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March
15
2009
Islamic Ideology- Facts of faith and miraculousness- Lesson (14- 30): How to comprehend the Quran
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

The Qur'an unfolds its meanings to him who is pure:

 Dear brothers, this is going to be the fourteenth lesson from the series "The true iman and the inimitability of the Qur'an".
 We are still dealing with the topics of the Noble Qur'an, and today we will talk about how to comprehend this great Book.
 In fact, there are many ayaat which point to the fact that a minimum level of faith is required in order to comprehend Allah’s Words. Allah the Almighty says:

((And it (the Qur'an) is blindness for them))

[Fussilat, 44]

((And it increases the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss.))

[Al-Isra’, 82]

 Moreover, Allah the Almighty says:

(( Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but the purified (i.e. the angels).))

[Al-Waqi’ah, 79]

 Here, the word "none but" ("la - illa" in Arabic) does not carry the idea of prohibition of touching, yet it is a negation. To clarify it, let us suppose by way of example that a sign that says "No through road" has been placed on a perfectly open road, which anyone can transit, yet doing so will be equal to breaking the law and the person who does it will be heavily fined for this violation. On the other hand, the prohibition would imply putting cement barriers to prevent transit effectually.
 Therefore, Allah the Almighty says:

((Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but the purified (i.e. the angels).))

[Al- Waqi’ah, 79]

 This ayah means that there are meanings within the Qur'an unavailable except for those who are pure.

Whoever believes in Allah will benefit from the Qur'an:

 What follows is another piece of evidence from the Qur'an:

((And if We had revealed it (this Qur'an) unto any of the non-Arabs,))

[Ash-Shu’ara, 198]

 Do you think that somebody from a far-away country, say Tibet, would understand the Qur'an if it were recited to him?

(( And if We had revealed it (this Qur'an) unto any of the non-Arabs, and he had recited it unto them, they would not have believed in it. Thus have We caused it (the denial of the Qur'an) to enter the hearts of the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.).))

[Ash-Shu’ara, 198-200]

 The Noble Qur'an is in the Arabic language, and the mujrimeen (criminals, polytheists and sinners) cannot comprehend it. There is evidence enough to support the concept according to which only the believers, the obedient, and the sincere will benefit from the Qur'an (by comprehending it). Thus, I consider the following quote to be one of the most marvelous sayings of a companion: "I lived in the time when one of us would be granted faith before the Qur'an."

The Universe indicates Allah’s Existence and Oneness:

 When you believe in Allah, you will benefit from His Book, and this is the logical order.
 The Universe is the first fundamental in this life, as everything in it without exception implies Allah’s Existence, Oneness, and Perfection. Hence, it is the first fundamental, and by using your faculty of reasoning, which you have been honored with by Allah, and by following the principle of cause, purpose and harmony as well as that of the universal laws you are brought to belief in Allah’s Existence, Oneness, and Perfection. But how are you to believe in His Book?
 I hope that my honorable brothers are on sound ground in regard to this Book, as it is Allah’s Word.
 Imam Al-Ghazzali said once talking to his inner self: "If a doctor asks you to avoid food you like, you will obey him."
That is, if someone has propensity to heart attack, and has been asked by his doctor to avoid certain kinds of food, this person will carry out a complete volte-face in his eating habits in order to protect his health and even life. Speaking of which, I can recollect a certain visit when sweets, so rich in fats, were served in abundance and one of the guests, a cardiologist by profession, excused himself, saying he would rather not have them. When the host insisted, he said: "By Allah, I love them more than you do. However, throughout my career I’ve witnessed lots of blocked arteries, open heart surgeries and catheterizations caused by this kind of foods."
 This is what is called "reasoned prevention" and it is the case of someone prohibiting himself something, despite his love for it, because it might hurt him.
 Thus, Imam Al-Ghazzali said: "If a doctor asks you to avoid food you like, you will obey him. Will you then believe the doctor more than you believe Allah? If you do, then how ignorant you are!"
 You believed the doctor in order to protect your life and you refuse to obey the Creator of heavens and earth when He prevents you from doing something. What kind of threats does the doctor pronounce? All he says is that this kind of food will impair your health, and this is the most that can happen. Does this threat of the doctor's seem to you more alarming than Allah’s threats? Allah Most High threatens you with Hellfire, whereas the doctor threatens that your illness will get worse. Are you going to heed the doctor and ignore Allah? How kafir you are, as every disobedient person can be labeled as a case of kufur and ignorance.

