Updated: Aug 14, 2020
This blog will show you why I chose to do this business. After my midlife crisis I found myself distancing from leisure and social media. I naturally took time to reflect and try to find meaning. I began taking things more seriously especially on life and the purpose of life.
I became inclined to the truth more than ever. Seeking certainty no matter the source. Most importantly believing in that certainty even if it wasn't clear at that moment. I looked for proofs and explanations then I tested the credibility of those proofs and explanations.
Eventually reading and listening to the Quran with attentiveness. I came across verses like:
Say, " Allah has told the truth. So follow the religion of Ibrahim, inclining toward truth; and he was not of the polytheists." (Holy Quran 3:95)
"And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Ibrahim, inclining toward truth? And Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend." (Holy Quran 4:125)
Then We revealed to you, to follow the religion of Ibrahim, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah." (Holy Quran 16:123)
The reason I'm pointing out these verses about Ibrahim is because I had an Ibrahim in my life. He not only carried the name Ibrahim but he also fit the persona the Holy Quran Described.
Let’s take a look at Ibrahim, the role model:
"..when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." (Holy Quran 2:124)
Ibrahim was the main leader of the local Mosque for 18+ years. He memorized the Quran without a single family knowing his endeavor until completion. He always aspired to high ethics, productivity and special humility to his mother Aliya and family. Ibrahim taught Quran Tajweed and memorization to the community, children from as little as three to full grown men, many memorized the book by Allah’s permission through his means.
"The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it." -The Prophet Muhammed (Darimi, Sahih)
I remember when he first got the projector and started to teach Tajweed with it and the kids were so astonished at the projector, constantly putting their hands up to create a shadow on the screen, this happened excessively to the point he would say;
“Put your hand down you bucket,”
“If you don’t, I will smack you.”
It was funny, sometimes even throwing whatever he could find sitting around him so to make them stop. They were just so amazed, I guess they just never seen anything like it.
“And We gave him Good in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the Righteous.” (Holy Quran 16:122)
He was a very successful businessman, having a perfume outlet in the Wholesale Market in central Benghazi. Just getting the store location did cost him about $170k,years prior to 2011. For his growing business, he had a storage room in my grandmothers Aliya’s villa that served as additional storage of his business, full in 2016 of inventory in excess of C$600,000 in market value.
“He showed his gratitude for the favors of Allah, who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Way.” (Holy Quran 16: 121)
He did not care much about accumulating money for luxury, rather he used his wealth as a magnate for teenagers directing them to the love of Allah.
He used to say things like:
“Get married I will pay for half the costs.” -Ibrahim
“Show off your God given blessing on people of weak faith and assure them it’s from Allah.” -Ibrahim
Ibrahim used to also do community work such as paving complete roads in the community and restoring the carpets of the Mosque from his pocket. Organizing and funding trips to the Mountains, caves and beaches for the community.
“There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Ibrahim and those with him...” (Holy Quran 60: 4)
Ibrahim also had a unique friendship that was revolved around the Mosque and righteousness. They often dealt with community disputes and community improvements together. They always tried to be of an assistance without being arrogant which would result in dislike and without extreme humbleness which would result in being taken advantage of.
After Eid Al-Adha the group would go with a pick-up truck around and collecting the sheep skin for cleaning and donations.
Or like a war captive that was held by the Muslims in Umars reign and upon returning was questioned by Heraclius himself on his captors.
“I will describe them as if you are looking at them. They are cavalrymen riding their steeds by day and monks by night.”
This to me meant they were courageous men by day and humble worshippers by night. That’s how I would describe him and his friends but in modern times.
Now this is the connecting bridge. This is the sync, where his story becomes an archtype.
"And He taught Adam the names - all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, "Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful." (Holy Quran 2: 31)
Are our names supposed to be taught? Do we carry the deeper meaning?
Before reading I want to refresh you, (اسم) and (سماء) have the same root word. The first means name and the other means heaven. It’s as if our names are given from heaven and they wield an implication in their owner. The first time Allah Almighty mentions Adam's name in the Quran he mentions teaching him all the names. My whole life it’s been; “Tell them your name”, “What are you called?” What's your name?"
The Ayah (which also means sign) has made me view names in a different light; “Teach them your name.” and “How do you manifest it?”
The intention of this reflection is to encourage optimistic spirituality. Or as my brother Umar said:
“I wish you knew what I have in my heart for you, but there is no way for you to know except by my actions.” (Umar Ibn Al Khattab)
The following verse/ayah is powerful for those who seek:
“We have surely revealed to you a Book, in which there is glory for you all. Do you not understand?” (Holy Quran 21:10)
Snippets of my life
I am going to write a background on myself and the key family members so the purpose of the paper can be fulfilled. I want you as a reader to focus on the names and how I think those people manifest the meaning of their name.
