Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 96-102

Bismillah

1- The Story of Musa and Fir`awn 

2- The Lesson taken from the Destroyed Towns    

3- The Destruction of the Towns is a Proof of the Establishment of the Hour

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 96And indeed We sent Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and a manifest authority;

Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 97

To Fir’aun and his chiefs, but they followed the command of Fir’aun, and the command of Fir’aun was no right guide.

Musa ‘alayhissalam’s story is not mentioned much in this Surah.

Allah informs us of Musa ‘alayhissalam being sent to Bani Israel with clear proofs and signs, but they followed the ways of Fir’awn, of corruption, ignorance, tyranny, disbelief and misguidance, and this was not a path set right. They followed him, but he lead them to their destruction and they drowned. 

 

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Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 84-95

Bismillah

 

1- The Story of the People of Madyan and the Call of Shu`ayb ‘alayhissalam           

2- The Response of Shu`ayb’s People         

3- Shu’ayb’s Refutation of His People                        

4- Shu’ayb’s threatening of His People When Shu’ayb ‘alayhissalam despaired of their response

 

 Quran, Surah Hud, Ayat 84

And to the Madyan people (We sent) their brother Shu’aib. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (God) but Him, and give not short measure or weight, I see you in prosperity; and verily I fearfor you the torment of a Day encompassing.

Madyan was a place between the land of Al-Hijaz and Al-Sham, not very far from the Sodom where Lut ‘alayhissalam’s people were destroyed.

Shu’ayb ‘alayhissalam was an eloquent prophet, and was known as Khateeb Al Anbiya (The Orator of the Prophets). The power of speech was given to him and he would throw off any opponents during an argument or debate. He was also the best amongst them in lineage.

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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 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)

Reflections from Surah Hud: Ayah 1-23

Bismillah

Memorizing a Surah becomes much easier once you contemplate the verse and extract some of the billions of benefits from each word.

This is my attempt at reflecting the verses of Surah Hud, verses 1-23 which are based around these main titles:

1- The Quran and it’s call to Tawheed

2- The belief that Allah is Aware of all things and is responsible for their provisions, and that He created the heavens is six days

3- The mushrikeen’s argument about resurrection after death

4- The changing of man’s attitude in happiness and hardship

5- The Messenger of Allah’s grief over the refutations of the mushrikeen 

6- The seeker of the Dunya has no share in the Akhirah

7- The one who believes in the Quran is upon clear proof from Allah

8- Those who invent lies against Allah are losers in the Dunya and Akhirah

9- The reward for the believers

10- A parable of the believers and disbelievers

11:1

Alif-Lam-Ra. (This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected, and then explained in detail from One  Who is All-Wise and Well-Acquainted.

What is the implication of this Book being sent down from the One Who is All-Wise and Well-Aquainted?

It implies that since the Quran is a Book of perfected verses in that each and every single letter serves it’s purpose, there is now no room for question or doubt in the wisdom of the Quran, because Allah is Al Hakeem-His laws and statements in the Quran are perfectly wise without flaw- and Allah is Al Khabeer- He has infinite knowledge of the outcome of ALL matters. 

11:2

(Saying) worship none but Allah. Verily, I (Muhammad SAW) am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of glad tidings.

It calls to the worship of Allah without any false deities, and this was the ultimate purpose of the advent of ALL the Messengers of Allah- the call to Oneness. They warn of punishments in the Dunya and Akhirah for those who deny, and bring good news of reward and goodness in the Dunya and Akhirah for those who believe. 

11:3

And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).

What are the fruits of Istighfar? And why is Istighfar in this verse mentioned before Tawbah? And do they mean the same thing?

The fruits of Istighfar are twofold- He grants goodly enjoyment which includes everything Halal that a person benefits from for an appointed term, that is, in the Dunya; and then He bestows His endless blessings on them in the Akhirah on those who did the deeds that deserve reward and utilized the blessings of the Dunya to make profit in the Akhirah. 

