Showing posts with label Chapters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chapters. Show all posts

Monday 16 July 2018

The Holy Qur'an (Summary): Chapter 103 Surah Al-'Asr - The Time

Surah Al-'Asr is a unique surah  of the Holy Qur'an in which the Allah Almighty reminds the mankind about the importance of time. We have been listening to the advice from our elders to not to waste time as it flies and never returns. And that one can never make good of the lost time for Time and Tide wait for none.

Therefore in this surah Allah cautions that Mankind is in loss except for those who chose to believe in the oneness of Allah and then do good deeds as demanded of them after accepting the will of Allah and guide others to be on the righteous path.Thus those who did not believe in the last of the commandments of Allah sent down onto Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are really at loss for they have missed the bus.

Herein under is the English translation of this short but very meaningful chapter of the Holy Qur'an:
Time is witness that,
indeed, Mankind is in loss, 
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” 
Thus making good of one's time and dividing it for one's wordily needs and preparation for the life in the hereafter is very important. And this surah also emphasizes the need to not only believe in Allah and his apostle, but also spread the message to others who may not be able to read or not in access of the right knowledge. This will thus ensure that word of Allah is spread so as to provide an opportunity to others to make good  of their time by following Allah's chosen path for them.

While looking for better explanation of Surah Al 'Asr, I came across an excellent Research Paper on Surat 103 Al-Asr (SUMMARY OF QURAN) By Abu Bakr Karolia of which am sharing a few excerpts herein under. But I would suggest my readers to read the paper in full for it is an excellent paper to read to really understand the timings of revelation of this surah and its detailed explanation:
This surah opens to an admonition to humankind by God. God takes an oath by “time” and declares that humankind is in a state of loss (khusr) if it does not secure four conditions/principles  of this oath: First, to have faith (iman); second, to do righteous deeds and act ethically (̀amal-al-salihat); third, to encourage the truth (watawasaw-bil-haqq) and finally, to urge each other to have fortitude/steadfastness/patience (watawasaw-bis-sabr).
The Shafi-Ash’arite theologian, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi(d. 1209) states that he understood the meaning of Surat-al-Asr  from an ice seller who was appealing to people in the bazaar to pity him and buy his ice before it melted away (Al-Razi, 2010). The analogy of melting ice to time instantly gives a feeling of life withering away and the urgency to do something to stop the loss. The surah effectively appeals to believers to learn about the consequence of time before the age limit that humankind is allotted with, which will pass away as the melting of ice. 
Herein under are the commentary of some of the prominent Muslim scholars about Surah Al 'Asr:
Abul Ala Maududi, prominent Muslim scholar from Pakistan opines that: This Surah is a matchless specimen of comprehensiveness and brevity. A whole world of meaning has been compressed into its few brief words, which is too vast in content to be fully expressed even in a book. In it, in a clear and plain way it has been stated what is the way to true success for man and what is the way to ruin and destruction for him. Imam Shaafi has very rightly said that if the people only considered this Surah well, it alone would suffice them for their guidance.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi, an well known South Asian Islamic scholar comments: the Struggle of the human being is like the one who is trying to sell ice. It is melting away and he needs to sell it quickly and make as much sales before the end of the day comes. Otherwise - all his valuables' and efforts will go to waste. [In the past - there were no Freezers, so your ice would melt into water by the end of the day.]
Al-Zamakhshari, Persian scholar has this to say about this surah: People are in tremendous loss because of that which they buy and sell in life (of good and bad), except for the Saaliheen (righteous). O Allah, make us of the Saliheen (righteous), Aameen. Because the Saliheen buy for the next life instead of for the pleasures of this life. And then they were profitable and happy on Judgment Day, and whoever was an enemy to their buying - then he was in loss and despair.

Now you may like to listen to the recitation of Surah al 'Asr along with its English translation (Each verse will be repeated thrice for those who wish to memo rise the surah):

Calligraphy by Shahid Rana | References: |1|2|3|
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Saturday 14 July 2018

The Holy Qur'an (Summary): Chapter 2 Sūrah al-Baqarah (The Cow) - Why the Surah is so named

Alif, Lam, Meem.
This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah,
Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,
And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].
Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.
Sūrah al-Fātiḥah is the opening chapter of the Holy Qur'an, which more essentially a prayer that a faithful recites in the beginning of each cycle of five daily prayers. And surely Sūrah al-Fātiḥah sums up the whole message of Allah contained in the holy book. Thereafter, then the message and commandments unfold in much details for the mankind to read, ponder and then act upon in totality and in complete submission to the only true creator of us all, Allah the Almighty.

