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Found 1 result

  1. Tafsir Surat YaSin

    Shaykh Abdul-Nasir Jangda Tafsir Surah Ya-Sin Shaykh Abdul-Nasir Jangda RAMADHAAN 1432 A.H. Allaah ta’aala says in the Qur’aan, ولقد يسرنا القرآن للذكر فهل من مدكر {And We have certainly made the Qur’aan easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember? (54, 17)} The Qur’aan is easy, Allaah has made it easy. There is no doubt. The only requirement placed is li dhikri – whoever reads/listens/learns the Qur’aan to come closer to Allaah for him it is made easier. Then, it is placed on a silver platter – who will come forward to remember it? Introduction: This is a Makkan surah, revealed during the time the Messenger of Allaah s lived in Makkah. The Makkan suwar focus upon three main aspects in imaan: • tawhid (the Oneness of Allaah) • risalah (Messengership of Muhammad s, that he is a messenger sent by Allaah to guide all of creation and he receives divine revelation) • and the reality of the al-aakhirah and what will be encountered therein. Surah Ya-Sin’s (36) placement within the mus-haf: it follows Saba (34) and Faatir (35) which are also Makkan suwar. Saba and Faatir are also Makkan suwar so there focus is to discuss tawhid, risalah, and al-aakhirah. Ya-Sin continues with these themes, but it takes a different tone. It starts by focusing more heavily on the prophethood of Muhammad s. Faatir did discuss the prophethood and the importance of believing in the Messenger of Allaah s, but it more heavily focuses on tawhid. Ya-Sin places a heavy emphasis on the prophethood of Muhammad s. There are few ahadith which discuss the virtue of Ya-Sin as mentioned by the Messenger of Allaah. There is discussion regarding the authenticity of these narrations, but the two that exist are (1) Everything has a heart and Ya-Sin is the heart of the Qur’aan. What this exactly means is heavily discussed by the scholars. The most apparent understanding, however, is the beauty with which Ya-Sin constructs this argument and the beauty with which it flows discussing themes and concepts. It is so comprehensive and coherent that it is a perfect example of the miracle of the Qur’aan. Second, it is so universally loved, admired, revered, and respected by Muslims. The most renowned scholar and the average Muslim who may not be able to recite with proper tajwid will hold in common their reverance and love for this surah. They still know it is something amazing and mindblowing. It is its acceptability in the hearts of people that alludes to it being the heart of the Qur’aan. Another narration with this idea is “I wish for Surah Ya-Sin to be in the heart of every single believing person.” This is the focus behind this study: to memorize the surah as in the wish of the Messenger of Allaah s. (2) Recite Surah Ya-Sin upon your dead. Meaning when somebody is at the door of death, experiencing the pangs of death, the Messenger of Allaah s is advising us to recite it to ease their transition to the afterlife and make it easier for that person to leave this world. This is a prevalent practice in the Muslim community, but it has been more into a ritual. They are the words of Allaah so they do have soothing, calming affect on people, but so do other suwar. Why this surah? It talks about imaan, it reaffirms tawhid, risalah, al-aakhirah. It talks about everything of great importance. What the Messenger of Allaah s is actually alluding to is that when there is mass education in our communities of Qur’aan and the meaning and understanding, the recitation will reaffirm the faith of that person. It will reconnect him to Allaah. It will remind him of the fundamental principles of imaan leading him to a better death and place in the Hereafter. Ayah 1: Faatir ended on a powerful note (35, 42) They take oaths upon Allaah and they would exhaust taking oaths e.g. they swear by each and everything they can image. Their oaths are that if somebody was to come to them and warn them, they would be one of the most guided amongst the people. Yet, when a prophet did arrive to them, it did not increase them in any way except they began to run away from him even more. Now, we begin with Ya-Sin. يس Ya-Sin Huruf al-muqatt’aat (the disjointed letters) These are repeated throughout the Qur’aan. What do they mean? The most authentic and majority position of the ulema is that only Allaah knows the true meaning. In this case, however, there is more discussion regarding what they mean. Some claim it means “O human being” others that it is a name of the Messenger of Allaah s. The reality of the matter, however, is that we have no confirmation of these facts. Nothing to establish these hypotheses exist. The most authentic and safest understanding is still that Allaah knows best what they mean. They can also be seen from the miracle of the Qur’aan. These are the letters of the Arabic language. The Arabs of that time were some of the most poetic and eloquent people this earth has seen, the masters of this language. They had never before seen, however, the letters being used in this manner. When the Arabs put together the letters alif-laam-mim they always assumed it meant alam; Ha-mim was ham; ya-sin was yas. It shocked and amazed them. That is the purpose of these suwar beginnings. It catches the attention immediately. It captivates the listener as if it is an announcement. The fact that we don’t know what it means humbles the person. It humbles even the scholar of the language. An interesting point regarding the suwar that begin with these letters is that the very next aayah is about the Qur’aan. Oftentimes, there is an oath involved as well. The word kitaab or Qur’aan occurs in this next verse. The point of these letters is to call your attention to the Qur’aan. The Framework| What can we expect from Surah Ya-Sin? The three main themes of imaan: tawhid, risalah, al-aakhirah. This surah is very philosophical and will focus upon the fundamental ideas of our life and its purpose. It will focus heavily upon gratefulness and what it requires of a person. a. Why should we be grateful? b. How should we express our gratitude? c. Now that we are grateful, what is expected of us if we are grateful? 1. The first part of the surah is a consolation to the Messenger of Allaah s that what he is doing is correct. He s should not pay heed to these people who slander him, curse him, abuse him, lie against him. 2. The second part of the surah is giving a lesson to the Quraysh by referring to people of previous nations who were sent messengers but they rejected them just like the Quraysh. What happened to those people in return? 