Surah Al-Hujurat in Our Lives (Part 3)

23 - Copy

Verse 4

“Verily! Those who call you from behind the dwellings, most of them have no sense.”

This verse was revealed for the Bedouins. Understand that the life of the Bedouins in the desert is very rough and very harsh. They came to the Prophet (sa) to understand some matters of the religion. At the time, the Prophet (sa) was inside his private chambers. Instead of exhibiting patience, they started to call him out from outside. This verse is admonishing them for their impatience. Note it gives no excuse for their behaviour. It simply says that they “have no sense”. As Muslims, we are obliged to behave responsibly and conduct ourselves as individuals who use their intellect, not as those who have no sense.

Verse 5

“And if they had patience till you could come out to them, it would have been better for them. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

One can imagine that the Bedouins, for whom the previous verse was revealed, must have felt terrible that a verse came directly to admonish them. Allah (swt) is comforting them here. He mentions that He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. If the aforementioned acts of impatience were done out of ignorance, He will forgive. However, now that the warning and the solution is clear, one must not fall prey to impatience. The solution is to repent for previous behaviour and reform one’s ways to ensure one is patient and respectful towards the Prophet (sa).

Verse 6

“O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.”

Consider whom this verse is addressing: “O you who believe” or the believers. Essentially, this means that the instructions that follow are for the believers. Whoever follows these commands will be considered as a believer. Question is: Believe in what? Answer: Believe in Allah (swt) and believe in the commands He has given.

Let’s analyze the verse in more detail. “…a rebellious evil person…” – who is he? The Arabic word is ‘Fasiq’. Literally, Fasiq is derived from the word Fisq, which refers to a date, whose skin is peeling off. It essentially refers to a person, who has deviated from the right path. People can be guilty of either major Fisq or minor Fisq. Those, who engage in the latter, are still considered to be believers. However, those, who do major Fisq, are not considered to be Muslims, because they have crossed all the limits set by Islam. A Fasiq can exercise Fisq in terms of behaviour (calling out to the Prophet [sa] from outside his chambers) or in terms of religion.

Now what happens if someone comes to you and brings you some news? You have to:

  • Analyze the person, who has brought the news;
  • Analyze the content of the news.

People usually go to extremes in following the two-pronged approach. They either refuse to accept any news from the disbelievers, or they accept it without question. True believers take the middle approach. If the person bringing the news is not a believer, verify it and if needed, discard it without giving it a second thought.

If a believer brings some news to you, again, you have to analyze the content. What is this news about? If the person is telling you about someone committing adultery, you immediately discard the news. This is because of the condition that whoever accuses one of adultery has to bring four witnesses, and if this testimony proves to be false, the person bringing the news will be lashed 80 times. Moreover, this individual’s testimony will not be accepted ever again and he will be termed as a Fasiq.

The word used for news in the verse is Naba. Naba refers to major news that has a great impact. Such is the impact of the news that it can affect one’s hearts and one’s relations with others. This is why verification of this news is extremely important, before acting upon it. If one acts upon the news without verification, one falls in the category of being judgemental. One’s attitude towards the other person starts changing. This takes root, until the two people concerned part ways totally.

What are the specific types of news that you do need to verify?

  • News that concerns you directly. If something does not concern you, it doesn’t bother or affect you. Hence, you can easily dismiss it.
  • News that affects you. This type of news creates doubt in your heart about someone close to you. You have to verify that this news is true, before you act upon it. Consider an example: your friend tells you she saw your husband with a lady at a mall at 11:00 pm. When your husband comes home, you will, of course, ask him about it. Suppose he replies he has no idea what you are talking about. He has arrived straight home from a long meeting. You accept this and leave the rest to Allah (swt). Maybe your friend saw someone else. Maybe she did this on purpose to create a rift in your house.

Note: You have to verify with a clean heart and clear intention. What would happen if, in the above example, you start accusing your husband the minute he sets foot inside the house, without giving him a chance to explain? What if you would start checking his cell phone, when he is not around? If you do this, then it simply indicates that you totally believe what your friend said. Since you believe without verifying, Allah (swt) will make your doubts seem as reality. Remember that incorrect ways of verification lead to more doubts. Your heart should not take any sides without verification.

