The Qur’an is incredible literature, incredible literature from many, many different angles. You could study this subject from many different points of view. Actually, I’m working on a seminar that’s launching in February dedicated to each angle, each perspective from which we can study and appreciate the eloquence and the precision and beauty of the Qur’an.
I’m only going to present probably three dimensions to you today of the twenty or so that I have compiled thus far. At least three dimensions I’ll try to present to you today in shaa` Allah. And the first of them is precision in word choice or accurate word choice. When you and I speak, we put words together but we don’t necessarily give too much thought to each and every word we say. The central focus when we communicate isn’t the words it’s the actual idea. When you sit down and write something though then what do you do? You write something and you say: “No, I want to edit it. I want to say it better.” And you go back and you change a word or two or you reorganize your sentence, right? So writing is way more careful than what? Than speaking. Speaking is spontaneous. It’s on the spot. There’s no time to edit your words. It just comes out. But writing is very well thought-out because there’s an editorial process. Now, we already said that the disbeliever says that the Qur’an is the speech of Muhammad while the believer knows that it’s the speech of Allah. The speech of a human being is not necessarily calculated down to the word, it’s not calculated down to the word. But the speech of Allah is perfect because it comes from a source that is perfect. And that is illustrated with hundreds of thousands of examples in the Qur’an. This is a subject in of itself – precision of words in the Qur’an. It’s a subject in and of itself. I’ll give you some very brief examples.
Shu’ayb, ‘alayhi salyam , ‘alayhi salyam, , you know he’s a messenger, right? Now, as a messenger , ‘alayhi salyam, he is mentioned numerous times in the Qur’an. Allah, ‘azza wa jal, says to us: “Wa ilyaa madyanaa akhaakhum Shu’ayba” – to madyans we sent their brother Shu’ayb. Now what I want to tell you is what is the name of the nation to which he belonged? Madyan. Now Madyan is the name of two things at the same time you gotta remember this, ok?
Madyan is two things. Madyan is the name of a place and it’s the name of the people. The people are called Madyan and the place is also called Madyan. And Allah says to Madyan we sent their brother Shu’ayb. In surat Shu’araa`, surah number 26, Allah, ‘azza wa jal, gives us the stories of different prophets. He says: “Idh qaala lahum akhuhum Lootun; idh qaala lahum akhuhum Saalihun; idh qaala lahum akhuhum Hoodun; idh qaala lahum akhuhum Noohun” – when their brother Nooh said to them; when their brother Nooh said to his nation. The next story goes to another prophet. When their brother Saalih said to them, to his own nation. Then it goes to Hood. When their brother Hood said to them. Then when their brother Saalih, Hood, Nooh, ‘alayhim salyam and Loot – four of them: their brother, their brother, their brother. The fifth one mentioned is Shu’ayb. Allah says when Shu’ayb said to them. He just says: “Idh qaala lahum Shu’aybun” – when Shu’ayb says to them. With all the other prophets in that very surah what did he say? Their brother Nooh, their brother Saalih, their brother Loot, their brother Hood. But when it came to Shu’ayb he said Shu’ab – no brother. What’s really interesting is other places in the Qur’an Allah says: “Wa ilyaa Madyana”, like I told you, “Wa ilyaa Madyana akhaahum Shu’ayba” – to Madyana, especially, we sent their brother Shu’ayb. In the surah in which everybody was declared the brother of their nation you would expect that when Shu’ayb’s turn comes what are you gonna see? Their brother. But the word “brother” taken out. It’s the only one that’s been taken out. Everybody else retained and what we find that’s really interesting is right before – remember the nation for which he was sent what was their name? Madyan. They have another name called “aShaabu-l-Aika”. It’s a longer name – “aShaabu-l-Aika” – means the people of al-Aika. Aika was a giant tree that they used to worship. The name of that tree was Aika. So they were known by the religious name too. Their religious identity was the people of Aika. The fact that he was born in Madyan; that he belonged to the city of Madyan that his race was the Madyan race, right? One of the Arabs. Because of that by race and by region he is their brother. So Allah says to Madyan we sent their brother Shu’ayb. But when Allah mentions them not as the people of Madyan but the people of what? Al-Aika – that tree. Allah is speaking to them with their religious identity. And when it comes to their religion is he their brother? No. So when Allah mentions their religion he says when Shu’ayb says to them – no brother. By removing a brother from that context, in particular, what has been highlighted? What’s been highlighted is there is no brotherhood when it comes to conflict in deen. That goes away. It’s very profound, precise usage. Because of what we are told to expect case after case after case in surat Shu’araa` is: “akhuhum, akhuhum, akhuhum, akhuhum” and all of a sudden the omission of akhuhum. Precision, and you could see why that precision took place. This is the first small example.