3. The third part of the surah will talk to us about the beauty of Allaah’s creation. How we can look all around us and appreciate that Allaah is our Creator, Sustainer, and how Magnificent He must be if His creation is this magnificent. 4. The fourth part of the surah will discuss that when the message is delivered, when the disbelievers are shown these magnificences and told to believe in Allaah, but they refuse and reject its truth, what happens to them. 5. The fifth part of the surah will discuss the Hereafter. What will happen on the Day of Judgment with these two groups of people? The group that believed and the group that disbelieved. 6. Finally, Allaah will issue a warning to people who have intelligence, faculties, money, assets, resources and talent. They are fully functioning human beings, but they refuse to believe in Allaah. To use their abilities to understand the Oneness in Allaah. This is a final warning to those people. 7. The surah concludes by again providing consolation to the Messenger of Allaah s: by reminding him that he was given a task. His responsibility is to deliver the message. Some people will believe and he is to teach them, others will disbelieve and he is not to worry about them. Ayah 2: والقرآن الحكيم By the wise Qur’aan. This is an oath. The waaw here means an oath (as opposed to its usual ‘and’). By the Qur’aan that is full of wisdom. The Word Qur’aan Itself This is the given name by Allaah to His Book. We call it the Qur’aan. It comes from the root of the word meaning ‘to read something’. The ending on the word (aan) it means “abundance”. That pattern alludes to abundance. So Qur’aan is that which is read in abundance. It is not a coincidence that Allaah begins this surah with the term Qur’aan – for Ya-Sin is one of the most frequently recited parts of it. Al-Hakim It can have two possible meanings. 1. We know that it means ‘Wise’. It comes from Hikmah (wisdom) and Hakim is someone who is full of wisdom. There is a profound message in calling the Qur’aan wise. It is miraculous for many reasons. The science, the prophecies, the unmatched language. Its most prominent miracle, however, is its wisdom, profundity, depth. It tells us how to lead our life, exactly what to do to lead a successful, meaning life. It is the cure for whatever problem creation has. It is that deep in its wisdom. 2. It can also comes from the word Hukm (authority) and Hakim would be someone who is full of authority (authoritative). It tells you what to do. It is decisive in delivering a message to you. Which one does it mean? The reality of the matter is that it means both. This is part of the beauty of the Qur’aan that one word can have multiple meanings. This is called al-tawasu fi’l-ma’na fi’l-Qur’aan al-Karim. This creates depth in the meaning of the Qur’aan. Thus, the Qur’aan is both full of wisdom and it is authoritative (e.g. it tells us what to do). Ayah 3: إنك لمن المرسلين Indeed you, [O Muhammad], are from among the messengers, Allaah has sworn by the Qur’aan that this is true. In the Qur’aan, the singular, second person (you = kaaf) refers to the Messenger of Allaah s. Inna is to provide emphasis, to remove doubt. Allaah is saying there should remain no doubt about the fact that You are most definitely (laam is for emphasis) from (min) al-mursalin. Al-Mursalin is from the root of irsal (someone who has been sent by a higher authority). Mursal is someone who has been sent by a higher authority. Rasul is someone who has been sent to convey by a higher authority. Thus, if somone is a rasul or a mursal it doesn’t just mean he is a messenger. It’s connecting the word back to Allaah. The ultimate authority is Allaah. The word is connecting the people back to Allaah. Thus, the verse means: there should remain no doubt that you are from the group of people who have been sent by Allaah to convey the message to the people. A few matters that need to be understood here: 1. Allaah swore by the Qur’aan that Muhammad s is a messenger of Allaah. This is another part of the wisdom of the Qur’aan. Allaah is creating that connection here. Allaah knew the situation would arise where people would be comfortable accepting the Qur’aan, but having difficulty accepting the Messenger of Allaah s. Meaning if you are accepting the Qur’aan you must accept the Messenger of it. One is the kasam (oath) and the other is the jawab al-kasam (reason for the oath). 2. Allaah does not say innaka mursal or innaka rasul. Allaah says that “you are from” those people. Once again, it is a consolation. He s is not the first person to be communicated to by Allaah, to convey a message from Allaah, to be rejected by his people for delivering the message. There were many before you s and you belong to this fraternity of people. This makes dealing with the difficulty easier. To know that someone has experienced it before. Makkah is tough and you are experiencing a lot, but you are connected to Allaah and there have been others who have been through this before. Ayah 4: على صراط مستقيم upon a straight path. ‘Alaa means “upon”, “on top of”. Siraat means “path”. Another word meaning path is sabil. Siraat has no plural, but sabil has a plural (subul). When Allaah talks about guidance, imaan, din, hidayah, He ta’aala uses siraat becomes there is a single path to guidance. When He ta’aala discusses charity, however, He uses sabil (e.g. fi sabil lillah) because there are multiple ways for giving in the sake of Allaah. You have been sent to people to set them upon this path. Mustaqim means to stand upright. It comes from the root “to make stand”. When something is sitting, the body is crooked at an angle. When it is standing, however, it is straight and upright. It is the quickest (direct) shortest path to the pleasure of Allaah. It is noble because it is upright. There is nothing humiliating, disgusting within the din. ‘Alaa is a beautiful harf al-jarr (preposition). It provides imagery of being atop. It’s like one is inclining upon the straight path. The ulema describe it like getting on a train. Once you are on the track, you don’t have anything to do afterwards except recline to have it take you to your destination. It is a smooth, easy ride. There is effort in attaining the ticket and catching the train, but once you’re on it, life becomes easy, smooth sailing. There must be some effort put in to get there, but from there Allaah will take us the rest of the way. Notice the tanwin (siraatin mustaqimin). It is in its common form. Other places it is in its proper form (1, 5). اهدنا الصراط المستقيم Why is it in its common form? When something is in this form there is versatility and diversity in the meaning. There is multi-layered meaning. It is telling the Messenger of Allaah s that he is inviting to a straight path, the Qur’aan is layinging out a straight path, Allaah is calling people to a straight path. Believing in Allaah is part of the straight path, the Qur’aan is inviting to the straight path, the Messenger of Allaah s is on the straight path. They are all calling us, bringing us to the straight path. There is broad meaning in what the terms are alluding to. Ayah 5: تنزيل العزيز الرحيم [This is] a revelation of the Exalted in Might, the Especially Merciful, {It has been sent (that which has been sent) from that One that is Aziz and Rahim.