The wisdom behind verification is to ensure you do not end up harming anyone emotionally, out of ignorance. Harming emotionally means backbiting, giving a cold shoulder, discussing negatively with others, etc. You don’t know the true story because you heard only one side and believed it whole-heartedly. Remember that every story has two sides. If you never heard the other side, it means you judged the person whose news was communicated to you, while that poor person has no idea what is being spread about him or her. What if you would later find out that the news was false? Remorse and regret would naturally follow.

Prophet Muhammad (sa) warned us about the punishments for those, who bring news and create rift/enmity between people. It is reported from Hudhaifah (rtam) that news reached him (the Prophet (sa)) that a certain man used to tell tales. Upon this, Hudhaifah (rtam) remarked: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (sa) saying: ‘The tale-bearer shall not enter Paradise.’” (Muslim)

Don’t make it your job to spread people’s news. Refrain from gossiping. Vain talk about people creates enmity and hatred. Some people do this in relation to scholars. They ask one Sheikh about a matter, and then they go to another and ask the same question. Then they quote the first Sheikh to the second one and thus create differences between them.

A very important aspect of spreading information is forwarding emails. Do you verify the content of emails before forwarding them? Are you especially careful with anecdotes and incidents from Islamic history that are written without any references? This is how this verse applies today, when there are Blackberries and Iphones in almost every hand.

Another key point is that you yourself have to be careful. Don’t put yourself in a situation, in which others get a chance to judge you. Consider the following Hadeeth:

Narrated by Ali bin Al-Husain (rtam): Safiya (rtaf), the wife of the Prophet (sa), told me that she went to Allah’s Apostle (sa) to visit him in the Masjid, while he was in Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. She had a talk with him for a while. Then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet (sa) accompanied her. When they reached the gate of the Masjid, opposite the door of Umm Salamah (rtaf), two Ansari men were passing by and they greeted Allah’s Apostle (sa). He told them: “Do not run away!” And said: “She is (my wife) Safiya bint Huyai.” Both of them said: “Subhan’Allah! (How dare we think of any evil), O Allah’s Apostle?” And they felt it. The Prophet (sa) said (to them): “Satan reaches everywhere in the human body, as blood reaches in it (everywhere in one’s body). I was afraid lest Satan might insert an evil thought in your minds.” (Bukhari)

As we can gauge from the aforementioned Hadeeth, it is better to clarify before you are questioned.

Surah Yusuf Teaches Fatherhood

2 surah yusuf teaches fatherhood

Prophet Yusuf (as) was approximately seven years old when he shared with his father a dream he saw. The Quran narrates it: “(Remember) when Yusuf said to his father: ‘O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon – I saw them prostrating themselves to me.’” (Yusuf 12:4) The above Ayah indicates the trust and rapport between father and son. Prophet Yusuf (as) confides in his father.

The Quran has beautifully described the family structure using a parable. The sun has been personified as a father. The moon is like a mother. And the eleven stars are like their children.

If we consider their roles and relationship with each other, we can understand that the sun (father) is the source of light. The moon (mother) draws its strength from the sun. Hence, she stays spiritually and emotionally fulfilled. The father defines the success of the family.

“He (the father) said: ‘O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they should arrange a plot against you. Verily Shaitan (Satan) is to man an open enemy!’” (Yusuf 12:5) Prophet Yaqoob (as) advises his son Yusuf (as) not to reveal his dream to his siblings. He is aware of their inherently jealous nature. As a father, he understands that all kids are not alike. They are likely to err. If a prophet’s sons can make mistakes, how can we expect ours not to?

