Wednesday, 20 April 2011

surah baqarah verse 63-73

63. And (O Children of Israel, remember) when We took your covenant and We raised above you the Mount (saying): "Hold fast to that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein so that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2).
64. Then after that you turned away. Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, indeed you would have been among the losers.
65. And indeed you knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). We said to them: "Be you monkeys, despised and rejected."
66. So We made this punishment an example to their own and to succeeding generations and a lesson to those who are Al-Muttaqun
67. And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: "Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow." They said, "Do you make fun of us?" He said, "I take Allah's Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorants or the foolish)."
68. They said, "Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!" He said, "He says, 'Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions', so do what you are commanded."
69. They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its colour." He said, "He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in its colour, pleasing to the beholders.' "
70. They said, "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily to us all cows are alike, And surely, if Allah wills, we will be guided."
71. He [Musa (Moses)] said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other colour except bright yellow.' " They said, "Now you have brought the truth." So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.
72. And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allah brought forth that which you were hiding.
73. So We said: "Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow)." Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) so that you may understand.

The Bani Israel had promised to believe in Allah and His messengers but they broke their promise and indulged in worshipping the calf ( Shirk) and were punished accordingly as per Allah's commands (the wrongdoers were killed). After this 70 people were taken to Mount Toor where they were killed by a bolt of lightining and brought back to life and thus they made a firm convenant with Allah to believe in Him. Verse 63 is a reminder of that convenant where Allah says that remember the time when we raised the Mount Toor over your heads (with the grace of Allah such miracles were common in those times) so that you may stick to your promise. They are further advised and warned to firmly hold on to the Book (Torah) they had been blessed with and to follow whatever is given in it so that they may be among the believers.

Quran does not specify the village where the incident took place. This incident happened during the time of Hazrat Dawood. The day of Saturday for Bani Israel was a day of holiday. They were forbidden to indulge in any sort of worldly activities on this day rather devote themselves to the worship of Allah on this day. there was a certain tribe of Bani Israel who lived by the sea shore and were fishermen by profession. The command of Allah to stay away from any business or worldly activity on saturday was a serious challenge for them primarily because on this very day the fishes would come up in huge numbers. So they would lay the net on friday evening and take it out on sunday thereby claiming that they did not do any work on Saturday. Another opinion states that they would dig holes on the shore on friday so that the waves would dump the fishes in the holes on saturday and on sunday the fishermen can catch them.
In either case they tried to act cunningly to please Allah and at the same time succumb to their temptations (of catching fish even on saturday). But Allah is All-Knowing He knew what went on in the hearts of these people and how they tried to fool Allah. At that time this tribe of Bani Israel divided into 3 groups:
1. those who engaged in this act
2. those who tried to stop them from doing this
3. and those who neither engaged in this and neither did they try to stop them.
the 3rd group of people used to tell the 2nd group that why are they trying to stop them and waste their time on those who will face the wrath of Allah for sure. So Allah punished the 1st group and also those who did not try to stop them by making them monkeys. It is said that these people who had been changed into monkeys could recognize each other and would cry on seeing each other. All of these people-turned-monkeys died after 3 days. This punishment was a lesson for those who engage in wrongdoings and also for those who are believers and the generations to come next so that their faith may become stronger.

And then Hazrat Musa conveyed the command of Allah to the Bani Israel i.e they sacrifice a cow(this command was given so that the Bani Israel would realize that a cow holds no other significance apart from being an animal and is not a creature for worship). At this the Bani Israel were taken back and asked Hazrat Musa that is he joking (the Bani Israel used to worship a calf so the thought of sacrificing a cow did not appeal to them and they felt it was some sort of a joke). Hazrat Musa replied that he seeks refuge from Allah from being among the ignorant(implying that making such baseless and useless jokes is a sign of ignorant people).
the Bani Israel then engaged in the act of asking unnecessary questions in an attempt to get out of the act of performing the requried sacrifice. Alas they ran out of questions and had to sacrifice a cow. Before doing so they asked numerous questions regarding the colour,type etc of the cow they were ordered to sacrifice. Allah told them that the cow should be middle aged neither too old nor too young, shiny yellow coloured that looks pleasing to the eye, one which is not used to any sort of farming activities and it should  be sound (i.e. no spots,injuries, broken limbs etc). Thus, the bani israel managed to find such a cow (it is said they had to pay a heavy price for it) and sacrificed it. At that time a very wealthy man of the tribe was murdered and the Bani Israel engaged in a conflict within themselves each blaming and accusing the other for the murder. But Allah revealed the identity of the murderer which uptill then had been hidden from everyone. Allah commanded them to throw any piece of the body of the sacrificed cow at the murdered man. When the piece of meat was thrown at him, the dead man was brought back to life and he revealed the identity of the person who had killed him. Thus, Allah saved them from a serious conflict which could have arose if they had continued with the accusations. Allah put an end to it by revealing what was hidden from them so that they may strengthen their faith and understand the verses and words of Allah.