My name is Abobakr Ali Abdalla Al-Mehdi Hamed Hamza Al-Jarari. I am a Muslim born in Mississauga, Ontario which is the most diverse city, in the most diverse province, in Canada.
I was raised as a Muslim with practicing parents, a typical Dad at work and Mom at home with the kids; for the most part anyway. I always knew that God was One and nothing alike, and always felt a strange discomfort when I heard “Jesus is the son of God” and “Jesus died for our sins,” on the cross.
Even that being the case, since I was the age of four I remember I always imagined myself getting married in a church with priest saying “you may kiss the bride” and kissing the bride in front of everyone.
Trip to Libya
During My first memorable trip to Libya where my parents are from that concept was shattered and slowly I swallowed the reality of marriage. It was for Men and Women which I didn’t mind until I tried to walk in the banquet hall and a guard at the door stopped me and said;
“No boys allowed, just females inside,”
With no worries I asked;
“Where do the men go?”
Right here was the parking lot. (Lol)
I spent the night thinking about how lucky females were and how well they get treated while I sat on a big brick and played with pebbles in my new suit.
Travelling to Libya became annual, pretty much every Ramadan was spent there in my grandmothers Villa, and it was a pretty big place because it had many rooms, guest lounges, washrooms and two kitchens all on the same floor.
My grandmother Aliya started to inculcate into my mother and father the idea to build a second floor above her so they can live together and for us to grow up in an Islamic environment.
The school year idea was quickly disliked as I witnessed the different world of education. In Canada I was taught with high values of multiculturalism, wide open environments of acceptance, being myself and exploring ‘my unique’ personality and whilst understanding and accommodating others.
Libya had more emphasis on military techniques of doctrines and discipline, memorization of words of call and response, wearing uniforms and even physical discipline as seen appropriate.
To keep it simple it turned out I did grades 3, 5, 7 and 9 in Libya and the others here in Canada. (Without falling behind, Thank God)
My mother narrated that ‘I used to vomit before going to school from anxiety and stress.’ and ‘that I use weep a lot.’ I faced a lot of bullying and peer pressure, I think it was my Arabic language accent but mainly because I was quiet and sweet like sugar (nice guy), and they were sugar fiends.
My most constant companions from my family were my older brother Abdalla and mother Amal.
My first complete year of education in Libya was about to begin as my father left my brother (Abdalla) and I under the supervision of his younger brother Ibrahim, who was responsible for our well-being outside of the home, with school, groceries, etc. Basically our male guardian.
The Arabs have a saying “نصيب أسمه من ولهُ” (He carries from his name a portion).
It’s to say, this saying can be found implicitly in the Quran and Hadith.
This is what my reflection paper is all about, I believed there is more than what we can even grasp in our names and family names, it is as if they function together for a wholesome purpose that God decreed and only by his will it can be unlocked and discovered.
Anyhow, I will demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the Ayah (2: 31) and saying are significant.
Now here is where it escalated my interest. My legal name is Abobakr but as far back as I can remember I have been called ‘Baka’ which is actually pronounced Bakkah in Arabic (). No even knows how it started on me.
(Verily, the first House appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah, full of blessing, and guidance for Al-‘Alamin (the mankind and jinns). Holy Quran 3: 96
The Kabba (Mecca/Bakkah) is known to be the center of the world and the capital of the Ummah. It is what unites the religion.
If that isn’t beautiful enough,
I have six siblings:
Alzahra – Esra – Abdalla – ‘Baka’ – Rahmah – Lubaba – Nada
Here I am in the center (humbly) as well.
Another interesting reflection is, the ب (BAA) is also a جر حرف (preposition letter), and we see it connecting with بكة (BAKKAH). I am called Bakkah and my family name is الجراري (AL- JARRARI) which comes from and is related to the same the word جر.
“But you wonder, while they mock,”
“And when they are reminded, they remember not.”
“And when they see a sign, they ridicule”
(Holy Quran Al-Saffat 12-14)
Another interesting sign, Bakkah is a valley.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; (Psalm 84:6)
I was born in an area called Mississauga valley. Now I live in an area called credit valley.
Another interesting sign,
Just as Ibrahim participated in the construction of the Kaba in Mecca/Bakkah.
That same Ibrahim drove a Toyota and I drive a Lexus. (Toyota owns/made Lexus)
Ibrahim used to always say to me:
"I will hammer you!" -Ibrahim
Often because of my excessive disobedience and the habitual problems I caused as a young youth. (same terminology one would use for construction)
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed the insights!
Read my other blog for more information on when and why he said that. ("The stick, the ball and the sword.")