2- The greatest description of the Qur’an.

ذلك الكتاب لا ريبَ فيه هدى للمتقين

That is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.

  • This is the greatest ayah describing the Qur’an.
  • Why didn’t Allah say this? That is used for objects that are far and high (e.g. stars). Effect: shows the grandeur, nobility, loftiness, and status of the Quran.
  • Why didn’t Allah say a book?  The Quran contains the summaries of all the previous scriptures.
  • What type of la-لا is this? لا النافية للجنس . The meaning rendered is an absolute negation; there is nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo….. way there is any doubt.
  • Why not say شك ?  is ريب the smallest conceivable form of doubt. Allah even negated this!
  • What type of guidance is it? التنوين يفيد لتعظيم. The tanween — the daaan sound — makes it colossal guidance. The ayaats of the Quran are our guide to reach Jannah, just as the stars.
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1- Why the Broken Letters?

الم

  • The meaning of these letters is only known to Allah. There are no authentic traditions going back to Prophet SAW, and all opinions are mere conjecture.
  • However, these letters must have a particular function; the opposite would be contrary to perfection.
  1. Can you produce a Qur’an? Baqilani RA said: Only half of the alphabet is used in these letters. Implication: If you do not believe it is a miracle, then produce something like it using the letters.
  2. Where is the guidance? We ask Allah for guidance in Surah Fatiah. Before He gives us the guidance, He reminds us that we won’t be able to unlock every secret of the Quran.
  3. How does an illiterate man know the letters? Mutawalii As-Sharii: Prophet SAW was illiterate as was most of the Arab society. The only people expected to know the letters are those who know how to write.
  4. How is this a challenge to the Jews? They were the learned people. Hence, they need to explain how Prophet SAW knows the building blocks of the language.

7- Did Allah ever talk to you?

Can you answer these?

  • What does صلاة-Salaah mean? Salaah comes from Sila, which means a connection. In Salaah we are suppose to be speaking with Allah, and hence having a connection.
  • What does صلاة-Salaah have to do with burning? Sila also means to roast something. Salaah burns your sins (to purify gold, it is burnt).

Did you know this?

 Prophet SAW said, 

  • “Allah SWT said: ‘I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.
  • When the servant says: ‘Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi l-alamin’ (3), Allah SWT says: ‘My servant has praised Me.’
  • And when he says: ‘Ar-rahmani r-rahim’ (4), Allah SWT says: ‘My servant has extolled Me,’
  • And when he says: ‘Maliki yawmi d-din’ (5), Allah says: ‘My servant has glorified Me’ – and on one occasion He said: ‘My servant has submitted to My power.’
  • And when he says: ‘Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in’ (6), He says: ‘This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.’
  • And when he says: ‘Ihdina s-sirata l- mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta alayhim ghayril-maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin’ (7), He says: ‘This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.'” [Muslim]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_QAj-Aj6MU

(Arabic followed by English)

6- Choose your path!

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

What is the connection?

  • In the previous ayah we ask Allah to guide us to the upright path — the only path accepted by Allah and the only path that brings happiness.
  • In this ayah Allah SWT informs us of two groups: Those who follow the path and those who forsake the path.

Do you know these?

  • نعم is used for an easy life, filled with softness, relaxation and comfort.
  • ضال is used for a lost item whose location is unknown. Implication: the individual is confused and unable to see the right path.
  • ضال is the opposite of هدى-guidance (ayah 6 began with guidance, and ayah 7 ends with its opposite).
  • Those who leave the path will always fall into two categories: Maghdoob and Daleen.
  • Maghdoob are those whose intention is insincere; they know the truth, yet do not follow it.
  • Daleen are those whose actions are flawed; they are based on ignorance.

Can you answer these?

  • Why didn’t Allah say, “path of the believers”? To make us think and search for who they are (mentioned here).
  • Why mention ‘you‘ favoured? For honour and to show their status, Allah has been mentioned next to them. By not mentioning His name next to Maghdoob and Daleen, it shows they have no honour and status.
  • Why did Prophet SAW specify who the Maghdoob-Jews and the Daleen-Christian are? These two groups are the most clear when it comes to corruption of intention and action. Hence, He SAW gave us two blazing examples.

