Category Archives: Qur’an

The Qur’an–the Arabic speech of Allah, as revealed to the Prophet, in word and in meaning, with mutawaatir narrations, and collected between the two covers of the mushaf. It is a challenge to humankind to create something like it! But we will NEVER be able to.

5 Interesting Scientific Facts from Quran

5 Interesting Scientific Facts from Quran

Islam as a religion brings an answer to every single question that exists; this is why it is considered as the complete code of life. You can find the impressions of Islam in each part of a Muslim life, regardless of whether it is some financial issue, social, personal or any other thing related to life.

Among the different variables, something which makes Islam the top religion in the case of the contemporary existence of today’s reality is the way that it is in total reverberation with the modern science that is a primitive instrument for the general population nowadays to judge anything.

There are many verses that are written in the Quran are proven facts of the modern science. The best part of it is that Quran came into the world thousands of years ago and it contains all the practical realities of today’s world. Here are the five interest scientific facts that you can find in the Quran:

  1. Use of water in life

Quran: “We made every living thing from water. Will they not believe?” (21:30)

This verse indicates that water is the primary element used in the construction of everything. Science has now proved that every single living thing is made of water, cells and cell bodies and not to forget that they contain more than 80% water.

  1. Iron as another important existing thing

As the general population nowadays we know that iron is one of the metals that can be found on this planet. Be that as it may, the researchers have come to locate the first wellspring of iron according to which iron is basically originated from the space, and it is not an ordinary metal of the earth. In this regard, you will find written in the Holy Quran:

Quran: “We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind.” (57:25)

This verse shows us that iron is that one metal which is sent by Allah so clearly it does not belong to this planet.

  1. Sky is a protection for us

Quran: “We made the sky a protective ceiling. And yet they are turning away from Our signs!” (21:32)

In the above-written verse, Allah notices the sky as a defensive roof for individuals. It wasn’t clear to the general population of that time; notwithstanding, individuals of today’s world who have admittance to the modern science can concur with the way that the sky really serves as a defensive shield for life that exists on the earth.

And in today’s date, the science proofs the fact that the sky actually protects the planet from all those substances that are considered harmful to life on earth.

  1. Mountains as mentioned in the Quran

Quran: “Did We not make the earth a resting place? And the mountains as stakes?” (78:6-7)

In this verse, it is stated in a very obvious way that mountains are very similar to the stakes which are not just on the surface of the earth but are fixed in the real depth. And this is now proven by the modern science as well.

  1. Creation of the universe

Quran: “And it is We who have built the Universe with (Our creative) power and keep expanding it.” (51:47)

This verse clearly states the fact that universe is all created by Allah the Almighty and you can see written in the verse that the universe keeps growing as the time is passing, it is not what is was when it was created so yes, it is constantly changing with the time. And the modern science has now proved this fact that the universe is something really not stagnant, it is expanding and growing with time.

All these verses are from the Quran and are now scientific facts as well!

About the Author:

Maham Rizwan is a writer and copywriter who has worked with New York Times bestselling authors and personal development organizations such as Productive Muslim and Mindvalley. She regularly blogs at http://quranacademy.io/

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How to Pass Tests: Lessons from the Du’a of Prophet Ibrahim

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In Surah Al-Anbiyaa, Allah says:

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Translation: Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned. (Surah Al-Anbiya, verse 35)

In this verse, Allah uses the word “nablukum” (نبلوكم). This is a present-tense (mudaari’) form of the word “balaa.” From the grammar itself, scholars note, this means that Allah says that he will test you again and again and again, continuously.

Not only that, Allah also mentions good (khayr) and evil (sharr) are both tests. It won’t be always bad things in sequence like illness, loss of job, etc. but it will also be a test with goodness to see if we are thankful.

Who does Allah test the most? Rasulullah says:

قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ النَّاسِ أَشَدُّ بَلاَءً قَالَ ‏ “‏ الأَنْبِيَاءُ ثُمَّ الأَمْثَلُ فَالأَمْثَلُ يُبْتَلَى الْعَبْدُ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ فَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ صُلْبًا اشْتَدَّ بَلاَؤُهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ رِقَّةٌ ابْتُلِيَ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ فَمَا يَبْرَحُ الْبَلاَءُ بِالْعَبْدِ حَتَّى يَتْرُكَهُ يَمْشِي عَلَى الأَرْضِ وَمَا عَلَيْهِ مِنْ خَطِيئَةٍ.‏”‏

Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas, said: “I said: “O Messenger of Allah, which people are most severely tested?” He said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Later in Surah Baqarah, Allah mentions about Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salaam):

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Translation: And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. (Surah Baqarah, verse 124)

In this ayah, Allah mentions that he ibtilaa Ibrahim (alayhi salaam). Ibtilaa is an even more difficult, intense form of balaa. Allah also says, “fa atamma hunn.” This means that Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) aced all his tests and scored 100%. He showed the perfect responses and did exactly what he needed to do. This makes him an ideal model to learn from and emulate.

