quranic gems

Reflections from the Duʿāʾ of Prophet ʿĪsā

Towards the end of Sūrat al-Māʾidah, Allāh relates to us a a conversation between Prophet ʿĪsā and his disciples. The disciples demand that Prophet ʿĪsā ask Allāh to send down a table spread from the heavens,

[And remember] when the disciples said, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] said,” Fear Allāh, if you should be believers.“

This demand stands in stark contrast to the request that ʿĪsā eventually makes to his Lord,

Said Jesus, the son of Mary, "O Allāh, our Lord, send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven to be for us a festival for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us, and You are the best of providers.

Notice the humbleness in the request. The wording of the duʿāʾ shows the submissiveness and servitude of the one asking to his Master. ʿĪsā calls on to Allāh through Allāh’s Divinity and Lordship; Allāhuma Rabbanā.

And when he asks Allāh, he doesn’t simply put forward the request and be done with it. He tells Allāh why he asks for the table spread though Allāh is Most Knowledgeable.

And you’ll notice this with the supplication of other Prophets mentioned in the Qurʾān (of Mūsā when he asks for Prophethood for his brother Hārūn, of Zakarīyā when he asks for an heir to carry on the Message…), they rarely every limit their supplication to a mere request. They call on to Allāh, they ask, they explain, they beg, they exalt Him. They converse with Him. When was the last time you conversed with Allāh? When was the last time you explained WHY you want what you want?

This is a great lesson in tarbiya for us: talk to Allāh, tell him how your heart feels and what it wants even though He is Most Knowledgeable.

…to be for us a festival for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You.

ʿĪsā made a duʿāʾ that wasn’t exclusively for a worldly benefit, nor was it exclusively for the Ākhira. He asked Allāh for a table spread that would benefit them in this world, and as it was a sign from Allāh it will build their yaqīn and īmān and thus benefit their dīn and Ākhira.

Something for us to integrate in our duʿāʾ: don’t shy away from asking Allāh for something to benefit you in this world but don’t concentrate on asking Allāh for things that would only benefit you here.

What Hope Looks Like

Do you know what hope in Allāh looks like?

Do you know what hope that Allāh will give you the very best of His bounties which your heart pines for, even though realistically and rationally speaking the mere thought, let alone an actual possibility, is too far-fetched, looks like?

This:

Prophet Zakarīyā had reached old age and his wife was barren, yet this did not deter him from asking Allāh to enrich him from Allāh’s bounties in the form of a righteous child. He made a duʿāʾ of a person not asking out of protocol but asking with completely certainty that not only will it be heard but that it will be answered.

But wait there is more. He asked for a righteous child not for personal gains, not just because he knew a righteous child will bring coolness to his eyes and carry his lineage. But he asked for something that would eventually bring victory to Allāh’s religion. He asked for something that would be a means of closeness to Allāh for him.

[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah.

When he called to his Lord a private supplication.

He said, “My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.

And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir

Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You].” – Maryam:2-6

Many of us are attached to ideas, dreams and hopes, without ever considering these ideas, dreams and hopes in relation to our Greater Purpose. How will these ideas, dreams and hopes enable us to serve our religion better, how will they bring us closer to Allāh, closer to Jannah..?

#ShiftYoParadigm: When you plan and dream and ask — make sure you do so not just for your personal betterment but for the betterment of this dīn.

Our pious predecessors had lofty levels of īmān. Īmān was rooted in their heritage; īmān ran through their veins. It was this īmān that directed and guided their thought processes and decision making.

As a result, they would not carry out any task or approach any project except after ensuring what they were about to get involved in would pay back in benefits and khair towards Islām and the Muslims.

This mentality will help you detach from dreams that are fuelled by mere desires of your nafs which might not necessarily be good for you, to dreams with a much grander potential.

And remember: anything or anyone that does not bring you closer to Allāh or His Book is eventually leading you to your destruction.

Wait, there is still more.

Do you know what the epitome of loyalty looks like?

This: Prophet Zakarīyā stayed with his wife – he did not leave her nor replace her, even though she could not provide him with a child that he so wanted. (She eventually did of course, Allāh had decreed it so.)

Perhaps at the core of it all, this is what makes a relationship tick, and last: Sincere love fillāh, loving-supporting-honouring them even when they have nothing more to offer. Yā Allāh.

ربي إني متفائل بعطائك، فأعطني ما تمنيت

My Lord, I am [forever] optimistic in Your Giving, so give me what my heart yearns for.

For Those Overcome...

If life has overcome and exhausted you with its many hardships, worries, sorrows and trials, then acquaint yourself with the following two:

The first:

There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the transgressors.

al-Anbiyāʾ:87

This was the call of a man oppressed by his own mistake, a call from the lowest, darkest point.  A man who, if you were to logically assess the situation, had absolutely no way out; he was stuck in the belly of a whale, in the deepest, terrible most pits of the ocean. But he supplicated Allāh with this call, and Allāh not only saved him but He cared for and sheltered him after he was out of this great trial.

