Tag Archives: Quran

Virtues of Surah Kahf

“Virtues of Surah Kahf” by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh Ul Haq.

The hadith related by Hakim and Bayhaqi, from Abu Sa`id (Allah be pleased with him), “Whoever recites Surat al-Kahf on Friday, light shall shine forth for him between the two Fridays”. [Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir]

Hazrat Al Baraa said that when a man was reciting Surah Kahf with a horse tied with two ropes at one side. Suddenly a cloud overshadowed him, and as it began to come nearer and nearer, his horse began to take fright. He went and mentioned it to the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam in the morning and he said, “That was tranquillity which came down by reason of the Qur’aan.”

Hazrat Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam saying, “If anyone memorises ten verses from the beginning of Surah Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).” (Muslim)

Hazrat Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam saying, “Anyone who reads the first three verses of Surah Kahf, he will be protected from the trial of the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).” (Tirmizi)

Listening to Quran

Listening to recitation is the perfume of the souls, the calmer of hearts, and the food of the spirit. Is is one of the most important psychological medicines. It is a source of pleasure, even to some animals – and pleasure in moderation purifies inner energy, enhances the functioning of the faculties, slows down senile decay by driving out its diseases, improves the complexion, and refreshes the entire body. Pleasure in excess, on the other hand, makes the illnesses of the body grow worse.

Abu Nu’aim states, in his Tib an-Nabbi, that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that the benefits of listening to recitation are increased when it is understood – that is, when its meaning is understood. Allah Himself says:

…so give good news to My slaves, those who listen to the word and then follow the best of it…(Qur’an: 39.17-18)

Source: As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

Prophet Isa (Jesus)

The Birth of ‘Isa ( – Peace Be Upon Him)

The story of the birth of Isa (A.S.) as told in the Qur’an demonstrates again the power of Allah who can make happen whatever He wills. Just as Ibrahim (A.S.) and Sara (A.S.) wondered at being able to have a son at their great age, Isa’s mother, Maryam (peace be upon her) also wondered at being able to have a son when no man had touched her.

Maryam was the daughter of Imran (A.S.). When her mother became pregnant with her, she dedicated her baby to Allah for His special service. Maryam grew up pure and beautiful in the special protection of Allah. Whenever her guardian, Zakariah (A.S.), would visit her in her room, he would find that she had been provided with plentiful food and he wondered at it. It was Allah who was caring for her.

When Maryam became a young woman she was visited by a messenger from Allah. He told her that she would bear a son named Isa (A.S.). He would speak to the people as a child and as an adult. Allah would teach him the Book and the Wisdom, and he would be a prophet to his people.

Maryam was amazed at this message. She was a well-behaved young, unmarried woman, so how could she have a baby? Allah’s message was similar to that given to Ibrahim (A.S.).  Allah creates whatever he wills. All he has to do is say, “Be,” and it is.

When the time came for Maryam’s baby to be born, she withdrew from her family because she knew they wouldn’t understand. As the pains of birth began, she came to a palm tree and cried out in despair that she wished she were dead. A voice answered her, telling her not to grieve, and telling her to shake the palm tree to obtain dates. Allah also provided her with a small stream to ease her thirst and cool her face during the birth of her son, Isa .

When Isa (A.S.) had been born, Maryam returned home with him. When her family saw him they were shocked, as she knew they would be. But she merely pointed to the baby in explanation and he, the newborn infant, spoke, declaring that he was indeed a servant of Allah, a prophet, blessed by Allah, enjoined to do prayer and charity, and be kind to his mother, humble and not overbearing, and that he would eventually die and be raised to life again.

You can read about Maryam and the birth of Isa (A.S.) in the following suras of the Qur’an: 3:35-37, 3:42-49, 19:16-40.

