Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pondering over Quran - Surah A'raf Part 1

Salamalaykum to all of you lovely readers out there!


I've been meaning to write about my last week's notes for quite sometime but I was running out of time and sometimes I was too tired. So without further delay, what's happened is that currently at Al huda we have this super awesome, amazing, fantastic visiting teacher from Kuwait. She comes here almost twice a year or that's how many classes I've attended of her so far and MASHALLAH she's blessed with amazing ability to teach.


She's started a series called Tadabbarul Quran which translated to 'Pondering over the Quran'. I've missed the first class but Alhamdulillah was able to attend the 2nd one and would love to share some notes now. I am not kididng I've 7 huge pages full of notes, I just couldn't keep up they were so many gems in that class. I felt like a poor person in front of  a treasure and I had to grab all that I could!


She starts off with reminding us for renewing our intention for attending such gatherings of knowledge for the sake of Allah swt and not for anything else such as socializing or meeting new people.. etc. Then she mentioned about how we all need to translate our knowledge into the language of action. Many people may attend classes but where is the effect of that knowledge upon them? Reflect on what you learn. Think. Ponder.


Be grateful to Allah for being able to learn the knowledge of His deen. Because really, no matter what kind of weekend seminar or weekly classes or halaqas we attend we must always remember that had it not been for Allah swt to provide us the health, the means and the guidance we wouldn't be able to attend such gatherings. The most important knowledge is of the quran and the sunnah. Allah gives it only to certain people. Whatever good you do in life your goal should be the pleasure of Allaah swt. Even a small deed should not belittled and should be done for his sake for perhaps this small deed will be highly crucial for your on the day of judgement.


So what is pondering over the Quran?


Introduction


Well it's a lot of things but it does not require one to be a scholar to do it. There are certain guidelines on how to do it but really it acts as a heart softener. Many times we've read the Quran and I know most of the people like myself do not know classical arabic so ... we just read quran and we read it in arabic. So what we need to do is we need to know what we are reading - of course reading and understanding in arabic would be one awesome thing! But, until then You and I can grab an interpretation of the Quran in the language that we best understand and take a start! Here are some tips; 


- Read quran with contemplation, Read it slowly, word by word, repeat a lot, think about what Allah swt wants you to do


- Stop at the names and attributes of Allah and focus on them


- Focus on the stories of the prophets. It is there in the quran to show us how Allah deals with different kind of people


- Focus on understanding the parables


- Try to understand the descriptions of the people .. The pious people who are described in a certain manner and the people of hell fire who are also described in a certain matter. So we can understand the qualities we need to obtain to fit in the description of the pious people so we know what are the kinds of qualities that Allah swt loves in a people and really it's no rocket science we just need to read the quran and we can understand it.


- Be attentive when you are reading about the calls that Allah swt makes to us. Calls? How's that? Well the calls of Allah swt to us are when the verse starts with ''O son of adam'' or ''O you who believe''


So now, we would briefly reflect over the calls of Allah swt that are there in Surah A'raf which is chapter 7 of the quran starting from verse 11 in which Allah swt mentioned the story of Adam (as) and his creation how Allah swt asked all angels to prostrate a prostration of honor and all did except Iblis a.k.a shaitan and how then iblis was expelled yet he asked for a respite from Allah swt until the day of resurrection so that he would misguide the people from the guidance of Allah. Once, the shaitan gets expelled, Allah swt informs adam (as) and his wife (hawwa as) to dwell in the heaven and to enjoy all in it except the one forbidden tree and you know how shaitan goes and tempts them and claims to be a well wisher for both while in reality he was nothing but an enemy.. Eventually they eat from that tree and Allah swt inspires them with the words whith which they should seek his forgiveness and then they both are sent on earth to rest and enjoy for sometime... soon after this verse is the first and the most profound call that Allah swt makes




FIRST CALL - 



Sahih International
O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember. (verse 26)


This is the first call because as we know that once adam (as) and hawwa (as) ate the fruit of the forbidden tree their private parts become apparent to them. In this verse Allah swt talks about how He has created and bestowed upon us means with which we can create clothing as  being covered is an act of modesty. 


But that's not the only covering He talks about - He talks about 2 types of coverings or garments. 1 for the body and 2 for the heart which happens to be the clothing of righteousness.  And really we need to ask ourselves the question about how careful are we for the clean clothing for our bodies while our hearts remain in a state ignorance covered with a dirty cover?


So what is the cover of our heart? It is the garment of piety and taqwa (god consciousness) because just as  the body needs to be covered in few areas ; the same is the case with our hearts. It needs to be covered so no sicknesses, sins can touch it. Allah swt nurtures his creation by making them go through situations to upgrade us in the level of piety and to make us aware of our defects. The heart has two components in it 1 is Desire and 2 is Faith. Well how does these things affect your piety?


