Tag Archives: tafseer

Lessons from the Cave: Finding Success Through Conviction

There are many lessons we can derive from the story of the companions of the cave. The emphasis on steadfastness and holding tight to the truth is evident in this beautiful story. The companions of the cave fled from their palaces to retreat to a dark cave. Why? What was it that led them to leave the luxuries they were surrounded with, to leave their lofty positions, their palaces, and their superfluities, and instead migrate to a cave in the middle of an unfamiliar place?

إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا

Allah says: [Mention] when the youths retreated to the cave and said, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.” [18:10]

These were youth, young men, and sons of prestigious Kings, whose hearts Allah were guided and filled with Imaan. Their love for Allah, and their fear of associating partners with Allah and disobeying him caused them to leave their homes which were filled with polytheism and disbelief. For them, living in a cave with pure monotheism was better than living in a land of polytheism. Their Du’aa to Allah as they left their lavish dwellings was one which was deeply heart-felt, their soft hearts were filled with fear – fear of going astray, and their only call to Allah was, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.”

Their hearts weren’t harboring any doubts about what might happen to them as they journeyed to the cave. They weren’t worried about how they would eat, where they would live but rather they placed their trust in Allah. Hoping that their Lord would guide them to the right place, that He would take care of them and shower His mercy upon them for fleeing from falsehood. For these particular youth, Tawheed was their most prized possession: their most valuable gift, and they wouldn’t trade it for any of the luxuries they ever had. They knew that their words and actions could not change their fathers and the people around them, who were drowning in Shirk, and so isolation was their only option. They would never compromise on their religion.

Oh youth, listen with a heart full of conviction, and listen in heed. These men were youth who valued their religion more than they valued the gold and the palaces they were brought up in. Mud and soil as a pillow was more beloved to them than soft-to-touch cushions lined with diamonds and gems. Allah doesn’t narrate to us stories without purpose; rather they are there to reminder us. Their sincere conviction became the reason their story has been preserved.

وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَىٰ تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Allah says: “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers” [51:55]

نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

He also says: “We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware.” [12:3]

Oh youth of Islam, serve your religion from a young age, you have all the energy of youth on your side, right now. It is you who will carry Islam forward, and who will be the leaders of the future generation. Just like the companions of the cave, don’t compromise your religion for anything or anyone. You may not be the sons of Kings as they were, but for you it is lot easier than it was for them, to detach your hearts from falsehood, from the glitter of this world. Lastly, remember Allah grants believers steadfastness at the time of need, so flee to Him and He will bestow His mercy on you.

Just as the companions of the cave found eternal success through their conviction in Allah, you too can harness the power of conviction. Just put your faith and trust in Allah and constantly seek His guidance and keep moving forward towards your goals. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide us all to the best of success, ameen.

 

How to Attain Allah’s Love

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.'” [3:31]

A simple method for attaining the love of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and attaining forgiveness: follow the prophet Muhammad (sullulahu alaihi wa salam).

This ayah is a test for us, a litmus test of faith and love of Allah. Allah (swt) is asking us to PROVE our love for Him! And, SubhanAllah, the proof of our love for our Rabb (Lord) lies in following His Messenger. And, even more amazing is the reward that Allah has promised for following His Messenger: Allah’s Love! What can be a greater reward than this?

This ayah clearly shows the great status of the prophet (saw) and the great status of his sunnah. It is a clear proof against those who reject the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw).

Allah (swt) immediately after this says,

قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ ۖ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْكَافِرِينَ

“Say, ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away – then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers. “ [3:32]

Allah (swt) emphasizes the message from the previous ayah with a direct command: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. It is not enough to merely obey Allah, because obedience in Allah entails the obedience of the Messenger. Allah (swt) directly links His obedience with obedience to the Messenger (saw) inextricably. What an honour for the Prophet (saw) and what a clear sign for us to follow his Sunnah.

And, in case more emphasis of this was needed, this ayah also indicates that defiance and turning away from the obedience of Allah or His Messenger (saw) is kufr/disbelief. Thus, we cannot claim to love Allah and to be true believers unless we follow the prophet (saw) and obey him. Belief in Allah and belief in the prophet (saw) go hand in hand. That is why even our declaration of faith includes witnessing the prophethood of Muhammad (saw).

لا إِلّهَ إلاَ اللهُ مُحَمَدُ رَّسُول الله

There is no diety worthy of worship except Allah, Muhammad is His Messenger.

Notice the absence of a “و” or the word “and” between the two statements. The absence of the word “and” from this statement serves the purpose of conjoining the two statements. Again, emphasizing their inextricable nature.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide us in following our beloved prophet (saw) and giving him the proper reverence that he deserves. Ameen.

Action Item: Choose at least one sunnah that you haven’t been practising and incorporate it into your daily schedule with the intention of following the Prophet sullulahu alaihi wa salam. Eg. Saying bismillah before everything you do.

Friend or Foe?

By: Madiyah Rana

Our friendships define us. We are the company that we keep and so we should keep a close eye on who our friends are and what that means about who we are.

Those who we sit with, those we converse with and share our personal thoughts with have a great impact on the way we think and perceive the world around us, and thus on who we are. In surah Furqan, Allah (swt) dedicates a few ayaat on this topic: the consequences of a bad friendship.

وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا  يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا

“And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. ‘Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend (khaleel). He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.” [25:27-29]

In these ayaat Allah (swt) is talking about the wrongdoer who will appear on the day of Judgement full of regret and remorse. He will chew at his hands due to the grief he is feeling and he will curse himself and wish that he hadn’t taken “so and so” as a friend. Why? Because this ‘friend’ of his led him astray even after Islam was proclaimed to him!

Context of Revelation:

Allah (swt) revealed these ayaat as they relate to an incident that happened at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). There were two friends at that time, Uqbah ibn abi Mu’eet and Ummayyah Ibn Khalaf. Both of these men were enemies of Islam; however Ummayyah was a severe enemy and was very harsh in nature, his friend Uqbah on the contrary, was a generous, hospitable and personable man who had good habits. Whenever he went on his travels, on his return he would hold a feast to celebrate his safe return. He would gather a group of people together and serve them food.

There was one occasion when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was amongst those that were invited. The meal began and everyone starting eating, besides the Prophet. Uqbah, being the generous man he was, insisted to the Prophet to eat. The Prophet refused and said he would not eat until Uqbah declared that “That there is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger”. Uqbah felt bad, how could he invite a guest and let them leave without eating? And so falsely, he accepted this statement.

Word got round and soon reached his best friend Ummayyah, who approached Uqbah and ignorantly said: “How could you leave the religion of your forefathers?!” Ummayyah in response told him there was no such thing and that he only accepted because he felt bad. But Ummayyah would not believe him, and told him to prove this and so he ordered him to spit in the face of the Prophet in public. And so this unfortunate man, Ummayyah went and did what he was told by this evil friend.

So Allah revealed an ayah regarding Uqbah! That he will stand on the Day of Judgement chewing harshly at his hands, wishing he never followed his friend! SubhanAllah! Islam was penetrating the heart of Uqbah! Islam was presented to him by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself, yet he refused and followed the way of his bad friend.

An interesting thing about this is that in ayah 28 Allah says that the man will say, “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a Khalil (an intimate friend)! – Here Allah uses the word “Fulaan” meaning “so and so”. Allah uses this to give it a more broad application, suggesting that the ayahs are not referring only to Uqbah but to us as well.

We have all been in some situation where our friends have had some kind of influence on our ways, thoughts or actions, and some may be in a position now where they are slipping away from the deen due to their friends pulling them away and encouraging them to do wrong. If you are, just remember Islam is a complete way of life, a beacon of light, a treasure that should be protected and valued.

If you are around friends that are taking you away from this treasure then leave them, for their company is dangerous. Find people that will motivate you, help you, and work with you to be the best in everything.  Make friends with those who inspire you to become better. That remind you when you forget. Friends that bring you closer to Allah (swt) They are the friends that will hold your hand on this journey of life till you both reunite in Paradise, InshaAllah.

May Allah bestow upon us wisdom and join us with the righteous.

Time is running out

By: Sayema Zulfiqar

What is the greatest blessing of all? Food? Shelter? Wealth? Fame? Family?

The greatest blessing of all, that each and every one of us has is TIME. Yet, it is a blessing that is constantly diminishing. A wise man once said: “Lost time is never found again.” Continue reading Time is running out