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Monday, May 23, 2022

Where does Noor (light) of Allah Descend and Upon Whom

Today in our series of posts on Selected Verses from Qur'an, we have selected a part of the 35th and complete 36th verse / ayat of Surah 24. An Nur. As the name of the surah suggests, it carries mention of Noor of Allah. Now Noor of Allah is often translated into Light of Allah. But in fact there is no befitting word in English that can translate the word Noor for it is a form of light much superior to ordinary light and cannot be comprehended. Remember when part of Noor of Allah was shown to Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him), he almost went blind and fainted for his eyes and body could not sustain the intensity and warmth of Noor of Allah.

The mention of Noor of Allah has been mentioned as a parable in the 35th ayat / verse of Surah 24. An Nur, shared as under. But we would not explain the parable for it is far beyond us to under stand:

اَللّٰهُ نُوۡرُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ ​ؕ مَثَلُ نُوۡرِهٖ كَمِشۡكٰوةٍ فِيۡهَا مِصۡبَاحٌ​ ؕ الۡمِصۡبَاحُ فِىۡ زُجَاجَةٍ​ ؕ اَلزُّجَاجَةُ كَاَنَّهَا كَوۡكَبٌ دُرِّىٌّ يُّوۡقَدُ مِنۡ شَجَرَةٍ مُّبٰـرَكَةٍ زَيۡتُوۡنَةٍ لَّا شَرۡقِيَّةٍ وَّلَا غَرۡبِيَّةٍ ۙ يَّـكَادُ زَيۡتُهَا يُضِىۡٓءُ وَلَوۡ لَمۡ تَمۡسَسۡهُ نَارٌ​ ؕ نُوۡرٌ عَلٰى نُوۡرٍ​ ؕ يَهۡدِى اللّٰهُ لِنُوۡرِهٖ مَنۡ يَّشَآءُ​ ؕ وَ يَضۡرِبُ اللّٰهُ الۡاَمۡثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيۡمٌ ۙ‏ 
(24:35) Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.62 His Light (in the Universe) may be likened to a niche wherein is a lamp, and the lamp is in the crystal which shines in star-like brilliance. It is lit from (the oil) of a blessed olive tree that is neither eastern nor western. Its oil well nigh glows forth (of itself) though no fire touched it: Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. Allah sets forth parables to make people understand. Allah knows everything.

We take the highlighted portion of the 35th verse " Allah guides to His Light whom He wills " and connect it with the 36th verse as under. But before that a little explanation of the selected part of the whole verse as highlighted.
The verse " Allah guides to His Light whom He wills " and many such verses in Qur'an do not mean that Allah chooses men at random to show them guidance and His Light. In fact this verse, and many other such verses, mean that to be near Allah and be blessed with His guidance, a man has to have certain qualities before which he qualifies to receive special attention of Allah and be chosen to be blessed and guided. And Allah knows who is entitled to receive this bounty and who is not. Allah has no need to show His Light to the one who has do desire or longing for it and who is utterly lost in worldly pursuits and in seeking material pleasures and gains. This bounty can be bestowed only on the one who in the knowledge of Allah has a sincere desire for it.

Now coming to the 36th verse where it is  told Where does Noor (light) of Allah Descend:

فِىۡ بُيُوۡتٍ اَذِنَ اللّٰهُ اَنۡ تُرۡفَعَ وَيُذۡكَرَ فِيۡهَا اسۡمُهٗۙ يُسَبِّحُ لَهٗ فِيۡهَا بِالۡغُدُوِّ وَالۡاٰصَالِۙ‏ 
(24:36) (Those who are directed to this Light are found) in houses which Allah has allowed to be raised and wherein His name is to be remembered: in them people glorify Him in the morning and in the evening,
Some commentators have interpreted these "houses" to mean the mosques, and 'raising them' to mean constructing and reverencing them. Some others, however, take them to mean the houses of the believers and 'raising them' to mean raising their moral status. The words "to mention His name therein" seem to refer to the mosques and support the first interpretation, but if we look deeper, we see that they support the second interpretation equally well. This is because Divine Law does not confine worship to mosques alone as is the case with the priest-ridden religions where the rituals can only be performed under the leadership of a clergy. In Islam a house is also a place of worship like the mosque and every man is his own priest. As this Surah mostly contains instructions for ennobling domestic life, we feel that the second interpretation is more in keeping with the context though there is no reason for rejecting the first interpretation. There will be no harm if both the mosques and the houses of the believers are implied here.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
Having likened the heart of the believer and what it contains of guidance and knowledge to a lamp lit with good oil shining in a clear glass, Allah then states where it belongs, which is in the Masjids, the places on earth that are most beloved to Allah. The Masjids are His houses where He Alone is worshipped. 
So Allah says: (In houses which Allah has ordered to be raised,) meaning, Allah has commanded that they be established and that they be kept clean of any filth, idle talk or words or deeds that are inappropriate. 
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas concerning this Ayah: (In houses which Allah has ordered to be raised,) he said; "Allah forbade idle talk in them.'' This was also the view of `Ikrimah, Abu Salih, Ad-Dahhak, Nafi` bin Jubayr, Abu Bakr bin Sulayman bin Abi Hathamah, Sufyan bin Husayn and others among the scholars of Tafsir. Many Hadiths have been narrated concerning the construction of Masjids, honoring them, respecting them, and perfuming them with incense etc. This has been discussed in more detail elsewhere, and I have written a book dealing with this topic on its own, praise and blessings be to Allah. With Allah's help we will mention here a few of these Hadiths, if Allah wills. In Allah we put our trust and reliance. 

