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Nine On Demand Courses for Ramadan

We are blessed to reach one more Ramadan. Allah grant that we make the best use of our time. Allah willing, these On-Demand courses will help us focus and benefit from this month of the Qur’an.

Each course contains a downloadable lesson set which you can listen to at your convenience.

1. Why Muslims Fast: The Higher Aims of Fasting Explained

The fast: mere hunger and thirst, or a means of growing spiritually and getting closer to Allah. How can we transform ourselves from being the former into the latter? In this course, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the great potential latent within one’s fasting, and gives clear, and practical advice to changing one’s fast from being passive hunger and thirst into an active spiritual refinement of one’s soul. Students will learn how to benefit from fasting in general, and more specifically from the month of Ramadan.

2. Renewal by the Book: Daily Qur’an Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya

In this series, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other scholars and teachers will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Qur’an. The series follows the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya so that we experience renewal by The Book.

3. Renewing Religion: Overview of Ghazali’s Ihya

This overview of Imam Ghazali’s great work, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences) will serve as a blueprint for how the believer can bring their religion to life. It will aim to help the believer to not just practice the outer form of the religion properly, but to also to bring its spirit to life and practice it with excellence.

Lessons by: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Riad Saloojee, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

4. 30 Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Our scholars in residence explore 30 simple deeds that could have a far-reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or sharing a meal with a neighbor, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎ gave us: the best of character. The scholars also remind us to make the intention to put each teaching, each sacred act, into practice.

Lessons by: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes, Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Imam Amin Muhammad, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Dr. Ingrid Mattson

5. Giving Life to Sura al-Kahf – Shaykh Walead Mosaad

In this seminar, Shaykh Walead Mosaad explains this key Sura of the Qur’an – a Sura the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, urged us to recite every Friday. In eight videos Shaykh Walead explains the key lessons of Sura Kahf; the four great stories in it and the four great tests they represent – the tests of faith, wealth, knowledge, and power.

6. Ramadan Explained: Virtues and Fiqh of Fasting (Hanafi) – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This preparation course teaches the fiqh of Ramadan and fasting, according to the Hanafi school.

This essential four-part course is designed to

    1. Remind you that Ramadan is a true blessing from Allah Most High.
    2. Teach you the proper way to approach this blessing.
    3. Motivate you to make the most of this blessed month.
    4. Ensure that you understand and implement all key aspects of Ramadan, including the Prophetic sunnas according to the Hanafi school.

7. Ramadan Explained: Virtues and Fiqh of Fasting (Shafi‘i) – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This preparation course teaches the fiqh of Ramadan and fasting according to the Shafi‘i school.

This essential four-part course is designed to:

    1. Remind you that Ramadan is a true blessing from Allah Most High.
    2. Teach you the proper way to approach this blessing.
    3. Motivate you to make the most of this blessed month.
    4. Ensure that you understand and implement all the key aspects of Ramadan, including the Prophetic sunnas according to the Shafi‘i school.

8. The Tafsir of Sura al-Hujurat with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Religion revolves around respect and reverence. Sura Hujurat summarizes the keys to true religion by outlining the right adab with Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him), and with Allah’s creation. In just 18 verses, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives believers a clear roadmap on how to walk the Straight Path with excellence in conduct and attitude.

9. Keys to the Qur’an: Ghazali’s Manners of Qur’an Recital with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this lesson set Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will guide students through Imam al Ghazali’s work on the adab of the Qur’an and aims to inspire the student to bring the book of Allah into their life fully.

 


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Does Verse 9:5 Abrogate Other Verses That Encourage Patience?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum, is verse 16:126 abrogated by sura 9:5? Is the narration regarding Ibn Abbas’ opinion sahih? Can we forgive the non-believer for any wrongdoing whether Muslims are the in majority or minority?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, verse 16:126 is not abrogated by 9:5. They have very different contexts. The verse in Sura al-Tawba refers to specific tribes of the Arab pagans who treacherously broke their treaties with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), so a declaration of war was made. The ruling was specific to that scenario. [Alusi, Ruh al-Ma’ani]

I could not find a narration from Ibn ‘Abbas stating this in the tafsir works I consulted. There are a number of differences of opinion regarding this verse, just not what you mentioned.

Yes, it is permissible to forgive non-Muslims, especially in personal dealings. As for political matters, there are rulings which pertain to the ruler of the Muslims, but that is a longer discussion for another context.

Please refer to this answer for more details.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Can I Teach Tafsir Without an Ijaza?

Question: Can I teach Tafsir without an ijaza?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

One should only teach Tafsir if one’s teachers have told one to do so. I advise you to take this course with Sh. Abdul Rahim Reasat
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/ulum-al-quran-on-revelation-how-it-was-preserved-and-understood-and-why-it-is-true/

You can ask him about the specifics of what you can teach and to whom.

Generally speaking, in order to teach tafsir, one has to have been trained in reading the books of tafsir, besides having a good background in fiqh, theology, usul al-fiqh, hadith, ulum al-Quran, and being strong in Arabic language (grammar, morphology and rhetoric).

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Is Verse 8:61 Abrogated?

Question: In Quran 8:61, the verse calls for peace to be established. But in Quran 9:29, it says that only jizya is acceptable. So is 8:61 abrogated? What did Ibn Abbas say about 8:61?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Abrogation in the Qur’an

The concept of abrogation has been overemphasized historically. Not many verses were abrogated. Less than twenty according to Imam Suyuti. Others held this number to be too high. Please refer to our ‘Ulum al Qur’an course for more information.

Most of the time there are other ways to reconcile the meanings of seemingly conflicting verses. This is the case for the verses you mentioned.

Qur’an, 8:61 Is Not Abrogated

There is a position that states this verse is abrogated. It is narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and Qatada. However, according to many scholars, it is not abrogated. Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Zamakhshari, Alusi, and others held this position. Tabari held that it referred to Bani Qurayza, based on the contextual factors.

The others said that it refers to people from whom accepting jizya was permissible. The Muslim ruler has a choice in certain situations to make treaties or not. The details are in the books of fiqh.

For the pagan Arabs, however, Jizya was not an option. This is due to the case against them being so strong – owing to their recognition of the miracle of the Qur’an and the truthfulness of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). They had also shown time and time again that they would be treacherous in the case of any treaty being made (Ruh al Ma’ani, Alusi, al-Tafsir al Wasit, Tantawi).

Insha’Allah, we’ll cover this point in detail in our complete Qur’an tafsir. I pray that helps.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Reading the Qur’an Without Tafsir

Question: Can one read the Qur’an without using a tafsir? Is it necessary to use a tafsir? Do you have a recommended tafsir to use as a layman?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is utterly key that Muslims read the Qur’an and understand its meaning. Otherwise, how can it be the guidance that can be applied in word, deed, and state? You should start off with reading a translation and then move on to a tafsir from there.

Translations/Interpretations

You can try reading one of the translations by the following translators. I recommend the first, as it was the first one I ever read:

  • Abdullah Yusuf Ali- this includes some commentary
  • Marmaduke Pickthall
  • Saheeh International
  • Muhammad Asad
  • Maulana Muhammad Ali
  • Arthur Arberry

Tafsir

Once you have read a full translation/interpretation, I recommend the Seekersguidance tafsir podcasts:
https://seekersguidance.org/names/quran-tafsir-understanding-the-word-of-allah/

You should also consider the full tafsir of Mawlana Mawdudi which you can access from the following link, or get a hard copy of multiple volumes: https://www.englishtafsir.com/

Reading without tafsir

There is much baraka in reading the Qur’an without the tafsir as well, and I recommend that Muslims, old and young, read some of the Qur’an every day, even if they don’t have time to read the meaning. However, one must never be satisfied with only reading Arabic; it must be accompanied by some effort of understanding it. Either start with the above tips or sign up to learn Arabic.

May Allah allow us to grasp the meanings of the Qur’an at all its levels, and allow us to attain illumination by it and the success of the ummah.

Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Review: The Divine Opening Explained by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Nurulain Wolhuter shares her excellent review of The Divine Opening: Surah al-Fatiha Explained, a course offered on SeekersGuidance by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.

 

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus takes the seeker on an insightful journey into the meanings of Sura al Fatiha. He commences by exploring its many names. It is called Fatih al- Kitab because it is the opening chapter of the holy Qur’an. It is also called Umm al – Quran because it is the source of the Qur’an; and it is al – Assaas, containing the Qur’an’s foundational meanings. Its names reflect its limitless meanings as well as its merits, most notably that it is regarded as the best of the Qur’an.

Against this backdrop, Shaykh Yahya engages in an extensive exegesis of Sura al Fatiha, starting with the istiaatha – the seeking of refuge in Allah from the accursed devil. He says we seek refuge because we know we’re in need, and the more we realise our need, the more Allah will grant us sufficiency. Thereafter, the sura commences with the basmala, invoking all its blessings and enabling us to encloak ourselves with them. These blessings flow because the divine name is the greatest word of all, deserving of all perfection, and it is coupled with the attributes of al – Rahman, the universally merciful to all creatures, and al – Raheem, the specifically compassionate to the believer. Both are emphatic words derived from rahmah, meaning softness of heart, and compassion that necessitates showing goodness and grace to someone.

