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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (12) Hud 11.6-123 to Yusuf 12.52 – Calling to Allah, Uprightness, Prayer, and the Qur’anic Stories – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Ustadh Tabraze Azam

 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 12: Juz’ Twelve: Surat Hud [11.6-123] & Surat Yusuf [12.1-52]

 

In this section, we’ll be looking at four key themes:

 

[1] The Prophetic Way of Calling to Allah

The Prophetic way of calling to Allah had four distinguishing characteristics: (1) mercy, (2) asking for assistance and success, (3) reliance upon Allah, and (4) always turning to Him.

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“He answered, ‘My people, can you not see? What if I am acting on clear evidence from my Lord? He Himself has given me good provision: I do not want to do what I am forbidding you to do, I only want to put things right as far as I can. I cannot succeed without God’s help: I trust in Him, and always turn to Him.” [Qur’an, 11.88]

 

[2] Remaining Upright

The Straight Path of guidance is the way of uprightness (istiqama).

“So keep to uprightness as you have been commanded, together  with those who have turned to God with you. Do not overstep the limits, for He sees everything you do.” [Qur’an, 11.112]

Remain Upright

Uprightness has four aspects:

(1) knowing one’s purpose;

(2) directing oneself towards one’s purpose;

(3) taking the right means towards that purpose; and

(4) taking these means with outward and inward excellence.

Uprightness is the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He counselled: “Say: I believe in Allah–and then remain upright,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). [Muslim]

 

[3] The Prayer & Performing Righteous Actions

Prayer is our expression of gratitude to God, of yearning for God, of love for God, of awe of God. It is the perfect expression of our slavehood to Allah, our need for Allah, and our commitment to Allah. Allah Most High commands:

“Keep up the prayer at both ends of the day, and during parts of the night, for good things drive bad away– this is a reminder for those who are aware.” [Qur’an, 11.114]

Prayer (1) draws one closer to Allah, (2) purifies one’s heart and soul, and (3) enables one to leave those things that distance one from Allah.

 

[4] Taking Lessons from Stories

The stories of the Qur’an have many spiritual benefits:

“We have told you the stories of the prophets to make your heart firm and in these accounts truth has come to you, as well as lessons and reminders for the believers.” [Qur’an, 11.120]

These stories have three main purposes: (1) to increase one’s faith, certitude and resolve; (2) to give one truth and guidance; and (3) they contain lessons and reminders by which we can–through understanding and reflection–take heed, and turn to Allah on the footsteps of “those whom Allah has blessed.”

 

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: (11) Tawba 9.94, Yunus, to Hub 11.5 – Key to Taqwa, Prophetic Mercy, Rejoicing in Allah – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Ustadh Tabraze Azam

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 11: Juz’ Eleven: Surat al-Tawba [9.94-129], Surat Yunus [10.1-109] & Surat Hud [11.1-5]

 

We will be touching upon  four key themes in the 11th Section (juz’) of the Qur’an:: (1) the key to taqwa (mindfulness of Allah); (2) seeking and supporting religious knowledge; (3) The Prophet’s love, mercy, and concern for believers; and (4) the command to rejoice in Allah’s blessings.

 

 

[1] The Key to Mindfulness (taqwa)

It is from Allah’s Mercy that when  He commands us to a virtue He always tells us how to attain it. Here, Allah gives us a key to mindfulness (taqwa):

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“You who believe, be mindful of God, and be with those who are true.” [Qur’an, 9.119]

 

Your company colours your consciousness, character, and conduct. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A person is on the way of their close companions, so let each of you consider carefully whom you take as a close companion.” [Ahmad and others]

 

[2] Seeking Knowledge and Supporting Religious Scholarship

Islam is a religion of knowledge. This knowledge is transmitted from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) through teaching and study. Allah Most High commands us to both seek knowledge, and to support the nurturing and spread of sound religious scholarship:

“…out of each community, a group should go out to gain understanding of the religion, so that they can teach their people when they return and so that they can take heed.” [Qur’an, 9.122]

The role and purpose of scholars is made clear here: (1) to teach people how to turn to Allah Most High; and (2) to remind people of their duty to Allah–th


The
health of individuals and communities is through being connected to scholars who are inheritors of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in knowledge, guidance, and spirituality.rough encouragement and warning.