Imagine a scenario where someone has just insulted you right in front of you - so in this case you have two options you can either use the component of Desire and knock the life out of that person physically or verbally and show them who the boss is and what a grave mistake they have done by insulting you. 


OR


You can practice your faith which tells you to forgive that person. So In this situation either your faith will win and the level of your piety and taqwa will increase in your heart. Or you can follow your desire and create some sin for yourself while you are giving them a piece of your mind.. 


We have to be careful of the clear sins that we do because when we commit the sins that we know are bad then the heart starts to lose its piety. We can fool ourselves and others by giving excuses for our faults.. but we should remember that if our eman is really increasing then so will our sensitivity towards sins irrespective of if they are small sins or big sins.


One of the sins that enter our hearts sometimes very discretely is envy - we may say Mashallah and everything when we hear about somebody's good news but deep in our hearts a fight can start wondering why hasn't Allah blessed us like so and so? oh how we wish we had gotten it not that person or we may be sad that Allah hasn't blessed us with it. If we have faith then we won't feel that way it would be like a test of our sincerity. Envy is the sin of the heart. we wont realize the sins of the heart unless we have faith in it. 


Did you know that worry is also the sin of heart? because when you worry you are not thinking and believing that Allah swt is AL WAKIL - the best disposer of affairs. Remember, if you are always worrying then you are relying on yourself for your affairs and not on Allah. Entrust everything in your life with Allah. It is very important to check your heart all the time and cover it with piety because as derived from the verse above the covering of the heart is more important than the covering of your body.


Just a thing to notice is that whereas sometimes for necessity we take off our clothes of our body but the garment of piety should always accompany us all the time. Taking off the garment of piety from our hearts leaves us disgraced. As shaykh imam as saadi states ''the raiment of piety accompanies the slave all the time''


SECOND CALL -







Sahih International
O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe. (Verse 27)


Before Allah swt makes the call we can notice how Allah swt forgives and it acts as a reminder for us to seek repentance for every small or big sin or bad deed that we may commit because really with every sin comes a consequence and it will there until the forgiveness is sought for it. Some people like myself might wonder 'Oh well so had it not been for adam as to commit that action we all would be in heaven havin a good time and we won't be on this earth faced by so many temptations now and then' and that's where we are wrong because all that has happened is what Allah had decreed. He decreed that adam as dwelled on earth and Allah created the means for adam as's survival on this earth. 


In this verse Allah swt is basically warning us not to listen to shaytan as he tempted our parents. Shaitan can strip off our bodily  garment or the garment of piety or both. As we can notice all around us the increasing amount of nudity it is really an example of how shaitan tempts us and strips us off our clothing and modesty. It should really act as a reminder to us. 


In the same sense shaitan is also capable of stripping us of the garment of piety and taqwa that covers our hearts. It can in many ways and we all know how shaitan works discretely. It can happen to a person who has started praying 5 times a day but then shaitan comes and you know tries to convince that person how they have prayed all 4 of 5 prayers and perhaps skipping Isha is not so bad because they are tired or because they are still new to this routine. And the next thing you know the person misses fajr and the next prayer and it has a big domino effect but that doesn't even mean that the person should stop trying to keep up with the prayers it just means that they need to increase their level of awareness to make out when the shaitan is whispering to them.


This surah consists of 4 calls that are made to us. While I thought I would write all of them together I don't want the post to be too long as I myself am baffled at the size of it right now, because I've added my own comments too along with the notes it became quite comprehensive. Inshallah the part 2 will be soon updated.

7 comments:

  1. Saw u after long time, waiting for part2 now...
    Thank u so much :))))

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  2. All what we see in this universe are made by Allah SWT and that are for our benefit and among those beneficence one thing is more and more beneficial which has sent down to the earth for our guidance and that is Qur'an as Allah said that:
    (قُلْ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُونَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَتَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ أَنْدَادًا ذَلِكَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ * وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ مِنْ فَوْقِهَا وَبَارَكَ فِيهَا وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْبَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاءً لِلسَّائِلِينَ * ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ * فَقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَأَوْحَى فِي كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ أَمْرَهَا وَزَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَحِفْظًا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ) [فصلت 9-12].
    Say, "Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals? That is the Lord of the worlds."
    And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures'] sustenance in four days without distinction - for [the information] of those who ask.
    Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, "Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion." They said, "We have come willingly."
    And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.

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  3. JazakAllah Khair dear sister, I love pondering the verses of the Quran, you always learn something new and this post made me realize some things that I had forgotten. :)

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