`Uthman bin `Affan, the Commander of the faithful, may Allah be pleased with him, said; "I heard the Messenger of Allah say: (Whoever builds a Masjid in which the Name of Allah is remembered, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.) An-Nasa'i mentioned something similar. There are very many Hadiths which say this. `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: "The Messenger of Allah commanded us to build Masjids among the houses, and to clean them and perfume them.'' This was recorded by Ahmad and the Sunan compilers with the exception of An-Nasa'i. Ahmad and Abu Dawud recorded a similar report from Samurah bin Jundub.Al-Bukhari said: "`Umar said: `Build for the people a place to worship Allah, and beware of using red or yellow for adornment and decoration and distracting the people thereby.''' 

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Lit., "and [ordained] that His name ...", etc.: implying, as the sequence shows, that the spiritual purpose of those houses of worship is fulfilled only by some, and not all, of the people who are wont to congregate in them out of habit.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
That is, in all places of pure worship; but some Commentators understand special Mosques, such as the Ka'ba in Makkah or Mosques in Madinah or Jerusalem; for these are specially held in honour.

(in them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings (again and again) In the evenings: the Arabic word is Asal, a plural of a plural, to imply emphasis: I have rendered that shade of meaning by adding the words "again and again".

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
 This is a reference to the places of worship which were built at the direct command of God ie. the Baytullāh and the Bayt al-Maqdis. For them, the word رَفْع is used in the same meaning as it is used in the following verse of Sūrah al-Baqarah: اِذْ يَرْفَعُ اِبْرٰهٖمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ (bear in mind when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House).

The word ذِكْر here embraces all forms of remembrance to reminding others of it.

Qur'an Wiki:
This light which spreads in abundance in the heavens and earth is best seen in perfect clarity in the houses of God where people’s hearts look up to Him, remember Him, stand in awe of Him and dedicate themselves to Him in preference to all else.

When God sanctions something, it takes place just as He has approved. Since He has sanctioned the raising of these houses, they are there, functioning, purified and respected. The view showing them standing tall is in harmony with God’s light that radiates throughout the heavens and the earth. These houses are naturally noble which again fits perfectly with the brilliant light described earlier. Their special, venerated position makes them fit for the remembrance of God’s name: “In houses which God has sanctioned to be raised so that His name be remembered in them.”

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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Islam in Vietnam

We have been sharing spread  of Islam and life of Muslims in countries with non Muslim majority around the glob. So far we have covered 68 countries non Muslim countries, Iceland being the last entry. Today we move to South east Asia to Vietnam. Vietnamese are known for their loyalty, hardship and devotion to their work to raise their nation after over two decades of war with the USA. And despite the massive devastation of their country, their resilience never waned and they ultimately forced the intruders to not only regain their honour, their country, but also ensured unification of two Vietnams into one.

About 74%  of the people of the Vietnam either follow folk re3ligious traditions or have no religion at all. Of the remaining 14% are Buddhists. Muslims form part of other religions that constitute 0.25 of the total population, of which (as per Wikipedia and Vietnam's April 1999 census) there were some 63,146 Muslims. Over 77% lived in the South Central Coast, with 34% in Ninh Thuận Province, 24% in Bình Thuận Province, and 9% in Ho Chi Minh City; another 22% lived in the Mekong Delta region, primarily in An Giang Province. Only 1% of Muslims lived in other regions of the country. 
The earliest Muslim that came to this part of the world were in the times of Uthman ibn Affan, the third Caliph of Islam, who sent the first official Muslim envoy to Vietnam and Tang Dynasty China in 650. This was followed by seafaring Muslim traders who are known to have made stops at ports in the Champa Kingdom en route to China. During the 9th and 12th century, various medieval Arabic geographical works had identified modern-day eastern Indochina as lands of the Qimar (Khmer, Cambodians), the Sanf (Cham) and the Luqin (Vietnamese). However, the earliest material evidence of the transmission of Islam consists of Song Dynasty-era documents from China, which record that the Cham familiarized themselves with Islam in the late 10th and early 11th centuries. The number of followers began to increase as contacts with Sultanate of Malacca broadened in the wake of the 1471 collapse of the Champa Kingdom, but Islam would not become widespread among the Cham until the mid-17th century.