so far we have seen 3 prominent traits in the attitudes of Bani Israel:
1. They went back on their promise and broke the convenant with Allah, openly refusing to believe His signs and ayats.
2. Pretending to be innocent they would engage in cunning plans in an attempt to fool Allah- the saturday incident of the fishermen
3.engage in unnecessary questioning to avoid /delay the command - the incident of the cow sacrifice

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

surah baqarah verse 60-62

60. And (remember) when Musa (Moses) asked for water for his people, We said: "Strike the stone with your stick." Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each (group of) people knew its own place for water. "Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth."
61. And (remember) when you said, "O Musa (Moses)! We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Fum (wheat or garlic), its lentils and its onions." He said, "Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower? Go you down to any town and you shall find what you want!" And they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves the Wrath of Allah. That was because they used to disbelieve the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and killed the Prophets wrongfully. That was because they disobeyed and used to transgress the bounds (in their disobedience to Allah, i.e. commit crimes and sins).
62. Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve .

While the Bani Israel were living in the deser (after being freed from the tyranny of the Pharoah) Hazrat Musa prayed to God to bless his people with drinking water and hence Allah asked him to strike the stone with his strike and lo behold 12 springs of water came gushing out. Its said that 12 springs were created to cater to the 12 tribes of each of the 12 children of Hazrat Yaqoob. This water was another of the numerous gifts of Allah to Bani Israel (the other prominent ones being: release from the slavery of pharoah, mon salwa,mercy even after the sin of indulging in Shirk,Torah, numerous messengers etc). At the same time the bani israel were warned against creating conflicts on earth. Four attributes are required to avoid mischief on earth :
1. Thankfulness - being grateful for the blessings bestowed upon you
2. patience - if we dont get what we desire than waiting for the right time
3. satisfaction - being happy with what we have
4. humbleness- being down to earth and not considering oneself superior to others in any possible sense

unfortunately the bani israel were ungrateful for all the gifts and blessings and honours of Allah, they were impatient as stated  in verse 61 where they demanded food of their choice in place of the much better,nutritious and readymade food they were receiving as mon salwa depicting the very fact that they were not satisfied with what they had. And lastly they considered themselves to be the 'chosen people' believing that whatever they do their messengers and prophets would vouch for them on the Last Day hence saving them from any ill consequences of Hell fire. Such was the arrogance of Bani Israel because of which they faced utter humiliation in this world.  Allah had blessed them with mon salwa (all dietary needs were met by it)for which they did not have to make any effort rather they got prepared food every day but still they complained and said they want to grow vegetation and grow their own crops. Allah sent prepared food for them so that the women and men can save utilize their time that Allah had reserved for their guidance and training for much biggers tasks in the future. Alas, the Bani Israel desired something else altogether even though Allah asked them that you want something which is inferior in exhange for something of much greater worth? (They asked for lentils,herbs,onions,cucumbers etc in exchange for mon salwa).
the humilation of the Bani ISrael is best summed up in just 3 words:
1. Diaspora
2. Inquisetion
3. holocaust
(* google the above terms for further knowledge)
The Bani Israel were unfair and killed prophets of Allah and created mischief on earth, they disobeyed Allah and refused to believe in the verses of Allah and hence inflicted upon them were severe humiliation and misery.
But then there is good news for those who believe in the last verse. It states that be it christians,jews or sabians, if they believe in Allah.His messengers, His ayats, the last day  and does acts of goodshall definitely be rewarded on the day of judgement.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

surah baqarah verse 49-59

49. And (remember) when We delivered you from Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people, who were afflicting you with a horrible torment, killing your sons and sparing your women, and therein was a mighty trial from your Lord.
50. And (remember) when We separated the sea for you and saved you and drowned Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people while you were looking (at them, when the sea-water covered them).
51. And (remember) when We appointed for Musa (Moses) forty nights, and (in his absence) you took the calf (for worship), and you were Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).
52. Then after that We forgave you so that you might be grateful.
53. And (remember) when We gave Musa (Moses) the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)] and the criterion (of right and wrong) so that you may be guided aright.
54. And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: "O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf. So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves (the innocent kill the wrongdoers among you), that will be better for you with your Lord." Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
55. And (remember) when you said: "O Musa (Moses)! We shall never believe in you till we see Allah plainly." But you were seized with a thunderbolt (lightning) while you were looking.
56. Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful.
57. And We shaded you with clouds and sent down on you Al-Manna and the quails, (saying): "Eat of the good lawful things We have provided for you," (but they rebelled). And they did not wrong Us but they wronged themselves.
58. And (remember) when We said: "Enter this town and eat bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: 'Forgive us,' and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers."
59. But those who did wrong changed the word from that which had been told to them for another, so We sent upon the wrong-doers Rijzan (a punishment) from the heaven because of their rebelling against Allah's Obedience.