After informing his son about sibling rivalry, the father also warns him about the role of Shaitan, which is to sow seeds of enmity and break up families.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

Passport to Jannah

Passport to Jannah

Image courtesy www.confesal.com

My Quran Reflections Journal
Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 17 Reflection
Al Baqarah (2:40-123)

The story of Bani Israel got me thinking –
There’s so much in my faith that needs fixing!
“Chosen by Allah!” what status they had?
They still couldn’t be grateful, isn’t that sad?
They were given messengers and miracles,
Yet they perpetually failed to set good examples.
They got so many chances, not just one or two,
They kept denying the truth. What about me? What about you?
“We are Muslims” – is there any status that is bigger?
Yet the state of our Ummah isn’t getting any better.
This “tag” itself is not a “passport to Jannah” –
We have to earn it by following the Quran and Sunnah.
Neglecting our prayers and holding people high,
Doing Shirk unknowingly, what if tomorrow we die?
Our Sadaqahs and charities are full of display,
We are earning Allah’s (swt) wrath and His dismay!
Our fasts are more of feasts, but we don’t perceive.
Who are we cheating? Is it Allah (swt) we deceive?
Dealing unjustly, lying to people – friend or foe.
Is it not a Zulm on ourselves – indeed it is, a woe.
Ya Allah (swt), save us from selective obedience and confusion,
Please, give us inner light to accept the Deen without hesitation,
Oh, Allah (swt), spare us from being deceptive and being proud.
Help us in our last journey, when we depart in our shroud.
Do not make this Dunya, Ya Rabb, our biggest concern,
Make us work for our final abode, to which we shall all return.
Aameen, Ya Rabb!

Citizenship of Jannah

rural-crossroads1My Quran Reflections Journal – 4

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 7 Reflection

(Al-Baqarah 2:21-25)

Citizenship of Jannah

Today’s lesson was about the first glimpse of Jannah in the Quran. Subhan’Allah, the mere glimpse of it makes one wish to work towards pleasing Allah (swt) to earn it. A beautiful reflection was shared by one of my classmates today, after we completed the lesson. She actually gave words to what I was thinking. She said that this is the beginning of the year (2015), and the beginning of our course (today was just the 7th day) and the beginning of the Quran. Subhan’Allah, Allah (swt) sets forth this description of Jannah in the second chapter among the first few Ayahs, so this is nothing but His mercy. If you come to think about it, we can set a goal from now onwards to reach that destination (Jannah).

I would like to elaborate further that through continuous worship of our Lord (not just in our prayers but also in our daily lives) we can hope to attain our citizenship of Jannah. We must remember that worship is an entire way of living. It encompasses concrete obligatory acts, which come under this category, such as Salah, Zakah, Hajj, etc. as well as abstract qualities, such as honesty, sincerity, empathy and care.

Indeed our Rabb is the Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful, and He sends signs, reminders and admonitions from all ends.

Oh Allah (swt), make us from the dwellers of Jannah and save us from the Hellfire. Aameen!

Day 8 Reflection
(Al-Baqarah 2:26)

Wisdom or Illiteracy?

Today’s lesson was about the example of a mosquito, which Allah (swt) presents to explain the abstract viewpoint of how certain disbelievers challenge Allah’s (swt) words, only because in all the Hikmah (Wisdom) best known to Him, He chose to use this example.

Have we ever wondered that in the Quran there are examples of the heavenly rivers and provisions, as well as the gigantic universe and whatever it contains – even a mosquito as it also is a part of this universe! Why do we have such big egos that we deny the truth or question Allah’s (swt) wisdom of presenting an example of such a small creature as a mosquito, when we readily get awestruck by the magnanimous and humangous creations of Allah (swt)? Is the Message and Who is giving that message important, or does the importance of the message diminishes, because the example used here is that of a creature we consider almost negligible? Is it wise for us to question His Hikmah or are we being illiterate by doing so?

Oh Allah (swt), make us understand the logic of the Quran, rather than the logic of using a trivial creature as an example. Open our minds, so we can see the bigger picture and learn the lesson, which You intend for us to understand, rather than try to negate the divine message because of the petty nature of the example used to explain an abstract concept. Oh Allah (swt), give us the mind that can understand the significance of Your insightful message and the heart that can act upon it. Aameen!  

Our Desired Goal

Image courtesy http://strategicmodularity.com/

Image courtesy http://strategicmodularity.com/

My Quran Reflections Journal – 3

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 5 Reflection

Surah Al Baqarah (Ayahs 8-16)

Our Desired Goal

Today’s lesson revolved around the third category of people mentioned in Surah Fatihah (Ayat 7) – Ad-Duaaleen (the Munafiqun). These are those disbelievers, who went astray. They had Hidayah Ilmi (knowledge) but were deficient of Hidaya Tawfeeqi (capacity to implement the knowledge).