Prophet Ismail (A.S)

Prophet Ismail (a.s) was the son of Ibrahim (a.s) and Hajar. One day Ibrahim (a.s) took his baby son and wife (Hajar) to the site where Ka’ba can be found today. He gave them some dates and water and started to leave. As Ibrahim (a.s) walked away, Hajar followed and asked why they were being left in this empty place. She understood from his silence that Allah had commanded him to do this. Finally, she asked if Allah had ordered him to do this and he replied that it was so. Upon hearing this, she accepted Allah’s will and returned to the place where Ibrahim (a.s) had left her.

As soon as Ibrahim (a.s) was out of sight, he turned and prayed to Allah to protect and provide for his family which he had left out in the wilderness:
رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّيۤ أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ ٱلْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ فَٱجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَهْوِيۤ إِلَيْهِمْ وَٱرْزُقْهُمْ مِّنَ ٱلثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; In order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer; So fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits; So that they may give thanks.” (al-Qur’an 14:37)

Ismail (a.s) and his mother lived for some time on the water and dates Ibrahim (a.s) left them, but finally the water ran out, and Ismail’s (a.s) mother could no longer produce enough milk to feed Ismail (a.s). The mother could not bear to see her child suffering, so she ran to the top of nearby Mount Safa to see if she could find someone to help her. When she could see no one, she ran down the mountain and across the valley to Mount Marwa. She ran from one mountain to the other seven times, looking for water or help. After the seventh time she heard a voice and she called out to it for help. When she looked she saw an angel digging the earth with his heel until water flowed forth. That place was the site of Zam-zam. She carefully made a barrier around the place where the water was flowing, and filled her waterbag with her hands. Then she was able to drink water and feed her baby. The angel also told her not to be afraid, that she and her son would be provided for.

Ismail (a.s) and his mother continued to live at this place all by themselves for some time. One day some people of the Jurhum tribe were passing through the valley. They didn’t intend to stop, because they knew that there had never been any water in that valley. But they saw a kind of bird which was known to frequent wet spots, so they followed it to the spring of Zam-zam. There they found Ismail’s (a.s) mother sitting by the water.

Ismail’s mother agreed they could settle there for a while, as long as they did not claim possession to the water. Some of the people of the tribe settled by the water permanently and Ismail grew up amongst them.

Remain Busy with Quraan

Quraan

Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: “Almighty Allah says; “If anybody finds no time for My remembrance and for begging favours of Me, because of his remaining busy with the Holy Qur’an, I shall give him more than what I give to all those who beg favours of Me. The superiority of the Word of Allah over all other words is like the superiority of Allah over the entire creation.”
[Tirmidhi, Darimi, Bayhaqi]

In other words, compared to those who are begging favours of Allah, He will surely confer some better reward on a person who remains so occupied with committing the Qur’an to memory or learning and understanding it that he hardly gets time for du’a (prayer).

It is commonly known that when a man distributes sweets, or something else amongst others, a share is set aside for the person who cannot attend the function because of the task of distribution given to him by the distributor himself.

In another hadith, in the same context, it is mentioned that Allah would give such a person a better reward than what He would give to His ever grateful servants.

Source: Fazail-e-amaal

Be Grateful

Luqman(A.S.) had great love for the Almighty, that it created within him high moral character and exemplary habits. This was a clear sign of his nobility and nearness to Allah. The details of that is described in Surah(Chapter) Luqman in the Glorious Qur’an.

Luqman(A.S.) used to be in the employment of a rich man. The nobility of Luqman(A.S.)’s character had a great effect on his master, so much so that the master considered him as a great friend and a beloved companion. Although he was the master, yet in fact the master became like a slave to his employee.

It became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Luqman(A.S.) of it and after Luqman(A.S.) had filled himself, he would eat the left overs.

Luqman(A.S.) would consider the love of the master and his habit, so he would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master. One day, during the melon season, the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Luqman(A.S.) was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him.

