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 17: Juz' Seventeen: Surat al-Anbiya' [21.1-112] & Surat al-Hajj [22.1-78]
We'll be looking at three key themes from the 17th Part (juz’) of the Qur’an: (1) the Reality of Death, (2) Mercy to Creation, (3) Religion is Deep Respect.
 The Reality of Death
Allah Most High reminds of the reality and inevitability of death, and that this life--with its good and bad--is a test:
"Every soul tastes death: We test you all through the bad and the good, and to Us you will all return." [Qur'an, 21.35]
In reality, each of us is tasting death at every moment: our life is gifted moment by moment by God--any sense of continuity is simply illusion. Our life is simply a gift of breaths: with each breath, we are nearer to our ultimate return to Allah.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) counselled us to, “Make much remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures: death.”
 Mercy to Creation
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is a gift of mercy from God. His reality is pure mercy, and his teachings are pure mercy:
"We sent you [Prophet] only as a mercy to all creation." [Qur'an, 21.107]
Appreciate this mercy, and strive to be an embodiment of mercy in your attitude, conduct, and character.
Any understanding of religion, law, or the Prophetic example lacking in mercy is lacking in understanding.
 Venerating the Symbols of Allah
Mindfulness (taqwa) has a key manifestation: deep respect and veneration (ta`dhim) for the symbols (sha`a’ir) of Allah. These are all matters honoured by Allah; all matters He has commanded us to honour; all matters that have an ascription to Him and His religion. Allah Most High says:
“Whoever honours God’s symbols shows the piety of their hearts." [Qur'an, 22.32]
Thus, a sign of a sound heart is deep respect and veneration for Allah Himself, for the Qur’an, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), for his Family, for his Companions, for the righteous, for the scholars, for sacred knowledge, for books of knowledge--and for every believer and human being.
Religion itself is this deep respect and veneration. Nurture this in your heart: it is from nurturing mindfulness--and from openingthedoors for the light of guidance and good to enter your heart and life.
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam
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