When I watched the spider

On one of the odd nights this Ramadan, I spent almost 15 minutes after fajr salah watching a silly old spider weaving a web right in the middle of my living room ceiling. It looked like quite a bit of work – the spider had spun a decent size web. But all along I was thinking how dumb the spider was, as I was sitting right there waiting to obviously just go up and destroy the web and get rid of the spider too.

The whole observation made me think about the following ayah in the Quran, which I’ve always found very striking.

“The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider’s house;- if they but knew. ” [29:41]

2 things came to mind, firstly as humans we keep forgetting that in Allah’s eyes our luxury, our homes, all that we take pride in is worth merely no more than a spiders web. Just like the web, all that we have can perish in the blink of an eye.
And secondly, I feel this is the state of our ummah right now, we are huge in numbers, we have a vast amount of collective wealth but yet we are nothing and can’t protect ourselves from the enemies of Islam because our leaders are taking shelter from other than Islam and Allah. Although tired, I thought I’ll try and read about the above ayah a bit more and picked up Ibn Kathir’s tafsir.

I’m glad I did, as this is what the great scholar wrote about this verse:

“This is how Allah described the idolators in their reverence of gods besides Him, hoping that they would help them and provide for them, and turning to them in times of difficulties. In this regard, they were like the house of a spider, which is so weak and frail, because by clinging to these gods they were like a person who holds on to a spider’s web, who does not gain any benefit from that. If they knew this, they would not take any protectors besides Allah.”

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