Dear God, Throw me a Lifeline: 1st Night of Taraweeh 2017

“Dear God, Throw me a Lifeline!” Summary of 1st Night of Taraweeh 2017

Friday

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Tonight’s Taraweeh consists of Juz (Section) 1  and the first quarter of Juz 2. The Sûrahs covered are Al-Fâtiha (The Opening), and the first two thirds of Al-Baqarah(The Cow).

Sûrat al-Fâtiha

The Qur’ân begins with the beautiful Sûrat al-Fâtiha, containing seven verses and rightly called the “Essence of the Book”. It shows the helplessness of man without the aid of Allah the Almighty. It shows his continuous desire for Allah’s assistance in all matters affecting his daily life.

That is why, by means of this Sûrah, Allah teaches us this perfect prayer and describes His qualities.

Sûrat al-Baqarah

While the essence of al-Fatiha is man crying out to Allah: “O Allah! Help Me.” In al-Baqarah,  Allah says:

“Here is the help and guidance that you need.”

Sûrat al-Baqarah sums up the entire teachings of the Qur’ân. The wisdom for having this Sûrah second in the arrangement of Sûrahs is very logical.

Surah Al Baqarah begins with the example of three types of people: the believers, the disbelievers and the hypocrites.

The creation of man is discussed, the high destiny that Allah wanted him to reach, the temptation of the tree, and the hope held out to him in spite of previous sins.

The story of Banî Isrâ’îl (the Children of Israel) is told as a reminder to us: do not misuse your God given gifts. We also learn how, even with Allah’s prophets and books in their midst, people can still reject the Truth. There were those who rejected the message of Moses and Jesus because of their egos, pride and jealousy. There were those who claimed piety by association. But can one claim the noble Prophet Abraham or any other Prophet exclusively for oneself when one’s actions betray otherwise?

The ancient house of worship, the Ka’ba is introduced as the center of universal worship. It represents Islamic Unity by virtue of the ummah facing it in prayer.

The name of this Sûrah is gained from the parable of the Cow in verses 67 -71, which deals with hypocrisy. Once people lose faith, they procrastinate with various excuses, or they do things half- heartedly. It is then that Allah  says, “There is a disease in their hearts which Allah increases” until they become spiritually “deaf dumb and blind”. Such people are spiritually dead even though they are physically alive.

The stories in this surah give us a glimpse into the kinds of temptations we face on a daily basis in our own lives:

The allure of false promises (Adam & The Tree). Keyword: Ash shajarata (tree).

The urge to make excuses (The Cow). Keywords: al baqarah (the cow), bani israeel (Israelites)

The desire to assert one’s ego (Arrogance of Satan & disbelievers). Keywords: Astakbara (he became arrogant), Iblees (satan).

May we reflect on this message during tonight’s Taraweeh.

Abbreviations

*A.S -Alayhis Salam- (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace

*S.W.T Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted

The Journey Continues…27th Taraweeh 2016

Friday

 

And The Journey Continues…

Tonight’s taraweeh consists of the remaining Sûrahs of the final juz. May Allah give us the ability to continue in our worship of Him, not till the end of the recitation of the Quran, but till the end of our lives.

Sûrah Ad-Duhâ

Allah swears by the glorious morning light that He will always be by the Prophet’s side. Muhammad (s.a.w) is asked to show concern for the less fortunate and proclaim Allah’s bounties.

Sûrah Al-Inshirâh

In this Sûrah, Allah gives Prophet Muhammad hope and comfort in a time of great difficulty. Muhammad’s heart has been expanded by Allah (swt) and his position has been raised in this world and the next. The righteous man should remember that ‘after every difficulty there is relief.’

Sûrah At-Tîn

Man, who has been created ‘in the best of moulds’ can avoid falling to the level of “the lowest of the low” only by believing and doing good. This is the Judgement of Allah, ‘the wisest of Judges.’