Some signs of such people are:

1) They try to deceive Allah (swt) and the believers and collaborate in doing so, but end up deceiving themselves.

2) They consider the Mutaqeen foolish and mock them.

3) They lie and pretend to be among the believers, but when alone with their type of people, they declare they are among them (the Shayateen).

4) They create corruption and mischief on the Earth, and, when asked not to do it, they say they’re among the rectifiers.

My mind was continuously wandering; deceptive people, liars, mockers, people who joke around and lie in their jokes, too, people who consider others foolish and think of themselves as superior, those who are pretentious and mischievous, these are the ones, whom Allah (swt) has left to transgress and such people will never be guided. These are the hypocrites that Allah (swt) refers to as Ad- Duaaleen.

I couldn’t think any further. Time for some serious retrospection – Tazkiya-e-Nafs (self analysis). I am not in a position to say anything, because I first need to rectify myself and clear myself of all such habits. Only then will I be able to come out of this category.

I also thought that a lot of these characteristics are directly proportional to one’s level of Taqwa (Allah-consciousness). The higher the Taqwa, the more the cautiousness of not committing the sins named above. Henceforth, my desired goal is to make continuous Dua for increase in Taqwa, Insha’Allah, along with actions, which would lead me to put my Ilm (knowledge) into Amal (action).

I thought of sharing this Dua with all of you. I pray that this Masnoon Dua benefits us all, Bi Idhn Allah.

“Allahumma Ati Nafsi Taqwaha wa Zakkiha anta Khayru man Zakkiha anta Waliyyuha wa Mawlaha.” (“O Allah, grant my soul its piety and purify it, You are the best to purify it, You are its Guardian and Master.”)

I also pray that the next time we all pray to be among the pure believers, the Mutaqeen (Alladheena Ana’mta) and not from the pure disbelievers, the Kafireen (Al-Maghdoob), and neither from the hypocrites, the Munafiqun, (Ad-Duaaleen), we say it with our whole hearts. May Allah (swt) listen to us and guide us to the straight path. Aameen.

Day 6 Reflection

Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 18

Our Inner State

“Deaf, dumb and blind they would never return to the right way.” (Al-Baqarah 2:18)

I was stuck on this Ayat last evening. It describes the inner state of the hypocrites. However, what one needs to understand is that these people are not literally deaf, they hear the Divine message but deny it; they are not literally dumb or mute, because they do mock the believers. Neither are these individuals literally blind, but their vision is impaired because of their lofty aspirations and excessive materialistic desires. Hence, they stay oblivious to the truth – the Haq (knowledge).

I just want to ask myself: am I one of those? Was I from among them in the past? Would I want to stay one of them in the future? If not, then this Ayat serves as a wake-up call for me and, in fact, for all of us.

I beg Allah (swt) not to seal our hearts and allow our hearing, sight and speaking faculties to do their jobs in the way that is most pleasing to Him. Aameen.

The Window to our Hearts

My Quran Reflections Journal – 2

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 3 Reflection

The Larger Picture

Image courtesy http://www.windowintotheheart.com/

Image courtesy http://www.windowintotheheart.com/

Surah Al Baqarah (1 – 5)

Today in class, I met a girl, who gave up her entire crucial year of college for coming all the way from Michigan to study Quran with us. Away from her family, and obviously from the comforts that she was enjoying at her parents’ home, she’s here just to quench the thirst of knowledge. What took me 38 years to reach, she has aimed for and achieved at the young age of 18, SubhanAllah!

Today’s lesson got me thinking about this exact point! Muflihoon (Al-Baqarah 2:5) – those, who are successful in the real sense. Allah (swt) sees them as ‘successful’; the ones, on whom His favours are bestowed upon (Al-Fatihah 1:7). Look at the connection between the two, SubhanAllah!

