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Ramadan Reminder | 5 Things Only Allah Knows & An Introduction to Laylat’l-Qadr – By Yasir Qadhi

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Lecture by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi | Transcribed by Zara T.

[The following is the video and transcript of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s Ramadan khatirah. The transcript includes slight modifications for the sake of readability and clarity].

Tonight’s khatirah is about the last ten nights. The last ayah of Sūrah Luqmān is that famous verse that our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commented on when he said, “There are 5 things that no one knows other than Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla).” This is from ‘ilm’l-ghayb that not even the angels, not anyone, knows these five things and they are, as Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

  1. Allāh has the knowledge of the Day of Judgment, and
  2. Allāh has the knowledge of when the rain will come down, and
  3. Allāh knows what is in the wombs of those who are about to give birth. Allāh knows not just whether it’s male or female but what is the qadr of this child. Is this child going to be a successful child or not? Is this child going to be righteous or not? Is this child going to be a millionaire or going to be a pauper?
  4. No one knows what will happen tomorrow.
  5. No one knows in which country, in which land, he or she will die.

All of this has to do with the knowledge of Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) and Allāh is saying no one knows this other than Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla), and therefore, the topic tonight, which is of course about laylat’l-qadr, fits in perfectly because what is laylat’l-qadr? Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) mentions that laylat’l-qadr is the most blessed night of the year. There is no other night about which Allāh has revealed a whole sūrah. Allāh has revealed a whole sūrah that we call the sūrah of qadr. Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) emphasizes this sūrah. In every single verse in this sūrah, Allāh emphasizes laylat’l-qadr.

Allāh is saying Inna anzalnahu fi laylat’l-qadr. Allāh has revealed the Qur’ān on laylat’l-qadr. In another khatirah we mentioned that it is as if Ramaḍān has been made holy because of the Qur’ān. It is as if the primary reason that Ramaḍān is special is because of the Qur’ān. “The month of Ramaḍān is the month that the Qur’ān came down. Therefore, if you are not traveling, fast.” We said it is as if fasting is secondary, Qur’ān is primary. And this sūrah of qadr also emphasizes the same point. Why is laylat’l-qadr so blessed? That Inna anzalnahu fi laylat’l-qadr – “We revealed it on laylat’l-qadr.” The Qur’ān came down on laylat’l-qadr. And iqra bisma Rabbik occurred on the day of qadr. Jibrīl and the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)’s encounter happened in the month of Ramaḍān. And Jibrīl said “iqra” on the day that was going to be the night of qadr.

Wa maa adraaka ma laylat’l-qadr?” this is a rhetorical question, and the purpose of a rhetorical question is to emphasize the obvious. “What will make you understand what is laylat’l-qadr?” Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) is emphasizing. What will make you understand? How will you understand? It’s too beyond your understanding. You’ll never truly appreciate laylat’l-qadr. Wa maa adraka. How can you expect to understand what is laylat’l-qadr?

To make us understand, Allāh gave us only one dimension that perhaps our limited minds can encompass, and that is, “This one night is better than a thousand months in which there is no laylat’l-qadr.”  And of course 1,000 months, as well all know, translates into around 83 years and four months. And this shows us that laylat’l-qadr is more blessed than multiple lifetimes. Not even one lifetime because even if one of us lives for 83 years, in reality how much do we worship in those 83 years? Think about it. How much do we actually worship? Suppose even that they have been righteous and practicing since they were children, praying regularly, and giving zakāt and going regularly for the ‘ibādāt. How many years do you actually worship of your life? Think about it. 24 hours of the day.  At least 15 to 20 hours are gone for the dunya: sleeping, eating, drinking, going to work. How much do you actually worship in that 24 hours? Wallāhi, even a righteous person, with difficulty, will be no more than 2 hours of that 24.

Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) is saying, on this laylat’l-qadr, if you worship Allāh for this one night, you will get the ajr of worshipping Allāh for 83.33 years. And that is more than multiple lifetimes than any one of us can ever have.

And then Allāh tells us another blessing. Laylat’l-qadr is too magnificent for us to truly understand. Allāh just gave us some tidbits, that perhaps, we’ll understand and appreciate some elements of laylat’l-qadr.

Tanazzalul malaaikah – Tanazzal is a very interesting verb. Nazzala is not anzala. Nazzala and anzala are two different verbs. Tanazzala is yet a third form, tafa’ala, which basically means batches upon batches keep on coming down. Tanzzala means one batch, and then another batch, and then another batch and it keeps on happening. They don’t all come down together. Rather, throughout the whole night they’re coming down.

Warruhu feehaa. And the Rūḥ, which is of course a reference to Jibrīl, Jibrīl himself comes down.

Bi idhnee rabbīhim. They come down with the decree, with the command of their Lord. And this is why laylat’l-qadr fits into the last verse as well of Sūrah Luqman that Allāh knows all of this ‘ilm’l-ghayb. But He tells partially, some of this to the angels for a period of time, because the main meaning of laylat’l-qadr is that on this night, Allāh’s qadr is announced to the angels. On this night, Allāh’s decree is announced only for this one year. For this one year. And so in this year, whosoever’s death has been ordained, the angels will be told on laylat’l-qadr that so and so will die on this day. Whosoever’s rizq has been increased, whosoever’s parcel of land has been said that it’s going to wither and dry or it will be giving fruit; every single element of the person’s decree, only for that year, shall be announced on laylat’l-qadr. Why? Because the angels execute the commandments of Allāh.