When Luqman(A.S.) arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Luqman(A.S.) to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Luqman(A.S.). Luqman(A.S.) ate the slices with great PLEASURE and all the time expressed THANKS for the favour shown to him by the master. After having eaten the slices, when just one slice remained, the master said: “Let me eat this slice and see how sweet is this melon.” Saying this, he put the slice into his mouth. Immediately, such bitterness spread from the tip of his tongue down to his throat, that as a result of the extreme bitterness of the melon, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.

When he regained consciousness, he questioned Luqman(A.S.): ” O Beloved one, how did you manage to, so heartily eat those slices of melon ? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, then how did you manage to eat so many slices ?”

Luqman(A.S.) replied: “O Friend, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great, that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it? O Friend, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness.”

LESSON:

At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon mankind. But if ever for a moment some such incident takes place which brings with it, a problem and outwardly causes some difficulty, man loses patience and fails to be grateful.

On the other hand, there are those who are granted understanding, so that when sorrows and difficulties touches them, they remain happy, pleased and grateful to their Lord. At such times, they draw strength from their good understanding and realise that this world is like a hospital and we are like patients in it.

There are times when the doctor gives the patient “sweet” medicine and at other times ” bitter” medicine. However, in both these, there are beneficial results for the patient. Similarly, Allah is the “Al Hakeem”, the All-Wise and at the same time is the ” Haakim”- Ruler. He is also “Ar- Raheem”, the Merciful One. Hence, whether it brings out comfort or discomfort, all these are for our benefit and interest.

So be Grateful and Thankful under ALL circumstances and conditions to the Almighty.

Source: Ma’arif-e-Mathnawi (Vol.1)

Tafsir of Surah Ikhlas

Allah, The One, The Unique: A Tafsir of Surat ‘l Ikhlas delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 25th May 2012 at Al Kawthar Academy, Leicester, United Kingdom.

This small chapter speaks about the oneness of Allah and monotheism. It emphasises the importance of making religion sincere and exclusive for Allah in all deeds and actions. Its profound meanings and messages are the very foundation of faith and the Qur’an.

Prophet Ismail and his Mother

When Ismail (alayhis salam) was still a small baby, his father Ibrahim (alayhis salam) took him and his mother, Hajra, to the site of the Ka’ba. He gave them some dates and a goat skin full of water and left them there. At that time no one lived at the Ka’ba, and there was no water nearby. As Ibrahim (alayhis salam) was walking away, Ismail’s (alayhis salam) mother followed him, asking why she and her son were being left in such a desolate place. She asked several times but he would not answer her. Finally, she asked if Allah had ordered him to do this and he replied that it was so. Upon hearing this, she accepted Allah’s will and returned to the site where Ibrahim (alayhis salam) had left her.

As soon as Ibrahim (alayhis salam) was out of sight, he turned and prayed to Allah to protect and provide for his family which he had left out in the wilderness:
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; In order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer; So fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits; So that they may give thanks.” (al-Qur’an 14:37)

Ismail (alayhis salam) and his mother lived for some time on the supply of water and dates, but finally the water began to give out, and Ismail’s (alayhis salam) mother could no longer produce sufficient milk to nurse her baby. The baby became agitated and near to death because of his thirst. The mother could not bear to see her child suffering, so she ran to the top of nearby Mt. Safa to see if she could find someone to help her. When she could see no one, she ran down the mountain and across the valley to Mt. Marwa. Seven times she ran from one mountain to the other, looking in vain for assistance. After the seventh time she heard a voice and she called out to it for help. When she looked she saw an angel digging the earth with his heel until water flowed forth. That place was the site of Zam-zam. She carefully made a depression around the place where the water was flowing, and filled her waterbag with her hands. Then she was able to drink water and nurse her baby. The angel told her not to be afraid, that she and her son would be provided for.

Ismail (alayhis salam) and his mother continued to live at the Ka’ba all by themselves for some time. One day some people of the Jurhum tribe were passing through the valley. They didn’t intend to stop, because they knew that there had never been any water in that valley. But they saw a kind of bird which was known to frequent wet spots, so they followed it to the spring of Zam-zam. There they found Ismail’s mother sitting by the water.