} Tanzil | Word Analysis Tanzil comes from the root meaning to “send something down” or even further “to descend”. In the Arabic language, specifically within the Qur’aan, there is another form of this word “to send something down”; it is anzal as in (3, 3). نزل عليك الكتاب بالحق مصدقا لما بين يديه وأنزل التوراة والإنجيل About the Qur’aan, the word nazala is used (meaning “He sent down”). About the tawrah and injil the word anzala is used (meaning “He sent down”). The Qur’aan is divine and precise; these words are not interchangeable. What then is the difference? Anzala means to send something down all at once. The previous divine scriptures were sent down as complete books from Allaah ta’aala. The Qur’aan, however, was revealed little by little by little (tadhreejan) which is what tanzil means. Even about the Qur’aan though, in some places Allaah says anzala and others He says tanzala. For example, (97, 1) Allaah uses anzala إنا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر We most definitely sent it down in the Night of Power. Here, Allaah is mentioning that He sent down the Qur’aan from lawh al-mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet) where the Qur’aan was preserved, to bayt al-izza in the lowest heavens, the sky closest to the earth. In this revelation, it was sent down in its entirety. Then in (2, 185), Allaah uses anzala شهر رمضان الذي أنزل فيه القرآن The month of Ramadhaan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’aan … The Qur’aan was revealed in its entirety in this month. Yet, we know Allaah sent it down little by little. Again, here Allaah is mentioning the revelation from lawh al-mahfuz to bayt al-izza. This is demonstrating from the above verse in Surat’l-Qadr that the Night of Power is in Ramadhaan. Everywhere else when discussing the revelation of the Qur’aan, Allaah uses tanzil because it was gradual and He is referring to the revelation to the Messenger of Allaah s. What’s the significance of sending the Qur’aan little by little? Allaah is giving the Qur’aan importance. He ta’aala is teaching us that the Qur’aan is meant to be digested, approached, understood, absorbed, internalized LITTLE BY LITTLE. Just like it was sent down. We may have the entirety, but we should still learn it in a portion of a time. Now, from whom was it that the Qur’aan was coming down? Remember, the purposes of Ya-Sin are to establish the truth of the Qur’aan and the validity of the prophethood of Muhammad s. Establishing that he s is the Messenger of Allaah. This isn’t coming down from any random place. It is coming down from al-Aziz ar-Rahim referring to Allaah. Al-Aziz| Word Analysis It means the One Who dominates, but cannot be dominated. Powerful, firm, strong, dominating. Ar-Rahim| Word Analysis It comes from the root word meaning mercy (raHmah). It means the One Who is constantly merciful. These two Names being mentioned is of importance because in the next few aayaat Allaah will discuss the peopel who reject the Qur’aan. They who don’t listen to it, they who choose not to believe in it. For them, Allaah is Aziz – firm, strong, powerful and dominating. His warning is being given – that His punishment will dominate these people. Then in aayah 11, إنما تنذر من اتبع الذكر وخشي الرحمن بالغيب فبشره بمغفرة وأجر كريم Allaah talks about people who do take the message of the Qur’aan. They accept it, they listen to it, they reflect upon it, they live it. For them, Allaah is mentioning the attribute of ar-Rahim – to them, Allaah will be constantly merciful. Ayah 6: لتنذر قوما ما أنذر آباؤهم فهم غافلون That you may warn a people whose forefathers were not warned, so they are unaware. {So that you may warn a people that there forefathers were not warned, therefore they are completely in (in a state of) heedlessness.} Historical Explanation Ibrahim ‘alayhi as-salaam, considered the forefather of the prophets and messengers. It is from him that the two major chains of prophets came – Bani Isra’il and the Arabs. We know there was the conflict there. He had two sons and their tribes: Banu Ishaq and Banu Isma’il. The progeny of Ishaq ‘alayhi as-salaam were people amongst whom many of the prophets mentioned in the Qur’aan came: Zakariyyah, Yahya, Sulayman, Daw’ud, ‘Isa, Musa, etc. ‘alayhum as-salaam. The progeny of Isma’il ‘alayhi as-salaam did not get any messengers until Muhammad s. So for these Arabs, the divine revelation did not come to them for at least 100s and 100s if not 1000s of years. Allaah says this book has been revealed to them from Aziz and Rahim whose forefathers were not warned. As a result of their forefathers not being warned ghafilun. Allaah did not say ghafalu, yaghfilu. Allaah uses the nominal form. These people were drowning in heedlessness. Heedlessness is simply people who are unaware, oblivious to reality, completely lost. They have complete lack of awareness of what is going on. Some of the scholars mention there are multiple forms of ghafla – some are accidental, others are intentional. These people had an intentional branding. They chose to be heedless. They liked the way things were for them. Guidance has not come to these people for a very long time so it will take longer for the message to be absorbed, for them to take from it. At the same time, Allaah is hinting that amongst them, there are some who have the element of choosing to be heedless. They know about their situation and they like the way things are, they are content with the situation. Fahum ghafilun. Allaah is reminding them of this. He is telling the Messenger of Allaah s that this is the purpose of the revelation of the Qur’aan . In (28, 46), He ta’aala makes mention of this in (28, 46) لتنذر قوما ما أتاهم من نذير من قبلك …to warn a people to whom no warner had come before you… {So that you can use this Qur’aan to warn a people that no warner had come to them before you – nobody had come to warn them before you} Allaah is saying what the purpose of the Qur’aan is. When we completely treat the Qur’aan as functioning to decoration and formality or opening of auspacious occassions we run into a problem Its main purpose is to wake people up. We need to develop this relationship with the Qur’aan for ourselves and for our communities. It wakes us from being lost. Ayah 7: لقد حق القول على أكثرهم فهم لا يؤمنون Already the word has come into effect upon most of them, so they do not believe. {Most definitely, the word has been confirmed upon the majority of them. Therefore they will not believe.