Dedication, Defeat & Duas: 3rd night of Taraweeh 2018

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). These 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 (Isa – upon whom be peace)  and his years of prophethood. Accounts of the story relating to Jesus are to be found in the Gospel. These facts show that Allah’s message is eternal and revelation is a continuous reminder. Seeing that the Qur’ân is Allah’s message, all people are invited to accept its completion in Islam. 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

Abbreviations

*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

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Ayatul kursi & The Ayahs of Community: 2nd Night of Taraweeh 2018

 

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This 2nd Taraweeh summary consists of the last ¾ of Juz 2  and the first ½ of Juz 3.    The Sûrah covered is the last third of Al-Baqarah. 

Ka’bah sign of unity

Earlier we were told how Prophet  Ibrâhîm (A.S)* together with his son  Ismâ’îl (AS) built the Ka’bah.

Listen to the dua that Ibrâhîm makes with his son: “O our Lord! Make us among those who submit to Your Will and make from our offspring a Community which bows down to Your Will.”  Their joint effort, the  ancient Ka’bah, is the symbol of Muslim unity to this very day. This unity comprises of man’s relationship with Allah (SWT), and man’s relationship with man.

The Qur’ân emphasises that righteousness does not simply mean restricting ourselves to the outward observance of rituals, but in having deep-rooted faith (îmân). We are to show kindness, perform prayer with sincerity and give charity selflessly.

Our relationship with Allah, the community, our wealth & health

Rules are then laid down relating to the community, our wealth and our health. Food and drink, the laws of inheritance, fasting, jihad, wine and gambling, good treatment of orphans and women and the prohibition from taking interest are all discussed.

So here, one demonstrates one’s faith by taking care of the commandments of Allah (SWT), taking care of the community and taking care of one’s own health.

We are then given examples of the resources endowed upon the great Prophets by Allah Almighty:

Prophet David Dâwûd (AS) was given great physical strength to defeat his enemy Goliath and defend the Truth.

On the other hand, Prophet Jesus ‘Isâ (AS) was strengthened “with the Divine Word of Allah.”

Prophet Moses Mûsâ (AS) called upon his followers to fight their evil desires.

Allah (SWT) describes Himself, calls us to action &  teaches us a beautiful prayer

Now comes the beautiful and sublime Ayat al-Kursî, a long verse which describes the supreme power & authority of Allah. Read it and reflect upon the description of your Lord.

And finally, as this surah comes to a close, we are urged to have faith in and take responsibility for the rules and regulations laid down in this Sûrah.  Then we are equipped with a beautiful du’a seeking His Mercy. Man might not be able to follow the guidance of Allah (SWT)* perfectly in both letter and spirit; hence it is here that man turns to Divine Help once more.

Do have a read of the original text.

May we reflect on this message of Community relations, personal obedience & a deep rooted belief in Allah’s Power during 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

 

Dear God, Throw me a Lifeline: 1st Night of Taraweeh 2018

“Dear God, Throw me a Lifeline!” Summary of 1st Night of Taraweeh 2018

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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. Read the translation of this Quranic dua and reflect on 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).

Read the verses ahead of time.

May we reflect on this message during our 1st Taraweeh of Ramadan 2018.

Abbreviations

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

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

Umrah Prep Resources

Going for umrah? Check out the resources below.

Virtues of umrah

https://islamqa.org/hanafi/mahmoodiyah/53982

Hajj Coach

There is a set of videos about mentally and physically preparing for hajj called Hajj Coach by Sh Muhammad Alshareef in the link below. These are useful for umrah planning as well.

https://www.youtube.com/user/HajjCoach

Hajj Coach umrah resources

Here is an edited written summary of the videos with links to useful handouts:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Gz1NqCtXk-6xMzwiXzIINzgPOhUYYDybR6x6cj3Tp_s/edit?usp=drivesdk

Interrupting your schedule: 26th Taraweeh 2017

Tuesday

 

 ‘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 2017

Monday

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 in the struggle called the human race.

Abbreviations

s.w.tSubhanahu wa Ta’ala – (Allah) The Glorious, the Exalted

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

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