Surah Rahman – the Abundantly Merciful (55)

 

Sūrah Al-Raḥmān: A Literary Appreciation – Ustādh Nouman Ali Khan

This is meant to be a family program, so the technical language will be minimal.  This doesn’t   mean   we  won’t  talk   about   deep   things,   but   it   will  be   made   more understandable.

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Relation to Previous surah Qamar:

The sūrah beforeSūrah Al-RaḥmānisSūrah Al-Qamar. Qamar means ‘moon’.  Thesūrah following thisis Sūrah Al-Wāqi‘ah (incident/event).  Sūrah 54 begins with mentioninga miracle thathappened  duringthe life of theProphet(ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The Prophet  (ṣall Allāhu‘alayhi wa sallam)wasaskedtoshowthepeopleamiracle,andhe pointedatthemoonandAllāh made themoonsplit.  Allāh talks aboutthisincidentin the54th  sūrah:  “The Hour has come near,and themoon has split.”  This means that themoon splittingis one of thesigns of theDay of Judgment.  It is also a greatmiracle.

 

Al-Raḥmānmeans‘theexceedinglyorunimaginably  merciful.’  Thissūrah alsobegins with a sign of the Day of Judgment and a miracle, which is therevelationof theQur’ān. The Qur’ān being revealedis one of thelast signs before theworld comes to an end, and it  isone  ofthe  greatest  miracles.

 

In  Sūrah  Al-Qamar, Allāh  says, “If they  saw a miraculous  sign, they  would ignore  it  and  say it  is magic.”        “They” refers  to  the disbelievers.  In Sūrah Al-Raḥmān, Allāh talks about the core problem of these people, which is ingratitude.   Allāh keeps questioning  their  ingratitude  and keeps asking one question over and over again.

 

In Sūrah Al-Qamar, Allāh  says, “On the  Day of Judgment,  people will come out  like locusts.”  The people are being compared to lesser creatures, and as we study Sūrah Al- Raḥmān, this  comparison  is important.    The last thing  Allāh mentions  in Sūrah 54 is where  believers will be sitting  after  the Day of Judgment.   Allāh says, “They will be sitting in a place of truth  (Paradise) in the company of the Ultimate King.”  This means that  they will be in the company of Allāh.  In Sūrah Al-Raḥmān, one of the last things Allāh says is about where people will be sitting:  lounging on couches.

 

 

Organized layout of thesūrah:

1.  Al- Raḥmān begins with the greatness of the Qur’ān

2.  Some of Allāh’s favors to humanity

3.  Criminals

4.  People who fear the punishment  and because of that fear did good things in this life and deserve Paradise.

5.  Another paradise.

 

Towards the end Sūrah Al-Wāqi‘ah, Allāh mentions  the greatness  of the Qur’ān.  Allāh swears by the  stars  and then  tells us about the  Qur’ān.   Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) swears by many things in the Qur’ān, and in Sūrah 56, Allāh swears by where the stars are placed.  Allāh says, “By where the stars are placed.  This for sure is an oath that if you had any idea, you would know that this is an amazing oath.”  Allāh tells us that Him swearing by the placement of the stars is amazing.  When Allāh swears by things in the Qur’ān, He is giving a prelude  to the  subject.   In this case, the  Qur’ān is the  subject. What is the connection?  The stars are way above, and the Qur’ān is way above. For the Arabs, they lived in the ocean of sand, and they preferred  traveling by night because of the  heat  and it was easier to find directions  because they  used the  stars.   This is an

amazing parallel because Allāh sent us the Qur’ān to find our way.  Just like the stars are so high above us and beyond us, the greatness of the Qur’ān is described.

 

The second subject in Sūrah Al-Raḥmān is Allāh’s favors, and the second to last subject in Sūrah Al-Wāqi‘ah is Allāh’s favors.  The third  subject is criminals, and the third  to last subject in Sūrah Al-Wāqi‘ah is criminals.  The first and second main subjects in Sūrah Al- Wāqi‘ah are about the people who deserve Paradise:  the people of the right hand and as-sābiqūn.

 

In Al-Wāqi‘ah, we find Allāh asking:

–   Did you create the sperm or was it Us?

–   Did you grow the crop or did We?

–   Did you send water down from the clouds or did We?

–   Did you bring about the firewood you use or did We? In Sūrah Al-Raḥmān, Allāh repeats a question.

 

 

It is very important  to know your audience when giving a speech.  For a great speech, you need three things:

1)  Great content

2)  Style. It is not just what you say but how you say it. Sometimes the way you say something multiplies it by zero or negative.  You should say it in a way that  is effective.

3)  The content and style should be right for your audience.  Customize your speech so that it fits the right kind of audience.

 

The Qur’ān is the perfect form of speech.  It is the perfect content  matched  with the perfect style for the perfect audience.  Every sūrah of the Qur’ān has an audience, and overall the audience is humanity.  The Qur’ān came down on different occasions, and it was recited by the Prophet (ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He was in front of a particular audience at a time.

 

Originally, who was this sūrah talking to?   There are some narrations that  this is an early Makki  sūrah.  Some say it is a later  Makki sūrah.  One of the most compelling arguments about the placement of this sūrah and its audience is by Islahi, who said: When you are dealing with someone  stubborn,  you have to repeat.    When you are yelling at someone, there  will be repetition  in what you are saying.  This repetition  is an indication of anger.  In the first part of this sūrah, the repetition  is indicating Allāh’s anger.   It is also an indication  that  Allāh is talking to a group of people that  have become very stubborn,  and  for stubborn  people, you have to repeat  what  you are saying over and over again.

 

In Sūrah Al-Qamar, human  beings were compared  to locusts (less than  human).   Even though Allāh is angry in this sūrah, the anger is only coming because Allāh is Merciful. You must keep one word in mind the entire time:  Al-Raḥmān. If you don’t keep this in mind, then you won’t understand the entire sūrah.

 

The difference between how a human being and an animal make decisions:  A human being would exit the building if there  was a fire alarm.  An animal would not until it sees the smoke or smells the fire.  For an animal to believe something, it has to see it. A human being can be reasoned with.  If the news comes from a reliable source, they will take the warning.  An animal has to go near the fire and feel its heat and then run.  A human  being will see the  smoke and run  away.   Human beings have the  ability  to reason and not have to see to believe.