As many parents can testify, among the most difficult test to bear is the loss of a child. Not only did Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) receive a child late in his life when he reached a very old age, but Allah asked him to leave his wife and child alone, in the middle of a barren desert, without a word to them. No food, no water, no lodging, no supplies, nothing. This appeared outwardly as certain death for the two of them.

What did he say as he walked away from them?

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Translation: Alhamdulillah (Praise to Allah), who has granted to me in old age Ishmael and Isaac. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. (Surah Ibrahim, verse 39)

In this du’a, we find the key which allowed Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) to succeed in his tests: shukr (thankfulness). Despite this trial, he said “alhamdulillah” and he praised Allah, and thanked him for the blessings he gave.

We can extract and apply this lesson to our own lives: when Allah tests us with hardship, whatever difficulty we experience, we should always be thankful and focus on the good of what Allah gave us. Like Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salaam), this enables us to pass difficult tests much more easily.

And finally, the best part of all this: don’t forget that Allah says that whoever thanks him, gets more:

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Translation: And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Surat Ibrahim, verse 7)

May Allah give us the tawfique to learn real life lessons from these stories and implement them in our lives, ameen ya rabb!


Source: Khutbah delivered by shaykh Aarij Anwer at Al-Huda Institute Canada on August 30th, 2013

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The Significance of Seven in Arab Culture

One of the things we need to understand about Arabic culutre is the significance of the number “seven.” This boils over into our understanding of ahadith.

First, a strong disclaimer: Islam has nothing to do with numerology — that is, the study and assignment of arbitrary numbers to the value of letters of the Arabic alphabet — such as the popular “786” which represents “bismillah.”

Nor should numbers be interpreted symbolically or otherwise, unless there is a very good, strong reason for doing so — such as with number seven.


Now that that’s out of the way: the number seven appears alone, and in multiples (70, 700, 70k, etc.) in several ahadith.

Let’s take a quick browse. For example, this famous hadith which comes to play in aqeedah mentions the number 73:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet () said: The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects; and the Christians were split up into seventy one or seventy-two sects; and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Other hadith mention 70,000:

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah said, “Hell will be brought on that Day (the Day of Resurrection) with seventy bridles (leashes); and with every bridle will be seventy thousand angels, pulling it.” (Saheeh Muslim)

In these cases, and cases where the number seven is listed (seven itself or a multiple of seven — 70, 700, 7000, 70,000, etc.), the number seven signifies a large quantity — a lot. It does not literally mean 70 or 70k; it can mean a large number.

And Allah knows best. If you search books of hadith for the number seven and its multiples, you will actually find this occur in a lot of ahadith. So keep this in the back of your mind when you read.

References:

  • Collector’s Edition: Sahih al-Bukhari. By Yasir Qadhi. 2012.
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Tafseer Surah Nazi’at, Part 2

This is post #43 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

Continuing into our foray of tafseer of Surah An-Nazi’aat, we reach the story of Musa (alayhi salaam). Allah (‘azza wa jal) says:

هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ

Translation: Has there reached you the story of Moses? [Surah Naazi’aat, verse 15]

One of the interesting aspects of Qur’an you don’t get from the translation is discourse. (A discourse is a single discussion on a single topic.) In the Qur’an, Allah (‘azza wa jal) used rhyming to distinguish different discourses. This means that when the rhyming changes (look at the form of the last word), you can tell that the topic, too, is changing.

And here we see that — the word changes from “as-saahirah” to “Musaa,” with alif-maqsuwr. The next eleven verses keep with this type of rhyming, until the end of the story of Musaa (alayhi salaam).

Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) says:

هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ
إِذْ نَادَاهُ رَبُّهُ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى
اذْهَبْ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ

Translation: Has there reached you the story of Moses? – When his Lord called to him in the sacred valley of Tuwa, “go to Fir’awn (Pharaoh). Indeed, he has transgressed. [Surah An-Nazi’at, verses 15-17]

Allah (‘azza wa jal) uses the word “hadith” to describe the story of Musa. In Arabic, one of the meanings of hadith is a tale that is so old that it has become forgotten, and now seems new again. Because the story of Musa (alayhi salaam) is an old story, one from the time of Bani Isra’eel at least.

Another interesting point is that, from hadith, we hear that when Musa (alayhi salaam) was called to Tuwa, he came running full-speed to get there. He did not delay or come at his leisure. You can also see this in the qualities of Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu), that he would hasten to good deeds. This is a quality we should all engender in our lives. As one scholar said, “Live for dunya like you’re going to live forever (i.e. put things off because there’s always tomorrow), and live for akhirah like you’re going to die tomorrow.”