The fulfillment of Allah’s promises and threats:

 Dear brothers, the fulfillment of Allah’s threats and promises proves that the Noble Qur'an is the Word of Allah.
 All of you have heard of the collapse of the universal financial system, once described as the giant which rules the world.
 This system is nothing but unlimited usury loans, sales of debts, exorbitant gains, increase in prices, and incredible profits for the rich. However, at one point all this system collapsed all over the world.
 Such a recession happened once in the year 1929, eighty years ago, and never again, until now.
 Numerous super-companies and automobile industries have suffered from bankruptcies and from a profound economic crisis in the United States and in Europe because of debts. What does Allah say?

((Allah will destroy Riba (usury))

[Al- Baqarah, 276]

 What is the proof that this Qur'an is Allah’s Word? It is the fulfillment of Allah’s promises and threats:

(( Allah will destroy Riba (usury))

[Al- Baqarah, 276]

 Allah the Almighty says:

((If Allah helps you, none can overcome you))

[Al-‘Imran, 160]

((And (as for) the believers it was incumbent upon Us to help (them). ))

[Ar-Rum, 47]

 On the other hand, would you believe that ten thousand believing righteous fighters, who recite the Qur'an, pray at night and make use of the best of their abilities, were able to resist the most powerful striking forces in the Middle East, and the fourth army in the world, the first in terms of weaponry? The powerful countries that allied with this striking force predicted three days to be enough for the completion of their mission, while others talked about one week. This striking force itself asked for only one day to do away with those ten thousand fighters. Eight hundred targets were bombed in a day. However, one, two and three days passed; then one week, two and then three weeks passed without achieving anything on the ground, and the bombings have been going on to date:

(( If Allah helps you, none can overcome you))

[Al-‘Imran, 160]

 What happened to this giant army? Where is this Middle East striking force? Where is this army that comes first in terms of military equipment? This is another piece of evidence that this Qur'an is Allah’s Word, as Allah’s promises and threats will be fulfilled beyond doubt:

((Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqat (deeds of charity, alms, etc.))

[Al- Baqarah, 276]

Sale of debt was prohibited by the Prophet:

 Believe me dear brothers, nowadays the greatest world experts in economy are seriously considering the Islamic financial system. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prohibited selling debts, and he didn’t do that out of expertise, vision, opinion, or data facts available to him. It was Divine Revelation.
 The first and the biggest bank to announce its bankruptcy was established 155 years ago, and it survived many severe previous crises. This bank used to buy debts. For example, a car manufacturing company with hundreds of millions dollars' worth of sales on installments would sell the whole lot to this bank for, say, ninety million and get rid in this way of the entire debt. The bank, in its turn, would sell it to another bank, and this one to a third one, and it may have been sold in this way up to fifty times. Well, this gigantic, the longest-time and the soundest bank in the world collapsed due to crisis, announcing its bankruptcy on account of seven hundred billion dollars of debts:

((Allah will destroy Riba (usury))

[Al- Baqarah, 276]

 It was the fulfillment of promises and threats.

The scientific inimitability of the Qur'an:

 Dear brothers, the Universe is a speaking evidence of Allah’s Existence, Oneness, and Perfection, whereas the evidence that the Qur'an is Allah’s Word is the fulfillment of Allah’s promises and threats. The latter is supported by yet another piece of evidence, as powerful as the first one, which is the inimitability of the Qur'an.
 When man traveled to the moon for the first time in history, and when the spaceship passed the 65 thousand meters of the air layer, one of the astronauts shouted: "We are blind! We can’t see a thing!"
 This happened because within the air layer which surrounds the earth there exists a phenomenon called "light dispersion". When sun rays are cast on the air, the specks of dust within the air reflect some of these rays, and those hit other specks untouched by the sun, and this process results in daylight. So even though the sun might not be shining in some areas, there is still daylight because of the phenomenon called "light dispersion".
 Hence, when this astronaut passed the air layer, this phenomenon ceased to operate, and this is why he shouted loudly: "We are blind! We can’t see a thing!"
 If we open the Qur'an, which descended into the heart of the master of messengers one thousand four hundred years ago, and recite the following ayah:

((And even if We opened to them a gate from the heaven and they were to continue ascending thereto, they would surely say: "Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled. Nay, we are a people bewitched."))