 

What is the major claim of people who disbelieve in the Qur’ān?  They said they have not seen and they will believe it when they see it.  In the previous sūrah, people said that  they  had  not  seen  anything,  so  why  should  they  believe.                                                                                                                                 Allāh  made  the argument:  “Haven’t you seen the towns that were destroyed?  Haven’t you seen what I did with ‘Ād and Thamūd?  Haven’t you heard  about the nation  of Lūt?”   The Qur’ān itself is an even bigger argument, but it will not benefit  someone who wants to see. You must take advantage of the ability to speak and communicate to benefit from the Qur’ān.  Allāh said in the  previous sūrah:   “Even if they saw, they would say magic.” Allāh says that  they are asking to see, but even if they did see, they would still be the same.

 

In Sūrah Al-Jāthiyah, Allāh talks about criminals coming on the Day of Judgment to get their verdicts, and they say, “Our Lord, we see now and are ready to listen.”  It is too late then, and it is time to taste.  It is a play on word with the senses:  seeing, hearing, and tasting.   For the people who refuse to listen, Allāh will not speak to them on the Day of Judgment.  He spoke to them enough in the dunyah, and they refused to listen to Allāh’s Speech.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 1:

 

الرَّحْمَٰنُ

The exceedingly unimaginably, incredibly and immediatelyMerciful.”

 

The first āyah of this sūrah is: Al-Raḥmān. It is not a sentence  by itself. An important  thing for all of us to know is that some āyahs are not sentences but are just words. Why not stop the āyah where the sentence ends?  Allāh told us elsewhere in the Qur’ān: “So that they reflect and think deeply about the āyāt.” Before you go forward, you should think about this āyah by itself.  Ponder over this āyah and what it means.

 

Allāh is engaged in doing an incredible act of Mercy. Allāh is being Merciful right now. When we think about this āyah, it is supposed to be a very personal  experience,  and you should think  about  some of the  mercies you are enjoying right  now.   What are some of the things we are enjoying?  Eyes, the masjid, the tongue, your parents  being alive and your children  being healthy,  ḥalāl income, homes, health,  wealth, faculties, friends, community.   How many things do we have to be grateful for?   We  have to appreciate Allāh’s Mercy in them.

Allāh tells us that  of the things we can make a list of, the first the thing we should be

grateful for before anything else is Allāh teaching us the Qur’ān.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 2:

 

عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ

 

It is Al-Raḥmān, He taughttheQur’ān.”

 

The fact that Allāh decided to give us the Qur’ān is an act of unimaginable mercy above everything  else.  The Qur’ān is an act of mercy from Allāh.  The intellect is there, and the covenant was already taken, so we were responsible to Allāh, but as an added favor, Allāh taught the Qur’ān.

 

The second point here is that  Allāh did not say that  He sent the Qur’ān down, but He said He taught  the  Qur’ān.            What  is the  difference  between  giving and  teaching? Teaching the book takes time.  If you have the book, you may not know anything about it.   Teaching is an act of effort on two parties.   It is not  easy on the  teacher  or the student.  Allāh says that He taught the Qur’ān.  In other words, He did not just tell us to figure it out for ourselves.  We should know how to act and live by the Qur’ān.  Part of teaching the Qur’ān was sending the Prophet (ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

 

Āyāt 1-2 is a special kindof sentence:  It is Al-Raḥmān who taught  theQur’ān.  It is theMost Merciful who taught  theQur’ān.  What arewe saying in betweenthelines?  The creditis only given to Al-Raḥmān. In otherwords, whentheProphet(ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is teachingtheQur’ān, he himself is a student,andtheactualteacheris still Allāh(subḥānahu wa ta’āla).                                               Thisideaisvery  powerful,and  to  this  day,ifweare studyingtheQur’ān,theteacher  hadateacher  whohadateacher  uptotheProphet(ṣall Allāhu‘alayhi wa sallam)whoseteacher  was Jibreel whowas taught  by Allāh.  The chain is unbrokenand goes from Allāh to us.

 

Parents try to send their children to branded and recognized schools.  They take pride in knowing that they had the honor of studying under  certain  people.  People like to mention  which school they  graduated  from. There  is a desire  to tell people their legitimate credentials.

 

When we study Qur’ān, we are learning from Allāh. In this āyah, there is an honor.

 

Allamaimpliestaking  time  to  teach.     There  isadifference  between  teaching  and informing.  In thisthere  is a lesson:   we shouldtakeourtimeinstudyingtheQur’ān. Allāh toldus in Sūrah Al-Isrā’:  “This Qur’ān is divided up so thatyou can readit tothepeople in therightoccasion, and it was send down over time.”  Reading thetranslation of theQur’ān fromcovertocoveris notlearning.   StudyingSūrah Al-Fātiḥah properlyfor 6 monthswould be more beneficial.You have to take your time with theQur’ān and be students.  You can’t thinkaboutthemaster’s programif you arestill in high school. Everybody  hasajourney.   Foreveryone  whohasknowledgeinthisworld,there  is

somebody who has more.  There are always people who know more than you, so don’t

compare yourself with anyone else. You are in it to learn the Qur’ān for yourself.

 

In Arabic,  ‘allama is a category  of verbs  that  is explained  with  two definitions.                                                                                                                                        If someone says “I taught”  in Arabic, the  listener  expects two responses:   who did you teach and what did you teach.   In this āyah, the question  that  is answered  is what is taught:  the Qur’ān.  There is an unanswered question:  who did He teach?  This means that anyone from humanity and jinn can come and learn the Qur’ān. Not only did Allāh teach the Qur’ān, He taught  it to all of the generations  before us and those that  will come after us.

 

A last point  of reflection:   the  word Al-Qur’ān.   Al-Qur’ān has many meanings.   Al- Qur’ān is that which is recited over and over again.  Allāh has given us a clue as to how to be successful students.  In the name of the Book is the methodology of how to study it:  you must repeat and review and read it over again. The real student of the Qur’ān is the one who reads it over and over again.  It is an endless treasure  that you never tire of. It keeps peaking your curiosity.

 

When somebody  studies  the  Qur’ān,  they  have  accepted  Allāh as the  teacher  and themselves  as  the  student.             They  can  then  truly  taste  what  it  means  to  have  a relationship with Al-Raḥmān.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 3:

 

خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ

 

It is Al-Raḥmān, He createdthehumanbeing.”

 

This āyah is placed in an unusual  order.   We would expect the  sequence  to be Allāh saying that  He created  the  human  being and then  taught  the  Qur’ān.   What kind of sequence is this?  There are two things:  existence and purpose of existence.  As far as Allāh is concerned,  your purpose  is even more  important  than  your existence.   The reason for which you were created  is more important  than your creation  itself.  Allāh mentions   the  document   that   makes  sure  you  have  your  purpose  and  then  our existence.   Allāh mentions  the purpose  first.  The other  point of reflection  to note is that if a person has been created but did not find the Qur’ān, then they did not have a purpose and lived a meaningless life. In Sūrah Ya Sin, Allāh talks about the people who benefit  from Allāh’s warnings  and  people who take the  warning  are living, and the others are the walking dead.

