Random Snapshots from the Graduation Party 09/01/2014

Campus

Campus

"Graduate on Time" Customized shirt by MJ and Niqabinja

“Graduate on Time”
Customized shirt by MJ and Niqabinja

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Photo credit: أ. بشرى الغامدي This is the hall where the party was held

tiny pyrography presents for the teachers

Tiny Pyrography presents for the teachers (Made by Um Saifullah)

DSC09038

The flag

The flag

“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”

It seems like it was only yesterday when we were at the door of the Dean’s office in Umm Al Qura University, all our paperwork in hand, nervously praying to be granted admissions and hoping that this would be our way in. By the grace of Allah, we relished the wonderful days at the Language Institute, in the company of esteemed professors and students from every corner of the globe. Two years whizzed by and before we knew it, it was all over and here I am witnessing the unforgettable graduation of  Um Saifullah and Aye K. Congratulations! May Allah shower you both with success in this life and the Hereafter. -Niqabinja

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Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 77-83

Bismillah

1- The Coming of the Angels to Lut, His Grief, and His Discussion with His People   

2- Lut’s Inability, His Desire for Strength and the Angels’ Informing Him of the Reality          

3- The Town of Lut’s People is overturned and Their Destruction

 Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 77

And when Our Messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on their account and felt himself straitened for them (lest the town people should approach them to commit sodomy with them). He said: “This is a distressful day.”

Lut ‘alayhissalam was sent by Allah to the people of Sodom near Jordan. These people were doing things that were strange, unnatural and filthy. They were actually guilty of doing many acts of disobedience, but there was one vice that made the others pale in comparison: they were the first homosexual people on earth. It wasn’t just a few people who committed these acts, rather it was the WHOLE POPULATION. Lut ‘alayhissalam started warning them and reminding them of Allah’s punishment, and as per usual, they started accusing him of having material interests. He told them what the other messengers told their people: their reward is only with Allah, and they are nothing but messengers from Allah.

He began explaining the severity and consequences of the act that they were committing, and told them to come back to natural human instincts. Those who say that its a biological/heredity problem, then that is nothing but an excuse. There is no scope for even allowing such acts or finding a leeway. 

These people were also highwaymen, they would block the roads and rob anybody who was passing through. Their gatherings were where they engaged and propagated these acts in full view, not even in secret. They scoffed at Lut ‘alayhissalam and accused him, rejecting his message to guidance. He told them strongly that he is opposing their acts and warned them sternly. They threatened to throw him out of the town, because they mocked his “cleanliness and purity”. They even challenged him; asking for trouble, asking him to hasten the punishment. Lut ‘alayhissalam prayed for protection.

Allah blessed Lut ‘alayhissalam with two daughters and he did not have any sons. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 78

 And his people came rushing towards him, and since aforetime they used to commit crimes (sodomy, etc.), he said: “O my people! Here are my daughters (i.e. the daughters of my nation), they are purer for you (if you marry them lawfully). So fear Allah and degrade me not as regards my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man?”

The messengers that were sent to the people of Lut were angels in human form. Lut ‘alayhissalam intended to protect them from the vile people and tried to discourage them to spend any time in the town. Lut ‘alayhissalam was still unaware of who the angels were, and he told them, “These are the worst people on the face of the earth…” and he testified to their crimes. The angels were happy to hear this because they were commanded not to destroy them until the Messenger testifies to the crime. 

Lut ‘alayhissalam’s wife helped the people commit these crimes and she sent a message to them informing them of the visitors. They came rushing towards Lut ‘alayhissalam’s home, rejoicing and absolutely drunk in their misguidance. They knocked on his door and Lut ‘alayhissalam told them not to embarass him, and asked them, “Is there not a single one of you who is sensible?!” They said, “Didn’t we tell you that you are not allowed to host anyone?” They continued arguing.

 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 79

They said: “Surely you know that we have neither any desire nor in need of your daughters, and indeed you know well what we want!”

