Infography from the Qur’an [Graphics]_High Res

August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment


As requested by someone, here is a High-Res version. Please do advise if it’s more readable.

Infography Al-Quran

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Infography from the Qur’an [Graphics]

August 7, 2012 § 2 Comments


Some interesting numbers I observed from the Qur’an. These are not extensive and feel free to suggest.

Infographics from the Qur'an

Sabr (Patience)

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment


By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

[An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat by TaHa Publications]

The Definition of Patience

Sabr is an Arabic word which comes from a root meaning to detain, refrain and stop. There is an expression in Arabic, “so-and-so was killed sabran,” which means that he was captured and detained until he died. In the spiritual sense, patience means to stop ourselves from despairing and panicking, to stop our tongues from complaining, and to stop our hands from striking our faces and tearing our clothes at times of grief and stress.

What scholars have said about patience

Some scholars have defined patience as a good human characteristic or a positive psychological attitude, by virtue of which we refrain from doing that which is not good. Human beings cannot live a proper, healthy life without patience.

Abu ‘Uthman said: “the one who has patience is the one who has trained himself to handle difficulties.

‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman al-Makki said: “Patience means to keep close to Allah and to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.

Al-Khawwas said: “Patience means to adhere to the rules of the Qur’an and Sunnah.”

Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “Patience means to seek Allah’s help.”

Is it better to have patience at a time of difficulty, or to be in a situation which does not require patience?

Abu Muhammad al-Hariri said: “Patience means not seeing any difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and being content at all times.” I (Ibn Qayyim) say: This is too difficult, and we are not instructed to be like this. Allah has created us in such a way that we feel the difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and all that we can do is refrain from panicking at times of stress. Patience does not mean feeling the same at both easy and difficult times. That is beyond us, and is not part of our nature. Having an easy time is better for us than having a difficult time. As the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) said in his well-known du’a: “If You are not angry with me, then I do not care what happens to me, but still I would rather have Your Blessings and Favour.” This does not contradict the hadith which says, “No-one has ever been given a better gift than patience,” because that refers to after a test or trial has befallen a person. But ease is still better.

Patience in the Qur’ân

Imâm Ahmad said: “Allâh has mentioned patience in the Qur’ân in ninety places.”

1. Instruction. Patience in enjoined upon believers:

“And be patient for your patience is but by Allâh…” (an-Nahl 16:127).
“Now await in patience the command of your Lord…” (at-tûr 54:48).

2. That which is opposite to patience is forbidden:

“…and be in no haste about the (unbelievers)…” (al-Ahqâf 46:35).
“So lose not heart nor fall in despair…” (Al ‘Imrân 3:139).

“…and be not like the Companion of the Fish (i.e. Yûnus [AS]) – when he cried out in agony” (al-Qalâm 68:48).

3.Patience is made a condition of success and prosperity:

“O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allâh; that you may prosper” (Al ‘Imrân 3:200).

4. The rewards of those who exercise patience will be doubled:

“Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered…” (al-Qasas 28:54).
“…Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (az-Zumar 39:10).

Sulaymân ibn Qâsim said that the reward of every deed is known, except for the reward of patience, which will be like heavy rain.

5. Patience and îmân are prerequisites for leadership in religion:

“And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our commands, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs” (as-Sajdah 32:24).

6. Patience is the way to earn the companionship of Allâh:

“…and be patient and persevering: for Allâh is with those who patiently persevere” (al-Anfâl 8:46).

Abû Alî ad-Daqqaq said: “People who have patience are the true winners in this world and the next, because they have the companionship of Allâh.”

7. Allâh will reward those who have patience with a threefold reward: blessings, mercy and guidance:

“…but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allâh we belong, and to Him is our return’ – they are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance” (al-Baqarah 2:155-7).

When people came to offer their condolences to one of the salaf, for some calamity that had befallen him, he said:

“Why should I not practice patience, when Allâh has promised those who have patience three rewards, each of which is better than this world and everything in it?”

8. Patience is a means of seeking Allâh’s help:

“…seek (Allâh’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer…” (al-Baqarah 2:45).

So whoever has no patience has no help.

9. Patience and taqwâ are conditions for Allâh’s help and support:

“Yea – if you remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught” (Al ‘Imrân 3:125).

10. Patience and taqwâ are a great protection against the cunning of enemies:

“…But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you…” (Al ‘Imrân 3:120).