As we learn from our traditions, so much so that every drop of rain, Allāh has assigned an angel to deliver it to where Allāh has said it should go. Nothing happens except by the decree of Allāh. La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah. Everything that happens, Allāh has willed it. So the angels are given a roster. They’re given, just like in any corporation you have your annual meetings, just like in any group, you will be told, “these are the goals, this is what needs to be done.” And so Allāh (‘azza wa jall) informs the angels what will be happening for the next year. Births, lives, deaths, happinesses, accidents, problems, every qadr will be told to the angels that “you are assigned to this person to do this on this day,” and that’s what Allāh says in the Qur’ān, “feeha yufraqu kullu amrin hakeem.” That on that night, fee haa, on laylat’l-qadr, yufraqu kullu amrin hakeem. Every single decree of Allāh is decided. Now this does not mean that, astaghfirullah, Allāh doesn’t know what’s going to happen until laylat’l-qadr. It means Allāh announces it to the angels on laylat’l-qadr. Not that Allāh doesn’t know, but rather that the angels are told what is happening for the next year on laylat’l-qadr.

And therefore we are told that on this night, we should be found praying and prostrating and pleaing to Allāh and begging because those who pray to Allāh on laylat’l-qadr, their chances of a better qadr are increased. Those who pray to Allāh on laylat’l-qadr, their blessings become much more than otherwise imaginable, 83.33 years. And therefore the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) strongly encouraged us, almost bordering on a command, but it is not a command, because Allāh has made our religion easy. But it is a very strong encouragement, and that is why in the famous ḥadīth, three things forgive one in Ramaḍān. Number one is fasting the whole month, number two is praying every night, and number three: praying that one night of laylat’l-qadr, just that one night will forgive all of your sins.

As our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “whoever fasts all of Ramaḍān will have his sins forgiven.” “Whoever prays all of Ramaḍān will have all of his sins forgiven.” And “Whoever prays on laylat’l-qadr will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” And ‘Ā’ishah narrates that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), when the ten final nights came, he would tighten his belt (the lower garment).

This has two meanings, and both of them are valid:

1. The first of them, even we have the expression in English, that when you tighten your belt, what does it mean? You’re going to have determination; you’re going to have perseverance. This is a time of stamina, this is a time he needs to have his energy and so ‘he’s tightening his belt’ means he’s going to be serious now. That there’s no playing around, this is a time of seriousness, a time of ‘‘ibādah.

And there is a beautiful secondary meaning that our mother ‘Ā’ishah (ra) hinted at in a very beautiful manner and that is that he didn’t care about the sensual pleasures that were ḥalāl for him, he did not care about that aspect of marriage that is perfectly ḥalāl in the nights of Ramaḍān, but in these ten nights he would tighten his belt because he has far more important things to concentrate on. Not that it is ḥarām to enjoy one’s spouse on these nights, but our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) being the perfect man, these are the ten days of ‘ibādah. They’re not even the days of permissible pleasures for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Even that which is ḥalāl, he would avoid it because there are more important things to do, and so our mother ‘Ā’ishah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha), she hinted at this in this beautiful delicate language, that he would tighten his belt, as ibn Hajar says, it means he would avoid his wives in that manner for those ten nights. Once again, not that it is not allowed, but that this is the perfection of one’s īmān.

2. And he would stay awake for the whole night. And it is not reported that our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ever spent the entire night in worship other than these ten nights. Never did our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as far as we know, spend the whole night in non-stop worship other than these ten nights and that is why when he heard of some of the ṣaḥābah who were worshipping all night outside of Ramaḍān, he criticized this. And he said “your body has a right over you, your wife has a right over you, your Lord has a right over you, so give everyone their right.” Pray one third, sleep one third,  but don’t pray the whole night (this is outside of Ramaḍān). But these last ten nights, wa ahya laylatahu. He would spend the whole night awake. And notice the verb is also ‘ihya, which is: he would give life to the night. Not just he would stay awake, wa ahya lalatahu; he would enlighten, he would enliven the night, meaning he would be active in worship, he would be active in ‘ibādah, in tahajjud, in all of these good deeds.

3. And he would awaken his wives, his family; in other words, not just him. His wives and his servants and what not, his daughters, it is even reported he would knock on Fāṭimah and ‘Alī’s house (his daughter and son-in-law), he would knock on the door and tell them to wake up.  So he would awaken his family as well to pray the night. And ‘Umar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb as well, he would go awaken his wives and his children and he would recite the verse from the Qur’ān: Command your family to pray and be patient in commanding them.” And therefore, its not just the man prays, but that he encourages his wife, he encourages his children to spend the whole night in prayer as well.

And ‘Ā’ishah also reports that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never exerted himself as much as he did in these last ten nights. He never exerted himself as much as he did in these last ten nights of Ramaḍān. And our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), in the beginning of the Madinan years, he would exert himself in the first ten of Ramaḍān, then in the middle ten he would, and then towards the last few years he said that Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) has informed me that laylat’l-qadr is in the final ten nights. So utlubuuhaa: Go seek it in the final ten nights of the month. And so in the beginning it was as if he wasn’t fully sure, he might have thought it’s in the middle of in the beginning, but then towards the end of the Madinan phase in the last few years he said, “Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) has told me that laylat’l-qadr is in the last ten nights, so utlubuuhaa fil ashril awaakhir. Find it in the last ten nights of Ramaḍān.” And he said especially fil witr, in the odd nights. And in one ḥadīth he actually said “in the 21st, and the 23rd, and the 25th, and the 27th and the 29th.” He specifically mentioned the odd nights.

Pretty much all of the scholars have unanimously agreed that laylat’l-qadr is in one of the last ten nights of Ramaḍān, and especially one of the odd nights. And the strongest position, which Ibn Tayymiyyah and others gave forth, and Allāh knows best, this appears to be the strongest, is that every year laylat’l-qadr changes from night to night. It’s not one night for the rest of eternity. But rather, that Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) changes it every year. Why? So that people exert themselves every single year. And it’s only ten nights, and of those ten, five with extra importance. And the reward is so great, so who amongst us would be lazy when the reward is 83 years of worship, when the reward is to be blessed on laylat’l-qadr. Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) has made it only a few nights. Wal fajri wa layaalin ‘ashr. Allāh swears by the oath of the layaalin ashr. Ibn Abbās said layaalin ‘ashr are the last ten nights of Ramaḍān. Wal fajri wa layaalin ‘ashr. There are only ten nights, and of these ten, five are especially encouraged.