Ismail’s (alayhis salam) mother was a very sociable person who loved the company of others, so she readily agreed to their request to stop there for a while, provided that they did not claim possession of the water. Some of the people of Jurhum decided to settle permanently by Zam-zam and sent for their families. Ismail (alayhis salam) grew up with these people and learned to speak Arabic from them. When he grew up, they urged him to marry one of their women.

You can read about Ismail and his mother in Sahih al-Bukhari IV:582-584.

The Bitter Harvest

by Muhammad Al-Shareef

I was a teacher in the Qur’anic study circle at our neighborhood Masjid at the time. I would see this young boy after Maghrib prayers, you might say he was about fifteen years old. He held a pocket Qur’an and sat alone reading from it – no, he wasn’t actually reading from it, he was just trying to make it seem as if he was. Now and again, he would shyly steal a few glances at us, curious to know what we were doing. Once in awhile, you might see him straining to make out what we were talking about.

Every time I caught his eye, he would avert his head and continue with his recitation, as if he had not intended to look this way.

Day after day, he sat in the same reserved manner, revealing the same timid glance. Finally after Isha Salah one day, I resolved to confront him.

“As Salamu ‘Alaykum, my name is Salman, I teach the Qur’anic study circle in this Masjid.”

‘And my name is Khalid.’

Strange, he replied so fast, as if he had been waiting to share this piece of information for such a long time and expected to be asked.

“Where do you study Khalid?”

‘In the Eighth grade…and I…I love the Qur’an a lot.’

Strange indeed, why did he add that last sentence?

Confidently, I asked him, “Listen Khalid, have you got any free time after Maghrib? We would be honored to have you join us in the class.”

‘What? The Qur’an? The Halaqah? Yes…why, yes of course (happiness overcame him). I’ll be there, Insha’Allah.’

That night, I couldn’t think of anything other than this young boy and the haze that surrounded his behavior. Sleep would just not come.

I attempted to interpret an answer for what I saw and heard, but there was none. A verse of poetry came to mind: ‘the coming days shall unravel the mystery / and the news may appear from where you could never see.’

I turned on my right side and slipped my right hand under my cheek. O Allah, I have surrendered myself to You and to You I turn over my affairs.

*** Subhan Allah, how the calendar was jogging by. Khalid was now a regular in our Qur’anic circle, energetic and successful in memorization. He was friends with everyone and everyone was friends with him. You could never catch him without a Qur’an in his hand, or find him in any other line in Salah other than the first. There was nothing wrong with him except for his occasional long lapses of attention. There were times when his stoned eyes would reflect the fathomless thought going on in his mind. Sometimes we knew his body was with us, but his soul was somewhere else, suffocating in another world. Occasionally, I would startle him. All he had was a mumble to reply with, he would have been the first to admit its fabrication.

One night, I walked with him after class to the beach shore. Maybe his big secret might meet something equally large, relax somewhat, and release its distress and pain.

We arrived at the beach and traced the waves. The full moon was out.

A strange sight. The darkness of the night found the darkness of the sea, with a lit moon in-between them.

It sat somewhat embarrassed at its intrusion, similar to my shyness towards Khalid right then.

The rays of the silent moon rested on the silent waves of the sea. I stood behind the silent boy. The scene was silence.

Just then! It all shattered and crushed to the ground as the young boy fell to the bottom, bleeding his heart with tears. I chose not to interrupt Khalid’s emotional release, perhaps the saltiness of his tears might help him relax and cleanse his distress.

After a few moments he said from behind his tears, ‘I love you all…I love the Qur’an…and those who love it. I love pious brothers, moral, pure brothers.’

‘But…my father…it’s my father.’

“Your father? What is wrong with your father Khalid?”

