Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Brief Tafsir of Surah Yasin by Sheikh Abdur Raheem Limbada (DB)

Surah Yaseen in a Nutshell (Source: Tafseer Raheemi)

“Everything has a heart and the heart of Quran is Surah Yaseen” (Hadith)
The reason behind this is that the Quran focuses a lot on aqeedah (belief).
The core of Aqeedah is three things:
Tawheed (Oneness of Allah)
Risaalah (Prophethood)
Aakhirah (Hereafter)
Surah Yaseen explains these three topics very beautifully, making it the heart of the Quran.
It starts with “Yaseen! Walquranil hakeem. Innaka la Minal Mursaleen. Ala siratim mustaqeem. Tanzeelal Azeezir Raheem”
Maulana Idrees Kandhalwi (rahmatullahi alayhi) writes that Allah has not taken an oath to declare the messengership of any messenger, except for Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
Allah said: “Yaseen! By the powerful Quran! (full of wisdom) You are definitely a messenger from our Messengers. You are upon the straight path. (And this Quran is not your word); It is a revelation from the Mighty, the Merciful. (It has been revealed upon you) So that you may warn a people whose forefathers were not warned and for that reason they are in negligence.
Many of them are so stubborn that they are not going to budge. So we have also put a seal on their hearts & minds, and We have made them stiff necked so they will continue to deny.
You can only warn someone who pays attention, accepts advice, and fears Rabb (Their Lord). Such should be given good news of maghfirat (forgiveness) and noble reward. We will breathe life into such lifeless people. We have noted down their whole life and recorded it in to a detailed book.”
In the next Ruku (part), Allah mentions the incident of some Rasuls (Messengers) who were sent to a town. The people rejected them and Allah’s wrath fell upon the disbelieving community, and the whole town was annihilated.
They had attempted to kill the three messengers that were sent to them, and they did murder Habib an Najjar who voiced his support for the messengers.
This is an indirect warning to the mushrikeen (polytheists) of Makkah that they should be careful in rejecting Allah’s Rasul, and in trying to kill him otherwise, they will also suffer the same fate.
In the the 3rd Ruku, Allah mentions His power and thereby elaborates the mas’ala (subject) of Tawheed; Allah being the One and Only power and that He is in total control of the whole universe.
“The dry earth brought to life, producing crops and grains, is a sign.
The fields, gardens, palm trees, vineyards, and flowing rivers are a sign.
The creation of pairs in everything, even in plants, is a sign.
The night and day, the extraction of light and the falling of darkness, is a sign.
The rotation of the sun in its designated orbit, is a sign.
The moon and it’s positioning in fixed stations, & it’s resemblance with a twig at the end of the month, is a sign.
No mishaps, No accidents in the cosmos, is a sign.
The ships laden with people and goods for import export, are a sign: He gave the ability to make the ships and He lets them sail smoothly; He could drown them, if he wanted to do so.”
After mentioning some ungratefulness and turning away of the polytheists, Allah mentions their objection upon life after death, which is the third subject of this surah.
“And they say: ” When will this promise materialise, if you lot are telling the truth? They are awaiting nothing but a single scream which will seize them while they will be arguing. Then they will not get the chance to make a will nor will they be able to return to their families”.
This sudden death came upon many of them, like Abu Jahl and Utbah and Shaybah and the likes. They met their fate in the battle of Badr. Surah Yaseen was revealed in Makkah Mukarramah, and the battle of Badr was in Ramadhan 2 years after the migration to Madinah Munawwarah. So there wasn’t a long gap between the warning and between it’s materialisation.
“As for the blowing of the trumpet and the rising of the dead, then that will also happen very swiftly, like the blink of an eye. These criminals will be terrified of the horror at the time of resurrection. They will rise from their graves saying “Woe unto us! Who caused us to stand up from our resting place?” (Ie the graves) the angels will reply: “This is the promise which the Compassionate One had made, and the Rasuls spoke the truth” ”
Every single soul shall be present before Allah. No one will suffer the slightest bit of injustice. Everyone will be repaid only for what they had earned.