There are 2 opinions regarding the killing of Bani Israel by Pharoah
1. the population of the Bani Israel was growing rapidly and the Pharoah was scared that if their population exceeds that of people of Pharoah then they would become weak against the Bani Israel and would lose power. So he decided to kill all the male newborns in the Bani Israel and this killing was done alternate years. The year Hazrat Haroon was born there were no killings but the year of the birth of Hazrat Musa, the newborns were killed.
2. the other opinion is that the pharoah had a dream and when he inquired about the meaning behind the dream he was told that a child from amongst the Bani Israel will grow up to overthrow his rule and authority. Thus it was decided to kill all the new born males of Bani Israel. Hazrat Haroon was born before this decision was taken.

Allah is reminding Bani Israel of that time when the Pharoah was getting the males of their population killed and were sparing their women and it was then that Allah sent down Hazrat Musa for their help.
Hazrat Musa was commanded by Allah to cross the sea with his people but while doing so they were worried to see that Pharoah was right behind them with his army. Allah commanded Hazrat Musa to strike his stick and the sea seperated, creating a path for him and his people to cross the sea safely. When Pharoah tried to follow the sea closed again , drowining him and his army. And thus the Bani Israel were relieved from the tyranny of the Pharoah. And then the Bani Israel were told to move towards their homeland- Palestine. On the way Hazrat Musa was summoned by Allah to Koh-i-Toor for 40 days because Allah wanted to bestow Torah on him so that his people may be guided and preached about whats right and whats wrong. In the absence of Hazrat Musa, Hazrat Haroon was left in charge of the people. The question may arise that why was Hazrat Musa called to Koh-I-toor to receive the Torah? Allah wanted to teach him the lessons of the Book and that was only possible in the serenity and quietness of the mountain where complete concentration and focus could be achieved where no communication with other people was possible.
Behind his back, the Bani Israel created a calf out of gold and started worshipping it (Shirk) and hence became polytheists. The had lived for so long in the rule of Pharoah that shirk had become a part of them as well. But Allah forgave them for this just so that they may learn to be grateful to their Lord who forgave them for such a major sin.
Hazrat Musa said to them that they have inflicted a major suffering upon themselves by indulging in shirk and they can repent by killing each other. there are again two opinions about this:
1. there were 2 kinds of people. one , who worshipped the calf and the other who did not. So the innocent killed the polythiests.
2. The order was to kill the Bani Israel and no distinction like above was made amongst them.
It is said that 70,000 bani israel were killed(out of a total of 600,000) and the rest who remained were forgiven. Although this might sound very cruel but this was for their own benefit, there was betterment in this for them only.
When Hazrat Musa came back with Torah , his people said that we havent seen Allah so how can we believe this is His Book, how can we be sure that you yourself havent written it. so it was decided that some people would accompany Hazrat Musa to Koh-i-Toor where he got the Torah, so that the Bani Israel can learn the truth themselves. And hence around 70 people went with Hazrat Musa to the mountain where they said that they will only believe when they see Allah and they will not believe in any voice. And then they saw lightning move towards the mountain and when it struck, all 70 of them died. Hazrat Musa got worried and said to Allah that how will he go back to his people?how will he face them and their questions? How will he make them believe the Truth. So Allah brought those 70 people back to life so that they may be grateful to their Lord Who kept forgiving their sins once after the other.
And so they went back to the desert where they lived for 40 years before entering palestine again. there were no trees and no shade in the desert, Allah provided shade for them through clouds (an extremely huge favour) and He sent down Mon (sweet goodies) Salwa( meat of a bird) and this was another blessing of Allah on the Bani Israel. But they were still ungrateful and complained that they cannot keep having the same kind of food. And they once again brought misery upon their own self through this act of ungratefulness.
But Allah is ever Merciful and He told them to move towards their homeland (implied Palestine) and to enter the gates of their homeland humbly, seeking the forgiveness of Allah(with words of repentance on their tongues but instead they started uttering the words "wheat") but once again they rebelled (mocked the commands) and went against the words of Allah. Thus they were inflicted with a severe punishment sent down from the skies. There is no clarity of what that punishment was, some say it was the disease of Tawun. 
A Muslim hadith states: Tawun is a part of the punishment (Rijz)that was inflicted on people before you. If tawun spreads where you live then do not leave that area and if you get to know  that Tawun has spread someplace then avoid that place.
But I repeat there is no clear defination or clarification of what that punishment was.