They started banging on the door and getting violent. Lut ‘alayhissalam got extremely worried, and he told the people, “Why don’t you marry my daughters?!” He meant the females of the community. He’s calling to their natural instincts, but these disgusting people said that that is not what they want.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 80

He said: “Would that I had strength (men) to overpower you, or that I could betake myself to some powerful support (to resist you).”

Lut ‘alayhissalam is helpless now; he has no supporters. He says, “If only I had men with me to overcome this evil, or some powerful support to put an end to this!” The angels now spoke up:

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 81

 They (Messengers) said: “O Lout (Lot)! Verily, we are the Messengers from your Lord! They shall not reach you! So travel with your family in a part of the night, and let not any of you look back, but your wife (will remain behind), verily, the punishment which will afflict them, will afflict her. Indeed, morning is their appointed time. Is not the morning near?”

The angels now spoke up and said, “We are angels from Allah, and these people will never harm you.” They asked him to run away with his family except his wife, and told them not to turn back to even look at them. He immediately left. Their final time would be early morning and it was already very late into the night. These people had three different punishments:

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 82

So when Our Commandment came, We turned the town upside down, and rained on them stones of baked clay, piled up;

First there was a shriek. Then Jibreel ‘alayhissalam tipped the whole town over, and stones of clay were rained on them. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 83

Marked from your Lord, and they are not ever far from the Zalimun.

Each one of these stones had the names of each man engraved on it. In a very short time, the entire community was destroyed. The Dead Sea is the remainder of these people. Nowadays, this act is being promoted and encouraged on a political and social stand, and people are not even thinking twice about the consequences.

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 69-72

Bismillah

1- The Angel’s Good News to Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam about Ishaq and Isma’il

2- Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam’s dispute for the people of Lut  

 Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 69

And verily, there came Our Messengers to Ibrahim with glad tidings.They said: Salam (greetings or peace!) He answered, Salam (greetings or peace!) and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf.

The story of Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam is very, very long and detailed, mentioned many time in the Quran. There is a narration that Lut ‘alayhissalam was Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam’s nephew and was brought up by him, therefore, he was from those who believed in the message of Ibrahim and accompanied him on his journeys. They separated ways after a while and Lut ‘alayhissalam settled in Jordan (according to the majority opinion) and Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam settled in Palestine. When Lut ‘alayhissalam reached the shores of the Dead Sea, he discovered people who were committing a sin the like of which no one had ever committed on the face of the earth before. These people initiated this shameless vice that is still practiced today. Lut ‘alayhissalam began calling them to the truth and his conversations with them will follow in the next post.

While all of this was happening, Allah sent angels to Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam in the form of three handsome young men. He was a very hospitable man and immediately began preparing food for them, but they did not partake in the meal!

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 70

But when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: “Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lut.”

Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam sensed a sort of strangeness because these men refused to eat, after which they informed him that they were angels sent to destroy the people of Lut ‘alayhissalam. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 71

 And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed (either, because the Messengers did not eat their food or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Lut.) But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaaq, and after him, of Ya’qub.

Sarah and Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam were both very old by this time; past child-bearing age. But these Messengers informed them of good news from Allah about a continuing progeny.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 72

She said: “Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband, an old man? Verily! This is a strange thing!”

She did not believe it and was absolutely astonished. Allah mentions in the Quran that when she was shocked, she smote her forehead in surprise and Ibn ‘Abbas says that this is something women do when they are surprised and confronted with amazing news. She says, “Am I, a barren old woman, to have a child when I was unable to even when I was young?” 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 73

They said: “Do you wonder at the Decree of Allah? The Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be on you, O the family [of Ibrahim]. Surely, Heis All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.”

The angels told her, “Do not be so surprised, this is the Decree of Allah, when He wills something, He says Be and it is.” 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 74

Then when the fear had gone away from (the mind of) Ibrahim, and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us (Our Messengers) for the people of Lut.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 75

Verily, Ibrahim was, without doubt, forbearing, used to invoke Allah with humility, and was repentant (to Allah all the time, again and again).