People will finally fall in to one of two categories; As’haabul Jannah (People of Paradise) and al-Mujrimioon (Criminals).
The first will be merrymaking in their paradises. They, along with their wives, will be reclining on couches beneath the shades of the beautiful trees in the gardens. They will be offered fruits, and all their demands will be met. On top of that, Rabbe Raheem (Lord Most-Merciful) will say salams to them.
As for the criminals, they will have a hard time. They will be separated from the mass. And Allah will address them very angrily “O children of Adam! Did I not instruct you to avoid devil worship? He was your open enemy. I told you to worship me! This was the straight path. Satan did mislead many among you. Did you not have any brains? This is the jahannam, of which you were warned. Enter and burn in there, due to your denials and disbelief.”
Some will deny their denial saying: “We never committed shirk” Allah will put a seal on their mouths, then their hands and feet will speak up and testify to their crimes.
Then Allah gives a warning “I don’t need to wait for that day to put a seal on them, I can turn them blind and disable them even now, instantly. It is my mercy which prevents me from doing so in this dunya (world).
Well, Do they not ponder over the old age? How we turn around a perfectly healthy person into someone unrecognisable. (See an old man and see his photo when he was young. You will see two completely different figures.)
Thereafter Allah talks about the Quran and sahibe (the recepiant of the) quran. “And don’t think that this Quran is poetry! We never taught poetry to this Rasul of ours. Poetry would not be appropriate for him. This Quran is but a reminder. A Warner for someone whose heart is alive and kicking. It will establish proof against the deniers.”
Then Allah reminds us of His favour upon us by creating the cattle for us. He made us own them, subdue them, ride upon them, drink their milk, eat their meat and use their skin, wool, etc for our living.
Then Allah files a complaint against those who are ungrateful, in a beautiful manner. “They take others as gods, in the hope of gaining their support. It’s impossible. In fact, on the day of judgement, those idols will also be brought in front of their worshipers . Life will be breathed into them and Allah will ask them “Did you mislead these people?” They will reply “Subhanak! (Glory be to Allah) It was not possible for us to take anyone beside You as our patron, You gave them so many things to enjoy that they forgot You and forgot Your reminders. And they were doomed people” (al Furqan)
Then Allah consoles his Rasul “(My beloved) Don’t let their comments grieve you! We know their ins and outs! Therefore continue with your good work.
Then Allah asks a question “Does man not realise that we created him from a drop of semen. Now that he has turned into an eloquent speaker, he turns in to an adversary and he produces a similitude before us. He forgets how he was created. He says Who will bring these crumbled bones back to life?”
This refers to a mushrik (Polytheist) who brought the bone of a goat which had died long ago and he rubbed the bone on his hand and the particles began to fall on the floor. Then he said the above in mocking tone.
Rasulullah kept quiet. Allah sent Jibreel alayhissalam with these heart piercing verses.
“Tell him (the mushrik), “That being who created the bones first time, will create them for a second time. He has full knowledge of how to create everything” Two things are needed to create; knowledge and power, Allah has both.
He created fire in the branches of some trees (markh & afaar) water and fire are two completely opposite entities; Allah has combined them both in these trees so travellers can light fire with them and use them for cooking and warming.
Can that being Who created the seven heavens and the earth, not create a 6 foot human being? Why not? He is Al Khallaq Al Aleem. When intends to do something, he only has to say “Be” and it becomes. Subhan (Glorified) is that being in whose hands is the malakoot (kingdom) of everything and to Him is your return”
In this beautiful way, the Surah comes to a close. The three subjects are covered. Aqeedah is strengthened. Maybe this is why we have been instructed to recite Yaseen upon a dying person. If he understands Arabic, his heart will turn towards Aakhirah, which will ease the pangs of death. If he doesn’t understand Arabic, he will get the Barakah (blessings) of Surah Yaseen.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I want to change for the better but...