Men get Hoor Al'Een in Jannah....But.......what do we get??!! by Asma bint Shameem

Men get Hoor Al'Een in Jannah....But.......what do we get??!!

 by Asma bint Shameem
Men get Hoor Al'Een in Jannah....But what about us women.......what do we get??!!

That is a question that we come across many times and actually, that is something a lot of us ask. In fact, just the other day, someone asked me the very same  question.

To that sister and others who may have this question up their mind, I say....

My dear sister.....first of all Jannah and Jahannum (and Hoor Al'Een, for that matter) and all what happens in them are matters of the Hereafter. These are a part of the realm of the Unseen of which we have very limited perception. Such matters are beyond our understanding and cannot be known by reasoning and thinking and we have really no knowledge of these things except what the Quraan and the authentic Sunnah tell us.
All we do is to believe in such matters of the Unseen, while remembering that its realities are known only to Allaah.

And actually, one should not really get into the details or indulge in discussions of the matters of the unseen without knowledge, because there is really no benefit in that. Rather if such a question comes up, we should say Allaah knows best.
As Allaah says:
 “And follow not (i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allaah)” (Surah al-Isra’ :36)

And, dear sister, from whatever limited knowledge we do have about Jannah that Allaah and His Messenger (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) have informed us, there are a few points that we, as believing women, should remember, when questions such as these pop up in our heads.

1. Allaah is Most-Just and the Most-Merciful
The first and foremost thing to remember is that this is Allaah, Rab ul Aalameen we are talking about here.
Subhaan Allaah.
Remember that He is ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem, the One who is Just and there is no one more just than Him....
And He is the One who is Fair and there is no one who is more fair than Him!!

He will never ever let you down or be unfair to you. If He has promised the men of Jannah Hoor Al'Een, then surely He will give the believing women of Jannah something equally pleasing too. There is no way that He will favor the men over the women, aoodhu billaah. Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala. 

"If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter Jannah, and not the least injustice will be done to them."  (Surah an-Nisa:124)

2. Allaah created men and women differently
Another thing to remember is that what pleases women may be different from what pleases men. And everybody knows that. So wouldn't He, Who created us in the first place know that better than anybody else?

"Shall He who has created (all things) not know? He is the Subtle, the Aware." (Surah Mulk: 14)

So have this firm belief  in Him, and have blind trust in Him, Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala....He, who knows us women and our nature best and He, who will give the women of Jannah whatever will please her the best.

“Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire" (Surah Fussilat:31-32)

3. In Jannah the righteous woman will be married to her husband and she will be pleased with that
Allaah will marry the believing women to their husbands of the dunya if they were righteous and make them pleased with that. That IS what they would desire. They wouldn't want any one else.
And if a woman did not get married during her worldly life, or if her husband was not from the people of Jannah, then Allaah will marry her to one of the believing men in Jannah. The women will live with their husbands and children and families in their own realms in Paradise, and they will be so content with that.

"Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring." (Surah ar-Ra`d: 23)

"Enter the Garden, you and your wives, you will be made glad. There will be brought round for them trays of gold and goblets, and therein is all that the souls desire and eyes find sweet and you will stay there forever. This is the garden, which you are made to inherit because of what you used to do. Therein for you is fruit in plenty whence to eat." (Az-Zukhruf 43: 70-73)

Ibn Katheer said: “ they (the women of Jannah) lower their gaze and avoid looking at men other than their husbands, so they do not think that there is anything in Paradise that is more handsome than their husbands. This was stated by Ibn ‘Abbaas, Qataadah, ‘Ata’ al-Khuraasaani and Ibn Zayd. And it was narrated that one of them will say to her husband: By Allaah I do not think that there is anything in Paradise finer than you, or that there is anything in Paradise dearer to me than you; praise be to Allaah Who has made you for me and made me for you." (Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem).

4. In Jannah there will be no jealousy
Remember,my sister, that life in Jannah will be nothing like life here in this world. It is a different world that has nothing in common with this world except names only; the realities of things are completely different. 
Pleasures and feelings that we experience here in this life will be experienced in a different and much better and purer way. We will eat and drink but there will be no filth or dirt. Our bodies will not excrete wastes nor will we grow old. And not only our physical bodies, but our psychology and nature will be different also.

