Sunday, February 13, 2011

A pause

Someone reminded me that I talk too much without proper knowledge. So I'm pausing this blog in hope that I will get mature enough to un-pause it again someday.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Misconception about Eman

Somewhere along the way, someone told me that if I was to at least truly believe that there is no God but Allah, then no matter how wrong my life is; eventually I would end up in heaven . And I am sure I am not the only one rationalizing this a little too easy. Now I am not taking any other direction about this concept at all because it's true but before we get ourselves comfortable with this idea, I think we should really take a moment and think about it a little, try to understand what it really means just to make sure we don’t fall into any pitfall from Saytan on this. You if you interested then check this out.

A pop quiz; if only truly believing that there is not God but Allah would eventually leads one to Heaven, then between you and I, who got the most right to get into heaven first? Ready? Ok go.

No, wrong answer. Try again.

Nope, wrong again. Ok let me tell you then. Between you and I, It’s the Saytam himself has the most right. Because he, without any doubt knows more then us that there is no God but Allah. He spent most of his life worshiping Allah and Allah alone and he is the only one who never bowed down to anyone beside Allah even when all the angels prostrated to Adam (alayhi wassallam). Ok the last part was for out of his arrogance but still, you see my point? Which is, the word believing is a little deceiving here. Let's investigate a little more on this.

So what made Saytan the cursed one then even when he got the "no God but Allah" part right? Yes, you got that right. Disobedience to Allah. You see where it’s going? Is believing enough you think? See the problem begins when we translate the Arabic word "Eman" as simply - believing. Eman is a composite word which consists the believing part but that's not all. Scholars has defined Eman as acknowledging Allah as the supreme Lord by heart and a verbal declaration of that belief and a manifestation of that belief though the limbs. Got the point?

Well if you are with me so far, let's move to another important topic from here. So if disobedience, which is a product of arrogance by the way, to Allah is a key for hell then from among us, who should follow Saytam to hellfire first? Yes, it's the great grand parents of ours, Adam (alayhi wassallam) and Hawa(Eve). Nowjubillah I am saying that just for that sake of the argument. We all know they won’t and we all know why. They too disobeyed Allah but they repented. They repented to Allah for their acts. So we get a new Key here - Repentance. Again the translated word repentance do injustice to the actual Arabic word Tawba.

Let me explain that in my next post.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tafseer of Al-Maun (Chapter 107 from The Qur'an)

A common translation (i.e. by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan) of Al-Maun, the surah (chapter) 107 from the Qur'an is as follows -

Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi (In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.)

1. Have you seen him who denies the Recompense?
2. That is he who repulses the orphan (harshly),
3. And urges not the feeding of AlMiskîn (the poor),
4. So woe unto those performers of Salât (prayers) (hypocrites),
5. Who delay their Salât (prayer) from their stated fixed times,
6. Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men),
7. And refuse Al-Mâ'ûn (small kindnesses e.g. salt, sugar, water, etc.).

[ Arabic recitation | 555KB ]
From - http://www.islamicacademy.org/html/audio/Qirat/Qirat_Arb.htm

After listening to the tafseer(elaboration) done by various scholars of the past, translated and presented in English by Nouman, Ali Khan, your way of looking at things changes. The in between lines are so powerful you just can't help but really appreciate the eloquence of Qur'an. The full tafseer, in audio format is about one and a half hour long so for those who don’t have the time for it, let me try to sum it up(copying from him here and there) into a ten minute reading material. Note that, do not let my poor and unintentional erroneous way of expressing things get you off the real thick juice you can find in the real tafseer. So here it is.

Believing in a God or Gods or at least a supreme power is easy and a natural thing that everyone starts their life with and every now and then revisits, especially at time of calamities. Even the concept of a messenger is somewhat digestible as; if there is a god then it’s only logical that he could communicate through a messenger. But the recompense or the idea of paying back in full for every little thing one have done in this life is the hardest part to accept. Believing in God and his messengers makes you a nice man but taking recompense seriously means you have to make some serious changes in your custom, comfortable life which most people are not willing to do, either consciously or not. So they start building up logics like – If God was so merciful then why would he punish his creations like this or that? As if they are hoping for a personalized God who is more merciful to them than they actually deserve. And when God’s prescribed way doesn’t quite fit their desired ways, they become convinced about their doubts and starts to reject the idea of recompense cause that would give them the golden ticket of “just do as you please” way of life. So denying the recompense is the first step a man takes to the way of downgrading himself to the level of a pig, figuratively speaking. So this surah exposes these people by describing their characteristics even if they don't admit their denial of recompense publicly. It also serves as a check list for one to see if he/she is in a state of denial, unconsciously.

So Allah teaches us that the first sign of the one who had denied the recompense is that he would repulses orphan or to be general, one who has no one to back him up. He fails to see any benefit in giving them a hand and rather look at it as a waste of time and wealth. Also, he do it harshly to prevent any future interactions from this guy. This is the first drop down of the character and an easy one as they don't have to answer to anyone for doing this as this is their private matters or sometime a hidden preference. By the way, it is worth to mention that this surah was targeted particularly on the Quraish, the leaders of Macca at the time of its revealing but in general it can be applied to all the leaders of the nations, the head of a clan, a hero of the day of all the time.

Now the second drop - "And urges not the feeding of the poor". Note that it is not said like they don't feed the poor. Forget feeding of the poor, they are past that, they don't even encourage others to feed the poor because that would be only inviting trouble for them. That would expose their true nature because people would start asking - I haven't seen you doing that lately so why are you asking me that for? So it's a gentle man's agreement, I won't scratch your back so you won't scratch mine and let's overlook this all together.