And our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would spend the whole ten in i‘tikāf in the masjid and he did this every single year of his life, as we said in the beginning, it was the first ten then the middle ten and then towards the last few years of his life when Allāh told him that laylat’l-qadr is the last ten, so he would literally cut himself off from his family and he would live inside the masjid for ten days and the last year he passed away, he in fact did i‘tikāf for twenty days to be even longer in the masjid. And of course i‘tikāf is a very well known sunnah and it helps us to find laylat’l-qadr. Why? Because in i‘tikāf, you are supposed to do nothing other than worship. You are supposed to pray and fast and do dhikr and do du‘ā’, you are cut off from the world around you. You are not even supposed to leave the masjid unless you have to get food or you have a necessary emergency. Otherwise, you stick to the masjid for those ten days. This is the sunnah of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

For those who cannot do i‘tikāf, they should at least come and pray as much as possible, and if they don’t pray in the masjid, at least they should pray at home, they should do something extra.

If you are able to only choose one of these two, either tarāwīh or the qiyām, there is no question that the qiyām is more rewarding. Because the later one prays in the night, the more blessed it is and our Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) especially encouraged praying in the last third of the night. So if you have to choose between the two, then come to the later one. However, having said that, please realize that praying the fard prayers in the masjid is the most blessed of all blessings that you can do. To miss ‘Ishā’ to pray at night is not good. You should pray ‘Ishā’ and if you need to go to sleep and then come back, then that is good to do.

You should pray ‘Ishā’ and pray Fajr because the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said “Whoever prays ’Ishā’a in jamā’h it is as if he has prayed half of the night and whoever prays Fajr in jamā’h it is as if he has prayed all of the night.” So especially ’Ishā’ and Fajr in these ten days, you should make a point to try to come. And especially if you cannot do qiyām in the masjid, then do it at home. If you wake up 4:30 for suhoor, wake up at 4, at 3:30. We realize we’re living in circumstances and times 99% of us have to go to work at 7, 8 AM. We realize it’s not possible for every one of us to worship the whole night. Allāh knows your situation, so do what you can. Laa yukallifullahu nafsan illa wus’aha. I understand perhaps me and you, we cannot spend the whole night awake if we have to go to work at 7 AM. But these are the nights of sacrifice so if you can get by with four hours of sleep, three hours of sleep, take a nap when you get back home. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Every single one of us needs to see: what can I do on these nights? And Allāh knows your situation. If you can’t pray the whole night, pray half the night, pray two hours, pray one hour. Do something that you usually do not do.

And one of the scholars of the tabi‘ūn , the students of the ṣaḥābah, he said “I seek Allāh’s refuge that Jibrīl comes down to this earth and he finds me asleep in bed.” And who is Jibrīl? Jibrīl is that being that has communicated with every single Prophet of Allāh. Jibrīl is that being that Allāh has mentioned by name in the Qur’ān—one of only two angels that Allāh has mentioned by name (some have said 3, 4, 5, but the 2 main are Jibrīl and Meekaeel that Allāh has mentioned by name). And Allāh said, “Whoever hates Jibrīl, he has taken me as an enemy.” This is Jibrīl. And Jibrīl (‘alayhi’l-salām), he only comes down, after the going of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), on laylat’l-qadr. There is no other reason for him to come down. And the presence of the angels brings about barakah and mercy. Where there are angels, there is Allāh’s raḥmah. Where there are angels, there is Allāh’s mercy. And that is why Allāh said, “Salaam.” The whole world is in peace on this night.

Salaamun hiya hatta matla’il Fajr. There will be peace. What does it mean: there will be peace? Angelic peace, spiritual peace. It doesn’t mean that people will still not commit crimes. People will be evil. They will be evil. But spiritually, there will be peace. Salaamun hiya hatta matla’il Fajr. And therefore when the angels are everywhere, then when you make a du‘ā’, the angels will say ‘ameen.’ When the angels find you praying, they will pray for you. When you pray to Allāh, the angels pray for you. When you make du‘ā’, the angels say “Ameen,” to your du‘ā’ and therefore being active on laylat’l-qadr, this is the night where we will get the rewards of 83 years of worship, this is the night where we will get our qadr decreed by Allāh, so we ask Allāh for a good decree on this night.

And one final ḥadīth: ‘Ā’’ishā’h (raḍyAllāh‘anha) said “Oh messenger of Allāh, what should I say if I am praying on laylat’l-qadr?” and he said this du‘ā’, so this should be our main du‘ā’, but of course all du‘ā’s, but especially this du‘ā’, He said, say this du‘ā’, “Allāhuma innka ‘affuwun tuhibul ‘afwa fa’fu anna”

Oh Allāh, You are Al ‘Afuw, and Al ‘Afuw means the one who wipes away completely, the one who erases. ‘Afaa means to erase as if it never existed. So Allāh erases our sins, ‘Afuw, literally as if it never happened, this is what ‘Afuw means, and that’s different than maghfirah, that’s different than rahmah, each one has a connotation. And the scholars say the most powerful of all of these connotations is Al ‘Afuw, because Al ‘Afuw literally means to erase as if it never existed.

So we ask Allāh to completely wipe out our sins as if we never did them in the first place. Allāhuma innka ‘affuwun. Oh Allāh, You are Al ‘Afuw.

Tuhibul ‘afwa. You love to forgive and to erase.

Fa’fu anna. So erase our sins away.