11. The angels will salute the people of patience in Jannah:

“…and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation of): ‘Peace unto you for that you persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!’ ” (ar-Ra‘d 13:24).

More of the article at Sabr (Patience) By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah.

Some People Ask…

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment


Some people ask, why should I pray when I am a sinner and I keep on sinning and I will sin again?

But then why do we eat when we are going to get hungry again, or have a bath when we are going to get dirty again?

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) saying, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet (pbuh) added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.” Bukhari (Book #10, Hadith #506)

Seek purification through your daily prayers, seek repentance as Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
( سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #160)

Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.
( سورة النساء , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #17)

Source

Tafsir of Ayat al-Kursi

May 11, 2012 § 2 Comments


The Ayat of al-Kursi is recited every day after the Prayer by the Ummah globally, many also recite the passage of al-Kursi for numerous other purposes every day. It is well known but people rarely ponder over its meaning. It is one of the most sublime and majestic examples of the Qur’anic style. It is a compressed articulation of the Divine in a single verse. Whilst at the same time the doctrine has practical and spiritual repercussions for the believer.

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Allah! There is no God but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, the Eternal. No slumber can seize Him, nor sleep. All things in heaven and earth are His. Who could intercede in His presence without His permission? He knows what appears in front of and behind His creatures. Nor can they encompass any knowledge of Him except what he wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them, for He is the Highest and Most Exalted. (Al Baqara: 255)

Fada’il (excellence of the Verse) The excellences (fada’il) of Ayat al-Kursi are many as collected by Imam al-Suyuti in his extensive commentary of the Qur’an in the narrative genre (tafsir bi ‘l-riwayat). He outlined many benefits including:

1. The Exalted status of the verse

Ahmad with the wording in Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Durays, al-Hakim and al-Harawi have reported regarding the excellence [of Ayat al-Kursi] from Ubay Ibn Ka`b that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was asked about which verse of the Holy Qur’an was the most exalted and he صلى الله عليه وسلم replied: “Ayat al-Kursi “Allah. There is no deity except Allah the Living and Everlasting…” By Him in whose Hand is my soul; [this verse] has a tongue and two lips with which it sanctifies the King at the foot of the Throne.”[1] In another version: “Bukhari narrates in his Ta’rikh, al-Tabarani as well as Abu Nu`aym in al-Ma`rifa with his chain of transmission (isnad) who are all upright from Ibn al-Asqa` al-Bakri that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was asked which verse of the Qur’an was the most exalted and he replied: {Allah! There is no God but He the Living, the Self-subsisting, the Eternal. No slumber can seize nor can sleep…} until he finished the verse.”[2]

2. Its protective power:

al-Bayhaqi narrates in his Shu`ab al-Ima[3] from Anas who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Whoever recites the Ayat al-Kursi after every obligatory salah, he will be protected until the next salah and none but the Prophets, Siddiq or martyrs were firm on it…”[4] Ibn al-Najjar narrates in his Ta’rikh Baghdad from Ibn `Abbas who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Whoever recites Ayat al-Kursi after every obligatory salah, Allah will grant him the heart of those who are thankful, the deeds of the siddiqun, the rewards of the Prophets and will extend his right hand with Mercy and will not prevent him from entering Paradise until he dies whereupon he will be made to enter it.”[5]

3. The Exalted name of God is contained within it

Ibn Abi ‘l-Dunya in his al-Du`a‘, al-Tabarani, Ibn Mardawayh, al-Harawi in his Fada’il as well as al-Bayhaqi in [Kitabal-Asma` wa’l-Sifat all report from Abu Umama that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“The Exalted Name of Allah is in three chapters of the Qur’an which if one calls Him by it He responds. al-Baqara, Ali `Imran and Ta-Ha.” Abu Umama said: “I looked for them and found that in al-Baqara: 255 there was the Ayat al-Kursi Allah. There is no deity except Allah the Living and Everlasting”; in Al `Imran:2 there wasAllah. There is no deity except Allah the Living and Everlasting” and in Ta-Ha:111 ”And [all] faces shall be humbled before (Allah), the Ever Living…”[6]

Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned in his tafsir the following in his tafsir of that when Ayat al-Kursi was revealed:

“From Muhammad al-Hanafiyya who narrates that: when Ayat al-Kursi was revealed, every idol and every king in the world fell in prostration and the crowns of kings fell off their heads. Devils fled (harabat), colliding in one another in confusion until they came to their [chief] Iblis and they told him of this [event] and he sent them to find out what had happened so when they came to Medina they were told that Ayat al-Kursi had been revealed.”[7]