After the 1976 establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, some of the 55,000 Muslim Chams emigrated to Malaysia. 1,750 were also accepted as immigrants by Yemen; most settled in Ta'izz. Those who remained did not suffer violent persecution, although some writers claim that their mosques were closed by the government. In 1981, foreign visitors to Vietnam were still permitted to speak to indigenous Muslims and pray alongside them, and a 1985 account described Ho Chi Minh City's Muslim community as being especially ethnically diverse: aside from Cham people, there were also Indonesians, Malays, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Omanis, and North Africans; their total numbers were roughly 10,000 at the time. 

There are two Muslim groups in Vietnam: Sunni Muslims and Bani Cham Muslims. The Sunni community has a wider in term of ethnicity (Cham, Viet, Malay, Khmer, Chinese, and Arab). Their population in 2006 was 25,000; mostly inhabiting in the southwest of the Mekong Delta, along with urban areas such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. The Bani branch is considered unorthodox because its practices are different from mainstream Islam, and heavily influenced by Cham folk and Hindu religion. Bani Muslims consisted entirely of ethnic Chams living particularly in the provinces of Ninh Thuận and Bình Thuận. 
Cham Musloms (Photo)
Cham Muslims are heavily depending on support from the outside. Most contributions come from Malaysia and Indonesia, and it is also there scholars in Vietnam get their teachings and degrees. Copying and distributing the Holy Quran and Islamic Scriptures are unofficially prohibited in Vietnam, and has from time to time resulted in merges between Buddhist rituals and Islamic teachings. The Muslim majority are the Cham Muslims. The second largest group are ethnical Vietnamese converts, and though Islam is slowly rising in the country, the Cham Muslims feel disconnected with the ethnical Vietnamese, as fragments of resentment between the once ruler and then conquer is still felt on both sides. [2]

Dring Communist regimes, the tiny Muslim population suffered from communist oppression. However, today, the Vietnamese regard the Muslim community with a favorable opinion due to its tolerance approach. It's notable that religious worshipping locations, whenever located, can be found easily and get less harassment despite the communist's atheist policy. Ho Chi Minh City already has five major mosques and a Muslim district.
Vu Thi Vui - reverted Muslim, now named Khadija (Photo)
There are revrsions to Islam among Vietnamese as most do not follow any prescribed religion. Vu Thi Vui (pictured above) is one such reverted Muslim. Vui’s conversion has helped her business, because many Muslim restaurants in the capital city that can only use halal meat buy it from her. After her reversion to Islam, she has been named Khadija (after the name of first wife of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ). Her family members were shocked by Vui's change in religion because it would upturn long-standing Vietnamese traditions. Under Islam, believers are not allowed to light incense for ancestors and parents, the argument being that a living person or a dead person cannot have a higher position than the Creator. Her father was aghast: "Who will pay respect to me after I die?" However, lately husband and children have also followed Islam.

As for the honesty and trust of Muslims, Khadija confides:
"At times for Muslim prayers, people just leave their shop (where they sell and work) and go to pray. Even the gold shop is not carefully locked and there was no fear of thieves. This made me curious and I started to learn about their religion."
The Muslim were praying on the yard of Al-Noor mosque on a holy Friday noon. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Trung/e.vnexpress

The Muslim meal is typical of that of most Vietnamese families, comprising vegetables, chicken and lamb, a favorite meat in the Middle East. Halal is permissible meat under Islamic Law, which involves slaughtering animals and poultry by cutting the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe. Visitors from Muslim countries all over the world, including regional ones like Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, will only eat halal food, which bans consumption of pork. [3]

As for living in Vietnam, Muslims have to make adjustments in their lifestyle to deal with differences in Islamic regulations and Vietnamese laws. For example they cannot have the right to some actions acceptable under Islamic laws. "Vietnamese followers of Islam abide by two sets of rules: Islamic rules and Vietnam’s laws," said Hussein, 27, an Imam (priest) who leads prayers at the Al-Noor mosque, adding that certain Islamic rules are not compatible with Vietnamese law. Interestingly, Muslims cannot practice polygamy in Vietnam.