Let’s look at another example. You know that both the names you see on the screen: Yathrib and Madinah. Are they names of the same city? Sure. The Qur’an speaks about the city of Madinah with the word Madinah many times. At least four citations are put on the screen for you. But it only uses Yathrib ones. Yathrib is only used in surat Ahzaab, that’s it. There’s no other place where Yathrib is used in the Qur’an. By the way, both are names of Madinah. So you could argue from the devil’s advocate point-of-view: “Hey, they mean the same thing, right? So why I don’t just change Yathrib to what? Madinah. Or why I don’t change Madinah to Yathrib? You guys keep talking about that the Qur’an is perfect, intricate word choice. You guys know too that Yathrib and Madinah is the same thing. So why not put one in the others place? What’s the big deal? What difference does it make?”
This is a study more so of history. Before the Prophet arrived, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa-s-salyam, in Madinah. What was its name? Yathrib. After he came to the city he was unanimously declared the leader of that city and then city was coined: “Madeenatu-n-Nabee” – the city of the Prophet. For short, “the City”. Madinah is short for what? The city of the Prophet. Because literally Madinah means what? The city. The actual name is Yathrib. Or you could think of it like this. Before the Prophet came it was Yathrib after he came it is Madinah. But what’s interesting is that suratu-l-Ahzaab, surah number 33, actually uses Madinah and uses Yathrib, same surah. What’s really interesting on top of that is suratu-l-Ahzaab is a madanee surah. What do you know about madanee surahs? Wher was the Prophet in madanees surahs, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam? He was in Madinah. So already the city should have been called what? Madeenah, but we see the word Yathrib.Do you see the riddle here, right? Now, here’s the thing. Madinah was short for “Madeenatu-n-Nabee” – the city of the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam. When Madinah was surrounded by enemy forces some Jewish tribes got together. They came in they convinced Quraysh to come back in a rally after the loss of Uhud. They went around and made alliances with smaller tribes and turned it into a massive army that surrounded the entire city of Madinah. The city of Madinah was being held hostage for weeks on end. This scary situation was even worsened because people on the inside, there were people on the inside, that were Muslims but some of them were only Muslims by name and actually there wasn’t really iman in their hearts. What’s that group called? Munafiquun, the hypocrites, right? Now, some of these hypocrites, before the Prophet came, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam, they were the leaders of what city? They were the leaders of Yathrib. When the Prophet came they had to give up their position. They had to give up their leadership because now who is the leader by default? Muhammad, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam. When they were surrounded they saw it as an opportunity to rally the forces and say look what his leadership got us into. So they say – “wa qaaluu, yaa ahla Yathrib la muqaama lakum”. They said: “O, people of Yathrib there’s no place left for you! “Farjeeghu” – “Let’s go back!”. Go back to what? Let’s go back to making it Yathrib again. Let’s go back to the way things were before the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam , had leadership. By using the word Yathrib you know what they exposed? Their true allegiance. Because if they acknowledged the Messenger as their leader, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam, what word would they have used? Madinah. So just by using that word, Allah caught their word, exposed it in the Qur’an and what we learn from that is their allegiances, their aspirations were: “Oh, one day it will be back to Yathrib again. It won’t be a Madinah anymore.”
This becomes even more evident, more clear – clearer, when we go to other places. Suratu-l-Munafiqueen, the surah dedicated to who? The hypocrites. Now, the surah dedicated to hypocrites is interesting. It begins with the hypocrites going out of their way to show allegiance to the Messenger, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam. They go out of their way to show allegiance to Rasulullah, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam . “Idha jaaka-l-munafiquun qaalu nashhada innaka la rasullah” – when the hypocrites come to you, whenever they come they say: “Oh, we bear witness, no doubt you are certainly the Messenger of Allah”. Now the Muslim doesn’t have to say that to the Messenger every time – only when he converts – right? When he accepts it then he says. Otherwise, he knows he is the Messenger of Allah. But if you’re trying to compensate for something you’re feeling on the inside like a child who says I didn’t do it by the way. And you say what you did not do, right? There’s a guilty conscience that speaks. It’s the guilty conscience that makes them speak: “We really believe you are the Messenger of Allah. And in that surah to show their allegiance on the outside they said: “La iirraja’na ila-l-madeenah. La yukhrijannah a’azzu mina-l-azal.” They said when we return to Madinah. Cause they were trying to show their allegiance. When he came to desperate times in suratu-l-Ahzaab the wrong word came out of their mouth and their truly allegiances were exposed.