Did you know…

  • Ibn Tammiya RA said: Whoever knows the truth and does not act upon it resembles the Jews, and whoever acts without knowledge resembles the Christians.
  • Islam is a balance between these two extremes. A Muslim is always on the middle path.

5- Does Allah misguide?

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Guide us to the Straight Way

What is the connection?

  • The most important thing that we can ask is for guidance. If someone was misguided, then they are doomed in this world and the next.

Do you know these?

  • هدى comes from  هداية, which means to guide someone with care and affection. It includes the following: to show the path, to help ‘walk’ on the path, and to guide until the final destination (show, walk, reach).
  • The root of the word is قام/يقوم, which means to stand upright. Hence the صراط is an upward path to Allah. As one rises in levels, one comes closer to Allah, and distant from the lowly world.
  • A path which is even, wide enough, and can be travelled without difficulty. It is also the shortest, the easiest, and the only path to Jannah.

Can you answer these?

  • Why not say guide me? When you say this, you are making duaa for yourself and for all the believers (we know from the Sunnah that the angels make duaa for you, when you make duaa for others).
  • Why mention the صراط ? In this are two duaas: to guide us to the صراط in the dunya and to guide us on the  صراط  over the Hellfire (thus, safely entering Jannah).
  • What does the Al mean? The path of guidance is only one; the paths of misguidance are many. It could also be لإستغراق; we want all the guidance of the صراط  and not part of it.
  • Why add المستقيم This shows that the صراط path has absolutely no flaws and is absolutely clear.
  • What is the response to this duaa? The Qur’an. When is it recited? It is in Salaah. Allah SWT answers our duaa every single time. The question is, are we paying attention to the answer.

Did you know…

  • This is the most comprehensive and the most beneficial duaa. Imagine if Allah accepted this duaa, and gave us هداية (go back to the definition). Will we ever be in loss?
  • This duaa includes everything for this world and the hereafter. It brings all benefits and repels all harms.
  • السعدي رحمة الله عليه: The Hidayah includes the details of all religious knowledge and actions.
  • تفسير الميسر :There is no path to happiness except by remaining firm on this path.

Do you know how to be guided? Click Here.

4- Who do you worship?

إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين

You alone we worship, and you alone we ask for help for each and everything.

What is the connection?

  • What is the most important thing for قيامة Qiyammah- Day of Judgement? It is the exclusive worship of Allah. You can come with every single deed, but if you do not have one deed — لا اله الا الله — all deeds are multiplied by zero.
  • This ayah is the central message of the Quran: We need to enslave ourselves, willingly, to Allah, and that He alone can help us in all of our affairs.

Do you understand these?

  •  عبد is used for a slave. We willingly declare that we are slaves of Allah. How does a slave think of the master? Are we acting like slaves of Allah outside of prayer?
  • العبادة is اسم جامع . It combines every single thing that is loved by Allah, pleasing to Him, whether it be from actions or speech.
  • عون is the type of help in which one needs to do their part, before the other party responds.
  • ست at the beginning means to seek; just like استغفر اللهI seek the forgiveness of Allah. Does this mean we cannot seek help from other than Allah? The only supernatural being we can seek help from is Allah (to make duaa to a Jinn or a dead saint, is shirk, and goes against this ayah).

Can you answer these?

  • Why is عبادة mentioned first and استعانة second?

  • عبادة is general and استعانة is specific.
  • عبادة is the goal and استعانة  is the means.
  • عبادة is the right of Allah and استعانة  is the right of the slave.
  • Why mention استعانة separately (عبادة includes it)? There is no way we can worship Allah as He deserves, except with His help. Is it possible for you, given your weakness, and sins to worship Allah as He deserves?
  • Why don’t we say ‘I worship’? Once we appreciate the Majesty of Allah SWT and that He is Rabul Alameen, we realize that we can never worship Him, as is His right. By using ‘we‘, it is hoped that we maybe included among all the righteous slaves of Allah. Secondly, because of our weakness and our sins, we alone cannot worship Allah as He deserves.

