Dedication, Defeat & Du’as: Holding on to the Rope of God
Tonight’s Taraweeh summary consists of all of Sûrah 3 Aali ‘Imrân The Family of ‘Imrân i.e. father of Mary Maryam (A.S).*
Juz-wise it is the second half of juz 3 to the first three-quarters of juz 4.
Like Sûrah 2 Al-Baqarah, this chapter surveys the religious history of mankind, with special reference to the People of the Book (i.e. Christians and Jews).
Three new points are discussed:
(1) The Christians’ faith in One God is especially appealed to in this Sûrah, as the Jews were especially appealed to in the last Sûrah;
(2) The lessons of two battles are set out for the Muslims.
- The lesson of Badr is: Allah (SWT) helps the people who help His cause. Patience, courage, effort and discipline are rewarded by Allah. No matter how poorly you are armed and how powerful your enemy may be, Allah will give you victory if you remain true Muslims at all times.
- The lesson of Uhud is: Indiscipline, indecision and selfishness, as shown by certain Muslims in this battle who went after the booty without even being commanded to do so by Prophet Muhammad (SAW), are not qualities of a true Muslim and can lead to his downfall. This outcome is shown by the great losses suffered by the Muslims in this battle.
(3) The responsibilities of Muslims, both in their dealings amongst themselves and with non-Muslims are stressed. Allah (SWT) has revealed the Qur’ân, confirming previous revelations like the Torah, revealed to Moses Mûsâ (A.S) and Gospel, revealed to Jesus ‘Isâ (A.S).
We must accept the truth of this whole Book (the Qur’ân), and not only parts of the Book, as those before had done. Muslims must try to understand the message of the Qur’ân. They must understand how to seek common ground with the People of the Book.
The beautiful story of the birth of Mary Maryam (A.S), is gradually connected to the miraculous birth of Jesus ‘Isâ (AS) and his years of prophethood. Accounts of story relating to ‘Isâ (AS) are to be found in the Gospel. These facts are related to show that Allah (SWT)’s message is eternal and revelation is the continuous process by means of which this message is re-emphasised. Seeing that the Qur’ân is Allah (SWT)’s message, all people are invited to accept its completion in Islam. Controversies are to be avoided. Hold firmly to the rope of Allah i.e. his Revelation or Covenant and be not divided.
The duas (prayers) in this surah nicely sum up the messages and stories of this chapter:
- ‘Do not let our hearts deviate after guidance’ (verse 8)
- ‘I have dedicated to you what is in my womb. I have delivered a female & I have named her Mary…and I ask You to protect her and her descendants from Satan.’ (verses 35-6)
- ‘My Lord grant me a good offspring.’ (verse 38 – Zachariah’s prayer after seeing Mary’s piety)
- ‘Forgive us our sins and excesses, plant firmly our feet and give us victory.’ (verse 147)
- ‘Sufficient for us is Allah & He is the best Disposer of Affairs.’ (verse 173)
- ‘Our Lord, You did not create all this (the skies & the earth) for no reason, exalted are you (above such a claim), then protect us from the fire…indeed we have heard a caller (i.e. Prophet Muhammad) calling to faith..and we have believed…grant us what You have promised us…indeed You never break a promise.’ (verses 191-4)
May we reflect on the stories of dedication, defeat and du’as during tonight’s Taraweeh
*A.S -Alayhis Salam– (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace
*S.W.T Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted
*S.A.W SalAllahu alayhi Wa sallam – (Muhammad) on whom be peace