Another interesting comparison: Makkah and Bakkah. Have you heard these two names of Makkah before? They both occur once in the Qur’an: once in the Qur’an in surat Muhammad Allah, ‘azza wa jal, uses the word Makkah. Another time he uses the word Bakkah. Now, historically speaking they are both names of the same city Makkah. Some have argued that Bakkah was the first name and Makkah is the later name. More accurately though, linguists have argued that Makkah is the name and Bakkah is the nickname. It comes from “Bakk”which is an Arabic verb. It means to be crowded. It means to have lots of crowd and, you know, congestion of traffic – “al-izdiham” in modern Arabic we use, ok. Now, when Bakkah is used in sura Ali-‘Imran with the “Ba” originating from the word crowd, the very few ayat that follow are ayat of hajj – “wa liLlahi ‘ala-n-nasi hijju-l-bayt”. What comes with Hajj? Crowd. So what’s the better word in that context? Bakkah. But there’s no mention of Hajj in surah Muhammad you go back to normal and what word do you use? Makkah. Subhan Allah!
Even this small detail you and I would say Makkah, Bakkah same thing, interchangeable. They’re the same words but the level of precision in the Qur’an’s words is unparalleled. Human beings can’t think at that level when they speak. They can’t think at that level. We’re not at that level of accuracy. So one thing we learned from Qur’an is how careful we need to be with our tongues, right? This is the sunnah of Allah, ‘azza wa jal. He speaks in very, very, very precise even to the minutest detail.
Another interesting comparison we go back to suratu-l-Ahzaab. This you may have heard before. “Maa ja’alaLlahu li rajulin min qalbayni fee jaufihi”. In the fourth ayah Allah says: “Allah did not put two hearts inside of any men whatsoever”. But now listen carefully. “Wa maa ja’alu azwajukum”. You know what “azwaaj” means? Spouses. And Allah is speaking to men from the beginning of the ayah. So it means wives. Because the beginning of the ayah is talking to men, spouses here means wives. Wives are women. “Wa maa ja’ala azwajukum allatee tuTHhiruuna minhunna ummahatikum”. You know what “ummahaat” means? Mothers. Women, right?
The rest of the ayah is dealing with women. But the beginning of the ayah Allah says: “Allah did not put two hearts inside of any men – maa ja’alaLlahu li rajulin“. The ayah has men and women both in it. So I would guess we could say Allah did not put two hearts inside of a human being. Because if you say a human being who does it include? Men and women – both. But if you say men it only includes men. This is so because the Qur’an is literally accurate and figuratively accurate. Of course when Allah says Allah did not put two hearts inside of any men he is not being literal. The idea is two intentions at the same time: iman and kufr at the same time, iman and nifaaq at the same time, hypocrisy and faith cannot coexist – one or the other, belief or disbelief – they can’t coexist – one or the other, certainty and doubt can’t coexist – one or the other. So the figurative expression is Allah did not put two hearts inside of any men. But if you take it literally – is it true literally too? Right. But for women they can get pregnant. And when they get pregnant how many hearts can be inside them? Subhan Allah! You could’ve argued literally: “Hey, hey, what about women? They might have two hearts at some point.” But even that criticism from the literal point of view isn’t even possible. “Maa ja’alaLlahu li rajulin min qalbayni fee jaufihi” – subhan Allah!
Ok, another one. I didn’t put Arabic on the screen on purpose cause I don’t want you to think that you can appreciate the subject only by Arabic. I really want to water this down to English in shaa` Allahu Ta’ala as much as possible.
Allah’s speaks about tranquility often. The arabic word for tranquility is “as-sakeenah”. Allah, ‘azza wa jal, says “huwa lladhee anzala sakeenata fee quluubi-l-mu’mineen” – He is the one who sent tranquility into the hearts of the believers, he sent it into the hearts of the believers. But then several times in suratu-l-FatH and sura-t-Tawba also: “fa andhala sakeenatahu ‘ala rasuulihi wa ‘ala-l-mu’mineen, fa ‘aleema ma fee quluubihim fa andhala sakeenata ‘alayhim” – He sent tranquility upon them. In one place he says in the same surah He sent tranquility inside their hearts; in another he says he’s sent the tranquility upon them. Now, tranquility inside your hearts, tranquility upon you – it’s the same idea essentially, but not close enough – this would be undermining the precision of the Qur’an. You see, the hearts basically, in the Qur’an Allah speaks of two negative sentiments. There are many but two central negative sentiments in the hearts. “La khaufun ‘alayhim wa la hum yahzanuun” – there’s fear in the heart and there’s grief in the heart of the negative emotions that you have. They stem from one of two things either they stem from fear or they stem from grief. These are the two main negative: anger can result from grief and get worse and fear leads to many other diseases like hypocrisy. The source of it can be fear. So now these two feelings are in Arabic literature and poetry, even before Islam, the anger is described as something that rages inside your heart. And it’s something that doesn’t go away – it stays. Like if you’re mad at your friends for saying something to you, you’re not just mad at them at that time – when they said it to you, you’re mad at them every