Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Translation and Explanation of Surah Al-Inshirah








Surah Al-Inshirah or Ash-Sharh is a Makki surah, which is comprised of eight verses/ayats and twenty-seven words.

Like Surah Ad-Duha, this surah also addresses the Prophet (SAW). It is one of the surahs of the Quran which is most rich in loving and appreciating the Messenger of Allah (SAW). Similarly, like surah Ad-Duha, this surah also contains advice to the Messenger (SAW) and in extension to the believers. 


In Surah Ad-Duha, Allah told the Prophet (SAW) the future is getting better for you, in this surah the Prophet (SAW) is being told that the future is also getting easier for you. Sometimes what is better for us, good for us, is not always easy, but Allah is guaranteeing that what is better for the Messenger (SAW) is also going to be easier for him. 



1- 'أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ

Did We not expand for you, [O Muhammad], your breast?

Did We not expand for you, [O Muhammad], your breast?' meaning, of course, Allah did that. 

'Shar sadur' means when the heart or the person understands something. When the chest becomes vast enough to comprehend something and let it settle into the heart. Moreover, it includes that a person also accepts the understood concept and is at ease with it. So didn't Allah (SWT) made our chests comprehend, understand and be at ease with the command of Allah - the laws that He has revealed and the things He has decreed in a person's life. 


This is very true as the Prophet (SAW) was able to accept the extremely difficult circumstances sent his way. He was a source of strength for the people around him. Furthermore, in the context of the laws sent, some find the obligatory practices hard to perform, but for the Prophet (SAW) the salah was the coolness of his eyes. It was all made possible by Allah (SWT).



2-3-  وَوَضَعْنَا عَنكَ وِزْرَكَ

And We removed from you your burden

الَّذِي أَنقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ

Which had weighed upon your back

'Wizr' is a heavy burden, but it is also used for sin and a responsibility.

Some say the 'wizr' refers to sin. That Allah (SWT) removed all the sins of the Prophet Muhammad (SWT). The Prophets of Allah did not sin, but for the Prophets, sin refers to what is unacceptable given the status that they have. This could also imply that the higher the person has a position, the more is expected out of him. For example, a person who has knowledge compared to someone with no knowledge. If the person who has no knowledge does not pray, he is doing wrong. But if the person who has knowledge does not pray, he is doing a greater sin. 


Some say that 'wizr' is the burden of lack of knowledge. So Allah removed the burden of lack of knowledge of the Prophet (SWT) by giving him knowledge. Having knowledge of something makes one free of confusion and unsure.


'Wizr' also refers to the heaviness of the responsibility given to the Prophet (SAW), which was very heavy on him in the beginning of his Prophethood. Initially, he (SAW) found it difficult to convey the message of Islam to so many people, but Allah made it gradually easy for him (SAW).



4- 
وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ

And raised high for you your repute.

This means that Allah granted the Messenger (SAW) fame and a good name. How? the Prophet (SAW)'s name is mentioned in every salah and azaan, and there is always a part of the world where salah is being performed or azaan is being given. Moreover, every time a believer is following a ritual, a religious practice, he is following the example of the Prophet (SAW), the instructions and teachings of the Prophet (SAW).


5-6- 
فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

The use of the words 'al-osar' and 'osar' imply that there is one difficulty, but many ease. There might be one challenge, but Allah (SWT) creates ease of different types in different ways. If we think about it, most of the times there is ease - we are not ill most of the times. When we have one problem, we have many sources of ease spontaneously, but we always focus on that one problem and don't mention all the blessings Allah has given. 

In Makkah the Prophet (SAW) came across many problems, but he also had ease as there were people accepting Islam. 



7- 
فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ

So when you have finished [your duties], then stand up [for worship].

When we have finished something, we should busy ourselves with something. 

A believer should never sit idle. If he has finished a task related to the dunya, his temporary life, he should exert himself with a task related to the akhirah. 


This does not mean that a person never relaxes, no, it means that even when the believer is taking a break, he is being productive. 