Sûrah al-‘Alaq

The first five verses of this Sûrah make up the first Revelation by Allah to Prophet Muhammad. Man must proclaim (or read) Allah’s Message because it is He Who created man with a very lowly beginning and raised man’s position by teaching him knowledge. And be not of those who prevent a man’s right to pray but rather fall down in prostration.

Sûrah Al-Qadr

Indeed the revelation descended in the Night of Power (Lailat al-Qadr). It is better than a thousand months. Angels together with Archangel Jibrîl (Gabriel) descend with Divine Decrees of all types. ‘Peace! Until the rise of the dawn.’

Sûrah Al-Bayyinah

Once the clear truth has come to a person then what is their excuse for rejecting it? The simple teachings of Islam are to love Allah with a pure heart, to pray to Him sincerely, and to serve our fellowmen in charity and love. Following these teachings will earn one the pleasure of his Lord.

Sûrah Zilzâl

On the Day of Judgement the earth will tell its tale of people’s doings. Men will see the results of their deeds. Even the requital for an atom’s weight of good or evil will be seen.

 Sûrah Al-‘Adiyât

Allah swears that man is indeed ungrateful. He is tenacious in his love of wealth. Allah sees and knows all; therefore all that man harbours will be revealed on Judgement Day.

Sûrah Al-Qâri’ah

On the Day of Judgement the earth will be destroyed by a deafening noise. Then a Balance of Justice will be set up and all man’s deeds will be weighed thereon. Those whose scale is heavy (with goodness) will see it and those whose is light will see it.

Sûrah Takâthur

People’s great striving for piling up only worldly goods will end when they will die; but then they will learn the Truth too late to avoid Allah’s Punishment.

Sûrah Al-‘Asr

Through the ages it has been proven that “man is in loss, except those who believe, do good, join together in the teaching of Truth, and remain patient”.

Sûrah Al-Humazah

The scandal-mongers, backbiters and selfish hoarders of wealth are condemned. The Fire of Allah’s Wrath will burn right up to their hearts, thus shutting them out of the love and pity of their fellowmen.

Sûrah Al-Fîl

Do not be power-hungry or love the world’s resources too much. Allah can cause apparently harmless forces to defeat you. This was the case of Abrahâ who came with his powerful army of men and elephants to destroy the Ka’bah. An army of birds were sent, defeated the army with tiny stones and the Ka’bah remained protected.

Sûrah al-Quraish

Allah has given special protection to the Quraysh all year round. They, who are the custodians of the sacred Ka’bah should therefore be grateful to its Lord.

Sûrah Al-Mâ’ûn

People who do not serve Allah’s creation by feeding the poor, but rather push away the orphans harshly, and are “neglectful of their prayers” are hypocrites. Their actions are done only when they can impress people. They would not even want to the smallest of favours for their fellow man.

Sûrah Al-Kauthar

The Prophet has been blessed with abundance from Allah in both worlds. Therefore, “pray to Allah and sacrifice!” Those who make accusations against the Prophet will be cut off from any such abundance.

Sûrah Al-Kâfirûn

Men of Faith will hold onto their Faith. The rejecters will hold onto their wrong beliefs. Tell them to follow their way, and leave us alone. We will follow our Way too.

Sûrah An-Nasr

After Allah gives you Help and victory, praise Him and pray for your forgiveness. Allah is the one to whom we must turn in forgiveness.

Sûrah Lahab

Those who try to inflict physical pain on the Believers will suffer in their own way. They will suffer the pain of Allah’s Punishment. Thus was the case of  Prophet Muhammad’s notorious uncle, Abû Lahab, and his wife.

Sûrah Al-Ikhlâs

Allah is the One and Only. He is Everlasting and free from all needs. He has no father, mother, or children because He is Unique. There is none like Him.

Sûrah Al-Falaq

This Sûrah gives us the remedy for all superstitions and fears by teaching us to seek refuge in Allah from every kind of evil arising from outer nature and from dark and evil plotting and envy on the part of others.

Sûrah An-Nâs

This Sûrah tells us to trust in Allah, rather than man,as our sure Protector. It warns us especially against the secret whispers of evil within our own hearts.