Three times we mention: one as a proper noun. Allāhuma innka ‘affuw. Then as a verb, Tuhibul ‘afwa. Then as a command which is a request Fa’fu anna, that Oh Allāh, make ‘afw of our own sins.

So this should be our most common du‘ā’.

One final point I needed to mention as well, some basic fiqh that we need to know, because we’re going to have two tarāwīhs and qiyāms basically every night..tarāwīh then qiyām, we’re going to have two witrs (of course we’re going to have to because some people can only attend one) So for those who are only praying tarāwīh, not a problem, you pray the witr and then you leave. If you wish to then join us again for qiyām or you pray qiyām at home, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said “Let no one pray two witrs in one night.” (this is a ḥadīth) and in one ḥadīth to Abu Hurayrah, he said, “Make the last ṣalāh that you pray at night, make it your witr.”

So what is to be done? If you know that you are going to pray at night as well, whether in the masjid or in your house, then you should still pray the witr with us but when the imam says salaam, you stand up, you don’t say salaam. You stand up and you add one extra nafl rak’ah after the imam has finished. So you have not prayed witr, you have made your three into four. It doesn’t count as witr because you have prayed four. Then you go home or you come here and you pray your witr.

Suppose you prayed witr with us, and then you go home and you decided you know what I’m energetic, I can come to the masjid, I’m energetic I can pray at home. Still, no problem, you have two options. The first option, which is the lesser rewarding, it’s still permitted but it’s not the most best, and that is that you pray your qiyām and you skip the witr. It’s allowed to pray after the witr but it’s not the best. The sunnah is to pray witr at the very end. Suppose you prayed one witr in tarāwīh, you went home, then you woke up at 3, you said, “You know, I can pray extra.” You should pray. Don’t let your witr stop you from extra ṣalāh, because it’s not ḥarām, it’s not sinful; it’s very rewarding to pray extra. So you should pray and then you don’t finish off with the witr you simply finish off 4 rak’ah, 6 rak’ah, 8 rak’ah, however many you pray.

Even better than this is the following: before you start your second set of salawaat, you quickly pray one rak’ah to even off your witr. Suppose you have one hour, you want to pray eight raka’t. So you quickly pray one rak’ah, and that one rak’ah evens off your witr. And then you pray 4 rak’ah, 6 rak’ah, 8 rak’ah and then you pray your final witr for the night, and this is the ideal scenario and situation. Realize brothers and sisters, in nafl ṣalāh, the Sharī‘ah is lax. In nafl ṣalāh, you don’t have to be that strict and so we’re allowed to pray one rak’ah or two rak’ah, it’s easy going; not a problem.

May Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) grant us the taufeeq to be able to pray on laylat’l-qadr.

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    h. ahmed

    August 2, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Thank you so much for transcribing this!
    jazakallah khair

  2. Avatar

    Prayer times

    November 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Very interesting. Thanks :)

  3. Avatar

    Sheeraz

    July 8, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    This is such a beautiful and informative article. I was searching about How to pray on Laylatul Qadr and landed on this page. I found every information needed to know. Thanks for this wonderful write up.

  4. Avatar

    Fahim Ahmed

    September 14, 2016 at 3:37 AM

    JazakAllah… I have always had problems with witr Salah, be it Ramadan or any other month. whenever I would skip witr salah having made plans for waking up for Qiyam ul-Layl, I would end up sleeping through the night and whenever I prayed witr Salah, I would wake up in the middle of the night and think about praying but the thought of witr being the last salah and that I have already prayed witr would prevent me from praying Qiyaam ul-Layl.
    Alhamdulillah… this is now clear. I assume this apply to other months as well. Just out of curiosity, What must I do if the former happen to me. i.e. I don’t pray witr in order to pray Qiyaam but I don’t manage to wake up for Qiyam instead wake up after Fajr Azaan has been given.

    JazakaAllah.

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Lessons From Surah Maryam: 1

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Alhamdulillah, it’s a great blessing of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that He has given us both the opportunity and ability to come here tonight to study and explore the meanings of His words in Surah Maryam. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept this effort from all of us and place it on our scale of good deeds.

Alhamdulillah, in our last series we were able to complete the tafsir of Surah Al-Kahf. InshAllah, in this next series, we’ll be exploring the meanings, lessons, and reminders of Surah Maryam. Tafsīr is an extremely noble and virtuous discipline. The reason why it’s so noble and virtuous is that it’s the study of the divine speech of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). As mentioned in a hadith the superiority of the speech of Allah over all other speech is like the superiority of Allah over all of His creation. There’s nothing more beneficial and virtuous than studying the Quran. And by doing so we’ll be counted amongst the best of people. As the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “the best amongst you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”

All of us need to build a stronger relationship with the Quran. The Quran is full of wisdom and guidance in every single verse and word. It’s our responsibility to seek that guidance, understand it, contextualize it and more importantly act upon it. Tafsīr is such a unique science that it brings together all of the other Islamic sciences. While exploring a Surah a person comes across discussions regarding Arabic grammar and morphology, rhetoric, Ahādīth, fiqh, sīrah and all those studies that are known as the Islamic Sciences. One scholar described the Quran as an ocean that has no shore, بحر لا ساحل له. The more we study the Qur’ān the stronger our relationship with it will become. We’ll become more and more attached to it and will be drawn into its beauty and wonder. The deeper a person gets into tafsir and studying the more engaged and interested they become. They also recognize how little they truly know. It develops humility. That’s the nature of true knowledge. The more we learn the more we recognize we don’t know. May Allah ﷻ allow us all to be sincere and committed students of the Qur’ān.