So woe unto those performers of Salât (prayers)”. It is kind of shocking because performers of salat are usually praised by Allah! But in this case they are condemned! This is the way of the teaching of the Qur'an and a very effective one as it catches attentions from all audiences. So far someone might be thinking well I'm not like those persons so I am off the hook. I do my prayers and my good deeds. But now, this line should make him think - am I going to be described next?

And the next is - "Who delay their Salât (prayer) from their stated fixed times "

On one hand, this set you on alert for a self assessment. Are you from the one who do this a lot? When it's time for the jama'ah(congregation) prayer, do you think, well I'm entertaining the guests at the moments and it's a good deed plus I can always do it later on. Do you prefer attending a wedding ceremony over jama'ah? Are you truthful enough to say, sorry I can't attend you party cause it overlaps my salaah time? A woe from Allah should be enough to rethink these matters.

On the other hand, linking back to the previous lines, this is another characteristic of a tropical hypocrite. Point to note; if this surah was dedicated for Quraish, who were non Muslims, why mention of salat then? Well if you have this question them you might be from those who think Salat was introduced only after Islam came. In that case, this might be a good time for you to dig some history(or listen to tafseer). Anyway, the characteristic of a tropical hypocrite, is to delay their salat from their sated fixed time is the main point.


Next, "Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men)". Have you ever seen a leader or a hero praying in Eid Jama'ah? and it's all over the news? And that's the only time you see him praying, ever? Have you seen someone handing over a check to some other guy and both of them are facing the camera from a ninety degree angle? And if it's a movie camera then they are like stack in that position for couple of seconds? Funny but watch out for this people. Cause not only they don't really care about the rights of Allah by doing good deeds only for the sake of Allah, but they are actually using that to gain some publicities. How low! yet so easy for them to do this cause, they denied the recompense to began with. And this is why the last verse - "And refuse Al-Mâ'ûn" seems nothing too them. Al-Ma'un means something so small (e.g. salt, sugar, water, etc. so) and insignificance that you would not feel anything when you give it away. This line is so powerful that I had to take it to another blog post. For more clarification, you might want to check that out.

And I am done. Now I think I got carried away from the main tafseer that I was supposed to give you some idea about which successfully shows how rights of Allah and rights of people, are interconnected. It is really beyond my scope to capture this beautiful tafseer in my words. My intention was to capture a little bit of interest from you side. So failing or succeeding, either way I strongly urge you to spend some time with the real dead, the tafseer.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Miraculous or Miracle?

So you heard that the Qur'an is a miracle a thousand times already. And I am pretty sure you heard enough already about the scientific facts became known to us with in a century or so were mentioned in the Qur'an like fourteen hundreds years ago which implies that it is indeed a work of the creator. But does it mean that the Qur'an got its true miraculous status like a century ago? NO, it was always a wonder among the people from the very beginning and did you ever wonder why? Let us not fall into that pitfall of science with Qur'an. Science comes and goes. I mean today eggs are good and the next day they are the main cause of whatever and the day after they are all good again! You got the point? So, let's not fall into that trap as Qur'an is far much bigger than that. Let me explain a bit. Now a days we can recline on a revolving chair and say "you know what? It doesn't impress me that much. I mean I can get more excited or moved by John Lennon or Lalon fakr than this book of yours". But do you really believe your opinion should count? Don't through me away now, just hang out here for a few more second please.

So who do you think should have the proper rights to deny the Qur'an if indeed it wasn't that moving? You got that right, the people were around the time it was revealed and the people who knew that language and the people knew the ongoing circumstances. The tribe of Quraysh. But the quraysh did denied it you say? Well so what did they actually said about it? They said that it was a work of a magician or that the messenger was possessed by a jinni (actually most of them said we know it is true but we won't believe it anyway) . Ever wonder why they were thinking like that? What made the Qur'an "magical" or a work out of this world? Do you ever wonder at all? Sorry for trying to act like a wise guy here but all I am trying to say is before you try to act like a wise guy, please do dig just a little bit deeper. You owe that much of dignity to you self don't you think?

Don't just read the translations. They are all good but if you really really, really want to feel the Qur'an then learn Arabic. But if you are an unfortunate like me, find a good Tafsir of Quran in the language you understand. You don't have to be all over it at once. Just pick one sura and stick with it till you see the unseen(the unseen make you see). And you know what? I pretty sure you don't have to hang on that long for it to come to you. Yes its indeed a miracle and mercy from Allah. Atleast try it for once?

Footnote: here is a tafseer of sura Al Maun I found that you might find interesting too.You can download it or tafseers of other suras from here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Do you intend to question the Messenger by Nouman Ali Khan



The only word came into my mind after watching this is "MashAllah". By the blessing and mercy of Allah, so many talented people are putting their affords spreading the truth these days.May Allah bless and preserve Nouman Ali Khan.

Here is his youtube channel.

The biography of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)



Link to the play list.

A great biography presented in a very nice and addictive way. Must go though all the 76 episodes.

Dead Man Walking by Amir Sulaiman



".. But my balance is off
My talent is lost
I’ve married my art, but
She’s barren of course
And I hear in her voice that
We’re headin’ divorse
So before court
I may have to kill my dreams and
Bury the corpse
I shed a tear for the loss.."


Very very, very deep. God bless Amir Sulaiman.
Here is the full lyric.