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.seekersguidance.org) is conducting its Ramadan 2013 programming.
Day 16: Juz’ Sixteen: Surat al-Kahf [18.75-110], Surat Maryam [19.1-98] & Surat Taha [20.1-135]
We look at four key themes in the 16th Part (juz’) of the Qur’an: (1) the rank and reality of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); (2) the Divine Promise of Love for true believers; (3) Gentleness as Key to the Way of Believers; and (4) Hope and Fear of Allah as Key Qualities of Faith.
 The Prophetic Reality
Allah Most High reminds us of the Prophet’s reality in this verse: while a human–who can relate to and emulate in our conduct and life–he has been honoured through receiving direct revelation (wahy) from Allah:
“Say, ‘I am only a human being, like you, to whom it has been revealed that your God is One. Anyone who hopes to meet his Lord should do good deeds and give no one a share in the worship due to his Lord.” [Qur’an, 18.110]
This verse calls us to (1) be thankful for the gift of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him); (2) respect him; and (3) appreciate that everything he has come with returns to recognizing and realizing the Oneness of God.
The verse also reminds us of the difference between true hope (raja’) and false hope (umniya): true hope is (1) seeking good with Allah, and then (2) taking the right means to attaining that good.
 The Divine Promise of Love
Allah’s Mercy and Love awaits the believers.
This Love is attained by those who (1) nurture their faith (iman) and who (2) act with consistency, sincerity, and excellence–three characteristics of righteous deeds (al-`amal al-salih):
“But the Lord of Mercy will give love to those who believe and do righteous deeds.” [Qur’an, 19.96]
 Gentleness is the Way of Prophets
We see that Allah commanded Sayyiduna Musa (Allah bless him and give him peace) to speak to Pharaoh gently. And this has always been the Prophetic way. When calling to good, do so with gentleness. Harshness is contrary to way (sunna) of Prophets:
“Speak to him gently so that he may take heed, or show respect.’” [Qur’an, 20.44]
If Musa (peace be upon him) was commanded to speak gently to the worst of creation, Pharaoh, then how should we speak to and deal with family, friends, and others?
Allah Most High also links this gentleness in speech (and, by extension, conduct and response) to benefit: it is through such gentleness arising from sincere concern for good that others are affected and influence–and “may take heed or show respect.”
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) put it beautifully: “Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He gives for gentleness what He doesn’t give for harshness or for anything else.”
 Hope and Fear as Key Qualities of Faith
When faith is alive in the heart, the heart is characterized by the qualities of faith (awsaf al-iman). Two central qualities of faith are hope (raja’) and fear (khawf) of Allah Most High. Allah Most High reminds us:
“He knows what is before and behind them, though they do not comprehend Him– and [all] faces will be humbled before the Living, Ever Watchful One. Those burdened with evil deeds will despair, but whoever has done righteous deeds and believed need have no fear of injustice or deprivation.’” [Qur’an, 20.110-112]
We place our hope and fear, reliance and trust solely on Allah Most High. This empowers believers in seeking the good–for the sake of God alone–and frees them from all slavehood and need for other than Allah Himself.
And Allah alone gives success.
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