 

The word insān is the human being.  Linguists argue that it can be traced to a couple of origins.  It may come from nasiya, which means forgetting  and that  insān is a creature  that is forgetful.  In other words, we were created knowing Allāh, but when we came to this earth,  we forgot.   When someone is forgetful, the  best thing  to do is to remind them.  A reminder is most needed when a person is forgetful.  The Qur’ān becomes even more  relevant   because  Allāh  keeps  describing  the  Qur’ān  as  a  reminder   (dhikr).

Reminders are there when you are forgetting.  There is a relevant connection between

the Qur’ān begin a reminder and the human being forgetful.

 

The other meaning comes from anasa or anisa, which has the meaning of seeing.  From this, some scholars have derived that humans are called insān because they can be seen as opposed to the jinn who cannot be seen.

 

Finally, insān can also come from uns, which is compassion, love, mercy.   Ibn Fāris argues that the human being is called insān because he/she is capable of showing mercy and at the same time is in need of mercy.  Animals are fine on their  own, but when human beings show love, they also desire to have it back. A wild animal is incapable of showing love and mercy.  Tie this back to the Qur’ān.  Allāh gave man the means by which he can love other  creations  of Allāh, and through  this he can find the perfect form of love.  They will find Allāh’s Love and the most meaning in their  lives.  When people  have  no companionship  people  can become suicidal.                           The worst  torture  in prison is solitary confinement.  If you have the Qur’ān, you may be by yourself but you are never by yourself because Allāh and His Words are with you, so you are never alone.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 4:

 

عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ

 

(It is Al-Raḥmān), He taught him, articulate, clear speech.”

 

Who is “him”?  The human being.  When Allāh talks about speech, Allāh says who He taught.  When it comes to the teaching of the Qur’ān, it is open to humans or jinn, but when it came to speech, it is special to human beings.

 

Allāh is telling us the greatness  of the human being.  Allāh created  many things:   the stars, the sun, the moon, animals, worlds we know and don’t know.  Allāh created this human being and gave him the ability to speak. He taught him speech.  In other words, speech is a great gift from Allāh that gives us superiority and honor with Allāh.  At the same time, speech is one of the greatest acts of Allāh’s Mercy.

 

In Arabic grammar, there  is one subject (Al-Raḥmān) and multiple predicates  in these

āyāt.

 

What is the difference between you and a baby? When a baby tries to communicate, he cries, but we don’t know why he is crying and have to guess.  If a dog barks, we don’t know the reason why.  When a human being needs to communicate, he has the tool of speech and can clarify what he means.  Of course, not everyone is at the same level.

 

Allāh used the  verb ‘allama for both  āyāt.         Allāh taught  the  Qur’ān and taught  the human being speech.  Just as you have respect for the Qur’ān, you should have respect for speech and what comes out of your mouth.  We live in a time where filthy language is almost as common as the oxygen you breathe.  Allāh gave us the ability to speak, and it should be used for the highest purposes.

 

If you combine these four āyāt together,  one of the greatest  acts of Mercy is that Allāh gave you the ability to speak, and even greater than that is that you were created, and even greater  than that  is that He taught  the Qur’ān.  The best use of a human being’s life and speech is the learning and teaching of the Qur’ān.

 

The Prophet (ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the perfect fit:  Allāh created him and gave him the ability to speak and taught him the Qur’ān.

 

Allāh says He taught  the human  being the ability to distinguish  (bāna).  Distinguish between what?  Safe and dangerous, truth  and lie, smart and not smart.  Allāh gave the human being the ability to make judgments.

 

In Sūrah Al-Qamar, Allāh  compared  human  beings to insects.   In other  places in the Qur’ān, Allāh  compares the heedlessness  of disbelievers to cattle.   Why are humans being compared to animals?  Animals live on this world to procreate,  eat, make waste, and die. Many human beings have lives like this:  eat, sleep, procreate, die.

 

Human beings were created for a higher purpose.  Allāh gave us a ladder to climb out of the  darkness into the  light.   It is because of our ability to communicate  that  we can understand what we say to each other.  This sūrah is about challenging humanity.  Allāh is saying that we already have the things we need to get to the truth.

 

 

 

Ayah 5:

 

الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ

 

The sun and themoon abide by extremelyprecise calculation.”

 

The moon is very disciplined, and all of our calendars are based on either the sun or the moon.  Allāh made them follow a schedule.  The sun and the moon are of less dignity than human beings. If they can follow a precise measure and have discipline, then why can’t we?  The Qur’ān from this point  of view is an invitation  to discipline.  Ṣalāh is calculated by the position of the sun.  Other fundamental responsibilities are Ramadan and Hajj, which also follow the  calendar.   We are an ummah of discipline.   If we just reflected  on the sun and the moon, we would respect  our time more.  The next time you look at a sunset, think about how you use your time.

 

The word ‘ḥusbān’  also means destruction.    In Sūrah Al-Kahf, there  is a conversation between  two  gardeners,  and one says to the  other  that  he should change his ways because if he doesn’t, then Allāh may send upon his garden destruction  from the sky (meaning a set destruction).   Everything, even our life and death, goes by a calendar. The sun and moon are on a set destruction.   The pin of the grenade has already been

taken out, and Allāh is giving us the relevance of the message of the Qur’ān.  Come to your senses now because there is not a lot of time left.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 6:

 

وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ

 

The star/theshruband thetree,even they prostrate!”

 

Najm’ means plantsthatdo not have stalks or thick branches,and theothermeaning is thestar.  This is a figure in speech in Arabic.The stars and thetreesare in completesubmission to Allāh.The most humble act of submission in theprayeris thesajdah. There is no honoror pride in frontof Allāh, and you are willing to put your head on theground.  In many civilizations and cultures,thehead is considereda place of pride and crowns are put on it.The act of sajdah takes your pride and puts it on theground.  In psychology, when you are embarrassedand humiliated,your head goes down.When a personis full of pride, his head goes up.

 

Some scholars looked at this as imagery and said that perhaps Allāh is talking about the leaves of grass that bend when the wind blows or when the trees bear fruit and the branches lower and when stars are shooting across the sky, which all look like sajdah. This shows that some scholars had imaginations inspired by the Qur’ān.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 7:

 

 

 

 

وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ

 

Even thesky!He raised it and placed down theweighing scale!”

 

How Merciful is the One who raised even the sky? Have you thought about the sky and how it has been elevated?

