Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tafsir Surah Al-Mulk (2)

Theme: Creation of Death, Life, The Heavens and Stars

[And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks?

Then return [your] vision twice again. [Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is fatigued.


1) Allah is telling the amazingness of His creation (in this ayat, the heavens (sky)). He asked us to find any break or inconsistency in the sky. (in the coming surah we will learn that the perfect sky will break and open in the day of judgement). If one tries to find any imperfection of the sky, he will certainly be despaired.

2) Allah has created nature to serve us in dunya, while Allah created us to serve Him.

And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze.


1) 'We' here does not signifies plurality, but to signify the royalness of Allah. Just like when the king or queen says 'We'.

2) Allah has created stars for 3 purposes:
- Decorations of the nearest heavens [67:5]
- For navigations. "And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided." [16:16]
- Burning the devils [67:5]

The devils used to go to the nearest heaven to eavesdrop the conversation between Allah and the angels about the future and fate of human. The devils will steal this information and whisper it to magicians and fortunetellers. Allah will send burning stars to burn them.

3) the word "dunya" (world) has two meanings: - near - worthless. This world is called dunya because that is what it is - nearest to us before we are headed to the hereafter, and worthless because life 'here' is nothing compared to life 'there'. Verily this worldly life is just adornment and amusements which will end [57:20]

Theme: The description of Hell and Its Dwellers

And for those who disbelieved in their Lord is the punishment of Hell, and wretched is the destination.


1) Kafir comes from the root "ka fa ra" which literally means to cover. A kafir knows the truth but covers/conceals it.

2) The differences between "rabb" and "ilaah":

- Rabb: to educate, the master, lord. to create something out of nothing and provides His creation. In other context, rabbulusrah = father. because a man start a family 'out of nothing' and provide his family.

- Ilaah: worthy of worship. Allah is al-ilaah, means the ONE who is worthy of worship

In this world, Allah provides his creations ample sources for living, regardless if they are Muslims or not. Allah is warning the disbelievers of His punishment in the hereafter.

When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a [dreadful] inhaling while it boils up

It almost bursts with rage. Every time a company is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, "Did there not come to you a warner?"


1) Allah is describing the behavior of the hellfire towards the disbelievers in these 2 ayats. "syaheeq" means to inhale, the opposite of "zafeer" (to exhale).

The hellfire is described to have feelings, like human. When the hellfire sees the disbelievers from far, it exhales (zafeer) with fury and disgust. "When the Hellfire sees them from a distant place, they will hear its fury and roaring" [25:12]. And when the disbelievers are thrown ("ulqu" means to be pushed) into the hellfire, the hellfire will inhale (syaheeq) the disbelievers, as in sucking them inside while the hellfire boils up (tafuur). And everytime a person is thrown in, the keepers will ask them "Did not there not come to you a warner?"

They will say," Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ' Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.' "

And they will say, "If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze."

And they will admit their sin, so [it is] alienation for the companions of the Blaze.


1) And they (the disbelievers) will admit that they did received a warner but denied it. They will repent but it is all too late, Allah will not accept their repentance.

They will even ask Allah to bring them to life again and promised to be a better person. "Our Lord, remove us from it, and if we were to return [to evil], we would indeed be wrongdoers." [23:106]. But on that day, everything will be too late, and Allah knows best that they will not do the things they promised. "He will say, "Remain despised therein and do not speak to Me." [23:108]

Question: How about the people who lives in a very remote place where they never heard about Islam. Are they counted as disbelievers?

Answer by Syeikh Reda Bedeir: We are accountable of things that are we have control with only (things that we can choose). If no warner has come to these people, then they are not accountable for it. Wallahualam.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Notes from Al-Maghrib: The Eternal Journey, Tafsir of Juz Tabarak (Surah Al-Mulk)

Theme: Glorification of Allah

Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion, and He is over all things competent


1) Does Allah have hands (yad)? - When Allah says He has a hand, then He has a hand..who are we to say otherwise? But is His hand is like ours? Absolutely not. "There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing." [42:11]. We are not to image or portray Allah because He is beyond our knowledge and imagination. Only the true believers are able to see Allah in jannah, and that is the ultimate reward of those who believe..

2) The first word: Ta ba ra ka. yu baarik means to exalt, to bless, to increase/make something grow/to fix something/make something consistent. Like when we say 'baraakallahufik' which means may Allah increase the good in you. In this ayat, it is stressing that only Allah who can bless anything.

3) People tend to put words of Quran in places like cars and houses saying that the words of Quran can give 'baraka' to the people in it. Truth is, only when the Quran is being read, understood and act upon that the 'baraka' may set in, it's not the ink itself.

4) The best way to describe an ayat from Quran is from 1- Quran from another ayat, 2- Hadis, 3- Sahabah, 4- Poetry. Surah Az-Zuhruf:85 additionally describes what this ayat is about. "And blessed is He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them and with whom is knowledge of the Hour and to whom you will be returned." [43:85].

Theme: Creation of Death, Life, The Heavens, And The Stars

[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving -


1) Notice in the ayat Allah mentioned death first, then life. Why? It is because before we are alive, we WERE dead, as in non-existent at first.

2) Al-Maut (death) is also a creation of Allah, hence it will die one day.

3) Al-Hayaat (life): Life is the life of the heart, not the body. We should calculate life when we are staring to know Allah, realizing the purpose of this life, and being a true Muslim. Try to think of it. How old or how young are we now?

4) Ya ayyuhallazi naamanu (O People who believes). Allah says this more times than Allah says Ya ayyuhannaas (O People) in the Quran. When Allah says Ya ayyuhallazi naamanu, after this Allah will give command; either He will say 'do this' or 'don't do that'. So after this, we need to pay attention whenever we read Ya ayyuhallazi naamanu and the following ayat, because we are the believers who Allah is calling upon, insyaAllah..

5) Sometimes Allah puts a barrier between a person and the heart. The heart is the king of the body. Heart here is not the one pumping the blood, but it IS somewhere in the chest. That's why when we are feeling something, we feel it from the chest. "So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts."[22:46]

6) As it is stated explicitly in the ayat. LIFE IS A TEST. Different people carry different forms of test given by Allah. Some people are given wealth, children and ranks, and some people had wealth, family members or loved ones taken from them. When Allah gives something, that doesn't mean that He pleases, when He denies, that doesn't mean that he displeases. Indeed, everything in life is a test.

"And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter - that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew." [29:64]
"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient," [2:155].

6) Allah says in the ayat that "..which of you is best in deeds". Allah doesn't say, "..which of you is the most in deeds". Quality of the deed is more important than the quantity. There are 2 characteristics of a deed with quality:

1- intention, do only to please Allah. "Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone."" [18:110]

2- the deed is with accordance of Rasulullah's way of doing it (Sunnah). "There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often." [33:21]

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