} We know the Messenger of Allaah s was sent for all of humanity, but the first recipients of his message were the Quraysh, the Arabs. So Allaah is talking about them specifically. In the previous aayah, Allaah has mentioned that he s has the job to warn them, to awake them from this deep sleep. Now in this aayah, Allaah is saying most definitely (laam is emphasis and qad is further emphasis = like pounding fist on table). Haqq| Word Analysis Haqq is from the root meaning “that which is stable/constant/solid” but it also carries the meaning of “that which is reality/confirmed/happens/no doubt about it”. The word or saying or decision has been confirmed upon you. What is this qawl? Qawl| Word Analysis In the Qur’aan, Allaah tells us the story about Adam ‘alayhi as-salaam and Iblis. When Allaah created Adam ‘alayhi as-salaam He commanded the angels to make sujud to him, but Iblis refused. He was arrogant, arguing with Allaah, denying, refusing, and disobeying. So Allaah casted him off, sent him away from His mercy. Iblis requests time until the Day of Judgment to lead all of these human beings astray. These human beings to whom he had been commanded to prostrate, he commits his life to taking them astray. Coming at them from in front, behind, left, right, doing whatever it takes to lead them astray and You will say the majority of the will not be grateful. He swore by Allaah’s power (wa bi izzatihim) that he would lead them astray. Look at the arrogance (38, 82)! قال فبعزتك لأغوينهم أجمعين [Iblis] said, “By Your might, I will surely mislead them all, Allaah ended up cursing Iblis and saying the reality (38, 84-85) قال فالحق والحق أقول [Allaah] said, ‘The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say - لأملأن جهنم منك وممن تبعك منهم أجمعين [that] I will surely fill the Hellfire with you and those of them that follow you all together. Anyone that chooses to follow Iblis and not the path outlined by Allaah will be cast into the Hellfire. The story of Adam and Iblis occurs in seven places in the Qur’aan, Baqarah (2), A’araaf (7), Hijr (15), Israa (17), Kahf (18), Ta-Ha (20), Sad (38). Even at the end of Ya-Sin (36, 70) Allaah says that the punished has been decided and decreed upon those people who are ungrateful and disbelieve in Allaah. لينذر من كان حيّا ويحق القول على الكافرين To warn whoever is alive and justify the word against the disbelievers. Al-Qawl is thus Allaah’s decision to punish these people, His decision to cast them into the Hellfire. That decision has been confirmed upon the majority of these people to whom the Messenger of Allaah s is giving da’wah therefore these people will not believe (it includes the future tense as in “don’t expect them to believe”). In Conclusion When Allaah al-Aziz ar-Rahim is telling His Messenger s that He has sent down the Qur’aan for him to warn these people, then why would Allaah mention that the punishment for the majority these people has been confirmed and he shouldn’t expect them to believe? These aayaat are a consolation to the Messenger of Allaah s. In Makkah, a lot of difficulty was experienced. The second they’d take a few steps ahead, the people would become more stubborn, arrogant, aggressive, and violent. It was difficult to keep up the morale of the Muslims. This was to let him know that Allaah is watching these people and has made the decision for them. The reason for telling the Messenger of Allaah s not to expect these people to believe was because the Messenger of Allaah embodied and amazing quality. To blame himself for what goes wrong. Some people automatically look to others when matters go wrong. A special person, however, blames himself in this selfless way. It is empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate to blame one’s own self. He s embodied this quality like no other person. Allaah had to tell him (18, 6) to take it easy! فلعلك باخع نفسك على آثارهم إن لم يؤمنوا بهذا الحديث أسفا Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow. At the jarring and powerful moment in the situation of Ta’if, the Messenger of Allaah s after being ridiculed, stoned, humiliated, made to bleed from his body to the point of falling unconscious, he was given a moment of rest and made du’aa to Allaah. His s supplication is unbelievable! O Allaah I complain to you of my own weakness, and my lack of effort, and I complain to you of my lack of respect in the eyes of people. As if saying that these people didn’t reject the message because of Allaah or of what it contains or even because of themselves. Their rejection was associated with my own weaknesses and faults. Please forgive me. Allaah would have to console the Messenger of Allaah s because of this quality. To prevent him s from destroying himself for the sake of people. Aayaat 8-10 elaborate upon aayah 7 Ayah 8: إنا جعلنا في أعناقهم أغلالا فهي إلى الأذقان فهم مقمحون Indeed, We have put shackles on their necks, and they are to their chins, so they are with heads [kept] aloft. {Most definitely we have placed in their necks collars (or shackles) and it is all the way up to their chins so their heads are slightly raised (stuck in that one position)} Word Analysis Here Allaah is attributing the action to Himself inna ja’alnaa. There is repetition of the first person plural subject to say that it is definitely Allaah, and only Allaah. There is exclusivity. A’anaaq is the plural of unuq (neck). In their necks. Aghlaal is the plural of ghul (shackle e.g. like shackline a prisoner). It is a very general term so it could be shackles put on any area (handcuffs, ankles, neck), but here it is specified to around their necks. Ilaa al-adhqaan up to their chins so that it is elongating their necks. In this position, one no longer has any room to move. They have no ability to move, they are frozen in this position. The result is fahum muqmaHun. MuqmaHun comes from the root qamaHa refers to when a camel comes to drink water. The camel then raises its head, just standing before the water, gazing at it. This would be called aqmaHal ba’i that the camel drank the water and has its head raised to stand over the water, perhaps gazing down at it. Another explanation in the lexicon is that the neck of the camel was sometimes tied to its back in such a way that its neck would stay erect to keep it alert. They would do this when they did not want the camel to walk or stand in a particular position and not have flexibility to move from the position. So muqmaHun means the people have been tied into such a position that their head can neither be further up nor further down – especially lowering the head. Why would their heads be raised? 