 

Tangent:   In our times, people are very impressed with science and try to look at the validity of  religion  through  science.                                 The problem  is the  logic:                                           If the  Qur’ān says something  that  is scientifically  true,  then  it  must  be  a  true  book, and  if it  says something scientifically false, then it cannot be true.  The problem with this logic: the Qur’ān is not a science textbook and does not speak to you in scientific terms.

 

Allāh speaks to us at a level we can appreciate  and from our point of view.  From our point of view, the sky is above.  Allāh is not talking in scientific terms.  Allāh is talking about looking up at the sky. If you stare at the sky, it keeps getting deeper and deeper.

 

What is the scale?  Some talk about how Allāh placed the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, and  planets  and balanced them  all evenly throughout the  universe.   In other words, this  massive universe is part  of the  mīzān because mīzān also means  balance. Allāh balanced the sky with galaxies and stars.  The second meaning of al-mīzān is that Allāh created  harmony in the universe.   It is a hint to the human being.  Look at how harmonious the sky is and whether there is chaos in the earth or not.  The sun will rise and set at its time, and the harmony of the universe remains even if human beings may be in chaos. The universe around us is a constant reminder of balance in life.

 

Mīzān is a symbol of justice.As theāyātcontinue,we will learnmore about justice.

 

 

 

Ayah 8:

 

أَلَّا تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ

 

That none of you rebel in thematterof theweighing scale.”

 

One kind of criminal Allāh talks about has no concern  for justice and is completely rebellious.   This kind has no moral gauge.  Allāh is saying that  He set a scale in the universe  so that  you can think  about  that.    Some scholars said that  whenever  you engage in an activity to harm someone else, whether  the harm is for your own benefit or if your intent is to harm someone else, then you are violating the scale and engaged in injustice.  The only kind of person who doesn’t care about what he does in this world is the one who doesn’t think about what is around him.

 

There is another kind of criminal in the next āyah.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 9:

 

 

 

وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ

 

 

Establish andmaintain  weighingwithfairnessanddon’tshortchange  theweighing scale.”

 

We are not the only community that talks about justice. Some societies claim to uphold justice but then play games with the justice system.  This isn’t just a conversation about courts and the justice system.  There is also justice in your personal life.  Many times children  are not giving fair rights  to parents, and often times parents  are oppressive and not giving their children their rights.  Many times there is oppression between the husband   and  the  wife. There  is  oppression   between   siblings  over  matters   of inheritance.

 

Men are caught  in the  middle of many things.   Men have a wife and children  and parents  and  community  and job and themselves,  and they have to learn  to balance them  all without  doing injustice  to any of them  to establish  the  scale in their  lives. Your love of parents  does not justify you oppressing your children.   Because you love your wife so much, it doesn’t mean that you don’t take care of your mother.  You will be pulled in different  directions  and told that  you are unfair by all of them.   You can’t make everyone happy, but you have to try.

 

The simple formula:  Nobody gets to hurt  anyone else.  Many times family life is too much so men stay at work.  These kinds of injustice will come back to haunt you later on in life.  There can be oppressive parents  who feel like they own their children and want to interfere  in their married lives. When the scales are messed up, there is chaos in the family.

 

Think about the larger societal scales, justice in business, justice within the family, and justice to Allāh.  Are we really doing what Allāh wants us to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 10:

 

 

 

وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ

 

 

Not to mentiontheearth!  He set it down for all kinds of creatures.”

 

Allāh laid down the  earth  for all kinds of creatures.   This implies that  Allāh created different habitats for different  creatures.   It is amazing how Allāh laid out this earth and customized it for creatures in the land and the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 11:

 

 

 

وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ

 

 

Only in it is therefruit and date palms comprising crafty packaging.”

 

Nakhlu arepalmtrees.   How doestheownerof thefarmfeed thecows?  He letsthemgrazeorputs hayonthefloor.  Allāh is ourMaster.  How doesHe feed us?  He didn’t justthrowfood on theground, butHe gave us beautifulpalmtrees.  Expensive homes have palm treesin thefront.  Allāh decorated the fruitandpackaged it.  The wrappingitself is beneficial.

 

There is a huge conversation  in the food industry  about food packing.   Most of the packaging of food is plastic, which poisons the earth  when thrown  away.  Sometimes the toxins seep into the food.  People are now going back to organic food, which is the way Allāh packaged the food. If you throw away the packaging of the food Allāh makes, it feeds the earth and is beneficial and produces more vegetation.

 

Another  thing  to reflect  upon:         In the  story  of Yūsuf  (‘alayhi al-salām), what  saved generations of people from starving was food packaging. The food was stored for seven years in the stalks themselves.  There was no expiration date.

 

In the previous sūrah:  “Why don’t you look at the destroyed nations and change your ways?” Now Allāh is saying, “Why don’t you look at how I gave you food?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 12:

 

وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ وَالرَّيْحَانُ

 

Along with grain thathas stalk and flowers of wonderful fragrance.”

 

Al-ḥabb includes  allkindsofplant  life.          Theyare  beautiful  to  the  eyeand  have  a beautiful smell.Allāh beautified it for us.

 

 

Ayah 13:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichof thefavors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 14:

 

 

 

خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ كَالْفَخَّارِ

 

He created  the  human  beingfrompure  soillikedried  upmounds  tobeusedfor pottery.”

 

Ṣalṣāl is a terrainthatis useless.You cannotfarm in this land because it is dried up.For theArabs,oneoftheworstinsultswas forthem  tobecompared  todirt.   Oneof theworstinsults/cursesto do until todayis to kick thegroundandhave thedirtgo ontoanotherperson.

 

Allāh is putting us in our place because we came from dirt.  In the previous āyah, Allāh said “both of you” which refers to the human beings and jinn.  This sūrah is talking to the very stubborn.  Who helps you become stubborn?  Shaytan.  Human beings can see other human beings but cannot see the shayāṭīn, but Allāh knew what they were up to. Allāh is letting  them  know that  the  deniers  are not alone.   The  deniers  are human beings who are pushed more into denial by the shayāṭīn. They are the deniers of truth,  the ungrateful, and their comrades (the shayāṭīn).

 

 

 

 

Ayah 15:

 

 

 

وَخَلَقَ الْجَانَّ مِن مَّارِجٍ مِّن نَّارٍ

 

And He createdthejinn from a spark of fire.”

 

In a gas stove, there is a blue flame and then an invisible part near the bottom, which is

mārij.

 

 

 

Ayah 16:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

Ālā’ are: favors, miracles, wonders, powers, feats, gifts, blessings.

 

Who is ‘both of you’? Allāh has not  mentioned  jinn in this  sūrah yet. What does tukadhibān mean?  The basic translation is to lie against.