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 76

“O Ibrahim! Forsake this. Indeed, the Commandment of your Lord has gone forth. Verily, there will come a torment for them which cannot be turned back.”

Once the fear left Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam’s heart concerning these strange men and he was given good news of a son, he asked them why they were sent exactly. They told him of Allah’s punishment for the people of Lut ‘alayhissalam and he began to argue with them. He said, “Will you destroy a town that has believers in it?” But they replied saying that Lut ‘alayhissalam and those who  believed with him would be saved, although they were very, very few in number.

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 61-68

Bismillah

1- The Story of Salih and the People of Thamud     

2- The Conversation between Salih and the People of Thamud

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 61

And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih (Saleh). He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (God) but Him. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near, Responsive.”

The people of ‘Ad were the most sophisticated, inventive people on earth, but Allah destroyed them and nothing could stop Him. Likewise the superpowers of this era are technologically advanced, and quickly progressing, and while they arrogantly attribute this “success” to themselves, it is nothing but a test that will soon be over. The greatest disaster that this Ummah faced was the death of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. There is no disaster that can compare. No matter how slowly progressing we may seem in comparison to the western nations, we are actually in greater blessing because Allah is with us. That is true attainment. They were succeeded by the people of Salih, known as the nation of Thamud.

The people of Salih lived in a place called “Al Hijr” which was a rocky area. Their dwellings are still present close to Madinah, and the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam visited their remnants and so did his companions radhiallahu ‘anhum. They were also misled by luxuries that they indulged themselves in. They were huge, wealthy, strong people. 

Allah sent to them Salih ‘alayhissalam who was also from a wealthy family that had a high standing in their community. They were going to appoint him as their leader anyway because they considered him to have leadership skills and characteristics, as did all the other Messengers. 

He warned them against polytheism just as all the Messengers before him had done with their nations. He reminds them of the gifts of Allah upon them; He established them on the earth and granted them growth and offspring, so they should be grateful and turn to Him repentance, and that repentance and belief will guarantee their prayers to be answered. 

These people used to carve their homes out of rocks, and like the people of Hud, were arrogant about their strength and ability. They felt very secure in their homes thinking: the water cannot reach the mountain because it is so high, and the wind cannot destroy the mountain because it is so strong, and the earthquakes cannot destroy the mountain because it is established firmly into the ground. But little did they remember or take heed from the people who had been destroyed before them. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 62

They said: “O Salih! You have been among us as a figure of good hope (and we wished for you to be our chief), till this [new thing which you have brought; that we leave our gods and worship your God Alone]! Do you now forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped? But we are really in grave doubt as to that which you invite us to (monotheism).”

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 63

He said: “O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and there has come to me a Mercy (Prophethood, etc.) from Him, who then can help me against Allah, if I were to disobey Him? Then you increase me not but in loss.

Salih ‘alayhissalam was a very intelligent man, he told them to fear Allah and stop being blasphemous. He told them about the Message from Allah and told them that they should obey him. He reminded them that they did not have to recompense him with any material good, rather, his reward is with Allah. This reminder is repeated by almost every Messenger, and it serves as a good reminder and eye opener that many preachers of deviant religions have no incentive except making money. These money making schemes have become more and more common in our world today, as corrupted, ignorant people feed on the innocence of their followers. Allah is reminding us that the truthful people will never have greedy incentives. 

They tell him that they used to consider him a leader, and had hope in him, but now that he is calling to a “new religion”, they start doubting him. They belittle the Message that he came with, and told him that it will never get him a high standing in their society. 

They accused him of being a magician because a few poor people started following him. And theeeeeeen they asked him to bring a sign… Uh oh. Once they ask for a sign, and Allah sends it to them exactly the way they asked for it, there are no more chances after that. They demanded: “Ask your Lord to make a she-camel, which must be 10 months pregnant, tall and attractive, issue from the rock for us.”

