Sunday, February 21, 2010

Surat Al Mulk (part 1)

Oh blog ... I am so sorry I have left dust begin to pile up on you =( I hardly have time to sit at the laptop anymore, not like when I was in NZ. However, I have not stopped listing the topics I want to share with you, and they will all be posted inshaAllah, most probably slowly but hopefully not, one by one.


(Photo taken by me)

Surat Al Mulk, over the past year, has become one of my favorites in the Holy Quran. Al Mulk translates to The Sovereignty or Control, and we see why it was called by this name with the first verse of the sura. The words with which it begins has an awesome aura to it ... it delivers to me the feeling of the incredible mightiness of Allah Subhanho wa Taala, that it almost always makes my heart beat just a little faster.

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Blessed be He in Whose hands is Dominion; and He over all things hath Power

It is narrated in the Suna of the Prophet Mohammad Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him that he would read Surat Al Mulk every night before sleep, for this Sura protects its reciter from the punishment of the grave.

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: "من القرآن سورة ثلاثون آية شفعت لرجل حتى غفر له وهى تبارك الذي بيده الملك" رواه أبو داود والترمذي

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The Quran contains a surah of thirty ayats which will intercede for a man until he is forgiven. It is: ‘Blessed be He in Whose hands is Dominion” [abu Dawud, Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi]

Here is a recitation of the Sura by one of my favorite Quran reciters, followed by a link to an English translation of it for those interested.

Yusuf Ali English Translation

One of the things that stand out to me in the Sura, other than Allah's mighty declaration of his dominion over everything, is a challenge from Allah to us. Look up to the sky, do you see a single mistake, a single crack. But no, don't look only once, look twice! You will not find a single mistake in the sky that is above you, in outer space itself. Instead your vision will come back to you and you are in a state of weariness from trying to find a flaw.

Note that in the Sura, Allah says that we have adorned the lowest heaven with lamps (the stars). This goes to show that the world we live in, including outer space is in the lowest heaven, and there are six other heavens above, each one on top of the other.

A vivid description of Hell Fire is included in the Sura, the terrible drawing in of it's breath as it blazes hotter and hotter. The word used here is Shaheeq in Arabic, and it is a form of really deep breath that is audible as it is being drawn in. There are many points in the Quran that seem to point out the Hell Fire is a living creature: it asks for more to be thrown within it and it breathes. May Allah protect us from it, Ameen.

The Sura speaks of people whom are thrown within Hell Fire, and its Keepers (Angels) will ask these people if no messengers or messages have come to them. The people will say that messengers and messages have come but they basically chose to ignore, calling it folly. They will further go on to admit that had they been hearing properly and thinking properly they would not be people of the Hell fire! They admitted to their mistake, but it's a little too late.


I'll continue speaking about the Sura in a part 2 inshaAllah =)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quran Mystic Experience

It should be remembered, nevertheless, that full appreciation of the spirit of the Quran demands practical involvement with the struggle to fulfill its mission. The Quran is neither a book of abstract theories and cold doctrines which the reader can grasp while seated in a cosy armchair, nor is it merely a religious book like other religious books, the secrets of which can be grasped in seminaries and oratories. On the other contrary, it is the blueprint and guidebook of a message, of a mission, of a movement, As soon as this Book was revealed, it drove a quiet, kind-hearted man from his isolation and seclusion, and placed him upon the battlefield of life to challenge a world that had gone astray. It inspired him to raise his voice against falsehood, and pitted him in a grim struggle against the standard-bearers of unbelief, of disobedience to God, of waywardness and error. One after the other, it sought out everyone who had a pure and noble soul, mustering them together under the standard of the Messenger. It also infuriated all those who by their nature were bent on mischief and drove them to wage war against the bearers of the Truth.

This is the Book which inspired and directed that great movement which began with the preaching of a message by an individual, and continued for no fewer than twenty-three years, until the Kingdom of God was truly established on earth. In this long and heart-rending struggle between Truth and falsehood, this Book unfailingly guided its followers to the eradication of the latter and the consolidation and enthronement of the former. How then could one expect to get to the heart of the Quran truths merely by reciting its verses, without so much as stepping upon the field of battle between faith and unbelief, between Islam and Ignorance? To appreciate the Quran fully one must take it up and launch into the task of calling people to God, making it one's guide at every stage.


This will be an experience different frm any so-called 'mystic experience'. I designate it the 'Quranic mystic experience'. One of the characteristics of this 'experience' is that at each stage one almost automatically finds certain Quranic verses to guide one, since they were revealed at a similar stage and therefore contain the guidance appropriate to it. A person engaged in this struggle may not grasp all the linguistic and grammatical subtleties he may also miss certain finer points in the rhetoric and semantics of the Quran, yet it is impossible for the Quran to fail to reveal its true spirit to him.

Again, in keeping with the same principle, a man can neither understand the laws, the moral teachings, and the economic and political principles which the Quran embodies nor appreciate the full imp0ort of he Quranic laws and regulations, unless he tries to implement them in his own life. Hence the individual who fails to translate the Quranic precepts into personal practice will fail to understand the Book. The same must be said of any nation that allows the institutions of its collective life to run contrary to the teachings of the Quran.

The above is quoted from the Introduction of the English translation of the book "Towards Understanding the Quran" by Abul Ala Maududi. (Really enjoying the book btw)

I have found that, once one begins to bring into their life the principles that is presented in the Holy Book, you truley do look upon everything from a different perspective. For one thing, you will find contement with whatever happens in your life, wether your life is like a ship sailing on calm beautiful waters, or like a ship sailing on stormy rough seas. When you feel angry, you say in your mind the verse from Surat Aal Umran (134)

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِين

who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good

And you restrain your anger, for the sake of becoming one of those whom Allah loves. This will lead to an explosive situation being avoided.

When you have a person whom you are on bad terms with, you recall the following verse from Surat Fusilat (34)

ولا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!

And you change your attitude towards the person, try to take the advice that Allah has given and be good to them. Suddenly, and somewhat surprisingly, you find that the person whom you have held hatred for before in your heart becomes a good friend.

The examples that I have shared now are extremely simple ones. I suppose with just these two verses being applied in a person's life, so many bad everyday situations can be avoided, and relationships between people will improve as well!

So now when you read the Quran, keep a look out for the advice and orders that Allah gives us in His Book. Make note of the qualities of a believer that Allah speaks of and try to implement them in your life, and avoid that qualities of a disbeliever. Understand why the stories that have been mentioned in the Quran are so important, and what their morals are. Sit up straight whenever you come across Allah calling to us in His Book with "Oh you who believe ..." and listen/read intently to what is being said.

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