 

A contemporary meaning:   A person  lives a life of luxury and yet this person  isn’t appreciative of anything.  They have everything but appreciate nothing.  All they think about is what they don’t have.  For such a person, this is a proof of denial of what has been  given  to  them.       They have  a sense  of entitlement.      Isn’t this  the  height  of ingratitude?   The more we have, the more obsessed we are with getting more.  Instead of looking at people who have less than us, our eyes are always focused on those who have more.

 

What favors are you going to be in denial of?  Ask yourself:  What makes me deserve this life of luxury and that person to deserve those trials?  It is nothing but the Mercy of Allāh.  You are being tested with luxury, and others  are being tested  with something else. You don’t deserve it, but Allāh decided it.

 

If there  is one thing we can focus on in this seminar is Allāh’s Mercy is not for those who deny His Favors.  Allāh is angry with the people who are in denial that  there  are favors being done to them.  Teenagers and the young youth are becoming increasingly arrogant  and  self-absorbed  and  hot-tempered and  apathetic.  They’ve become  the “whatever” generation.  The more you can act like nothing affects you and that you are above the comments  and advice of others,  it is a show of weakness.   It is becoming difficult for our youth  to  be humble  to Allāh and to cry in prayer.   The culture  is encouraging people to become so self-absorbed that they are having a hard time being humble to Allāh. This is a very serious problem.

 

When someone denies favors, they are full of pride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 17:

 

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ

 

The Master of both easts and the master of both wests.”

 

There are three instances in the Qur’ān: ‘the master of the east and the west.’  This āyah says two easts and two wests. There is another āyah: “The Master of all of the easts and all of the wests.”  When Allāh talks about the east and the west, He made them  one, two, and plural.  The easiest one to understand is the one:  east and west.  The pair and the plural take more reflection to understand.

 

In the horizon, there  is the southeast  and the northeast,  so when Allāh is saying ‘two easts’ it is as if He is talking about the ends of the east, meaning the entire span of the east and the west.

 

Another way to understand two easts and two wests:   Allāh is talking about seasons. People who farm know that as the season goes on, the sun shifts, so over the course of the year, there are two easts.  Therefore, there are also two wests.

 

The conversation  before included plant  life, which is a function  of the seasons, and Allāh is the Master of all seasons.  This sūrah is trying to make us grateful.  This is the agenda of the sūrah. Why is it trying to make us grateful?  So that we are qualified for Allāh’s Mercy. According to this sūrah, we should appreciate the Qur’ān the most. After that, we should appreciate, the rising of the sun, the changing of the seasons, and when we see these things, we should be grateful.  These āyāt are supposed to become a part of how you think about your world.  There is not a time when you should not be thinking about your Master.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 18:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 19:

 

 

مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ

 

He combined two bodies of waterthatcrash togetherforcefully”

 

Allāh is talking about two different bodies of water slamming into each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 20:

 

 

 

بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَّا يَبْغِيَانِ

 

Between themlies a barrierthatthey don’t transgress.”

 

Allāh is talking about the creation  that  obeys Allāh no matter  how hard the force is. They don’t cross the line, so why do we? Why are we in denial of favors from Allāh?

 

The two bodies of water are completely different,  and there  is a clear line between them.   The Prophet  (ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never went out to sea to see this, but Allāh is telling him this.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 21:

 

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

Ayah 22:

 

يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا اللُّؤْلُؤُ وَالْمَرْجَانُ

 

Pearls and coral come out of themboth!”

 

Minhumāmeansboth  waters.   AChristianmissionary  wrote  against  the  Qur’ānand saidthat  the Qur’ānis wrongbecausepearlsonlycomeoutof saltwater,buthewas wrong because pearlsare found in sweet waterall over theworld.  At thedepthsof theocean, a pearl is a tiny, light object.

 

 

 

Ayah 23:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

Ayah 24:

 

وَلَهُ الْجَوَارِ الْمُنشَآتُ فِي الْبَحْرِ كَالْأَعْلَامِ

 

Healone owns rapidly flowing, elevatedvessels in theoceans resemblingmountains/ light towers (from a distance).”

 

Ships are sailing at the top of the ocean, and at the bottom of the ocean is a tiny pearl. What you expect to float will sink, and what you expect to sink Allāh can make float.

 

Al-a‘lām can meanships or mountains.   When you look atthehugecarrierson thesea, you should think about Allāh.

 

 

 

Ayah 25:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Then which of the  favors, miracles, wonders, powers, feats, gifts, and blessings will you both deny and deliberately lie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 26:

 

 

كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ

 

 

All of those upon it will cease to exist!”

 

Fānis something  that  is meant  todie.  Ulamacomparethethingsthat  humanbeings design to what Allāh designed.  Allāh designedthehumanbody, andhumansdesignedcars,  computers,  and  other  things,  but  they  need  repairs  and  to  be  rebooted  or formatted.   Even thebuildings we build have a life span.  When thehumanbody startsbreakingapartandbecomes weaker,itis a reminder  thatthisis nota flaw in creationbut we were designed to experiencethesethings.  Everyone is meantto die.

 

Firawn thought  that he would live forever and that his kingdom would never end, and now the pyramid is a tourist spot.

 

This applies to individuals and civilizations and nations. A time will come for the rise and a time will come for the fall. The world around us has become so complicated that we cannot keep up with world events because there is too much going on.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 27:

 

 

وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

 

 

And theFace on your Master, possessor of glory and nobility will remain!”

The Arabic word ‘face’  is used many times in the Qur’ān to refer to our Lord.   The

Dignity  of your  Master  will remain. What  is the  connection?   When  people  are powerful on the earth, they get their respect because other people show them respect. When they  lose  their  power, they  lose their  respect.           In our  world, respect  is not something  that  comes from you, but it is what others  give you.  If everyone  is dead, who is there to show Allāh respect?  Nobody. Allāh says, “The Nobility of your Master will remain.  He is the Possessor of Glory and Respect.”  Allāh does not need anyone to give it to Him, and He already owns them.

 

This is an important  āyah to understand from a philosophy point of view.  Some ask, “Why does Allāh need me to praise Him?” Our relationship  with Him is not because He needs anything  from us but because He is so Merciful.  Praying to Allāh benefits only you.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 28:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 29:

 

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

 

Whoever’s in theheavensandtheearthasks of Him.He is involved in somethingall of thetime.”

 

There are two kinds of people:  the grateful and the oblivious. Allāh is saying that all of us, whether grateful or oblivious, need Allāh.  Allāh doesn’t need us, but we need Him. Everyone in the skies and the earth  is constantly  asking from Him.  Everyday, Allāh is engaged in an activity.