 

 

[3] The Prophet’s Mercy, Concern, and Love for the Believers

Harisun Alaykum

Allah Most High reminds us, agains, of the tremendous blessing and gift of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace):

“A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering distresses him: he is deeply concerned for you and full of kindness and mercy towards the believers.” [Qur’an, 9.128]

Appreciate this Gift, and strive to emulate his radiant example: seek the mercy, concern, and love of Allah Most High through having true mercy, concern, and love for Allah’s creation. “It is the merciful who are shown mercy by the All-Merciful,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Be merciful to those on earth, and the Lord of the Heavens will be merciful to you.” [Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

 

[4] Rejoicing in Allah

This is the reminder of the tremendous blessings that have been bestowed upon us. It is a Qur’anic imperative to rejoice in Allah, in Allah’s Grace and Mercy:

“People, a reminder from your Lord has come to you, a healing for what is in [your] hearts, and guidance and mercy for the believers. Say [Prophet], ‘In God’s grace and mercy let them rejoice: these are better than all they accumulate.’” [Qur’an, 10.57-58]

Four qualities of the Qur’an are mentioned here:

(1) it is a reminder (maw`idha)–for humans tend towards forgetting;

(2) it is a healing (shifa’) for all that ails the heart–through recitation, through reflection, through acting upon its guidance, and through Allah’s drawing close and illuminating the hearts of those who find Him through His Speech;

(3-4) it is guidance and mercy–showing the way of good, out of Divine Favour.

Given all this, a believer should be ever-rejoicing in Allah’s Favours. Rejoice in Allah’s gifts of life, faith, guidance, and all good–worldly and spiritual.

 

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.

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (10) Anfal 41-75 to Tawba 1-93: Highest Love, Trials and Trust, Mercy and Belief, Qualities of Believers

 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 Ten: Juz’ 10: Surat al-Anfal [8.41-75] & Surat al-Tawba [9.1-93]
 

We look at four main themes in these verses: (1) loving Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him); (2) trials and trust in Allah; (3) the Prophet’s concern and mercy; and (4) a description of the qualities embodied by true believers.

 

Allah and Muhammad

[1] Loving Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Our religion is built on love. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “By the One in whose grasp is my soul, none of you believes until I am more beloved to him than their children, parents, and all people.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

“Say [Prophet], ‘If your fathers, sons, brothers, wives, tribes, the wealth you have acquired, the trade which you fear will decline, and the dwellings you love are dearer to you than God and His Messenger and the struggle in His cause, then wait until God brings about His punishment.’ God does not guide those who break away.” [Qur’an, 9.24]

This is a call to intensity of love, and that striving for Allah arises from love–and must be in ways beloved to Him. The warning against turning away from this is clear.

 

[2] The Blows of Fate and Reliance on Allah

Here, Allah tells us the response of the true believers to the blows of fate. Everything is from Allah, and realizing this transforms hardships into opportunities of seeking closeness to Him.

“Say, ‘Only what God has decreed will happen to us. He is our Master: let the believers put their trust in God.’” [Qur’an, 9.51]

Trust in Allah is to know:

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(1) that everything is from Allah;

(2) that there is Mercy in all that Allah sends, if one responds right;

(3) that if one has inward acceptance and right response, then both hardship and ease are for one’s good: they increase our faith, are a means of reward, and draw one closer to Allah.

Why complain?

 

[3] Mercy to Mankind

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the embodiment of true mercy. Believers benefit from this gift of mercy:

“There are others who insult the Prophet by saying, ‘He will listen to anything.’ Say, ‘He listens for your own good: he believes in God, trusts the believers, and is a mercy for those of you who believe.’ An agonizing torment awaits those who insult God’s Messenger.” [Qur’an, 9.61]

 

[4] Description of the Believers

Allah Most High gives us a comprehensive description of the best of believers:

“The believers, both men and women, support each other; they order what is right and forbid what is wrong; they keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; they obey God and His Messenger. God will give His mercy to such people: God is almighty and wise. God has promised the believers, both men and women, Gardens graced with flowing streams where they will remain; good, peaceful homes in Gardens of lasting bliss; and– greatest of all– God’s good pleasure. That is the supreme triumph.” [Qur’an, 9.71-72]

Strive to embody these virtues, seeking the supreme triumph–attaining Allah’s Good 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.