Notice also the reason that Allah sent Musa to Fir’aun — because he transgressed. Taghaa (طَغَىٰ) means going beyond the boundaries and limits, like water overflowing from a cup.

And then:

فَقُلْ هَل لَّكَ إِلَىٰ أَن تَزَكَّىٰ
وَأَهْدِيَكَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَتَخْشَىٰ

Translation: And say to him, ‘Would you [be willing to] purify yourself, and let me guide you to your Lord so you would fear [Him]?'” [Surah An-Nazi’aat, verses 18-19]

The wording here of Musa is very eloquent and polite. You can translate it as would you care to purify yourself? A very nice, pleasant, respectful addressing.

To Fir’awn. The one who claimed godhood. The one who slaughtered legions of children from Bani Isra’eel.

Surely this is what Allah (‘azza wa jal) meant when He said:

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ

Translation: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. [Surah An-Nahl, verse 125]

Many are those of us Muslims who start becoming practicing (or become Muslim) and don’t apply this ayah! Musa (alayhi salaam) could’ve called Fir’awn a mass-murderer, a child-killer, and worse; but he didn’t. Instead, he asked very politely:

Would you care to purify yourself?

The story continues:

فَأَرَاهُ الْآيَةَ الْكُبْرَىٰ
فَكَذَّبَ وَعَصَىٰ
ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ يَسْعَىٰ
فَحَشَرَ فَنَادَىٰ
فَقَالَ أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْأَعْلَىٰ

Translation: And he showed him the greatest sign, but Pharaoh denied and disobeyed. Then he turned his back, striving. And he gathered [his people] and called out, and said, “I am your most exalted lord.” [Surah An-Nazi’aat, verses 20-24]

“Kathhaba” (كَذَّبَ) with shadda on the thal is a more intense version of kathaba (كَذَبَ — no shadda). Kathaba means to lie, and to deny the truth.

Note in Fir’awn’s claim, he said that he is Al-A’laa (الْأَعْلَىٰ). Aside from being one of Allah’s names, Al-A’laa is in the form of the superlative (the highest degree) of a description; it means “the highest” (literally), from the same root as the names ‘Ali (the masculine form) and ‘Aaliya (the feminine form).

Shaykh Noman (from Bayyinah) mentions that this is not the first time Fir’awn made this claim; indeed, in other surahs, we see that in other places in the story he claimed similar things.

You can’t just make a claim like that and get away with it. Allah says:

فَأَخَذَهُ اللَّهُ نَكَالَ الْآخِرَةِ وَالْأُولَىٰ
إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَىٰ

Translation: So Allah seized him in exemplary punishment for the last and the first [transgression]. Indeed in that is a warning for whoever would fear [Allah]. [Verses 25-26]

Notice that khashiya (simply translated as “fear”) is mentioned here again. What did Musa (alayhi salam) call Firawn to? To having khashiyah of Allah — “And let me guide you to your Lord so you would fear [Him]?'” (verse 19).

Truly, this is the fruit of eman in Allah: that you have fear (and hope) in Allah, and that you do (more) good deeds and stay away from sins and evil deeds.

Here, the rhyme scheme changes (new discourse). And so here, we will stop, until next week insha’Allah where we conclude this great surah. May Allah (‘azza wa jal) give us the tawfique to learn from these great lessons and implement them in our lives, ameen!

References:

  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.
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Tafseer Surah Nazi’at, Part 1


This is post #42 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

In this post, insha’Allah we will take a whirlwind tour of the first third or so of Surah Naazi’aat, a great and powerful surah of the Qur’an. Then insha’Allah we will go back and dive into more details (particularly in the Arabic side of things).

Allah says:

وَالنَّازِعَاتِ غَرْقًا
وَالنَّاشِطَاتِ نَشْطًا
وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا
فَالسَّابِقَاتِ سَبْقًا
فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا

Translation: By those [angels] who extract with violence, and [by] those who remove with ease, and [by] those who glide [as if] swimming, and those who race each other in a race, and those who arrange [each] matter, … [Surah Nazi’at, verses 1-5]

These ayaat describe attributes of angels:

  • Ripping Out: Gharq (غَرْق) means to rip out, to yank out, to extract harshly. If you had a tree and you uprooted it, roots and all, that would be gharq. This refers to the angels who remove the souls of the corrupt and the evil-doers.
  • Gently Pulling: Verse two contrasts verse one by mentioning nasht (نَشْط), which is like a gentle pulling. This refers to the angels that remove the souls of the righteous believers.
  • Swimming: Verse three refers to angels who swim through the air; they are described as swimming.
  • Racing: Verse four refers to angels who are racing; racing the souls of the righteous to Jannah.
  • Al-Mudabiraat: Al-Mudabiraat are those angelswho settle the affairs of deen and dunya, in the dunya. They take care of floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, among other things. Their name, al-mudabiraat, also implies that they are thorough planners and executers of those plans.