1. It is in reference to their arrogance. They were provided the message, a messenger, the Qur’aan was recited to them. They were rude, they were extremely arrogant. It is as if Allaah set this curse of arrogance upon them: they wanted to be arrogant, so they not must deal with it. They were allowed to further indulge in their arrogance. The Qur’aan defines to us very clearly (especially in Surat’l-Baqarah) that arrogance is the number one obstacle to guidance. The leaders of Quraysh could not speak ill of the Messenger of Allaah s, the Qur’aan was so attractive to them that they would go to hear it. Yet, they still did not accept. Abu Jahl was asked why he didn’t believe. Is Muhammad a liar? No. What about the Qur’aan. It’s amazing. Then why won’t you believe? We are Banu Makhzum and they are Banu Haashim. We have a rivalry, when they do something we do better than them. If we accept it, we cannot duplicate it. We cannot beat them at this, so we’ll just refuse and resist. Arrogance. Allaah has fixed them in their own arrogance. 2. It is for their denial of the signs around them. As we’ll see later in Ya-Sin and have seen in Fussilat (41, 53), سنريهم آياتنا في الآفاق وفي أنفسهم حتى يتبين لهم أنه الحق أولم يكف بربك أنه على كل شيء شهيد We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness? and in Nabaa and in Mulk which speak of the miracles of Allaah in our surroundings, in these miraculous things are signs for people of intelligence, people who think. If these people looked around them, it would humble them. If their necks are in such a position, they can’t gaze around at the wonders. They can never see the beauty of the magnificence of Allaah’s signs. It is further drowning themselves in their own arrogance. They’ve made a choice and must not live with it. Tense All of this has been said in the past tense. Inna ja’alnaa = We have already put. 1. Some scholars are of the opinion that this is giving a metaphor for their spiritual condition in the dunya. 2. Other scholars say it will transpire with these people on the Day of Judgment. They will no longer be able to prostrate themselves, humble themselves. It is in the past tense because it is confirmed. There is such assurity in its occurrence that its as if it has already happened, thus the past tense is being used. The coming verses, however, support the first opinion and make it clear that this is with reference to their arrogance in this world. It is a metaphor for their spiritual situation. Ayah 9: وجعلنا من بين أيديهم سدّا ومن خلفهم سدّا فأغشيناهم فهم لا يبصرون And We have put before them a barrier and behind them a barrier and covered them, so they do not see. {And We have made all the way from in front of them a barrier and all the way from behind them a barrier and we have covered them and they can no longer see.} Allaah is further continuing that analogy of how pitiful their situation is and how cursed these people are. There is repetition of the word ja’alnaa in verses 8 and 9. The scholars say that this is because it is now discussing a different barrier. The first was their internal obstacle to seeing the truth – their arrogance which trapped them in a position. Now, it’s discussing the internal barrier. So even if they were able to overcome the internal barrier, they would not be able to believe because there is an external barrier. Sad is a barrier between two things. Something preventing two things from coming together – between them and guidance, them and imaan. Allaah further says min bayni meaning that it is all the way from them, it is touching them. They are squeezed between two walls so tightly that they cannot move. There is such powerful imagery here. Imagine the suffocation. This is not a comfortable lifestyle they lead. Behind them there is another wall that is locking them in, trapping them. Fa-aghshaynaahum there is even something on top covering them completely so that they cannot even see daylight. They are completely trapped that they cannot even see. Ayah 10: وسواء عليهم أأنذرتهم أم لم تنذرهم لا يؤمنون And it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – will not believe. {And it is equal, absolutely the same, whether you warn them or you do not warn them – they will not believe.} Remember, andhar is to warn some of imminent danger out of care and concern for them. It doesn’t matter how much concern you warn them with or not. What’s the point of giving da’wah then? Allaah addresses this question in (7, 164) وإذ قالت أمة منهم لم تعظون قوما الله مهلكهم أو معذبهم عذابا شديدا قالوا معذرة إلى ربكم ولعلهم يتقون And when a community among them said, “Why do you advise [or warn] a people whom Allaah is [about] to destroy or to punish with a severe punishment?” they [the advisors] said, “To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him.” So that when they stand before Allaah on the Day of Judgment, they have no excuses. The messenger will be able to stand before them and say that they did preach to them as best as possible. It completes the argument. Yet, at the same time to never give up because they may possibly becomes conscious of Allaah. We never know. Abu Sufyan accepted Islaam 20 years after it was revealed, after engaging in campaigns and battles against the message. Why is Allaah attributing this to Himself? This horrible situation that they are in, trapped and suffocating, Allaah is saying that “We have put them in it”. Why is Allaah doing it to them? Doesn’t Allaah want them to believe? When you study the Qur’aan and its themes overall, and its discussion on guidance you understand this. 1. Allaah has sent guidance clear as day, mercy, messengers, prophets, signs around us. He has put indicators to lead us back to Him all around us and even within ourselves. It is very clear and accessible. 