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Memorize Surah al-Mulk Ramadan 2021 | Verse 13

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Verse 13

وَأَسِرُّوا۟قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِٱجْهَرُوا۟بِهِ ۦٓۖإِنَّهُۥ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ 

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:
Whether you speak secretly or openly, surely He is All-Knowing of what is in the chests

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The previous verse talked about fearing Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in private, in secrecy, when no one else can see.
Some commentators mention that perhaps the connection between this verse and the verse preceding it, is that the previous verse mentioned human beings worshipping Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in “private,” and someone might read that and misunderstand that, oh, so some things are private, hidden, and unknown to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not know? This verse declares — clearly not. There is no such thing as keeping something private, hidden, or a secret from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

This verse was revealed in regards the polytheists, the mushrikūn, as they would slander, malign, and just talk badly about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as a whole, and then Jibrīl would come to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) informing him of what the polytheists are saying about him. Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would then approach the polytheists regarding what they said about him, and he would correct them and prove that what they are saying is not true.
The polytheists then said to each other: ﺪٍ ﻤﱠ ﺤَ ﻣُ بﱡ رَ ﻊَ ﻤ َﺴ َْﯾ ﻻَ ﻲ ْﻛَ ﻢْ ﻜُ َﻟﻮْ َﻗ واﺮﱡ ﺳِ َأ
Speak secretly, hide your speech, so that the Lord of Muḥammad does not hear, so that the Lord of Muḥammad cannot listen.And then verse was revealed, correcting their perverted understanding of who Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) truly is

The polytheists were engaging in blameworthy behavior and were later confronted about it by the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself.
They wanted to continue engaging in this type of act on, slandering and backbiting about Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), but they did not want to have to deal with the consequences. They did not want to have to deal with the Prophet -saw] confronting them about it and correcting their misunderstandings. So, they said — hey, clearly we are speaking way too openly, way too publicly. That’s why the Lord of Muḥammad can hear, and tell inform him about what we are saying.
Look at how crooked their understanding of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was. Comparing Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to other creations. Thinking that the only reason Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can hear them is because they are speaking loudly. So, thinking that the only reason Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can hear them is that they speak too loudly, they tell each other — let’s start doing this in secret. Let’s start talking badly about Muḥammad in private, quietly, secretly, so no one, not even the Lord of Muḥammad, can hear us.

This one verse, in literally just less than 10 words, immediately, definitively, corrects that corrupted understanding.
Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells them — it does not matter, whether you speak openly or privately. Whether you are using a megaphone shouting out the world, or whether you thinking to yourself, in your own head, without even uttering a word, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows what is in the chests. What is in the chests, meaning, the hearts. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows what is in our hearts. We do not even have to verbalize what we are feeling, what we are thinking. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the closest possible being to us, He knows us more than we know ourselves.

This verse especially drives the point home to rectify the polytheists’ thought process in the most explicit and clear manner possible, because the first part of the verse is talking about speech. Whether you speak privately or publicly, secretly or openly. But the end of the verse mentions بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
That which is in the chests, our hearts, our souls, our spirits. Meaning — feelings, thoughts, emotions, consciences, the little voice in the back of our heads. We do not even need to say it.
The polytheists are worrying about Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) hearing their speech, and Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is telling them — forget speech, I know what is in your hearts. You’re worried about something so simple and basic, without even realizing that the knowledge of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that you are so afraid of is even deeper and more intense than you could have ever imagined. How can Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) not know that which is said privately, when He already knew what was going to be said before it was even said — when it was still a thought, an idea, a feeling.

And this concept is one that we see a few other times in the Quran.
In Sūrah al-Raʿd verse #10, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:ۦ
Among you, the one who hides their speech and the one who openly proclaims it are absolutely the same
In Sūrah ṬāHā verse #7, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:
If you speak openly, then remember that surely He knows what is secret and what is even more hidden and concealed
These verses drive home the point that there are absolutely no obstacles or barriers to the knowledge of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has complete knowledge of it. And not only does Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) know about all the things in our lives that we may think are secret, but He knows it with the same exact level of ease and precision. Meaning, His knowledge of public and private is exactly the same. His knowledge of secret, private matters is not any more difficult, His knowledge of open, public matters is not any more easy. It is all the same. The barriers that we have when it comes to knowledge does not apply to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in the slightest bit.

So, how should this verse practically affect our actions and behavior? How should we practically apply this verse into our daily lives?
As with the rest of the Quran, the best way to understand the practical implementation of this verse is to look at the example and teachings of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).
In a much longer ḥadīth that is famously known as Ḥadīth Jibrīl and Umm al-Sunnah, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us that true excellence, iḥsān is:
That you worship Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) as if you see Him, and although you cannot actually see Him, you know that He sees you.

When Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that, regardless of whether our speech is public or private, He has full knowledge of it, this should have an impact on the way we carry ourselves. Not only in regards to our speech, but in regards to our behaviors and actions as a whole. And what impact should that have?
It should inspire us and motivate us to carry ourselves and live our lives as if we can see Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). And even though we cannot see Him, we should still behave in a manner that we know and are fully aware and are completely conscious of the fact that He sees us.

So before we do something, before we say something, before we even think or feel something, we should try our best to regularly remind ourselves that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is watching, listening, and is completely aware and knowledgeable of everything that is going on with us. We can never think that we can hide anything from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Such a thing is impossible, such a thing is inconceivable.

May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) help us to live lives conscious of the fact that He is always watching and listening, and may He allow us to use that as inspiration and motivation to live our lives in the best manner possible.

So again our verse for today is:
وَأَسِرُّوا۟قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِٱجْهَرُوا۟بِهِ ۦٓۖإِنَّهُۥ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ 
Whether you speak secretly or openly, surely He is All-Knowing of what is in the chests

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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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