All of these are aqsaam (oaths), which is typical in Mecci surahs. What is Allah (‘azza wa jal) swearing to?

Continue reading

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Tafseer Surah Naba’, Part 3: Contemplate

This is post #41 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

In the previous two posts, we discussed the first three quarters of this juz; now, we move into the final quarter. After describing some of the punishments of Hellfire, Allah says:

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا
حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا
وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَابًا
وَكَأْسًا دِهَاقً
لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا كِذَّابًا

Translation: Indeed, for the righteous is attainment/success – gardens and grapevines, and full-breasted [companions] of equal age, and a full cup. No ill speech will they hear therein or any falsehood. [Surah An-Naba’, verses 31-35]

This is the fire-escape that you almost always see in the Qur’an — the balance of fear and hope. You rarely hear about Hellfire without Paradise, or vice-versa.

What is the benefit of knowing about these pleasures of paradise — pleasures that are not just physical, but spiritual (not hearing any false speech?) Isn’t it enough just to escape Hellfire?

The answer is that you should contemplate them and use them to motivate yourself to do more good deeds. We rarely do this; but the same way that certain punishments in the grave, on the Day of Resurrection, and in Hellfire motivate us, we should use specific rewards of Jannah to motivate us, too.

And who’s promising this? Imagine if you get a cheque in the mail (or an unsolicited email) saying “You just won $10M dollars!” Right away, you know from the sender that this couldn’t possibly be true.

But in this case?

جَزَاءً مِّن رَّبِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا
رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الرَّحْمَٰنِ ۖ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُ خِطَابًا

Translation: – [As] reward from your Lord, [a generous] gift [made due by] account, [From] the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, the Most Merciful. They possess not from Him [authority for] speech. [Surah Naba, verses 36-37]

The reward is coming from no other than the Lord of the heavens and the Earth. The One who created all these things can surely deliver what He promised in these ayaat — this, and so much more.

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

Translation: The Day that the Spirit and the angels will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Most Merciful permits, and he will say what is correct. [Surah Nabaa, verse 38]

But to get there — you have to go through the Day of Judgement first. Every single human being will go through that great and terrible day; a day when even the angels, who did not sin once, and Ar-Ruh (Jibreel), will stand in silence. Nobody will speak that day out of turn.

ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ مَآبًا

Translation: That is the True Day; so he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return. [Surah Naba’, verse 39]

That IS the promised day — Al-Yawm Al-Haqq. Subhanallah, when you recite this with tajweed, you really feel that hard stop on the shaddah of the qaaf in haqq.

And the choice is yours — “fa man shaa,” so whoever wishes, they can go back to their Lord. And finally, the surah concludes with:

إِنَّا أَنْذَرْنَاكُمْ عَذَابًا قَرِيبًا يَوْمَ يَنْظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنْتُ تُرَابًا

Translation: Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, “Oh, I wish that I were dust!” [Surah Naba’, verse 40]

All this is just a warning of a punishment that’s close, very close — as close as your own death. A warning of things to come, and a day where every human will see what their hands sent forth to the Hereafter.

And this final, curious statement of the kaafir — what does it mean, that he wishes he’ll be dust? Abu Hurayrah mentions that the Messenger of Allah said:

On Resurrection Day, the rights will be paid to those to whom they are due so much so that a hornless sheep will be retaliated for by punishing the horned sheep which broke its horns. [Saheeh Muslim]

That is to say, imagine two sheep, one of which has horns and one doesn’t. In the dunya, the one without horns harmed the one with horns; and in the akhirah, they will be resurrected, and justice will be metted out to both.

After this, all the animals will turn to dust; and the kafir, who did worse than this, who wronged more than this, will wish that his punishment was this light — dust, and to be nothing more.

May Allah allow us to understand this great day and implement the many, many great lessons of this amazing surah.

References:

  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2010.
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Tafseer Surah Naba’, Part 2

This is post #40 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

In the previous post, we discussed the first 16 verses of Surah Naba’. The remaining 24 verses discuss the Day of Judgment, Paradise, and Hellfire; you should read them to extract the details. Insha’Allah we’re going to touch on a few points that are interesting.