time you see their faces. It’s in your heart. It didn’t just overcome you at that time. It got installed. So you have to uninstall, which means you have to go where? Inside the heart. The beginning of suratu-l-FatH – the Muslims have traveled all the way from Madeenah to go make hajj. Did they get to make hajj at Hudaybiyah? No. So what’s in the hearts? Anger, frustration. We came all this way. If you study the seerah, you’ll find a lot of frustration and even on the tongues of the believers, right? So where was the tranquility needed? Inside the hearts. But fear, and even in Arabic imagery you find this in “shi’r”, – fear is something felt on the skin. Fear is something felt in your entire body – it shivers. Fear is something that overwhelms. It comes all over your heart. Instead of in your heart it is over your heart. And it doesn’t linger when it’s inside your heart. It doesn’t get out until you go and get it out. But when it’s over your heart as soon as the scary situation is over what happens? You’re back to normal. Your kids are playing around. There’s all of a sudden the thunder – kids get scared. Thunder’s over – they get go playing again, right? That’s how we are. You hear something scary, in a scary situation as soon as that situation is over you’re back to normal. The fear doesn’t come back necessarily. But with anger you don’t have to be … Somebody doesn’t have to upset you for you to get angry again, it is the old anger they can come back for no other reason, you understand? So now, since that anger or the fear overcomes you what has to overcome you to counter it? Tranquility. So Allah in these situations whenever sakeenah is mentioned with ‘ala – tranquility sent down upon, like when the Messenger, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salyam, was in the cave with Abu Bakr As-Syddyq, radyAllahu ‘anhu, and the investigators were looking for them trying to find them and kill them, this was a situation of anger or fear? This was a situation of fear. So Allah sent tranquility upon them – ‘alayhim. When the kuffar at the end of suratu-l-FatH, you know, they had gotten together. “hameeyata-l-jahiliyah” – They got together to this gang mentality – to gang up against the Muslims and go fight them. This was an intimidating situation cause the Muslims were barely armed. Allah sent tranquility upon them. When Allah, ‘azza wa jal, promised that they will enter the city of Makkah peacefully – “la tadkhuluuna-l-masjida-l-Haraam in shaa` Allahu amineen” – you will enter it peacefully. And by the way “la takhafuun” – you’re not going to be afraid of anything, denying the fear. And in that situation He sent tranquility upon them. So there’s tranquility inside and there’s tranquility upon. If you just read it casually you’ll say: “Hey it’s the same thing.” But if you appreciate the profound accuracy of words down to the preposition from in to upon. That’re just prepositions. Even that is incredibly accurate.
This is one of my favourites – the next one. “Dhaalika-l-kitabu”, how does the ayah go? “La rayba fihi”, many people know that ayah, right? Now, what does ‘dhalika’ mean anybody know? That. ‘Dhalika-l-kitaab’ – that book. Now, when I say ‘this’ as opposed to saying ‘that’ which one is closer? Is this book closer or that book closer? This book is closer. That book is far away because ‘that’ appointing word “dhalika” is for distance. But when something is closer you don’t say that you say this. What’s interesting in the Qur’an is we find ‘that book’ but for the most part multiple, multiple, multiple instances of not saying that Qur’an but this Qur’an – “haadha-l-Qur’an” – this Qur’an. So when Allah uses “book”, of course He is talking about the Qur’an, right? But He puts it far away. When He talks about the Qur’an what does he do? Close, we come to the third one last, but at least for now the comparison of the top two – that book vs. this Qur’an. You see, the word “book” in Arabic is “kitaab”, the origin of which is “kataba – yaktubu” – to write. It comes from “to write”. The actual meaning of kitaab is that which is documented, that which is etched or written. Now, where’s the Qur’an written? Where is it written? Was it already written when it was being revealed? No, no, no, in its complete form was it already in existence with who? (Allah) So the actual book is where? Near or far? (Far) So it’s appropriate to say that because that’s where it’s written. The word book in Arabic has to do it with “writing”. Now the word “Qur’an” comes from “qaraa` – yaqrau”. One of the origins of the Qur’an is “qaraa` – yaqrau” – to recite, to read. Where’s the reading taking place? Over here. So what’s more appropriate? This recital. Subhan Allah!
And then, in one instance Allah says “haadha kitaabun” – this is a book. So you say: “Ahaa, the theory is broken”. Because now book is being used with what word? This, close. But then He adds “haadha kitabun anzalnahu” – we sent it down. This is a book that we sent down. So even He use “this” He added “it didn’t come from here, it’s from there”. Because what can be implied, what can be alluded when you say “this” is that the origin is here. You could stretch the meaning further and say: “You said this book meaning you ordered it here somewhere?” So now, Allah, ‘azza wa jal, prevents that possible thought from even occurring by saying that book. That book vs. this Qur’an – hadha-l-Qur’an. We don’t see that Qur’an we see this Qur’an in the book – subhan Allah!
