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IOK Ramadan: Are They Equal? | Keys To The Divine Compass [Ep12]

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This Ramadan, MuslimMatters is pleased to host the Institute Of Knowledge‘s daily Ramadan series: Keys to the Divine Compass. Through this series, each day we will spend time connecting with the Qur’an on a deeper, more spiritual, uplifting level.

Previous in the series: Juz 1 Juz 2 Juz 3 Juz 4 Juz 5 Juz 6 Juz 7 Juz 8 Juz 9 Juz 10 Juz 11

Juzʾ 12: Are They Equal?

Bismillah-ir Raḥmān-ir Raḥīm. All praise to Allah and peace and salutations upon his servant and final messenger Muḥammad (pbuh), Assalāmu ‘Alaykum wa Raḥmatullāhi wa Barakātuh! Welcome to another episode of our Ramaḍān Reflection series, Keys to the Divine Compass, where we go over verses of the Qur’an from every Juz throughout the month of Ramaḍān so that we can derive lessons and apply them to our lives.

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InshaAllah today I will be going over verse 24 from Sūrah Hūd (Sūrah 11) in which Allah (swt) says, “The example of the two groups is like that of the blind and deaf compared to those who are hearing and seeing; are they equal? Do they not think? If we think over this verse it comes at the end of a series of verses where Allah (swt) highlights the differences between the disbelievers and the believers. Allah (swt) begins by talking about the disbelievers and says they are those who craft lies against Allah, either by saying that there is no Creator, or that the Creator is not worthy of worship, or that the Creator has equals who are also worthy of worship, or that the Creator is dependent on others. They lead themselves astray and become obstacles in the paths of others to believing in Allah (swt). Allah (swt) says the believers on the other hand are those who believe, do good, and humble themselves in front of Allah, so you have two contrasted approaches when it comes to thinking about existence and living a worldly life.

You have those who believe in Allah (swt) and you have those who do not, and Allah (swt) says these two groups can be compared to a blind and deaf person and a seeing and hearing person. Keep in mind: this verse is not talking about the natural blindness or deafness that a person might be born with, that is from Allah (swt). The idea behind this comparison is to alert us to the idea of spiritual blindness and deafness, which is characteristic of the disbelievers. The key difference between the ṣaḥābah that allowed them to become the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) and the disbelievers of their time was this characteristic: the believers were spiritually seeing and hearing, they were alert of the Revelation and were humble to accept it. The disbelievers, on the other hand, were spiritually blind and deaf and their insistence upon their lies caused them to become more blind and deaf until Allah (swt) sealed their hearts. The disbelievers knew who the Prophet (pbuh) was, they heard him recite the words of the Qur’an and heard the Revelation directly from him. Yet, it was as if someone was speaking to a deaf person, who obviously could not hear. It was as if they were blind, because despite the miracles that the Prophet (pbuh) did, despite his character that knew about, they acted as if they were blind and could not see the truth for what it was even though it was in front of them. Contrast this to the believers who were seeing and hearing in the spiritual sense. We had companions like ‘Abd-Allah bin Um Maktūm (R) who was physically blind but spiritually able to see, whose heart was open to the Revelation so even though he could not see the Prophet (pbuh) and did not see the miracles he acknowledged what was the truth.

Allah (swt) asks if you have these two different groups in front of you, can you, by all logic and reason, say that they are equal? Of course not. Allah (swt) says that if you cannot consider a physically blind and deaf person equal to a physically seeing and hearing person, then how can you consider those who are spiritually blind and deaf equal to those who are able to see spiritually and hear spiritually? How are you able to compare the two? The believers and the disbelievers are not one and the same. It is a rhetorical question. Are they alike? Of course not. Allah (swt) wants us to ponder and think that if they are not alike, then whose path are we on? Are we on the path of those who disbelieve, or on the path of those who believe but might not be strong believers, or might be actively hindering others from reaching Allah (swt), or on the path of those who believe, do good, and humble themselves in front of their Lord?

 

Allah (swt) says that the reason for the characteristics of the disbelievers and the believers (in this regard) being explained to you is so that you are aware of their ultimate consequences. On the day of judgment, when the disbelievers are being pushed into the fire, they will have no one to blame but themselves, they will be from among the biggest of losers. However, if a person believes, does good, humbles themselves in front of Allah (swt), accepts the fact that their existence is because of Allah (swt) and as a result He has the right to tell them how to live their existence, that Allah (swt)’s orders and obligations are more precious, valuable, and important than their own, then they will be from the inhabitants of Jannah wherein they will reside forever.

 

May Allah (swt) make us from amongst them, make us all sincere, strong, and committed believers, and guide, bless, and protect us all. Assalāmu ‘Alaykum wa Raḥmatullāhi wa Barakātuh.

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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