A permanent part of my daughter’s dua every Friday in the last hour before Maghrib, is asking Allah to give her purple, pink and green jewels and diamonds in Jannah. Her words are fixed and she is able to repeat the dua over and over again. At first it was kinda really cute, but then I realised that for her, it’s actually a very real and serious dua. She really wants those jewels. In Ramadan, I was telling her fufu (paternal aunt) this, her aunt quickly responded saying, oh there’s an ayah in Surah al Kahf where Allah talks about this and even mentions green garments. She then sent me a message saying its ayah 31 and highlighted the words Istabrak and Sundus for me.
Firstly, how amazing is it to know people who are able to remind/refer to the Quran when in conversation with them. Cherish those people and let’s try and become one of them too.
Secondly, I now love this ayah. I told my daughter about it – she doesn’t understand it very well, but as Fridays are when her dua comes to life, and Fridays are also when I spend some time with Surah Al Kahf, it gives us the perfect opportunity to remember what Allah promises for those who will be blessed with Jannah.
Ibn Kathir wrote: Istabrak is thick and shiny velvet, in other translations it is mentioned as brocade. Sundus refers to fine garments of silk.
As my daughter asks more questions, I find these extra details in the Quran more and more important. Just as child educationalists say that reading allows children to imagine the descriptive words come to life as opposed to watching cartoons, where the thinking has been done for them. A purple tree will be shown as a purple tree, but in a book a purple tree comes to life through the readers imagination. Like that, these descriptions for us, help us think about Jannah more. I heard in a talk by Omar Suleiman that Ali (ra) used to say that when he will see Jannah, he will not want it any more than when he used to imagine it, and he will not fear jahannam after seeing it, more than he used to fear it in the dunya after hearing about it. This is ilm’ul yaqeen. (In Surah al Takathur Allah talks about ilm’ul Yaqeen and Aynal Yaqeen.)
And most importantly, the ayah that precedes this beautiful ayah is where Allah comforts us, reminds us and allows us to see why we do what we do, He says: “We do not let the reward of anyone who does good deed go to waste.”