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 64

“And O my people! This she-camel of Allah is a sign to you, leave her to feed on Allah’s earth, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment will seize you.”

When the camel came forth the way they wanted it, Salih ‘alayhissalam told them not to harm it and warned them of Allah’s punishment. It was a huge camel and had a huge appetite. One day was designated for this camel to drink from the spring, and the next day was designated for the rest of their camels. They were very unhappy with this.

The community split into two. Half of them called it magic and half of them believed. Everyday a few people accepted Salih ‘alayhissalam’s message. The number of his followers started increasing, but the majority were still disbelievers.  

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 65

 But they killed her. So he said: “Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (i.e. a threat) that will not be belied.”

They got tired of this camel soon enough. Their cattle and camels were afraid of it and would run away anytime it approached. They decided to kill the camel and Salih ‘alayhissalam warned them again. But a few men from amongst them destroyed the sign that Allah had sent to them, and in their ignorance they challenged Salih ‘alayhissalam and said, “Bring the punishment that you promised now.” He replied, “Remain in your houses three days, and that will be the end.” They were still haughty and arrogant about their homes and didn’t think twice of what they had now done. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 66

So when Our Commandment came, We saved Salih (Saleh) and those who believed with him by a Mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord, He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.

 The first day of the punishment, their faces changed color and they were crying, calling it “days of bad omen.” In the evening, nine people from his community got together and swore an oath to kill Salih ‘alayhissalam and his whole family and in the morning they would pretend that they did not do it. They planned, but Allah had a greater plan. Salih ‘alayhissalam left the area with his family and those who believed. The result of their plot against the one who was bringing them to goodness was that Allah destroyed them completely! They stayed in their mountain homes and Allah sent a wave of loud shrieking that made the whole nation shake out of terror. Their hearts burst because of the intensity of that sound. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 67

And As-Saihah  overtook the wrong-doers, so they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes, –

It was a loud sound wave, and the whole nation ended up in a pile of rubble. When everything was destroyed, Salih ‘alayhissalam went back and saw the destruction… He said, “O my people, I conveyed the message to you and I advised you, but you do not like people who advise you.” 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 68

As if they had never lived there. No doubt! Verily, Thamud disbelieved in their Lord. So away with Thamud!

Their empty homes are still a sign for those who wish to take heed. The companions radhiallahu ‘anhum visited it with the Messenger of Allah who instructed people never to pass through that destruction except in the state of humility and fear, rather than treating it as a tourist attraction. 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 56-60

Bismillah

1- The Conversation between (the People of) Ad and Hud              

2- The Destruction of the People of  Ad and the Salvation of Those among Them Who believed      

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 56

“I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth).

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 57

“So if you turn away, still I have conveyed the Message with which I was sent to you. My Lord will make another people succeed you, and you will not harm Him in the least. Surely, my Lord is Guardian over all things.”

He challenged them and told them that he isn’t afraid of their plotting because Allah protects His sincere servants. He told them not to challenge or mock the message because they are opposing a Power that will seize them and totally destroy them. They still refused…

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 58

And when Our Commandment came, We saved Hud and those who believed with him by a Mercy from Us, and We saved them from a severe torment.

Hud ‘alayhissalam then made a very, very short du’aa, “O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.” That’s all.

And Allah responded immediately: “In a little while, they are sure to be regretful.” (Surah Al Mu’minoon) 

When that revelation came, he relaxed. He left it to Allah who affected them with a drought and their lands dried up. They used to beseech their gods and pray for rain, but Hud ‘alayhissalam had already told them make istighfar and tawbah so that Allah will bless them with rain! But they were drowning in ignorance and forgetfulness. After that, Allah sent huge, dense, dark clouds to them. When they saw this, they rejoiced and thought that this rain will be a blessing… but the winds started blowing, strong, cold and howling. It started gaining strength. It stayed for 7 days and 8 nights, cold, furious and loud. The rain started falling and it was such that it destructed EVERYTHING. These were the strongest people that Allah had ever created, but not a single proof of their existence remains on the face of the earth. Complete, utter destruction. They were arrogant about their structures and their strength, but Allah destroyed them and they were blown away like particles of sand.