Surah Maryam

Surah Maryam is the 19th surah in the Quran. It is a relatively long Makki surah made up of 98 verses. Some commentators mention that it’s the 44th Surah to be revealed, after Surah Al-Fatir and before Surah Taha. It has been given the name Maryam because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the story of Maryam (as) and her family and how she gave birth to Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) miraculously at the beginning of the Surah. Just like other Makkan surahs, it deals with the most fundamental aspects of our faith. It talks about the existence and oneness of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), prophethood, and resurrection and recompense.

The Surah is made up of a series of unique stories filled with guidance and lessons that are meant as reminders. One of the main themes of this Surah is mercy… It has been mentioned over 16 times in this Surah. We’ll find the words of grace, compassion and their synonyms frequently mentioned throughout the sūrah, together with Allah’s attributes of beneficence and mercy. We can say that one of the objectives of the Surah is to establish and affirm the attribute of mercy for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That’s why all of the stories mentioned also have to do with Allah’s mercy.

Another objective of the Surah is to remind us of our relationship with Allah ﷻ; the concept of Al-‘Ubūdiyyah. These are the two major themes or ideas of this Surah; the concept of Rahmah and the concept of ‘Ubūdiyyah (Mercy and Servitude).

The Surah can be divided into 8 sections:

1) Verses 1-15: The surah starts with the story of Zakariyya (as) and how he was given the gift of a child at a very old age, which was something strange and out of the ordinary.

2) Verses 16-40: mention the story of Maryam and the miraculous birth of Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) without a father and how her community responded to her.

3) Verses 41-50: The surah then briefly mentions one part of the story of Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), specifically the conversation he had with his father regarding the worship of idols. The surah then briefly mentions a series of other Prophets.

4) Verses 51-58: Mention Musa and Haroon 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Idrees 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to show that the essence of the message of all Prophets was the same

5) Verses 59-65: compare and contrast the previous generations with the current ones in terms of belief and actions.

6) Verses 66-72: Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) addresses the Mushrikoon rejecting their false claims regarding life after death and judgment.

7) Verses 73-87: continue to address the Mushrikoon and warn them regarding their attitude towards belief in Allah and His messengers. They also mention the great difference between the resurrection of the believer and the resurrection of the non-believer.

8) Verses 88-98: contain a severe warning to those who claim that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has taken a child. They also express that Allah is pleased with the believers and mentions that one of the objectives of the Quran is to give glad tidings to the believers and to warn the non-believers.

Story

From various narrations, we learn that this surah was revealed near the end of the fourth year of Prophethood. This was an extremely difficult time for Muslims. The Quraysh were frustrated with their inability to stop the message of Islam from spreading so they became ruthless. They resorted to any method of torture that they could think of; beating, starving and harassing. When the persecution became so severe that it was difficult for the Muslims to bear it, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave permission to migrate to Abyssinia. “For in it dwells a king in whose presence no one is harmed.” 10 men and 4 women migrated in the 5th year of Prophethood secretly. After a few months, a larger group of 83 men and 18 women migrated as well. This migration added more fuel to the fire. It enraged the people of Quraysh.

Umm Salamah [rahna]narrated, “When we stopped to reside in the land of Abyssinia we lived alongside the best of neighbors An-Najashi. We practiced our religion safely, worshipped Allah without harm and didn’t hear anything we disliked. When news of our situation reached the Quraysh they started to plot against us…” They decided to send two delegates to persuade An-Najashi to send the Companions back by offering him and his ministers’ gifts. The plan was to go to each minister with gifts and turn them against the Muslims. So they went to each minister with gifts and said, “Verily, foolish youth from amongst us have come to the country of your king; they have abandoned the religion of their people and have not embraced your religion. Rather they have come with a new religion that neither of us knows. The noblemen of their people, from their fathers and uncles, have sent us to the king asking that he send them back. So when we speak to the king regarding their situation advise him to surrender them to us and to not speak to them…” The minister agreed.

Then they went to the king, offered him gifts and said the same thing… The ministers tried to convince him as well. An-Najashi became angry with them and said, “No, by Allah, I will not surrender them to these two and I don’t fear the plotting of a people who have become my neighbors, have settled down in my country, and have chosen me (to grant them refuge) over every other person. I will not do so until I summon them and speak to them. If they are as these two say I will give them up, but if they aren’t then I will protect them from these two and continue to be a good neighbor to them as long as they are good neighbors to me.”

al-Najāshī then summoned the Prophet’s ﷺ Companions. When his messenger informed the Prophet’s Companions that they were to appear before the king, they gathered together to discuss what they should do. One of them asked, “What will you say to the name (al-Najāshī) when you go to him?” They all agreed on what they would say to him, “By Allah, we will say what our Prophet ﷺ taught us and commanded us with, regardless of the consequences.” Meanwhile, al-Najāshī called for his priests, who gathered around him with their scrolls spread out before them. When the Muslims arrived al-Najāshī began by asking them, “What is this religion for which you have parted from your people? You have not entered into the fold of my religion, nor the religion of any person from these nations.”