These verses of the Qur’an are is theologically loaded as they encapsulate Islam central concept of tawhid(Allah’s unity). It is also a source for philosophical and rational reflection about Allah سبحانه وتعالى and his attributes. There are also many relevant practical implications for any person serious about the deen, da`wa and developing themselves to become better committed believers. The verse has 16 occurrences of ascriptions to Allah سبحانه وتعالى, 7 being of a direct divine name or nominal term:

Allahالله

Ilahإِلَـهَ

Huwaهُوَ

AlHayyالـحيّ

Al-Qayyum  القـيوم

Al-`Aliالعَلِىُّ

Al-`Azimالعَظِيمُ

There are 10 complete sentences, each expresses a distinct concept and idea about the Divine.

Basic Commentary

“Allah” / [الله]: Allah’s exalted name (ism jalala) that he has reserved for himself and is not derived from any root.[8]

لا إله إلا هو

“There is no deity but He The Eternal and Everlasting”

Here there is a negation (la nafiyat al-jins) i.e. Allah’s emphatic and total negation of anything resembling a deity that can be compared to Him. Nothing is comparable to him.[9]

Tawhid requires emphatic language

“The second point: Some say ‘al-ilah’ means ‘the one worshipped’ (al-ma’bud) but this is incorrect from two aspects. The first aspect is that The Most High was an ilah from all eternity but was not someone who was ama`bud (‘a being worshipped’ [S. meaning he did not have the property of ‘being worshipped’]). The second aspect is that the Most high has affirmed and mentioned other beings who are worshipped aside from himself as in you and what you all worship besides Allah.” [al-Anbiya’:98]. Rather, an Ilah is a being that when it does something, is worthy of total religious worship…].”[10] Thus, a deity must be a kind of being that is worthy of devotion, total submission and obedience. Allah سبحانه وتعالى is a perfect being and the nature and attributes that he has require rationally that he be worshipped. Such a being cannot be deficient or lacking in any sense. It must also be free from limitations.

الحي القيوم

“The Living and Everlasting”

Allah سبحانه وتعالى is living and real – not an abstract inert and disinterested Creator who has set up the world on clockwork and let it run. No. He intervenes in history and acts for the believers. He can change plans, stop who he wants to and realise whatever he wishes in his eternal providential plan. Allah is al-qayyum (‘Everlasting’). The word has connotations of Allah being self-subsistent, Self-existing as well as that Being which holds everything in existence: “{al-Qayyum} existing by governing the creation or sustaining every person and rewarding with His knowledge from what each has earned. It can also mean holding all things in being; knowledge of all matters…”[11] Allah سبحانه وتعالى being al’qayyum affirms the attribute of eternality, everlastingness, self-subsistence, Divine aseity doctrine, etc.

لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ

“Slumber does not seize him nor does fatigue”

Allah سبحانه وتعالى is not overcome with any difficulty or deficiencies. He also faces no hindrance in doing whatever He wishes. He can sustain anything in being without any difficulty. This affirms His attribute of Eternal and everlastingness and infinite independent nature.

لَّهُ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَـٰوَاتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلأَرْضِ

“All things in heaven and earth belong to Him”

“As for the Most High saying {everything in the Heavens and the earth belongs to Him…} it is referring to the creation and dominion and what is implied in this is what we mentioned earlier namely that if a necessarily existent being can only be one, then anything other than it possibly existent being and anything that is merely possible is brought into being and anything that is brought into being is originated and so anything else other than [the necessary being] is originated and contingent..”[12] The logic is that contingently existing entities (dependent objects) do not have the power intrinsically to effect change or produce anything. They depend for their existence on something else. Allah owns the universe. He governs the Universe. He controls the universe. He is the sovereign Lord and King.

يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَآءَ

“He knows what appears in front of and behind [all] of His creatures. Nor can they encompass any knowledge of Him except of what he wills”

Allah knows everything: the past, future and present (as well as ‘counterfactuals’ [what someone would have done but did not actually do it]). This affirms the Divine Omniscience.

