In our previous meditation, we discussed why we say Subhanallah and Alhamdolillah, as by saying these words we acknowledge the sign of Allah (SWT) in everything and recognize him as the source of everything. We compared this to the word wow, a sound with no meaning or understanding that reflects the ignorance behind the understanding of the source of everything.
In this meditation, we will continue to understand the final ayat of this Surah:
When we are looking at a beautiful sunset and seeing the glory of Allah (SWT) and saying Subhanallah, we realize just how small and insignificant we are. When we see the Grand Canyon and how vast it is and say Subhanallah, we realize that we are like a speck of dust in this world. When we look at the night sky and see the countless stars and say Subhanallah, we realize that we are just like an atom in this entire universe.
When we experience all of these, we realize how small and insignificant we are and how great Allah (SWT) is. We are but an alaq (a clot of blood) that Allah (SWT) has nurtured into what we are today, without Him (SWT) we would still just be an alaq.
However, how often are we proud like a rooster? How often do we think that what we have achieved is because of us and allow our ego to take control of us?
How often are we like a peacock showing off what we have? Do we then realize that what we are showing off is not because of us, but because of the blessings of Allah (SWT)?
How often are we vain? How often are we self-centered? How often are we judgmental and thinking that what we have is better than others? Whenever we do so, how are we in front of Allah (SWT)?
When we stand under the night sky and see countless stars and say Subhanallah and feel insignificant, how can we then, the next morning, be proud, show-off and be self-centered? How can we go from seeing our insignificance to being full of self-importance?
This is the nature of us, human beings. This is how we are caught in a vicious cycle.
Firstly, we experience something beautiful and say Subhanallah. We acknowledge that it is beyond anything that we could imagine and then we acknowledge Allah (SWT) as the creator.
Similarly, we receive something beautiful and say Alhamdolillah. We acknowledge that is beyond what we expected and know that it can only be from Allah (SWT).
In these moments, we see our insignificance in front of Allah (SWT), and our ego is minimal.
However, then our ego begins to grow again. We become proud, arrogant, self-centered and judgmental, thinking that we are powerful and great.
We then experience something beyond our words and say Subhanallah or Alhamdolillah again! We realize, once more, our insignificance and ask forgiveness for the pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, judgmental etc. that you showed beforehand.
This is the battle that we all face with our ego. Allah (SWT) shows us a sign that shows us our insignificance and our ego then fights back as it wants us to feel significant.
Glorify, praise and ask for forgiveness. This cycle continues throughout our life, until we conquer our heart and remove the idols, especially our ego which is the biggest idol, from the baitullah within us. Only then do we only see the signs of Allah (SWT) and each sign brings us closer to our Lord (SWT), without our ego having an opportunity to ever cause a distance in the first place.
May Allah (SWT) give us the wisdom and understanding to always remain humble in this world, through understanding that we are merely an alaq that He (SWT) has raised to the level that we are today. May we always say Subhanallah and Alhamdolillah as we see the sign of Allah (SWT) in everything and may our ego never cause us to be self-important and separate from our Lord (SWT). Aamin.