 And may the journey continue…

Abbreviations

s.w.t  – Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted

a.s – Alayhis Salam– (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace

s.a.w – SalAllahu alayhi Wa sallam – (Muhammad) on whom be peace

Interrupting your schedule: 26th Taraweeh 2016

Thursday

 

 ‘We Are Interrupting Your Schedule To Bring You An Important Announcement’

Tonight’s taraweeh brings us almost to the end of the Book (Juz 30-Surahs 78-92), not to mention the World. Read on for important news and announcements…

78. Sûrah An-Naba’ (The Great News)

They argue about the news of the resurrection. ‘Verily, verily they shall soon know!’

Follow Allah’s created signs, aspire for Paradise and fear the Hellfire. ‘Verily we have warned you of a Penalty near- The Day when man will see what his hands have sent forth, and the Unbeliever will say, ‘Woe unto me! Would that I were dust!’

79. Sûrah An-Nâzi’ât (The Angels who Draw out the Souls)

Allah Almighty swears by His obedient angels that on the Final Day, ‘everything that can be in commotion will be in violent commotion.’

Look at the story of the proud Pharaoh who claimed: “I am you Lord Most High”. He rejected Allah’s Message and he was brought low by Allah’s Punishment. So will all the proud rejecters be humbled on the Day of Judgement.

80. Sûrah ‘Abasa (He Frowned)

Pay attention to the seeker of truth and do not give him the cold shoulder just because of his social status.

Fear the Day when a man shall flee from his own parents, sibling, wife and children, each one preoccupied with one’s own future fate.

81. Sûrah At-Takwîr (The Folding Up)

We are given an almost breathless account of the tumultuous events of the end of the world as we know it.

The baby girl who was buried alive is given prominence amongst all these events and questioned, ‘for what crime was she killed.’

‘Verily this is no less than a message to all the Worlds, (with profit) to whomever among you wishes to be on the straight path.’

82. Sûrah Al-Infitâr (The Cleaving Asunder)

Allah swears by the reality of the Last Day that each soul will know what it has sent forth. So do not hold back from obeying Allah, you have  angels to protect you and note down your deeds. And you will be powerless to help anyone on the Final Day.

83. Sûrah Al-Mutaffifeen (The Dealers in Fraud)

Keep your business practices and accounts clean: surely you will be held to account by Allah.

See the end of those whose deeds are in the ledgers of the wicked versus those of the righteous.

84.Sûrah Al-Inshiqâq  (The Rending Asunder)

We are again reminded about the reality of one’s destiny.  Man goes about toiling on towards the end. And as you see the stages of the day till the sunset melts into the night and the moon enters and leaves its phases, ‘ye shall surely travel from stage to stage.’

85. Sûrah Al-Burûj (The Constellations)

Those who ill-treat the Believers and then they witnessed the ill treatment will be severely punished. They are being witnessed by Allah Himself. He will deal with the Unbelievers as He dealt with Pharoah and the Tyrant of the People of the Ditch.

86.Sûrah At-Târiq (The Night Star)

Man was certainly created in a very humble fashion. And yet he tries to plot against Allah, but wait and see what is Allah’s plan.

87. Sûrah Al-A’lâ (The Most High)

Allah has made man capable of progress by ordered steps, and by His revelation will lead him still higher to purification. ‘And We will make it easy for thee (to follow ) The simple (path).’

88. Sûrah Al-Ghâshiyah (The Overwhelming Event)

This event will be the day when some faces will be ‘humiliated, labouring (hard), weary while they enter the blazing Fire,’ while  ‘(other) faces that Day will be joyful, pleased with their striving.’

89. Sûrah Al-Fajr (The Dawn)

When Allah gives man honour and gifts, he feels proud but when Allah limits his sustenance he complains. He does not realise the true tests in these two cases which are those of humility and patience.

Only to the righteous soul will it be said: “O satisfied soul! Return to your Lord, well pleased and well-pleasing to Him. Enter among My devotees. Enter My Heaven!”

