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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (22) Traits of those Beloved to Allah, Sending Blessings on the Prophet, Neediness and Divine Oneness, Knowledge & Awe

Day 22: Juz’ Twenty-Two: Surat al-Ahzab [33.31-73], Surat Saba [34.1-54], Surat Fatir [35.1-45] & Surat Yasin [36.1-21]

 We look at key themes in the 22nd Part (juz’) of the Qur’an: (1) the qualities of those whom Allah has prepared forgiveness and great reward for; (2) realities of sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); (3) your neediness, and God’s Glory; and (4) knowledge and awe of Allah.

 

 

 

[1] Allah has Prepared Forgiveness for the Believers                      

Remember Allah Much

Allah reminds us of His infinite generosity and grace towards the believers. This is a verse of hope– one of the wings we fly with on our journey to Allah–and of encouraging us to characterize ourselves with this high virtues:

“For men and women who are devoted to God– believing men and women, obedient men and women, truthful men and women, steadfast men and women, humble men and women, charitable men and women, fasting men and women, chaste men and women, men and women who remember God often– God has prepared forgiveness and a rich reward.” [Qur’an, 33.35]

 

[2] Sending Blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)  

This is the Divine command: Send peace and blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). This verse is just as emphatic as the commands to pray, fast, give zakat, and so on. What an honour it is to be able to do something that even Allah does:

“God and His angels bless the Prophet– so, you who believe, bless him too and give him greetings of peace.” [Qur’an, 33.56]

Salat” is prayer or supplication (dua). Allah’s blessing (salat) is His mercy and honouring of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Allah’s peace (salam) is His greeting of honour, His granting eternal peace and contentment-.

The salam is also a prayer from us, asking Allah to put the Prophet’s heart at rest regarding us (his community)–that we’ll uphold our covenants with him, embody his guidance, and spread the light he came with (peace and blessings be upon him).

Make a daily routine of sending blessings upon him (Allah bless him and give him peace. Hasten to send blessings upon him, whenever his noble name is mentioned– out of following the Divine command, out of love, and out of gratitude for the gift of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

 

[3] Your reality and Allah’s reality

Sajda yellow

People are inherently needy. Our existence is only because Allah creates us–and we remain in existence from moment to moment because He sustains us. Everything we have is from Allah. Our existence, reality, and life is dependent and needy. This is our reality.

Realize your poverty and neediness to your Creator and Sustainer– the One free of all need, the One who created you, and is sustaining you at every moment:

“People, are in absolute need of God – and God needs nothing and is worthy of all praise.” [Qur’an, 35.15]

This is realization of Divine Oneness, and who God truly is: “the One free of need of any other, whom all are completely dependent upon–at every moment, in every way.”

 

[4] People of Knowledge, People of Awe

Awe

This verse is a reminder: to stand in true awe of Allah, you need knowledge. “Watch out for Allah, and you’ll find Him in front of you,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

“…It is those of His servants who have knowledge who stand in true awe of God. God is almighty, most forgiving.” [Qur’an, 35.28]

And the sign of beneficial knowledge is that is increases on in awe (khashiya) of Allah. Seek such knowledge, from inheritors of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)–people of awe and reverence, love and thankfulness, who reflect the light of the tremendous character of the one (peace and blessings be upon him) whose “character was the Qur’an.”

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (21) Prayer as the Ascent of the Believer, Striving for Allah, Marriage as Sign and Means to Allah, Success and Purpose in Life

Day 21: Juz’ Twenty One: Surat al-`Ankabut [29.45-69], Surat al-Rum [30.1-60], Surat Luqman [31.1-34], Surat al-Sajdah [32.1-30] & Surat al-Ahzab [33.1-30]

We look at four key themes of the 21st Juz’ of the Qur’an: (1) establishing the prayer and its transformative and protective impact; (2) striving for Allah, by Allah, as means to closeness; (3) marriage as a sign pointing to Allah, and as a means to Allah’s closeness; and (4) the purpose of the true believer, and their relationship with the beautiful example of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

 

 

 

[1] The Prayer is the Ascent of the Believer

Prayer in Park

Prayer is the ascent of the believer. Allah’s command is to establish prayer (iqamat al-salat), and not mere “praying.”

