I was moved to tears after watching Yaqeen Institute’s Episode 7 of Attaching to Allah series, where Imam Omar Suleiman discussed with the panel on what do we define as ‘coolness of the eyes’. The meaning is so incredibly poignant and profound if we ponder deeply.
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَٰجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّـٰتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍۢ وَٱجْعَلْنَا
And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” [25:74]
Comfort. Coolness. Calm. We often pray for our family, our progeny to be the coolness of our eyes, but what does that exactly mean – the coolness of the eyes? What cools our eyes?
I think about literal things that are cooling: ice cream, cold water, wind, rain. Then I think about the metaphorical things that are cooling: seeing your loved ones happy, witnessing your child’s small successes, making your parents proud. These tear-jerking moments that you wish to forever preserve in memory. Moments you pray you will always get to experience.
Imam Omar Suleiman said that the qurratu’ain (coolness of the eyes) of our Prophet s.a.w, as much as he loved his family, was his salah (prayers) because that is where his true joy and comfort comes from. It made me reflect on how I view my prayers. I wish I could say the same but the truth is, more often than not, these prayers, whether unintentionally or not, I tend to delay. I wish I could look forward to prayer with the same amount of excitement I get when I anticipate a worldly event. I wish I could say ‘my prayers are the coolness of my eyes’ and truly mean and show it through my eagerness to lay my prayer mat the minute the adzan ripples through the radio. I wish I could say without a doubt that I treasure my prayers and that I never rush through them. That I am fully focused in my daily conversations with God. I strive to reach the level of our beloved Prophet s.a.w.’s and say with confidence that my five daily prayers bring peace, serenity, and coolness to my eyes.
Imam Omar Suleiman also mentioned that the coolness of the eyes is what pleases Allah s.w.t. What is pleasing to Allah, cools our eyes. Another perspective that was shared was how we ourselves, can strive, to be the coolness of our parents’ eyes. Isn’t it beautiful, knowing that we are all answers to someone’s prayers? Our parents, our grandparents, our ancestors. I’m in awe just thinking about how Allah can mould my entire life according to a person’s prayer. Especially the du’a of our mothers. Which reminds me of the power of our mother’s prayers. And how amazing it is that the du’a we make can affect the progeny that comes not just immediately after us but years down the line. Like Prophet Ibrahim a.s. who had made du’a to send someone from his offspring to carry the flag of Islam. Thousands of years down the road, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. became the answer to his prayer. It should make us think whose prayers are we the answers to.
But what about parents who have lost their children? Have they then lost the coolness of their eyes? Imam Omar Suleiman mentioned these comforting words:
“There’s no greater coolness to your eyes than when you see your child on the day of judgement extending their hand, ready to take you into the gates of Jannah. Just because they are not the coolness of their eyes in this life, it does not mean that they would not be the coolness of their eyes in the next life.“
What about couples who are tested with infertility? Those who are not able to conceive?
Then look up to the four perfect women – Khadijah, Fatimah, Asiyah, Maryam – who have shown us that everyone has a path back to Allah s.w.t. Motherhood is not the only path; everyone’s path will look vastly different. We just have to trust that whatever Allah s.w.t. decrees is always good for us. May He make us the coolness to our parents’ eyes. May He grant us eternal coolness of our eyes in our lives, be it our children, our loved ones, our prayers, our passion, and may they all remind us of our one true Purpose. May we always remember the power of our mother’s du’as. And may we never forget our immeasurable self-worth; each and every one of us is a God-sent answer to someone’s beautiful prayer.