Umm Salamah [rahna] narrated, “The Person among us who would speak to him was Jaʿfar ibn abī Ṭālib [rahnu] who then said, “O king, we were an ignorant people: we worshipped idols, we would eat from the flesh of dead animals, we would perform lewd acts, we would cut off family ties, and we would be bad neighbors; the strong among us would eat from the weak. We remained upon that state until Allah sent us a Messenger, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and chastity we already knew. He invited us to Allah – to believe in His oneness and to worship Him; to abandon all that we and our fathers worshipped besides Allah, in terms of stones and idols. He ﷺ commanded us to speak truthfully, to fulfill the trust, to join ties of family relations, to be good to our neighbors, and to refrain from forbidden deeds and from shedding blood. And he ﷺ forbade us from lewd acts, from uttering falsehood, from wrongfully eating the wealth of an orphan, from falsely accusing chaste women of wrongdoing. And he ﷺ ordered us to worship Allah alone and to not associate any partners with him in worship; and he ﷺ commanded us to pray, to give zakāh, and to fast.” He enumerated for al-Najāshī the teachings of Islam. He said, “And we believe him and have faith in him. We follow him in what he came with. And so we worship Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him in worship. We deem forbidden that which he has made forbidden for us, and we deem lawful that which he made permissible for us. Our people then transgressed against us and tortured us. The tried to force us to abandon our religion and to return from the worship of Allah to the worship of idols; they tried to make us deem lawful those abominable acts that we used to deem lawful. Then, when they subjugated us, wronged us, and treated us in an oppressive manner, standing between us and our religion, we came to your country, and we chose you over all other people. We desired to live alongside you, and we hoped that, with you, we would not be wronged, O king.” al-Najāshī said to Jaʿfar [rahnu], “Do you have any of that which he came with from Allah?” Jaʿfar [rahnu] said, “Yes”. “Then recite to me,” said al-Najāshī. Jaʿfar [rahnu] recited for him the beginning of Surah Maryam. By Allah, al-Najāshī began to cry, until his beard became wet with tears. And when his priests heard what Jaʿfar [rahnu] was reciting to them, they cried until their scrolls became wet. al-Najāshī then said, “By Allah, this and what Mūsa (as) came with come out of the same lantern. Then by Allah, I will never surrender them to you, and henceforward they will not be plotted against and tortured.”

Describing what happened after the aforementioned discussion between al-Najāshī and Jaʿfar [rahnu], Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “When both ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ and ʿAbdullah ibn abī Rabīʿah left the presence of al-Najāshī, ʿAmr [rahnu] said, “By Allah tomorrow I will present to him information about them with which I will pull up by the roots their very lives.” Abdullah ibn Rabīʿah who was more sympathetic of the two towards us said, “Don’t do so, for they have certain rights of family relations, even if they have opposed us.” ʿAmr said, “By Allah, I will inform him that they claim that ʿĪsā ibn Maryam is a slave.”

He went to the king on the following day and said, “O king, verily, they have strong words to say about ʿĪsa (as). Call them here and ask them what they say about him.” al-Najāshī sent for them in order to ask them about ʿĪsa. Nothing similar to this befell us before. The group of Muslims gathered together and said to one another, “What will you say about ʿĪsa when he asks you about him?” They said, “By Allah, we will say about him that which Allah says and that which our Prophet ﷺ came with, regardless of the outcome.” When they entered into his presence, he said to them, “What do you say about ʿĪsa ibn Maryam?” Jaʿfar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “We say about him that which our Prophet ﷺ came with – that he is the slave of Allah, His messenger, a spirit created by Him, and His word, which he bestowed on Maryam, the virgin, the baṭūl.”

al-Najāshī struck his hand on the ground and took from it a stick. He then said, “ʿĪsa ibn Maryam did not go beyond what you said even the distance of the stick.” When he said this, his ministers spoke out in anger, to which he responded, “What I said is true even if you speak out in anger, by Allah. (Turning to the Muslims, he said) Go, for you are safe in my land. Whoever curses you will be held responsible. And I would not love to have a reward of gold in return for me hurting a single man among you. (Speaking to his ministers he said) Return to these two (men) their gifts, since we have no need for them. For by Allah, Allah did not take from me bribe money when He returned to me my kingdom, so why should I take bribe money. The two left, defeated and humiliated; and returned to them were the things they came with. We then resided alongside al-Najāshī in a very good abode, with a very good neighbor.”

The response was simply amazing in its eloquence. A believer puts the needs of his soul before the needs of his body. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts the Surah by saying,

Verse 1: Kaf, Ha, Ya, ‘Ayn, Sad.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts Surah Maryam with a series of five letters. There are many different saying or explanations regarding these five letters. The most correct opinion is that these are from the broken letters. There are 29 different Surahs in the Quran that start with the broken letters. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) alone knows the meanings of these letters. They are a secret from amongst the secrets of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning that no one knows what they truly mean. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows their meanings so they are from amongst the Mutashaabihat, those verses whose meanings are hidden.

However, we do find that some great Companions, as well as their students, sometimes gave meanings to these words. For example, it’s said that it is in acronym and each letter represents one of the names of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Kaf is for Al-Kafi or Al-Kareem, “haa” is for Al-Hadi, “yaa” is from Hakeem or Raheem, “’ayn” is from Al-‘Aleem or Al-‘Adheem, and “saad” is from Al-Saadiq. Others said that it is one of the names of Allah and it’s actually Al-Ism Al-‘Atham or that it’s a name of the Quran. However, these narrations can’t be used as proof or to assign definitive meanings. They offer possibilities, but no one truly knows what they mean.

Now the question should come to our mind that why would Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) start of a Surah with words that no one understands?

1) To grab the attention of the listeners.

2) To remind us that no matter how much we know there’s always something that we don’t know.

3) These letters are the letters of the Arabic language and the Quran was revealed at a time that was the peak of eloquence of the language and it was their identity. The Quran was revealed challenging them spiritually and intellectually. The Arabs never heard these letters being used in such a majestic way.

4) To prove the inimitable nature of the Quran.

Allah then starts the story of Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was one of the Prophets sent to Bani Israel. He was the husband of Maryam’s paternal aunt. He was also one of the caretakers or custodians of Baitul Maqdis.

