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25-02-2024
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Reflections on the Quran- Lesson 5: Surat Al-Baqarah- Connection with Allah
   
 
 
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  
 
Praise be to Allah, the Lord (The One and Only) of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our Master Muhammad and upon his noble Folks, Companions, the trustees of his mission and the leaders of his banner, and be pleased with us and them, O Lord of the Worlds.  O Allah, 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 wisdom in the order of these Ayaat:

   
Dear noble brothers, the order of the Ayaat is due to Allah's Will, so they are ordered as they were first revealed to the Prophet, peace be upon him. In al-Fajr Salat, the Imam read the following Ayaat from Surat al-Baqarah:  

﴾ And if you divorce them before you have touched (had a sexual relation with) them, and you have appointed unto them the Mahr (bridal money given by the husbands to his wife at the time of marriage), then pay half of that (Mahr), unless they (the women) agree to forego it, or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to forego and give her full appointed Mahr. And to forego and give (her the full Mahr) is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, right-eousness, etc.). And do not forget liberality between yourselves. Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.* Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer – 'Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salat (prayers)]* And if you fear (an enemy), perfrom Salat (pray) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, offer the Salat (prayer) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before).* And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year's maintenance and residence without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honourable (e.g. lawful marriage). And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. [The order of this Verse has been cancelled (abrogated) by Verse 4:12]. ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 237-240]


How do you explain having such an Ayah (that is about Salat) among other Ayaat that revolve around marriage and divorce?  Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer – 'Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salat (prayers)]. ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 238 ]


The Ayaat are ordered due to the Will of the Creator of the universes. Some scholars say, "The Divine Command requires a motivation, whereas the Divine Prohibition requires a deterrent." Therefore, if man is not connected to Allah the Almighty, and if he does not taste the sweetness of being close to Him and he is not concerned about establishing a connection with Him, he will never act upon Allah's Order, and so he will not apply the rulings on marriage and divorce. The main point is that Allah the Almighty reveals this Ayah about Salat among the Ayaat that are about marriage and divorce to convey to us the message: O My worshipping servants if you do not connect with me, do not get enlightened by My Light, and do not seek My Bestowal, you will not able be to act upon My Order.   

Unfortunately, many men do harm to their wives physically and psychologically, others deprive some people of their rights, and some others deceive people although they read the Quran in which Shari'ah rulings are clear. Therefore, Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, mentions this act of worship (Salat) among the Ayaat of marriage and divorce:      

﴾ Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer – 'Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salat (prayers)]. ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 238 ]


Dear noble brothers, Salat is the pillar of this religion, so whoever  performs it regularly and continuously, makes his religion firm, and whoever abandons it actually abandons his religion. It is the main act of worship that gets man closer to Allah, the top act of worship, and the path of getting the believer close to Allah, the Lord of the earth and the heavens.   

The severe disasters are blessings from Allah:    


One more thing, Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ Did you (O Muhammad PBUH) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, "Die". And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men thank not. ﴿

[  Al-Baqarah, 243 ]


Did you see the Children of Israel when King Bukhtanasar brought them out  of Egypt? Did you see that with your own eyes? Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, says: 

﴾ Did you (O Muhammad PBUH) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, "Die". And then He restored them to life… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 243 ]


Some scholars said, "When Allah the Almighty tells us a piece of news, you should believe it as if you saw it with your own eyes." Allah the Almighty tells us about the past and the ancient nations, and you should believe it without doubt as if you witnessed   the news yourself. 

What caught one's attention concerning this Ayah is that the people whom Allah the Almighty mentions in the Ayah went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death, so they became homeless which is a serious situation. Unlike them, you have a house to dwell in, which is your shelter for sleeping, you have food to eat and you have your children safe and sound before you. How about the one who was forced to  leave with his family and children and become homeless? Where would he sleep? What would he eat? What would he do? This is the severest disaster ever. Allah the Almighty says:        

﴾ Did you (O Muhammad PBUH) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 243 ]


You hear about 100.000 people who ran away from their country fearing the civil war, but where   would they sleep? They would sleep on i the street in the very cold and the very hot weather. Being in such a situation is a big disaster. Yet, Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, says:  

﴾ Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men thank not. ﴿

[  Al-Baqarah, 243 ]


How could we find harmony between the first part of the Ayah and its last part? They went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death, and Allah the Almighty is full of Bounty to mankind. Allah, may His Glory be glorified, is an Educator, so had He not sent calamities to His Servants, they would not have returned to Him, they would not have been happy in getting closer to Him, and they would not have survived the torment of the worldly life and the one of the Hereafter. Accordingly, this Ayah confirms the fact that the worst disaster is but a blessing from Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He.     