Headscarves, long skirts and sleeves are common in Cham neighbourhoods but women leave their heads uncovered when they go to work, and may opt for jeans. They say this is partly out of a fear of discrimination by co-workers.
One of the many mosques in Vietnam (Photo)
Click here to see eight of the best masjids in Vietnam

Religious activity remains under state control in communist Vietnam but worship among a variety of faiths is flourishing. The scene of prayer time is unique in Vietnam. MV Media reports that the call to prayer from the minaret reaches out over tightly-packed alleys in a Ho Chi Minh City neighbourhood as men in white knitted skullcaps and colourful sarongs walk to their local mosque. The scene is more reminiscent of Malaysia, Indonesia or Brunei - not Vietnam and its Chinese-influenced culture where Muslims are a tiny fraction of the population. Ho Chi Minh City has more than a dozen imams, all trained in Vietnam. Foreign imams also visit, especially from Malaysia, and the Koran has been translated into Vietnamese. Reportedly, there are 16 mosques in Ho Chi Minh City, some of them built with assistance from Muslim nations. Many older Muslim residents make pilgrimages to Mecca, and most Cham have Arabic names on their government-issued identity cards. [4]


Watch a documentary on the life and religious activities of Cham Muslims in An Giang:
Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo  | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Women in Islam: World's first University founded by a Muslim Woman

Whenever the mention of women in Islam comes, many non Muslims take them to be illiterate, oppressed hidden behind the veil or hijab, cut from the modern day developments and streams of education. But the opposite is true. Islam emphasizes education of male and female both as both have a specific role to play for being an important and useful part of the society. While there are many names that are attributed to Muslim women for their contribution to every field of education, science and social development, it may come as surprise to many, both Muslims and non Muslims that the first ever university in the world was established by a Muslim women in Morocco in 9th century AD.

This great Muslim woman was Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihriya Al-Qurashiya (فاطمة بنت محمد الفهرية القرشية‎)  who established a masjid in the city of Fez in present day Morocco. 
Fatima al-Fihri was born in 800 A.D. She was the daughter of Mohammed Bnou Abdullah al-Fihri - a rich merchant who settled in Fez with his family during the reign of Idris II.
Fatima was a strong believer. When she inherited a huge amount of money at the time her father and her husband died, she decided to use it to build a mosque which her Muslim community in Fez urgently needed, large enough to fit an ever-growing number of believers. Herself a highly educated woman, her dream was to do something for the educational uplift of her area. Thus she conceived the idea of building a mosque, which was urgently needed for the people of her community which was ever increasing. She supervised the building process herself and almost the entire inherited money was consumed in her project that was later to become the oldest university of the world. 

Initially a madrassa (school) was established withe masjid which later developed into a university in 895 CE in the city of Fez.  From the 10th century the famous mosque of al-Qarawiyyin became the first religious institute and the largest Arab university of North Africa. It attracted a lot of students and renowned scientists. [1]

They date al-Qarawiyyin's transformation from a madrasa into a university to its modern reorganization in 1963. Some sources, such as UNESCO and the Guinness World Records, cite al-Qarawiyyin as the oldest university or oldest continually operating higher learning institution in the world. Education at the University of al-Qarawiyyin concentrates on the Islamic religious and legal sciences with a heavy emphasis on, and particular strengths in, Classical Arabic grammar/linguistics and Maliki Sharia, though lessons on non-Islamic subjects are also offered to students. [2]
The University of Al Quaraouiyine became a state university in 1963 and now awards degrees in Islamic, religious and legal sciences with an emphasis on classical Arabic grammar and linguistics and law.  Interestingly, teaching is still delivered in a very traditional manner, whereby students are seated in a semi-circle around a Sheikh (Islamic scholar), who prompts them to read sections of particular texts, asks them questions on aspects of grammar, law, or interpretation, and explains difficult points. [3]
As per Wikipedia, Al-Qarawiyyin also compiled a large selection of manuscripts that were kept at a library founded by the Marinid sultan Abu Inan Faris in 1349. The collection housed numerous works from the Maghreb, al-Andalus, and the Middle East. Part of the collection was gathered decades earlier by Sultan Abu Yusuf Ya'qub (ruled 1258–1286), who persuaded Sancho IV of Castile to hand over a number of works from the libraries of Seville, Cordoba, Almeria, Granada, and Malaga in al-Andalus/Spain. Abu Yusuf initially housed these in the nearby Saffarin Madrasa (which he had recently built), but later moved them to al-Qarawiyyin. Among the most precious manuscripts currently housed in the library are volumes from the Al-Muwatta of Malik written on gazelle parchment, a copy of the Sirat by Ibn Ishaq, a 9th-century Quran manuscript (also written on gazelle parchment), a copy of the Quran given by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur in 1602, a copy of Ibn Rushd's Al-Bayan Wa-al-Tahsil wa-al-Tawjih (a commentary on Maliki fiqh) dating from 1320, and the original copy of Ibn Khaldun's book Al-'Ibar (including the Muqaddimah) gifted by the author in 1396.

Fatima al-Fihri today is considered a saint and she is much respected among the believers especially in Fez. In 2017, a prize was created in Tunisia in her honor. It rewards initiatives which encourage access to training and professional responsibilities for women. Furthermore, an academic program and a scholarship given to students from Europe and North Africa pay tribute to Fatima al-Fihri.