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Heart Soothers: Idrees Al Hashemi

Quran
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Lesson 13 From Surah Al -Kahf

Last verses of Surah Kahf

Surah Kahf
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Alhamdulillah last session we were able to cover the meanings of verses 83-98. InshAllah tonight we’ll explore the meanings of verses 99-110, which will bring us to the end of this noble and beautiful Surah. Just as a quick reminder, the last set of verses related the story of Dhul Qarnain, who was an upright and God-conscious ruler who ruled over the entire known world of his time. He was a righteous servant of Allah to whom Allah granted might, power and sovereignty over the world along with knowledge and wisdom. He was a special servant of God. We’re told about his journeys to the east, west, and north as well as his building of a huge wall to prevent Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj from escaping. This story highlighted the fitna and trial of might, power, leadership, and authority and showed us that the way to deal with it is through faith and sincerity. Dhul Qarnain was tested with a lot of wealth and power but it was unable to corrupt him because of his faith and sincerity. The Surah follows the story of Dhul Qarnain with a scene from the Day of Judgment.

Verse 99: And We shall leave them, on that day, to surge over one another like waves. And the trumpet shall be blown, and We shall gather them together.

The first part of this verse is referring to Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj and the second part refers to resurrection, when the Angel Isrāfīl will blow into the horn bringing all creation back to life. On that day, is referring to the day near the end of times when Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj will break through the barrier and surge down the mountains like waves upon humanity destroying everything in their way. As Allah ﷻ tells us in Surah Al-Anbiya, “Until when [the dam of] Gog and Magog has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend…” They will wreak havoc for a period of time known to Allah until they will be destroyed.

As we’ve covered before there will be two instances when the trumpet will be sounded. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has appointed the Angel Isrāfīl to blow into the trumpet. This will happen twice. The first time every single thing will be destroyed. The second time every single thing will be brought back to life. This is how the day of Resurrection will start. The sūr, which is a trumpet or a horn, will be blown and all of mankind will rise from their graves and come towards the plain of judgment. That’s what Allah ﷻ is mentioning here in this verse, “And the trumpet shall be blown, and We shall gather them together.”

The Surah then describes a scene from the day of Judgment that’s specific to the non-believers. Those who received the message and consciously chose to reject it and rebel against God and His messengers.

Verse 100-101: And We shall present Hell, on that Day, as an array before the non-believers, those whose eyes were veiled from the remembrance of Me, and could not hear.

Meaning on the Day of Judgment Allah ﷻ will show the non-believers Hell Fire, exposing it to them so that they can see it with their own eyes. They will see it with their own eyes and hear its raging and frightening sounds even before entering it. Allah then describes the non-believers with 3 characteristics, which are essentially three reasons why they will be punished in the hereafter:

1) “Those whose eyes were veiled from the remembrance of Me, and could not hear.” They weren’t able to understand the truth when it was presented to them because they were spiritually blind and deaf. They were blind to the signs of Allah’s existence and power all around them spread throughout the universe, so they never thought or reflected over them. On top of that, they weren’t able to understand what was being recited to them. Meaning, they consciously chose to ignore the message and turn away from it. Here Allah is contrasting their condition in the hereafter to their condition in the life of this world. In this world, they chose to turn away from belief in the fire and in the hereafter, they won’t have the option to turn away. The veil over their eyes will be removed and they will see the consequences of their choice.

2) The second is that they worshipped others besides Allah.

Verse 102: Do those who disbelieve reckon that they may take My servants as protectors apart from Me? Truly We have prepared Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers!

Allah is scolding them and showing them their mistake. Did they really think or believe that they could take created beings or inanimate objects as protectors apart from Me? Did they really believe that worshipping idols, angels or people would benefit them or help them in any way? There’s no help or protection except with Allah, who deserves to be worshipped alone without any partners. As Allah ﷻ says in Surah Maryam, “No! Those “gods” will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].” Allah then tells us that their punishment is Jahannam, which has been prepared as a resting place for them. “Truly We have prepared Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers!”

3) The third quality that the non-believers are described with is that they are fools for thinking that their actions in this world will be of any benefit to them in the Hereafter.

Verse 103-104: Say, “Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect to their deeds? Those whose efforts go astray in the life of this world, while they think that they are virtuous in their works.

In this verse, Allah ﷻ is addressing the Prophet ﷺ directly and he’s telling him to pose this question to the non-believers. “Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?” Do you want to know who the greatest and biggest losers are with respect to their deeds? They are the ones who did good deeds and put in effort, but all of it went to waste. Those individuals who were misguided in the life of this world so their actions were guided by their wants, desires, and pleasures. Their actions were misplaced and not guided by faith in Allah. The reason why all of their efforts will go to waste is their disbelief or absence of faith. As Allah says,

Verse 105-106: They are those who disbelieve in the signs of their Lord, and in the meeting with Him. So their deeds have gone to waste, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign them no weight. That is their recompense, the Jahannam, for having disbelieved and for having taken My signs and My messengers in mockery.

The greatest losers with respect to their deeds are those who reject the signs of Allah in this world. Those who refuse to accept the oneness, might, power and magnificence of Allah, those who refuse to believe in life after death and accountability. Their deeds will go to waste and on the Day of Judgment, they won’t have any weight. We know from multiple verses and narrations that our deeds are going to be weighed on the Day of Judgment. And on the Day of Judgment, it’s not about the number of deeds but the quality. That’s why on the Day of Judgment our deeds won’t be counted but they will be weighed. It could be that the weight of one action or deed is more than a thousand other deeds.

Those actions that are devoid of faith and sincerity will have no weight whatsoever. As Allah ﷻ says in Surah Al-Furqān, “And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed.” Their recompense is the fire of Jahannam, and that is the ultimate justice and fairness. They get punishment as recompense because of their rejection and disbelief and mockery of Allah’s signs and His messengers. Allah ﷻ then contrasts the punishment of the non-believers with the reward of the believers in Paradise.

Verse 107-108: Those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be the Gardens of Paradise as a welcome. Abiding therein forever, they don’t seek any change from it.