taken from www.ashrafiya.com

All of the spiritual seekers aspire to do good and abstain from sinful actions.
However, most of us harbor a misconception regarding the means to achieve this goal.
We wish for a overpowering and overwhelming state that facilitates this for us by itself. Automatically. A kind of fairy tale magic spell.
Moreover, we assume that making supplications or reciting a particular litany (wadhifa) or associating with a pious individual or a group or reading classical spiritual text or visiting a holy site (like the revered Makkah and radiant Medinah) or worshiping in the blessed times (like the night of power) will create this ‘state’ for us.
This will never happen!
Hakim al Ummah Mujaddid Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) has repeatedly made this very clear in his works.
Self determination, self restraint and earnest hard work is needed to do good and abstain from sinful actions.
There is no other way around.
It is not easy.
Initially it is tough. This is the spiritual struggle (mujahida ). It brings the reward and its blessings in the here-after.
This is the norm in all the things we aspire to achieve. No school or work  project is successfully completed just by supplicating, reading or associating with the experts. One has to toil and labor sincerely and put up his best effort in an organized manner to do it.
Therefore, praying the salah on time with the congregation, especially Fajr or having khushoo in salah or controlling anger or quit listening to music or watching the obscene on internet  or ending free intermingling with opposite sex , etc. will never ever be achieved until we make a firm resolve to do so and use the self determination and restraint  powers, bestowed to us by Allah, earnestly.
May Allah make this clear to us. Amin!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Healthy Lifestyle

Taken from www.inter-islam.org

The Greatest Gift - The Human Body
Diet plays a very important role in the daily life of a believer. There are many verses in the Noble Qur’ân which draw man's attention towards his self and which invite him to carefully study his body and soul and the nature of their mutual relationship. By doing so, one will firstly find in it strong evidence of the existence of Allah and that Allah has not created mankind and all other beings of this world without any purpose as mentioned in the Noble Qur’ân:

“Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose.”

The Importance of Healthiness
It is therefore necessary to ensure that the physical body is kept healthy so that the soul and spirit may also remain healthy thus in turn aiding the believer in the service of both his spiritual and material attainment. Diet therefore, plays an important role for this purpose. For this reason Islam has prohibited certain foods due to their ill effects and permitted all other pure, good and clean food products. Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’ân:

“O’ Believers! Eat of the good and pure (lawful) that We have provided you with and be grateful to Allah, if you truly worship Him.”
Muslims in general are advised to eat good and pure things and not to indulge in impure, bad and harmful things thus following their open enemy Shaitaan:
“O People! Eat of what is lawful and good on the Earth and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitaan, for he is your open enemy.”
In the verses previously mentioned the general principle with regard to permissible foods has been stated. The Noble Qur’ân further goes on to specify the types of food prohibited in the following verse:
“He (Allah) has only forbidden you (from eating) dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that (animal) over which the name of other than Allah has been invoked.”
(2:173, 16:115)

The four items that have been mentioned in the above verse are absolutely forbidden in Islam for reasons best known to Allah. However, through research, some of them such as carrion, blood and swine flesh have proved to be injurious to human health. Whilst swine flesh is harmful to moral health and food over which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked is harmful to spiritual health.
Other prohibited items have also been mentioned in different chapters of the Holy Qur’ân. In Surah al-Ma’idah the following have also been mentioned along with the four previously mentioned. There are those animals which have been killed by strangling, or a violent blow, a headlong fall, being gored to death and those which have been partially eaten by a wild animal and not slaughtered before death, also those which have been sacrificed on the name of idols. 

A Balanced Diet - Prescribed in the Qur’ân
The Qur’ân has not restricted itself in merely mentioning the permissible and impermissible foods but goes to the extent of giving useful tips regarding a balanced diet, a diet which contains most if not all the useful ingredients required for the growth, strengthening and repairing of the human body. These ingredients include animal protein, fat, calcium, iron, salts, etc. The most balanced diets consist of meat, fish, fresh milk, cheese and fruit. Both direct and indirect references have been made regarding the afore mentioned.

The reference regarding the importance of meat protein in the human diet is given in the following verse:

“And the cattle, He has created them for you, in them there is warmth (clothing) and numerous benefits, and of them you eat.”
In this verse special reference has been given to the importance of eating despite having said, “…numerous benefits…”. Reference regarding other types of meat has also been given such as the meat of fowls in the following verse:
“And the flesh of fowls that they desire.”
Fish has always been considered as a food of very high protein and is very important for human consumption. Allah says:
“And from them both (fresh and salt water) you eat fresh tender meat (fish).”
The usefulness of fresh milk is stressed in these words:
“And verily in the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from between excretion and blood, pure milk, palatable to the drinkers.”
The benefits of fruits as good nourishment can be understood from this verse:
“And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you desire strong drink and a goodly provision.”
Similarly there are verses which cover the whole range of fruits, salads, and vegetables which also play an important role in a nutritious, balanced diet:
“It is He who sends down rain from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date palm and its spate come clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when then begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof.”
Islam, being a complete religion, also teaches and advises the believer as to what the best method of eating is. The believers are advised to be moderate in every aspect of life. Direct reference has been made in the Noble Qur’ân regarding moderation in eating and drinking.
“And eat and drink, but waste not in extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste in extravagance.”