90. Sûrah Al-Balad (The City)

‘We have created Man into toil and struggle.’ Once he becomes wealthy he must not boast because he will have to account before Allah. Let him use these gifts to free slaves, feed the needy and the orphans, believe, be patient, and enjoin deeds of kindness and mercy on others.Then will he be among the Companions of the Right Hand.

91. Sûrah Al-Shams (The Sun)

By all of the wonders of creation and by the soul, “Truly he who purifies it, succeeds; and he who corrupts it, fails”. The last statement was proved by the Punishment that Allah brought upon the Thamûd for their rebellion of arrogance.

92. Sûrah Al-Layl (The Night)

By looking at Allah’s Creation, we see many mysteries, many differences and many opposites. We see the difference between night and day, and male and female. Likewise there are two paths open to man – the good and the bad. Allah will make easy for man whichever path man decides to choose.

May Allah give us the ability to heed the warnings before it’s too late.

Abbreviations

s.w.t  – Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted

a.s – Alayhis Salam– (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace

s.a.w – SalAllahu alayhi Wa sallam – (Muhammad) on whom be peace

The Human Race: 25th Taraweeh 2016

Wednesday

 

The Human Race

Tonight’s taraweeh consists of Juz 29.The Sûrahs covered are nos. 67 -77: Al-Mulk, Al-Qalam, Al-Hâqqah, Al-Ma’ârij, Nûh, Al-Jinn, Al-Muzzammil, Al-Muddaththir, Al-Qiyâmah, Al-Dahr and Al-Mursalât.

67.Sûrah Al-Mulk (The Kingdom)

Time & Space are controlled by Allah 

Blessed be Allah in Whose Hands are the life cycles and layers of a universe, free of defects.

People will regret that they didn’t reflect and ponder, ‘Had we but listened or used our intellect, we should not be now among the companions of the blazing fire.’

You are a vulnerable being as you tread through the land, benefitting from its bounty. After all, Allah can take you back at any time. And no one can cheat death or the destiny of the next life.

68.Sûrah Al-Qalam (The Pen)

Grace or Disgrace?

Man has been tested over time to ascertain their gratitude to their Creator. Man can be prone to overconfidence and forget Allah. That is how He tested the Companions of the Garden who were sure of gathering their harvest the next morning. They also hoped to arrive early enough to deprive the poor. But Allah caused the garden to become bare. They learnt their lesson and repented to their Lord.

On the Day of Judgement, those who took partners with Allah will be summoned to prostrate and will be unable. They will be ashamed, ‘seeing that they had been summoned aforetime to prostrate, while they were whole (and had refused).’

Remember the suffering of Jonah Yûnus. had it not been for the Grace of Allah, he would have been abandoned and disgraced.

69.Sûrah Al-Hâqqah (The Sure Reality)

What is Reality? 

Pick your way quickly and carefully through the debris of perished nations. Their stories are worth repeating: the earthly destruction of the disbelievers of Thamud, ‘Aad, Moses, Lot and Noah’s people.

And then what? One blast will be sounded on the Trumpet, the Earth will crumble, the sky split apart and we shall all be brought to Judgement.

The Believer will be relieved, ‘I did really understand that my account would (one day) reach me.’ He will be told, ‘Eat and drink with full satisfaction because of the good that you sent ahead…’ He will have achieved the low hanging fruit, not of this world, but of the hereafter.

70. Sûrah Al-Ma’ârij (The Ways of Ascent)

People see the Final Day as far off, ‘But We see it near.’ Friends will not care about each other, willing to sacrifice their own kith and kin. The sinners were miserly with the Truth and the worldly blessings of Allah. Not so those devoted to Prayer, generosity, chastity, trustworthiness and the Next Life.