If you are tired after performing a physical activity like cleaning or standing too long, when you take a break and sit down, busy yourself with dhikr on your lips. If you are tired of reading too long, close your eyes and listen to a beneficial lecture or reminder. (You can find my favorite ones here). If you are sitting with your family, relaxing, talking to them about beneficial things like the meaning of Allah (SWT)'s name or benefits of specific dhikr. 


Even if you are about to take a nap, follow the sunnah of sleeping, and your sleep will also become an ibadah/ an act of worship! 


The point is that a believer never wastes his time. A believer knows that his time in this world is limited, that the next minute or second is not guaranteed. 


When a person will sit empty, or idle, his mind will wander towards negativity. He will brood over his hardships and he will compare himself to others or will start thinking about the actions of others. The brain never takes a break, it is constantly working, so when it is working, we need to occupy it with good stuff. When a believer is continuously engaged in productive and positive tasks, his mind will be full of positive thoughts. 



8- 
وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَب

And to your Lord direct [your] longing.

Pay your attention to your Lord, direct your mind to the Lord. 

After you have gotten free from your task, occupy your mind with the mention of your Lord, do dhikr, make dua. There are so many dhirkr we can do within one minute.


If we think about it, if we're always engaged in the dhikr of Allah, we are inclined to do good deeds. 


Our purpose of life is to worship Allah, therefore every moment we spend without remembering Allah, without worshipping Him is a waste of life. 


Moreover, when we are distressed, we should ask Allah for help, as He is the Lord. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Monday Reminders #23



























A believer should never sit idle. If he has finished a task related to the dunya, his temporary life, he should exert himself with a task related to the akhirah

This does not mean that a person never relaxes, no, it means that even when the believer is taking a break, he is being productive. 

If you are tired after performing a physical activity like cleaning or standing too long, when you take a break and sit down, busy yourself with dhikr on your lips. If you are tired of reading too long, close your eyes and listen to a beneficial lecture or reminder. (You can find my favorite ones here). If you are sitting with your family, relaxing, talk to them about beneficial things like the meaning of Allah (SWT)'s names or benefits of specific adhkaar

Even if you are about to take a nap, follow the sunnah of sleeping, and your sleep will also become an ibadah/ an act of worship! 

The point is that a believer never wastes his time. A believer knows that his time in this world is limited, that the next minute or second is not guaranteed. 

When a person will sit empty, or idle, his mind will wander towards negativity. He will brood over his hardships and he will compare himself to others or will start thinking about the actions of others. The brain never takes a break, it is constantly working, so when it is working, we need to occupy it with good stuff. When a believer is continuously engaged in productive and positive tasks, his mind will be full of positive thoughts. 




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Translation and Explanation of Surah Zalzalah - Part Two












6- يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ أَشْتَاتًا لِّيُرَوْا أَعْمَالَهُمْ

That Day, the people will depart separated [into categories] to be shown [the result of] their deeds.


All people will proceed towards their destination as separate groups in order to be shown their deeds. These groups will be based upon the actions/deeds they have done. Groups who performed good actions will be led to Jannah in groups, while those who performed poorly will be led into Hellfire. They will be further divided into groups based upon the levels they will be placed in Jannah and Hell. 

Although the people will be taken into groups, they will be by themselves since no one could help them. A common example is riding on a bus. We are with several others but we are alone since we cannot trust anyone, we don't know anybody. 

'Being shown their deeds' can be taken literally that they will be shown their deeds in order to be held accountable, and it can also be taken as a reference to be taken to the place of gathering where the hisaab will take place. Secondly, it can also be taken as the result of their deeds, Jannah or Jahannum. 


7- فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ

So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it,


If someone does a good deed as small as an atom, he will see it recorded and it will see its reward. There are minute details of Jannah mentioned in the Quran that show that Allah will rewards believers for even their smallest good deeds.


In this world sometimes we do small good deeds and they go unnoticed or forgotten, but Allah (swt) sees. Allah sees and knows all that there is, therefore we should not underrate any good act even if it is meeting your brother with a cheerful face. Whenever we get free, we should indulge ourselves in dhikr, as even though it is quick and short, it will be noted in the book. 



8- وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it.

If there is an evil deed as small as an atom even, he will see it noted in his book. Nothing is left out of the register, everything that a person does is written in it.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Translation and Explanation of Surah Zalzalah - Part One




Assalamu Allykum, 

Surah Az-Zalzalah is a Makki surah, but some say it is Madni, those who say that it is a Madni surah explain that it was revealed after Surah Nisa. This surah has eight verses and thirty-five words. 


1- إِذَا زُلْزِلَتِ الْأَرْضُ زِلْزَالَهَا

When the earth is shaken with its [final] earthquake

'Zallah' is to slip, here we see the repetition of the word 'zay laam zay laam' signifying repetition of the action. Zalzalah is when the earth beneath the person's feet is constantly shaking, an earthquake. As the result of this, the person is not able to remain stable as his foot is slipping again and again.

As the time for the end will draw near, there will be many earthquakes, they will become common, and all of them will be very severe. The final earthquake will be the worst one ever, which will be uncomparable to any other. It is referred to as 'Zilzalaha' as this magnifies its magnitude. The one earthquake that is necessary to finish everything that is on the surface of the earth. 


This Zilzalaha will mark the initiation of the Day of Judgement. The rest of the events will follow, such as the mountains collapsing. It is also said that this earthquake will be caused by the intensity of the sound of the trumpet, which will shake everything. There will be chaos everywhere, and everything will die. After this, Allah will command for the trumpet to be blown again which will cause all people to be resurrected. 

2- وَأَخْرَجَتِ الْأَرْضُ أَثْقَالَهَا

And the earth discharges its burdens


The earth will bring out 'Azkalaha' the burdens of the earth, which refer to the earths' hidden treasures and the dead who are buried in the earth. Moreover, it contains all of the testimonies that the earth has preserved within itself. 
All those in the earth will be thrown out, which will be the resurrection. Furthermore, all lost and hidden evidence in the earth will be brought out. 

So the earth is going to bear witness to the actions committed on its surface. Crimes that escape the human eye may be hidden, but they do not escape Allah's angels, who have written them down, and secondly, the earth itself is a witness to it. 

Everything in the earth; minerals, gold, silver, dead creature, tangible and intangible substances all will be thrown out, so much that the earth will become empty. 


3-5 وَقَالَ الْإِنسَانُ مَا لَهَا
And man says, "What is [wrong] with it?"


يَوْمَئِذٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا

That Day, it will report its news


بِأَنَّ رَبَّكَ أَوْحَىٰ لَهَا

Because your Lord has commanded it.


Witnessing the earth emptying out whatever is in it, all people will be shocked and baffled.



That day when the earth will cast out all its treasures, it will narrate/report all its news.  Whether good or bad, it will report everything that was done on it. The earth will start talking, and not keep anything hidden. 

The earth is our root and basis, we are attached to it like a plant, it cannot be cut off from its root. Similarly, everything we do, the earth will bear witness to it on the Day of Judgement, therefore we must be very conscious and afraid. What are we doing? Where are we sitting? Others might not know, but the earth will broadcast our actions on that day - either as a means of humiliation or great honor for a person.



Why and how will the earth speak? Because Allah SWT will inspire the earth, He will enable it to speak, He will permit the earth to speak. It may sound very strange how the earth will speak, but it is possible. Allah, whenever He commands something to speak - whether it has a mouth or not - it speaks. When Allah addresses a creation, even if it is inanimate/does not have a ruh, it responds to its Lord.

Moreover, why will Allah make the earth speak when He Himself is watching? Why when there will be records? Because the more witnesses there are against someone, the more it justifies the punishment.

On the day of judgment, people will deny the sins that they have commited even though they would be written in the records. So Allah will make the earth speak  as a witness to establish justice.


This insight gives us a new view of the earth. It is not only soil to be walked over on, run on, and slept on, it is though as a living creature which is bearing witness to every action we are commiting on it. Therefore we must be conscious of the earth as well, conscious of what we do on it.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Translation and Explanation of Surah Ad-Duha - Part Two





















6: أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ

Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge?

