Hanna binti Faqud, the grandmother of Isa (AS)

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This part of the Qur'an is one of my favorites. The birth of Isa (peace be upon him) is nothing short of miraculous. Allah mentions it in detail in the 3rd surah of the Qur'an.

It moved me to know that the main essence of this surah is the story of a woman's sacrifice.

Hanna bint Faqud (St. Anne in Christian history) was the wife of an exceptionally pious man, Imran. Imran passed away when his wife was pregnant.

This woman, now a widow has only one bright thing to look forward to--the birth of her only child. This child will be her care-taker, her support in her old age.

But what does she do?

She pledges her unborn child (Maryam AS) to Allah's cause.

No second thoughts, no regrets.

And how exactly do we know that? The way Allah has mentioned her words in the Qur'an.

"So accept this from me. Indeed you are the Hearing, the Knowing. "

Now one can understand the usage of the word Hearing, because she's literally calling out to Allah.

But what's it to Know?

Allah knows that her heart is pure, her intention is pure, her resolve is strong and that she will not go back on it, no matter what happens.

It is not an ordinary thing to call upon Allah by the his name, "All-Knowing". Only a person whose heart is set on doing a thing can do that.

Only a person with Ikhlas can do that.

And that is the first beautiful lesson I have learnt from this : Ikhlas is what raises one's rank infront of Allah.

"Verily, deeds are based on intention."

Our salah means nothing, our charity means nothing, our recitation means nothing, if it is not for His and His sake alone.

Consider this :
When Hanna binti Faqud confided in her Lord with such a huge decision, there was nobody around her, nobody who could write it down verbatim, but Allah remembered and He mentioned it in His final revelation to mankind and now you and I are reading it, after thousands of years.

Isn't that incredible?

It makes me feel like I've a special connection with her.

(Btw I studied in a convent school named St. Anne and after 21 years of existence, I realised this is who they always spoke about. Talk about existential epiphanies :O )

And you.

And all of us.

Because we've literally been talked about in this book, been admonished and praised, been given courage and strength, been healed of our wounds and all of us are holding this one book that binds us all together.

Wallahi, it is just so beautiful.

This story has also reinforced in me the power of giving in Allah's path.

To give in a time of ease is too simple. Everyone does that.

But to give when you're fearing poverty, to give when you're breaking, to spend time in His Path when you're in school or college and working hard to live your dreams is what real giving is all about.

To spend an hour with His Book, for His cause when you're swamped with chores--that is what real charity is.

That's the goodly loan Allah talks about.

The third lesson and the most inspiring lesson I've learnt is to know my place and my purpose in this world.

Society will tell me that my only goal is to get married and have a family. But really, there is so much more to life than that.

There is so much more to me.

So much more that I can do and be and spend in Allah's way.

The birth of Jesus (peace be upon him) is one of the turn-points in world history, one of the most miraculous events to ever take place and it all started with a woman's sacrifice.

Hanna (may Allah be pleased with her ) looked beyond her sadness, beyond her loss and gave Allah her most precious daughter and Allah favoured this daughter (Maryam AS) over all the women of her time.

And your weekly dose of motivation doesn't end here, Allah chose Asiya, wife of the Pharoah, Khadijah binti Khwalid, Fatima binti Muhammad and Ayesha binti Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with them all) to be His favorites in their own right.

They were all given something unique, and they gave back, to the best of their ability.

With their smiles and patience, business and wealth, chastity and modesty, knowledge and wisdom, they all gave back. (respectively)

So can you.

Life is more than boys and giggles, it's about you under a blue sky, holding yourself up when you're broken, smiling through tears, controlling yourself when haters make life difficult.

Life is about you living your dream and becoming something worthwhile.

Life is about you standing up on your two feet one day and giving back to Allah's cause your hard earned money and special little talent.

Life is about you and Allah.

It's always about Him.

:')

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