Turning to the ayat of al – Hamd, Shaykh Yahya explains that we praise Allah with the intention of glorifying and exalting Him, because He is the Lord of the Worlds. Integral to this praise is deep gratitude to Allah for all His blessings.

The next ayat repeats Allah’s divine attributes of al-Rahmaani Raheem, emphasising His mercy.

We then move from praise to a focus on Allah’s sovereignty and possession in the next ayat: Maaliki Yawmid Deen. The word maalik comes from either of two verbal nouns. The first one, Mulk, refers to the kingly traits of dominion, rule or sovereignty. The second one, Milk, refers to possession. So Allah is al – Mulk, the king, or al-Maalik, the owner. We are His Mamluk, subjects or property, and we connect with Him by doing His will. Our hearts should be in a state of reverential awe and fear at the mention of Yawmid Deen. It is the day of resurrection, the day of reprisals, the day where wrongs will be righted. And our Lord is king or master of it.

Thereafter, the sura moves to us, the servants of Allah: Iyyaaka na’budu – we worship You alone. We’re commanded to worship with the utmost humility and a deep sense of exaltation. Allah has placed worship before Istiaana (seeking help) because it is the appropriate etiquette to follow this order, and also because supplicating after worship is more amenable to a response.

Next, we ask Allah to guide us to the straight path (Ihdinas Siraatal Mustaqeem). Shaykh Yahya explains that al – Siraat is a path, a traverse, a way – the bridge over hell that all people will cross on their way to Paradise. It is thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword, and its length is 3,000 years. It is a straight path (al – Mustaqeem), involving outward compliance with the shari’a and inward submission. The way we adhere to the straight path in this world is the way we will cross the traverse in the next. This path is the path of those whom Allah has blessed (Siraatal latheena an’amta ‘alaihim), namely the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. There was a multitude in the beginning and there are only a few in the end times, but we can be people who move upwards in rank, if we have guidance and uprightness.

Finally, we ask to be spared the way of those who anger Allah or who have gone astray: ghayril maghdoobi ‘alaihim wa lad daalleen. It is said maghdoobi ‘alaihim are the Jews, or the disbelievers, or those who know what is right but don’t do it because of a blameworthy trait in their hearts. al – Daalleen are variously said to be the Christians, or the hypocrites, or those who go astray because they don’t know the truth.

Shaykh Yahya’s journey through the Mother of the Book gives us the opportunity to attain a deeper understanding of its meanings, and, concomitantly, a closer relationship with our Lord. May Allah grant us openings as we listen.


Click here to register for: The Divine Opening: Surah al-Fatiha Explained

Qur’an and the Arabic Language – Shaykh Ali Hani

As part of our Helpers program, Ahmad Ariffin interviewed Shaykh Ali Hani on seeking knowledge, the sciences of the Qur’an and the Arabic language, and their importance in today’s world.

 

Shaykh Ali Hani is a leading scholar of Arabic and Tafsir from Jordan. He has dedicated his life to Quran from a young age. He has memorized the Holy Qur’an and studied the Ten Canonical Recitations and studied Tafsir .He is also one of the experts in the Arabic language of our time. He graduated from the University of Jordan specializing in Tafsir from the Faculty of Islamic Principles. Under his tutelage, many of his students became scholars of the language and are now teaching it around the globe.

His Teachers

He studied from many scholars but there are few of them have a lasting effect on him. He memorized the Qur’an under the guidance of Shaykh. Abu Ayman and completed the memorization in two years. One of the things that Shaykh Abu Ayman taught him is that knowledge is fear.It means the more knowledge you gained the more fearful of you towards Allah Most high.

He also completed the reading of the Qur’an by the way of Imam Hafs under the tutelage of Shaykh Abu Yasir and he mastered the Seven Canonical Recitations under the guidance of Shaykh Mahmood al-Uraydhi.

At the University of Jordan, Shaykh Ali studied with Shaykh Fadl Abbas. After he completed his degree he traveled to Yemen at the city of Sana. He studied the Arabic language and its brances with Shaykh Qasim Bahr. A story that Shaykh Ali shared on Shaykh Qasim was that Shaykh Qasim would reject when a student gave him money and instead the Shaykh would give the students money for their daily usage and that Shaykh Qasim was a very humble man.

