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What Does Allah Care About? | Sh Ahsan Hanif

In verse 77, the final verse of the 25th chapter of the Qur’an; Sūrah al-Furqān, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says,

25_77

“Say, ‘What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication?’ For you [disbelievers] have denied, so your denial is going to be adherent.”

It is as if Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is stating in this verse that He does not care about certain attributes and measures, to which we, perhaps, in our worldly state pay great attention. Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) scales are different to our scales. Yet there is no answer to this question. The verse is the end of the Sūrah, and as such, it seems that a topic that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) just began is left without answer.

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However, due to the importance of this question and the whole topic of what Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) considers to be important, so that we too in turn, may pay greater attention to it, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) dedicates the whole next Sūrah to answering this question. Sūrah al-Shu‘arā’, the 26th chapter shows us what Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does and does not care about, in the most beautiful and eloquent of ways. The Sūrah mentions the stories of a number of past nations and the different attributes each nation was known for, and whether those achievements were sufficient in gaining them salvation. In between each story, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) repeats two verses showing how we should heed the lessons in this Sūrah,

26_8 (1) 26_9 (1)

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) begins with the story of Mūsā 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh. Pharaoh, the tyrannical and oppressive ruler who is bent on attaining and maintaining his power, to the extent he would claim divinity for himself. Pharaoh, who said to Mūsā, as Allah relates in the Qur’an,

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26_29

“If you take a god other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned.” (26:29)

Pharaoh, who with that power would subjugate a whole nation of people and place them in bondage and slavery. Pharaoh, who mad with his power would issue a decree to kill every male born child of Bani Isra’il.

Yet did his power, influence and armies help before Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) when he rejected His worship? Rather, his power would be the source of his destruction. While chasing Mūsā and his people, Pharaoh would see the sea split before him, but would think that it has split for him rather than Mūsā, so he rushed into it along with his armies until he was drowned. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not care about powerful leaders and kings when that power is not based on piety and God-consciousness.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) then mentions the story of the Prophet Ibrāhīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and his call to his father and his people. The relationship of Āzar to Ibrāhīm, and the bond between a father and son would not be enough to save Ibrāhīm’s father when he rejected Allah. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not pay heed to one’s parents, spouses, children, relatives, tribes or castes when judging them.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

We then have the story of the Prophet Nūḥ 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Nūḥ’s people were known for their nobility and highborn lineage. They would look down arrogantly upon those who were of lower birth. Thus, when Nūḥ’s followers were from the poor and general folk, they would remark,

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“Should we believe you while you are followed by the lowest [class of people]?” (26:111)

Yet this lineage and nobility would not benefit them before Allah when they rejected Nūḥ and Allah’s worship. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not care about this.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

Next we have the story of Hūd and the people of ‘Ād. ‘Ād who were known for the military strength and might, who would conquer lands and build fortresses, as Allah mentions,

26_128 26_129 26_130

“Do you construct on every elevation a sign, amusing yourselves. And take for yourselves and fortresses that you might abide eternally?

And when you strike, you strike as tyrants.” (26:128-130)

However, when they rejected Allah’s worship and their Prophet, Hūd, none of this would profit them. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not care for their strength and military skill.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

The Prophet Ṣāliḥ was sent to his nation of Thamūd. Thamūd who were famed for their technological and engineering skill as Allah says,

26_149

“And you carve out of the mountains, homes, with skill.” (26:149)

Those houses which we can still witness today in places like Petra, where huge abodes were skillfully carved within mountains thousands of years ago. Yet when they rejected Allah’s worship and their Prophet, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not care for their skill and technique.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

Allah then mentions the nation of Lūţ. Lūţ was a foreigner who had traveled and settled in this land. The people he was calling to Allah were the indigenous inhabitants. This is why they respond to the message of Lūţ by saying,

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“If you do not desist, O Lūţ, you will surely be of those evicted.” (26:167)

However, when they would reject Allah’s worship and the Prophet Lūţ, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) would not pay heed to their indigenous status, for Allah does not care for such things.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

Finally, Allah relays to us the story of the Prophet Shu‘ayb and his nation of Madyan. The people of Madyan who were known for their economic might and prosperity, and would seek wealth by hook or by crook. Allah says,

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“Give full measure and do not be of those who cause loss. And weigh with an even balance.” (26:181-182)

Yet this wealth and affluence would not save them when they rejected Allah’s worship and their Prophet.

“Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.”

Thus, if Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not care about the power possessed by Pharaoh, the close relationship of Āzar to Ibrāhīm, the nobility of the people of Nūḥ, the military strength of ‘Ād, the technological skill of Thamūd, the indigenous state of the nation of Lūţ or the economic might of Madyan, what does Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) care for and more importantly, what grants people Allah’s divine care?

Allah concludes Sūrah al-Shu‘arā’ with the answer to this.

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“And indeed, the Qur’an is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down. Upon your heart, [O Muhammad].” (26:192-194)

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) loves and cares for those who worship Him, follow His Messenger and revelation and live their life in servitude to Him. Thus, the above-mentioned attributes by themselves are not considered important by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), it is when they are coupled with faith and righteous action that a person or nation attains Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) divine care and love.

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Shaykh Ahsan Hanif, PhD, was born and raised in Birmingham, UK. He memorised the Qur’an at a young age and at the age of 17 received a scholarship to study at the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. As well as attaining an ijazah in the Qur’an and a diploma in Arabic, Shaykh Ahsan graduated from the Faculty of Shari’ah Studies in 2006. Upon his return to the UK he attained his PhD from the University of Birmingham.He is currently an imam at Green Lane Masjid, Birmingham as well as the head of the Qur’an & Hadith Studies Department for AlMaghrib Institute. He has spoken at Islamic conferences in various countries, published translations of Arabic works and is a presenter of IslamQA for Islam Channel.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hedieh

    July 1, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Love ur web ❤
    Thanks

    • Avatar

      J. Paul Ogden

      July 18, 2016 at 12:39 AM

      God is merciful, first of all, because He loves us – all of us. He does not love all that we do. Secondly and simultaneously, He cares for us in our efforts to learn how to Love Him which includes prayer, worship, faith, obedience, etc. We will fail often, but not ultimately until and unless He, the final judge, reconciles our actions and intentions within the bounds of all that He was constantly teaching us during our mortal sojurn here. If we endure to the end and live to be His faithful subjects – the jewels of His creation – His mercy can be our reward.

      He obviously has had a plan for us which involves this time while we are here together. Surah 77 v 25, 26. We cannot judge here and now who is exempt or who is to be imprisoned, cut off from His influence or abandoned in disdain. That is exclusively His right as supreme judge. George MacDonald commented on our disobedience concisely: “The instant a soul moves counter to the will of its prime mover, the universe is its prison.

  2. Avatar

    Badr

    July 3, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Jazzaka Allah khairan Sheikh, very significant article.

  3. Avatar

    Zain Zubair

    July 4, 2016 at 5:25 AM

    JazakAllah!! Amazing Article
    “Our Lord!
    We have wronged our own souls:
    If You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be lost ”
    Al Qur’an 7:23

  4. Avatar

    saki

    July 7, 2016 at 2:49 AM

    nice blog too informative. looking and reading your points its so impressive. doing more blog like this. i really appreciated doing like this.

  5. Avatar

    Umm Jehan

    July 8, 2016 at 2:29 AM

    What Allah likes most is that we obey Him and turn to Him at all times. Read Blossoms an inspiring online monthly magazine about how people turned to Allah and He resolved the most impossible problems.

  6. Avatar

    Lucifer

    July 8, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Excuse me, friends, I’m not a Muslim,but I’ve been engaged in a spirited discussion with a member of another site who has challenged me to ask you all for your views on matters of rationality versus faith.

    He argues that certain rights are endowed by a creator, but neglects to specify what they are and why they don’t seem to apply evenly, or consistently.

    He argues:
    “A system that declares human rights are “endowed by their Creator” establishes that said rights are not bequeathed by the generosity of a government and therefore cannot be legitimately taken away by that government. It is up to the governed to ensure they are upheld.”

    He defines “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (as per the Declaration of Independence) as those rights endowed by a creator.

    What I would like to know is:
    1)What mere mortal could dare deign to attempt to define the creator’s will and intent?

    2)Why would an omnipotent creator leave it in the hands of his creations to ensure that his given rights are protected?

    3)If these rights are indeed endowed by a creator and must be upheld at all costs, then what is the punishment for our failure? And as we have failed, numerously and continuously; If these things are so important to him why doesn’t he just take over?

    4) If he is in control, why does he ever allow his will to be broken?