“Destroying everything by the Command of its Lord! So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings! Thus do We recompense the people who are Mujrimun.” (Surah Al Ahqaf)

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 59

Such were ‘Ad (people). They rejected the Ayat of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers, and followed the command of every proud obstinate.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 60

And they were pursued by a curse in this world and (so they will be) on the Day of Resurrection. No doubt! Verily, ‘Ad disbelieved in their Lord. So away with ‘Ad, the people of Hud.

Then He tells us that they will be punished again in the Akhirah, and that punishment will be more severe. It is a reminder for the disbelievers of every era that these people were granted more than any nation ever created, but these blessings did not avail them in the least. If Allah had not informed us of this nation, we would never have known about them. 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 49-55

Bismillah

1- The Story of Prophet Hud and the People of  Ad              

2- The Conversation between (the People of) Ad and Hud     

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 50

And to ‘Ad we sent their brother Hud. He said, “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Ilah but Him. Certainly, you do nothing but invent lies!

These were the people who lived at that time in Hadramout, near Yemen. The area was beautiful and spacious; it was a desert area with sand dunes. They were given a lot more signs and proofs than the people of Nuh ‘alayhissalam, and were blessed with amazing stature and abundant wealth which they used to build tall palaces and temples. The Quran states that Allah created these people unique and distinct, and the structures that these people built were also unique and distinct. 

Allah says “their brother” because he was from amongst them, and this is why the proof has been established. They cannot doubt his background and his character, nor can they reject his message because he isn’t a stranger or foreigner! He called them to the worship of Allah and warned them against inventing lies. Polytheism is the biggest problem that all the Messengers dealt with and it is the biggest trap of Shaytan.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 51

“O my people I ask of you no reward for it (the Message). My reward is only from Him, Who created me. Will you not then understand?

They accused him of having some ulterior, selfish motive behind the Message but He reminds them that he asks for no reward in return for it, and desires reward only from the One who has created him, and he emphasized “created” because he wanted to remind them about their origin. He then tells them to fear the One who has blessed them with everything they know: their livestock and children, gardens and springs,(Surah Al Shu’ara) and he persisted in calling to them:

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 52

“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).”

He told them what Nuh ‘alayhissalam had told his people about istighfaar and tawbah. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 53

They said: “O Hud! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you.

But they rejected and despite the blessings of wealth, health and offspring that Allah had bestowed on them, they were ungrateful. Just because Allah had given them these things, it did not mean that He was pleased with them. It did not increase their iman, nor did it make them capable of understanding the truth, rather, they were blinded by these luxuries, and they started accusing him: 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 54

“All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).” He said: “I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship, –

He was accused of being mad and mindless! They told him that because he had opposed the gods, they inflicted him with a mental disease. These wealthy, massive people were scared that they would have to change their whole lives if they believe in Hud ‘alayhissalam. They were seriously afraid of change, even if it was good for them. They also accused him of lying in Surah Al Ahqaaf. They told him that it didn’t matter to them whether he advised them or he didn’t advise them; in other words, they told him to stop wasting his time. (Sound familiar?) They said that these “stories” that he told them and reminded them about (he told them that Nuh ‘alayhissalam’s people were destroyed before them) were all lies, and then they uttered a blasphemous statement, saying that they were “too strong to be destroyed”. But they had forgotten that the One who had given them this strength is capable of taking it away in the blink of an eye. (Surah Fussilat) The ayat that describe the people of ‘Ad are extremely, extremely powerful.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 55

With Him (Allah). So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite.