Reciting this supplication has a great amount of excellence and it brings about an immense amount of good. In a Ḥadīth, Rasūl Allāh ﷺ said,

❝The supplication of Dhun-Nūn (Prophet Yūnus) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the whale was: ‘There is no deity except You; Exalted are You, Indeed, I have been of the transgressors.’ Indeed, no Muslim supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allāh responds to him.❞ {Narrated by Imām Aḥmed in al-Musnad, graded authentic by al-Albānī.}

And the second:

Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.

al-Anbiyāʾ:83

We learn something profound; admitting weakness to Allāh and complaining to Him about the adversities and hardships we face is not only acceptable, but it is laudable. This admission does not stem from ingratitude and displeasure with what Allāh has decreed, but rather with an acknowledgement that if there is any One who can lift it off of you, it is Allāh. You are weak and in need, and He is Greater and Most Generous.

Consider the wording of this call, “adversity has touched me”, a non-accusatory statement made by someone who does not begrudge the Most Merciful for the situation he is in. Allāh is pleased with those who are pleased with Him in all and every circumstance.

In the words of Ibn al-Qayyim, ❝This call embodies the reality of tawḥīd and shows utter humility and indigence to ones Lord. It shows love for the One who is Praised, and it establishes the attribute of Mercy to Him, and that He is the Most Merciful of the merciful. Allāh is beseeched through His Glorious Attributes.  And it professes the dire need of the one calling to Allah. And whenever this occurs, adversity is lifted off the caller.❞ {al-Fawāid 1/201}

May Allāh grant ease to those facing hardship; a response to those seeking an answer; a way out to those searching for an exit. 

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Quranic Gems: Juz 24

By: Nouman Ali Khan

Title: Trial of Imaam Ahmed Bin Muhammad Bin Hanbal rahimahullaah (d.241H)

Author: Hafidh Taqi-ud-Deen Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisee rahimahullaah (d.600H)

Benefit: This book is about the trials faced by Imaam Ahmed at the hands of the Abbasid rulers of his time. It documents the whole trial using narrations, how the trial began, what happened and how it ended.

The trial at that time came due to the Mu’tazilah who convinced the ruler to say that the Quran is created and not the speech of Allaah the Most High, and to persecute anyone who denied that, as a result, many of the scholars of that time were forced (by sword) to sign a paper saying the Quran is created. Imaam Ahmed rahimahullaah was one of the rare ones who refused and as a result was imprisoned and beaten regularly due to him sticking to the aqeedah of ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah that the Quran is the Speech of Allaah and not created. The trial lasted 16 years. Due to the imaams being firm and patient in the face of this great trial, he is referred to as the Imaam of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah. May Allaah grant him the companionship of the prophets in His paradise, raise his mention and reward him for his service to Islam and the Muslims. Ameeen.

The checking of the book is done by Allaamah Shaykh Dr. Abdullaah At-Turki hafidhahullaah, the previous head of Imaam Muhammad Islamic University in Riyadh.

Additional benefit: Even though the leaders at the time of Imaam Ahmed were torturing him and forcing people to agree to a statement of disbelief, not a single one of the scholars (including Imaam Ahmed) order the people to demonstrate or revolt against the leaders. Rather Imaam Ahmed, every time he was summoned in front of the leader in shackles and bleeding due to the severe beating, referred to the leader as Ameer Al-Mu'mineen.

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#‎QuranicGems‬ Video 24: Allah is incredibly merciful, incredibly forgiving. He’s the One Who always envelops you in care and love, Who shows you mercy and kindness. So when will you repent?

“Wal adiyati dabha.” (Quran 100:2) Allah speaks about the horses in jihad, those horses which run in the morning, in the battlefield, and when they run they pant. And then Allah swt says when they run, they run with so much vigour in the battlefield that they make sparks fly up. And they attack the enemy in the morning. And directly after mentioning the horses of jihad, Allah says “Indeed, man is unto his Lord ungrateful.” Why does Allah say this? Because Allah is giving a comparison, that a person gives a horse some fodder, he gives it something to eat and that horse is ready to die for it’s master. And Allah the Khaliq, the Malik, the Raziq, who brought us out into existence when we did not exist, and we forget Allah? The only time we have for Allah is half an hour in jumah?
—  Shaykh Zahir Mahmood
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Juz 29 [Quranic Gems] - Nouman Ali Khan - Quran Weekly

High, Higher, Highest

[A revelation from He who created the earth and highest heavens;

Ar-Raḥmān who is above the Throne established] Tāhā:4-5

 

Do you notice something different in this āyah?

Normally the usage of heavens and earth is in a specific order where the mention of heavens precedes that of earth.

However in this āyah the mention of earth precedes the mention of heavens. Why is that?

One reason is because of the imagery that is being created: from the lowest (earth) to the highest (the heavens) and then the Most Highest; Ar-Raḥmān.

Ar-Raḥmān, who is the Most Highest, and He is in the Highest place; above the seven heavens, on His throne, established.

Another reason that could explain the mention of earth preceding the mention the heavens is so that the rhyme scheme of this sūrah is not disrupted. Notice the ending of the āyāt.

The next āyah resumes the usual style which sees the mention of heavens preceding that of earth

[To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.]

 

 

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Juz 18 [Quranic Gems] - Nouman Ali Khan - Quran Weekly