Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Quran,


وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا

“And to Allah belongs the most beautiful names, so call on Him by them.” [7:180]

In sha Allah, I hope to have a series on my blog covering the names of Allah. It will come straight from An-Nahj al-Ismiyy fi sharh asma’i Allahi al-husna by Muhammad Mahmud an-Najdi. The book is in Arabic, and there is no translation that I know of, so I will do my best to translate/paraphrase it.

To start off with a hadith, the Prophet (S) heard a man saying,

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِأَنِّي أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ ، الأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْ تَلِدْ ، وَلَمْ تُولَدْ ، ولَمْ يَكُنْ لَكَ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

O Allah, I ask you by my belief that You are Allah, none is worthy of worship except you, Al-Ahad (the One), Al-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master Whom all creatures need), Who begets not nor was He begotten, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.
So the Prophet (S) replied, By Him in whose hand is my soul, he (this man) has beseeched Allah with His grand name, the one that whenever He is asked by He responds, and whenever He is petitioned by, He gives. [Tirmidhi]

Second is the hadith of Anas (R) who said, “I was sitting with The Prophet (S) in the masjid, and a man who was praying said,

اللهم إني أسألك بأن لك الحمد لا إله إلا أنت الحنان المنان بديع السماوات والأرض يا ذا الجلال والإكرام يا حي يا قيوم

O Allah, I ask You by virtue of the fact that praise is due to You, there is no object worthy of worship but You, The Benefactor, The Originator of the heavens and the earth, O Lord of Majesty and Splendor, O Living One, O Eternal One.
Then the Prophet (S) said, He has supplicated to Allah using His Greatest Name, when supplicated by this name, He answers, and when asked by this name He gives. [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, and others]

Third, The Prophet (S) said, the grand name of Allah is in three surahs of the Quran: al-Baqarah, Aali Imran, and Taha. [ibn Majah]

One person said that this means that the grand name is al-Hayy al-Qayyum because of the following ayat:
ayat ul-kursi in al-Baqarah (2:255): اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ
ayah 2 in Aali Imran: الله لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم
ayah 111 in Taha: وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ ۖ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ حَمَلَ ظُلْمًا

However, the author notes that the name which is repeated in all of the hadiths is Allah. As for the ayahs in the above mentioned surahs, the name ‘Allah’ occurs in ayat ul-kursi and ayah 2 in Aali Imran. As for the ayah in TaHa, he says that as at-Tahawi mentioned, perhaps the person made a mistake and the ayah from TaHa is actually ayah 8: اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ
Continue reading ‘The grand name of Allah – Ism Allahi al-A’dham’


Taqwa does not simply mean fear. It comes from wiqayah (وِقاية), which means protection. Ittiqa (إِتِّقاء) or taqwa means to protect yourself. Like on the day of judgment everything is flat, you can’t hide anywhere. (Allah says, وَإِذَا الْأَرْضُ مُدَّتْ http://quran.com/84/3.)

He also says,
فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا
And how are you going to protect yourselves if you disbelieve the day on which even babies their hair will turn gray. [73:17]

So to have taqwa of Allah means to protect yourself from displeasing Allah, from making Him angry. Allah doesn’t just say have taqwa of him, but also have taqwa of the fire, so protect yourselves from the fire.

كَمَثَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنسَانِ اكْفُرْ فَلَمَّا كَفَرَ قَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّنكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Another reason it does not mean just fear is the Shaitan tells the human being, disbelieve, and when he does believe he says, I have nothing to do with you. I’m afraid of Allah. [59:16] He uses the word khawf, fear. So even Shaitan fears Allah.

Taqwa includes fear and what you do as a result of that fear. The criminal is afraid, too, when the cops are running after him, but he didn’t protect himself.

