Saturday, August 15, 2009

[Quran Recitation] Tawfeeq As Sayegh - Surat A'raaf {Verses 35 - 34}

Absolutely beautiful recitation by Tawfiq As Sayegh of aya 35 to 54 from Surat Al A'raaf. I found my heart melting with the recitation, must listen.

For those whom are interested, you can find the English translation of the ayat read here. Scroll down to the appropriate aya (35). Unfortunately, a lot of the beauty of the words being said are lost with the limitations of the English language as well as the human mind in translating (no offense to both =P)

This is my explanation of the ayat coined together from different sources, and Allah knows best.

In the ayat, we come across some scenes that will happen during Youm el Qeeyama (Day of Resurrection), mainly conversations between different groups of people. Throughout the Quran, vivid description of Youm el Qeeyama is given to us, as well as of Paradise and of Fire and their people. This is to make our hearts yearn for Paradise, and be fearful of Fire. To be aware that our time on earth is not but a sigh of breath, and that our real goal is working for the hereafter.

Allah starts by addressing mankind, telling them that He did His part by sending them messengers with His signs and the truth. The people whom believed and made better themselves have no fear of what is to come. However, the people who rejected the message, and even scorned it have a portion of Fire waiting for them. Here's a rather beautiful description (at least in my opinion) where Allah describes destiny in the form of the book, and that (the wrong doers in this case) will receive their portion that is written in the book, i.e: their destiny of death (because we are all destined to die on this earth). Angels will descend on them at this point to take their soul and will ask them "Where are the things you used to worship besides Allah?" And they will answer "that they have left us and sworn upon themselves they they are kufar (disbelievers)", after it was all too late.

The disbelievers will be told to join the company of men and jinn whom have died before them and entered Fire. Every time a new nation of people enters Fire, they will curse their predecessors, because it was due to them being astray off the straight path that led to them being influenced in being astray as well. Once the last nation enters, they will cry out to Allah to give the very first nation double the torment they (the last nation) are receiving, since it was due to the first nation that all other nations were lead off the righteous path. Allah will tell them that for each there is double torment but they are not aware of that. The very first nation in Fire will speak to the very last nation and tell them that they (the last nation) are not any better than them (the first nation). They ended up in Fire as well and thus should taste the doom as well.

In the following aya, Allah again points out how vile the crime is of those who disbelieve His signs and scorn them, saying that the gates of heaven will not be opened to them nor will they ever enter paradise until a camel can pass through the eye of a needle! This is impossible , and hence Allah is saying that it is impossible for such disbelievers to enter Heaven and again it shows the absolute vileness of their crime. And thus, that is their reward: a bed of hell and folds of more Fire covering above them.

Then Allah goes on to describe the people on the straight path. He tells us that he does not burden a soul on this Earth except with what we can carry (therefore complaining that one cannot bear to live anymore due to problems is folly, Allah is testing you and you should be patient and work your way through it by having faith in Allah and remembering Him always). For those whom believe in Allah and his signs and do good on this Earth, they will be the people of Paradise, forever more in it.

Allah tells us that all ill feelings in their heart will be removed (from what I understand, vile feelings such as jealousy, greed, anger, etc) and rivers will be following from beneath their feet in Paradise. They will praise Allah, thanking him for what He has bestow upon them and that he had guided them on Earth towards Paradise in the Hereafter, for they know that they could not have been on the right path had Allah not guided them towards it, acknowledging as well the truthfulness of Allah's Prophets. The dwellers of Paradise will be told: this (Paradise) if for you, you have earned it with what you have done on Earth.

The people of Paradise will call upon the people of Fire, saying that "We have found exactly what our Lord has promised, so have you have found what your Lord has promised?" The people of fire will answer simply "Yes". And then a caller will call from between them that curse of Allah is upon the evil-doers (this aya really gave me goosebumps, the whole idea of having Allah's curse upon one's self ... Allah keeps it away from all of us)

Again, the evil-doers are described, this time as being those who bar people from the straight path of Allah and instead make it crooked (I guess the people being described her are those who influence people from their path of righteousness, whether with wrong advises in terms of religion, or because they do not want them to practice it) and they also do not believe in Judgment Day.

