فَبِأَىِّ ءَالَآءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ
Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny?
Yesterday was a day of spending. While I didn’t spend too much, and I did not spend unnecessarily, I did spend with an uncharacteristic insouciance. I usually agonize a bit more about spending money, both before and after the fact, than I did this time. This casual dropping of cash might have been the result of a hellaciously loud computer that was aggravating the daylights out of me for the worse part of two years. The loud fan or hard drive or whatever it was that has been incessantly screaming at me caused me to panic into sincerely believing that I will lose all my data if Noisemaker decides to finally up and die.
After we came out of the electronics store and deposited my shiny (literally) new laptop in the trunk of the car, my mom started reminiscing about the computers we’ve had, and how afraid we used to be of technology. Like seriously scared-to-death-don’t-want-to-touch-that-monster scared. The fact that I’m an IT person is a total irony of fate; I took the closest thing the Comp Sci department had to an Internet 101 class, except that it was a Global Networking, let me teach you about TCP/IP protocols, kind of class. I fell in love with Comp Sci, and as a family, we’ve done an almost about-face with respect to technology since then. So, when we breezed in and breezed out of Best Buy with the nicest computer for a miserly $555 (I’m cheap, ok?! and that does include taxes!), it was something that would have been inconceivable nearly half my lifetime ago. We got to talking about the terrifying first computer experience, the barely better second computer, and realized that I am now on my third laptop.
My third laptop. When I type that, it literally brings tears to my eyes. When I was in high school, the cost of computers was so high that I thought the only place I would use one would be at school. Today, they are commonplace, and to be without one would be the oddest thing in the world. It’s like a second brain, a third arm, a sixth toe. When I was in college, my first few years of it, we had a hand-me-down computer from hell, and nobody to give us moral or technical support. When it would spontaneously (I swear, it was unprovoked) shut down, I’d lose entire essays…and nobody could tell me why. I used to save my WordPerfect documents every 30 seconds, just in case. was Yesterday, when I confused about which laptop to buy, I turned on Twitter, and called for help. And I got it…very good advice at my fingertips, quite literally. From someone who is, outside of the blog world and Twitter, a complete stranger, in a different time zone, with nothing but gracious kindness. I wonder what I did to be so blessed? Thank you, Cookie Monster, for the help. It is greatly appreciated.
Ever since yesterday, the ‘aya I quoted above has been running through my brain. While transferring stuff from the old computer to this one, while installing applications, while adding the new laptop to my wireless network, I realized that I have been Supremely blessed. Alhamdulillah. I have done so much to not deserve the blessings I’ve been given. Yet, Allah has been Most Gracious to me. And there are no favors from Him that I could deny.
I’ll leave you with a beautiful recitation of Surah al-Rahman, as well as the first few verses of this surah. I feel like I understand it in a more real sense today. Or perhaps in a different way.
The Most Gracious (Allâh)! (1) He has taught (you mankind) the Qur’ân (by His Mercy). (2) He created man. (3) He taught him eloquent speech. (4) The sun and the moon run on their fixed courses (exactly) calculated with measured out stages for each (for reckoning). (5) And the herbs (or stars) and the trees both prostrate themselves. (to Allah. See V.22:18). (Tafsir Ibn Kathir) (6) And the heaven He has raised it high, and He has set up the Balance. (7) In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. (8) And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient. (9) And the earth He has put down (laid) for the creatures. (10) Therein are fruits, date-palms producing sheathed fruit-stalks (enclosing dates). (11) And also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-scented plants. (12) Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (13) He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery. (14) And the jinn He created from a smokeless flame of fire. (15) Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (16) (He is) the Lord of the two easts (places of sunrise during early summer and early winter) and the Lord of the two wests (places of sunset during early summer and early winter). (17) Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (18) He has let loose the two seas (the salt and the frsh water) meeting together. (19) Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress. (20) Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (21) Out of them both come out pearl and coral. (22) Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (23)