As for the difference between Istighar and Tawbah- these are two words that when used separately mean the same thing but when used together imply a slight difference in meaning. Scholars have said that Istighfar i.e. seeking forgiveness means to cover something up, therefore it is to seek the forgiveness of Allah and beseeching Him to cover up and erase the sin. Tawbah i.e. repentance means to return, therefore it is to return to the obedience of Allah after having committed a sin. Istighfar encompasses the past consequences of the sin while Tawbah encompasses the future consequences. Tawbah is more of a firm commitment to never return to the sin that is being sought forgiveness for. Istighfar is begging for forgiveness, and Tawbah is begging for safety from being returned to the sin. And the best of sinners are those that repent…

11:6

And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterous, grave, etc.). all is in a Clear Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz – the Book of Decrees with Allah).

Why does the verse say that provision is DUE FROM Allah when it is through His Grace and Bounty that He provides- almost as though the provision is obligatory for Him, but nothing is obligatory for Him- He does what He wills, when He wills it?

It is to emphasize the guarantee that Allah is the source of provisions for all His creation. It is to assure that a promise from Allah will always be fulfilled- and there is no doubt in that.

11:7

And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water, that He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds. But if you were to say to them: “You shall indeed be raised up after death,” those who disbelieve would be sure to say, “This is nothing but obvious magic.”

What is the difference between “the best in deeds” and “the most in deeds”? What is the verse implying by the words “the best in deeds?”

An example: a person has to pray four Rak’aat. In the first two, he’s barely concentrating and has difficulty in keeping his intention in tact, he’s constantly distracting by the events of his day and therefore he has no Khushoo’, while by the next two Rak’aat he has a stronger grip on his thoughts and recites slowly while concentrating on the meanings; he now feels the Khushoo’. 

The last two Rak’aat were definitely closer in definition to Ihsaan than the first two. Ihsaan in essence is perfection and excellence. It is the manifestation of faith in word and deed after having a strong hold in the heart. The best definition of Ihsaan is the hadith of Jibreel ‘alayhissalam in which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says, “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you do not see Him, then He truly sees you.” 

The weight of good deeds is not in the number of Rak’aat or amount paid in charity, it’s rather the level of sincerity in the person’s intention, and the conformation of his deed with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. 

قال ابن المبارك 

 رب عمل صغير تكثره النية ورب عمل كبير تصغره النية

11:9

And if We give man a taste of Mercy from Us, and then withdraw it from him, verily! He is despairing, ungrateful.

11:10

But if We let him taste good (favour) after evil (poverty and harm) has touched him, he is sure to say: “Ills have departed from me.” Surely, he is exultant, and boastful (ungrateful to Allah).

These two verses give a description man’s typical responses to hardship and happiness. He despairs and loses hope in hardship-forgetting that the One who is brought him to it will bring him through it. He leaves of du’aa and patience, hopeless for any good in the future and forgetful of any good in the past. And once Allah bring him out of the difficulty, he is exultant and excited about the good fortune he is enjoying, and is boastful to those who do not have what he does, forgetting that he was once in that state himself.

11:11

Except those who show patience and do righteous good deeds, those: theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward (Paradise).

What exactly does the word patience in this verse imply, after having mentioned the state of man in happiness and hardship?

There are many types, but here it is the patience that a person displays with the Decree of Allah-whether good or bad. This is the sixth article of faith and possibly the most difficult… 

Those who show patience when tried and tested with hardship, and do good, righteous deeds when times are easy. 

11:12

So perchance you (Muhammad SAW) may give up a part of what is revealed unto you, and that your heart feels straitened because they say, “Why has not a treasure been sent down unto him, or an angel has come with him?” But you are only a warner. And Allah is a Wakil over all things.

What are the lessons that Allah is teaching us when calling to the message in the Quran?

1- to deal with patience and compassion, to have a BIG heart and a SMALL ego, and never to take arguments personally

2- arguments, refutations and rejections of the people should never be a hindrance in proclaiming the truth

3- the mushrikeen were asking for miracles and signs-treasures and angels-but they conveniently ignored the miracles and proofs that they WERE given, implying that they were merely picking arguments and being stubborn

11:13

Or they say, “He forged it (the Quran).” Say: “Bring you then ten forged Surah like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allah (to your help), if you speak the truth!” 