Daily Qur’an Reflections: (09) A`raf 88-206 to Anfal 1-40: Ancient Covenants, the Noble Prophetic Way, Adab with Qur’an, and Responding to Allah’s Call

 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 9: Juz’ Nine: Surat al-A`raf [7.88-206] & Surat al-Anfal [8.1-40]

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

 

[1] Your Ancient Covenant With Allah

In this verse, Allah informs us of the ancient covenant we took with Him:

Desert Amazing

“When your Lord took out the offspring from the loins of the Children of Adam and made them bear witness about themselves, He said, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they replied, ‘Yes, we bear witness.’ So you cannot say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘We were not aware of this.'” [Qur’an, 7.172]

Your soul has known  Allah, and yearns for Him. Without turning to Allah, remembering Him, and seeking Him, you cannot find true, lasting contentment.

 

[2] The Noble, Prophetic Way

Allah Most High called the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to the highest of virtues. These are summarized in one amazing verse:

“Be easygoing; call to what is right; and pay no attention to foolish people.” [Qur’an, 7.199]

Being easygoing (`afw) is to neither demand too much from others, nor to be hard on them if they err.

Calling to the good is an expression of sincere concern for others.

Turning away from the ignorant is to neither participate in ignorant matters, nor to concern oneself with folly.

 

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[3] Proper Manners with the Qur’an

This is a lesson in proper manners. Allah is telling us how to deal with His book. Adab is the proper way of doing something. It is a Divine command to listen to His book when it is recited. The greater the adab you have with it, the more you’ll benefit from it.

“So pay attention and listen quietly when the Qur’an is recited, so that you may be given mercy.” [Qur’an, 7.204]

The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, and an expression of Divine Mercy. Recite and listen to it attentively. Reflect on its meanings, and strive to live its guidance–seeking Allah thereby–in accordance with the light of the Walking Qur’an, the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk).

 

[4] Respond to the Call

Allah Most High calls us to submit for our benefit–in this life and the next–and not His:

“Believers, respond to God and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. Know that God comes between a man and his heart, and that you will be gathered to Him.” [Qur’an, 8.24]

Such response requires (1) seeking knowledge, to know how to respond; (2) regular remembrance, to nurture concern and consciousness; and (3) the right company, so that the right choices and responses are facilitated.

 

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: (8) An`am 111-165 and A`raf 1-87 – Sins and Repentance, Recognition of Gifts, How to Ask Allah, and Reminders of Allah’s Creating – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Ustadh Tabraze Azam

 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 8: Juz’ 8: Surat al-An’am [6.111-165] & Surat al-A`raf [7.1-87]

 

In tonight’s set of verses, we’ll be looking at four key themes: (1) avoiding sin; (2) recognition of gifts; (3) how to ask Allah; (4) Allah’s creating.

 

[1] Avoiding Sin

Avoiding sins is better than performing righteous actions.
What is sin? Sin isn’t simply “doing something bad.” Rather, it is going against the command of your Creator and Sustainer. It is something deserving of punishment in the Fire:

“Avoid committing sin, whether openly or in secret, for those who commit sin will be repaid for what they do.” [Qur’an, 6.120]

Secret sins are related to bad character, such as envy, greed, ill-intent, and pride. These are even more harmful than open sin, and result in numerous, harmful open sins.

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[2] Recognize the Great Gift of Guidance

Of the greatest of blessings that we have been gifted with is faith itself. On the Last Day, when we are staring at the meanings of our actions, we will see the fruits of our faith — realizing that everything good was from His pure largesse and gentleness towards us.

“We shall have removed all ill feeling from their hearts; streams will flow at their feet. They will say, ‘Praise be to God, who guided us to this: had God not guided us, We would never have found the way. The messengers of our Lord brought the Truth.’ A voice will call out to them, ‘This is the Garden you have been given as your own on account of your deeds.’” [Qur’an, 7.43]

What is their response? ‘Praise be to Allah.’ What is praise? It is a recognition of blessings. What is the consequence? Paradise with the Beloved. He wants you. Just accept the call.

 

[3] Ask Allah in Fear & Hope

“Supplication is the essence of worship,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). How do we call upon Allah?

“Call on your Lord humbly and privately– He does not like those who transgress His bounds: do not corrupt the earth after it has been set right – call on Him fearing and hoping. The mercy of God is close to those who do good.” [Qur’an, 7.55-56]

Habib Umar DuaThis highlights the attitude of the one making supplication–and the attitude of worship:
(1) humility;
(2) guardedness–in seeking sincerity;
(3) with longing, fear, and hope;
(4) seeking Allah’s mercy, out of neediness.

