In this series, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Ustadh Tabraze Azam, SeekersHub Global Instructors, share a day by day overview of key themes of each section (juz’) of the Qur’an, over the month of Ramadan. This is covered nightly at IMO of Toronto, where SeekersHub Toronto (www.SeekersHub.org) is conducting its Ramadan 2013 programming.
Day 3: Juz’ Three: Surat al-Baqara [2.253-286] & Surat Al-Imran [3.1-91]
In today’s verses, we complete Surat al-Baqara, and cover the first part of Surat Al-Imran. The four highlighted themes are: (1) what distinguishes our understanding of Allah; (2) an expression of living faith; (3) love and true following; and (4) the Abrahamic way of uprightness.
1. Surat al-Baqara [2.253-286]
[a] Allah: The Living the All-Sustaining
Who is Allah? What distinguishes our understanding of the True God? Allah Most High tells us in Ayat al-Kursi [Qur’an, 2.255], which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) described as the “greatest verse of the Qur’an.” [Tirmidhi, from Abu Hurayra]
“God: there is no god but Him. He is the Living, the All-Sustaining.” [Qur'an, 2.255]
This is the greatest verse of the Qur’an, because it tells us about the distinguishing reality of Allah’s Oneness: He alone is possessed of absolute, independent life; He alone needs none to sustain Him, and He sustains all things.
The life of everything else is dependent on His creating it. Before that, everything was in the darkness of non-existence. It is the Living (al-Hayy) who gifts it the light of life.
Then everything else only remains in existence because the All-Sustaining (al-Qayyum) sustains it–in every way, at every moment–while He needs none to sustain him, in any way. He is the Living, the All-Sustaining.
It is from the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to say, “O Living, O All-Sustaining, in Your Mercy do I seek relief!” [Tirmidhi] (Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum, bi Rahmatika Astagheeth)
[b] Living Faith: The Closing Verses of Surat al-Baqara
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged reciting the two closing verses of Surat al-Baqara before sleep, saying that they will be a sufficiency for whoever recites them.
These two verses contain:
(1) a complete statement of faith;
(2) a declaration of commitment to Allah;
(3) an affirmation of neediness to Allah;
(4) a promise of Divine Mercy; and
(5) a fervent plea for Allah’s Mercy and Favour.
2. Surat Al-Imran [3.1-91]
[a] Love and the Lover’s Following
What moves a true believer is love of Allah. We follow the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) out of love of Allah, and loving him out of love for Allah. Love comes first, then true following. Otherwise, the following is simply in form and not in spirit–and it lacks beauty, and falls short of being beloved to Allah:
“Say, ‘If you love God, then follow me–and God will love you, and forgive you your sins. God is most forgiving, most merciful.’” [Qur'an, 3.31]
[b] The Upright Abrahamic Way
Ibrahim (Allah bless him and give him peace) “…was upright and devoted to Allah, never an idolater, and the people who are closest to him are those who truly follow his ways, this Prophet, and [true] believers– Allah is close to [true] believers.”[Qur'an, 3.67-68]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was asked what religion or religious practice was best. He explained that it is, “The upright, easy way.”
What is the upright (hanif) way? It is the way of constant turning to Truth–to Allah–and turning away from all that distances from Allah.
May Allah Most High make us of those of true faith, true love, and true uprightness.
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam
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