Sunday, March 29, 2009
Surah Al Baqarah Ayahs 1-5
Title is translated as "The Cow". Famous incident that occurs within Surah. People of Bani Israel were challenged by Allah to sacrifice a cow. Allah relates the whole story of the back and forth between Musa (AS) and the people. They thought Musa (AS) was joking when he told them to sacrifice a cow. They ask about different aspects, of animal they ask more and more unnecessary details. In the end they sacrificed the cow, but it was almost like they didn't sacrifice it.
Madani surah (i.e. after hijrah). Irrespective of fact that it could have been revealed in Makkah.
Occured over an extensive period of time, longest surah.
Last ayah ever revealed also in this surah "Be conscious of the day you will be raised before Allah (SWT)"
Surah Al Baqarah: gist of Holy Quran.
Shaitan stays away from house of person who recites Surah Al Baqarah. Misfortunate to not recite it. Powerful means of protecting.
Shaitan knows reality of world. He steals your iman and time, not other goods. Protect yourself from him.
Alif Lam Mim: unanimous opinion of scholars: no one but Allah knows what they mean. Prophets may have known, we don't know. Every single letters of the holy Quran gives you 10 rewards. Example = Alif Lam Mim. 3 individual huroofs. Nobody knows what it means. Therefore even if one doesn't know Arabic, you get rewarded for reciting the Quran though you don't know Arabic. Know tajweed to beautify the Quran.
"That is the Book, there is no doubt in it, it guides the people":
Don't question the Book. There is no doubt in it. Prerequisite on the reader: one simple characteristic: be Muttaqin, have taqwa or God-consciousness. Hazrat Umar (RA) once said that taqwa is like when you walk through thorns...the way you protect your clothes from the thorns is how you should protect yourself from the duniya. The clothes are your taqwa and the thorns are the duniya. The number one issue a person should look into before reading the Quran is their level of taqwa. Why is the word "that" used for the Quran though? Why not "this", even though it's in my hand? Ullema said (i) this is the answer to the dua from Surah Al Fatiha. That is the book that will guide you to the straight path. (ii) the book itself can be with you, but the respect that comes with the Book is so high that it is in fact far away from anything else in creation. Above and beyond anything, therefore it's far from us in that sense.
People of taqwa=
(i) "those who believe in the Unseen". I.e. Allah (SWT).We have Signs of Allah in this world, but not proof of Allah. So He is Iman bil Ghayb. Therefore the answers of what He is like is in Quran or through prophets.
(ii) "they establish salah", that person will take benefit from the Book. It's not just praying, it's establishing. That's deeper. Also straightening salah. Fulfill faraidh/nawafil of salah, avoid makrooha. Ask someone who knows how to pray properly (Ulema).
(iii) "They spend what Allah has bestowed upon them": Zakah (mandatory). Spend from that thing which is most beloved to you to get closer to Allah. We're actually putting the wealth Allah gave us to the place it belongs. It is not a greatness from us, it is just an Amanah from Allah. It's our responsibility to give that money in Sadaqah. And then Allah rewards you for that. It's His Mercy.
"Those who believe in that which was revealed upon you (SAW)and what was revealed before you": believe in the transmission and in all 4 books. This is the final Book and Prophet. This is the end revelation. It says everything in Quran and hadith. First 3 books were altered.
They have a basis from Allah though. Thus they are People of the Book (Jews and Christians).
The main thing a muslim needs is the Kalima. That will take even the worst charactered Muslims into heaven eventually, but the best kafirs will not be able to enter Jannah because of this one Kalimah (if they know about Islam and reject it). We have been commanded to spread the Truth.
"And in the Akhira they are certain": people have to believe in Akhira with such certainty as if they say it.
We need to have the following characteristics in order to benefit from the Quran:
-be al Mutaqqin by
(i) believing in the Unseen
(ii) establishing and straightening the Salah
(iii) spending from that that Allah has given us
-believe in what was revealed to us (by Prophet Muhammad SAW) and believing
what was revealed before him (to other prophets).
-be 100% certain in Al Akhirah. Nothing else should be treated with that certainty.