“Dear God, Throw me a Lifeline!” Summary of 1st Night of Taraweeh 2017
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).
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.
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.
*A.S -Alayhis Salam- (Prophets, pious ones) on whom be peace
*S.W.T Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted