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The Guidance Of The Quran: IOK Ramadan Reflections Series #15

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IOK Ramadan Reflections Series #15: The Guidance of the Quran

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إِنَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ یَهۡدِی لِلَّتِی هِیَ أَقۡوَمُ وَیُبَشِّرُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِینَ ٱلَّذِینَ یَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرا كَبِیرا ۝٩ وَأَنَّ ٱلَّذِینَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡـَٔاخِرَةِ أَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا أَلِیما ۝١٠

“This Qurʾān, without a doubt, guides to what is upright and correct. And it gives the believers that do correct righteous actions the good news that they have a large reward. As for those that don’t believe in the Hereafter, We made a threatening promise that they have a painful punishment.” [Surat al-Isrāʾ: 9-10]

We cannot have Qurʾān reflections without talking about The Qurʾān and its role. These āyāt highlight some of the most primary and fundamental purposes of The Qurʾān – our guidance. Hidāyah in Arabic refers to helping someone find their way, whereas its opposite Ḍalāl refers to being lost. So when we talk about “guidance” we are in essence talking about having correct directions to the correct destination. And that is what the Qurʾān serves to do.

  • In a way, it tells us about a destination that we all desire.
  • And then it tells us that yes, that destination is the correct and true final destination.
  • And then it tells us how to get there and the directions needed to get there.
  • But it doesn’t only tell us the directions, it tells us about certain obstacles, difficulties, and challenges that a map can only show, but can’t explain its solution. So it teaches us how to get around those obstacles.
  • It tells us about people who have traversed the map before, and encourages us to follow their way.
  • So it guides us TO the path, then guides us ON the path, then it guides us ALONG the path, and the entire way, it assists us in reaching our destination.
    • Oh yeah, our destination? It is Allāh’s Pleasure and His Paradise.

Specifically here, the āyah highlights that it guides us to what is aqwam, what is solid, straight, upright, and correct. Something that is standing up, and doesn’t have any crookedness. A concept that the Qurʾān reiterates over and over again. And we recite it every day “ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَ ٰ⁠طَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِیمَ” – “guide us to the straight upward correct path”. It’s not a path that is going to take me off a cliff, or give me a flat tire, or take me in circles. It’s the correct and proper way. And this also refers to this religion as a whole. The way of life that Allāh has set for us through the lived example of the Prophet Muḥammad , Islām, is that correct and proper way of life. There’s no funny business, or ponzi schemes in this perfect dīn, this perfect way of life.

But sometimes we need reassurance, we need reminders, we need affirmation:

وَیُبَشِّرُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِینَ ٱلَّذِینَ یَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرا كَبِیرا

And it gives the believers that do correct righteous actions the good news that they have a large reward.” It serves to inform, give the good news, and congratulate believers. Those people who have dedicated themselves to living their lives according to this path – to get to Allāh’s Happiness and His Heaven. Allāh gives us a glimpse as to who these people are: those who do correct and righteous deeds (ṣāliḥāt). That is to say the actions have (1) a valid and beautiful intention. It is for the sake of Allāh , free of arrogance, and no traces of any false beliefs. And (2) it is a proper valid action in the sight of God and His Messenger Muḥammad . It is an action that they approved. It is wrong to do something wrong with a good intention. And it is also wrong to do something good with a bad intention.

  • We cannot start date someone as a means of teaching them about Islam. Nor can we worship Allāh by inventing a new 6 unit (rakʿah) prayer that is performed between Fajr and Ẓuhr. In both cases, the intention is good, but the actions are incorrect.
  • We cannot pray in the Masjid to show others that we engage in virtuous acts. The action is good, but the intention is incorrect.

These believers, who have an internal manifestation of īmān, and also express and live by it through their actions – they have a large reward. All these terms of “أجر كبير أجر كريم، رزق كريم” all refer to Jannah, Heaven, Paradise.

وَأَنَّ ٱلَّذِینَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡـَٔاخِرَةِ أَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا أَلِیما

As for those that don’t believe in the Hereafter, We made a threatening promise that they have a painful punishment.

Belief in the Afterlife, the Hereafter is crucial to one’s Īmān. And it also highlights believing in the true revealed correct revelation. Because if someone is exposed to Islam, but then chooses to just believe in God without caring about judgment in their Afterlife, or ignores prophets and messengers, then they are lacking in their belief. And believing in the Hereafter, with a Heaven and Hell, also highlights that an individual has accepted the message of Allāh in the Qurʾān that was revealed to the Prophet Muḥammad . So it’s not a simple “sure there’s a last day”, but a true grounded certainty with one’s heart and mind that God and His Messenger have told me about an Afterlife, a Heaven and Hell. And as a result of that, that person will then do what? They will do “correct righteous actions” to work towards Jannah – Heaven! So it’s a full circle back to the previous āyah.

But if one rejects the Hereafter, that’s an implicit rejection of Allāh , The Qurʾān, The Prophet Muḥammad . And as such, Allāh has prepared, and threateningly promised a painful punishment for them. May Allāh save us and protect us.

May Allāh allow us to truly believe, live our lives the way He wants us to, and truly benefit and take guidance from His Divine Words – The Qurʾān. Āmīn.

Tonight’s Ramadan Reflections Series talk was brought to you by the IOK Seminary Faculty. Catch up on previous videos or catch the next videos on the IOK Ramadan Reflections Series page.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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.

IOK Seminary Faculty train highly motivated and dedicated Muslim men and women in classical Islam and contemporary scholarship, giving them the tools to grow as individuals, effectively serve those around them, and preserve the Islamic tradition in the West.

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