 

You may not ask Allāh for water, but do you need it?  Yes.   A disbeliever doesn’t ask Allāh for water, but he needs it.  Whether  he believes it or not, he still needs Allāh. When he is asking for water, he is actually asking from the  source.   The air is being supplied by Allāh, and you need Him whether you realize it or not.

 

In Sūrah Al Mursalāt, this is explained in far more detail.  If there is a dog that is barking at you and rebellious, you put it in a cage and do not give it food. After a few days, you take some water in your hand and put it inside the cage, and the dog will quietly drink the water because it is on the verge of death.

 

Compare this to the human being.  The human being ‘barks’ at Allāh and says, “I don’t need Him” / “It is all about me.” A master who would starve his dog and then give him water is not merciful.  Allāh keeps giving us more and more chances.  Human beings don’t show any regard, and Allāh keeps giving and giving.

Sha’n is inappropriately translated  as a ‘preoccupation’.  This meansthatyou arebusy

and cannot  handle  anything  else.  It is not appropriate  to say this about Allāh. Sha’n

means that He is doing something that only He can do.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 30:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 31:

 

 

سَنَفْرُغُ لَكُمْ أَيُّهَ الثَّقَلَانِ

 

We will soon free Ourselves up for you, you two heavy ones!”

 

In the previous āyah, Allāh says He is engaged in an activity.  Allāh is saying that  the activities He is engaged in to provide for us will end. This is a way of threatening.

 

When a teacher is yelling and says, “I can’t believe you guys didn’t do your homework!” then you don’t feel that bad because he is yelling at everyone.  If a person is picked out individually, the student feels nervous even before talking with the teacher.

 

Allāh is issuing a direct threat.  “Thaqalān” means that the populations are huge of both humanity and jinn.  The other meaning of “thaqalān” is when people do sins, the earth is witness to it and bearing the burden of the sins of humanity  and holding inside its belly the sinful dead.  On the Day of Judgment, the earth cannot hold these people any more.  You are making the load of the earth heavy with sins.  This is talking about the Day of Judgment.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 32:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

So far, this question  was asked about this world.  Now, this question  is asked in the akhirah.  The tone of the question changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 33:

 

 

يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا ۚ لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ

 

 

Jinn andmankind,if you can pass beyondtheregionof heavenandearth,thendo so: you will not pass withoutgrantedauthority.”

People are trying to find a place to escape on the Day of Judgment.  Humans are trying

to dig in the earth.  Jinn are trying to cross the sky.

 

Allāh says ‘skies’. Allāh says the lowest sky is decorated with stars.  As far as we can see in the universe as long as there  are stars, it is still the first sky.  The conversation  is about the Day of Judgment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 34:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 35:

 

يُرْسَلُ عَلَيْكُمَا شُوَاظٌ مِّن نَّارٍ وَنُحَاسٌ فَلَا تَنتَصِرَانِ

 

A flash of fireandsmokewill be releaseduponyou andyou won’t be able tohelpor avenge yourselves.”

 

When the jinn try to escape through the sky, there will be flames sent upon them.  The source of the attack is from the sky.  They won’t be able to help themselves, and there is no retaliation.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 36:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 37:

 

 

فَإِذَا انشَقَّتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ وَرْدَةً كَالدِّهَانِ

 

When thesky is split and turnscrimson, like red hide”

 

Dihān is two things:  1) whentheskin is peeled of an animal, it is called dihān.2) When you cook ona potandfryingsomething,splatters  of oil ina darkmaroontexture  fly out, and this is also dihān. The sky will look blood red and will be peeled and torn.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 38:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 39:

 

 

فَيَوْمَئِذٍ لَّا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذَنبِهِ إِنسٌ وَلَا جَانٌّ

 

 

 

 

 

 

On thatday neithermankindnor jinn will be asked about theirsin.”

In other places in the Qur’ān, Allāh says that people will be asked questions about the

Day of Judgment.  This āyah is saying that on that Day, no one will be asked.  This is the first part of the Day of Judgment.  You won’t have to ask who a criminal is because it will show on their faces.

 

In a class, people who know that  they failed the  exam show it on their  faces.   The students who did really well are also nervous.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 40:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 41:

 

 

يُعْرَفُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ بِسِيمَاهُمْ فَيُؤْخَذُ بِالنَّوَاصِي وَالْأَقْدَامِ

 

 

The guilty will be known by theirmark and will be seized by theirforeheadsand theirfeet.”

 

The criminals  will be grabbed  by their  heads  and  feet.        In this  world, meat  when slaughtered  is held by the head and feet.  If you decide to live like an animal, then on the Day of Judgment you will be treated like an animal.

 

Some scholars went further  and looked at foreheads  and feet.  Some mentioned  that Allāh says the forehead is the place where you made bad decisions like lying.  When a person lies, he makes the bad decisions and goes to them by his feet.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 42:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 43:

 

 

هَٰذِهِ جَهَنَّمُ الَّتِي يُكَذِّبُ بِهَا الْمُجْرِمُونَ

 

This is thehell theguilty deny.”

 

Jahannam is a Persianword thatcame intoArabic, anditmeanstorture  chamber.  It is thetorture  chamber  that  criminalswerelyingagainst.   Allāhsaysthat  denyingHis Favorsisthe  sameasdenyingthe  existence  of wherehewill endup.  Thecriminalsneverthoughtthatthiswould come.  In our times, thisis worse and it has become partof entertainment.

 

What is the difference between hādhihī and tilka? Hādhihī is near and tilka is far.  Allāh is saying ‘hādhihī’ so that we know that it is very close and not far.

 

 

 

Ayah 44:

 

يَطُوفُونَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ حَمِيمٍ آنٍ

 

 

 

 

 

But they will go roundbetweenits flames and scalding water.”

 

Allāh is describing the scene.  The people in Jahannam will see water.   Ṭawāf is going back and forth.  They will find that  the water has reached its highest point of boiling.

 

Ān means thatthewateris scorching. Then they runback to thefire hoping it is cooler, and thenthey run back and forthand are engaged in a constantṭawāf betweenfire and burningwater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 45:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

This could be an  added  insult  to  those  in  Jahannam.      If you can  picture  this  and understand the consequences, then how can you remain in denial?

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 46:

 

 

وَلِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ جَنَّتَانِ

 

Especially for thosewho fear[thetimewhentheywill] standbeforetheirLord thereare two gardens.”

 

If someone is afraid, then they get two gardens.  Before, the agenda of the sūrah is being grateful.  This āyah mentions the quality of fear. What is the difference?  The first thing that  will drive a decent  human being to Allāh is gratitude,  but the stubborn  criminal will turn to Allāh from fear.