 

[4] Allah’s Creating: Examples

In the Qur’an, Allah uses examples from our day to day lives to make plain to us His all-conquering power. Just as He brings dead lands to life, you shall be resurrected. There was nothing. Then ‘Be’, and it is:

“It is God who sends the winds, bearing good news of His coming grace, and when they have gathered up the heavy clouds, We drive them to a dead land where We cause rain to fall, bringing out all kinds of crops, just as We shall bring out the dead. Will you not reflect?” [Qur’an, 7.57]

Reflect on the signs of Allah’s creating, and take spiritual lessons from it regarding your own 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.

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Daily Qur’an Reminders: (07) Ma’ida 58-120 and An`am 1-110 – Consequences of Being True; Your True Home; Allah’s Mercy; Allah is the Point

 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 7: Juz’ Seven: Surat al-Ma’ida [5.83-120] & Surat al-An`am [6.1-110]

 

 

 

In today’s set of verses, we’ll be looking at four key themes: (1) consequences of being true; (2) your home is the Hereafter; (3) Allah’s Mercy; and (4) Allah is the point.

 

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[1] The Consequence of Being True

Allah consistently reminds us of the eternal consequences of our actions and choices in this life. One of the highest virtues is being true (sidq), and Allah Most High tells us of the “supreme triumpth” granted those who are true:

“God will say, ‘This is a Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness. They will have Gardens graced with flowing streams, there to remain for ever. God is pleased with them and they with Him: that is the supreme triumph.’” [Qur’an, 5.119]

Being true (sidq) is for one’s aims and aspirations to correspond to the Pleasure of Allah, and for one’s actions and responses to correspond to what one aims and aspires towards.

 

[2] Your Home is the Hereafter

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “From a person’s Islam being good is his leaving what does not concern him.” What concerns you? That which has benefit, in this life or the next, and is a means to the Pleasure of Allah. Leave everything else:

“The life of this world is nothing but a game and a distraction; the Home in the Hereafter is best for those who are aware of God. Why will you [people] not understand?” [Qur’an, 6.32]

True understanding is knowing what benefits, and then pursuing it.

 

[3] Mercy upon Mercy

A constant theme in the Qur’an is Allah’s reminding us that He is ready to forgive. He is the All Forgiving, Most Merciful. He accepts the repentance of His servants who turn to Him, saddened by their mistake, with none other to turn to, hoping in Him:

“When those who believe in Our revelations come to you [Prophet], say, ‘Peace be upon you. Your Lord has taken it on Himself to be merciful: if any of you has foolishly done a bad deed, and afterwards repented and mended his ways, God is most forgiving and most merciful.’” [Qur’an, 6.54]

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[4] Allah is the Point

The whole of the Qur’an is pointing to Allah.

“This is God, your Lord, there is no God but Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him; He is in charge of everything.” [Qur’an, 6.102]

Make everything you do a means of worshipping Him, seeking Him, knowing Him, and loving Him. You weren’t created except to know and love Him.

 

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.

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (6) Nisa 148-176 and Ma’ida 1-82 – cooperating in virtue, upholding justice, seeking closeness, realizing need for Allah

 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 6: Juz’ Six: Surat al-Nisa’ [4.148-176] & Surat al-Ma’ida [5.1-82]

 

 

 

In tonight’s set of verses, we’ll be looking at four key themes: (1) cooperating in virtue; (2) firm commitment to justice; (3) seeking the means to closeness; (4) neediness, ability, and worship.

 

[1] Cooperating in Virtue

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Assisting each other in the good is a Divine command, and a personal duty. Just as each of us have personal obligations (fard `ayn) to fulfill, we are also responsible for social obligations (fard kifaya)–and these cannot be fulfilled without cooperating with others:

“…Assist one another in righteousness  and mindfulness–and do not assist another towards sin and hostility. Be mindful of God, for His punishment is severe.” [Qur’an, 5.2]

These two qualities–righteousness (birr) and mindfulness (taqwa)–are needed in successful cooperation, and these are what one needs to be working together towards. Our actions need planning, and plans need purpose. The purpose of religion is the promotion of virtue–righteousness and mindfulness, as bridges to the love of Allah.

Righteousness (birr) refers to all ways of upholding good. The key to righteousness? The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Righteousness is good character.” The key to relationships–and successful cooperation–is upholding good character in attitude, conduct, and response–in our relationships.

Mindfulness (taqwa) here refers to being careful of limits and rights in our relationships.