‘My father always warned me not to hang around with you people. He’s afraid. He hates you all. And he always tries to convince me that I should hate you too. At any chance he gets, he’ll try to prove his point with stories and tales.’

‘But…when I saw you people in the Halaqah reciting Qur’an, I saw something entirely different. I saw the light in your faces, the light in your clothes, the light in your words, even when you were silent I could see the light even then.’

‘I doubted my father’s tales and that’s why I would sit after Maghrib, watching you, pretending that I was part of the circle, trying to share in the light.’

‘I…I remember Ustadh Salman…I remember the time you approached me after ‘Isha prayer. I’d been waiting for that moment for such a long time. When I began the classes, my soul locked itself into a world of purity with your souls. I began the circle and was persistent. I wouldn’t sleep, my days and nights became Qur’an. My father noticed the change in my routine. He found out, one way or another, that I had joined the circle and that I was now hanging out with “terrorists.”

‘Then, on a dark night…

‘We were waiting for father to come home from the coffee shop, his daily ritual, so that we could all have dinner together.’

‘He entered the house with his hardened face and slaps of anger.’

‘We all sat together at the dinner mat. Silence settled on the gathering as usual, all of us were afraid to speak in his presence.’

‘He knifed the silence with his roaring and immediate voice. “I heard you’ re hanging out with the fundamentalists.”

‘I was caught red. My tongue looped and failed. All the words in my mouth attempted to come out at the same time. But, he didn’t wait for the answer…

‘He snatched the teakettle and threw it maliciously at my face.’

‘The room spun and the colors united before my eyes. I stopped distinguishing the ceiling from the walls from the floor, and fell.’

‘My mother held me.’

‘A damp cloth on my forehead reminded me of where I was. The vicious voice turned on my mother, “Leave him alone, or you’ll be in the same lot.”

‘I crawled out of my mother’s lap and whimpered away to my room. He followed me down the corridor with the cruelest curses.’

‘There was not a day that he didn’t beat me in some way. Curses, kicks, throwing whatever was nearest to his hand. My body had finally become a shiver of fear, grotesque colors formed all over. I hated him.’

‘One day while we were sitting at the dinner mat, he said, “Get up, don’t eat with us.”

‘Before I could get up though, he pounced immediately and kicked me in the back, making me slam into the pots.’

‘At that moment, lying there on there on the ground, I pretended to stand taller than him and shout back in his face…’

‘One day, I’ll pay you back. I’ll beat you just like you beat me, and curse you just like you cursed me.’

‘I’ll grow up and become strong. And you’ll get old and become feeble.’

‘And then…I’ll treat you just like you treated me. I’ll pay you back.’

‘After that, I left home and ran away. I just ran, anywhere, it didn’t matter anymore.’

‘I found my way to this beach. It helped me wash away some of the sadness. I held my pocket Qur’an and began reciting until I could continue no longer because of my excessive crying.’

And here, a few of those innocent tears descended again, tears that sparkled under the moon like pearls under a lamp. I couldn’t say anything, the surprise had arrested my tongue. Should I be aghast at this beast of a father, whose heart knew nothing about mercy? Or, should I be amazed at this patient young lad, whom Allah had wished guidance for and inspired with faith. Or, should I be shocked at them both, at the father-son bond that had broken, causing their relationship to transform into that of a lion and a tiger, or a wolf and a fox.

I held his warm hand and wiped away a tear from his cheek. I reassured him, prayed for him, and advised him to remain obedient to his father. I told him to remain patient and that he was not alone. I promised that I would meet his father, speak to him, and try to evoke his mercy.

*** That incident slipped further away with each passing day. I tried thinking of ways to open Khalid’s case with his father. How should I speak to him? How was I going to be convincing? To be frank, how was I even going to knock on his door? Then finally, I collected my courage, rehearsed my plan, and resolved that the confrontation…uh, meeting…would be that day at five o’clock.

When the time arrived, I left for Khalid’s house with all my ideas and questions for his father dangling from my pockets.