[Al-Hijr, 14-15]

 This is what we refer to as inimitability.
 You use an airplane, where all kinds of luxuries are available, such as comfortable seats that can be pushed back to form a bed, comfortable environment, availability of TV channels, news, drinks, newspapers, magazines, and many others. You fly at 43 thousand feet and you open the Qur'an and recite the following ayah from Surat Al Nahl:

((And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys, for you to ride))

[An-Nahl, 8]

 If this Qur'an was the word of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then surely this part of the ayah would be all as regards means of transport:

((And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment.))

[An-Nahl, 8]

 Yet, the rest of the ayah refers to future potentials in terms of means of transport. Allah Most High says:

((And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge.))

[An-Nahl, 8]

 Hence, the car, the plane, the ship and the helicopter are included in the second part of the ayah. Therefore, the fulfillment of Allah’s promises and threats is the evidence that Qur'an is Allah’s Word:

((If Allah helps you, none can overcome you ))

[Al-‘Imran, 160]

The Qur'an is the believer's springtide:

 Allah the Almighty is giving us rejuvenating doses (through the fulfillment of His promises or threats).
 Allah exists, and faith overcomes all tangible calculations, not to mention the fact that Allah’s promises and threats are conclusive.
 Dear brothers, I’ve read a quote about the syntax of the Noble Qur'an by Imam Al-Ukberi, and I’d like to mention it to you. He said:
 “The pronunciation of the words of the Qur'an is taken from huffaz (those who have memorized it by heart); and its meanings are taken from those who suffer. When someone sins and repents to Allah, invoking His forgiveness and seeking His help, Allah in return will treat this person in a special way which will make him melt with love for Allah, and when he recites the Qur'an, he will feel that love":

((Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah (Alone)," and then they Istaqamu, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! "We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask for. "An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."))

[Fussilat, 30-32]

 Hence, the Qur'an is the believer's springtide and its meanings are taken from those who suffer. Indeed, the believer cries when he recites the Qur'an and feels fear in his heart when he remembers Allah:

((The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'an) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone);))

[Al- Anfal, 2]

Difference between comprehending the Qur'an and living it:

 Dear brothers, again, the pronunciation of the Quran’s words is taken from huffaz (those who memorize it by heart), and its meanings are taken from those who suffer, and one of the companions said: "I lived in the time when one of us would be granted faith before the Qur'an."
 There is a delicate point here to which attention should be paid. There is a big difference between comprehending an ayah and living it, like when Allah the Almighty says:

((And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).))

[Al- Ahzab, 71]

 The meaning is very clear. Do you think an interpretation of this ayah is necessary? Absolutely not. It doesn’t need interpreters such as Al-Qurtubi, Zamakhshari, Bidawee or Razi, does it? It is a crystal clear ayah, the one based on evidence.
 Now let us pay attention. Suppose that we have two classmates in the fifth grade class, and years later, one of them turns out to be a peddler who is in debt, yet he is righteous, virtuous, honest, obedient to Allah; he performs his prayers and puts all his trust in Allah. The other one happens to be a millionaire, yet is corrupted, doesn’t perform prayers, drinks heavily, and is knee-deep in wrongdoing. Now, suppose the first person looked into the house of the second one and said: "Boy, this is life!" That would mean he doesn't understand life at all and his faith is worthless; somebody who, being the hafiz of the Qur'an, thinks that someone else has been given better than that, and in this way he is belittling something that Allah Most High has honored. Accordingly, we call this righteous person, who wishes to be in the shoes of the other person, a man who has comprehended the ayah but is not living it.