What is the implication of “bring you then ten forged Surahs like it”?

It is a challenge from Allah and a slap in the face of every eloquent disbeliever. Allah challenges those who disbelieve in the Quran to bring forth a verse, or a Surah, or ten forged Surahs, but that was never possible and will never be possible because the Quran is the word of the Creator- distinct and excelling over the word of the creation.

11:15

Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.

11:16

They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.

Who exactly are people who desire the world- don’t we all have an inclination towards it? 

Rather, these are people who have an unhealthy obsession- they desired the Dunya at the expense of their Akhirah- their intentions were tainted and they pursued the Dunya to boast and show off. In the Akhirah, these deeds and pursuits will have no significance since they get their praise and reward from the people in the Dunya.

11:17

Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him follows it (can they be equal with the disbelievers); and before it, came the Book of Musa, a guidance and a mercy, they believe therein, but those of the sects  that reject it (the Quran), the Fire will be their promised meeting-place. So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of the mankind believe not.

The person who is on a clear, guided proof from Allah and believes in the Quran and in the message that the Prophets brought are true believers because the natural inclination of man conforms to the Shari’ah that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam brought. On the other hand, those who disbelieve-whether they are Jews, Christians, atheists-and anybody on the face of the earth who hears the Quran and then rejects it- are promised a sure punishment.

11:18

And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah. Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, “These are the ones who lied against their Lord!” No doubt! the curse of Allah is on the Zalimun.

11:19

Those who hinder (others) from the Path of Allah, and seek a crookedness therein, while they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.

Who are the people deprived of Allah’s mercy? How will they be treated in the Akhirah?

They are people whom Allah has cursed- they invent lies about Allah and speak about His laws without knowledge, they are misguided and misguide others from His path, preventing themselves and others from doing good, all the while seeking a crookedness in the straight path of Allah, since they disbelieve in resurrection and the fear that they will be held accountable for these deeds. They are unjust and oppressive to themselves by sinning day and night. On the day of Judgement, there will be no veil between them and the people, rather, there will be witnesses testifying to their misguidance, while Allah will cover and shade the sins of the believers: 

«إِنَّ اللهَ عزَّ وَجَلَّ يُدْنِي الْمُؤْمِنَ فَيَضَعُ عَلَيْهِ كَنَفَهُ، وَيَسْتُرُهُ مِنَ النَّاسِ، وَيُقَرِّرُهُ بِذُنُوبِهِ وَيَقُولُ لَهُ: أَتَعْرِفُ ذَنْبَ كَذَا؟ أَتَعْرِفُ ذَنْبَ كَذَا؟ أَتَعْرِفُ ذَنْبَ كَذَا؟ حَتَّى إِذَا قَرَّرَهُ بِذُنُوبِهِ وَرَأَى فِي نَفْسِهِ أَنَّهُ قَدْ هَلَكَ قَالَ: فَإِنِّي قَدْ سَتَرْتُهَا عَلَيْكَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِنِّي أَغْفِرُهَا لَكَ الْيَوْم»

“Verily, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will draw near the believer and He will place His shade over him. He will conceal him from the people and make him confess to his sins. He will say to him, “Do you recognize this sin? Do you recognize that sin? Do you recognize such and such sin?” This will continue until He makes him confess to all of his sins and he (the believer) will think to himself that he is about to be destroyed. Then Allah will say, “Verily, I have concealed these sins for you in the worldly life and I have forgiven you for them today.” Then he will be given his Book of good deeds.”

11:20

By no means will they escape (from Allah’s Torment) on earth, nor have they protectors besides Allah! Their torment will be doubled! They could not bear to hear the preachers of the truth and they used not to see the truth.

What happened to their sense of hearing and sight?