2. If these signs were all around us, but we didn’t have the faculties to access them it would be pointless. So Allaah has given us the faculties (76, 2) إنا خلقنا الإنسان من نطفة أمشاج نبتليه فجعلناه سميعا بصيرا Indeed, We created human from a sperm-drop mixture so that We may test him and We made him hearing and seeing. In order to test the human being, We gave him the ability to hear and see. In other places we are told we were given intelligence, ability to comprehend, ponder, think, walk around, feel, understand. We were given all the faculties we would need. 3. Allaah gave the human being a clear choice (76, 3) إنا هديناه السبيل إما شاكرا وإما كفورا Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful. We were given a clear choice whether we choose to believe or disbelieve. Everything was made clear, we were given faculties to comprehend the signs, and then we have the choice. Once someone makes the choice to not be grateful, to disbelieve, after being given all of these signs and opportunities, now Allaah says that He has put them into this situation. They walked until here and are now asking for the result. It’s like a person walking to the edge of a cliff and asking to suffer the consequences. Then, who will the message benefit? Ayah 11: إنما تنذر من اتبع الذكر وخشي الرحمن بالغيب فبشره بمغفرة وأجر كريم You can only warn one who follows the message and fears the Most Merciful unseen. So give him good tidings of forgiveness and noble reward. One very profound message here is that da’wah is a responsibility from Allaah and it must be discharged. It is not just to benefit the person being invited (mad’u), but also for the inviter (da’i) regardless if someone is listening or not. We do not slacken in our efforts and accept failure. We strive because we are benefiting from this struggle. At the end of the day, the Messenger of Allaah s wanted to see some results, to see some validation, some vindication, to see that what he’s doing means something and it brings some change. Innamaa in this form serves the purpose of restriction and specification, “in actuality, you are only”. Attaba’a adh-dhikr | Word Analysis Adh-dhikr points to the Qur’aan as time and time again it has been described as that (54, 40) ولقد يسرنا القرآن للذكر فهل من مدكر And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember… The fact that it’s in its proper form adh-dhikr is even more evidence of the fact that it points specifically to the Qur’aan. So the one who will ittaba’ (literally meaning “to follow”) the Qur’aan. What does it mean to follow the Qur’aan? In other places, we are told (39, 18) الذين يستمعون القول فيتبعون أحسنه أولئك الذين هداهم الله وأولئك هم أولو الألباب Who listen to speech (very attentively, carefully) and follow it (in its most excellent fashion). Those are the ones Allaah has guided and those are people of understanding. Thus, following the Qur’aan means to listen, understand it, internalize it, act upon it, and even spend themselves in further spreading it. This is the real following of the Qur’aan. That is the one whom the Messenger of Allaah s is warning. Khashiya ar-Rahman | Word Analysis But that’s not all. This person has a second quality as well. Khashiya he fears, is overwhelmed by ar-Rahman. This is an interesting combination, to fear the Most Merciful. Why not say Allaah? By saying Ar-Rahman the reader or listener thinks of all the blessings in his life and feels a sense of obligation to turn to and worship Allaah. The title, relationship, status is mentioned to make one feel a sense of obligation. He ta’aala has blessed you with everything you have. Also, by mentioning Ar-Rahman it’s His right upon us to be worshipped and for us to fear disappointing Him. There is no contradiction. Ghayb meaning in absence. When they are away from everyone, in the privacy of their homes. This person would have truly internalized the meaning of the Qur’aan. He is never heedless of Allaah, the One Who has given him everything, is watching him. The Result Give these people the good news of maghfirah. Maghfirah is the larger form of the word, meaning “complete forgiveness”. And give them news of a ajrin karim – a most generous, noble word. So these people had two qualities and were guaranteed two promises. 1. For living a life following the Qur’aan they receive maghfirah. When we lead such a life we are cleansing and washing away all the sins we have committed in this life. 2. For being fearful of Ar-Rahman even in private they receive a noble, generous reward (the life of Paradise). Ayah 12: إنا نحن نحيي الموتى ونكتب ما قدموا وآثارهم وكل شيء أحصيناه في إمام مبين Indeed, it is We who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register. As in verses 8 and 9, there is exclusivity here by repetition of the first person plural subject (most definitely We and only We). NuHyi al-mawtaa| Reviving the dead This may be referring to either 1. Reaffirming the life of the hereafter. On the Day of Judgment these people will be resurrected. This was the number one objection of the mushrikeen from the believers. 2. The life of imaan (6, 122) أومن كان ميتا فأحييناه وجعلنا له نورا يمشي به في الناس كمن مثله في الظلمات ليس بخارج منها And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light with which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? … {The one who remembers Allaah and the one who does not, their example is like the living and the dead. [Tirmidhi]} Allaah brings people to life by blessing them with imaan. Previously, there was reference to people who would not believe. Now He ta’aala is speaking of those who will accept it. Again, we continue to put forth our da’wah because we do not know whom Allaah will bless to come forward from death into life. Look to the examples of Abu Sufyan, Khaalid b. Walid, Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl. Naktubu| The Recording This focuses upon accountability. This was another objection of the disbelievers. They could not fathom how anyone could take everyone to account for what they have done. We are writing that which they have sent forward or invested for themselves. Aathaarahum| Word Analysis And their lasting effects or their remaining effects. But what does that mean? 1. maa qaddamu (= that which they have sent forward) is referring to the good intention that one sends forward. When a believer makes