Another stellar example in shaa` Allahu Ta’ala. The two ayaat are Baqarah and surat Ibrahim. This is a du’a of Ibrahim, ‘alayhi salyam, “Rabbee j’al hadha balyadan aminan” in suratu-l-Baqarah – My Lord make this a peaceful city. “Rabbee j’al hadha-l-balyada amina” – Lord make this city peaceful. Now the English is very similar to the Arabic here as far as the meaning. Make this a peaceful city vs. what? Make this city peaceful. You would think it’s the same du’a almost. Even in the Arabic there’s a difference just of an “alif-lam” – “hadha balyadAN aminan” and “hadha-l-balyadA aminan” – small difference. But actually before Makkah was a city, because the city is what? Makkah, right? Everybody knows that? Before Makkah was a city he made a du’a to turn it into a city and to turn it into a peaceful city. So the first du’a: “Rabbee j’al hadha-l-balyadAN aminAN” is when he had not even seen the city turn into a city yet. And the du’a was to turn it into a city that happens to be peaceful. When he came back, ‘alayhi salyam, to the city and it was already a city he modified his du’a and said what? Make this city, which already exists, make it peaceful. Subhan Allah! It is very precise, very precise wording.
Now on top of this I want to share with you what are the further components of this du’a? “Rabbee j’al hadha balyadan aminan” – make this a peaceful city. What are the requirements of peace in a city? Is peace is the only thing you look for in a city? No, if there are no jobs you can’t stay there. If you can’t make any money, there’s lots of police protection, the society’s going to fall apart anyway because people can’t survive. So in the first du’a he made a complete du’a for an establishment of a healthy sustainable city. He said: “Rabbee j’al hadha balyadan aminan wa rzuq ahlahu mina-th-thamaraat” – provide its citizens from all kind of fruit. Make sure that they’re taken care of, they have provisions. So he made du’a for the peace of the city and the prosperity of that city. You know the English expression “peace and prosperity”, right? In political science 101 you’re going to learn that if you have peace and no prosperity the society falls. And if you have prosperity and no peace the society falls. What do you need for society to sustain itself? Peace and prosperity. This is why at the end of Qur’an you find surat Quraysh – “li ilaa fee Quraysh”, right? That’s the surah about the prosperity of the city. Then we have: “Alam tara kayfa fa’ala Rabbuka bi asHaabi-l-feel”. Suratu-l-Fil is about what? The prosperity of the city or the safety of the city? The safety of the city. They go hand-in-hand. One surah dedicated to its prosperity, the other dedicated to its peace. You need both these things. So when he made du’a the city come into being he made a du’a of these two things. “Man amanna minhum billahi wa-l-yaumi-l-aakhir” – whoever believes in Allah and the last day provide them with all kinds of fruits. I won’t go further into his du’a there. But if you come to the bottom one – was it already a city now. Yeah, it was already being provided for, that was taken care of he did not want to ask for that again cause it was already there. So he asked for something else. “Wa jnubnee wa baneeyah anna a’buda-l-asnaa`” – protect me and my children, prevent us that we may end up falling into the worship of idols. Because now when the city is peaceful and it’s safe, necessarily what might happen is corruption. When life is good you tend to party and the worst kind of partying the shaytan will get you into is what? Shirk. He sees this. The farsightedness of Ibrahim, ‘alayhi salyam, so when he came back to the city his du’a was: “Don’t let this be a place of idolworship. Prevent me and my children from worshipping idols.” Subhan Allah! ‘Alayhi salyam, the genius of that man.
The next case. Tha Arabic word: “Imraa`”. In isolation it means woman. But as a ‘mudaaf’, and those of you that know Arabic know what mudaaf is. Those of you that don’t – shame on you, no I’m kidding. Learn Arabic insha Allah – it’s easy. When it occurs as mudaaf it means “Wife”. Another word for wife that is used in the Qur’an that is actually more appropriate for spouse is “Zauj”. Both words are used. Now we find: “imraa`tan Noohin” – the wife of Nooh, “imraa`tan Lootin” – the wife of Loot, “wamraa`tan hamma latan Hatab” – who’s wife is that? Abu Lahab, you guys, know that, right? “Tabbat yadaa Abi Lahabin wa tabb” – in that surah we find “wamraa`tuhu” – “his wife”. So, so far we have the wife of Nooh – good woman or bad woman? She is not good, she is pretty bad lady. Wife of Loot? Bad. Wife of Abu Lahab? Terrible, pretty bad. Then “imraa`tuhu Zakaryiah”. Allah ‘azza wa jal sends an Angel to Zakariyah – you are going to have a son, and he says: “Anna yakunu li walad, wa kanat imraati ‘aaqiran”. His wife: good or bad? Great! Imraa’ is used for women that aren’t very good and also used for women that are good. So we can’t say that imraa’ is used only for bad women. By the way, “imraa`ta-l-‘azeez” – the wife of the minister, the minister in surah Yusuf. Good lady, bad lady? Bad person. The wife of fir’awn – imraa`ta fir’awn? One of the best! So we can’t decisively say that when imraa`ta is used for bad people. Or we can’t say the other way that it’s used for good people either, right? But then what I want to share with you is the word “Zauj” or “Zauaj”. It comes from “Zauaaj” – “pairing”, literally the word means pairing. What’s the purpose of a pair? A pair is two parts of one thing that go together to make something greater. The night and the day are paired and together they make the whole day. The sun and the moon are paired, right? They are pairs. Now, similarly, man and woman are also a pair.