وُسْعُ كرسيِّه السمواتُ والأرضُ

“And His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth”

There is much written about the word ‘kursi’ and what it means with divided opinion. Imam al-Mawardi succinctly summarises the various opinions: “Regarding the Kursi, there are two opinions: the first: it is one of Allah’s attributes and the second: that it is attributes pertaining to something created [by Allah]. Those who hold the first opinion have four interpretations: (1) it is Allah’s knowledge which was the view of Ibn `Abbas; (2) it is Allah’s power; (3) Allah’s dominion and (4) Allah’s planned decree. If it is said [the Kursi] is attributes pertaining to something created [by Allah] then it has three interpretations: (1) it is the Throne itself which was the view of al-Hasan; (2) it is a footstool and not the throne and (3) it is a chair below the throne which is above the water…”[13] Imam al-Razi’s preference or approval for the opinion of al-Qaffal is instructive here: “[…] these words are meant to describe Allah’s greatness and exaltation through images. This means that Allah addressed His creatures in ways familiar to them through their own kings in order that He might make known His essence and attributes to them.  He therefore made the Ka`ba a house for Himself and people perform tawaf around it as they do the houses of their kings. It is also mentioned that the Black Stone is the right hand of Allah on this earth thus He made it an object of reverent kissing as men would kiss the hands of their kings […] hence by analogy He declared a throne for Himself… “[14] Imam al-Mawardi explains the different nuances of the term ‘al-`aliy’ (Most High): “the first opinion is that the word ‘al-`aaliy’ (‘The High’) would be referring to something that resides in an exalted place whereas the word ‘al-`aliy’ (‘The Highest’) is something that is absolutely entitled to the loftiest and exalted place and so may not have anything that shares with it in rank so on this view it would be permitted to describe Allah as ‘The Highest’ but not ‘The High’ whereas on the first view one may describe Allah with both terms…”[15]

Implications

The magnificence and special status of this verse makes the chapter it occurs in special too because the topic is about Allah’s unity as well as Allah’s nature and attributes. This makes the doctrine lofty and extremely important. We should be on full guard in preserving and maintaining Allah’s transcendence (tanzih) and sovereignty. In other words, we should be pondering about tawhid and its implications. Do we for example do anything that might compromise Allah’s sovereignty or are we engaging in anything that might border on or infringe upon His right to be Legislator or Lawgiver. Pondering over Ayat al-Kursi should make us feel humbled before the Majesty and Glory of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. It should remind us of the sheer insignificant standing we have in comparison to Him and how this alerts us to the unjustified character of our haughtiness, arrogance and pride in making ourselves the standard in all things whereas only He has the right to set standards. Allah سبحانه وتعالى is the sovereign King. The Universe is His ranch. He owns the Universe. He controls the forces/causes in this world, He can contravene the laws of nature, He decides what happens or not. This should make us understand that our term has been fixed by Allah and our rizq (sustenance) is fixed (we will get it). We submit to Him on this understanding that when we are enjoined to do a task like carry this call of re-establishing Islam as a way of life through the khilafa, we fear nothing and no-one. Nothing can harm us and nothing can benefit us except if Allah wills. Allah knowing everything, i.e. being Omniscient means He sees and knows everything we do. We cannot hide from Allah so the only thing to do is to flee to Allah. We must also submit to Him and his tadbir (providential organisation of the world and its events). We must rely on Him totally and listen to His commands without question Allah’s foretelling and promises that will come to pass.

References

[1] See Muslim, Sahih, 1:556 (#810); al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak ala’l-Sahihayn, 1:561; Abu Dawud, Sunan, 2:27 (#1460) and Ahmad in his Musnad, 5/141 (#21315). See also al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, 2:6. [2] al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, 2:6. [3] al-Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman, 2:458 (#2395-6). [4] al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, 2:6; al-Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Kabir, 3:38 (#2732) and al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, 2:148. [5] al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, 2:6. Cf. al-Nasa’i, al-Sunan al-Kubra, 6:30 (#9928) and al-Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Awsat, 8:93 (#8068). [6] al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, 2:9. [[7] See al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur’an, 2:268. [8] al-Zajjaj, Ishtiqaq Asma’ Allah, pp.26-42. [9] See al-Darwish, I`rab al-Qur’an and Karim wa Bayanuhu, 1:283. [10] al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb, 7:2-14. [11] al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, Tafsir al-Qur’an, s.v. 2:255. [12] al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb, 7:11. [13] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa’l-`Uyun, 1:270-271. [14] al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb, 7:12. [15] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa’l-`Uyun, 1:271. Source

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