the intention to do a good deed. Allaah tells the Angel to write. The Angel responds that the person has not done anything yet. Allaah says that the person has made the intent to do some good so it should be written for him as a reward. Then, when the person acts upon the good deed, Allaah again commands the Angel to write it. In comparison: when the person intends for sin, the Angel asks Allaah if it should be written. Allaah says no do not write it. Then when the person commits the sin, Allaah tells the Angel to write it once. If the person does not commit it, though, Allaah tells the Angel to write down a good deed for the person because he fought his intention and resisted. من كان يريد حرث الآخرة نزد له في حرثه ومن كان يريد حرث الدنيا نؤته منها وما له في الآخرة من نصيب Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter – We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world – We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share. (42, 20) Allaah did not say man kaana ‘amila, but He said man kaana yuridu. The one who would intend, not actually did. Iradah. Just a good intention is a profound good deed upon the believer. The intention of the believer is better than his action. Then the aathaar are the actual good deeds upon those intentions. 2. maa qaddamu are the actual good deeds the person does and aathaar are what it encouraged others to do Whosoever starts a good practice, he will get the reward of it and the reward of anyone who continues to act upon it. When the human being dies, his actions are cut off except for three things (1) perpetual charity (2) knowledge the people continue to benefit from (3) a righteous child who continues to make du’aa for the deceased parent. So they not only get credit of that which they themselves have done, but the after effects of what they have done. 3. maa qaddamu are the good deeds being written and aathaar are everything that goes into making the deeds reality and comes about because of it The scholars quote an incident from the life of the Messenger of Allaah s. There were a people living on the outskirts of Madinah, Banu Salimah, who accepted Islaam when teh message first arrived and supported Islaam. Their neighbourhood was some distance from the masjid so they made intentions to move into the plot near it (today it is jannat’l-baqi’). He s heard this and went to them. He s said, “Ya Bani Salimah, diyaarakum (stay where you are now). Tubtabu aathaarakum (every little footstep you take to the masjid are written as reward for you). When a person walks to the masjid, for every step he takes he gets a reward and one sin is wiped away from his slate. This is like guarding the boundaries of the land of Islaam. Meaning the farther you live from the masjid and yet you still go, it is like preserving the Islaamic state. Give good news to the people who walk, but walk frequently to the masjid in the darkness of night. They will have the most complete light on the Day of Judgment. The principle is that when you do a good deed, the effort, time, investment, and intention, everything that goes into making the deed a reality are written for you. Final Confirmation Each and every single thing (abnormal sentence structure) (iHsaan) is already taken into account and has been preserved. There are books with the proof, with confirmation. Imaam here means (according to Ibn Abbaas) the book of deeds, your record. This is because it will be presented before people and people will follow it (e.g. right hand to Paradise, left hand to Hellfire). This again creates that sense of accountability. What we do in this life will determine what happens to us in the Hereafter. This life is an allusion, but it is significant because our result in the Hereafer depends upon what we’ve done here. What we do in this life will be our imaam in the Hereafter. This ends passage one of Ya-Sin. We’ve now discussed the validity of the Qur’aan, of the Messenger of Allaah s, and of the concept of their being messengers sent by Allaah to deliver His message to the people. Then there are two groups people divide into when they are delivered this message. One choose to denounce it and Allaah discusses their situation and condition. The other choose to accepts it and Allaah discusses the reward set aside for them. Ayah 13: This begins the second passage of Ya-Sin. We need to understand the historical context for its revelation before proceeding further. This was revealed to the Messenger of Allaah s during the Makkan period and at the height of the opposition from the Makkans. A lot of time in the city had passed, so this was nearing his final days in Makkah. He s has deliverd the message to the people in several ways like Nuh ‘alayhi as-salaam to his people (71, 5-15) publicly, privately, individually, giving them incentives. Yet, even with all of these efforts (71, 6) فلم يزدهم دعائي إلا فرارا But my invitation increased them not except in flight. They would put their fingers in their ears, cover their faces when he would come to them, they would be insistent and arrogant and brush off Nuh ‘alayhi as-salaam. This situation was similar to that of the Messenger of Allaah s when these verses was to be revealed. The Makkans wanted nothing to do with him s and his message. They had complete apathy and became engaged in anti-da’wah; they were violent and aggressive towards those who were giving heed to the message. It was like Allaah tell us (41, 26) وقال الذين كفروا لا تسمعوا لهذا القرآن والغوا فيه لعلكم تغلبون And those who disbelieve say, “Do not listen to this Qur’aan and speak noisily during [the recitation of] it that perhaps you will overcome.” They’ve made it personal to defeat the Messenger of Allaah s in his message. At this point, Allaah is giving them a powerful reminder. To make someone realize the errors of their ways when they have been numbed by the warnings and advice, direct them to the situations of real examples. The horrific consequences that others have faced when they did not pay heed. Give these people the example of a people of a town that came before. The same thing may happen to these people as well if they do not correct their corrupt ways. واضرب لهم مثلا أصحاب القرية إذ جاءها المرسلون And present to them an example: the people of the city, when the mesengers came to it - Strike for them an example – give an example for them (the Quraysh). Lahum means make this story of a people of a town previously relevant to these people. This is an implicit evidence that even when Allaah speak of disbelievers in