 

The motivations for being good:

The āyah of goodness (āyat al-birr):  Allāh gave us the sequence of the motives of our deeds.   The highest  reason  you should do good deeds is because you are grateful  to Allāh and owe it to Allāh.  Not everyone is at this high level and not everyone has this iḥsān. Allāh says that there are other legitimate motivations such as the Last Day.  The two motivations are Paradise and not in Hellfire. They are legitimate motivations.

 

The sūrah began with the  motivation  of gratitude.   You should appreciate  Allāh and that should be enough for you.  Later on when criminals were talked about, the better thing may be feeling scared.  Allāh knows that there are different kinds of people.

 

Why are there  two jannahs? The most common answer is that  one is for the human beings  and  the  other   is  for  the   jinn  who  have  their   own  wants,  desires,  and temptations.   Others said that this may be talking about two kinds of jannahs because there are two things that got you success.

Some people will do good and some stay away from bad.  Some people are able to do

good things and can pray, but they cannot get away from the bad things.  On the other hand, there  are people who do not do a lot of bad things, but they are lazy in doing good things.

 

If you truly fear Allāh, you will take care of two fronts:  doing good things and staying away from bad things.   Some people think  that  their  good deeds compensate  for the bad things, but this is a delusion.  This is not the way to Paradise.  On the other hand, some people say that  they don’t do a lot of bad things but don’t have time to do good things.  You must work and do good things, and you were given that  capability.  You have to not be a criminal, and you have to be a good citizen (i.e. engage in what he commanded).

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 47:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

Who is this āyah talking to?  The last few were talking to people in Hell.  This āyah is talking about a different nature  of āyah. The person who made it to Jannah may have appreciated the dīn, but after they get to Jannah, they realize that they didn’t appreciate it nearly enough.  The opportunities to serve Allāh and do good deeds and make tawbah were Allāh’s favors. The more they are in Paradise, the more grateful they are for what they  had in dunyah.  What got them  there?    Their dīn, teachers,  and  Muslims who helped them along the way who were gifts from Allāh to them.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 48:

 

 

ذَوَاتَا أَفْنَانٍ

 

With shading branches.”

 

The gardens are full of trees with huge branches.  In residential real estate, a property with mature trees is a symbol of wealth, status, and beauty.  Trees also create mystery because they also block the view.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 49:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

Ayah 50:

 

فِيهِمَا عَيْنَانِ تَجْرِيَانِ

 

With a pair of flowing springs.”

Before you reach a waterfall, you hear it. Human beings have an obsession with flowing

water and waterfalls.  When you go to a beautiful place for a vacation, you would rather  go with people  you love.   Part of the joy of Paradise is company.   What makes the gardens truly enjoyable is the people with us.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 51:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 52:

 

 

فِيهِمَا مِن كُلِّ فَاكِهَةٍ زَوْجَانِ

 

With every kind of fruit in pairs.”

 

In each garden there are two waterfalls, and in each gardens there are all kinds of fruit in two flavors.  Society is obsessed with variations.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 53:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

In Sūrah Al Baqarah, Allāh tells us that we enjoy the fruit of Paradise and eat it and say that this is what we had before, but the taste is completely different.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 54:

 

 

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَىٰ فُرُشٍ بَطَائِنُهَا مِنْ إِسْتَبْرَقٍ ۚ وَجَنَى الْجَنَّتَيْنِ دَانٍ

 

They will sitoncouchesupholstered  withbrocade,thefruitof bothgardenswithineasy reach.”

 

Rugs are placed inside and not outdoors because they will be ruined by the elements. In Jannah, the rugs and cushions will be laid out outside.

 

For cushions in the dunyah, the part that people see is expensive, but the part on the inside will be cheap.  Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) is talking about the inner linings of the cushions and how they are expensive and made of fine silk.

 

The fruits are on the trees that have been described as high.  The branches lower down as you are sitting on the couch. The other meaning is that they are hanging low, so you do not have to reach for them.

 

 

 

Ayah 55:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 56:

 

فِيهِنَّ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ لَمْ يَطْمِثْهُنَّ إِنسٌ قَبْلَهُمْ وَلَا جَانٌّ

 

There will be maidens restraining  theirglances, untouchedbefore by man or jinn.”

 

The word ‘spouse’ is a noun, and in the āyah, there are only adjectives:  those who lower their eyes / restrict their eyes. When Allāh talks about spouses in Paradise, He is giving us clues and hints about the perfect marriage in this world. When you learn about the perfect scenario, you are learning about what it should look like in this world.  In other words, they keep their eyes on their husbands and don’t stare at anyone else.

 

The second meaning is also very beautiful.   If you think  of the first week you were married,  you  feel  butterflies  in  your  stomach,  and  there  is  shyness  between  the husband and wife. In Paradise, the love and excitement and curiosity do not go away.

 

This āyah is a further  illustration  that  one jannah is for human beings and another  for

jinn.

 

Also, we learn about marriage  in this world and how it is becoming a crisis for world societies in  general.  Maintaining  the  purity  of young men and women is becoming increasingly difficult.  If there is no clean slate before, then there  is no guarantee  that you will have a clean slate later.  Marriage is not a magical solution that turns a person into a righteous person.

 

A climax is being built:  the trees, the waterfalls, the fruit, and a beautiful spouse whose shyness is highlighted.

 

Often times, we are asked:  men are described with beautiful spouses in Paradise, but women are not described with husbands.  Why?  Scholars have come at this question from different  points of view.   Ustādh Nouman’s disclaimer:  you don’t have to agree with him.  Allāh talks in the Qur’ān about men and what they want and is extremely explicit in Sūrah Al-‘Imrān. When women are talked about in the Qur’ān, the language is open but not  explicit, suggesting that  what  they  want  is far more complicated than what men want.

 

For a woman, her  greatest  desire  may or may not  be the  company of a handsome husband.   Believers should all take comfort because Allāh says in Sūrah 41, “You will have whatever you please.”  This is not restricted to men or women.

 

The idea of temptation and want of the opposite gender seems like a low idea. It seems that  this would be the fulfilling of animal urges.  Dr. Israr Ahmed gave a dars on this sūrah and said, “For a believing young man and believing young women who are in a

societywherethese  thingsaredanglinginfront  of them  andtheyareabletokeep themselvesaway fromthesetemptations for nootherreason    thantheyaredoing thisfor thesake of Allāh, they only deserve to unleashall of theirfrustrations if not more.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 57:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 58:

 

 

كَأَنَّهُنَّ الْيَاقُوتُ وَالْمَرْجَانُ

 

 

Like rubies and brilliantpearls.”