First, a recap–verse 16 talked about (a continuing discussion of) some of the blessings of Allah (‘azza wa jal) in the dunya on the people. Then–WHAM!–verse 17 says:

إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا

Translation: Indeed, the Day of Judgement is an appointed time. [Surah An-Naba’, verse 17]

Suddenly, the topic shifts seamlessly into the Hereafter. Some gems to extract from this verse:

  • Yawm Al-Fasl: The Day of Judgment is called Yawmul Fasli. What’s the meaning of fasl? Arabic students will say “aha! it means class!” But what does it really mean? The root verb is (I believe) fasala, which means to differentiate, to distinguish, to split apart into levels; this, class–students of different levels. And Yawmul-Fasl? The day that the people will be divided into groups and nations and successful and unsuccessful.
  • An Appointment: Meeqat is a word familiar to all the hujjaaj–it means an appointed place (in the context of Hajj), i.e. the points at which Ihram must go on. It can also mean an appointed time; here, Allah (‘azza wa jal) is saying, the Day of Judgment is scheduled at an appointment. It won’t run late. It won’t surprise you early; if anything, it’s already decided when it will happen, down to the nanosecond …

Then Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) continues:

يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا

Translation: The Day the Horn is blown and you will come forth in multitudes. [Surah Naba, verse 18]

The phrase “yunfakhu fis-soor,” might confuse you; yunfakhu is clearly a Baab I word in the passive form (it was done); but with a harf-ul-jarr? In English, we don’t really say things like “the balloon was blown into,” but this is precisely the Arabic construct.

As-Soor means, well, a trumpet; what kind of trumpet is not important. The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to the meaning of: “How can I enjoy myself anything, when the angel has already put the trumpet (As-Soor) into his mouth and has taken a breath and stands with his eyes fixed on the throne of Ar-Rahman, waiting for the instant that the command will be given, to blow?” So the sahaba said, “What should we say O Messenger of Allah (since the end of the world is so close)?” He said: “Say: hasbunallaha wa ni’ma al-wakeel,” Allah is sufficient for us and he is Al-Wakeel (the one who takes care of all your affairs).” [Source unknown]

After describing more of the horrors of the Day of Judgment, Allah says:

إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادً

Translation: Indeed, Hell has been lying in wait. [Verse 21]

Mirsaad is a word known very well by the Arabs of that time — and by anyone who plays first-person shooter games. If you’re riding down a road, and people spring out of nowhere and ambush you — that’s mirsaad. Ambush. So we see that Hellfire is a creature; it’s not just some passive flames — but rather, it will ambush those who are walking through life, unaware, that it’s just waiting around the corner.

A couple of verses later, describing the fare of the people of Hellfire, Allah says:

لَّابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا
لَّا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا وَلَا شَرَابًا
إِلَّا حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا
جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا

Translation: In which they will remain for ages [unending]. They will not taste therein [any] coolness or drink, Except scalding water and [foul] purulence – An appropriate recompense. [Surah An-Naba’, verses 23-26]

We already discussed the food of the people of Hellfire — long, spiky, poisonous fare; and their drink — boiling water, and the juices of the roasting people of Hellfire. And then Allah says: “Jazaa’an wifaaqaa,” an exact and perfect repayment for them.

And this shows that they are the most evil people — that Allah does not wrong them anything or give them more or less than they deserve; and this is what they deserve.

We seek Allah’s refuge in being from among those people.

If you could interview those people now and ask them, “why are you here?” Or, statistically, what trend or trait lead to these people being in Hellfire? Wouldn’t you want to know, so you could avoid that trait?

Allah (‘azza wa jal) explains:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْجُونَ حِسَابًا

Translation: Indeed, they were not expecting an account. [Verse 27]

Hisaab is the taking-to-account that every human being will go through on the Day of Judgment. It’s referred to as “reckoning,” “taking to account,” or similar phrases in translations.

One of the things we learn from studying the verses addressing ahlul-kitaab, is that the verses don’t just address them; they address anyone who has the same characteristics that they have. So if you’re Muslim, and you’re not worried about your hisaab … that’s a very dangerous place to be; Allah (‘azza wa jal) says to these people who denied the truth:

فَذُوقُوا فَلَن نَّزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَابًا

Translation: “So taste [the penalty], and never will We increase you except in torment.” [Surah An-Naba’, verse 30]

This is a very scary verse. Think about it. Punishment only gets more intense in Hellfire. The easiest part is the beginning; it gets progressively worse and worse and worse. You ask for food? You have to choke down poisonous spikes. You ask for water? You get hameem and ghassaq. You ask for a lighter punishment? You get more punishment.

May Allah protect us all from the punishment of Hellfire.

Insha’Allah we will wrap up Surah Naba’ in our next post, and then on to other suraat in this juz.

References:

  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.
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Tafseer Surah Naba’, Part 1

This is post #39 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

The tafseer of Surah Naba’ really speaks for itself; it talks about the Day of Judgment, Paradise, and Hellfire–three strong, recurring themes in the last juz. And this is, of course, the first surah in Juz ‘Amma.

Therefore, we’re going to focus mostly on the linguistic meaning of the words in the verses, and some gleams of tafseer you might not extract from just reading the verses in Arabic.