“And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury...." (Surah al-A’raaf:43)

The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “The first group to enter Paradise will look like the moon when it is full. They will not spit or blow their noses or defecate therein. Their vessels and combs will be of gold and silver, their incense burners will be of aloeswood and their sweat will be musk. Each of them will have two wives, the marrow of whose calves will be visible from beneath the flesh because of their beauty. There will be no dissent or enmity among them and their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify Allaah morning and evening.” (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)

He also said: “they will not envy one another.”  (Bukhaari)

So even if the men will have Hoor Al'Een, we will not be jealous. Yes, it seems hard at this time, but it is just as hard to imagine eating and drinking without any excretion, although it is surely true. So rest assured...there will be love and peace and no jealousy.
Besides, think about it....Isn't the One capable of making you the way you are in this world with all your jealousy and the other 'womanly' feelings, capable of making you without jealousy in the Hereafter??!! Of course He is!

Rejoice, O sister, the believing women will be better than the Hoor Al'Een

Yes that's right. Read the quote below, my sister, and rejoice!

"The situation of the believing woman in Jannah will be better than the situation of the hoor al-‘iyn; she will be higher in status and more beautiful. Several ahaadeeth and reports have been narrated concerning that, but none of them can be proven to be sound. But, if a righteous woman from among the people of this world enters Paradise, then she will do so as a reward for her righteous deeds and as a honor from Allaah to her for her religious commitment and righteousness. As for the hoori who is one of the delights of Paradise, she has only been created in Paradise for the sake of someone else, and has been made the reward for the believing man for his righteous deeds. There is a great difference between one who enters Paradise as a reward for her righteous deeds and the one who was created as a reward for one who did righteous deeds. The former is a queen and a princess, and the latter, no matter how beautiful she is, is undoubtedly lower in status than a queen, and she is subject to the command of her believing master for whom Allaah created her as a reward." ( 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said regarding this matter:
"It seems to me that the women of this world will be better than the hoor al-‘iyn, even in outward appearance, and Allaah knows best." (Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb).

Logically speaking......Wouldn't you rather be beautiful??
When we look at ourselves and our nature, we realize Allaah's infinite Wisdom and Justice in the way He has created us. It is in our very nature that most of us women are generally pleased with and devoted to only one man.
Ask yourself this or any woman out there you know, this question and you would know what I mean. Ask them....
"What would you rather extremely beautiful with one loving husband or be ordinary looking with several husbands??!!

I am sure there will not be very many women out there who would pick the second choice...!!!

We have no right to question to Allaah
Actually, if you think about it, we have no right to question Allaah in whatever He does, how He does it and when He does it. We should not question Allaah’s wisdom in making us in the nature we are now or in re-creating us in the nature we will have in the future. We know that He is generous and merciful, and we have to trust Him.
He is All-Wise, All-Knowing. He is the Just and He knows Best.

AND, for arguments sake, EVEN IF, in His Infinite Wisdom, Allaah chooses to give men Hoor Al'Een and the women absolutely nothing, so be it. Know firmly, in your heart and believe unshakably in your mind, that, this is what was better for you. Know that He will NEVER be unfair to you and He will give you ONLY and ONLY if He pleases. And He will withhold from you, ONLY and ONLY if you deserve it.
Where is our trust in the Almighty??

The real focus
Instead of worrying about what Allaah has promised men and competing with them, we should focus on how to serve Him and worship Him better. We should try to improve our relationship with Him so that we may hope for His generous reward and forgiveness, so that out of His Mercy, He may enter us in Jannah.
Think about it, sister, if we learn all the details of what life in Jannah will be like and what rewards women will get, but fail to worship and serve Him the way He and His Messenger have taught us to.... then our knowledge is pretty useless, isn't it...?

If you are among those women who leave this world having won the pleasure of Allaah, then good news to you, my sister. When you enter Jannah you will have delights and pleasures such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has ever imagined. You will have all that you wish for in the best of ways. You will be more beautiful than you can ever imagine, with a status higher than you can ever conceive and happier than you have ever been, content with your husband and family. Everything that you will ask for will be granted, and everything that you long for, you will get. You will never find anything to upset or disturb you, or make you jealous for you will be in the care of the Most Generous, Most Merciful.
What more could you ask for....????

surah Baqarah verse 40-48

40. O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you) so that I fulfill (My Obligations to) your covenant (with Me), and fear none but Me.
41. And believe in what I have sent down (this Qur'an), confirming that which is with you, [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], and be not the first to disbelieve therein, and buy not with My Verses [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] a small price (i.e. getting a small gain by selling My Verses), and fear Me and Me Alone.
42. And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth [i.e. Muhammad Peace be upon him is Allah's Messenger and his qualities are written in your Scriptures, the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you know (the truth) .
43. And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and Irka' (i.e. bow down or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar-Raki'un.
44. Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)]! Have you then no sense?
45. And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi'un [i.e. the true believers in Allah - those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)].
46. (They are those) who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return.
47. O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the 'Alamin (mankind and jinns) (of your time period, in the past).
48. And fear a Day (of Judgement) when a person shall not avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken from him nor will they be helped.