Establishing prayer is

(1) to pray with purpose–seeking Allah Most High;

(2) to pray in accordance with the outward example of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)–by fulfilling the conditions, integrals, and outward proper manners of prayer; and

(3) to pray with sincerity, presence of heart, and in a state of remembrance of Allah–these being some of the key inward sunnas of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  

It is such prayer that Allah refers to:

“[Prophet], recite what has been revealed to you of the Scripture; keep up the prayer: prayer restrains outrageous and unacceptable behaviour. Remembering God is greater: God knows everything you are doing.” [Qur’an, 29.45]

It is such prayer that transforms. Transformative prayer requires:

(1) knowledge of the outward and spiritual example of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace);

(2) a living heart nourished by “keeping your tongue moist with remembrance of Allah,” throughout one’s life and actions;

(3) mindfulness (taqwa) and

(4) renouncing worldliness (zuhd), such that one leaves anything that distracts or disadvantages in one’s standing with Allah.

Making Dua Grill

 

[2] Striving for Allah

This is the Divine promise of assistance for those who strive for Allah’s sake. 

“Whoever strives seeking Us, We shall surely guide to Our ways–and Allah is with those of excellence.” [Qur’an, 29.69]

Striving seeking Allah is that

(1) one’s actions are for Allah (li’l Llah)–for His closeness, pleasure, and love; and

(2) one performs them by Allah (bi’l Llah), such that one is reliant on Allah’s assistance and facilitation in them.

This is the reality and realization of “You alone with submit to, and You alone we ask for assistance.” [Qur’an, 1.5]

 

Love and Mercy Calligraphy

[3] Marriage as a Sign of Allah, and a Means to Him

In a series of verses within Surat al-Rum, Allah tells us about His signs in creation– here, specifically about spouses.

Marriage is a sign of Allah, as it (1) reminds of the marvel of creation; (2) reminds of the marvel of destiny and how Allah brings a man and woman together; (3) reminds of the gift of serenity (sukun) Allah has placed in marriage; and (4) reminds of the potential of love and mercy Allah grants the couple. There are numerous signs of Allah in marriage:

“Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He ordained love and kindness between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect.” [Qur’an, 30.21]

NewImage

Marriage is also a “sign of Allah,” in that it is a means of turning to Allah and seeking His closeness. How? Through upholding and expressing the “love and mercy” that is the glue of relations, even when tested. The manifestation of this is good character in conduct and response–seeking Allah thereby. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,   “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character. And the best of you are those best to their spouses.” [Tirmidhi]

 

[4] Success, Purpose, and the Beautiful Way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

This verse summarizes success in life:

“Truly, you have in the Messenger of Allah the most beautiful example for whoever seeks Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” [Qur’an, 33.21]

The keys to a successful life:

(1) have a clear purpose in life: seek Allah and the Last Day as your life goal, and in every action and response;

(2) strive to take the Messenger as your “excellent model in life, and in every action and response;

(3) sustain this purpose and way through remaining constant and consistent in remembrance of Allah.

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 

Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

 

 

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (20) Marvel of Creation, Thankfulness, Guidance, and Seek the Next Abode

Day 20: Juz’ Twenty: Surat al-Naml [27.60-93], Surat al-Qasas [28.1-88] & Surat al-`Ankabut [29.1-44]

In tonight’s set of verses, we’ll be looking at four key themes:

 

 

[1] The Marvel of Creation and the Oneness of Allah

This is a selection of a set of verses from Surat al-Naml, in which Allah describes His overpowering Majesty over everything. Such verses are a reminder to reflect over creation: There is no god but Allah.

Marvel

“Who created the heavens and earth? Who sends down water from the sky for you– with which We cause gardens of delight to grow: you have no power to make the trees grow in them– is it another god beside God? No! But they are people who take others to be equal with God. Who is it that made the earth a stable place to live? Who made rivers flow through it? Who set immovable mountains on it and created a barrier between the fresh and salt water? Is it another god beside God? No! But most of them do not know. Who is it that answers the distressed when they call upon Him? Who removes their suffering? Who makes you successors in the earth? Is it another god beside God? Little notice you take! Who is it that guides you through the darkness on land and sea? Who sends the winds as heralds of good news before His mercy? Is it another god beside God? God is far above the partners they put beside him!” [Qur’an, 27.60-63]

Reflect on the marvel of the creating of the One Creator–the One alone worthy of being your ultimate purpose and goal in life; the one alone worthy of worship.