Allah (‘azza wa jal) says:

عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ

Translation: About what are they asking one another? [Surah An-Naba’, verse 1]

The first word, ‘amma, is actually a compound of two words; ‘an (عن), which is an interrogative particle (indicates a question) and roughly means “about,” and maa (ما), which means, “what.” They are combined into ‘amma–about what? This is what gives the juz it’s name.

Yatasaa’aloon comes from sa’ala/yas’alu, which means to ask. There’s an additional fourth letter here, the ta (ت), which changes the meaning from the expected “what are they asking” (‘amma yasaluwna) to “what are they asking each other.”

Verse two continues:

عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ

Translation: About the great news – [Surah Naba, verse 2]

An-Naba (النَّبَإِ) means news; this is the word that gave the surah it’s name. Atheem means great, just like the name of Allah, Al-Atheem; here, it’s an adjective to naba’.

Allah (‘azza wa jal) continues:

الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ مُخْتَلِفُونَ

Translation: That over which they are in disagreement. [Verse 3]

This verse hints at a reality–that people disagree about the Day of Judgment. Muslims believe in it, but non-Muslims don’t; and we argue over it. Then Allah says:

كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ
ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ

Translation: No! They are going to know.Then, no! They are going to know. [Verses 4-5]

Kalla is an emphatic, strong no; in the Qur’an, it negates something before it (which may be deleted); in this case, it’s negating their denial of the Day of Judgment; it WILL come to pass.

This looks similar to Surah At-Takaathur, where we saw two “sa-ya’lamuwn” (or in that case, sawfa ta’lamoon); the first indicated the realization when the person dies, and the second, when they are resurrected.

The difference between ya’lawmuwn and ta’lamuwn is that the former is third-person (they), while the latter is second-person (you). And as for the addition of sa (س) or sawfa (سوف), it makes it certainly future-tense (the mudaari’ verb indicates present or future tense).

Then Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) continues:

أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ مِهَادًا

Translation: Have We not made the earth a resting place? [Verse 6]

The first part of this verse is interesting; it has an alif, which is an interrogative particle (i.e. a question-mark), followed by a negation (lam). It’s almost calling the person to contemplate and say, yes, you did.

Then Allah says:

وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا
وَخَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا
وَجَعَلْنَا نَوْمَكُمْ سُبَاتًا
وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا
وَجَعَلْنَا النَّهَارَ مَعَاشًا
وَبَنَيْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ سَبْعًا شِدَادًا

Translation: And the mountains as stakes? And We created you in pairs. And made your sleep [a means for] rest. And made the night as clothing. And made the day for livelihood. And constructed above you seven strong [heavens] [verses 7-12]

Here, we see an enumeration of the many blessings of Allah upon us. Among them are:

  • Mountains that keep the earth pegged in place (tectonic plates), so that continents don’t slide around too much
  • Sleep refreshes and rejuvenates you; get rest out of it.
  • Night time. Can you imagine sleeping in daylight all the time?

A couple of Arabic words to bring to your attention–jibaal is the plural of jabal (جبل), which means mountain. And ma’aash (معاش) means something that everybody has to go out and do; earn a livelihood. Work for a living.

Also, the seven heavens which are implicitly mentioned — all of the scholars are in consensus that the first heaven includes everything in the known universe. What’s beyond it, we don’t know; but we know there are seven samawaat.

Then, Allah (‘azza wa jal) says:

وَجَعَلْنَا سِرَاجًا وَهَّاجًا

Translation: And made [therein] a burning lamp. [Verse 13]

This is where the famous da’ee, Siraaj Wahhaj, picked his name out of. This “burning lamp” refers to none other than the sun; how do we know? Because siraaj means “has light,” and wahhaaj means “gives light.” The moon gives light, but it doesn’t have light–it’s just reflected light from the sun.

Then, Allah says:

وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَاتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا
لِّنُخْرِجَ بِهِ حَبًّا وَنَبَاتًا
وَجَنَّاتٍ أَلْفَافًا

Translation: And sent down, from the rain clouds, pouring water, That We may bring forth thereby grain and vegetation. And gardens of entwined growth. [Verses 14-16]

In verse 14, anzalnaa (أَنزَلْنَا) is the “we form of anzala (أَنزَلَ), which is originally from nazala (نزل). Nazala means to descend; anzala means to cause something to descend. And anzalnaa? “We caused to descend.”

And a point of advanced grammar: in verse 15, Allah says, “li-nukhrija,” (لِّنُخْرِجَ) and not li-nukhriju. Why is nukhriju mansoob, showing fatha instead of damma? The answer is, because it’s lam-ut-ta’leel, the lam of explaining, which turns a mudaari verb into the mansoob case.

And finally–what’s the point of all these verses? Why send down verse after verse after verse, explaining and pointing out the different blessings of Allah?