Just as Hell is a “welcome” for the non-believers, Paradise is a true “welcome” for the believers. Meaning, those who believe in the existence and oneness of Allah, believe in the Prophet ﷺ and life after death and that faith expresses itself through their actions, their reward will be Gardens of Paradise. Again we see this formula being mentioned, faith + righteous deeds. This is the simple formula to achieve success in this world and the next. Our faith has to be real and practical; it has to translate into action. If we do so then our reward will be Jannah al-Firdaws, which is the highest and most virtuous level of Paradise. The Prophet ﷺ said, “When you ask Allah for Paradise ask Him for Al-Firdaws. It is the highest level of Paradise, the middle of Paradise and the rivers of Paradise flow from it.”

  • إذا سألتم الله الجنة، فاسألوه الفردوس، فإنه أعلى الجنة، و أوسط الجنة، و منها تفجر أنهار الدنة.

In another narration, the Prophet ﷺ said, “In Paradise, there are a hundred levels, what is between every two levels is like what is between the heavens and the earth. Al-Firdaws is its highest level, and from it the four rivers of Paradise are made to flow forth. So when you ask Allah, ask Him for Al-Firdaws.”

  • “‏ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِائَةُ دَرَجَةٍ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالْفِرْدَوْسُ أَعْلاَهَا دَرَجَةً وَمِنْهَا تُفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ الأَرْبَعَةُ وَمِنْ فَوْقِهَا يَكُونُ الْعَرْشُ فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ فَسَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ ‏”‏ ‏.

They will be in Paradise for all of eternity, enjoying all of its pleasures and not wanting or desiring anything other than it. Allah (swt) then tells us about the extent and vastness of His knowledge. That his knowledge is infinite. This is also a description of the greatness and status of the Qur’ān.

Verse 109: Say, “If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like thereof to replenish it.”

“The words of my Lord” may be a reference to Allah’s infinite knowledge or wisdom or the meanings of the Qur’ān. Meaning that if the oceans were turned into ink and the words of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) were to be written with this ink, then the ink would run out and the words of Allah (swt) would still be left, even if more ink were to be brought. This is an example to make us understand the vastness of Allah’s knowledge, wisdom, and secrets. This example is being given to make us as human beings recognize the infinite nature of Allah’s knowledge as compared to or finite and limited knowledge.

The ocean is the largest and richest creation known to us as human beings. It takes up more than 70% of the surface of the Earth. And we use ink to document and record our knowledge, which we think is vast and amazing. So Allah gives this example of the ocean as ink being used to write and record His words. The entire ocean is used up and then it’s replenished but the words of Allah are still being written. This example is trying to help us comprehend the difference between the infinite and the finite. “And if all the trees on earth were pens, and if the sea and seven more added to it were ink, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Truly Allah is Mighty, Wise.” This example should allow us to recognize the greatness and magnificence of Allah ﷻ as well as humble us as human beings as well.

We as human beings should never be deceived or fooled by our own intellect and abilities. No matter how much we learn and how advanced we become scientifically and technologically, it’s nothing compared to the infinite knowledge and wisdom of Allah ﷻ. Our knowledge compared to the knowledge of Allah is like a drop of water compared to all the oceans. Allah ﷻ then ends the noble Surah by reminding the Prophet (saw) about humility and us about the path of true salvation.

Verse 110: Say, “I am only a human being like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is one God. So whosoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him perform righteous deeds and make no one a partner with his Lord in worship.

Allah ﷻ is speaking directly to the Prophet ﷺ. He’s telling him to tell his nation, his community, that he is a human being just like them. He’s not an Angel nor is he divine in any way. He eats, drinks, walks, talks and sleeps just like them. The only difference is that he ﷺ receives revelation from above from the Most High. It has been revealed to him that there is only one God, alone without any partners. So whoever believes in the meeting with their Lord, meaning they believe in the last day, resurrection, accountability and judgment. They know that the life of this world is temporary and finite and that the life of the hereafter is eternal and infinite, should “perform righteous deeds and make no one a partner with his Lord in worship.”

Righteous deeds include fulfilling all of our obligations, obeying the commands of Allah and staying away from His prohibitions. It includes all voluntary acts of worship such as praying, fasting, reading Quran, making dua, dhikr and charity. It includes being kind to our parents, spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers. It even includes smiling at someone. There are multiple paths of righteousness in Islam.

We’re then reminded to not associate partners with Allah in our worship; to not commit shirk. There are two types of shirk: al-shirk al-akbar and al-shirk al-asghar. Al-Shirk Al-Akbar is associating partners with Allah; it’s an act of disbelief. Al-Shirk Al-Asghar refers to ostentation and showing off or not having sincerity in acts of worship. The Prophet ﷺ referred to ostentation as “the lesser idolatry.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “I do not fear that you will worship the sun, the stars and the moon, but I fear your worshipping other than Allah through ostentation.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “What I fear most for my community is doing things for other than the sake of Allah.” Ibn al-‘Arabi quotes his shaykh, “Let not the hours of your dear life pass away confronting contemporaries and socializing with friends. Watch out! Allah concluded His statement on the following verse…”

Alhamdulillah that brings us to then end of this noble and beautiful Surah. A Surah that has a special and unique status because the Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to recite it specifically on Fridays. Through four stories the Surah focuses on four different types of trials we’re going to face in this world and how to respond to them.

1) The story of the people of the cave represents the trial of faith. And we’re taught that one of the best ways to deal with it is through good company; surrounding ourselves with people of faith and righteousness.

2) The story of the owner of the two gardens is representative of the trial of wealth. And we’re taught the most powerful way to deal with it is by recognizing the reality of the life of this world.

3) The story of Musa (as) with Khidr is representative of the trial of knowledge and the way to deal with it is through seeking knowledge and humility.

4) The last story, the story of Dhul Qarnain is representative of the trial of power. The solution is sincerity and righte

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