Shaykh Ali then made his way to tarim and learned from the scholars in Rubat Tarim. He also receive guidance from other scholars such as Shaykh Abu Bakar Belfaqih, Shaykh Abdullah al-Mehdhor, Shaykh Muhammad Amin al-Shinqiti and many more.

The Importance of studying Qur’anic Tafsir and the Arabic language

In the modern world that we are living in, Tafsir and Arabic language are very important for Muslims to know. With the uprising of the orientalist movement and atheism, more people are joining them and supporting them. We, as Muslims, ought to seek refuge from the movements and the way to seek refuge is by learning. To learn the Islamic sciences we need to learn the Arabic language as it is the key to understanding the sciences and their texts. Language is the bridge between our mind and the author’s mind particularly when you are reading the classic texts. Without language you would not be able to fully derive what the authors want for you. The most important reason why you need to study Arabic is that the Qur’an is in Arabic. Without knowing Arabic, you would not be able to fully indulge in the beauty of the Qur’an and you would not comprehend the inimitabililty of the Holy Qur’an. Although we have the translated version of the Qur’an in different languages, the true beauty of the Quran is in its pure language which is the Arabic language.

As for studying Tafsir, its importance comes into play when you want to further understand the Quran and the context of why it was sent down and to whom and the deeper meaning of the Ayat. Tafsir is also important to rebut the claims of those who tries to demean the great status of the Holy Qur’an and Islam. By learning Tafsir we are also learning the Qur’an. Also, the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, said in one of the narrations: “The best among you are those who learn the Qur‘an and teach it.”

Shaykh Ali’s Advice for  Seekers of Knowledge

  1. To follow the footsteps of the past scholars in seeking sacred knowledge which is to read the basics of that branch of Islamic science and and to be expert in it before reading more advanced books.
  2. To teach what you know as this will help your memory and will make it stronger.
  3. To buy books for references as buying books is considered half of the knowledge itself.
  4. To be humble always with your teachers and to accompany them as often as possible as this will invite blessing and divine openings.
  5. To read both classical and contemporary texts and never abandon one of them.
  6. To put great importance in seeking scholars who has chains of narrations in his path of seeking.

 


 

Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa on Sura Luqman–Luqman’s Advice to His Son

Sura Luqman emphasizes tarbiya, or spiritual growth, and is named after a great sage. In this series, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa explores the meanings of this chapter.

In this segment, Shayh Ibrahim gives commentary on the following verses, which cover Luqman’s advice to his son.

And remember, when Luqman said to his son while he was exhorting him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” (31:13)

The theme of exhortation, of wa’dh, is common in the Qur’an. It is defined as to censure someone, or to instil fear into their heart, to being about a state of tenderness of the heart. Therefore, it is not fear for fear’s sake, but fear for a good cause. Oftentimes, people’s hearts can become hard, and feeling some wa’dh helps reverse this.

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

With a few exceptions, obedience to parents is extremely emphasised. Abusing parents is considered to be an enormity according to many Hadith.

In Sahih Bukhari, we find story of Juraij, a righteous man from the time of Banu Israel, who was worshipping in solitude when his mother called to him. Immersed in his prayer, he did not respond. Due to that, he was blamed by a prostitute for her pregnancy. The people smashed his sanctuary, until the baby, miraculously exonerated him.

 [And Luqman said], “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. (31:14)

Here, Luqman’s son asks him about small sins. Luqman replies that even the smallest sin is still wrong, and Allah knows everything.

Listen to the rest of Shaykh Ibrahim’s tafsir to find out the rest of Luqman’s counsels.


With gratitude to Greensville Trust.


Resources for Seekers

The Honoured Guests of Ibrahim–Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat

In this article, Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat explores the theme of Karam, or honouring. He uses the example of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who is mentioned in the Qur’an as honouring his guests.

What is Karam?

Karam. A very rich and nuanced word of the Arabic language. Qurʾanic philologists, after deep analysis, tell us that its true meaning lies somewhere near ‘for something to be precious, valued, honoured, refined, esteemed and noble’. Meanings such as generosity, and being forgiving – which are common usages for karam in Arabic – are derivative, and not the root meaning itself.