Source: Parting Advice for Ramadan by Nouman Ali Khan


Image

Take a virtual tour of Masjid Quba, the first masjid built. Allah mentions it in the Quran:

لَّمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَىٰ مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَن تَقُومَ فِيهِ ۚ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَن يَتَطَهَّرُوا ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ

“A masjid founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves.” [9:108]

And Abdullah ibn Umer narrated, “The Prophet used to go to the masjid of Quba every Saturday (sometimes) walking and (sometimes) riding.” [Bukhari]


al-Mursalat

10Aug12

I was listening to a lecture, a portion of which talked about surah Mursalat, only to realize that I did not even know what so much of the surah meant, so I decided to study it. First of all, I’m listening to Bayan ul-Quran by Dr. Israr Ahmed rahimahullah, and he mentions a very interesting point:

Style of the surah
Two surahs similar to this in style have already preceded, as-Saaffaat and adh-Dhariyat. Third is al-Mursalat. In each, either the winds or angels are mentioned. However, in the fifth, horses are mentioned (al-Adiyat). But in the four, either winds or angels (fourth is an-Nazia’at) are mentioned. Reeh (ريح: wind) and ruh (روح: soul or angel) are very close to each other, just as naar (نار fire) and noor (نور light) are very close to each other in Arabic.

Introduction to the surah
“Each of the ten sections that follow the opening of the surah represents a special round or journey into a different world. This gives the surah great scope for reflection, feeling, ideas, and responses.”

“Every subsequent section delivers a jolt. Thus the surah may be compared to someone in authority taking a person by the collar as he questions him about a misdeed or about his negation of something very obvious, then releasing him with a strong warning, ‘Woe, that Day, to the deniers.’ “

From In the Shade of the Quran. Read that for more of a detailed tafseer.

Two posts about the beginning of the surah: here and here

And I just came across the most amazing picture that actually remind me of some ayat from this surah:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8k6u3b5S31rd1896o1_500.jpg

Source: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070218.html

“Proceed to a shadow [of smoke] having three columns [But having] no cool shade and availing not against the flame. Indeed, it throws sparks [as huge] as a fortress, As if they were yellowish [black] camels. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.” [77:30-34]


So scary

08Aug12

It is narrated that Muadh ibn Jabal said, “The Quran will become worn out in the hearts of a people just like a garment becomes worn out and is ruined. They will read it, but they shall feel no desire towards it nor any sweetness. They are but wolves in sheep’s clothing, their deeds are in greed without any fear (of Allah). If they fall short they say., ‘We shall attain’ and if they fall into sin they say ‘We shall be forgiven, we do not associate partners with Allah.’”


Some of the pious predecessors would say beware of the magic of this world, for it is worse than the magic of Harut and Marut because while the magic of Harut and Marut separated a husband and wife, the magic of this world separates a slave from his lord.

From the lecture “What if this is my last Ramadan?” by Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury. If there is only one lecture you listen to this Ramadan, make it this one.


If you are rejected, what should you do? Should you get angry at that person and retaliate? As a matter of fact, you should be happy because Allah says,

وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمُ ارْجِعُوا فَارْجِعُوا ۖ هُوَ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ

If it is said to you that you should return, then return. That is better for you (purifying for your heart). [24:28]

Some of the sahabah, according to the tafseer of this ayah, used to go knocking on the doors just to be rejected. Why? Because they want to get that purification. This is not to say that we should call people today at the wrong time just to get rejected. But if this happens, then just be happy with it.

(Taken from the video Joining an Invitation Intedned for Someone Else by Sh. Yaser Birjas.)


Allah azza wa jal says in al-Muddathir,

وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ

Wa rabbaka fa kabbir.
The waw in the beginning is like the English capital letter. In Arabic, the letter waw can be used for 21 things. One of them is to start a new sentence. So think of it as a new sentence. The rest of the ayah says,

رَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ

Rabbaka fa kabbir.
What’s the first letter you see? Ra. Now look for the last letter: ra. Then look at the second letter: ba. The second last letter is ba. The third letter is kaaf. The third last letter is kaaf. Notice something? It’s spelled backwards and forwards the same way. In English literature, this is called a palindrome.