Please watch an informative video on the evolution and development of the university:
Note: We have only provided the bare minimum information on Fatima al-Fihri and her pursuits to establish the masjid and later turned into a university. For detailed information, please refer to reference sources given below, specially the Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the reference material contained in Islam: My Ultimate Decision are that of the Islamic scholars / websites. We have shared these view as added information for better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the views owing to their own perception / school of thought being followed. If any one differs with the material contained in this blog, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make our posts all encompassing / comprehensive.

You may also refer to our reference page on Women in Islam and other Reference Pages created so far, to know more about Islam.

Photo: University of Al Qaraouiyine (Wikimedia Commons / Author: Abdel Hassouni)
References:  | 1 |  23 |

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Revert Experiences: How a Pro-Israeli Hasidic Jewish Girl Converted to Islam

There have been lot of negativities about Islam the world over. The hate of Muslims, the wearing of Hijab by Muslim women which is being taken as suppression of women rights, caricatures of revered personalities of Islam and spread of Islamophobia. The burning of Qur'an is yet another trend in some non Muslim countries with disgust and with the feeling as if by burning of Qur'an will decrease the love of Islam and take people away from converting to it.

Yet, despite all negativities, the conversion to Islam, or the reversion to Islam as we Muslims call it for all men and women were born Muslims, it is only once they grow up they follow the religion of  their ancestors without actually understanding what religions are and how gradually the Divine religions finally culminated to Islam. In fact more and more people are now reverting to Islam, mostly Christians, atheists and Hindus. However, the trend is quite low as for Jews are concerned.

But today we share a revert story of a Pro-Israeli Hasidic Jewish girl who reverted to Islam and explained her reasons for doing so.
Present-day Hasidism is a sub-group within Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox") Judaism, and is noted for its religious and social conservatism and social seclusion. Its members adhere closely both to Orthodox Jewish practice – with the movement's own unique emphases – and the traditions of Eastern European Jews.
You may now watch the video of how this pro0Israeli Hasidic Jewish girl converted to Islam and how she stands to her decision:
Disclaimer: The data / video for this post has been collected from the references as given below or YouTube. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To read personal accounts of many a celebrity who have reverted to Islam, please visit our page: Embracing Islam: Revert Experiences.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.

Photo
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The Day when Satan will declare his True Colours

Reading various verses of Qur'an, we all know how Satan (Iblees) refused to prostrate in front of Adam due to his pride and superiority complex and how he was shunned out of Heavens. We also know that Satan promised Allah that he will surely mislead Allah's humanly creatures in their worldly life. He was given the time till the Day of Resurrection, though he was cautioned that despite his efforts he would fail in distracting the majority.

Today we share the 22nd verse of Surah 14. Abrahim (Abraham) in which Allah narrates to us what Iblis will say to his followers after Allah finishes with the judgement between His servants, sending the believers to the gardens of Paradise and the disbelievers to the lows (of the Fire). Iblis, may Allah curse him, will stand and address the latter, in order to add depression to their depression, sorrow to their sorrow and grief to their grief.

وَقَالَ الشَّيۡطٰنُ لَـمَّا قُضِىَ الۡاَمۡرُ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ وَعَدَكُمۡ وَعۡدَ الۡحَـقِّ وَوَعَدْتُّكُمۡ فَاَخۡلَفۡتُكُمۡ​ؕ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡ سُلۡطٰنٍ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ دَعَوۡتُكُمۡ فَاسۡتَجَبۡتُمۡ لِىۡ​ ۚ فَلَا تَلُوۡمُوۡنِىۡ وَلُوۡمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَكُمۡ​ ؕ مَاۤ اَنَا بِمُصۡرِخِكُمۡ وَمَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُصۡرِخِىَّ​ ؕ اِنِّىۡ كَفَرۡتُ بِمَاۤ اَشۡرَكۡتُمُوۡنِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ​ ؕ اِنَّ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَ لِيۡمٌ‏ 
(14:22) After the matter has been finally decided Satan will say: "Surely whatever Allah promised you was true; as for me, I went back on the promise I made to you.30 I had no power over you except that I called you to my way and you responded to me.31 So, do not blame me but blame yourselves. Here, neither I can come to your rescue, nor can you come to mine. I disavow your former act of associating me in the past with Allah.32 A grievous chastisement inevitably lies ahead for such wrong-doers." 

When the criminals will charge Satan with leading them astray, he will plead guilty, as if to say, "You yourselves see now that all the promises and warnings made by Allah have come out true and all the promises which I made have proved to be false. I also confess that it was all deception that I gave you false assurances of prosperity, beguiled you by greed and enticed you in the snare of great expectations. I assured you that in the first instance there will be no life in the Hereafter, and that, if there be any you will go scot-free by the intercession of such and such a saint. The only thing you have to do is to make offerings before him: then you may do whatever you please, for he will deliver you from all the consequences. I repeat that I said all these things and asked my agents to say the same. " 

That is, "You cannot say and prove that it was I who forced you to follow the wrong way, whereas you wanted to follow the Right Way. You will yourselves admit that it is not so. I did no more than this that I invited you to falsehood in opposition to the invitation to the Truth and tempted you to vice instead of virtue. But I had no power to force you to the wrong way, if you desired to follow the Right Way. when you had the power and the option to follow either of the ways. Now I am ready to bear the burden of the wicked invitation I extended to you, but you are not justified in any way to throw on me the burden of accepting my invitation for you did it on your own responsibility. You should, therefore, yourselves bear all its consequences."