A serious shift of perception is required here. As opposed to people striving to attain more of Dunya, truly successful are those, who focus on the Akhirah (the unseen). Those, who establish prayers, as opposed to those, who rush through it thinking it’s an obligation. Those, who let go of their wealth, as opposed to being stingy about it. Those, who spend in the path of Allah (swt), as opposed to accumulating mountains of wealth. Truly successful are those ,who believe in the Book that Allah (swt) has revealed to our Prophet (sa) and the Haq (truth) from all the previous revelations, rather than being arrogantly biased about their religion (Islam), SubhanAllah!

May Allah (swt) make us of those, who are truly successful in front of Him, in this world and the hereafter. From those, who can give up a university degree or a few years of college or high school, keeping the larger picture in view; for attaining Khair and not sacrifice the Khair, the true knowledge for the success in this Dunya. Aameen!

Day 4 Reflection

Windows to our Heart

Surah Al Baqarah (Ayahs 6 & 7)

Today’s lesson covered the characteristics of the Al Maghdoob – those, who earned Allah’s (swt) wrath (refer to Surah Fatihah). Allah (swt) has sealed their hearts and hearing and has covered their sight. Such are the people, for whom is Azaab Un Azeem.

Another teacher of ours shared the reflection that if the two faculties of hearing and sight can be controlled, which are like the two windows of your heart, the chances of your heart staying on the right path increase. I thought to myself: “How true is that!” Most of the sins that we commit, or become part of – such as gossip, back biting etc. – all enter our heart, because we listen to such talk or we watch things that have been forbidden in Islam.

What truly struck me was that prophet Musa also needed a Dua for expanding his chest and removing the knot from his tongue, SubhanAllah! Who then are we? Shouldn’t we ask Allah (swt) not to seal our heart and make it receptive for understanding the knowledge that is poured upon us through the Quran, Sunnah, lectures and Dawah posts? Don’t we need wisdom of speech and selection of words, which can enable others to understand the message that we are trying to convey?

I pledge that from today onwards, Insha’Allah, before I utter a word concerning Deen, I would ask Allah (swt) to “expand my chest and ease for me my task, and untie the knot on my tongue, so that they may understand my speech”. I don’t want my near and dear ones not to understand the knowledge, the Kalaam Allah (swt) that may reach them through me. Above all, I do not want myself to become complacent after being guided, lest Allah (swt) puts a seal on my heart, after being guided, so I must continuously ask for Allah’s (swt) help to keep me on the straight path – Ihdinas Sirat Al Mustaqeem.

Oh, Allah (swt), make us from amongst the Mutaqeen (conscious of Allah (swt)) and the Muflihoon (Aakhira oriented). Make us from those, who continuously seek Allah’s (swt) help – You Alone we worship and You alone we ask for help! Aameen!

Gratitude is an Attitude

My Quran Reflections Journal – 1

Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

koran-rose-flower-5867760Day 1 Reflection

Gratitude is an Attitude

Surat Al-Fatihah

‘Alhamdulillah’ is the one word, which should be said with utmost gratitude not just by our tongue – it should be felt in the heart and expressed by our limbs. This gratefulness needs to show in our Neeyah (intention), words and actions together, Insha’Allah. We say this word many times per day, including the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah in our Salah. Yet we are missing that connection and relationship, which can give us the conviction that we actually consider Allah (swt) our Rabb, and ourselves as His Abd (save). Could there be a greater status of an employer than the Rabb? The Sustainer, the Nourisher, the All-Giver, the Creator? Could there be a lower status of servitude than ‘slavery’? No! Yet, when we hear the speech of Allah (swt), unfortunately, it doesn’t move us to tears or stirs those emotions in us, which probably the normal speech of an ordinary human being can. Why is it so? Is there anything lacking in the speech of Allah (swt)? Definitely not! It is the lack of understanding on our part, something missing in the sincerity of our Neeyahs and the Waswasas (whispers) of Shaitaan, to which we are extremely vulnerable, that prevent us from drawing closer to our Rabb!

As I embark upon this journey of learning and understanding the Quran, I sincerely renew my intentions and beg Allah (swt) to give me the strength to proceed on this path in the manner that is most pleasing to Him. I voluntarily give myself in Your servitude, Ya Rabb!

