The kids and I were listening to Nouman Khan’s Quran Cover to Cover this morning. He was finishing up surah Ankabut, which we have been listening to now every Friday after we finished with Al Kahf (that was how it started). His explanation of this ayah struck me.
And when they board a ship, they supplicate Allah , sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, at once they associate others with Him. [Al Ankabut 29:65]
In this ayah, it is mentioned that they turned back to shirk after they were delivered safely back to land. However, we can also apply this ayah to Muslims.
For example, it can very well be that your child has been diagnosed with a rare disease and as a parent, you beg and implore Allah to cure this child of yours, and this calamity turns you wholly to Allah, more than you had ever turned to Him before. By and by, through His mercy and grace, your child is cured somehow. Now, you are no longer in that state of desperation. You can take a breathe of relief, for the doctors have cleared the apple of your eye from the disease.
Your guard is now down. If during the sickness, you have maybe upped your nawaafil or other acts of worship, now, because this child is well, you figure you want to make up for lost time with him when he was sick. You want him to enjoy life. You skimp on your nawaafil that you had built up when this child was rendered in bed with the sickness.
You also begin to be a bit slack in your dua.
“Ehh…I got to go now, maybe make dua later.”
By and by, you have forgotten your state of desperation where you had maybe promised Allah this and that.
Allah says next,
So that they will deny what We have granted them, and they will enjoy themselves. But they are going to know. [Al Ankabut 29: 66]
Allah knows all along that this person was only sincere at that moment, that he’s not sincerely sincere. But he is going to know the reality.
Subhanallah…do we do this?
There are many ‘stormy seas’ in our lives if we have lived long enough. Even the one who doesn’t believe in God will turn to Him in these desperate moments. It’s in our fitrah that Allah has programed in us. Desperation brings out this fitrah.
But when Allah ‘delivers us safely’ to stable land, it is as if we never were on that stormy sea. It’s akin to a mother who has given birth. The pain that she went through, that she made dua through, is forgotten once the baby is sleeping snugly in her arms. But when she went through that horrendous labor, she thought she was going to die.
May Allah make us of the truly sincere and protect us from being of the people described above. Ameen.