Hud ‘alayhissalam told them that they are tyrants seizing him with a terrible accusation because they considered him a threat. He was certain that they would fail in plotting against him or trying to turn away from the message, and so he challenged them to attempt harming him. Messengers don’t normally “challenge” their people, and the first thing he tells them is that he is free of this polytheism and that he bears witness to that. He knew that they were cowards and knew that he was right, but their arrogance prevented them from surrendering. 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 41-48

Bismillah

1- The riding upon the Ship and Its sailing through the huge Waves              

2- The Story of the drowning of Nuh’s Disbelieving Son      

3- The End of the Flood     

4- A Return to the Story of the Son of Nuh and mentioning what transpired between Nuh and Allah concern          

5- The Command to descend from the Ship with Peace and Blessings

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 41

 And he said: “Embark therein, in the Name of Allah will be its moving course and its resting anchorage. Surely, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Once the rain was falling and the whole world started flooding around them, Nuh ‘alayhissalam started the journey with the name of Allah. They were the sole ark floating in the middle of a storm like no other, but they were under the protection of Allah in contrast to those who were drowned and punished.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 42

So it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and Nuh called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), “O my son! Embark with us and be not with the disbelievers.”

The ark is being guided through waves like mountains, and Nuh ‘alayhissalam looked out and saw his son who had been with the disbelievers… he now calls out to him, trying to save him… 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 43

The son replied: “I will betake myself to a mountain, it will save me from the water.” Nuh said: “This day there is no saviour from the Decree of Allah except him on whom He has mercy.” And a wave came in between them, so he (the son) was among the drowned.

This verse always makes my heart break for Nuh ‘alayhissalam. The son says almost confidently that he will climb the top of the mountain and the water will not reach him. But Nuh ‘alayhissalam gives him the final warning… that there is no savior from the punishment of Allah that day except whom Allah had mercy upon… and just as the conversation was continuing, a wave broke in and the son was drowned. The water was coming from the earth and from the skies, it was pouuuuring down with powerful intensity and this ensured the destruction of these people… (Surah Al Qamar has a powerful description of this flood.) 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 44

And it was said: “O earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain).” And the water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of Allah) was fulfilled (i.e. the destruction of the people of Nuh. And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: “Away with the people who wrongdoers!”

Allah then instructed the earth to swallow the water it had spit out and the sky was commanded to hold back the rain. The destruction had been completed and the will of Allah was fulfilled. The ark of Nuh ‘alayhissalam had been guided to a safe resting place on the Mount Judi and not a single disbeliever was spared.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 45And Nuh called upon his Lord and said, “O my Lord! Verily, my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true, and You are the Most Just of the judges.”

Nuh ‘alayhissalam was still aching for his son, he beseeched to Allah and did not question His decree, but could not understand why his son was punished.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 46

He said: “O Nuh! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorants.”

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 47

Nuh  said: “O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers.”

Allah tells him that his son had done deeds that made him a disbeliever deserving of punishment. The bond of faith is much stronger than the bond of blood. Allah disowned that son from Nuh ‘alayhissalam’s family… and told him not to defend someone who had done wrong, even if he was his biological son! 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 48

It was said: “O Nuh! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the people who are with you (and on some of their off spring), but (there will be other) people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.”

Allah told Nuh ‘alayhissalam to disembark from the ark and bestowed His Mercy on them. Then He informs him of the future offspring of these people, from whom there will be people who will disbelieve and will be punished. Allah also informs us in the Quran that the common forefather between all humanity after Adam ‘alayhissalam is Nuh ‘alayhissalam whose progeny continued after the flood had destroyed everybody. 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 32-40

Bismillah

1- The Revelation to Nuh concerning what would happen to the People and the Command to prepare for It            

2- The beginning of the Flood and Nuh loads Every Creature in Pairs upon the Ship     

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 32

They said: “O Nuh! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.”