 

The spouses will not  only be extremely  shy but  of value.    Now, people  take  their spouses for granted, but they should think that they are valuable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 59:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 60:

 

 

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

 

 

Shall therewardfor good be anythingbut good?”

 

Why would you be paid for anything short of the best?  This is a call for doing your very best.  Appreciate the transition  here.   Allāh said, “Whoever fears standing  in front of their Lord…” Now, Allāh is giving us a higher drive, which is wanting to excel at doing good deeds.

 

From this point of iḥsān, we start talking about another  kind of Jannah. Keep in mind a comparison between the two paradises.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 61:

 

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

Ayah 62:

 

وَمِن دُونِهِمَا جَنَّتَانِ

 

There are two othergardensbesides thesetwo.”

The first group mentioned  in Sūrah Al-Wāqi‘ah is the sābiqūn (the first and foremost),

and the second group mentioned  is the people of the right  hand.   The people of the right hand passed, and the sābiqūn got the A+.  There are two

 

 

Ayah 63:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 64:

 

 

مُدْهَامَّتَانِ

 

 

Both of deepestgreen.”

 

The greenery  is so lush that  barely any light comes through.   In the other  jannah, the description also begins with greenery, but this is greener.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 65:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 66:

 

 

فِيهِمَا عَيْنَانِ نَضَّاخَتَانِ

 

 

With a pair of gushing springs.”

 

The verb used in the previous passage was ‘flowing’, and the verb here is ‘gushing.’  It is a far more intense scene.

 

 

 

Ayah 67:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 68:

 

 

فِيهِمَا فَاكِهَةٌ وَنَخْلٌ وَرُمَّانٌ

 

With fruits – date palms and pomegranatetrees.”

 

In the previous passage, all kinds of fruits are mentioned.  Here, Allāh mentioned fruits, which is a  generic phrase  meaning all kinds of fruits.   Allāh highlights  two specific kinds of fruits:   date palms and pomegranate.   This is a special form of speech where first the whole thing is described and then two special items are highlighted.

 

 

Ayah 69:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 70:

 

 

فِيهِنَّ خَيْرَاتٌ حِسَانٌ

 

There are good-naturedand beautiful maidens.”

 

The word khayr in Arabic is used for inwardly good and not outwardly  good.  These spouses will be inwardly good, and the conversation  is about their  character.   In the previous passage, shyness was highlighted.  Shyness is one part of goodness.  This āyah is more comprehensive  and describes all  kinds  of goodness.   ‘Ḥisān’  is good on the inside and the outside.  Beauty is relative, and your spouse will be perfect  for you in every way, which is impossible in this world.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 71:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

Ayah 72:

 

حُورٌ مَّقْصُورَاتٌ فِي الْخِيَامِ

 

 

Dark-eyed, shelteredin pavilions”

 

This is the first time the noun is used, which refers to women who have very brilliant, attractive eyes.

 

In the next sūrah, Allāh talks about two groups of people:   the first and the foremost and the people of the right  hand.   When Allāh talked about the sābiqūn, He used the word hūr.

 

Islahi said:  It seems from the language that the second Jannah is very peculiar to Arab tastes.  Dates and pomegranates  are two of their favorite fruits, and this āyah mentions tents.

 

The first  and  the  foremost  will be the  closest,  and  the  majority  of them  are  the companions of the Prophet (ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

 

These spouses are very beautiful  and like being home.   Now, the  value of home is dropping, and this is something we have to rekindle for our families.

 

 

Ayah 73:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 74:

 

لَمْ يَطْمِثْهُنَّ إِنسٌ قَبْلَهُمْ وَلَا جَانٌّ

 

Untouchedbeforehandby man or jinn

 

This same purity  offered to the first level of paradise  is offered here.   Chastity  and purity is a standard.

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 75:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ayah 76:

 

مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَىٰ رَفْرَفٍ خُضْرٍ وَعَبْقَرِيٍّ حِسَانٍ

 

They will all sit on green cushions and fine carpets”

 

They are leaning back with green cushions.  In the CEO’s office of a major corporation, you see hand-woven rugs and fancy décor.  Even at good restaurants, cups are placed before you.  The idea of furnishings and decorations is one of the things human beings love having. Allāh is giving us exactly what we want.

 

Abqar was theArab way of saying: you broughtthisfrom theland of thejinn, meaningit came from so far away.  Exotic itemsarecalled ‘abqariyy.  When someonehas exotic furnitureor items, it is from far away.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 77:

 

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

Thenwhichofthe  favors,miracles,wonders,powers,feats,gifts,andblessingswill you both deny and deliberatelylie against?”

 

One of the main lessons of the  repetition  of this āyah:   when we are engaged in the struggle for Paradise and trying to hold onto our religion, it comes at some pain.  You have to let go of some luxuries and comforts to hold onto the dīn. What you are getting in return  is far greater, so you shouldn’t be complaining about anything.  You only feel like you are missing out if you are losing something, but by holding onto the dīn, you are only gaining.  If you think you are missing out, then you are ungrateful.  When you walk away from this dīn, you are ungrateful for the dīn itself.  Are you truly convinced that  you are the  house in Jannah is coming?   If you are, then  you have nothing  to complain about.

 

The Prophet  (ṣall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard,  and  nothing  has fallen upon the  imagination  or heart  of the  human  being – paradise is just a description.”  These are just some of the things we love in this world. Imagine  their   perfect  versions  in  Jannah.  Everything  in  this  world  has  a  flaw. Everything we have has some flaw.  Allāh is saying that  what He has waiting for us is better and lasts longer.  The things in this world do not last.

 

 

 

 

Ayah 78:

 

 

تَبَارَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ ذِي الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

 

Blessed is theName of your Lord, full of Majesty, bestowing Honor.”

 

The question is, which Name? Allāh described a Name as possessing glory and nobility. Allāh began the sūrah with Al-Raḥmān. Allāh is reminding  us not to forget where the sūrah started.

 

 

 

In the end of Sūrah Al-Qamar, Allāh talks about people who go to Jannah and are sitting in Allāh’s company.  Allāh mentions  His Kingdom and Power when mentioning  those who sit next  to Him in Paradise.   When you sit next  to Allāh’s company, that  is the ultimate point of Allāh showing us His Mercy, but He mentions His true mercy in Sūrah Al-Raḥmān:  teaching the Qur’ān.

 

 

 

 

What do we take away from this?

– Promote a study of the Qur’ān for your family. An easy thing to do now is to sit

and study Sūrah Al-Raḥmān as a family. Get curious about the Qur’ān as a family.

–      What did this sūrah ask us to do?  Be grateful.  Don’t be ungrateful.  Why should you not be ungrateful?  Because you want to take advantage of Allāh’s Name Al- Raḥmān.