In these ayahs the Prophet SAW is being assured that help will come, victory will come, but later. For all the hardships you are bearing there is reward in the Hereafter. If He helped you before, He will help you now. Don't doubt that help, that victory, because look in your past. 

When the Prophet was an orphan, even though he had no parents, he lived with his grandfather and then his uncle. In the arab society the orphan could never succeed, they had no respect, their inheritance was consumed, but the Prophet SAW despite being an orphan, received the best upbringing because his grandfather and then uncle took him in. His uncle supported him, aided him even though he did not support of the Prophet SAW's message. All that defense was provided by Allah. So if He defended you then so He can defend you now. The Prophet SAW was a successful man in his life, even before becoming a Prophet. He was so honest, people believed him and trusted him. Hazrat Khadija dealt with for her business and ended up proposing marriage to him. He had such great values and morals that people were attracted to him. Who made this all possible? Allah SWT.



7: وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ

And He found you lost and guided [you],



Thal/ddal, is someone who is in a state of ignorance. being far away from the truth due to lack of knowledge. He who doesn't know the truth, but if he knew, he would believe it and accept it. We will translate ddal as unaware. 

The Prophet SAW did not know what iman is, what is the book or the faith.The Prophet SAW did not know how to read or write, he was unaware. But even when the Prophet SAW did not know of Islam, he stayed away from shirk. The state of unawareness was very heavy upon the Prophet SAW. He did not like what was going on around him, therefore he used to retreat in the cave of hira. 

So it was Allah who gave the Prophet SAW knowledge, the Quran. This shows us that knowledge is essential. We see that even before receiving Prophethood, the Prophet SAW did not partake in any wrong practices, but we see that alone is not sufficient. Not doing any wrong doings, giving charity, being pleasant to others and smiling, that too is not sufficient - that is still being thal/ddal. Necessary is knowledge. 




8: وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ

And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient.



Aaylun is from the root ayla, it is to be poor. From the same root is the word eeyal, which is used for family, those individuals a person is responsible to provide for in financial terms. So aayl is someone who is poor, needy and on him is a responsibility to look after himself and others. So the Prophet SAW was poor when he lived with his uncle, who had to support his many children as well, and was thus not that well off. But the Prophet Muhammad SAW was made rich when he married Hazrat Khadija, one of the richest women of Makkah.



According to some, this poverty and richness doesn't refer to material goods, but rather to satisfaction. He found you poor, in sense of unhappy, discontent with what was happening in society, and made you content, happy by giving hadayat-knowledge to you. 

It is being implied through the past verses that Allah guided the Prophet SAW and through him many other people. Similarly, He gave refuge to you when you were an orphan, and through you He provided refuge to so many in need, because through the guidance that Allah gave the Prophet SAW so many other needy, poor and orphans of the society were also helped. He made you rich and through you many others.

The favors that Allah bestowed upon the Prophet SAW were by extension bestowed upon many other people - especially his followers. So many other people were guided, their lives were saved and made purposeful.

And this was how the Prophet Muhammad SAW was a mercy for the world. 

This is the blessing of Islam. When one person gets guidance, not only his own life changes in fact through him so many others life benefit as well. This is the barakah of the guidance that Allah gives. 

We notice that Allah comforts the Prophet SAW by saying that if Allah helped him in the past, He can help in the future as well. If He gave him in the past, He will also give you again. This shows that a person should never despair of the mercy of Allah. If Allah has given us so much until now, He will give us more in the future, In'sha Allah. And whatever ever is decreed for you will reach you.


One who hopes from Allah, one who trusts Allah, one who depends on Him, will never be despaired. 


9: فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ

So as for the orphan, do not oppress [him].


Allah took care of you when you were an orphan, so now you must take care of the orphans. 

We notice that sometimes who financially support the orphans, tend to be authoritative with them as if enslaving them. We must not do this, rather we should treat the orphan with honor and respect. 


10: وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ

And as for the petitioner, do not repel [him].


