Alhamdulillah, my new baby girl is a little over a month old now, and when she is first introduced to friends and family members, I am inevitably asked what her name means, and inevitably, I have a hard time trying to give the answer. Here’s why:
Imagine this- a blast has just sounded, tearing through the sky. It is so loud it can be heard throughout the entire world. Every living thing, except as Allah has willed, has dropped dead. The mountains themselves have vanished- reduced to dust and blown away. The seas are gone, the earth has been flattened to one tremendous expanse, and without a doubt, it is the Day of Judgment. Then the blast sounds again, and the dead are coming back to life.
Look around you- there is pandemonium. People are in a state of terror and panic, fleeing wildly in all directions, men from their wives, children from their parents, brothers from their brothers. Some are trying to escape, some are sobbing, others are begging to be destroyed rather than judged. The hell that they’d been writing off as a figment of monotheistic imagination has been stoked and brought near, and amidst the wailing and crying out for destruction, you can hear the inferno drawing in great roaring breaths. It’s alive, and it knows it’s about to be fed.
But wait, what’s this? From within the sea of darkened, tear-stained, dust-covered faces you can see points of light- and they are people shining with happiness. They are unaffected by the fear or misery, and are instead overjoyed, laughing out loud, delighted, and elated that the promise of justice they have been waiting their whole lives for is about to be fulfilled. They are not looking towards the mouth of hell drawing breath in the distance, but rather to the gates of Jannah, as Paradise has been drawn near, and the only thing standing between them and eternal happiness is a meeting with Allah, whose blessed Face they have been yearning, not dreading, to see.
Some faces that Day, will be Musfira– bright. Laughing, rejoicing at good news. Surah ‘Abasa
Some girls are named for beauty, intelligence, or success. Some even for precious gems- Almas means diamond, Lulu means pearl. Others are named for righteous qualities- Saima is one who fasts, Naasira is one who is helpful- but I wanted to name my daughter something that would point her towards the one thing that would mean the most to her in this life and the next- when the world had been destroyed and remade, and the dead had been raised, and every recorded action hung in the scale of balance, I wanted her to be among those shining with joy. I wanted her to be Musfira.
And so she is- baby Musfira.
May Allah guide her and keep her on the path of righteousness.
May she shine with joy in this life and the next.