" So, do not blame me but blame yourselves. Here, neither I can come to your rescue, nor can you come to mine. I disavow your former act of associating me in the past with Allah " This is a clear proof of shirk in practice, as apart from shirk in creed. As Satan will charge his followers with making him a partner with God, it is obvious that as far as creed is concerned there is no one who makes Satan a partner with God in His Godhead or His worship: nay, every one curses him for his evil ways. Nevertheless, people obey and submit to him and follow him blindly, as if he were their "god" and that is what has been termed shirk.

Let us now consider this thesis from the opposite point of view. Some one might say that this does not hold good, for this is based on a mere saying of Satan which has been cited here. First, this objection is not sound because Allah Himself would have refuted it, had it been baseless. Secondly, this is not the only instance of shirk in practice in the Qur'an. Here are a few more instances of this:

  • (a) It charges the Jews and Christians with shirk because they set up their priests and monks as their "Lords" besides Allah. (IX: 31).
  • (b) Those who follow the superstitious customs have been called mushriks. (VI: 136-139).
  • (c) Those who follow their lusts have been charged with making their "selves" their "god". (XXV: 43).
  • (d) Those who are disobedient to Allah have been accused of worshiping "Satan". (XXXVI: 60).
  • (e) Those who follow man-made laws without Allah's sanction have been reproved for setting up the makers of the laws without Allah's sanction as partners with God. (XLI: 21).
All the above instances are clear proofs of the fact that shirk is not confined to this creed alone that one might set up a partner with Allah in His Godhead as an article of faith. But it is also shirk that one should follow and surrender to some one other than Allah without any Divine sanction or in spite of a Divine prohibition. Such a one shall be guilty of shirk even though the follower might be at the same time cursing the one whom he follows and obeys. The only difference between the two kinds of shirk may be the extent of the crime and not its nature. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
Continuing from the para 2 of the premise, the Satan will declare: `(Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth.) by the words of His Messengers that if you follow them, you will gain safety and deliverance. Truly, Allah's promise was true and correct news, while I promised you then betrayed you.'
Allah said in another Ayah, (He (Shaytan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan's promises are nothing but deceptions.) [4:120]
(I had no authority over you) Shaytan will say, `I had no proof for what I called you to, nor evidence for what I promised you, (except that I called you, and you responded to me.) even though the Messengers establish the proof and unequivocal evidences against you and affirmed the truth of what they were sent to you with. But you disobeyed the Messengers and ended up earning this fate, (So blame me not,) today,

(but blame yourselves.), because it is your fault for defying the proofs and following me in the falsehood that I called you to.' Shaytan will say next, (I cannot help you), I cannot benefit, save, or deliver you from what you are suffering, (nor can you help me.), nor can you save me and deliver me from the torment and punishment I am suffering,

(I deny your former act of associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah.) or because you associated me with Allah before,' according to Qatadah. Ibn Jarir commented; "I deny being a partner with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.'' 

This opinion is the most plausible, for Allah said in other Ayat,
(And who is more astray than one who calls on others besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls to them And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.)[46:5-6] and,
(Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them.)[19:82]
Allah said next, (Verily, the wrongdoers), who deviate from truth and follow falsehood, will earn a painful torment. It appears that this part of the Ayah narrates the speech that Shaytan will deliver to the people of the Fire after they enter it, as we stated. 
`Amir Ash-Sha`bi said, "On the Day of Resurrection, two speakers will address the people. Allah the Exalted will say to `Isa, son of Maryam, (Did you say unto men: "Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah'') ﴿5:116﴾ 
until, (Allah will say: "This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth.'')﴿5:119﴾
Shaytan, may Allah curse him, will stand and address the people, (I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me.) Allah next mentioned the final destination of the miserable ones, who earned the disgrace and torment and having to listen to Shaytan address them, 

then He mentioned the final destination of the happy ones,(next verse 23): (14:23) As for those who had believed and did good in the world, they shall be admitted to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. There, with the leave of Allah, they shall abide forever, and will be greeted with: "Peace".

Yusuf Ali  Explanation:
After the Judgment, Evil declares itself in its true colours. Frankly it says: 'I deceived you. The promise of Allah was true, but you believed me rather than Allah. I had no power to force you. I had but to call you, and you came running after me. You must blame yourselves. Did you think I was equal with Allah? I know too well that I was not and never could be. If you did wrong, you must suffer the Penalty.'

