بِسمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحمَـنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
وَٱصطَنَعتُكَ لِنَفسِى (٤١
“And I have prepared thee for Myself (for service)”… (41)
Tafseer by Dr. Farhat Hashmi (translated from Urdu)
وَٱصطَنَع : To choose the raw material and then mould it for the purpose that one plans to use it.
Allah Subhanawataatla states that I chose you and then prepared you (by purifying you internally and externally) and by passing you through a rapid and continuous sequence of adversity to test you and prepare you for this purpose. Thus
E.g. even when one makes a beautiful piece of furniture, one has to choose the best possible piece of wood and then carve it through cutting and chiseling and then a lot of rubbing it down to polish the surface till it shines, similarly when Allah picks someone for his cause………..one has to go through the process of difficulties, adversity to mould the personality and physique of the person to make him ready for the service of Allah.
Allah states that I have chose you for my service and thus you have been purified (This includes internal cleansing of the heart and external purification of the heart)
Now you have become deserving of my service. Says Allah Subhanawtaataala. Do not embrace anyone other than me.
Now you are deserving of coming close to me, to speak with me and learn to pass this on to others.
Thus when Allah chooses someone for his service, He puts that person through several tests, which if we need to pass with sabr and patience and consistency and continuity then we can ready ourselves for the service of Allah Subhanawataala.
For Being in the service of Allah, the preparation includes:
- Tarbiyah (training)
- Ikhlaqi tarbiyah ( character training)
IN TODAYS WORLD WHAT PREPARATION DO WE MAKE FOR THE SERVICE OF ALLAH?:
Thus in the service of Allah for the world of Deen we need to use the same guidelines as were given to Moses AS
The example given is that when we have to train or study for secular work we work hard, train, study, practice till we are ready for the test and sometimes we continuously take tests (medicine0 to be ready to give service in the area where we have studies.
We note in the muslim world that when it comes to work of Deen, be it leading prayer or doing Adhaan, people do it casually and without learning or training to do it correctly.
People make mistakes in reciting the Quran in Salah but do not make the effort to train themselves how to lead salah, Deen is a side job in the Muslim world, other things are more important and absorb more of our time and energy and studying.
When it comes to Deen, anyone who has a slight familiarity with the Adhaan or Salah stands up and becomes Imam of the day or week, Muslims do not train for it, do not prepare for it, and just stand up and speak without knowledge or preparation. However when it comes to secular jobs, or even secular volunteer work (working in the soup kitchen or volunteering in the hospital) they train till they are sure they are doing it right according to the rules and methodology required of the work.
We need to understand and absorb what this ayah says about preparation to be in the service of Allah and find the resources (books, teachers, mentors, etc) to begin to train ourselves.
Muslims veer from the ignorant and heedless and “fly by the seat of my pants” to the ones with “little knowledge and a lot of arrogance”
For years I have attended the self styled tafseers at our mosque (till we got an educated Imam) as well as lectures where people were invited to talk on a particular subject and were given ample time to prepare (as in weeks and sometimes months) and their opening sentence is: “ I haven’t had time to prepare this but………..” You will never find them saying this at a medical conference where they have to give a paper or at an engineering or business presentation where they have to present a proposal.
So why the dichotomy?
A visiting Imam to our mosque said it in one sentence:
He said, “The Quran says, “do (want) unto your brother what you want for your self”
He said when Muslims do not respect their own identity (their own self as a Muslim) how can they respect their Muslim brothers and sisters?
Thus as long as we think being a Muslim, studying the Quran, following what Allah Subhanawataala commands is secondary to what we are doing in our homes, jobs and social life, we will never qualify for “the service of Allah”
Sometimes we may even think we are serving Allah but all we are serving is our Nafs that becomes happy with the popularity or feeling of self satisfaction at doing something “holy”.
Even more degrading is when we do things in the service of Allah to gain more money or wordly positions for the sake of Money or Position in this world with no goal of it being for the service of Allah.
Allah knows best!