71. Sûrah Nûh (Noah)

The tenacity of Noah (a.s) is remarkable, who invited his people for centuries to the Truth, ‘night and day.’ They were given every opportunity and reminded of the worldly blessings that come with seeking forgiveness from their Lord. But they clung stubbornly to the worship of pious ancestors, ‘And they have said, abandon not your gods: abandon neither Wadd, nor Suwa, neither Yaghuth nor Yauq, nor Nasr.’ Allah concludes this revelation by mentioning the supplication of Noah for all people of faith and against the people of unbelief.

72.Sûrah Al-Jinn (The Jinn) 

‘A company of Jinn listened (to the Quran). They said, ‘We have really heard a wonderful recital!’ So amongst Jinn are ‘some that are righteous and some the contrary.’

‘But those who swerve are fuel for the Hellfire.’

Like the Jinn, man is duty bound to serve Allah alone and Allah ‘takes account of every single thing.’

73.Sûrah Al-Muzzammil (The Enfolded One)

 Devote yourselves to the service of Allah and pray at night, reciting the Quran in ‘slow, measured, rhythmic tones.’

‘Read therefore as much Quran as may be easy, establish regular Prayer, give regular charity…and whatever good you send forth for your souls, you shall find it with Allah…’

74.Sûrah Al-Muddaththir (The One Wrapped Up)

The qualities mentioned in the last Sûrah are important for preparing a person for the role of guide and leader of mankind. But when Allah’s Command comes, he must rise and proclaim the Message for the good of all mankind.

‘Then what is the matter with them (the Disbelievers) that they turn away from admonition like frightened animals, ‘fleeing from a lion.’ Each one claims that they will only believe if they have their own personal revelation, ‘By no means! But they fear not the Hereafter.’

75. Sûrah Al-Qiyâmah (The Resurrection)

‘Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?’ ‘…but man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him.’

On the Day of Resurrection ‘man will be told (all) that he put forward and all that he put back.’

And the disbeliever who, ‘gave nothing in charity, nor did he pray..strutted to his family in pride.’

He was but a mere lowly drop and Allah did fashion him in due proportion.

Therefore, ‘is not He (equally) capable of giving life to the dead?’

76. Sûrah Ad-Dahr (Time)

Man was but nothing, then blessed with hearing and sight.

Then Allah “showed him the way” and left the freedom of choice in man’s hands.

The selfless are rewarded and will suffer neither excessive heat nor cold, eating and drinking in luxury and bliss.

So be patient with Allah’s commands and follow neither the sinner nor the disbeliever.’

77.Sûrah Al-Mursalât (Those sent forth)

The winds show Allah’s Kindness and Power. They gently bring rain but they can also blow violently and destroy. Thus works Allah’s Revelation. It can gently bring the Message but it can also wipe out evil and Falsehood.

The warning, ‘Woe that Day to the Rejecters of the Truth’ is mentioned several times, as Allah Almighty describes the consequences for the Disbelievers and the Believers.

‘Woe, that Day to the Rejecters of Truth! Then what Message after that will they believe in?’

May Allah give us the ability to succeed before it’s too late.

 

Abbreviations

s.w.t  – Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted

a.s – Alayhis Salam– (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace

s.a.w – SalAllahu alayhi Wa sallam – (Muhammad) on whom be peace

Loyalty, Law and Order: 24th Taraweeh 2016

Tuesday

Loyalty, Law & Order

Tonight’s taraweeh consists of Juz 28.

The Sûrahs covered are nos. 58-66 Al-Mujâdilah, Al-Hashr, Al-Mumtahinah, As-Saff, Al-Jumu’ah, Al-Munâfiqûn, At-Taghâbun, At-Talâq and At-Tahrîm.

58. Sûrah Al-Mujâdilah (She Who Pleads) 

This surah opens with Allah stating that he has heard and accepted the complaint of the woman who was being degraded by her husband.

So do not let false claims or unIslamic traditions lower or paralyze the status of women.

Allah is the All-Knower therefore do not make secret consultations among yourselves to plan mischief.

Be orderly in public assemblies – make room for others and dismiss after the assemblies are over.

Do not turn to those who knowingly swear to falsehood.