What is the purpose of the pairing of a man and a woman? What’s the purpose? There are two functions mainly. The first thing is the excess, the increase of good in a society. When two people get married – two less people prone to fitnah. Two more families coming together. It’s necessarily whenever two people get married, it is an increase in goodness and a reduction in evil. But that goodness can only happen when the husband and wife get along. And their goals together are for goodness, right?
The second purpose of marriage is humanbeings won’t survive unless we have children. There are only two ways to have children. The legitimate way or illegitimate way. So the second function of marriage is obviously what? The legitimate, the appropriate way of having children. So two functions of marriage: goodness and children. These are the basic functionalities of marriage. If any of this are missing they are not called a pair in the Qur’an – zauj is not used. If either of these is missing – zauj is not used. Let’s go revisit these words. The wife of Nooh – was something missing? No good was coming of that marriage. The wife of Loot – was something missing? Goodness! The wife of Abu Lahab – two negatives don’t make a positive, right? This is a pretty bad relationship, even though they are very compatible. Now, the wife of Zakariyah. The angel comes and says: “You’re gonna have a boy.” She says: “No, I cant”. What’s missing? Children are missing. The wife of Ibrahim – before the child came – imraa`tuhu, his wife hearded the news of a boy and she started laughing. So before the child – imraa`. Then we find the wife of the minister – imraa`. The wife of fir’awn, great lady, what’s missing? Goodness in the marriage, compatibility between husband and wife and, of course, children. Now, having said all of these.. By the way, the Prophet’s wives, our mothers, radyaLlahu ‘anhunna, all of them together are called azuaaj. Because we don’t separate them – we look at all of them as one. So what’s the appropriate term for them? Zauj or azuaaj.
Now, the interesting case happens with Zakariyah, ‘alayhi salyam. You know what happens – Allah, ‘azza wa jal, granted him a son. What’s his son’s name? Yahya, ‘alayhi salyam. Allah says: “wa wahabna lahu Yahya” – we granted him Yahya. “Wa aslahna lahu zaujahu” – and we reconciled for him his zauj. Before the child Allah mentions his wife as what? Imraa`. As soon as the ayah mentions that he had the child the word for his wife was zauj, cause that which was missing is not missing anymore. Subhan Allah!
This is gonna get a little heavy. I warn you. You know there are many surahs with oaths. Allah, ‘azza wa jal, swears by different things. And the example I’ve chosen to share with you is from suratu-l-Mursalyat, surah number 77. Traditionally, it has been held that the oath, that Allah swears by something because it is something important. “Wa-t-tiini, wa-z-zaytuuni, wa-t-turi sinina, wa-sh-shamsi wa-d-duhaha, wa-l-‘asri, wa-s-subhi, wa-l-fajri, wa-l-layli, wa layalin ‘ashrin, wa-l-fajri”, right? All of these are oaths in the Qur’an. Allah swears by different things. One of the views that has been held is that Allah swears by these things because in and of themselves they are powerful and sacred, or important. But that’s not all. Allah swears by different things to allude or to present an argument that is about to come. So if the beginning of the surah has oaths it is leading to a conclusion which is called “jawaabu-l-qasm” – the response to this oaths. The oaths are there to set a certain mindset, prepare you for the argument that is coming. With that in mind I want to share with you some oaths, some literally powerful literally oaths in the beginning of suratu-l-Mursalat. By the way, suratu-l-Mursalat belongs to a handful of suras in the Qur’an where there is a lot of repetition. This is one of those suras in which there is a lot of repetition. One of them is suratu-r-Rahman, very famous, – “fabiayyi alaai rabbikuma tukadhdhibaan?”. “Fa waylun yaumaidhin li-l-mukadhibin” – is the repetition in suratu-l-Mursalat. Another surah with a lot of repetition is suratu-sh-Shu’araa`. These are a few handful of surahs in which there is a lot of repetition. The purpose of that repetition is the discussion for another day insha Allah. Because it has a profound function. Today we are dealing with the oaths themselves. You see the Quraysh had argued you keep talking about the sun and the moon colliding, about the mountains are going to move swiftly like they are made of wool, and they are going to move like that, people are going to look drunk, the oceans are going to boil over – these big things! This is not gonna happen. All this – when is it gonna come? All these big things you talked – we’ve never seen anything like that. So they were basically arguing that the challenges and the threats in the Qur’an are too cataclysmic. They are too enourmous to be possible. In response to that Allah, ‘azza wa jal, takes an oath in these few ayaat, by the majority opinion of the mufassirun and from the language it is supported.
