Assalamualaikum and greetings dear Bits and Pieces readers,
As was posted before, Letters to God tells of a woman named Sarah who is contemplating suicide. This very fact goes against all her moral fiber since she considers herself religious. However, she feels that the load on her shoulder is wearing her off. She feels that all the prayers that she had offered to God were for nothing.
The near epitome of this dilemma inside her is what I try to narrate in Letters to God. In my attempt to do this, I need to understand various concepts in Islam among others. This simultaneously help me as an author to grow spiritually.
1. The Names of ALLAH
Letters to God mostly centers on the Names of Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim and Al-Alim. Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, in crude translation, means the Most Beneficient and the Most Merciful. Meanwhile, Al-Alim means the All Knowing.
In her depression, Sarah struggles to understand these attributes of ALLAH. Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim mean that God always love her and never intend evil on her. Al-Alim on the other hand, should put her heart at ease safe in the fact that there's wisdom behind her situation, good or "bad". These Names show that God loves her deeply and that everything happens for a reason. Hence it is imperative that Sarah registers this should she want to rise up from depression.
2. al-Qada' wa'l-Qadar (Divine Will and Decree)
I have to admit, I never really understood the concept of al Qada' wa'l-Qadar. I mean, if our destiny has already been planned for us, why should we try and pray to God for whatever we want in the first place? In Sarah's context, if she were meant to kill herself, why must she put a stop to this thought? Might as well go on with it.
The above arguments spell the need to research al-Qada' wa'l-Qadar. Thanks to ALLAH, I came across these videos: The Pen and the Tablet, Divine Decree, The Content Believer, and Altering Destiny.
According to the videos, ALLAH has instructed the Pen to write down every detail of our life in the Tablet; whether we will be successful or fail, have children or barren, died later or earlier, happy or miserable etc. But still, we can change our course of destiny by making do'a (pray). At the same time, know that that particular destiny has also been written already. In other words, the Tablet already contains that at which will happen if we make do'a and what happens if we do not. If we ponder this concept deeply, we can handle whatever live throws at us and come to terms with it.
Merging points 1 and point 2, it is imperative to try and pray; and whatever the end result is, good or "bad", Sarah should be contended with the decree of ALLAH. Therefore, this is another concept that Sarah has to understand before deciding to take her own life.
3. Humans as 'abd
'abd when translated roughly, means slaves; people that are abused, used, and given no wage. In the Quran however, 'abd are slaves that are loved, being taken care of, and rewarded according to their deeds. In other words, 'abd has a Master which is ALLAH and ALLAH loves, cares, and rewards us accordingly. On top of that, ALLAH is the creator of 'abd while slaves in human definition was not created by their master.
In her depression, Sarah has to acknowledge the fact that by being 'abd and the created, she does not have the right to rebel to God. She doesn't have the right to decide anything simply because she wasn't there when ALLAH created her. Instead, she needs to submit her logic, intellect and rationale to ALLAH; taking comfort in the attributes of Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim, and Al-Alim (point 1). Concurrently, she can also make do'a to change her situation and be satisfied with whatever the result of her do'a is.
All in all, writing Letters to God (which I still am doing) is also an effort of mine to embody these three concepts in Islam. When my novelette is out (which I seriously don't know when), I feel that I've accomplished something; even if nobody wants to read it.
But still, aren't you a wee bit curious? Don't you want to know whether Sarah, being religious, truly understand these concepts? And if she does or doesn't, will that influence her decision about taking her own life?