Every deed is a goodly loan lent to Allah the Almighty:  


Dear brothers, I will fulfill my promise to you and stop at the Ayaat which are considered rules and acts of Sunnah. These Ayaat in the Noble Quran are called, "Allah's Words and none can change His Words." Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return. ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 245 ]


I have said to you many times that whatever good deed you perform to someone seeking by it Allah’s' Countenance Alone is a goodly loan lent to Allah the Almighty and will get back to you in many folds. I repeat; whatever good deed you perform seeking by it Allah's Pleasure Alone is a goodly loan. The most delicate point in this Ayah is the last part of it: 

﴾ …And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions)… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 245 ]


Giving and depriving are in His Hand. You will have lent to Allah a goodly loan when you perform a good deed by dedicating some of your time, money, knowledge, experience, and physical strength to others. These deeds are but a goodly loan to Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He. When the Muslim knows this fact, he will rush to help others in a limitless way. No matter how insignificant the good deed might seem,    nor to help whom it is performed, such as saving an ant from drowning in the sink while you are performing Wudu, is but a goodly loan lent to Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, and Allah the Almighty will double your reward for this deed many folds. The proof is in the following Ayah:      

﴾ …And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions)… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 245 ]


This means that if you lend to Allah a goodly loan stingily, Allah the Almighty will decrease (the reward), but if you lend to Him a goodly loan generously, Allah the Almighty will increase (the reward).  

The connection between the sin and the physical weakness:    


There is a connection between the sin and physical weakness, the sin and laziness, the sin and deteriorated will and the sin and meekness. Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, says:

﴾ And their Prophet (Samuel) said to them: Verily! The sign of His Kingdom is that there shall come to you At-Tabut (a wooden box), wherein is Sakinah (peace and reassurance) from your Lord and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind, carried by the angels. Verily, in this is a sign for you if you are indeed believers.* Then when Talut (Saul) set out with the army, he said: "Verily! Allah will try you by a river. So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me, and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand." Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them. So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: "We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts." But those who knew with certainty that they were to meet their Lord, said: "How often a small group overcame a mighty host by Allah’s Leave?" And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.). ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 248-249 ]


They disobeyed Talut and they drank from that river.  Before going on with these Ayaat, let me refer to a scientific fact. When man drinks a very cold glass of water on a very hot day, the vague nerve (Vagus Nerve) which runs from the stomach to the heart and lungs is stimulated, so in many cases man has a cardiac arrest upon drinking this cold water. The nerve got stimulated. To elaborate, the temperature of man's body is about 38 degrees, so if it is 40 degrees outside, and once  you get back home, you drink a bottle of a very cold water that is 2 or 3 degrees all of it at once, and the cold water reaches the stomach unexpectedly, it may cause a sudden cardiac arrest. Man should drink water bit by bit not all of it at once. The Prophet, peace be upon him, taught us how to drink when he said: 

(( Drink water in sips and not in gulps…  ))


[ Al-Baihaqi in Shu'ab Al-Iman, on the authority of Anas ]


I read an article about many people who had a heart attack due to the vague nerve that runs from the stomach to the heart and the lungs. In fact, this health problem is not a heart attack, but rather it is a digestive disorder. Doctors referred to this fact by mentioning that the feelings man has in such a health condition are similar to the ones of the heart attack, while actually they have nothing to do with the   the heart. They are caused by digestive disorders due to the vague nerve. Actually, the following Ayah refers to this fact:  

﴾ He said: "Verily! Allah will try you by a river. So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me, and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand." Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them. So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: "We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts."… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 249 ]

The sin weakens the body, it causes fear, and it causes laziness. Well, if man keeps committing sins, he will always have no power to perform the acts of worship properly. What did the Children of Israel say as Allah the Almighty narrates?   

﴾ They said: "We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts."… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 249 ]


This was what happened to them, because they drank from that river except a few of them. 

Allah is the Educator and the Facilitator of all affairs: 


We go on with the following Ayaat in Surat al-Baqarah: 
 

﴾ So they routed them by Allah's Leave and Dawud (David) killed Jalut (Goliath), and Allah gave him [Dawud (David)] the kingdom [after the death of Talut (Saul) and Samuel] and Al-Hikmah (Prophethood), and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of Bounty to the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 251 ]


Pay attention to this part of the Ayah: 

﴾ And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief… ﴿


It means that in some cases Allah the Almighty disciplines the disobedient by other people rather than by the Noble Quran. In other words, since Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, is the Educator and the Facilitator of all affairs, He gives someone the power   over another one as means of disciplining the former. Allah the Almighty makes the powerful man the barrier between  the other  and the mischief on earth. 