 

[2] Allah’s Bounty and the Duty of Thankfulness

Another recurring theme throughout the Qur’an is Allah’s reminding us of His grace and favour upon us. The blessings are raining down– just reflect, and then be a person of gratitude.

“Your Lord is bountiful to people, though most of them are ungrateful.” [Qur’an, 27.73]

The least of gratitude (shukr) is not to disobey Allah with what He has blessed you with, as Imam Junaid (Allah have mercy upon him) explained.

 

[3] Allah Guides

Jalala in Red

Allah is the One who guides. You cannot force people to worship, be patient, grateful, rejoice, or anything else. Rather, Allah is the One who turns hearts towards Himself, and gives people openings from whence they least expect.
“You [Prophet] cannot guide everyone you love to the truth; it is God who guides whoever He will: He knows best those who will follow guidance.” [Qur’an, 28.56]
Call to Allah, but realize that guidance is in His hands.

 

[4] Seek the Next Life through This Life

This life is but a bridge to the next. Do everything whilst constantly looking at the eternal benefit:

“Seek the life to come by means of what God has granted you, but do not neglect your rightful share in this world. Do good to others as God has done good to you. Do not seek to spread corruption in the land, for God does not love those who do this.’” [Qur’an, 28.77]

And be a strong believer– doing good to others out of a realization of the good that Allah has done for you. And become those believers whom He loves.

And Allah alone gives success.

 

Tabraze Azam and Faraz Rabbani

 

 

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (19) Servants of the Most-Merciful, Who is an Imam?, Pure Hearts, and the Prophetic Call – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 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 19: Juz’ 19: Surat al-Furqan [25:21-77], Surat al-Shu`ara’ [26.1-227] & Surat al-Naml [27.1-59]

We look at four key themes in the 19th Part (juz’) of the Qur’an: (1) Servants of the Most-Merciful; (2) Who is an Imam?; (3) Pure Hearts, and (4) the Prophetic Call.

 

 

[1] Qualities of True Servants of Allah

Ibadur Rahman

The Qur’an is a call to the fulfillment of the highest of human potential and virtue. Allah Most High describes some of these qualities in Surat al-Furqan, 25.63-77. Recite these verses and reflect on them:

“The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace’; those who spend the night bowed down or standing, worshipping their Lord.” [Qur’an, 25.63-64]

The key distinguishing quality of the ‘servants of the Most-Merciful’ (`ibad al-Rahman) is their humility–they are humbled by their awe of God, and thereby humble themselves in worship and in life.

[Shaykh Faraz Rabbani covered the explanation of these verses in: Exploring the Quran: Qualities of True Servants of the All-Merciful (Allah)http://youtu.be/qWX9Z1o_GaQ ]

 

Woman in Light

[2] Becoming Exemplars of Excellence and Virtue

These righteous servants of Allah are described as praying:

“‘‘Our Lord, grant  us all joy in our spouses and offspring. And make us of the foremost of the mindful’.” [Qur’an, 25.74]

This is a supplication we should bring into our daily lives. Note that:

(1) They say: “Grant us,” in the plural. They seek this good not only for themselves but for others, as well. When you seek good for others, the angels ask Allah to grant you the like of what you seek.

(2) They seek the good for themselves, their spouses, and their offspring (dhurriyya). One’s offspring aren’t simply one’s children: they’re all those who will come forth from one, until the end of time. The believer seeks the greatest possible good–the very long-term good of this life, and the eternal good of the next.

(3) They don’t simply ask Allah to be “good Muslims.” Rather, they seek to be the very best of Allah’s creation: they seek to be of the foremost of Allah’s foremost servants–the people of mindfulness (taqwa), as Allah tells us in the Qur’an [49.13]

(4) An “imam” is not simply a leader: an imam is someone worthy of emulating because of what they encompass of praiseworthy traits and qualities.