Allah (swt) is the One, the Lord of the worlds, Who is the Rahman, the Raheem, the One, Who is the Owner of the Day of Recompense, no doubt the One without any deficiency, nothing is impossible for Him! May Allah (swt) guide us and give us the Taufeeq, the ability to seek all help from Him alone. May He send His help in the best form that He loves for us; through books people, tests, trials, calamities or blessings. May He send His Hidayah (guidance) to each one of us, who is seeking it, and also to those, who are oblivious to this beautiful and great blessing, so far! May He keep us all steadfast in our pursuit of knowledge and derive for us ways that are easier than our imagination and fulfilling than any other thing in this world. Aameen!

Day 2 Reflection

The Pendulum

Surat Al-Fatihah

A beautiful realization that struck me today is encompassed in my teacher’s wise words “Emaan is between ‘hope of reaching Jannah and fear of being saved from the Hellfire’.” SubhanAllah! How true is that!

Honestly, if we come to think about it, our faith is truly comparable to a pendulum, on one end of which is ‘hope’ and on the other – ‘fear’. These emotions compel us to turn to Allah (swt) with full conviction. The hope that He (swt) is the All Merciful, The Oft-Forgiving, that He is able to provide us solutions for all our problems, helps us revive our faith. We supplicate to Him and ask Him for whatever it is that we need. On the other end of faith lies fear. The fear of not getting what you ask for, but the hope that what Allah (swt) is giving us is indeed better than anything we could have asked for ourselves, is what strengthens and fortifies our faith in Him!

May Allah (swt) fill our hearts with the hope and fear that increases us in our servitude to Him, humbles us and helps us love Him and fear Him truly, so much so that we become from the Mutaqeen (God-conscious). Aameen!

Surah Al-Hujurat in Our Lives – Part 4

Surah Al-Hujurat in Our Lives

Verse 7

“And know that, among you there is the Messenger of Allah (sa). If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble, but Allah has endeared the faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger [sa]) hateful to you. These! They are the rightly guided ones.” (Al-Hujurat 49:7)

In the previous verse, it was mentioned that whenever someone brings any news, we have to verify it before accepting it. In this verse, we are being informed about an exception. If Prophet Muhammad (sa) brings any news, those around him had to accept it without any process of verification. Likewise, if he did not practice something, then it was not supposed to be done either. ‘Among you’ in the above verse refers to the Sahabah, who were around the Prophet (sa).

Sometimes, the Sahabah wanted to perform extra worship. For instance, once in Ramadan, the Prophet (sa) prayed Qiyam-ul-Lail with the Sahabah. He prayed for a part of the night and then stopped. The Sahabah wanted to perform some more, so they went to the Prophet (sa) and asked, if it was possible to continue the prayer for the whole night. The Prophet (sa) informed them that the one, who has prayed the full prayer behind the Imam, will be rewarded for standing the entire night in prayer. This was his way of saying no to the Sahabah’s request. If he followed every suggestion that those around him gave, it would surely be troublesome and difficult for them. The Prophet (sa) was very kind. He could have heeded the suggestion given to him, but he did not.

The Sahabah were very interested in the kind of worship that was done by the Prophet (sa). Consider the following Hadeeth:

Anas (rtam) has reported: “Three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (sa) to inquire about the worship of the Prophet (sa). When they were informed, they considered their worship to be insignificant and said: ‘Where are we in comparison with the Prophet (sa), while Allah (swt) has forgiven his past sins and future sins?’ One of them said: ‘I shall offer Salah all night long.’ Another said: ‘I shall observe Saum (fasting) continuously and shall not break it.’ Another said: ‘I shall abstain from women and shall never marry.’ The Prophet (sa) came to them and asked: “Are you the people, who said such and such things? By Allah, I fear Allah (swt) more than you do, and I am most obedient and dutiful among you to Him, but still I observe fast and break it; I perform Salah and sleep at night and take wives. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah does not belong to me.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

This Hadeeth instructs us to do what the Prophet (sa) did, and to leave what the Prophet (sa) did not do. One should not think that they can do anything more than the Prophet (sa) – it is not possible.

