Thursday 25 February 2021

Who shall live honourably in the Gardens (of Paradise)

Who are all those promised by ALLAH to live honourably in the Gardens? At many a place in the Quran, the attributes of the blessed ones are explained. In Surah Al Ma'iraj, from verses 22-34 are attributes of such believers as mentioned below:
  • (70:22) The observers of prayer
  • (70:23) Those who are constant in their prayer
  • (70:26)  And those who believe in the Day of Recompense
  • (70: 27) And those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord
  • (70:29) And those who guard their private parts
  • (70:32) And those who fulfil their trusts and their covenants,
  • (70:33) And those who are upright in their testimonies;
  • (70:34) And who take due care of their Prayer

While we shall deliberate upon all these attributes in detail, it may be noted that offering of Salat / prayer has been stressed thrice in this surah. For prayers "Salat" is the most mentioned duty of the believers in the Quran and is the second most important of the Five Pillars of Islam, after taking the Shahadah and confirming that there is not god but He.‏ 

اِلَّا الۡمُصَلِّيۡنَۙ‏ 
( 22 )   Except the observers of prayer
A person’s performing the salat necessarily implies that he believes in Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him), His Book and the Hereafter as well as tries to act according to his belief.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, man is described with blameworthy characteristics except for He whom Allah protects, helps and guides to good, making its means easy for him -- and these are those people who perform Salah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The description of those devoted to Prayer is given in a number of clauses that follow, introduced by the words "Those who..." "Devoted to Prayer" is here but another aspect of what is described elsewhere as the Faithful and the Righteous. Devotion to prayer does not mean merely a certain number of formal rites or prostrations. It means a complete surrender of one's being to Allah. This means an earnest approach to and realization of Allah's Presence ("steadfastness in Prayer"); acts of practical and real charity; and attempt to read this life in terms of the Hereafter; the seeking of the Peace of Allah and avoidance of His displeasure; chastity; probity true and firm witness; and guarding the prayer. (verse 34).

الَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ عَلٰى صَلَاتِهِمۡ دَآئِمُوۡنَ
( 23 )   Those who are constant in their prayer
That is, no laziness or love of ease and comfort, no occupation or interest hinders them from being punctual and regular at the prayer. When the Prayer time comes, they abandon every occupation and activity and stand up to perform worship of their God. Another meaning which Uqbah bin Amir has given of ala salat-i-him daaimun " عَلٰى صَلَاتِهِمۡ دَآئِمُوۡنَ " is that they perform the Prayer with full peace of mind, tranquility and humility; they do not try to offer the Prayer in a hurry in order to get rid of it somehow, nor think irrelevant things during the Prayer.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: It has been said that this means they guard its times and the elements obligatory in it. This has been said by Ibn Mas`ud, Masruq and Ibrahim An-Nakha`i. It has also been said that it means tranquility and humble concentration (in the prayer). 

This is similar to Allah's statement: Successful indeed are the believers. Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.) (23:1-2) This was said by `Uqbah bin `Amir. From its meanings is the same terminology used to describe standing (still) water (Al-Ma' Ad-Da'im). This proves the obligation of having tranquility in the prayer. For verily, the one who does not have tranquility (stillness of posture) in his bowing and prostrating, then he is not being constant (Da'im) in his prayer. This is because he is not being still in it and he does not remain (in its positions), rather he pecks in it (quickly) like the pecking of the crow. Therefore, he is not successful in performing his prayer. It has also been said that the meaning here refers to those who perform a deed and are constant in its performance and consistent in it. 

This is like the Hadith that has been recorded in the Sahih on the authority of `A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah said, (The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if they are few.)

وَالَّذِيۡنَ يُصَدِّقُوۡنَ بِيَوۡمِ الدِّيۡنِ‏ 
( 26 )   And those who believe in the Day of Recompense
“Who believe in the Day of Recompense”: Who do not think they are irresponsible but believe that one Day they will have to appear before their God and render to Him an account of their deeds.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they are sure of the Final Return (to Allah), the Reckoning and the Recompense. Therefore, they perform the deeds of one who hopes for the reward and fears the punishment. For this reason Allah says:

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ مِّنۡ عَذَابِ رَبِّهِمۡ مُّشۡفِقُوۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 27 )   And those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord -
 In other words, they are not like the disbelievers, who do not fear God even after they have committed every heinous sin and crime and perpetrated every cruelty in the world, but they, in spite of having adopted a righteous attitude in morals and deeds as best as they could, fear God and continue to remain in constant awe lest their shortcomings should exceed their good works before Him and they should be declared as worthy of punishment. (For further explanation, see exegesis of (Surah 23.Al-Mominoon 60), (Surah 51 Adh-Dhariyat: 21).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: A true fear of Allah is the fear of offending against His holy Will and Law, and is therefore akin to the love of Allah. It proceeds from the realization that all true peace and tranquility comes from attuning our will to the universal Will and that sin causes discord, disharmony, and displeasure,-another name for the Wrath of Allah.

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ لِفُرُوۡجِهِمۡ حٰفِظُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 29 )   And those who guard their private parts
“Who guard their private parts”: Who abstain from adultery as well as from nudity and exposing their private parts before others. 

With the exception as mentioned in the next verse:
اِلَّا عَلٰٓى اَزۡوَاجِهِمۡ اَوۡ مَا مَلَـكَتۡ اَيۡمَانُهُمۡ فَاِنَّهُمۡ غَيۡرُ مَلُوۡمِيۡنَ​ۚ‏ 
( 30 )   Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they are not to be blamed

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they keep their private parts away from that which is forbidden and they prevent their private parts from being put into other than what Allah has allowed them to be i

This is one of the most attributes of the believers for extra matrimonial relations between man and woman are the most detested of all sins and man and woman have been warned not only here but at many a places in the Quran, mentioned herein under: 

(Surah 23. Al-Mominoon: 5): "(Those) who strictly guard their private parts:" That is They are modest in every sense of the word. They are free from sex abuse and sex perversion. They are so modest that they even conceal those parts of their bodies which the law forbids to expose before others. Please read the details in the Part I of the Exegesis of Surah Al-Mominoon already published.

(Surah 24. An-Noor: 30, 31): "(O Prophet), enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do." Please read the details in the Part III of the Exegesis of Surah An Noor already published.

(Surah 33Al-Ahzab: 35): "Surely the men who submit (to Allah) and the women who submit (to Allah), the men who have faith and the women who have faith, the men who are obedient and the women who are obedient, the men who are truthful and the women who are truthful; the men who are steadfast and the women who are steadfast, the men who humble themselves (to Allah) and the women who humble themselves (to Allah), the men who give alms and the women who give alms, the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah much:63 for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a mighty reward." Please read the details in the Exegesis of Surah Al-Ahzab already published.

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ عَلٰى صَلَاتِهِمۡ يُحَافِظُوۡنَؕ‏  
( 34 )   And those who [carefully] maintain their prayer:

This gives an idea of the importance of the Prayer (salat). The description of the merits of the high and sublime character of those who have been declared as worthy of Paradise, began with the Prayer and has been concluded with it. To be a performer of the Prayer is their first characteristic, to be steadfast and ever constant with regard to the Prayer is their second characteristic, and to guard their Prayer is their last characteristic. Guarding the Prayer implies many things: to perform the Prayer at its right time, to make sure before the Prayer that one’s body and clothes are clean and pure, to have performed the ablutions and to have washed the limbs well, to perform the basic elements of the Prayer with its obligatory and desirable parts with due care and attention, to observe the requisite rites of the Prayer carefully, to avoid disobedience of God, which is destructive of the Prayer. All these are included in the guarding of the Prayer.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they maintain its proper times, its pillars, its obligations and its recommended acts. So Allah begins this discussion (of the believers' attributes) with prayer and He concludes it with prayer. This proves the importance of it and the praise of its noble status, just as what preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Mu'minun. It is exactly the same discussion. This is why Allah says there (in Al-Mu'minun), (These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaws (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.) (23:10-11)

We began with "steadfastness in prayer" in verse 23 above, and after a review of various aspects of the good man's life, close with the guarding of worship.

And those who have the attributes as mentioned above are promised the honoured gardens of Paradise:

أُوْلَـئِكَ فِى جَنَّـتٍ مُّكْرَمُونَ 
(70:35) (Such shall dwell in the Gardens, honored.) 
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein and include us in those who shall dwell in the gardens of paradise, honourably. 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.
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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 plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • 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. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • 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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