Nuh ‘alayhissalam disputed with his people for a good cause; he knew he was calling them to the truth and guidance and was not propagating his own personal agendas nor was he trying to shove false claims at them. This sort of dispute is commendable in Islam, Allah says in the Surah Al Nahl “Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better…” 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 33

He said: “Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He will, and then you will escape not.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 34

“And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah’s Will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return.”

Does guidance ever benefit a person if Allah has already written misguidance for them?Misguidance cannot ever be attributed to Allah. Instead, He has created the world with two distinct paths and tests His slaves thereby, those who willingly take the path of misguidance after seeing and hearing the proofs have chosen the path for themselves. This was the case with Nuh ‘alayhissalam’s people. They rejected the signs and the words of advice and persisted in arrogance.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 36 And it was inspired to Nuh: “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already. So be not sad because of what they used to do.

After Nuh prayed to Allah to destroy the disbelievers, Allah told him that He has now sealed the hearts of his people and the doors have been closed. Nuh ‘alayhissalam stopped calling to the people at that point and took on the next task that Allah gave him. He gave them a chance to accept the truth for over 900 years, but once He took it away, hope was lost. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 37

“And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Inspiration, and address Me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.”

Now Allah tells him to build an ark on top of the mountain. Nuh ‘alayhissalam was not a carpenter and he had divine help from Allah who made the wood and building materials easy for him to acquire and use. Just the construction of the ark was a miracle in itself! It survived the greatest flood ever. 

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 38

And as he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mockery of him. He said: “If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 39

“And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and on whom will fall a lasting torment.”

Every time the chiefs would pass by they would laugh at him and say, “You became a carpenter while you were a Prophet a while ago!” They scoffed at him because they had no rainfall or sources of water around; he was building the ark on dry land! That is a display of sheer determination and obedience of Nuh ‘alayhissalam to Allah; he continued working without questioning. Nuh ‘alayhissalam did not respond to their mockery and told them that the tides will turn and they will see the truth plainly.

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 40

(So it was) till then there came Our Command and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said: “Embark therein, of each kind two (male and female), and your family, except him against whom the Word has already gone forth, and those who believe. And none believed with him, except a few.”

Allah told Nuh ‘alayhissalam to wait until he sees a sign; and this was the gushing forth of water from the earth. He was commanded to take twos of all the animals, his family and the believers who were between 11-80 people (the narrations differ). This is proof that the majority is not always correct… Nuh ‘alayhissalam spent more than 900 years preaching to his people but less than half of them accepted guidance. 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 25-30

Bismillah

1- The Story of Nuh and His Conversation with His People 

2- The Response of Nuh   

3- The People’s Request of Nuh to bring the Torment and His Response to Them

 

11:25

.And indeed We sent Nuh to his people (and he said): I have come to you as a plain warner

11:26

“That you worship none but Allah, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day.”

The ayaat that describe Nuh ‘alayhissalam’s du’aa contains a lot of words that relay his desperate attempts at convincing his people, despite having lived with them for over 900 years! He relentlessly tried to gain their trust and convinced them that there is no personal interest in question. He repeatedly reminds them that he is a plain warner, a sincere advisor…

11:27

The chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: “We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking. And we do not see in you any merit above us, in fact we think you are liars.”

Why was it that the poorest people followed him and they were all looked down upon? Why did the chiefs consider this a shame and why did they belittle him and his followers?

The poorest among his people had nothing to lose- they were not attached to their status or their wealth; pride and arrogance did not prevent them from accepting the truth. They were looked down upon and the chiefs said that if what he called to was really desirable and worthy then the first people to follow him would be the rich! But that was a wrong conception that they harbored because the Messengers were sent to call to Tawheed and accept anybody who accepted it- the truth is not to be rejected because of those who follow it- it is correct in itself regardless of the fact that those who follow it are of low status or nobility! In fact, those who follow the truth are nobility regardless of their low status!

11:28

He said: “O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and a Mercy has come to me from Him, but that (Mercy) has been obscured from your sight. Shall we compel you to accept it when you have a strong hatred for it?