 

[3] Returning to Allah with Pure Hearts

Light in your heart

This is a reminder from Allah that on the Last Day we will be alone, and what will count is a pure heart:

“The Day when neither wealth nor children can help, when the only one who will be saved is the one who comes before God with a heart devoted to Him.’” [Qur’an, 26.88-89]

A pure heart (qalbun salim) is one that (1) proves true in seeking Allah’s pleasure, and that (2) is characterized by the qualities beloved to Allah, and that (3) purified itself from the qualities odious to Allah, as He makes clear in the Qur’an [91.7-10]

 

[4] The Prophetic Calls

The consistency of the call of all Prophets is a  theme throughout Surat al-Shu`ara’. All Prophets called to (1) true belief in the One God; and (2) seeking that One God through sound submission, obedience, and mindfulness:

“I am a faithful messenger to you: be mindful of God and obey me. I ask no reward from you, for my only reward is with the Lord of the Worlds.” [Qur’an, 26.143-145]

They called others to this truth out of sincere concern (nasiha), with no ulterior worldly motives.

This is key for anyone serving the religion of Allah–whether scholars, teachers, leaders, activists, or in any other aspect of service. Our call is to Allah; our message is to love Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and to embrace obedience and mindfulness with excellence, out of this love.

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam
 

 

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (18) Successful Believers, Knowing the Prophet, Allah’s Generosity, and Patience in Trials – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 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 18: Juz’ Eighteen: Surat al-Mu’minun [23.1-118], Surat al-Nur [24.1-64] & Surat al-Furqan [25.1-20]

We look at four key themes of the 18th Part (juz’) of the Qur’an: (1) Key Qualities of Successful Believers; (2) Knowing our Messenger; (3) Allah’s Generosity; and (4) Steadfastness in Tests.

 

 


Qad Aflaha

[1] The Description of the True Believers

The opening verses of Surat al-Mu’minun describe the qualities of successful believers–those who will granted the higest of Paradise:

“Successful are true believers! Those who pray humbly, who shun idle talk, who pay the prescribed alms, who guard their chastity except with their spouses or their slaves ––with these they are not to blame, but anyone who seeks more than this is exceeding the limits––who are faithful to their trusts and pledges and who keep up their prayers, will rightly be given Paradise as their own, there to remain.” [Qur’an, 23.1-11]

True believers live what faith entails–of excellence and virtue–both (1) in their turning to Allah through excellence in prayer and devotion, and (2) in their dealings with people, through modesty, fulfilling trusts and commitments. Uphold excellence, and you’ll find eternal excellence from Allah, waiting for you.

 

[2] Knowing the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Allah reminds us of the virtues of the Messenger, and the need to know him:

“Do they not recognize their Messenger? So why do they reject him?” [Qur’an, 23.69]

How can you love without knowing? And if you know him, you will love him, and embrace the beauty and virtue he has come with (peace and blessings be upon him).

 

[3] Allah’s Generosity with His Servants

Out of Allah’s infinite grace to true believers, He will reward them according to the best actions they ever performed.:

“God will reward such people according to the best of their actions, and He will give them more of His bounty: God provides limitlessly for anyone He will.” [Qur’an, 24.38]

Seek from the Most Generous, with gratitude, and complete confidence in His promise.

 

[4] Steadfastness in Tests

Alhamdulillah

Tests are a blessing: they are means of expressing the trueness of our concern for Allah; the sincerity of our seeking Allah; and our trust in His promise:

“No messenger have We sent before you [Muhammad] who did not eat food and walk about in the marketplace. But We have made some of you a means of testing others– will you stand fast? Your Lord is always watching.” [Qur’an, 25.20]

Steadfastness (sabr) is remaining firm on that which is pleasing to Allah.

The example of the messengers is mentioned: while humans, they were honoured by Allah with revelation–and made exemplars. Look at how they were tested, and embrace the beauty of their responses–their trust and contentment, their patience and thankfulness–in your own response to life’s tests.

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

 

 

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Badshahi

Daily Quran Reflections: (17) Reality of Death, Mercy to Creation, Religion is Deep Respect

 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.

 

 

[1] 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.”

 

Only Mercy

[2] 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.

 

[3] Venerating the Symbols of Allah

Veneration of 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

 

 

 

Ends of Earth Ramadan 2013

  

SeekersGuidance / SeekersHub Global NEEDS your HELP: Help us reach seekers, across the world, through completely free Islamic courses, answers, and programs: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/ — SeekersHub Global also accepts zakat donations, which are distributed to eligible seekers of knowledge.

Muhammad Calligraphy paper

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (16) Surat al-Kahf 18.75 to Surat Taha 20.135: The Prophetic Reality, Divine Love, Gentleness, Hope and Fear

 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.

 

 

 

 

[1] 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.