    5) If the rights in the Declaration are an absolute account of rights endowed, then why has the creator not ensured that: A) No man go hungry, or thirsty, or without shelter, or good care?(Life); B) That no man be a slave?(Liberty); C) That everyone is allowed a say in their self-determination? (Pursuit of happiness)

    I understand that these may be an unsettling set of queries. Understand that I do not pose them to be incendiary. I would simply like your thoughts and opinions on the matter.

    • Avatar

      Maruf Sajjad

      July 12, 2016 at 10:45 AM

      Hello Lucifer, I will try to put my opinions regarding the questions you have asked. Know that these questions are nothing new, rather our prophet (peace be upon him) was also quizzed about some of these questions by his companions and throughout the history of Islam, many people asked these questions and there are a great deal of scholarly works done for answering these topics.
      Although you have asked 5 questions, they belong to the same category of the attributes of a God. This is a fundamental aspect of our faith to know about the names and attributes of Allah.
      The answer to your first question is, no, no mortal being defined the Creator’s wills and intent, rather it is the Creator who sent His defined rules and intents to us mortals. This was made very clear in the very beginning of our Quran, in Sura 2 verse 2-4 –
      ‘(2) This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah,(3) Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,(4) And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith]. ‘
      Now note that it explicitly declares that this book will guide those, who takes it for granted that there is a God, and He send revelations to His creations. This book will not argue with you whether there is a God or not, rather it is for those who accept that there is a divinity. SO if you agree with me upto this point, we can move to the next questions.
      Question 2,4 and 5 are basically asks the same question. Allah explicitly said it many times in the Quran that He could have made us in a way that there is no disobedience,there is no problems in the world, there is no hunger etc. etc. (refer to sura 5 verse 48 for example which says
      ‘… He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.’
      And He answered it saying that how He will create and maintain his creation is His business,not us. We cannot impose our conditions on how should God create or not. It completely depends on Him. If you know, the angels meet the criteria of those you have asked. The angels never disbelieve, the have no hunger,poverty etc etc, they are not given the power to disobey Allah’s command. They are above these. Allah created the type you have mentioned. So there is actually no point in arguing on this.
      Now question 3. It is a great question. As a matter of fact Allah knows that we will fail numerously and continuously, so He gave us the assurance of His forgiveness provided that we gave our efforts. Allah said us that He is ‘Al Gaffar’ and ‘Al Gafur’, two names to describe His forgiveness. Why is that? Interestingly, The difference between Al-Ghaffar and Al-Ghafur has been explained by various means. Traditionally, Al-Ghaffar is translated as “The Forgiving”. This type of forgiveness is a continuous and repetitive action. No matter how many times a person may sin, God can continually forgive him/her for his/her sins. Al-Ghafur, on the other hand, is understood as forgiving a sin no matter how large the sin may be.
      So, it the sincere effort that counts, the result is on the hand of Allah.
      I hope you got your answers. Thanks :)

  7. Avatar

    asdf

    July 8, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    Hello Lucifer, welcome to this site. I am very confused as to the nature of your inquiry and of why you are asking it on a Muslim website, as your queries seem to be from the American Declaration of Independence, not an Islamic source. It seems like you are trying to ask a question about free will in Islamic theology, of which, opinions are very divided.
    Please clarify.
    Thanks.

  8. Avatar

    AvidRetainer

    July 13, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Great article. I memorized and learned the meaning of Surah Shu’ara but I never really understood the connection between these two surahs. JazakumuAllahKhairan for this fascinating article. May Allah guide you to put up more articles about the order of the Quran.

  9. Avatar

    Abdul Sammad

    July 26, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    thanks
    very fine artical. Its very helpfull.

  10. Avatar

    Zaheer

    January 25, 2020 at 1:12 PM

    Good article, except for the part where it completely excludes the actual reason given in the Surah for the people of Lut’s destruction: homosexuality.

    Allah says: أَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلذُّكۡرَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
    Do you approach males among the worlds?

    وَتَذَرُونَ مَا خَلَقَ لَكُمۡ رَبُّكُم مِّنۡ أَزۡوَٰجِكُمۚ بَلۡ أَنتُمۡ قَوۡمٌ عَادُونَ
    And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing.
    [26:165-166]

    Not sure where the Shaikh is getting xenophobia as the reason for Allah’s curse upon those people – political correctness I daresay?

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#Current Affairs

This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

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تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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