I rang the doorbell. My fingers trembled and my knees were melting. The door opened. There it was, standing in the shadow with it’s frowned lips and veins beating with anger.

I tried beginning with a candid smile. Maybe it might smooth out some of the wrinkles before we even started.

He snatched my collar and jerked me towards him. ‘You’re that fundamentalist that teaches Khalid at the Masjid, aren’t you?’

“Well…uh…yes.”

‘God help me, if I ever see you walking with him again, I’ll break your legs. Khalid won’t be coming to your class anymore.’

And then, he mustered all the saliva in his mouth and spit on my face. The door slammed behind it.

Slowly, I unfolded a tissue that was in my pocket, wiped what he had honored me with, and retreated down the stairs consoling myself. Allah’s Messenger – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – suffered more than this. They called him a liar, cursed him, stoned him with rocks and caused his feet to bleed. They broke his teeth and placed dung on his back and expelled him from his house.

*** Day after day. Month after month. No sign of Khalid. His father forbade him from leaving the house, even for the congregational prayer. He even forbade us from seeing or meeting him. We prayed for Khalid…Until we forgot about him. Years passed away. One night, after the ‘Isha’ prayer, a shadow walked behind me in the Masjid and rested a familiar harsh hand on my shoulder. The same hand that held me years ago. The same face, the same wrinkles and the same mouth that honored me with what I was not deserving of.

But … something had changed. The savage face had shattered. The angry veins had subsided, belittled and still. The body looked tired of all the pain and conflict, weakened by sadness and grief.

“How are you?” I kissed his forehead and welcomed him. We took a corner of the Masjid. He collapsed on my lap sobbing.

Subhan Allah, I never thought that that lion would one day become a kitten.

Speak up. What’s wrong? How is Khalid?

‘Khalid!’ The name was like a dagger piercing his heart, twisting inside, and breaking off. His head slumped.

‘Khalid is no longer the same boy that you used to know. Khalid is no longer the generous, calm and humble young lad.

‘After he left your circle he befriended a pack of evil boys, ever since he was little he loved to socialize. They caught him at that time of life when a youth wants to leave the house. Vanity, jokes.’

‘He began with cigarettes. I cursed him, beat him. But there was no use, his body had grown accustomed to the beatings, his ears were used to the curses.’

‘He grew quickly. He started staying up with them all night, not coming home until dawn. His school expelled him.’

‘Some nights he would come home to us speaking abnormally, his face loose, his tongue confused, his hands shivering.’

‘That body, which used to be strong, full, and tender, passed away. What remained was a feeble worn frame. That pure frosty face of his transformed. It became dark and filthy. The scum of misguidance and sin clung to it.’

‘Those shy and simple eyes of his changed. They shot red like fire as if everything he drank or took showed immediately in his eyes like some sort of punishment, in this life before the next.’

‘Hostility and disrespect replaced that shyness and cowardice he once knew. Gone was that soft, respectful young heart. In it’s place grew a hardened center, like a rock, if not harder.’

‘Seldom a day would pass without incident. He would either curse, kick, or hit me. Imagine it, my own son. I’m his father, yet he still hits me.’

After releasing all that, his eyes returned wet and bitter. But, he added quickly, ‘I beg you Salman, visit Khalid. Take him with you, you have my blessing, the door is open.’

‘Pass by him sometime. He loves you. Register him in the Qur’anic study circle. He could go with you on field trips. I have no objection. In fact, I am even willing to allow him to live in your homes and sleep over.’

‘The important thing, Salman…the important thing is that Khalid returns to the way he was.’

‘I beg you lad, I’ll kiss your hands, warm your feet, I beg you and beg you…’

He collapsed, crying and wheezing, into the memories of the grief and pain. I allowed him to complete everything he had to say.

Then I addressed him…

“Despite what has passed, let me try. Brother, you planted this seed. And this is your harvest.”