Bismilah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem
Peace and blessings be upon you all
This Ramadan, due to our current situation of COVID-19 Lockdown, I was able to spend more time reading, listening to Tafseer by Nouman Ali Khan, and pondering over the Quran which made this Ramadan more special since three years as the last two years were spent in excess demand of studying and preparing to get into medical college.
In my Facebook page, I would write about a specific ayat of the Quran that made me really think and resonated with me. I thought I’d share them here to help you learn more about Allah’s words and also so that I can organise and save what I’ve learnt so win-win!
Courtesy of Nouman Ali Khan’s tafseer audio clips.
“Verily, my Salat, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Alamin.”Surah Al- An’am (6:162)
I was reading the Quran today and I came across this lovely thought-provoking Ayat which is a reminder to us all as to how we are supposed to live our lives from cradle to grave and Who we are supposed to live our lives in service of. He is Allah Subhana Ta’alah.
“And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world); rivers flowing under them, and they will say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth.” And it will be cried out to them: “This is the Paradise which you inherited for what you used to do.”Surah Al- A’raf (7:43)
I came across this beautiful ayat which says that when the good, righteous people will be entered into Jannah(Paradise), even if they have a tiny speck of hatred or dislike to other people, which is normal and common, that will be removed so that they are able to enjoy Jannah to the fullest. Once they enter, they will wholeheartedly thank Allah for guiding them to this blessed abode. On the other hand, Allah will congratulate them by saying that their entry to Paradise was of their own doing, their own hard work and sacrifice. For me, that is something that would melt my heart if I have to honour of being welcomed into Paradise, Inshallah.
“And if We hold back from them the punishment for a limited time, they will surely say, “What detains it?” Unquestionably, on the Day it comes to them, it will not be averted from them, and they will be enveloped by what they used to ridicule.“Surah Hud (11:8)
I’m currently learning Arabic but I can’t read sentences at the moment but when I came across this Ayat, he explained the Arabic word for “determined” in determined term here as أمة.
This means Ummah like nation, but it also means mother and how the Quran explains it is beautiful that the Day of Judgement coming at a fixed, determined time is the same as a mother caring a baby in her womb who will deliver the baby in a determined time known only to Allah.
In both cases, the time is both chosen and unchangeable. Like you can’t change the natural clock of delivery of a baby, you can’t change the time when this world will come to an end.
“See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high).
Giving its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.”Surah Ibrahim (14:24-25)
As I continued listening to Tafseer, I came across these ayats, talking about the examples that Allah shows us so that those who understand may give heed. Here, it says that a believer is like a tree whose roots hold firmly into the ground and whose branches reach to the sky, giving fruits all the time.
How is the believer similar to a tree? The believer who stands firm will not be swayed by the distractions, trials and evils of the world, as his roots hold the soil firmly, deeply rooted into faith.
The believers who does good deeds will have them multiplied like the branches of the trees grow and divide high into the sky, and as trees give fruits that benefit animals and people not himself, his good deeds will impact and benefit others.
As the fruits give off seeds and give rise to more populations of trees, a believer will give rise to a legacy of many believers.
As a tree takes its time (years!) To grow, transform and evolve from a seed to a stalk to finally a tree, a believer will go through multitudes of evolution and transformation to become what Allah wants him to be.
SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah what beautiful, deep examples Allah gives us through His creations so that we can understand what power Islam and having faith gives us!
“And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them [or We (first) increase in number those of its population] who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.“Surah Al-Isra (17:16)
This ayat tells us how Allah punishes a nation that chooses to go astray from Siratul Mustaqeem. It is quite interestingly explained in this ayat as it doesn’t tell us of any miraculous cataclysmic devastation to a nation. Instead, it tells us how the nation leads itself to destruction by not following the commands of Allah and Seerah of Muhammad SAW:
The rich, elite are made even richer and they make sure those who exist in their class become and stay rich. On the other hand, the poor become increasingly poorer and stuck in the cycle of poverty that the nation suffers economic loss and due to resentment between both classes, revolts or simply lack of unity between both the classes exist. With the weakened economy and unity among the people, the nation becomes responsible for its own doom with the will of Allah.
History is filled with such parables like the Mughal and British empires, and the thing about history is that it loves repeating itself………
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.“Surah An-Nur (24:35)
According to Nouman Ali Khan’s tafseer (or atleast what I remember or interpreted from it. Correct me if I made any mistakes), the blessed items in the ayat indicate the following:
Niche – rib cage
Lamp – heart
Glass – Fitrah or one’s purity.
Tree – Ruh/soul Allah breathes into us when we are in our mother’s womb
Light – Guidance already present, the inner light
Oil – Potential not materialised yet
Light upon light – Revelation that lit the oil
In the ayat, the glass is said to be a brilliant star. When we’re born, we’re born with innate good and purity, or Fitrah. But like dirty, dusty glass needs to be washed, our Fitrah needs to be constantly checked and cleansed otherwise one’s light cannot be spread and shared to others, and that light cannot receive guidance of Eternal light, i.e revelation from Allah.
The tree is supposedly placed in a perfect position and time that it receives light from the Sun all the time, providing optimum opportunity for the Fitrah to embrace the Sun.
When internal light meets external light and they collide i.e Light upon Light, a person becomes a believer. Imagine, who could write such beautiful parables like this other than Allah? SubhanAllah
Also did you know that on the domed ceiling of Aya Sofya Mosque in Istanbul, this ayat is written in calligraphy? I saw it myself when I went to Istanbul 2 years ago
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May Allah accept and put Barkat in all our good deeds, may we and our future generations continue to read, understand, ponder over, reflect, act upon and spread Allah’s teaching in the Quran so that we all experience His Light colliding with ours and experience a beautiful coherence.