Did you know…

  • Ibn Tammiyah RA: These two words (عبادة استعانة ) combine the meaning of all the scriptures that were revealed.
  • السعدي  These are the only two things that give us freedom from all evil. [If you are a true slave of Allah, you will never fall into haram; if you are always asking Allah then you will always receive the best].
  • These are the only two means of receiving true happiness, in this world and the next.
  • الاستعانة : السعدي is the help of Allah which brings all benefits, and repels all harm.
  • The expected sequence is نعبدك ايا. It means we worship you. However, someone can worship Allah, Jesus, and others.
  • The order change creates حصر— exclusivity. Meaning: It is you alone and only you alone we worship. It also beautifully combines negation and affirmation (we negate that we worship anyone beside Allah, and we affirm that we only worship Him).
  • In the previous 3 ayats, we were talking about Allah. Now we are talking to Allah (التفات ). This is the power of the Quran: Forces the reader — Muslim or Non-Muslim — to say this statement. There is no escaping it, just like Qiyammah.

From the Sunnah: Prophet SAW asked Muadah ibn Jabal RA: “O Muadh! Do you know what is Allah’s right over His servants and what their right is over Him?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “Allah’s right over His servants is that they worship Him without associating any partner with Him in worship, and their right over Him is that He does not punish anyone who worships Him without associating any partner with Him in worship.” [Bukhari]

Additional Resources:

3- Who is a king?

مالك يوم الدين

The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense.

What is the connection?

  • Ayah 1 proves that Allah is the Rab (refer back for definition). The opposite of this is عبد– a slave. Conclusion: We need to enslave ourselves to the Rab of the entire universe.
  • If you were standing before a king and military general, like Genghis Khan (some contend that he was the most “powerful king” ever to live), how would you feel? You would be terrified and scared to even look the wrong way.
  • Ayah 1 should send fear waves in our hearts, especially when we are in Salah, as we are standing before Rabul Alameen.
  • But in ayah 2, Allah tells us He is a Rab, unlike any other; He alone is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem. No master by his nature is merciful (slaves hate their masters; most people hate their bossess).
  • Most people take His mercy for granted. Reflect over the last time you committed a sin. You probably said, “oh, Allah will forgive me. He is extremely merciful.”
  • This ayah negates that. He is extremely merciful, but He is also Just. Whatever you do, you will be held accountable on Qiyammah (Day of Judgement).
  • One of the greatest manifestations of the mercy of Allah is Qiyammah. This world does not have absolute justice. This will only occur on Qiyammah.
  • The opposite of mercy is the anger of Allah. Ayah 3 does not mention that, and in that is another mercy.
  • Allah will be merciful to the believers on Qiyammah; He will be just to the disbelievers.

Do you understand these words?

  • مَالِكْ The Owner. We will all return to Malik as His property. But even then, He is extremely merciful, in that He will be just and merciful.
  • You probably heard مَلِكْ – king. The King of Qiyammah. The one with absolute kingship on that day, is the true king.
  • Is there a contradiction? Never, ever, in the Quran! A person can be a king and an owner simultaneously.
  • The literally translation is the Day of Religion. Why is it not called the Day of Judgement? It is as if Allah SWT is saying that this is the day which He will reward people on His religion; as for those who are following other religions, Allah has no reward for them.
  • Another meaning is loan. What does the Day of Loans mean? When you give a loan, you expect a return. We were loaned everything by Allah (for example, our bodies, our wealth, our knowledge, etc.), and we will be paid with either Jannah– Eternal Bliss or Jahanam — Eternal Torture.
  • Refers to a portion of time — could be short or long (we learn from Prophet SAW that Allah will judge the believers first and will prolong the judgement for the disbelievers) In this, is yet another mercy.

Reflect:

  • How interconnected these three ayats are! The connections will only increase, which is mind-boggling!
  • An ayah literally means a miracle from Allah (for example what Allah gave to Moosa AS, Issa AS, etc.).
  • What is the relationship of this ayah to ayah 4?

Implement:

  • Ramadan is the best time to give up sins and become consistent in doing good deeds.
  • Ibn Qayyim RA said, “repel the thought, for if you don’t, it becomes an idea. So repel the idea, for if you don’t, it will become a desire. So fight against the desire, for if you don’t, it will become a determination and a passion. And if you don’t repel that, it will become an action. And if you don’t replace it with it’s opposite, it will become a constant habit. So at that point, it will be difficult for you to change it.
  • Remember before breaking your fast, that your body is a loan from Allah, and has rights. Prophet SAW said, “the worst vessel the son of Adam can fill is his stomach.” [Ahmad]