Remember that the chains of narration of Ahadeeth were verified and scrutinized before being accepted. If an individual in the chain of narration was discovered to be a liar, no more Ahadeeth from him were accepted. This is again because no one was supposed to add anything or delete anything from the sayings of the Prophet (sa).

Now that we no longer have the Prophet (sa) among us, this command applies to us in terms of accepting Ahadeeth and Sunnah. We cannot give our own opinion on the Ahadeeth.

Note the reaction of the Sahabah, when the Prophet (sa) did not accept their suggestion. What did they do? Did the Prophet’s (sa) rejection of their suggestion turn them away from Islam? Of course not! It did not affect them in any way, because faith was firmly entrenched in their hearts. They were happy and content with Islam itself, and they accepted anything and everything that was done by the Prophet (sa). Their hearts were stable upon firm faith.

For us, the lesson is to remain firm upon faith even when we are overcome with trials and tribulations. Let’s move on to the next part of the verse, which states:

“…Allah has endeared the faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts…” (Al-Hujurat 49:7)

The Arabic word for endearment or love is Hubb. The following diagram explains the meaning of Hubb.

QuranInsights1

Essentially, it means that Allah (swt) puts faith in your heart and gradually enables you to love it. You cannot force your heart to love Islam or the faith. It’s only from Allah (swt), Who makes you love the faith!

Love in your heart is like a seed. You plant a small seed in your heart. Then Allah (swt) nurtures it and enables it to grow gradually, till it becomes big and beautiful with fruits and flowers. One needs to take good care of faith in the heart, similar to the way we take care of seeds in the garden. Our hearts need to be watered with the rain of knowledge and guidance, so that they can blossom into a fruit-bearing tree. One should also supplicate: “O Allah, make my heart love the faith.” Ameen!

Acceptance or belief in the heart plus good deeds based on the five pillars of Islam highlight the extent of one’s faith. Faith grows and nurtures inside the heart, but is manifested through one’s actions. One should worry, first and foremost, about one’s heart. Once the heart is on track and the love in one heart’s is well-nourished, the rest (in terms of action) will follow.

What urges the believer (because all verses of this Surah are addressed to the believers) to follow all the rules given by Allah (swt) in this Surah?

  • Loving the faith.
  • Beautifying the faith in the heart.

We need to thank Allah (swt) for all His bounties and provisions. When Allah (swt) enables you to do good, you need to be grateful to Allah (swt) for putting you in situations that He loves, for example, praying. When you feel that good deeds or acts of worship are difficult for you, this should make you fear that Allah (swt) did not want the deeds from you or would not accept them from you. You need to supplicate a lot. Even if you have the love of faith in your heart, always make Dua. You never know when your heart can change! You need the following triangle:

QuranInsights

Faith is a bird with a head and two wings. When you have all three, you can fly to Allah (swt). Your worship can fly to Allah (swt).

When Allah (swt) plants the seed of love for something in your heart, He also plants the seed of dislike for the opposite of the same. For example, music is not allowed, so you slowly begin to love listening to the Quran and beneficial lectures. At the same time, Allah (swt) plants the seed of hatred of music in your heart. Gradually, your love for music will turn into hate and become love for the good words!

“…and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger (sa) hateful to you…” (Al-Hujurat 49:7)

When Allah (swt) puts love in the heart, no one can remove it. Likewise, when He puts hate in the heart, no one can affect it. Allah (swt) puts the hatred of the following:

  • Disbelief (in terms of the heart),
  • Wickedness (in terms of actions),
  • Disobedience (in terms of actions).

The opposite of faith is not one word. It consists of three words. Those who love faith hate disbelief + wickedness + disobedience.

“…These! They are the rightly guided ones.” (Al-Hujurat 49:7)

Allah (swt) magnifies and honours them by referring to them as the only ones, who are taking the path of the rightly-guided. They love their faith, acquire knowledge and then act upon this knowledge. This entire Surah highlights deeds and acts of worship, along with behaviour and mannerisms to be implemented in the society. Its instructions are meant to be understood and implemented.