11:29
“And O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant.”
He tells them, “I am not asking for any payment in return for my sincere advice to you, rather, my reward is with Allah.” Also, they asked him to drive away and hurt those who believed because they were of low status, but this was ignorance and poor judgement from them. 
11:30
“And O my people! Who will help me against Allah, if I drove them away? Will you not then give a thought?
An important lesson for those who call to the path of guidance: there is no scope for you to feel superior over a slave of Allah regardless of his social or economic status; you will be held accountable for the ill-treatment. A look or word of scorn can go a long way in ruining any efforts you made to rectify their faith. 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Ibn Al Qayyim’s Description of Paradise

Bismillah

 

The Qaseedah is very long, but here’s a concise translation:

And if you ask about its ground and its soil, then it is of musk and saffron.

And if you ask about its roof, then it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.

And if you ask about its rocks, then they are pearls and jewels.

And if you ask about its buildings, then they are made of bricks of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its trees, then it does not contain a single tree except that its trunk is made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its fruits, then they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.

And if you ask about its leaves, then they are softer than the softest cloth.

And if you ask about its rivers, then there are rivers of milk who’s taste does not change, and rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of honey that is pure, and rivers of water that is fresh.

And if you ask about their food, then it is fruits from whatever they will choose, and the meat of whatever birds they desire.

And if you ask about their drink, then it is Tasneem, ginger, and Kaafoor.

And if you ask about their drinking cups, then they are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its shade, then a fast rider would ride in the shade of one of its trees for a hundred years and not escape it.

And if you ask about its vastness, then the lowest of its people would have within his kingdom and walls and palaces and gardens the distance that would be traveled in a thousand years.

And if you ask about its tents and encampments, then one tent is like a concealed pearl that is sixty miles long.

And if you ask about its towers, then they are rooms above rooms in buildings that have rivers running underneath them.

And if you ask about how far it reaches into the sky, then look at the shining star that is visible, as well as those that are far in the heavens that the eyesight cannot possibly reach.

And if you ask about the clothing of its inhabitants, then they are of silk and gold.

And if you ask about its beds, then its blankets are of the finest silk laid out in the highest of its levels.

And if you ask about the faces of its inhabitants and their beauty, then they are like the image of the Moon.

And if you ask about their age, then they are young ones of 33 years in the image of Adam, the father of humanity.

And if you ask about what they will be hearing, then it is the singing of their wives from among the Hoor al-‘Ayn, and better than that are the voices of the Angels and the Prophets, and better than that is the Speech of the Lord of the Worlds.

And if you ask about their servants, then they are young boys of everlasting youth who resemble scattered pearls.

And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorify, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everything but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.

And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.

And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty,all-Wise, and the sight of His Face – free from any resemblance or likeness to anything – as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call:

‘O People of Paradise! Your Lord – Blessed and Exalted – requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!’

So they will say:

‘We hear and obey!’

Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet – and none of them will turn down the request of the caller – the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will order His Chair to be brought there.

Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver.

The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls:

‘O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allah in which He wishes to reward you!’

So they will say:

‘And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?’

And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller – Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names – has come to them from above them and majestified them and said:

‘O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!’

So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than:

‘O Allah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!’

So the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will laugh to them and say:

‘O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!’

So, they will all give the same response:

‘We are pleased, so be pleased with us!’

So, He will say:

‘O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!’

So, they will all give the same response:

‘Show us your Face so that we may look at it!’

So, the Lord – Mighty and Majestic – will remove his covering and will majestify them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allah – the Exalted – had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord – the Exalted – will speak to him and say:

‘Do you remember the day that you did this and that?’

and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say:

‘O Lord! Will you not forgive me?’

So, He will say:

‘Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by My forgiveness.’

So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife…

“Some faces that Day will be shining and radiant, looking at their Lord…” (Surah Qiyamah:22-3)

 

-The Sahara Bloggers