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Memorize Surah al-Mulk Ramadan 2021 | Verse 12

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Verse 12
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌكَبِيرٌ

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says: إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌكَبِيرٌ
Surely those who fear their Lord in private, or in regards to the Unseen, will have forgiveness and a great reward.
We are now shifting gears. The previous few verses were about those who disbelieve, their punishment, and why we should protect ourselves from being like them and earning their outcome. Now, we are going to talk about those who do believe, their reward, and why we should strive to be them and earn their outcome.

This is a common stylistic phenomena we find time and time again in the Quran, wherein Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions punishment, sin, and bad people, bad examples, the wrong things they did in this life to earn them an awful destination in the Hereafter. And then, immediately following, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the complete opposite: reward, good deeds, Paradise, role models, and praiseworthy examples of people we should strive to be like, what they did in this life to earn them a beautiful destination in the Hereafter.
This stylistic choice, regardless of the content, just the literary technique used, really shows how the Quran is the perfect book of teaching and guidance.

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This book functions to guide us, to help us live our lives in the best manner possible. And in order to do so, it has to take our human psychology into account. It has to present information in a manner that will actually inspire us towards action.
One of those ways, is to mention bad and good hand-in-hand; punishment and reward, fright and joy. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us about punishment so that we are inspired to do whatever we can to protect ourselves from it, and He tells us about reward so that we are inspired to do whatever we can to attain it.
We have to have both, human beings would not do well with just one or the other. So, after we talked about the disbelievers and their punishment, we now shift to talking about the believers, those who fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and the reward that they get.

Before we jump into the commentary, let us take a moment to unpack the translation and some difference of opinion regarding what بِٱلْغَيْبِ means.
Some commentators opine that بِٱلْغَيْبِ means that these people fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), they are in awe of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), they revere Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), even when they are all alone and no one else is watching. There is an extra level of sincerity there, because they have nobody to impress except Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). No one else is watching them, but they know Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is watching them, so they fear Him and do not do anything that would earn His displeasure and anger.
Other commentators opine that بِٱلْغَيْبِ means that these people fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) despite not being able to see Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), despite not being able to see the Hellfire. These people fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) as though they can see Him, as though they can visualize the Fire of Hell right in front of them, even though they cannot actually see. Their fear is strong and real, even though it is in regards to matters of the Unseen.
Regardless of what opinion we take on what بِٱلْغَيْبِ means, the main idea behind this description of people who will attain forgiveness and a great reward is that — they fear their Lord. And not just any type of plain old fear; but positive, productive, and beneficial fear that inspires one’s actions. A fear that is inspired by awe and reverence. Oftentimes, when we think of ‘fear’ we think of things that are scary: spiders, clowns, taxes. But Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is not “scary.”
The fear we as Muslims have of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is a completely different category from the routine things that people are usually afraid of.  Our fear of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is borne of respect, veneration, and honor. We fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) because of His Majesty, His Grandeur, His Power.
This fear is also different because it has a practical manifestation on the person’s actions and behavior.
Because this type of person fears Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), he or she does whatever Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has commanded and stays away from whatever Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has prohibited.
This positive fear of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) inspires a person to rectify themselves, improve their lives, and get better and better with each day. And when people do fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) as He deserves to be feared, fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) such that it affects their behavior and actions, what do they get? Forgiveness and a great reward.

One possible reason why forgiveness is mentioned first, is that, when people truly fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), earning His forgiveness is their top priority before anything else; before Paradise, before castles and palaces, before all the most delicious food in existence, they just want to be forgiven first. They want their records of mistakes and errors wiped clean.
This teaches us that, hey, even those who fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) as He deserves to be feared, even those whose fear of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is so strong that it inspires their actions, even they are going to make mistakes.

We are human, mistakes are going to happen. But so long as we pick ourselves up after a sin, repent and seek forgiveness from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and then strive to rebuild the strength of our productive fear of Him, then He will give us forgiveness. He will forgive us, and at the end of day, those who truly fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) want forgiveness more than anything else. But Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is so kind and generous, that He does not give these beautiful individuals only what they want.

These people fear Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and so forgiveness is the #1 thing they want. He gives it to them. But on top of that, He goes above and beyond and gives them even more than what they could possibly dream of. A great reward.
Paradise, gardens of bliss and comfort, everlasting, permanent happiness, joy, and delight that our minds cannot even fully understand.

And this is a common theme in the Quran wherein Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will mention something in very broad, general language, because the specifics are just too good for us to even comprehend. He mentions something vague so that our minds and imaginations are left to wonder.
What could a great reward from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) possibly entail?! Something so magnificent that words cannot describe it.

May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) help us to fear Him in a manner that He is deserving of, to forgive us, and to honor us with a great reward.

So again, our verse for today is:إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌكَبِيرٌ
Surely those who fear their Lord in private, or in regards to the Unseen, will have forgiveness and a great reward. 

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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.

Shaykha Ayesha Syed Hussain started her journey as a student of knowledge when she started attending the University of California Irvine (UCI). She went to ḥalaqāt at UCI’s MSU, took a number of courses at CIU, and starting memorizing The Qurʾān, excelling in all three. She then enrolled into the 5 Years Masters & ʿĀlimiyyah Degree offered at IOK Seminary, again, being at the top of her class. She completed her bachelor’s degree at UCI in three years, and began teaching Qurʾān at IOK and ICOI (Islamic Center of Irvine). In her 4th year as an IOK Seminary Student, she completed the memorization of the entire Qurʾān, earned her bachelor’s degree from IOK, along with her Ijāzah to teach Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī. In her last year of IOK Seminary, she began attending Loyola Law School. She was granted her Master’s degree in Arabic, Islamic Law, and Tradition, receiving Ijāzah to teach Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, and also receiving Ijāzah ʿĀmmah, spanning all books of Ḥadīth. She excelled in her studies of Fiqh, and Tafsīr as well, with her Master’s thesis focusing on al-Taḥrīr wa al-Tanwīr of Ibn ʿĀshūr (rḥA). At her completion and Ijāzah Ceremony of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, she was given the honor of reading the last ḥadīth. That summer, she completed her legal clerkship and is continuing her JD at Loyola Law School. She is still at IOK, but now teaching Arabic in IOK’s Part-Time Seminary. Learn more about IOK Seminary at iokseminary.com.

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