to Him. Isn’t that an extraordinary concept! Why would Allah ﷻ want a loan from us?! We loan our gifts (that He actually gave us) back to Him when we give them to others, and in return, He has promised that He will multiply that loan many times over. What a generous Lord!
Don’t you remember how you can find Allah ﷻ by visiting the sick, hungry and thirsty ones? Use your gifts by helping others and making Allah’s ﷻ world a better place – here are some examples how:
- If you are good with children, then shower them with affection so that they understand that there is a loving God: Ya Wadud
- If you are creative, then fill the world with beauty and bring pleasure to Allah’s ﷻ creation ‘Allah ﷻ is beautiful and He loves beauty.’ Riyad as Saliheen (612)
- If you have been gifted with articulation, then fill the world with beautiful words that lift and inspire His ﷻ ‘A goodly word is a goodly tree.’ Ibraheem (14:24-26)
- If you have been gifted with a dream, then pursue it, so it shines on forever
- If you have been gifted with a beautiful voice then fill the world with melody delighting His slaves.
- If you have been gifted with compassion, then help out those who are in need. ‘O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me.’ Muslim (2569)
- If you have been gifted with wealth, then help those who are in financial hardship
- If you have been blessed with a large family then invite people over who are lonely
So enjoy the blessings that The Generous One gives you, and give it back to Him, just like the whirling dervishes, taking from above, and giving back to the earth. I am so fiulled with gratitude to have this beautiful piece of art in my home, mashaAllah. Each time I look at it, it reminds me to give back to Allah ﷻ.
What can you give back to Him? Do share!