For those who are loyal to His Cause, Allah ‘has written faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself… and is supremely pleased with them.’

59. Sûrah Al-Hashr (The Gathering)

It is Allah who banished the Disbelievers from amongst the People of the Book (those who broke the alliance with the Muslims).

What wealth remains must not circulate amongst the wealthy but amongst the needy and specific beneficiaries.

The Believers, both migrant and resident are praised. The Ansar (residents) ‘gave preference to the migrants even though poverty (was their own lot).’

The majesty of the Quran is described as shattering the might of a mountain.

And the surah concludes with a splendid rehearsal of Allah’s beautiful Names.

60. Sûrah Al-Mumtahinah (That Which Examines)

It is inappropriate to seek protection from the persecutors of Muslims. Follow Abraham’s example, whereby he and the believers made clear their stance to their enemies.

‘Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and justly with those who do not fight your Faith, nor drive you out of your homes.’

Believing women refugees should not be turned back, they are not to marry Disbelievers and if the believing women pledge the oath of loyalty to the Prophet (s.a.w), then he is to accept it from them and ask for their forgiveness.

61. Sûrah As-Saff (The Battle Array)

As Allah’s Glory shines through His Creation, so must we back up our words with action in a united manner, ‘like in a battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.’

Do not vex and insult the Prophets as past people did. To be truly successful, ‘Be ye helpers of Allah, as said Jesus, son of Mary to the disciples.’ And the disciples said,’We are Allah’s helpers!’

62. Sûrah Al-Jumu’ah (Friday)

Allah has sent His Revelation for the guidance of both those who have previous scriptures and those who don’t.

The likeness of those who were given the obligations of the scripture (the Torah) but failed, is like a donkey who carries volumes (but understands them not).

“When the call is made to prayer on Friday, hasten to the Remembrance of Allah and leave off business”.

The important lesson here is the need for mutual contact in the Community for worship and understanding.

63. Sûrah Al-Munâfiqûn (The Hypocrites)

All the Hypocrites are false. They think they can fool Allah and His Messenger with their sweet talk and impressive appearance, but they do not realise that Allah has punished them by making it impossible for them to see Truth.

They plan to obstruct progress without realising that Allah is the safe keeper of it.

Wealth and children must not distract you from remembering Allah. Give charity before death overpowers you and cuts you off from doing any good.

64. Sûrah At-Taghâbun (Mutual Loss & Gain)

Allah is the Creator of all men. He is the Best Judge. Final Judgement regarding those who did either good or evil will only be given on the Day of Reckoning.

“That will be a day of mutual loss and gain (among you)”.

Bear misfortunes with patience. Do not lose hope, because Allah is only testing you. Obey Allah’s Teachings and regard your wealth and children as a trial for you; so remember Allah and thank Him for His Favours.

65. Sûrah At-Talâq (Divorce)

Be just in your relations with your wives. Divorce is a last resort, where you feel that the marriage must be dissolved. Make absolutely certain that you deal justly and protect the interest of unborn or new-born lives. During the ‘iddah, (a prescribed waiting period) “let the women live in the same manner as you live, according to your means. Do not anger them”. Even then, try to bring about reconciliation. These are Allah’s Laws which must be obeyed.

66. Sûrah At-Tahrîm (Prohibition)

‘Do not make unlawful for yourself what Allah has made lawful.’

Harmony (in marriage) and confidence (trust) must be taught and practiced, and if you fail, repent and make amends.

The good man seeks good for himself and his family. Allah will reward the virtuous even if they have to live unavoidably with wicked people, as was the case with the wife of Pharaoh.

The reverse applies in the case of the evil ones who live in the company of the good; e.g. the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. And Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran is praised. She ‘guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) our spirit; and she testified to the truth…’

May we reflect on the harmony of family life in tonight’s taraweeh.

Abbreviations

s.w.t  – Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted

a.s – Alayhis Salam– (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace

s.a.w – SalAllahu alayhi Wa sallam – (Muhammad) on whom be peace