“By winds” – Allah swears in the beginning of suratu-l-Mursalat by the creation of Allah – winds. “Al-mursal, mursala” is used actually in Arabic for that which has been released. It was used for horses. The word ‘urf – “Wa-l-‘urf” of “wa-l-mursalati ‘urfa” which is the ayah. “’Urf” in Arabic is the hair on the back of the horse’s neck, and if you don’t have the ropes for the horse, what’s the only thing you can grab on to slow it down? It’s that hair. Allah, ‘azza wa jal, gives the image of winds as though they are like a horse – a wild horse, who has been unleashed because its hair has been let go. What happens to a wild horse when you let go of its hair? It goes crazy – marches forward, it doesn’t care where it’s going, full speed ahead. What’s being paralleled is the image of a wild horse with winds. Allah is telling the Quraysh, first of all, that winds are not something that blow randomly this way or that way. That soft breeze you feel on your face is because the rains are being held by who? By Allah ‘azza wa jal. But it is very possible for that same Lord to let go of that lock of hair and what’s gonna happen? They are going to turn into this wild horse, the stallion, that’s gonna breeze through, crush through. Wa-l-mursalati ‘urfa – the first one, like the wild horse that has been released, the winds.
The second, wa-l-‘aasifati ‘asfa. ‘Asf in Arabic is to move in an inconsiderate fashion. What I mean by that is if I run into this thing and I don’t care that it’s here and I keep running over and trumple over it. I don’t’ care what’s in my way – I keep going like the truck that doesn’t have breaks – just crashes everything in its path, the bulldozer. The movement of the bulldozer is ‘asf – inconsiderate, doesn’t care what’s in its way. Then it’ll go anyway. Wa-l-‘aasifati ‘asfa – these winds, Allah continues the oath. These same winds that have been unleashed now they’ve become inconsiderate, merciless. They don’t care what comes in the way, they just go. In two ayaat Allah has described winds as the source of distruction. If you guys have ever seen the video footage of what happened after Ike (hurricane) or after tornado. After forty seconds that it hits the town, what happens to those homes. Allah, ‘azza wa jal, sent winds upon a nation for 7 consecutive days. 7 consecutive days winds have been unleashed upon them. “Sakhkhara ‘alayhim sab’a layalin, wa thamaniya ayaamin khusuma”, subhan Allah – 7 nights, 8 days continuously pounding them. What does forty seconds do? I saw after Galvastone the hurricane Ike, I saw some footage and I was there a few weeks ago. You know how they have those railings on the beach, those metal railings this thick – it was twisted around like noodles. The craziest thing I’ve ever seen, subhan Allah. The winds which is not some cataclysmic sun and moon coming together. There’s no special event that has to be prepared like they do the special arrangements for a mass weapon of mass destruction. What is Allah using to destroy these people? The Wind. In two ayaat Allah told the Quraysh there’s no need for special arrangements for you guys. All he has to do is release the lock on the winds. That’s all he has to do. And then he turns around and gives another dimension of winds. Winds can be a source of death, yes! But they are actually are also a source of mercy. Allah ‘azza wa jal continues the next two oaths – “wa-n-nashiraati nashra” – and the winds that serve to spread all over. They spread. “Nashr” literally means you tak a bunch of seeds, you throw them on the ground, what happens to the seeds? They spread in random directions. So Allah speaks about the winds that carry and disperse. ‘Ulama of tafsir have concluded from this is that the winds carry and disperse the clouds. Because the clouds, wherever they go what’s gonna fall? Rain! And rain is the source of life on this earth. No rain – no life. Drout means death. So the winds the source of death in the first two oaths are now beginning to be the source of what? Life! Now we know that winds don’t just carry the clouds around, what else do they carry with them? The pollen – the source of vegetation. Pollen travels from one place to another by means of winds. Those of you that have bad allergies know that pretty well. It’s actually a mercy of Allah, why we are reminded to say Alhamdulillah, right? Subhan Allah! Anyway, wa-n-nashirati nashra – Allah, ‘azza wa jal, spreads these clouds out. When you think of clouds spreading, pollen falling you would think that this is random. You are gonna think that these winds are going this way not that way, or drop fell here not there – this is random. They call that the random acts of mother nature – we know there’s no such thing. These are precise calculated acts of who? Of Allah, ‘azza wa jal, so he says: “Fa-l-faariqati farqa” – those who make very precise divisions: it’s gonna fall here not here, this land will remain dry, this land will get water – fa-l-faariqati farqa.
