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Quran and Sunnah

Memorize Surah al-Mulk Ramadan 2021 | Verse 19

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Verse 19

● Allāh says: أَوَلَمْ†يَرَوْا۟†إِلَى†ٱلطَّيْرِ†فَوْقَهُمْ†صَٰٓفَّٰتٍۢ†وَيَقْبِضْنَ†مَۚا†يُمْسِكُهُنَّ†إِلَّا†ٱلرَّحْمَٰنُ†إِۚنَّهۥُ†بِكُلِّ†شَىْءٍۭ†بَصِيرٌ

○ Do they not see the birds above them, expanding and contracting

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their wings? None holds them up except The Most Merciful. Surely

He is All-Seeing of everything.

● At this point in the sūrah, we are not shifting back to Allāh’s

descriptions of His magnificent creations

○ He talked about creating life and death, creating seven heavens in

layers, creating stars in the sky, creating the Earth

■ And with each of these creations there is perfection, majesty,

and might

● We are now coming to the next creation Allāh is detailing for us, and

through this creation and its description we learn something else about

who Allāh is

○ We learn something new about Allāh’s Mulk, His Dominion

● In this verse, Allāh is encouraging us to look up at the birds flying above

us

○ Just one of many commands we find in the Q of Allāh telling us to

look at the world around us and the creation in it

○ Allāh is encouraging us to look at the birds flying above us, and He

describes their manner of flight

○ They expand their wings, and they contract their wings

○ This movement creates flight

○ A constant cycle of expansion and contraction

● Allāh then tells us, there is nothing, absolutely nothing and no one that

is holding those birds up, except Allāh, except al-Raḥmān, The Most

Merciful

○ What does this teach us about Allāh and His Mulk?

○ It teaches us that Allāh is actively involved in running the universe

○ He is actively working in His Mulk

○ He did not just create everything and then leave

● There is a theory in philosophy called The Clock-Maker Theory

○ This theory asserts that God created the universe, but is not

actively involved in its operation

■ Just as a clock-maker makes a clock, and then the clock

operates independently of its maker

○ When someone makes a clock, they make the design, they put

together the pieces, they set up the function, but once that clock is

made, the clock-maker is no longer needed

■ The clock will continue to function, perfectly normal and just

fine, and the clock-maker is no longer involved in the

constant functioning of that clock

○ This is how some philosophers view God

■ They claim that, yes there is a God, yes this God did create the

universe, but He just created it and left

■ He is not involved in the day-to-day operations

■ The universe functions on its own, after the creation of the

universe the Creator is no longer needed for the universe to

function

● This theory is in direct contradiction to what we believe about Allāh, as

Muslims, and our verse for today proves that

○ As Muslims we believe that Allāh is deeply, intricately involved in

every single aspect of the universe’s functioning

○ Allāh did not simply create His Mulk and leave

○ Rather, Allāh’s Mulk cannot survive, it cannot last for even a

fraction of a second, without Allāh’s management and

involvement

○ We need Allāh for every breath we take

○ Nothing can happen without Allāh being the cause and source of

that occurrence

● Allāh is giving us a visual example of His constant, nonstop

management and involvement in the universe — the birds

○ We have all seen birds before, we have all seen them fly

○ The way birds fly is so elegant, so graceful, so seamless and

effortless

○ Yes, the birds put in the work of expanding and contracting their

wings to create flight, as this verse tells us, but they are not the

ones holding themselves up

○ They put in the effort, but they have no control over the outcome

○ Allāh is the One who holds them up in the air, keeps them

suspended in the sky

○ There may be birds that expand and contract their wings, but no

matter how much they do it, they can’t fly

■ No matter how much they flap their wings, they cannot stay

up and suspended in the air

○ Allāh is One who is allowing their flapping to do anything

○ And in this is a huge lesson for all of us

● Our job is to put in the effort, and the outcome, the result, is completely

left to Allāh

○ In this verse Allāh tells us first that the birds expand and contract

their wings

■ They are putting in the effort, they are doing what they can to

achieve what they want to do

○ But at the end of the day, the only real reason that those birds are

able to actually fly, is Allāh

○ Similar deal with us human beings

■ When we want to do something, when we want to achieve

something, we have to put in the effort

■ We cannot sit around, doing nothing, and say — Allāh is going

to handle it all

○ We have to put in the effort, we have to invest the work

○ But the result, the outcome of that work and effort is completely

Allāh

■ The result of our work is not because of our own efforts,

rather it is because of Allāh

○ That is why you have people that put in the same amount of work

and effort to achieve a certain goal, some are successful and some

are not

○ Some birds may flap just as long and hard as others, but some of

them will fly and some of them will not

● Another point to appreciate in what this verse is teaching us about

Allāh, is a deeper understanding of Allāh’s Divine Names al-Ḥayy and

al-Qayyūm

○ And His description that لَا†تَ†أْخُذُهۥُ†سِنَةٌ†وَ†لَا†نَوْمٌ

○ Well-known descriptions of Allāh that are detailed for us in  yah

al-Kursī, which is verse #255 in Sūrah al-Baqarah

● Allāh tells us that He is al-Ḥayy and al-Qayyūm

○ The Ever-Living and The All-Sustaining, these two qualities go

hand-in-hand

○ Two qualities of Allāh that directly contradict the Clock-Maker

Theory

○ Allāh has life, Allāh is always there, Allāh never ceases to exist

○ And with that constant, perpetual, neverending life, Allāh

constantly and perpetually manages and sustains the universe

○ He is always continually sustaining all that is in existence

● لَا†تَ†أْخُذُهۥُ†سِنَةٌ†وَ†لَا†نَوْمٌ†—neither drowsiness nor sleep overtakes Him

○ Meaning, there is never a break in Allāh management and

sustainment of the universe, of His Mulk

○ It is continually, constantly taking place

○ Not even a fraction of a second break, because as we stated earlier,

nothing can exist for even a fraction of a second without Allāh’s

sustainment

● This verse, by encouraging us to ponder and reflect upon the birds

above us, teaches us that

○ 1) Allāh is intimately involved in the management and sustainment

of His Mulk

○ 2) We have to put in the effort, the outcome is left to Allāh

○ 3) Allāh never takes a break, his management and sustainment of

the universe is constant

● May Allāh help us to learn more about Him and grow closer to Him

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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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