This Ayah refers to whatever blessing man has but he does not recognize until he loses it. Sometimes man does not appreciate his physical health unless he sees a disabled person. Once, I was invited to a celebration of the Prophet's birthday, and the celebration was so elegant, but there was an insane man who spoiled the whole thing there. When I saw him I said to myself, "What is the wisdom behind this insane man?" Well, had man not seen such   an insane man, he would not have appreciated his own sanity. Regarding this point, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 

 (O Allah, let us see Your Blessings by increasing them rather than by depriving us of them.) 
 
Unfortunately the new world ruling system which allowed    one country to rule the whole world, so we painfully recall the time when there was a balance of power. Allah the Almighty says: 
   

﴾ And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 251 ]


One of the types of mischief on earth is the existence of one controlling power in the world, because the equivalent powers no longer  exist.  

Principles of calling people unto Allah:  


A very enthusiastic Muslim sometimes tries to make people do something related to Islamic teachings forcibly, so what do we say to him in such a case? In fact, He Who created man never forces him to do something related to Islam. Keep in mind that "There is no compulsion in religion", so you are supposed to call people unto Allah and to explain religious matters to them without forcing them to do anything, because forcing others in religious matters is useless. Only Allah the Almighty can force all servants. Yet, He never forces them, and He says:  

﴾ There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 256 ]


Hence, you are assigned to convince people with Islam not to force them. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 

(Instruct other people and never rebuke them while you do so as the instructor is better than the rebuker.)

Your mission is to show to others the right thing to do not to force them to do it. Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ … nor are you set over them to dispose of their affairs. ﴿

[ Al-An'am, 107 ]


In another Ayah, Allah the Almighty narrates what the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 

﴾ And I (Muhammad PBUH) am not a watcher over you. ﴿

[ Al-An'am, 104 ]


Allah the Almighty says in another Surah: 

﴾ So remind them (O Muhammad (PBUH)), you are only a one who reminds* You are not a dictator over them. ﴿

[ Al-Ghashiyah, 21-22 ]


Allah the Almighty says: 

﴾ Not upon you (Muhammad PBUH) is their guidance… ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 272 ]


He also says:

﴾ Verily! You (O Muhammad PBUH) guide not whom you like… ﴿

[ Al-Qasas, 56   ]

You can inform others about Islam, you can explain to others about it, and you can convince them with it, but you are not allowed to force them to be convinced, nor are you allowed to be strict while explaining matters to others. You should clarify things to others and wait for their reaction, and you should be benevolent while doing that, because being benevolent and kind to others precedes clarifying religious matters to them, and setting a good example to others comes before calling them to Islam. Furthermore, educate them instead of looking for their mistakes and highlighting them, start with the major matters before moving to the minor ones, and make things easy to them rather than making them hard. These are the principles of Da'awah to Allah the Almighty.   

Tasks of Shaitan (Satan): 

Dear noble brothers it is time to identify Shaitan (Satan).  Shaitan causes separation between man and his wife,  Shaitan (Satan) threatens us with poverty and orders us to commit Fahsha (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins etc.) and Shaitan (Satan) wants only to  fosters  enmity and hatred between us. These are the tasks of Shaitan: He threatens us with poverty if we spend money in Sadaqah, he terrifies us if we go to the Masjid regularly, he excites enmity and hatred between us by envy, backbiting and gossiping, and he causes separation between man and his wife. In fact, all the conflicts between the spouses are caused by Shaitan. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path. ﴿

[ An-Nisa', 27 ]

 

Only Allah knows man's scope:  


Dear noble brothers, we come to the last Ayah for discussion in our lesson today. If you mistakenly think that the Divine Order is beyond your scope, that you cannot act upon Allah's Order, that you live in an era when applying Allah's Orders is hard, then you belie the Words of Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He, Who says: 
 

﴾ Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. "Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Suppor-ter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people." ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 286 ]


When you say, "This Divine Order is beyond my scope, so I cannot do it", it is as if you disbelieved in this Ayah. The One Who knows the scope of man is Allah not you. Allah the Almighty knows man's capacity and endurance. He allows man to break his Siyaam (fasting) in travels, He allows the sick person to break his Siyaam, and He allows man to shorten his Salat in certain situations. 

The Rukhas (The singular is Rukhsah: It is a leniency or concession given to an accountable Muslim in performing Allah's commandments during certain situations. due to obstacles or any matter permitting exception from general principle.) in Shari'ah make things easier for man in certain situations, so if we claim that we cannot apply Allah's Divine Orders, we belie the Words of Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He.  

Wisdom is the greatest Divine Bounty Allah gives to man:    

The last Ayah for our lesson today is: 

﴾ He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding. ﴿

[ Al-Baqarah, 269 ]


These are the Words of Allah, Exalted and Sublime be He: 

﴾ And he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. ﴿

 

[ Al-Baqarah, 269 ]


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