Sunday, March 29, 2009
Surah Al Baqarah Ayahs 6-12
In the first 20 verses or the Surah, Allah is classifying mankind. There are two main classifications:
i) Muttaqin (Verses 1-5), people who believe in Allah. We are told in Ayah 5 that "It is these who are on guidance given by their Lord; and it is just these who are successful".
ii) People who deny Allah
-Verses 6-7 = Kuffar
-Verses 8-20= Munafiqin: hypocrites
Allah created animate objects and inanimate objects. We are blessed to be the most noble of all of creation. He granted us intellect, tawfiq, and ability.
We could easily have been created as disbelievers. It's His infinte Mercy that we were born into a muslim home.
People are followers of different prophets. The most blessed state is to be a part of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) Ummah, of which we are a part of. Look at the Mercy Allah has bestowed upon us. We should therefore submit to the Will of Allah and follow the Shariah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). We should reflect what we are doing with our time. These abilities of intellect, wealth, health etc are given to us with a sense of responsibility, and we will be asked about them on the Day of Judgement. If we can make so many sacrifices for our education, our loved ones, our desires etc, then what about the sacrifices we should be making for the sake of Islam?
Kuffar: Openly reject Allah and His signs. 2 verses about them. Simplistic and to the point. "Surely for those who have disbelieved, it is all the same whether you warn them or you warn them not: they would not believe".
This verse is directed towards Allah's Messenger (SAW). The word "kfr" in Arabic means to hide or to conceal something. It's often used for people who conceal or hide the blessings of Allah. In this context, they reject the message of Allah. They openly and clearly disobey. What RasulAllah (SAW) used to do was warn the people, and he did this out of compassion, love and concern, it was not some kind of threat. Allah is not saying don't warn them, because there is still reward for warning them with that deep love in our hearts. Even if there seems to be no hope of them changing. The thing is, we should love the kaafir, but it is the KUFR (the act of disbelieving in Allah's Oneness) that we should deeply dislike. We should never believe that we are better than a disbeliever because that person has the potential to take shahadah and become a better Muslim than us. Giving them dawah gives us reward, whether they change or not, but there's always a small chance that the MIGHT change.
So what characteristic is there in the kuffar that makes them not even listen to the Messenger of Allah (SAW)? Allah explains it. "Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes there is a covering; and for them there lies a mighty punishment". A discussion raised with this ayah is how can they be blamed if Allah has sealed their hearts? The answer is in another ayah "Verily rust has come upon their hearts because of what they used to do". It is their own deeds which caused that seal. A hadith says when a person sins a black dot comes on their heart, as many times as they sin. Eventually their whole heart becomes darkened. There's no more hope. It's an "End stage disease". That's when the heart is sealed. The treatment before it is completely sealed is by remembrance and dhikr of Allah, this wipes away the impurities of the heart. Now that we know that the heart can be sealed, we should avoid doing bad deeds which leads to kufr.
i) Avoid sin
ii) If it's done, wipe away the black spot on the heart by seeking forgiveness from Allah.
iii) Follow it up with a good deed. Knock off a bad deed with a good deed.
Once you start sinning it becomes a slippery slope. Lying once leads to more lies, doing
salah quickly, looking at bad scenes on the TV or internet doesn't become a big deal after a while, etc. So we have to be very careful. Start hanging out with good company to make it easier.
Allah talks of the sealing of different organs: Allah has sealed their hearts and hearing and veiled their visions. Vision is very limited, so only veiling the front part is sufficient. One can protect their vision by lowering their gaze. Avoiding hearing is more difficult, because you need to avoid the environment where bad things are being heard. Our heart gets imprinted by these means; i.e. the 5 senses. Sinning may appear to be enjoyable, but they can never bring true peace of heart. Only remembrance of Allah brings that. The reason the kafirs were mentioned in these ayahs even though they will most likely not read the Quran is so that we remember to
i) warn them with love, which is a rewarded though not always fruitful act
ii)look at the state of their disease and try to avoid it.
Verses 8-20: Hypocrites (Munafiqin) and their deeds. They are an in-between group of people. Their deeds talked about in detail. "And from the people those who say 'we believe in Allah and we believe in the Hereafter but they are not believers". There are two kinds of hypocrites:
i)Those who think they are believers, but don't act accordingly
ii)Those who purposely deceive others into thinking that they believe but they don't.
"They seek to deceive Allah and they seek to deceive those who believe in Allah, but the truth is that they deceive no one but themselves, but they perceive not." Obviously it is impossible to deceive Allah, but by trying to deceive the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), they reflect their relationship with Allah (SWT).
"In their hearts is a disease". This is different from the way the kafirs were described (hearts are sealed compared to heart has a disease). There's still hope for treatment, although there's a chance for it to progress to the end-stage. It's a life time process.
"so Allah has increased their disease": The hypocrites used to enjoy watching Muslims fail.Allah increases the cause of the burning in their heart by giving the Muslims victory. The hearts of those who do not repent are also sealed, and this is another way the disease increases.
"For them is a painful punishment because of the lies they used to tell": The purpose of these ayahs is not for us to point and people and say he is a munafiq, but for us to takea lesson from these people.
The cause of their disease is the LIES they used to tell. Allah chose this one characteristic to describe them. Avoiding lying will protect us from a tremendous amount of sin.
"And when it said to them 'do not create corruption in this world' they say 'we are but reformers'. Verily it is they who are the corrupters, but they do not perceive". This is similar to the case these days, where the West had this "War on Terrorism" to obtain peace, but in reality, they are oppressing and killing innocent people and destroying land. This is hypocrisy. As Muslims, we should stand up for justice and this would be a form of dawah.
In Surah Fatiha we made a dua to Allah to guide us to the straight path, the path of those who You have bestowed Your Mercy, not to the path of those who have incurred wrath or been misguided. Surah Al Baqarah's first 20 lines define what the charactersitics of these three groups of people are.
i)muttaqin, the believers we should be like
ii)kuffar, the disbelievers
iii)munafiq, the hypocrites.