See the last note. An alternative interpretation of this sentence may be: "I had already beforehand rebelled against Allah with Whom ye associated me."

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
(And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: "Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true!) Lit., "God promised you a promise of truth" - i.e., the promise of resurrection and last judgment. 

(I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you - but I deceived you. Yet I had no power at all over you: I but called you - and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves.) In his commentary on this passage, Razi remarks: "This verse shows that the real Satan (ash-shaytan al-asli) is [man's own] complex of desires (an-pals): for, Satan makes it clear [in the above] that it was only by means of insinuations (waswasah) that he was able to reach [the sinner's soul]; and had it not been for an already-existing [evil] disposition due to lusts, anger, superstition or fanciful ideas, these [satanic] insinuations would have had no effect whatsoever." 

(It is not for me to respond to your cries, nor for you to respond to mine:) I.e., "I cannot respond to your call for help, just as you should not have, in your lifetime, responded to my call." The above sentence is often interpreted in another sense, namely, "I cannot succour you, just as you cannot succour me". However, in view of Satan's allegorical reference - in the preceding passages as well as in the next sentence - to the sinners' earthly past, the rendering adopted by me seems to be more suitable; moreover, it is closer to the primary meaning of the verb sarakha ("he cried out"), from which the form musrikh ("one who responds to a cry") is derived (Jawhari).

(for, behold, I have [always] refused to admit that there was any truth in your erstwhile belief that I had a share in God's divinity.") This is, to my mind, the meaning of the highly elliptical phrase kafartu bi-ma ashraktumuni min qabl, which could be literally - but most inadequately - translated thus: "I have refused to admit the truth of that whereby you associated me aforetime [with God]." The implication is that Satan, while endeavouring to lead men astray, never claims to be God's "equal" (cf. 7:20 , where he speaks of God, to Adam and Eve, as "your Sustainer", or 15:36 and {39}, where he addresses Him as "my Sustainer", or 8:48 and 59:16 , where he says, "behold, I fear God") but, rather, tries to make men's sinful doings "seem goodly to them" (cf. 6:43 , 8:48 , 16:63 , 27:24 , 29:38 ), i.e., persuades them that it is morally justifiable to follow one's fancies and selfish desires without any restraint. But while Satan himself does not make any claim to equality with God, the sinner who submits to Satan's blandishments attributes to him thereby, as it were, "a share in God's divinity". - It must be stressed, in this connection, that the Qur'anic expression shaytan is often used as a metaphor for every human impulse that is intrinsically immoral and, therefore, contrary to man's best - i.e., spiritual - interests. 

(Verily, for all evildoers there is grievous suffering in store.) I.e., all those who had consciously - either from intellectual arrogance or from moral weakness - responded to "Satan's call".

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Reference: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Believers! Never lose hope - For with each difficulty there is ease

The worldly life is never smooth - it has rises and falls as the waves of the oceans. No man claim to have had a smooth life all along. In fact the life is like the tug of war, sometimes one loses and sometimes one wins, though only those who lose win again who have perseverance, steadfastness and faith in winning. Those who stumble, fall but keep trying to rise. Unless a man learns to fall, he can never learn to rise. Or in other words, every hardship comes with comfort provided one is sure footed and has firm faith in Allah that he will never be left in the quagmire of worldly affairs forever.

This is the essence of 94th Chapter of the Qur'an: Surah Al Inshirah and it has been mentioned twice in the 5th and 6th verses that with each difficulty there is ease. These verses were revealed when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was very disturbed and distressed at the great hardships that he was passing through in the initial stage of his mission of calling the people to Islam. Under those conditions Allah addressed him and consoling him, said: O Prophet, have We not blessed you with such and such favor. Then, why do you feel so disturbed and distressed at these initial difficulties, and thus reassures him of comfort:

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا 
( 5 )   For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., so close is this ease to the difficult time he is facing that it is almost adjacent. Ie., so close is this ease to the difficult time he is facing that it is almost adjacent. The ease referred to in the verse is that which was afforded to the Prophet (sws) in Madinah after migration. As a result, not only did his preaching endeavours lead to political authority, but also with this authority the whole of Arab became subservient to him.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This verse is repeated for extra emphasis. Whatever difficulties or troubles are encountered by men, Allah always provides a solution, a way out, a relief, a way to lead to ease and happiness, if we only follow His Path and show our Faith by patience and well-doing. The solution or relief does not merely come after the Difficulty: it is provided with it. I understand the definite article in al-'usr in a generic sense, and translate: "every difficulty". In xcii. 7, I have translated Yusr as Bliss, and in xcii. 10 'Usr as Misery.

 إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا 
( 6 )   Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

This has been repeated twice so as to reassure the Prophet (peace be upon him) that the bad times he was passing through at that time would not last for ever, but were going to be replaced by good times in the near future. On the surface this appears to be a contradiction that hardship should be accompanied by ease, for these two things do not co-exist. But the words hardship with ease instead of ease after hardship have been used in the sense that the period of ease is so close to it as if it were a concomitant of it.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The repetition emphasizes the glad tidings. The period in which this surah was revealed was apparently a very testing one. The Almighty presented various incidents of the Prophet’s life to assure him. He was told that the God Who endowed him with all these blessings was there to help him; very soon these difficult times would give way to ease; the hindrances in his way would be removed and he and his companions would finally reach the destination the Almighty had appointed as an established practice for His messengers. The words are rather precise here. But in Surah al-Nasr, details are cited. It is stated that God’s help and victory would come and the Prophet (sws) would see people entering the folds of Islam in multitudes.

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
In Ayaat 5 and 6, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala comforts and reassures the Prophet by saying, “…indeed, with hardship [will be] ease…” Hardship is never absolute, for ease always accompanies it. When the Prophet’s burden became too heavy, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala lifted up his heart and relieved him. This is strongly emphasized by a literal repetition of the statement: “Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” For every challenge there is a way. A matter which afflicts Muhammad’s soul so much must be very serious indeed. The repetition also indicates while the challenge might be one there are several ways of addressing it. Secondly, the times of ease are more frequent than the times of difficulty. How often does one fall sick? How often does one lose all their money or face a loss? How often are we tested? Our problem is that when we are tested we only focus on all problem or the calamity and forget all the other blessings that we enjoy.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is acknowledging that yes at this moment there is difficulty. You have only handful followers but there will be ease. Grounds are being prepared for future success. The lesson for us is that when we are tested we should be patient and acknowledge that if Allah has put me in this there must be some khair and wisdom. Only then the person can survive his test.

Qur'an Wiki:
In the verses 5-6, God addresses His beloved messenger kindly and comforts and reassures him, explaining to him how He has given him unceasing ease. “With hardship comes ease. Indeed, with every hardship comes ease.” (Verses 5-6) Hardship is never absolute, for ease always accompanies it. When your burden became too heavy, We lifted up your heart and relieved you.

This is strongly emphasized by a literal repetition of the statement: “With hardship comes ease.” The repetition suggests that the Prophet had endured serious hardship and much affliction. This reminder recalls the various aspects of care and concern shown to the Prophet and then reassures him emphatically. A matter which afflicts Muhammad’s soul so much must be very serious indeed.

Thus in these two verses, there is a hope for the believers that no matter how much stressed we are and how much difficulties surround us, we should never lose hope of good days ahead and ease of our sufferings. May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Reference: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |
Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Monday, May 2, 2022

The Filled Coffers - yet Man will be Empty Handed

At many a places man has been warned to be in loss, but man who is so absolved in his worldly pursuits never cares to listen to what is being said to him and what alarming bells are ringing around him. The men in loss are those who are so engrossed in amassing wealth that despite having dumped wealth that cannot even be counted, his lust for more never diminishes. But has man ever thought whether this wealth be of any avail to him when the final hours strike?

Qarun was a wealth man of ancient times and it is said the mere keys of his coffers were transported on seventy camels, yet he never cared for the poor and his greed for more made him arrogant and boastful. Then one day a calamity struck and all camels got buried in the sand and all his wealth disappeared. 

A few days back I saw a number of photos of the wealth left behind by a rich man. In his coffers the gold bars were stacked on shelves as biscuits are in any confectionary shop. Now that he has gone, his wealth is no avail to him. He went into the grave empty handed and will appear before God empty handed for he only amassed wealth and not virtues. Yet there is a living man today who has amassed so many cars that even he drives one car daily the present armada of cars will take twenty years to reach to the end.

Allah has warned such people and told them that have they ever thought what will his wealth avail him when he falls, that is when he died? We share the 11th verse of Surah 92. Al Layl (The Night) which cautions the wealthy and rich of same warning:

 وَمَا يُغْنِي عَنْهُ مَالُهُ إِذَا تَرَدَّىٰ 
( 11 )   And what will his wealth avail him when he falls?
In other words it means that he has to die one day and leave behind in the world whatever he had amassed for his ease and enjoyment. If he did not earn and send forward something for the Hereafter, what would this wealth avail him? He will not take his palatial residence, his majestic conveyance, his property and wealth into the grave.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Wealth amassed in this world will be of no use at the Day of Final Judgment, nor will any material advantages of this life bring profit by themselves in the Hereafter. What will count will be a life of truth and righteousness, and of goodness to all the creatures of Allah.

So my dear sisters and brothers, take stock of your coffers and spend them in the name of Allah and make these spendings good loan to Allah so that when the hour of judgement comes, these loans come handy in your forgiveness. 

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Reference: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

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