Verse 8

“(This is) a Grace from Allah and His Favour. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Al-Hujurat 49:8)

‘Favour’ means blessings, bonuses, bounties and favours. This should make a believer humble. One should not feel proud. Everything we do is a favour from Allah (swt). Some blessings for the believers include even the material things in life that will help them achieve Paradise, like children and money. Believers use these things to attain success in the Hereafter.

The last part of the verse specifies some of Allah’s (swt) names. He is All-Knowing. He knows who deserves what. Also, because He is the most Wise, He does everything according to perfect knowledge and wisdom.

Sleeping Habits of the Prophet (sa) – In the Light of Surah Al-Mulk

Sleeping Habits

Ahadeeth offer us ample advice for perfecting our lives according to the Islamic guidelines. Alhumdulillah, every minute aspect of our life is discussed, including such daily routine as sleeping. Let’s take a look at what the Sunnah says about the sleeping habits of the Prophet (sa).

Prophet Muhammad (sa) used to recite Surah Al-Mulk before sleeping and then go straight to bed after Isha, without engaging in useless talk. The Prophet (sa) said: “There is a Surah in the Quran, which contains thirty verses. It will plead for the one who recites it, until Allah (swt) forgives him.” (Tirmidhi)

This action of our beloved Prophet (sa) holds great wisdom. Let’s look deeper into this Surah and reflect upon why he specifically chose it to be recited at night. The Surah begins with a majestic introduction of Allah (swt), enlightening the reader about His three characteristics:

  1. Allah (swt) is Blessed.
  2. He is the Owner of the entire universe.
  3. He does whatever He wills.

These characteristics are important, because they explain the upcoming verse, which is the heart of this Surah: “Who created death and life that He may test you, which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Al-Mulk 67:2)

This verse explicitly defines the purpose of our creation, i.e., to perform the best of deeds in life. It is important to note here that Allah (swt) did not state that He wants to see which one of us does the most deeds! Every single night, we sleep with thoughts about the reason behind our creation, and this serves as a reminder for the next morning, assuring that our actions will be performed in accordance with this notion.

In the following two verses, Allah (swt) sets some standards for an Ahsan (best) deed. He commands us to inspect the sky keenly and inquires if there is any visible inconsistency or defect. Just as the creation of Allah (swt) is free from any imperfections, so should be an Ahsan deed. It should be free from ill-intentions and must be performed on the level of excellence.

In the next verse, Allah (swt) directs the attention of the reader towards the sky, manifesting that the aims and objectives of a believer’s life should always be as high as the sky. Another advantage of an Ahsan deed is that it serves as a weapon a believer uses against his/her greatest enemy: the Shaitan.

The verses that follow give a detailed description of Hell and clarify the reason why a person would end up there. Every single night the mind is fed with the idea of Hell, so that a person makes all the efforts possible to be safe from it. The reason for people eventually ending up in Hell would be that they did not follow or listen to the messengers. The only way to attain Jannah is by following the Sunnah, as the life of our Prophet (sa) is a compilation of Ahsan deeds.

Later verses illustrate that the actions of believers are outstanding not only in the company of others, but also when they are all alone. Next, Allah (swt) states that it is only Him, Who upholds the birds in the sky. Similarly, the people, who think they can achieve something in life without the help of Allah (swt), are blinded by delusion. Even if a believer reaches the height of an Ahsan deed, it is because of the mercy of Allah (swt). If He withdraws His support, then a person is left completely helpless.

Towards the end, Allah (swt) presents the reader with two aspects that, if reflected upon, would aid in performing Ahsan deeds. They are Shukr and remembrance of the afterlife. Verses twenty-eight and twenty-nine implant a significant lesson: it is not necessary that those, who do Ahsan deeds, will not be affected by calamites; whenever such a situation occurs, they should keep their trust in Allah (swt) and carry on with their work.

The last verse poses a simple question: if water – the most vital element for human sustenance – is seized, who has the authority to bring it back other than Allah (swt)? It explains the fact that humans are completely dependent on Allah (swt) for their survival, and they should live their lives in the manner Allah (swt) wants them to, which is by doing Ahsan deeds.

When we recite Surah Al-Mulk, we should know what we are reading, because only then we would be able to attain all of its benefits prescribed in the aforementioned Hadeeth.