Although these verses are a warning and an advice for the Yahoods but its not only applicable to them, rather its applicable to all believers so that they may mend their ways before its too late.
the verses address the Yahoods(referring to them as the children of Hazrat Yaqoob) reminding them of the favours and bounties which Allah had bestowed upon them. These favours refer to the worldly power and domination possessed by the Yahoods as well as the favour of being blessed with 4000 messengers from amongst the Bani Israel and the Holy books(Torah, Injeel, Zahoor) revealed onto these messengers for the guidance of Bani Israel. As mentioned in Surah Maida verse 20 "And (remember) when Mûsa (Moses) said to his people: "O my people! Remember the Favour of Allâh to you, when He made Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the 'Alamîn (mankind and jinns, in the past)."
Allah reminds them to of their promise to Allah which was that when the Last Prophet (pbuh) will come, the Bani Israel will offer complete support and provide all means of assistance. As mentioned in surah Maida verse 12 "Indeed Allâh took the covenant from the Children of Israel (Jews), and We appointed twelve leaders among them. And Allâh said: "I am with you if you perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât and believe in My Messengers; honour and assist them, and lend to Allâh a good loan. Verily, I will remit your sins and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise). But if any of you after this, disbelieved, he has indeed gone astray from the Straight Path."
in the books of Injeel and Torah the Bani Israel were given explicit signs that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) will come as the Last Messenger and when he did come the Bani Israel recognized him but refused to accept him because they resented the fact that the last messenger was not from amongst the Bani Israel. Allah reminds them that if they would fulfill their promise to Allah then only Allah would fulfill His convenant with them (i.e. of blessing them with more favours in both this world and the next),
verse 41 emphasizes the fact that Quran only confirms what the Injeel and Torah had already informed them so if they could accept the Torah and Injeel then why not the Quran? The Bani Israel were very knowledgeable people, they comprised of all the Ulemas and scholars owing to the preachings by the several messengers and the books bestowed upon them. As a result they held certain power over the rest of the population and such was the domination that people used to say that if the Bani Israel would accept the Holy Prophet as the messenger and the Holy Quran as the Book of Allah , then they would do so as well. That is why it is said that be not the first to disbelieve because the Ulemas of Bani Israel were being the first hurdle(people followed their decisions and judgements). "small price" in exchange for the verses does not necessarily mean the monetary benefit but actually the Bani Israel used to manipulate the teachings in the Torah and Injeel as per the satisfaction of people in order to get their loyalty and support. For this worldly loyalty they would go as far as to change the meaning of the words of Allah(Injeel and Torah). and do not fear losing the your importance and leadership in the eyes of the people, rather fear only Allah.
Allah warns them that they knew the last prophet was coming because their books had given them clear signs for his arrival so why then do they tell people that 'yes Hazrat Mohammed (pbuh) is indeed a messenger of Allah but not for the Bani Israel but only for the Arabs'. In spite of knowing the truth why then did they conceal the truth from people.
Verse 43 enforces the obligation to perform Salah, give zakat and prostrate in prayer like the believers do (the early form of Salah of the Yahoods did not comprise of Prostration and hence the emphasis on prostration here, implying that the yahoods are also supposed to follow the religion of the Holy Prophet(pbuh) which is consistent for all the believers).
and preach good to people but make sure you follow it as well. Preaching without actions is the worse form and hadiths of the Prophet have strictly condemned such behaviour. And learn to be patient because patience is a characteristic of a Momin and salah teaches us patience. Indeed salah is hard but not for those who give themselves in humble submission to Allah and bow down humbly before Him. They are the ones who have a firm belief in the fact that it to to Him that they have to return One Day.
Allah again reminds the Bani Israel of the favours of Allah on them shattering their illusion that since they are the progeny of Hazrat Ibrahim so he will vouch for them and free them even if they get into trouble on the Day of Judgement. But Allah warns them that no one will be able to help them on that day, no intercession will be possible and no one can vouch for the other.
About intercession the facts hold that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) will ask for Allah's permission if he can put in a good word for some people. If Allah allows then only he would do so. And even after that its upto the decree of Allah to accept it or reject it.

