Showing posts with label Sūrat al-Layl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sūrat al-Layl. Show all posts

Tuesday 24 July 2018

The Holy Quran (Summary): Chapter 92 Sūrat al-Layl (The Night)

Sūrat al-Layl was revealed in the early days of Islam in Makkah with 21 verses and appears in the 30th part / 'Juz of the Holy Qur'an. In fact it is among the first ten sūrahs that were revealed unto Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Its theme is to distinguish between the two different ways of life and to explain the contrast between their ultimate ends and results. In view of the subject matter this Surah consists of two parts, the first part consisting of vv. 1-11 and the second of vv. 12-21.
In the first part, at the outset it has been pointed out that the strivings and doings that the individuals, nations and groups of mankind are engaged in in the world, are, in respect of their moral nature, as divergent as the day is from the night, and the male from the female. After this, according to the general style of the brief Surahs of the Quran, three moral characteristics of one kind and three moral characteristics of the other kind have been presented as an illustration from among a vast collection of the strivings and activities of man, from which every man can judge which style of life is represented by one kind of the characteristics and which style of life by the other kind. Both these styles have been described in such brief, elegant. and pithy sentences that they move the heart and go down into memory as soon as one hears them. Characteristics of the first kind are that one should spend one's wealth, adopt God-consciousness and piety, and acknowledge the good as good. The second kind of the characteristics are that one should be miserly, should least care for God's pleasure and His displeasure, and should repudiate what is good and right. Then it has been stated that these two modes of action which are clearly divergent, cannot be equal and alike in respect of their results. But, just as they are divergent in their nature, so they are divergent in their results. The person (or group of persons) who adopts the first mode of action, Allah will make easy for him the correct way of life, so much so that doing good will become easy for him and doing evil difficult. On the contrary, he who adopts the second mode of life, Allah will make easy for him the difficult and hard way of life, so much so that doing evil will become easy for him and doing good difficult. This passage has been concluded with a most effective and touching sentence, saying: "This worldly wealth for the sake of which man is even prepared to risk his life will not go down with him into the grave; therefore, what will it avail him after death?"
In the second part also three truths have been stated equally briefly. First, that Allah has not left man uninformed in the examination hall of the world, but He has taken on Himself the responsibility to tell him which one is the straight and right way out of the different ways of life. Here, there was no need to point out that by sending His Messenger and His Book He has fulfilled His this responsibility, for both the Messenger and the Book were present to afford the guidance. Second, that the Master of both the world and the Hereafter is Allah alone. If you seek the world, it is He Who will give it, and if you seek the Hereafter, again it is He Who will give it. Now, it is for you to decide what you should seek from Him. The third truth that has been stated is that the wretched one who rejects the good, which is being presented through the Messenger and the Book, and turns away from it, will have a blazing fire ready for him. As for the God fearing person who spends his wealth in a good cause, without any selfish motive, only for the sake of winning his Lord's good pleasure, his Lord will be pleased with him and will bless him with so much that he will be well pleased with Him.
This is an easy to understand sūrah for its subject being the good and the bad people and their end reward on the day of judgment. Read the translation which shall then be followed by a short commentary.

Herein under is the translation of Sūrat al-Layl:
  • By the night as it envelops;
  • And by the day as it appears in brightness;
  • And by Him Who created male and female;
  • Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes);
  • As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him,
  • And believes in the best [reward].
  • We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness).
  • But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient.
  • And denies the best [reward];
  • We will make smooth for him the path for evil;
  • And what will his wealth benefit him when he goes down (in destruction).
  • Truly! Ours it is (to give) guidance,
  • And truly, unto Us (belong) the last (Hereafter) and the first (this world).
  • Therefore I have warned you of a Fire blazing fiercely (Hell);
  • None shall enter it save the most wretched,
  • Who denies and turns away.
  • And the pious and righteous (Al-Muttaqun) will be far removed from it (Hell).
  • He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification,
  • And have in his mind no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return,
  • Except only the desire to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High;
  • He surely will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise).
Allah Almighty, like many other sūrahs (Sūrat At Tin for instance) takes vow, a solemn promise, of truths in the shape of many of His bounties like the night, the day and the one who created male and female of all kinds. And then talks about two types of people: The good ones, who seek truth in Allah's given commandments and do good to help others without the lust for any wordily rewards, and the second kind who despite being shown the righteous path follow evil deeds and hurt others, for these wretched people the fire of hell awaits. 

As for the first category of people who spend their wealth in the way of Allah thinking that the wealth has been given to them to help others and not for their pleasures, and thus rise higher in the eyes of Allah and shall be rewarded in the hereafter with unimaginable rewards and bounties.  

The difference between both the categories of people is clear: One who seeks wordily pleasures for him alone will be given in abundance but will be among the worst in the world of the hereafter. But those who are given in abundance, or even less, but still give charities and help others with no reward intended but to please Allah, will be granted paradise where their selfless services will be paid back much beyond trheir imaginations.

It is observed by many a scholar and interpretors of Qur'an that the last four verse are indicative of deeds of Abu Bakr, a trusted companion and friend of the Prophet of Allah who was the first male adult who entered the fold of Islam the moment he heard that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been chosen as a prophet by Allah. He beside a good human being was also a very wealthy man and when there was need of money in the cause of Allah, Abu Bakr emptied his entire household and brought it to the Prophet. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) inquired him of what had he left in his house, Abu Bakr replied: Allah's name only.

Abu Bakr was also forthcoming in the freedom of many slave who had accepted Islam and were being tortured by their pagan masters. One such slave was Bilal, the African, whom his master had made him lie flat on the burning sand and placed a heavy stone on his chest. Bilal still called aloud "Ahad (Allah is one." Seeing his plight Abu Bakr paid the money and got Bilal freed.

You many now listen to recitation of the  Sūrat al-Layl  in Arabic with English / Arabic subtitles:

Photo | References: |  12 | 3 | 4 |
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