The righteous is proud of his faith and puts his trust in Allah:

 Dear brothers, again, if you are honored with memorizing the Qur'an and you thought that someone else has been given something better than what you have, then you are demeaning something Allah Most High has honored. You are a believer, you have been promised Paradise and been granted eternity, even if you may not be particularly well-off right now.
 On one occasion, one of the poorest companions came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who greeted him in a rather astonishing way, saying:

"I give welcome to the one I have been told about by Jibril." On hearing this, the man was extremely surprised. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: "Yes, brother, you are low in status on earth but exalted in the Sight of Allah."

 Hence, you should be proud of your faith as a righteous believer who knows Allah. Furthermore, you should put your trust in Allah, and never wish to be in the shoes of people such as are mentioned here:

((Verily, Qarun (Korah) was of Musa's (Moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a bodyAof strong men. When his people said to him: "Do not be glad (with ungratefulness to Allah's Favours). Verily! Allah likes not those who are glad (with ungratefulness to Allah's Favours).))

[Al- Qasas, 76]

((So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: "Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun (Korah) has been given))

[Al- Qasas, 79]

 By Allah, somebody told me once jokingly that he wouldn't mind being run over by a BMW, while he was pointing to one, and that was because of his love for this make.

((Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: "Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun (Korah) has been given?))

[Al- Qasas, 79]

 Nowadays, people call the man who earns ill-gotten money "shrewd". The believer, on the other hand, should be proud of his faith.
 Dear brothers, when you are pure, the meanings of the Qur'an will be unfolded for you, and your ultimate happiness is when you are righteous in the Path of Allah, and when you lack it, you will never benefit from the Qur'an.

Scientific topic:

Bacteria:

 Let us move on now to a scientific topic. I sometimes use the word "incredible" for things that are indeed weird. Would you believe that one gram of soil, this being the weight of a mosquito, used in agriculture contains billions of bacteria? And that one cubic meter contains 200 thousand spider eggs, 100 thousand of those of other insects', 300 thousand soil worms, and thousands of millions of germs and micro organisms?
 Those micro organisms are in the shape of a rod, a sphere, or a spiral. While some of them need oxygen, others don’t. Some are legless, and others have cilia in order to move.
This factory is in constant movement fulfilling one of the most mysterious, because unsolved, missions. What is the mission of these organisms? Their mission is a secret which no one knows, yet it is beneficial to mankind. So get ready for some astonishing facts. If the entire human race became extinct on the five continents, and not one soul were left alive, life would carry on.
However, if these organisms were to become extinct, life on earth would cease to exist.

Man’s nutrition is based on plants:

 Therefore, the existence of these organisms is more crucial than mankind’s existence, as everything we eat directly or indirectly is based on plants. The meat we eat comes from animals. These animals feed on grass, as does the cow for example, which eats grass and gives us milk and meat; therefore this meat is based on plants indirectly.
 When man committed the big mistake of feeding this domestic vegetarian animal on powdered meat, it was afflicted with cow madness disease, because of which Britain had to burn thirty million cows, losing thirty billion pound sterling in the process. As I always say, cow’s madness is the outcome of mankind’s madness.
 Dear brothers, our nutrition is based on plants. Allah Most High says:

((He, Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! You kindle therewith.))

[Ya-Sin, 80]

 What does "green" mean? According to scientists, without chlorophyll, plants would never grow. A leaf, where chlorophyll is manufactured, is the greatest factory in the Universe, the biggest man-made factory being something trivial compared with it. It takes photons from the sun, nitrogen from the air, and minerals from the soil in order to manufacture this nutrient, therefore, if it were not for the plants, man would become extinct, and if it were not for the soil which is so rich in organisms, plants wouldn't grow. So, if we exterminated the organisms in the soil, we would be exterminating life from the surface of earth, whereas on the other hand, if we exterminated mankind, life would carry on.

Worms are signs which denote Allah’s Greatness:

 Dear brothers, this is one of the signs that indicates Allah’s greatness, as those worms eat soil and excrete dung, and only Allah knows how many tons these creatures produce to one hectare of land.
 This Universe is vast, its Creator is great, and His laws are wise. Allah Most High says:

((And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little."))

[Al- Isra’, 85]

((And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills))

[Al- Baqarah, 255]

Translation  : Noura Al-Sharabi
Edited by      : Najat Rozko