Brief history of Bani Israel

Israel was the ‘Laqab’ of Hazrat Yaqoob who was the son of Hazrat Isaac (son of Hazrat Ibrahim). Thus, the history of Bani Israel dates back to Hazrat Ibrahim. Hazrat Yaqoob’s eldest son was named Yahooda (Juda) and hence the name Yahood for the tribe of Bani Israel. The Yahood and the Christians are both Ahl-e-Kitaab (people of the Book).
Hazrat Yaqoob lived in Palestine but when a famine struck the region, they moved to Egypt where Hazrat Yousuf held a respectful and authoritative position. There they lived in good conditions for several years until the rise of Pharoah against them who made them slaves and inflicted severe sufferings upon them. For help in this matter Allah sent Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Haroon. Under the leadership of Hazrat Musa, the Bani Israel were relieved from the slavery of the Pharoah(who along with his army drowned). Bani Israel moved towards Palestine and on the way Hazrat Musa was summoned to Koh-i-Tur by Allah so that the Torah be revealed unto him for the guidance of his people. But behind his back, Bani Israel indulged in Shirk and started worshipping a calf (made out of their gold belongings). This displeased Allah to such an extent that for the next 40 years Bani Israel lived in that very desert and did not get to see their homeland again. Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Haroon both died in this desert.
Under the leadership of Hazrat Yusha (a student of Hazrat Musa), the Bani Israel were then able to enter into Palestine. During the time of Hazrat Dawood and Hazrat Sulaiman, Bani Israel had power in Palestine and this lasted for many years until intra conflicts caused them to be divided into two sects making them vulnerable to attacks by other civilizations.
They were attacked and defeated by Ashuri (Asyrians) in 800 BC and then by the Babylonians in 600 B.C who also destroyed their worship place as well as their Book (Torah). Then in 400 B.C Sikander Azam conquered them and they became a part of the Roman empire. But the Bani Isreal were under the illusion that they were the “Chosen People” the ones favoured by Allah and thus they were superior to all others. This illusion of superiority was a prime reason for their moral and ethical downfall, keeping them in a constant state of conflict with the Romans. Seeing this that the Bani Israel cannot learn to live in peace and harmony, the Romans decided to kill them. All those of the Bani Israel in Palestine were killed and the rest scattered all over the world.
To date, the Yahoods have been trying to get back their land of Palestine and in these efforts have come together in the form of Israel.
Bani Israel were blessed with a total of 4000 messengers of Allah.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

surah baqarah verse 35-39

35. And We said: "O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Zalimun (wrong-doers)."
36. Then the Shaitan (Satan) made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: "Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time."
37. Then Adam received from his Lord Words . And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful.
38. We said: "Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.
39. But those who disbelieve and belie Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) such are the dwellers of the Fire, they shall abide therein forever.


there is a difference of opinion about the "Heaven" where Hazrat Adam and his wife were placed. But one thing is certain that the heaven under discussion is not the eternal paradise which will be the abode of all believers after death, because that Paradise is eternal, no one will be turned out of there. Some scholars are of the opinion that the heaven being talked about is an elevated place, a garden where Hazrat Adam and his wife where allowed to stay and eat whatever their heart desires and do whatever they will. But they were warned against going near a certain tree. As explained in the previous verses Iblis had defied the commands of Allah and thus had become one of the disbelievers. He tricked Hazrat Adam and Bibi Hawa to eat from the forbidden tree because he resented the fact that because of Hazrat Adam, Iblis had been become one of the disbelievers and was thrown out of Paradise. To get even, he tricked them into committing the mistake of going against Allah's order and as a result they too were ordered to leave the Paradise and live on earth for a temporary period.  Quran doesnt discuss which tree was the forbidden one because the purpose here is to emphasize the fact that if a believer is forbidden to do something, its inevitable that the devil will try to tempt him to do otherwise. This Paradise was an example for Hazrat Adam to show him what will happen to his progeny on earth i.e . they will be tricked and tempted by the Shaitaan to defy Allah's commands thereby displeasing Him. Iblis had prayed to Allah to grant him a long life so that he can prove to Allah that Adam is not faithful to Him and most of he progeny will not worship Him. Allah granted his prayer marking the beginning of an open war between the agents of Allah (progeny of Hazrat Adam) and the agents of Iblis (Shaitaan).
but Hazrat Adam was sincerely regretful of the mistake he had committed and wanted to ask for forgiveness but was unable to express his regret in words. At that moment Allah taught him the words of repentance (Surah Araf verse 23) " "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.""
Indeed Allah is very Merciful , He forgave Hazrat Adam and assured that all those who will follow His commandments on earth need not fear but those who disbelieve and deny the verses of Allah, their abode will be the Hell fire and that will be eternal.