From the second chapter on, the main text and elaboration of Allah's commandments begin covering all subjects of one's way of life so that every Muslim seeks guidance from these commandments and chose the righteous path that would lead to one's salvation and forgiveness by Allah on the Day of Judgment.

The five opening verses of Sūrah al-Baqarah, as translated above, give away the simple reason about the Holy Qur'an being a book of which there is no doubt and that it is for the guidance of those who are conscious of an unseen Allah, and pray to Him and spend from whatever has been provided to them. This also makes it very clear to have a belief in whatever has been revealed before this Holy scripture, like the three holy scriptures of Psalms, Torah and Bible, because only then one can be on the right path and will ultimately be successful, herein and hereafter.

Before the summary of the Sūrah al-Baqarah is presented, it would be better to explain as to why this surah has been named after a cow - and this is very important too as the incident narrated in the surah explains how those with shallow faith or a half hearted acceptance of Allah's commandments make excuses to an extent of getting away with a given task. This incident is mentioned in the verses 67-71 of the surah:

It so happened that a very wealthy man was mysteriously murdered and his body was found lying on the doorstep of a certain man. A dispute therefore arose with fingers pointing to one another. Before the swords could be drawn, the wise among them opined that the matter be taken to Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) for an amicable solution. The Prophet listened to them and Allah commanded him to ask the people to slaughter a cow and place a piece of cow's meat on the dead man's body and the dead man will speak up the name of the murderer. The conversation between the Prophet and the Israelites that ensued is as narrated in the Qur'an:
Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow.'' They said, "Do you make fun of us'' He said, "I take Allah's refuge from being among Al-Jahilin (the ignorant or the foolish)
They said, "Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!'' He said, "He says, `Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions', so do what you are commanded.''
They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its colour.'' He said, "He says, `It is a yellow cow, bright in its colour, pleasing the beholders.
They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily, to us all cows are alike. And surely, if Allah wills, we will be guided.
He (Musa) said, "He says, `It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no blemish in it.' '' They said, "Now you have brought the truth.'' So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.

When the piece of cow's flesh was placed on the dead man's body, he woke up, pointed towards his murderer and went back to his eternal sleep. 

The purpose of explaining the reference to the context has simply been to show how a faulted faith can lead to arguing with prophets of Allah in order not to do a given commandment or a solution that apparently may not seem workable. But it is Allah alone who has the absolute knowledge and has His own ways of explaining and providing solutions. Therefore when one assumes faith in Allah, it should be held without an hesitation, doubt or halfheartedness. It is only then we shall be blessed and be faithful to our Creator.

The complete narration of the story also includes the will of a wealthy pious man who had a calf and asked his wife to wander it of in the wilderness. His wife hesitated and asked as to why she shroud wander off the only livestock they had for the future. The man told her to be patient and do what is the willed for Allah has His own way of rewarding those who do not hesitate for Allah commands them. After the man died and many years later when their son grew up, his mother told him about the calf and asked him to go to the jungle and find it. And the son, as pious as his father, went to jungle and prayed to Allah to return the animal. And he saw a well built, spotless young cow coming to him. The boy brought back the cow and started earning from its milk. 

And then the above incident happened and this was the only cow that looked exactly like as the Prophet Musa had asked the Israelites to slaughter. When the Israelites came to buy the cow, the boy refused for the price they were offering. The price was raised many times till the boy said he would not sell his cow even its skin if filled with gold. And when they even agreed, the boy said he would ask his mother and his mother readily agreed. This also explains how the farsightedness of the the old man which had the will of Allah contained in it brought wealth and prosperity to the boy and his mother.

The incident appears at many sites with some variations and can be read for detailed information.

Photo | References: |1|2|3|
An effort has been made to gather explanation of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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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 Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

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