 

[2] 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]

 

[3] 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:

Children Hands.jpg

“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.”

 

[4] 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.

 
Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

 

Ends of Earth Ramadan 2013

  

SeekersGuidance / SeekersHub Global NEEDS your HELP: Help us reach seekers, across the world, through completely free Islamic courses, answers, and programs: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/ — SeekersHub Global also accepts zakat donations, which are distributed to eligible seekers of knowledge.

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (15) Call to the Highest Virtues, Excellence with Parents, Human Honour, and Keeping the Best of Company

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 15: Juz’ Fifteen: Surat al-Isra’ [17.1-111] & Surat al-Kahf [18.1-74]

 

 

In our overview of the 15th Part (juz’) of the Qur’an, we’ll be looking at four key themes:

 

Stair to Heaven

[1] The Guide to the Highest Virtues

Allah Most High reminds us of the qualities of the Qur’an, so that we appreciate its gifts:

“This Qur’an guides to the straightest way. It gives the faithful who do right the good news that they will have a great reward.” [Qur’an, 17.9]

The straightest way is the way that leads most directly to Allah’s closeness and love. It is the way of greatest uprightness and virtue. This serves as a reminder that any embracing of the Qur’an’s guidance should be manifest in greater attachment to God, and a nurturing of the highest human virtues.

Allah Most High also reminds us to have the certitude that the reward of any good we do is the eternal reward that He has prepared for us–regardless of whether our efforts are recognized or appreciated by others in this life.

 

[2] Excellence with parents

Being good to your parents is a sacred duty–and an expression of thankfulness to both Allah Himself, and to our parents. Allah Most High summarizes this duty in two verses:

“Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully and lower your wing in humility towards them in kindness and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on them, just as they cared for me when I was little.’” [Qur’an, 17.23-24]

Being good to parents  entails three things: (1) respect, in word and deed (2) care–manifest in kindness, gentleness, and mercy;  and (3) thankfulness–expressed spiritually through praying for them, and socially through affection and love..

 

[3] The Children of Adam are Honoured

Allah has honoured humans, because He has given them the capacity to know Him, to submit to Him, and to become beloved to Him:

“We have honoured the children of Adam and carried them by land and sea; We have provided good sustenance for them and favoured them specially above many of those We have created.” [Qur’an, 17.70]

The true believer honours all creation, because it is Allah’s creating. And they honour every human being, because they have been honoured by Allah–for He has given them the potential to believe and become truly beloved.

Know your honour and potential, and fulfill this potential by embracing the light of the Qur’anic guidance–that light perfectly manifest in the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk).

 

[4] Keep the Best of Company

Woman Mosque Qur'an

Allah Most High calls us to keep the best of company–those who keep Allah’s company through devotion, prayer, and focus on seeking His pleasure in their lives:

“Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life: do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our Qur’an, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” [Qur’an, 18.28]

“A person is on the religious ways of their close friends,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “So let each of you be careful about whom you take as close companions.”

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 

Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

 

 

Ends of Earth Ramadan 2013

SeekersGuidance / SeekersHub Global NEEDS your HELP: Help us reach seekers, across the world, through completely free Islamic courses, answers, and programs: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/ — SeekersHub Global also accepts zakat donations, which are distributed to eligible seekers of knowledge.

 

 

 

Qur'an on a Stand

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (14) Allah’s Promise of Preserving the Qur’an, and the Essence of Guidance

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 14: Juz’ Fourteen: Surat al-Hijr [15.1-99] & Surat al-Nahl [16.1-128]

In tonight’s set of verses, look at four main themes: (1) Allah’s promise to preserve the Qur’an–both text and guidance; (2) never despairing of Allah’s Mercy; (3) recognizing that all blessings are from Allah; and (4) justice and excellence (`adl and ihsan) as the essential qualities of Divine Guidance.

 

 

[1] Allah’s Promise of Preserving the Qur’an

The Divine promise of the Qur’an’s protection is of the most tremendous of blessings that Allah gifted the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his community:

“We have sent down the Remembrance Ourself, and We Ourself will guard.” [Qur’an, 15.9]

If hearts are pure

This promise encompasses the preservation of the text of the Qur’an and its guidance as well–as “the Remembrance” is that which one takes heed from.