There is a difference between looking and seeing, and between hearing and listening. Their senses of looking and hearing are alive but their intellect and conscience is dead. They are spiritually stagnant people. They are people who will lose themselves to the Fire on the day of Judgement, and the false deities and lies they made up will not avail them in the least. 

11:23

Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and humble themselves (in repentance and obedience) before their Lord, – they will be dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever.

As for those who are humble to Allah, pleased with His decree, and submissive to His encompassing knowledge, they will be the dwellers of Paradise. Ibn Al Qayyim did an amazing description of Paradise based on the Quran and Sunnah in his Qaseedah…

11:24

The likeness of the two parties is as the blind and the deaf and the seer and the hearer. Are they equal when compared? Will you not then take heed?

The parable or comparison between the believers and disbelievers is that of the blind and the seeing, the deaf and the hearing, the shadows and the sunlight, the darkness and the light, the living and the dead. These are striking opposites mentioned in the Quran.

 -The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Etched In My Memory

slate quran

A chilled breeze sweeps crispy autumn leaves across my glass terrace door. The sun creeps into the horizon streaking shades of pink and orange. After a long glance at my backyard, I lift my stubby piece of chalk against my letter-sized slate and begin.

So was the way I began every beautiful morning so many years ago. Years that feel like only yesterday and will definitely be just as fresh tomorrow. The three golden years I dedicated to memorizing the Qur’an.

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Memorizing the Quran: Step 2

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Bismillah.

Advice #2

The second step in this spiritual journey is to learn the correct recitation and articulation of the Quran. The second condition (after a sincere intention) for any deed to be accepted by Allah is that it should done according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.  Someone who wants to memorize the Book of Allah must learn it from those who are knowledgeable; and it is never sufficient for him to rely on his own self. 

This is one of the most amazingly unique aspects of the Quran- there has always been a one-on-one student-teacher interaction with regards to studying it.Jibreel ‘alayhisalam taught it to the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who in turn taught it to his companions radhiallahu ‘anhum ajma’een (may Allah be pleased with them all), and that’s how its reached us: pristine, complete, unchanged, unaltered and unadulterated.

There are various steps to take to learn the correct recitation of the Quran:

1-      Use the same copy of the Quran- this will help you to get accustomed to the text, the number of verses per line, and it’ll keep your comments and corrections organized (use a pencil and mark your mistakes!); it  also helps to use highlighters and sticky notes

2-      Find a teacher- somebody who is well-versed in Tajweed  and can accurately point out your mistakes. Its best to recite the Quran to a teacher before starting to memorize so that he/she may correct any mispronunciation. Begin to learn the basic rules of Tajweed. 

3-      Repeat the verses-  repeating the same page at least ten times will help you to grasp a stronger hold of the difficult letters such as the Qaaf (القاف) and Raa’ (الراء). Bishr bin as-Sirri said, “Verily, each verse is like a date: the more you chew it, the more of its sweetness is released.” Abu Sulayman heard this and commented: “True. It is the case with one of you that if he begins one chapter of it, he wants to read it to the end.”

4-     Use your senses- listening to an audio recitation of the Quran by a skilled reciter while reading the verses from your mus-haf (copy of the Quran) is extremely beneficial

5- Write it down- write down the verses that you find most difficult to recite; that will help you concentrate on each word separately, and this has been the way of the students of knowledge

Lastly, don’t give up! The Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

.عن عائشة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: مثل الذي يقرأ القرآن وهو حافظ له مع السفرة الكرام البررة ومثل الذي يقرأ وهو يتعاهده وهو عليه شديد فله أجران

 “The example of the one who recites the Quran and is fluent it is as if he is with the noble pious angels, and the example of the one who recites the Quran and stammers in it has two rewards as it is difficult for him.” 

Remember to renew your intention every single time you begin reciting so that you may relish the beauty of wandering in the gardens of the remembrance of Allah.

‘Uthman bin ‘Affan said, “If our hearts were truly pure, we would never get enough of the Words of our Lord, and I hate that one day passes with me not looking in the Quran.” 

 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)