Moderation - The Teachings of the ProphetSallallahu Alayhi Wassalm
The Best of Teachers and the Mercy of the Worlds Sallallahu Alayhi Wassalm is reported to have clarified the meaning and limit of moderation in a tradition in which he is reported to have said that one’s worst weakness is one’s belly. If you must eat make sure you fill one third of your stomach with food, one third with water and leave one third for air i.e. leave it empty.
In another narration, the reason for moderation has been clearly stated. The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassalm is reported to have said:
“The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased.”
In short, believers are advised to always take care of their stomachs and refrain from foods and practices that might pollute the stomach with various diseases. In order to do so the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassalm is reported to have advised believers to always stop eating before their stomachs are completely full i.e. stop eating when the urge to eat more is still present.

Conclusion - The Etiquette's of Eating and Drinking
Islam teaches us many other etiquette's of eating and drinking. The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassalm made a point of developing remarkably clean and healthy eating habits among his followers. He asked the companions to wash their hands before and after, to start eating with the praise of Allah, to eat using the right hand, not to eat until they really felt hungry, not to eat and drink excessively. Finally, by praising and thanking Allah for the food and drink, for making it easy to swallow and for producing an exit for it.
From all that has been mentioned, the importance of healthy eating, a balanced diet and hygiene can be understood in the light of the Qur’ân and Sunnah. Islam has stressed on the importance of these things right from the start unlike health authorities etc., which have just recently begun to stress its importance. This could be counted as just another gem that manifests the perfection of Islam.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My Ramblings: Thoughts while on the bus

I have been really itching to write something for quite a while now. Over the last few months I’ve been a mixture of busy and lazy; the lack of my own writings bare testament to this. I hope to insha Allah soon get back into the habit of writing and translating things on a regular basis. However, some have also requested me to use this blog as a blog and share some of my thoughts and tales from my adventures and escapades; I’ll write whatever I can and I pray to Allah Ta’ala that it is of benefit to some people. The following picture can some up my thoughts, putting them into words is harder!

I am a person that thinks a lot. I think the most when I am on travels; I often peer out of the window and observe my surroundings with great interest. In fact, the Qur’an exhorts us to ponder on our travels as when we see different creations of Allah Ta’ala, our hearts are strengthened in believing in him.

Sometimes, it is quite amazing just to put Allah Ta’ala in the context of the world; how useless we are to Allah Ta’ala but how dependant we are on him. I peer in amazement when I see people running from bus to bus and platform to platform in order to carry out their day to day affairs. When we push the ‘stop’ button on the bus and the ‘ting!’ sound rings, every single person getting off the bus has a different thought or worry on their mind. Some are wondering whether they will be late, some are happy they are on time, some are figuring out what to do if they are early; the bottom line here is that every single being on the face of this earth has a different worry on their mind.

Now, let’s put all of this into the context of Allah Ta’ala as our Lord. We read in Ayyatul Kursi, “Allah, there is no God but He; the Living, the All Sustaining.” The word Qayyum (translated here as All Sustaining) has been defined by the commentators of the Qur’an as that being who not only sustains himself but sustains others as well. When we consider ourselves and our day to day lives, we are only responsible for sustaining those around us. A good child will try to help his parents and vice versa however, the scope of maintaining and looking after one another is very limited. We only look after the worries of 3-4 people on a day to day basis. Some of us have really big families so that number may increase a little but the bottom line is, the scope is limited to a few individuals for whom we are responsible...

Baring this in mind, I only understood this feature of Allah, ‘Al Qayyum’, when I was travelling. There are thousands of people all with a different worry or issue but it is Allah Ta’ala who is sustaining them with sustenance of various kinds. 

How amazing is our Allah Ta’ala? We barely are able to look after those around us yet Allah Ta’ala has been taking care of the entirety of humanity from the beginning!

These are a few ramblings of mine, a few points to ponder over... I caution you all in advance from future posts! Sometimes I see things that bug me and as a result I tend to go AWOL which results in an almighty, epic rant!

Allah Ta’ala reward you all. Ameen.