So that we can think, and contemplate, and understand. These are verses that really illustrate a fragment of Allah’s power. That’s Allah–the one who created the mountains. And the clouds. And rain. And green growth. For us.

Think about it.

Wallahu a’lam.

References:

  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.
  • Tafsir ibn Katheer, summarized version, online.
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Tafseer Surah Ghashiyah: Heaven and Hell

This is post #38 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

Allah (‘azza wa jal) says in Surah Al-Ghaashiyah:

هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْغَاشِيَةِ

Translation: Has there reached you the report of the Overwhelming [event]? [Surah Ghashiya, verse 1]

The surah starts with a question, to make you think. The companions would say: Allahu wa rasuluhu a’lam (know better), out of humbleness, even know they had an answer in mind. So humble yourself and listen.

Al-Ghashiyah is, of course, “The Overwhelming” — one of the names of the Day of Judgment. Have you heard of it? Sure. But listen:

وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَاشِعَةٌ

Translation: [Some] faces, that Day, will be humbled. [Surah Ghashiyah, verse 2]

Khaashiyah is from the same root as khushoo–humility.All these people who never humbled themselves to Allah with khushoo’, on that day, will be humbled with khushoo’.

And the indefinitivity of “wujoohun,” some faces, gives us hope–it won’t be everybody.

But it’s too late for them.

عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ

Translation: Working [hard] and exhausted. [Surah Ghaashiyah, verse 3]

This verse is hard to translate; it means you will see, on their faces, tiredness. Have you ever seen someone who didn’t sleep for two days? Or someone working at McDonalds/Popeyes/etc, standing all day?

Or try going to Walmart at 11pm. You see the tiredness in the faces of people. On the Day of Judgment, there will be no respite from tiredness, no “here’s a lunch break, come back for more punishment in 15 minutes.”

Then Allah says:

تَصْلَىٰ نَارًا حَامِيَةً
تُسْقَىٰ مِنْ عَيْنٍ آنِيَةٍ
لَّيْسَ لَهُمْ طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِن ضَرِيعٍ
لَّا يُسْمِنُ وَلَا يُغْنِي مِن جُوعٍ

Translation: They will [enter to] burn in an intensely hot Fire. They will be given drink from a boiling spring. For them there will be no food except from a poisonous, thorny plant (dariy’), which neither nourishes nor avails against hunger. [Surah Ghashiyah, verses 5-8]

“Aynun aaniyah,” a spring of boiling hot water, so hot, that it would kill a person. Nobody would ever think about drinking such a thing normally–but they will be so intensely thirsty, that they will drink anything that they see. Even this.

But they won’t die.

And for food? Dariy’, which was known to the Arabs of that time, is a thorny plant. When it’s soft, camels eat it; but when it ripens, big, long, HUGE thorns erupt out of it–thorns which can choke you. And on top of that, it’s poisonous and can kill. Nobody would ever think about eating such a thing normally–but they will be so intensely hungry, that they will eat anything they see. Even this.

But they won’t die.

And all that eating and drinking, you’d think they’d slack their thirst or hunger; but Allah says, no, it won’t help you anything.

Then Allah says:

وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاعِمَةٌ
لِّسَعْيِهَا رَاضِيَةٌ

Translation: [Other] faces, that Day, will show pleasure. With their effort [they are] satisfied. [Surah Ghaashiyah, verses 9-10]

When you really understand and recite these verses, it’s almost like a breath of fresh air after all the verses of Hellfire. Others on that day, will have brightness, softness–naa’imah. And they will be pleased with the reward that Allah dispenses them.

So what do they get? What is this exclusive reward, for those who avoid Hellfire? Let’s take a quick peek at some of the things waiting for them and us, insha’Allah:

فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ
لَّا تَسْمَعُ فِيهَا لَاغِيَةً
فِيهَا عَيْنٌ جَارِيَةٌ
فِيهَا سُرُرٌ مَّرْفُوعَةٌ
وَأَكْوَابٌ مَّوْضُوعَةٌ
وَنَمَارِقُ مَصْفُوفَةٌ
وَزَرَابِيُّ مَبْثُوثَةٌ

Translation: In an elevated garden, wherein they will hear no unsuitable speech. Within it is a flowing spring. Within it are couches raised high. And cups put in place. And cushions lined up. And carpets spread around. [Surah Ghashiyah, verses 10-16]

When you read these verses, verse after verse, you get a sense of preparation. An elevated, penthouse suite with a spring in it. High, elevated couches. Cups all set out for drinking, and cushions sitting in a row, and the carpet rolled out.

Because when it comes down to it, it’s either this, or hameem and dariy’. The choice is yours. Choose wisely … because Hellfire is not really a choice at all.

References:

  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.
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Beacons of Light

The following is a guest post from I Got it Covered, a blog about hijab, Islam, and life. You can find the original article here.