It Happened Last Friday - A True Story By Asma bint Shameem

It Happened Last Friday - A True Story

By Asma bint Shameem 
The Khutbah had already started. She knew that she was late, but she wanted to attend the Jumuah prayers anyway. She quickly picked up her baby and stepped anxiously into the Masjid, looking to the right and left. After all, she had just moved to the area and didn't know anybody.
As she sat down in the Sister's Prayer Hall with the baby in her lap, her heart was thumping in her chest. She could feel curious eyes turn in her direction, but she stared hard at the ground, too nervous to meet their gaze and tried to concentrate on what the Imam was saying.
But her baby was nervous too. He didn't know this new place….all these new faces. He had never been in a Masjid before. He wanted to go home.
She knew her baby would be uncomfortable in the new setting, but she thought she would manage. She herself had not been very 'practicing' all her life, but now that she was a mother herself, she felt the importance of an Islamic upbringing. She was determined to teach her baby all about Islam right from the very beginning, but first she had to work on herself. She wanted to learn, too.
But the baby was getting restless and she could see that he had started to whimper. Yet, she hoped she could console him long enough to last through the Prayer. However, as the Imam started the recitation of the Qur'an, she was not prepared for the loud howl that her baby let out, nor the hysterically loud sobbing that accompanied it.
Oh my GOD! What a terrible noise he was making!
What could she do??!!!
She didn't want to break her prayer!
She tried to pick him up, but he was squirming too much!
She realized that he was wailing loudly, but what could she really do? After all, he WAS a baby! I am sure they would understand, she thought to herself.
She wished that the prayer would be over quickly so that she could console her baby.
But before the Imam had hardly finished saying the 'Salaam', that they all jumped on her!
"Why did you come to the Masjid?" Someone muttered, grinding their teeth.
"STAY HOME, NEXT TIME!" Another one hissed.
With her head bent low, her eyes downcast, she blinked hard to fight back the tears that suddenly welled up in her eyes….she tried so hard to swallow the HUGE lump in her throat.
She thought this was the Masjid….this was the place where she and her baby would be welcome…..this was the place she wanted to be……to learn Islaam and to teach it to her child!
Without saying a single word, she hurriedly gathered her things, picked up her baby and quickly left the Masjid, WITHOUT EVEN ONCE LOOKING BACK……
Now let's go back to another scenario……1400 years ago… another Masjid…..when a Bedouin enters the Masjid and begins urinating in it.
The Sahabah want to stop him, but what does the Prophet (pbuh) do???
Does he shout at him? Does he kick him out of the Masjid?
Instead, he (pbuh) calls the bedouin and gently makes him understand that the mosques are not places meant for urine and filth, but are only for the remembrance of Allah, prayer and the recitation of the Qur'an. He (pbuh) then asks one of the people to pour a bucket of water over it. (Muslim)
And what did he tell the Sahaabah? He said to them:
"You are sent to make things easy and not to make things difficult" (Bukhaari).

This illustrates for us the perfect example of how OUR behavior should have been. It shows us an unwavering principle of Islam, that is, in social life when any unpleasant incident takes place, we should keep our cool and show tolerance and patience. We should concentrate on finding a solution to the problem and not just think in terms of what punishment to hand out to the problem-maker. We should find means that would alleviate rather than aggravate the problem.
Where is our sense of tolerance and patience? When and where will we show mercy?
"He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy." (Bukhaari)
 Did the sisters forget the time when they had little babies and they cried too?
The Prophet (pbuh) understood the agony that a mother goes through at such times.
"When I enter the prayer I intend to prolong it. Then I hear the crying of a child, so I shorten it knowing the difficulty his mother will have with him crying."

And aren't we supposed to warmly receive a newcomer, and make them feel wanted and welcomed….especially one who is just coming back to Islam?
Isn't being kind and tolerable, the very essence of Dawah?

"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you" (3:159)
Aren't we supposed to behave courteously towards one another?
"He is a bad person in the sight of Allah who does not behave courteously and people shun his company because of his bad manners." (Bukhaari)

Was this the way to behave with the new sister?
Why weren't we gentle and merciful to her?
Why were we not patient with the situation?
Couldn't we have dealt with the situation better?
Were we a means of pushing her away from coming to the Masjid?
Did we push her away from Islaam itself??!!