Allah has informed us in the Qurʿan that ‘[By Allah] We have permanently honoured the children of Adam’ (17:70); that is to say, He has elevated the rank of humanity from amongst His creation. This is through various means, such as intelligence, articulate and eloquent speech, religion, morality, responsibility, knowledge, and the ability to traverse all the terrains of the planet – to name a few. The verb in the verse above (kar-ram-nā) indicates that this is something engrained within us, and permanent. It is from the karam of Allah, and so we may feel some of what it is like to have this quality, and to manifest it onto others.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) commanded us, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour (yukrim) his guest’ (Bukhari). The initial part of this statement is a beautiful usage of the rhetorical device employed to spark within a believer a desire to implement the instructions given after it, almost as though he has cause to prove that he believes in Allah and the Last Day.

Coming from the context of Arab generosity where bedouins would light bonfires at night to invite the desert travellers to their hospitality, this hadith took this beautiful trait of the Arabs and combined it with the qualities faith promotes and nourishes within a believer. In short, to make one’s guest feel precious, valued, honoured and noble is something desired in Islam and a mark of nobility itself. It also has far-reaching effects on one’s relationships, friendships, and society as a whole.

In order to see how it is done let us look at one of the most noble and generous men ever to walk the earth, and see how he was with his guests.

The Example of Ibrahim

‘Has the important account (ḥadith) of the honoured guests of Ibrahim come to you? [It was] when they entered his [house] and greeted him. He replied with a better greeting saying ‘[You are] a people completely unknown [to us]’ (51:24-25).

The verses start with an address to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant peace) asking if this particular story had been recounted to him. This serves to draw one’s attention to the story mentioned, and to prepare the listener for the wisdom and guidance it will impart.

Part of this wisdom is for one to spend on worthy causes knowing that one’s provision lies in the generous hand of Allah, which, incidentally, is one of the themes of Sura al-Dhariyat.

The event is referred to as a ‘ḥadith’, which means an event so significant that it should be regarded with due importance and made a frequent topic of conversation. This was, of course, the event when the people of the Prophet Lut were punished – may Allah protect us from His wrath.

The angels sent to them were first told to visit Ibrahim and give him the good news of the birth of his second son, Isḥaq. Allah referred to them as the honoured guests of Ibrahim. Exegetes have differed on the nature of this honouring: were they described as being honoured simply because all angels are honoured by Allah, or was it through the hospitality of Ibrahim? Both interpretations are possible in this situation. Their role as angelic messengers meant that they were honoured by Allah- yet, unaware of them being angels, Ibrahim honoured them to the best of His capacity too.

The verse then states that they entered his home without asking permission. This indicates that his great generosity and immaculate hospitality were known of far and wide, and that guests knew that they were free to enter without asking for permission. This fact alone speaks volumes about the generosity of Ibrahim.

Once inside they greeted him with the familiar greeting of Islam, which he, in turn, replied to. The grammatical state used to express their cordial greeting is weaker than the one used to express his greeting, which shows that he responded to their greeting with warmer and more welcoming words. In short, his reputation of being an impeccable host was immediately apparent.

Without delay, he started to make conversation with them, lest they feel like they were unwanted or intruding. Their being unknown to him was not a cause of frustration, or him not wanting to serve them with the best he had. Rather, he saw them as people sent to him by Allah as a means for him to draw closer to Allah through hospitality. He was not yet aware that they were angels.

‘Immediately, he quickly and quietly slipped away to his household, and soon brought a plump [roasted] calf’ (51:26)

Next, after making them comfortable, he slipped away. The word ‘rāgha’ in the verse implies that he was quick in departing, and that it was imperceptible and unceremonious. From this we can infer that he did not want to keep his guests waiting. Travelling is tiring, so feeding one’s guests immediately is a sign on good hospitality.

We can also see that he did not ask them whether they wanted anything to eat or drink. Many people would simply refuse due to their modesty, despite actually desiring some food. Ibrahim did not place them in this situation, nor did he give them a choice between foods; because many people would either refuse or simply choose what would be the least taxing on the host, even if they desired otherwise.

We then see that he went to his household – his wife, and their servants, if they had any. This indicates that the role of hospitality was a shared one, and each of them saw they great opportunity to please Allah the guests had brought with them.

To add to this, exegetes have mentioned that the particles mentioned in the verse indicate quick succession, which means that they hurried to honour their guests, and that it is almost as if the food was half prepared waiting for some guests to pass by. This is tremendous reflection of his generosity and reliance on Allah in matters of provision.

It can also be inferred that the host should serve what is easily available to him, whether it is a meal, some nuts, or a cup of tea. Guests in Ibrahim’s scenario were travellers through the desert; all the food a traveller had was what he could carry with him, so being someone’s guest was an opportunity to have a good meal which may not present itself again soon. Therefore, you do not have to serve a three course meal every time the neighbour comes over to pick up a parcel she had missed in the post.