 

[2] Firm Commitment to Justice, for Allah’s Sake

Allah calls us to be firmly committed to justice (`adl), for His sake, and not to let our emotions or enmity cause us to veer away from the right balance in our conduct and responses. This requires mindfulness (taqwa) and awareness of Allah (muraqaba). The consequence: eternal reward from Allah:

“You who believe, remain steadfast God’s sake, and bear witness impartially: do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of God. Be mindful of God: God is well aware of all that you do. God has promised forgiveness and a rich reward to those who have faith and do good works.” [Qur’an, 5.8-9]

[3] Seek the Means to Closeness to Allah

In this verse, Allah commands us to take the means to get closer to Him, and to strive in His way:

“You who believe, be mindful of God, seek ways to come closer to Him and strive for His cause, so that you may prosper.” [Qur’an, 5.35]

Allah doesn’t need us or our worship. He is the One, absolutely free of need. Paradise has been prepared for the believers. Be the strong believer, seek Allah in everything you 

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do, and trust in Him: “there will be no fear for those who follow My guidance nor will they grieve” [Qur’an, 2.39]

 

[4] Divine Unity: Worshipping Allah alone

This verse is a call to reflection. Allah alone is the one who can benefit and harm. “And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

“Say, ‘How can you worship something other than God, that has no power to do you harm or good? God alone is the All Hearing and All Knowing.’” [Qur’an, 5.76]

Realize your neediness and poverty to Him–Creator and Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth–and turn to Him, completely.

 

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.

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Daily Qur’an Reflections: (5) Nisa’ 4.24-147 – Responsibilities, Consequence of Obedience, and Reflecting on the Miraculous Qur’an

 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 5: Juz’ Five: Surat al-Nisa’ [4.24-147]

 

 

In today’s set of verses, we’ll be looking at four key themes: (1) fulfilling family responsibilities with excellence; (2) the rights of others; (3) the consequence of obedience; and (4) reflecting on the Qur’an and its miracle.

 

[1] Balanced Family Responsibility
“The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character. And the best of you are those best to their spouses, and I am the best of you to their wives,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

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Good character shall be of the weightiest of things on the Day of Judgement, and in this verse, Allah is commanding husbands to be good to their wives. Why?

“Husbands should take good care of their wives, with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in their husbands’ absence…” [Qur’an, 4.34]

But we also find in this verse, an indication of righteous wives. It is a call to living the sunna in the most beautiful of ways and ensuring spousal harmony–lives of spiritual richness and marital happiness.

 

[2] Fulfilling the Rights of Others
Fulfilling the rights of others is an obligation, and has deep implications in our religion. People are inherently needy, and if wronged, may seek their rights on the Last Day — then being a handing over of your good deeds. “Give everyone who has a right their due right,” said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

“God commands you to return trusts to their rightful owners. And if you judge between people, to do so with justice: God’s instructions to you are excellent, for He hears and sees everything.” [Qur’an, 4.58]

Be of those who fulfill others’ rights, uphold justice in all your actions and dealings, and seek to live a life of upholding the Qur’anic commands in the way shown t us by the beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

 

[3] Consequence of Obeying Allah and His Messenger
In this surah, we learn the tremendous consequence of true obeying of Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him):

“Whoever obeys God and the Messenger will be among those He has blessed: the messengers, the truthful, those who bear witness to the truth, and the righteous– what excellent companions these are!” [Qur’an, 4.69]

Obedience is here refers to consistency in fulfilling obligations, and upholding recommended matters–with excellence and sincerity.

[4] The Qur’anic Miracle and Reflection
The following verse tells us to reflect on the greatest miracle sent to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) — the Qur’an. It is a clear book of manifest guidance. Whoever follows it shall be guided, and whoever doesn’t will fall astray.

Girls Reading Quran.png“Will they not reflection about this Qur’an? If it had been from anyone other than God, they would have found much inconsistency in it.” [Qur’an, 4.82]

Learn about the inimitability (i`jaz) of the Qur’an: the linguistic inimitability; its inimitable meanings; its inimitable guidance; its informing of matters past and future; its scientific miracles, and more.

Reflection (tadabbur) is to think deeply about meanings and their implications. Learn the meanings of the Qur’an. Fill your heart with marvel and awe at its meanings–and the Greatness of the One addressing you when you recite the Qur’an.