Petitioner, as in one who asks, the one who questions you for something material or about knowledge. We should not repel them or drive them away by yelling at them or insulting them. If we have nothing to give them, we should give them a good word. 

It could be an animal or a child, we should not turn them away. If we have been blessed enough to get something from Allah without asking for it, we should be helpful to others. 


11: وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ

But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].

Report it, as in talk about it, relate it - both in words and actions. To speak of the blessings of Allah to other people, not to show off, but to show gratitude. When Allah gives a blessing to His servant, He likes to see it visible. 

Now that you have been given knowledge, so share it with others as well. 


Post one here.

* arabic text and translations from quran.com

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ramadan 2017: Beneficial Task #5


































Assalamu Allykum, saying Assalamu Allykum to a complete stranger can be slightly embarrassing, but we must remember that the Salaam is a supplication, it is a Sunnah and whoever says Salaam first gets a higher reward. 

For those living in communities with fewer Muslims, saying Salaam when you come across a fellow Muslim will strengthen your ties with them and make you feel closer. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Translation and Explanation of Surah Ad-Duha - Part One



Assalamu Allykum, 

Surah Ad-Duha is Makki surah, which was revealed after Surah Al- Fajr. In this surah Allah addresses the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).




1: وَالضُّحَىٰ

By the morning brightness

 Allah swears by ad duha, the morning light when everything is clear, radiant and full of life.  



2: وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَىٰ

And [by] the night when it covers with darkness,

And then Allah swear by the night, which is complete opposite of ad duha. The word sajah gives us the meaning of hiding, and of becoming still/calm/tranquil. It refers to a deep part of the night, the middle part of the night, which is the opposite of ad-duha, the warm, full of life, radiance in contrast to sajah, the dead, dark, silent time in which nothing is clearly visible. 


3: مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَىٰ

Your Lord has not taken leave of you, [O Muhammad], nor has He detested [you].



Your Lord has not left you. He has not drifted away from you. Nor does He hate you, instead He loves you. The Prophet SAW was the most beloved of his people and time to Allah, that's why Allah had chosen him to be the Last Messenger, the Khatim un Nabi. 



There was a time in Makkah when the Prophet SAW did not receive revelation from Allah, and naturally started to think that Allah was upset with him. The Prophet SAW had a very special relationship with Allah, he used to receive wahi-revelation from the Almighty.When he did not receive revelation for some time, he assumed and was afraid that Allah was upset with him. So in this verse, the Prophet SAW is being reassured by Allah that Allah has not abandoned you, in fact He is always watching you, and therefore He loves you. 



If we note the first two verses, there is mention of two completely opposite times, ad-duha which is radiant and full of life,  and sajad, the nighttime which is calm and still. As necessary as brightness is, the night is also necessary.  Similarly, revelation was necessary, but gaps and breaks were also necessary. 



So the Prophet is being comforted that if the wahi-revelation was not revealed for a little bit, it does not mean that The Lord is upset with you. No it is just a break, so the Prophet SAW can get refreshed, have more energy and do his duties even better after a little break.  



4: وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَىٰ

And the Hereafter is better for you than the first [life].

The HereAfter is much better for you than the first life of this present dunya. 

The Prophet SAW went through many hardships in his worldly life, but for the Hereafter Allah has promised him many many rewards. The Hereafter will be better for the Prophet SAW because of all the honors he will receive, like the Makaam-e-Mahmud. 

Some also interpret this ayah in context of the Prophet SAW's later life. This surah was revealed in Makkah, where the Prophet was going through many trials, so he is being comforted that the later period will be much better, and we see that it in fact happened. In Madinah he was blessed with extremely supportive companions, who were willing to do anything at his command, he was able to easily establish a masjid in Madinah and where he could lead believers in prayer. 



5: وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.

Very soon your Lord will give you reward, ease in this dunya and in the HereAfter, and you will be given so much that you will be happy, satisfied.  And we see that Allah will give him so many rewards in the HereAfter so Allah will give you until you are pleased. As for this world, he will be given success, great companions, and victory. 

Post two here.



* arabic text and translations from quran.com