The Fall of Arrogance
Tonight’s taraweeh consists of the second half of Juz 8 to the first three-quarters of Juz 9. The Sûrah covered is the whole of chapter no. 7 Al-A’râf (The Elevations).
This Sûrah is closely connected to the previous Sûrah (Al-An’am). It relates the spiritual history of man from Adam (AS)’s time to the time of Muhammad (SAW). In the process, it gives accounts of various prophets, especially the struggles of Moses Mûsâ (AS).
Iblîs’ Racism & Adam’s Humility
The struggle between Good & Evil is illustrated by the story of Adam & Iblîs the jinn. Iblîs refused to bow down to Adam, as commanded by Allah (SWT). His arrogance prevented him from obeying Allah. He was also jealous of Adam’s position. He tempted Adam & Eve (AS) & caused them to commit a wrong deed. Consequently they were stripped of the garments of Paradise. But Allah granted his mercy to our grandparents by guiding them to forgiveness. He also guided us to cover the shameful parts as well as to adorn ourselves, but remember that “the dress of righteousness – taqwa – is the best dress”.
A’râf: The people on the Elevations
We must be vigilant of Iblîs & stay within the limits, from moderation in food, drink & clothing to accepting Allah’s revelation with humility. If warnings are not heeded, severe penalties lie ahead. ‘The gates of Heaven will not be opened for them ( the arrogant), nor will they enter Paradise until a camel passes through the eye of a needle( i.e. never).’ But privileges, peace & happiness for the righteous are shown in a picture of the hereafter. While rivers flow beneath them, all their past grudges will have been washed away. Between the people of Paradise & Hell will be a wall with elevations A’râf. There will be men up on these elevations whose final judgement is pending. They will greet the people of Paradise and condemn the people of Hell for their arrogance and worthless power.
Denying The Worship of Allah alone (SWT)
Noah Nûh (AS)’s warning was rejected by his people; therefore they were destroyed in the flood by Allah. Hûd (AS) was defied by his people (the ‘Ad) so they were swept away by a tornado of hot wind. Their successors, the Thamûd treated Sâlih (AS) with pride & injustice – an earthquake destroyed them. Lot Lût (AS) warned his people against following their lusts. They disobeyed & Allah (SWT) rained stones on them to destroy them. The people of Madian practiced mischief & fraud. Shu‘aib (AS) warned them, but they didn’t heed & they perished in an earthquake.
Honouring the Covenant
The story of Moses is now recounted: his struggles to free his oppressed people (the Children of Israel) from the proud & cruel Pharaoh & his eventual success, leading them up to the Promised Land against all resistance. This is an illustration of Muhammad (SAW)’s struggles & eventual victory. But there were people of Moses who forgot & corrupted their Covenant with Allah, such as when they worshipped the golden calf. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) then brought back light & guidance for all mankind, including the followers of Moses. ‘And among the people of Moses is a community which guides by truth and by it establishes justice.’
The Covenant to recognize Allah as our Lord was taken from us, the descendants of Adam. We were made to testify that Allah is our Lord, lest we make excuses later on. ‘And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then ask for Allah’s protection.’ And ‘when the Qur’ân is recited, listen to it with attention & be silent: that you may receive His Mercy.’
May we listen & benefit, with rapt attention, to the lessons of arrogance and humility during tonight’s Taraweeh.
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