The text of the Qur’an is preserved in the hearts of those who memorize and transmit it, as well as in writing. Every letter of the Qur’an is preserved today as it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

The guidance of the Qur’an was explained by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and is preserved by those whom the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself referred to as the “inheritors of the prophets,” namely the scholars of the the Prophetic way and mainstream.

Preserve the Qur’an in your own life through recitation, reflection, and being realized in its meanings and realities. The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) said, “The people of the Qur’an are the people of Allah and His chosen ones.” Strive to be of the people of Allah.

 

[2] Believers never Despair in the Mercy of their Lord

Allah’s Mercy is without limits. Repent, and find this mercy:

“He said, ‘Who but the misguided despair of the mercy of their Lord?’”  [Qur’an, 15.56]

Repentance is easy: leave the sin, with remorse, and resolve never to return to it. If you do so, Allah has promised to accept your repentance, by his Mercy.

 

[3] Blessings are from Allah

Every single blessing you enjoy is from Allah. Reflect over the blessings in your life:

“Whatever good things you possess come from God, and when hardship afflicts you, it is to Him alone you cry out for help” [Qur’an, 16.53]

 

[4] The Essential Qualities of Divine Guidance

Kids Qur'an Looking Up

Allah Most High summarizes the essential qualities of Divine Guidance:

“God commands justice and excellence, and generosity towards relatives and He forbids what is shameful, blameworthy, and oppressive. He teaches you, so that you may take heed.” [Qur’an, 16.90]

Justice (`aql) is the right balance of all rights and considerations in a manner that preserves the good of this life and the next.

Excellence (ihsan) is going beyond the good towards perfecting, virtue, and what is best in any circumstance. Excellence is the way of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk). It is manifest in a giving, generous attitude.

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 

Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

 

Ends of Earth Ramadan 2013

SeekersGuidance / SeekersHub Global NEEDS your HELP: Help us reach seekers, across the world, through completely free Islamic courses, answers, and programs: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/ — SeekersHub Global also accepts zakat donations, which are distributed to eligible seekers of knowledge.

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (13) Yusuf 12.53 to Ibrahim 14.52 – Explanation of Everything, Remembrance, and Thankfulness as Key to Increase

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 13: Juz’ Thirteen: Surat Yusuf [12.53-111], Surat al-Ra`d [13.1-43] & Surat Ibrahim [14.1-52]

In tonight’s verses, we’ll be looking at three central themes:

 

Women Qur'an Recital

[1] The Qur’an: An Explanation of Everything

Allah Most High reminds us of characteristics of Qur’anic guidance–and the wisdom behind the stories of the Qu’ran:

“There is a lesson in the stories of such people for those who understand. This revelation is no fabri- cation: it is a confirmation of the truth of what was sent before it; an explanation of everything; a guide and a blessing for those who believe.” [Qur’an, 12.111]

Be of those who understand, be guided by its teachings–and find blessing in your life. This reminder is at the close of the wondrous story of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him).

 

[2] Finding Solace in the Rememberance of Allah

“Keep your tongue moist with the rememberance of Allah,” said the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Allah Most High tells us:

“Those who have faith and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of God– truly it is in the remembrance of God that hearts find peace.” [Qur’an, 13.28]

Every act of remembrance is a declaration of faith, nurtures faith, reminds us of our purpose and gives us the light that illuminates the way to Allah in our lives.

Dhu’n-Nun al-Misri said, “Whoever’s heart and tongue are occupied with remembrance, Allah casts into his heart the light of longing for Him.”

 

[3] Thankfulness is Increase

The key to increase in all good–worldly and spiritual–is thankfulness (shukr):

“Remember that He promised, “If you are thankful, I will give you more, but if you are thankless, My punishment is terrible indeed.”’ [Qur’an, 14.7]

Thankfulness is to (1) recognize everything as blessing from Allah; (2) appreciating Allah’s blessings; and (3) directing every blessing–every moment and opportunity–towards Allah’s Pleasure.

 

And Allah alone gives success.

 

Faraz Rabbani and Tabraze Azam

 

Ends of Earth Ramadan 2013

SeekersGuidance / SeekersHub Global NEEDS your HELP: Help us reach seekers, across the world, through completely free Islamic courses, answers, and programs: https://seekersguidance.org/donate/ — SeekersHub Global also accepts zakat donations, which are distributed to eligible seekers of knowledge.

African Muslim Qur'an