 

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: (4) Al-Imran 92-200 and Nisa’ 1-23 – 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 4: Juz’ Four: Surat Al-Imran [3.92-200] & Surat al-Nisa’ [4.1-23]

 

 

 

 

In today’s verses, we’ll be completing Surat Al-Imran, and starting Surat al-Nisa’.  The four key themes of Juz’ 4 of the Qur’an are: (1) Allah’s call to embracing gentleness; (2) how to have excellence in making decisions; (3) thankfulness for the gift of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); and (4) remembrance, reflection, and the keys to eternal success.

 

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[1] Gentleness: The Prophetic Way

Gentleness is the sunna, as it is mercy expressed in attitude and action.. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,  “Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He gives for gentleness what He doesn’t give for harshness or for anything else.”  He also said, “Allah loves gentleness in all things.”

“By an act of mercy from God, you [Prophet] were gentle in your dealings with them– had you been harsh, or hard-hearted, they would have dispersed and left you…” [Qur’an, 3.159]

It is the loss of this Prophetic way of gentleness and mercy that harms relations. And it is perceived harshness that keeps so many so far away from our community’s institutions. Let’s make a concerted effort to embody this high quality of gentleness, by learning and living the example of the Prophet of Gentleness (peace and blessings be upon him).

 

[2] Excellence in Decisions and Trust in Allah

Allah Most High instructs us to consider carefully and consult properly before making choices. Then, when we realize that a certain course of action is the best and most beneficial, we should place our trust in Allah and pursue it with full resolve, without hesitation:

“…Consult with them about matters, then, when you have decided on a course of action, put your trust in God: God loves those who put their trust in Him.”[Qur’an, 3.159]

The call is to  take the best, most effective, and beneficial of means towards the most beneficial of aims–while trusting fully in Allah alone.

 

[3] The Tremendous Gift: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

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Allah Most High makes it clear that the greatest gift we have been granted is the Gift of Mercy–our Beloved Messeneger (peace and blessings be upon him):

“God has truly showered His favours upon  the believers in sending them a Messenger from among their own…” [Qur’an, 3.164]

This verse is a call (1) to recognize the greatness of this Gift; (2) to appreciate the Gift; and (3) to express one’s thankfulness (shukr) as befits the greatness of the Gift (peace and blessings be upon him).

The verse then mentions the four central roles of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace):

“… He conveys to them Allah’s verses and he purifies them; and he teaches them the Book and Wisdom–though before this they were in manifest misguidance.” [Qur’an, 3.164]

Recite this verse often. Reflect on the tremendousness of Allah’s Gift–and what the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) represents in your life. Then reflect on how to express your thankfulness.

 

[4] Reflection and Remembrance Resulting in Patience and Resolve–and Eternal Success

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The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would recite the ten closing verses of Surat Al-Imran [3.190-200] when he would get up for his night worship.

These verses describe reflection (fikr) of true believers, on the signs of Allah in creation, and how this reflection results in and is nurtured by consistent remembrance (dhikr).

This reflection and remembrance are keys to having clarity of intention, aim, and purpose in life. This clarity should then translate into virtuous action through (1) patience (sabr), (2) high resolve, (3) fortifying oneself; and (4) embracing mindfulness (taqwa) in life. The result is complete, eternal success (falah):

“You who believe, be patient; out-do others in patience; fortify yourself; and remain  mindful of Allah–so that you may attain eternal success.”[Qur’an, 3.200]

Key terms:

Patience (sabr) is to remain firm on what is pleasing to Allah.

Fortifying oneself  (ribat) is to hold oneself down on those matters that will strengthen one’s faith and help one attain Allah’s pleasure.

Mindfulness (taqwa) is to shield oneself from all that displeases Allah. There are three levels of mindfulness (taqwa):

(1) The mindfulness of faith (iman) is to shield oneself from eternal punishment through embracing faith.

(2) The mindfulness of submission (islam) is to shield oneself from sin through embracing obedience.

(3) The mindfulness of spiritual excellence (ihsan) is to shield oneself from heedlessness and distraction through complete turning to Allah Most High.

Complete, eternal success (falah) is attaining unto the good of this life and the absolute good of the next life, in the ways most pleasing to Allah.

 

Make it a habit to recite these closing verses of Surat Al-Imran [3.190-200] at night. Reflect on their meanings, and strive to live their transformative realities.

 

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.

 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.

Qur’an Reflections: Day Three: Baqara [2.253-286] and Al-Imran [3.1-91]

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 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]

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[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

 

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.