In the following aya, Allah describes the People of A'raaf. A'raaf in Arabic means heights. I'll paste the English translation of the ayat then explain it as per what I have learnt from my research today

Between them is a veil. And on the Heights are men who know them all by their marks. And they call unto the dwellers of the Garden: Peace be unto you! They enter it not although they hope (to enter).

And when their eyes are turned toward the dwellers of the Fire, they say: Our Lord! Place us not with the wrong-doing folk.

The Heights are the veil, and it's probably a wall (due to it being decribed as Heights) right in the middle between Paradise and Fire, and on them will be men whom can recognize the dwellers of Paradise and Fire by the mark on their face. With the people of Paradise, a light will be shining from their faces, while with the people of Fire, their faces will be blackened by the black fire in which they dwell in.

These people on the Heights are the People of A'raaf, and they are men whom their good deeds and bad deeds are equal. One of the Scholar saids that they are also Muslims whom went out to Jihad in Allah's sake without the permission of their parents, and were killed during it. Because they disobeyed their parents, they can't enter Paradise, but because they died for the sake of Allah, they can't enter Fire. They sit on the height throughout Judgment Day, watching the people as they enter Paradise and as they enter Fire, asking Allah and praying to him that will be able to enter Paradise, and that he would keep them away from Fire. They give their Salam (peace) to the people of Paradise when their eyes look upon them, yearning to be among them. And when their eyes are turned towards the dwellers of Fire, they pray to Allah to not place them among them.

The People of the height will call upon wrong-doers that they recognize from the mark on their face, and will ask them "What benefits did your arrogant and haughty ways on Earth bring you now?" They are acknowledging the evil doings of those people.

Allah will bestow his mercy on the People of A'raaf, and they will be told to enter Paradise, and that they should hold no more fear in their hearts nor be sad anymore.

Here is another aya that gave me goosbumps as well, Allah describes to us the image of the people of Fire calling upon the people of Paradise to pour on them some water, or anything from what Allah has bestow upon them. The people of Fire will be so desperate to gain just anything from Paradise to relive them of their torment. But the people of Paradise will tell them "Allah has forbidden these upon you" and hence will not give them what they want, for they are the ones who took Allah's religion as an amusing game, and instead immersed themselves in the pleasures of the Earth, being deceived by it in the end. They forgot Allah on Earth and their meeting with him on Judgment Day and rejected His signs, and hence Allah will forget them for the rest of their days in Fire.

These people do not enter fire with no accountability. Allah has sent upon them scriptures, containing knowledge and mercy in order to guide those who believe. Instead, the people of Fire chose to ignore the scriptures and signs, and hence they gained their place. They chose to wait, to see if the relevations brought by the Prophets are true, but when the relevation that they have ignored does become true, and they see their place in Fire, it's too late for them to do anything. They try and ask if anyone could intercede for them and plea on their behalf to save them for Fire, or if they could be sent back to their life on Earth to do good instead of the bad they previously did. Allah is drawing an image for us of the desperation of these people when they realize what's going to happen to them: they ask for the impossible (not in terms of Allah's abilities, but in terms of what they want). They have doomed themselves, and all the haughtiness and false ideas they had in life will dissolve.

In the final aya featured in the video, Allah asserts Himself as the lord of all creation; He who created the Heavens and the Earth in 6 days then established Himself on His Throne. He created the night and the day, and in the aya He describes each as being in a never ending pursuit of the other. He created the Sun, the Moon and the stars, and they are governed by laws He has created and put them under. To Him alone does the creation and command belong. Glorious is Allah, the Lord of all the worlds (this might refer to the seeing world and the unseen world, or that literally there are other worlds out in space. Scientists have rule that their being other "Earths" out there as possible)


In another light that's kinda related but not exactly, I came across a poem called (Al Araaf) written by Edgar Allen Poe while researching! It's based on Surat al A'raaf from the Quran.

It's the longest poem written by the poet. For more about the poem, click here, and for the actual poem, click here.


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