In the time of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, radiAllahu anhu, the second Khalifah, it was mandatory upon all the young girls to learn Surat an-Noor.

From the beauty of this Surah is that it begins with, “[This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember” [Surat an-Noor: 1]. Although the whole Qur’an is obligatory upon us, this Surah begins with that commandment, as a special reminder. And then, later on in the Surah, comes the commandment of hijab [see Surat an-Noor: 31].

The commandment of hijab is in a Surah that begins by reminding the reader that its contents are obligatory! And yet we find some people today trying to deny the command of hijab.

It should be noted that it was not mandatory for young girls at the time of Umar to wear hijab. Rather, it was mandatory upon them to learn this Surah, specifically at that age. Once these girls were immersed in the Qur’an, learning the beauty of its words, understanding its true meaning, hearing the tafseer – that is when understanding and conviction entered their hearts. They understood and become people who said “Sami’na wa ata’ana” – “We hear and we Obey.” [Surah Noor: 51]

Every day, it seems, we come across Muslims calling for certain commandments in Islam to be ignored, or others to be added. These people claim they’ve “experienced” the command or “read” the Qur’an. With this knowledge bulging like a pea in their back pocket, they are now free to hand over fatwas to the Mass Media. Whereas anyone with just a little bit of actual Islamic knowledge would know these claims were wrong.

It reminds me of how scholars of the likes of Imam Maalik, rahimahuAllah, would say “La ‘adree” or “I don’t know” when asked a question. They were not ashamed to admit when they didn’t know something, and were much more fearful of saying anything incorrect, of lying against Allah with incorrect knowledge. These scholars were the ones who had spent years learning under thousands of other scholars, and still felt uncomfortable giving fatwas out like there’s no tomorrow.

It seems that nowadays, thanks to having “Shaykh” Google in our cellphones and lattes in our hands, we can answer any question on Islam without any prior knowledge. We can condemn things and make other things permissible, because who are we going to answer to? I mean, all the knowledge you need is with “Shaykh” Google and that latte – it just proves how far we have come over the years. You need energy whilst giving fatwas, right?

SubhanAllah. Have we forgotten? “Shaykh” Google isn’t going to have our backs on the Day when there will be no shade except Allah’s. Only Allah will. He gave us the Qur’an, a guidance to mankind, out of His mercy; and yet some of us deny it, saying our intellect gives us better solutions to life’s dilemmas.

If we took out 1 hour each week, just 1 hour, studying the Arabic of the Qur’an – the meaning, the depth, the beauty, the hikmah (wisdom) – behind the commands, we would not be condemning our own religion. An ignorant, precursory glance over a (usually) mistaken translation often leads people to saying the incorrect things they do. But the understanding gained from regular study would allow us, when we hear this phrase (often repeated in the Qur’an) “Afala ta’qiloonDo they not then use their intellect?” [2:44, 2:76, 11:51 and others], to properly utilize our minds – a blessing given to us by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Himself.

Of course there are others, who, may Allah protect us, have had their hearts hardened and sealed, and so they speak out of ignorance and arrogance, not caring or admitting that they might be wrong; but mostly, I believe, these mistakes come from ignorance.

Even those who lived in “jahiliyyah,” or “ignorance” at the time of the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not deny the beauty or truth of the Qur’an. Recitations of the Qur’an (because they also understood it) hit them like a brick wall – they stopped, frozen in their places, thinking of the words of Allah, even though they denied the message.

It seems 1400 years and countless scientific discoveries and advancements haven’t softened our hearts or opened our understanding. We’ve become a mass of people with tunnel vision.

With that being said, we need to make it a priority for ourselves to constantly be increasing in our ‘ilm, our knowledge. With the amount of ignorance of our deen among Muslims and non-Muslims, we need to become beacons of light, beautifully showing the Commandments of Allah in action. We cannot afford to speak out of ignorance, for the harm it brings to us, to others, and to Islam. Hikmah (wisdom) and ‘Ilm (knowledge) with proper implementation will allow us to become those beacons of light in this darkness of ignorance, insha’Allah.

The Arabian peninsula… and later the surrounding Arabian countries… then the Orient… and parts of Europe… they did not just come under Muslim rule because of a war. They came under Muslim rule because of the people – the beacons of light they saw coming to their cities – the well-mannered, merciful, polite ambassadors of Islam, who implemented what was commanded of them from their Lord. It is now our turn to follow their footsteps and to shine that light on our world.

If you want to understand Allah’s commandment for hijab – if you want to internalize it and have it enter your heart – go to the Qur’an. Go to Surat an-Noor, especially, with a clean heart and pure intentions, and read it. Open up Allah’s Book, open up the tafseer and the books of hadith, and insha’Allah, Allah will open up your heart and intellect to the truth.

For more posts like this, visit I Got it Covered at igotitcovered.org.

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