Serving what is easily available also means that one does not have to sneak out of the back door for a secret trip to the supermarket to get some food for the guest. What is available is sufficient, and the host’s company is more important.

After a short space of time he took a plump roasted calf to the guests. Cows were the best food they could provide for a guest, as well as being very expensive. A fully grown cow can provide a lot of meat which can be eaten, shared or preserved. Yet, he chose to slaughter a calf.

A calf would have been quicker to cook, and its meat would have been more tender, but there would not have been much excess meat. Ibrahim’s prioritising of his guests in choosing the best and tastiest food, quick service, and selflessness here is nothing short of admirable.

‘He then placed it very close to them, and said, ‘Will you not eat?’ (51:27)

Ibrahim served his guests himself, and this is not a flaw; rather, it is the height of nobility for a man to serve his guests himself. This is a practice I noticed amongst the scholars and the righteous in the middle-east. For a man of distinction to place food in your plate – despite his rank and virtues – is an honour to say the least.

Not only that, Ibrahim gently requested them to eat. It was not a command. It was nothing but a warm and gentle word of encouragement to eat, posed in the form of a question.

Many guests feel shy, and it may not be easy for them start eating of their own accord. This gentle reminder once again shows that Ibrahim did everything he could to honour his guests, who, as far as he knew until this point, were normal people, beneath him in rank.

The food was also placed very close to them in order to prevent them from being too shy to eat anything served, and to have everything within easy reach. The guests of Ibrahim really were honoured.

We ask Allah – who, more than any, deserves to be described with the meanings of the word karam – to bestow His karam on us, and the believers, in this life and the next. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), upon receiving the opening verses of Sura al-Muʾminun, asked for this when he said,

اللَّهُمَّ زِدْنَا وَلَا تَنْقُصْنَا، وَأَكْرِمْنَا وَلَا تُهِنَّا، وَأَعْطِنَا وَلَا تَحْرِمْنَا، وَآثِرْنَا وَلَا تُؤْثِرْ عَلَيْنَا، وَأرْضِنَا وَارْضَ عَنَّا

‘O Allah, give us an increase, and not a decrease; honour us and do not abase us; give us and do not debar us; prefer us and do not prefer [others] to us; and please us and be pleased with us’ (Tirmidhi).


Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. He moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time, such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.
In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies in Fiqh, Usul al Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.


Resources for Seekers

The Great Event: Sura al Waqi’a Explained – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives a thematic study of this Sura, its explanation (tafsir), key lessons, and how to grow one’s relationship with Allah through deepening one’s understanding and relationship with this great Sura.

Sura al Waqi’ah is one of the most beloved and most recited Suras of the Qur’an. This is because of the sense of urgency and opportunity it conveys.

This Sura has three main themes:

The Resurrection

The first theme, found in verses 1-56, described the amazing awe-inspiring power of the Resurrection, as well as the various stations which all people will be in.

The resurrection is a reality. It has been said, “If the light of faith were in your heart, the hereafter would be so real that you wouldn’t feel the need to travel to it.” There are two types of disbelief in the Hereafter; the explicit denial, and lesser denial. The latter involves a lifestyle that does not act as if the Hereafter exists. We should nurture a sense of reality of the hereafter, to give us the sense of urgency that we need to ensure that we take this life seriously.

Proofs of the Resurrection

The second theme, found in verses 57-80, speak about the rational proofs of the Resurrection.

Modern science usually argues that there is no Creator, However, we believe that things cannot create themselves, and we have many proofs in the Qur’an and in other places. The human being is like a plant, nurtured by reflection and watered by remembrance. If bereft of these, the faith could shrivel and die. Therefore, we have a duty to learn more about our beliefs. If a society isn’t firmly rooted in their faith, the faith can leave when in testing times.

During and After Death

The third theme, from verses 81-96, speaks about the state of a person during and after death.

After death, there are many types of people. The ones brought near, will have joy and ease in Paradise. There will also be those of the right hand, who will be greeted with good. As for the one who denied, they will be in Hellfire.

All  blessings are from Allah, even life itself. We must respond to these blessings while we still have time. However, Allah asks us why we only look at these blessings when we are close to dying, or when we see someone else die, even though Allah is closer to us than anyone else.  Closeness to Allah is not an issue of distance, but in the sense that He sustains everything, at all times.


Resources for Seekers