the Qur’aan, even the Muslims should take heed. Ibn Abbaas said that in the aayaat directed to the disbelievers there is relevance for the believers. They ought to recognize these traits and tendencies and search for them within themselves. If they find them, it is a sign of disbelief and a sign to correct their ways. Of the people of a town when messengers have come to them. There’s much discussion in tafasir about this “town”. Many mention the town of Intaqiyyah. It was an ancient city. These messengers, in their opinion, were not prophets but the disciples of ‘Isa ‘alayhi as-salaam. Ibn Kathir has a detailed discussion about the authenticity of these narrations. We don’t really need to get into this discussion. It is more important to see what message we can draw from these aayaat. Ayah 14: إذ أرسلنا إليهم اثنين فكذبوهما فعززنا بثالث فقالوا إنا إليكم مرسلون When we sent to them two but they denied them, so We strengthened them with a third, and they said, “Indeed, we are messengers to you.” Idh is like saying “remember way back when”. First, Allaah sent two messengers to them. They rejected them. Takdhib means they called them liars. Everything they were given was called bogus. Ta’ziz literally means to strengthen, to firm. Allaah says He reaffirmed the messengers with a third to reaffirm and strenghten their confidence and the message being delivered. Their primary message was that most definitely we have been sent specifically to you. There is abnormal sentence structure here indicating that there is exclusivity. Ayah 15: قالوا ما أنتم إلا بشر مثلنا وما أنزل الرحمن من شيء إن أنتم إلا تكذبون They said, “You are not but human beings like us, and the Most Merciful has not revealed a thing. You are only tellings lies.” You people are nothing but people just like us. This has always been the primary criticism of all messengers throughout time when they’ve come to deliver the message to people. Like the Quraysh when they said (25, 7) وقالوا مال هذا الرسول يأكل الطعام ويمشي في الأسواق لولا أنزل إليه ملك فيكون معه نذيرا And they say, “What is this messenger that eats food and walks in the markets? Why was there not sent down to him an angel so he would be with him a warner? This is the natural pride, ego of the human being: the aversion to authority. Even if Allaah would have sent an Angel down with the message, they would not have believed. According to them, the Angel would be a supernatural being unable to understand the situation of the human being. That is there situation. There very first objection was: the messengers are people just like us. And this Ar-Rahman you speak of (remember the name was mentioned in verse 11), He has not sent down anything. You (all three of you) are nothing but lying to us. Ayah 16: قالوا ربنا يعلم إنا إليكم لمرسلون They said, “Our Lord knows that we are messengers to you, The messengers now speak in response to the people of the town: Our Lord, He knows that most definitely we have been sent specifically for you people. Their statement here is very profound. What did they use as evidence? We know that messengers would receive miracles as evidence as well. They, however, did not respond with miracles. Just like how the Messenger of Allaah s did not respond to people with miracles. Remember when ‘Utbah bin Walid came to the Messenger of Allaah and asked him what he wanted (wealth? fame? women?). In response the Messenger of Allaah s recited the verses of Surat’l-Fussilat. Until he reached the point of sajdah performed it and then walked away from ‘Utbah who was left gobsmacked. The people saw him when he returned and said that he is not coming back with the face he left with. He advised them to leave the way because this would be a powerful storm. We shouldn’t rely upon supernatural things to prove our point. Our message is enough evidence for us. Ayah 17: وما علينا إلا البلاغ المبين And we are not responsible except for clear notification.” Now, there is the situation with the people. It is becoming difficult because they are being rude, abrasive, offensive. What’s the point to continue speaking with them? They know they are not obligated to do anything except balagh. Balaagh is literally “to reach from one place to another”. The Qur’aan has been described as balaagh (14, 52) هذا بلاغ للناس ولينذروا به وليعلموا أنما هو إله واحد وليذكر أولو الألباب This [Qur’aan] is balaagh for the people that they may be warned thereby and that they may know that He is but one God and that those of understanding will be reminded. At the same time the Messenger of Allaah has been commanded in the Qur’aan “balligh = convey, make it reach” (5, 67) يا أيها الرسول بلغ ما أنزل إليك من ربك وإن لم تفعل فما بلغت رسالته والله يعصمك من الناس إن الله لا يهدي القوم الكافرين O Messenger, balligh that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allaah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allaah does not guide the disbelieving people. The Qur’aan is that which needs to reach people. Nothing affects people in da’wah like the Qur’aan. It needs to be the main vehicle of our da’wah. Mubin means so clear that it is self-clarifying. So deliver a very clear, precise, pristine, understandable message to people. That is our task. It is not just to deliver the message, but to make sure the way of delivery is clear and pristine. For this purpose, we do not need to create any means – we have it in the Qur’aan itself. In summary of verses 13-17, we see two things. First, the beauty in the language 1. At the end of aayah 14 the first time these messengers introduce themselves to these people as inna ilaykum mursalun – most definitely we have been sent to you people as messengers. 2. At the end of aayah 16 they respond to the peoples accusations as rabbuna inna ilaykum lamursalun. There is an extra laam. Why? When they first introduced themselves, there was no exchange, argument, or refutation. It was just an introduction. When they rejected and placed accusations, the response is with emphasis. Second, the biggest purpose of these aayaat was to be consolation to the Messenger of Allaah s and the believers as well. The Quraysh may be becoming more aggressive and offensive, but you are not the first (people or messenger) to experience this. Not one, but three messengers standing side-by-side were refused in this way by people. It is also consolation of the accountability (the task) of the Messenger of Allaah s. It is only upon him to deliver it clearly. He s delivered the message rightfully, above and beyond what was required for him.