Allah gave our messenger words that he didn’t write down. Wa ma tukhuttuhu bi yaminik, Allah tells him, “You didn’t write anything down with your hand.” So this is entirely an oral exercise for the messenger. Once he says something, he doesn’t correct it. That’s it. It’s exactly the way Allah instructed him to recite.

The challenge for mankind is… the simple translation of the ayah is, “Declare the greatness only of your lord.” Try to say that in English or French or German or Japanese or Chinese or Urdu. You pick the language. Say it so it spells backwards and forwards orally, and you have one attempt only. No writing down, no looking up in dictionaries. How possible is that?

We can translate the ayah, but we can’t translate the miracle. You get some of the message, but you don’t get the miracle. The miracle of the Quran is in the Arabic language. Every ayah has its own miracle. The tragedy of our times is most people don’t even know the message of the Quran. And for the people who know the message of the Quran, the vast majority of them don’t know the miracle of the Quran. The Quran is two things at the same time: miracle and message. So this is something that’s lost from the general knowledge of the Muslim population. Just imagine, if our children even knew 5 ayat, knew what it meant, and then knew the miracle of those ayat, wouldn’t they have a different kind of iman? It would mean more to them. This is why you see a difference between our iman and the iman of the sahabah. One of the reasons among the many reasons is that when they heard the Quran, they heard the message and miracle at the same time. At the most, we hear one thing. So this is one thing to definitely be a student of the Arabic language. We also want to taste the beauty of the miracle.

[From Why and How to Learn the Arabic Spoken in the Quran by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan]


In surah al-Baqarah, Allah describes a nation to whom he had given a book before us, but they did not do justice to their book. In one ayah, Allah describes how they failed with their book. Allah says,

وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ

“Among them are uneducated, unlettered people. They don’t know the book except their own wishful thoughts, and they make nothing but assumptions.”

Amaniy means they don’t know what it says, they just think they know what it says.

This is what these people did with their book. What book is being talked about? The Torah.

The word Allah used is amaniy. One of the great mufassirun of the Quran, ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu), and Qatadah, said, “Amaniy in this ayah means that all these people did was tilawah (recitation).” Then when he speaks about Bani Israel, “They know it only by memorizing it and reciting without understanding. They don’t know what’s inside it.”

This is what Muslims today are concerned with teaching their children: recitation and memorization. Ibn Abbas is describing Bani Israel, and their crime against their book. He says all they do with their book is recitation and memorization. Their real crime is that they don’t know what it says.

This description you take to the Muslim world and say, find me a people who love their book, recite their book, and memorize their book, but even the vast majority of the ones who memorize it don’t know what it means. Who does this describe?

It’s a scary thought because the ayah is describing Bani Israel.

[From Why and How to Learn the Arabic Spoken in the Quran by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan]


Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, discussed ten ways in which the punishment for a sin committed by a believer is removed:

1. He repents to Allah (tawbah), so Allah accepts his repentance, for the one who repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.

2. He seeks forgiveness from Allah (istighfar), so Allah forgives him.

3. He does good deeds that erase his sin for good deeds erase bad ones.

4. Allah tests him with trials in this world which expiate his sin.

5. His believing brethren pray for him or seek forgiveness for his sins during his life or death.

6. Or they [ask Allah] to bestow on him as gift from the reward for their deeds, with which Allah benefits him (limited in nature).

7. Allah tests him in al-Barzakh (the intermediate life in the grave, between the death and the Day of Judgment) which expiates his sin.

8. His Prophet Muhammad (saas) intercedes for him.

9. Allah tests him in the various stages of the Day of Judgment which expiates his sins.

10. Or the Most Merciful of those who have mercy has mercy on him and removes him from Hell.

[From Dr. Ali Shehata’s Reflections on Juz 12]




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