Two things have been given to us so far. These winds: they bring about life and also they bring about what? Death. Both things. Then Allah, ‘azza wa jal, says after this: “Fa-l-muuqiyati dhikra” – they bring people into contact with reminder. These winds bring people in contact with reminder. Just a few reminders I’d like to share with you that these winds bring about if you reflect upon them. Winds are causing the cooperation between the heavens and the earth. The clouds are moving in the heavens and the rain is falling on the earth. All of it to serve who? Serve us, serve the humanbeing. Allah is showing just by means of the winds, it’s a single leadership, the single chain of command, it only comes from Allah – they are not under the separate leaderships. It shows the purpose of creation. One of the greatest reminders of ayaats is the purpose of creation. How everything comes and cooperates with everything else. All is at favour for me. Reminds you of your own purpose. Allah has created all these things with such purpose for which who is this thing has been created for – “khalaqa lakum” – we created FOR YOU -> I must have a purpose too. So even winds reminds me of my purpose in life. That’s a profound reminder.
And then the second reminder that the winds carry. I’ll give you an example. If you left your pet in the house without giving it water – you forgot. You come back after the whole day. Your pet is at whose mercy? At your mercy. Until you take a little plate, a drop of water and drop it on their tongue they’re begging for it. Whether that animal scratches you or damages your property, listens to you, doesn’t listen to you, in the end they submit to who? To YOU, as wild as they can get. As wild and rebellious the humanbeing can get if Allah doesn’t give us the sips of water to drink where do we go? There’s nowhere else. We are more pathetic than the pets we think we own. We are more powerless before Allah. It is the reminder of the lordship of Allah that He allows you to drink these sips. This water is not your product. You can go arrogantly on the earth but if He doesn’t send that water from the sky then where are you gonna be? It’s the lordship of Allah. The winds remind you of the lordship of Allah over you and me. The second powerful reminder so these winds deliver a reminder.
The winds are reminder of resurrection. These winds come from the sky, the earth is dead, the rain comes and what happens to the earth? It comes back to life. Dead becomes living. Now every time the rains bring life to the earth we are reminded that we will also die and we will also be on this earth. And just like the earth is giving out vegetation it will be giving out humanbeings on the Day of Resurrection. It’s a reminder of the resurrection. All of that reminder starts where? If you just reflect on what? The wind. Subhan Allah – fa-l-muuqiyati dhikra.
And then finally, we said the wind does two things: it comes as a source of destruction or a source of mercy which reminds us that Allah has in place a profound system of punishment and of reward. Some things that beget His wrath and some things that beget His mercy. So we are reminded not to cross certain lines and to pursue certain other things in life. We are reminded of Allah’s justice, we are reminded of Allah’s commandments just by the winds. And now that Allah has sent these winds and asked you to think of them that way and the Arab would process, he would process those words immediately.
The last few ayats that I want to share with you: “’udhran aw nudhra”. People, all of us, would feel it on our face. There will be two kinds of people: people that will take the reminder and now they are warned, right? What’s the other kind of person? Nothing, it just passes – nice breeze. So for the people who took the warning the winds served as a warner – “nudhra”. And for the people who didn’t care now the wind is an excuse to punish them. Allah has sent them a reminder and they ignored it now that wind has become an excuse – a means by which they should be punished – nudhr. A reason, a cause, an excuse in creation that is witness against them. May Allah protect us from that. ‘Udhran aw nudhra.
And after all these oaths. These are the oaths. These are preparing you for the argument. This is not even an argument. This is just setting the scene. This is just preparing you for the argument. What’s the actual point – “innama tu’aduna la waqi’”. What you were promised is no doubt going to become certainty. It is going to happen. You’ve been promised something – it is bound to occur. Either just like these winds that deliver Allah’s mercy or Allah’s wrath you will be a recipient of Allah’s extreme mercy or extreme wrath and it is bound to happen. Oaths in the Qur’an are a profound literary masterpiece in and end of themselves. Each one of them. The surahs which begin with oaths demands special, special study just in and end of themselves. And they are not structured in the same way. It’s an intricate study that lot of our ‘ulama went into.
Dialogue in the Qur’an. I am going to sound blasphemous to you guys, I am sorry. It’s just a thing with being a teacher. You do whatever you can to get the point across. I am not more of a speaker, I try to do more of a teacher and a tutor. Anybody in here have ever seen “Finding Nemo”? If you haven’t seen go see it, it’s a great movie. No bad language. There’s only one bad thing in it. Nemo said at one point: “I hate you, dad” and pays for it the whole movie. So that’s good. Other than that usually children’s films have filth in them. Anyway, the reason I brought it up it’s gonna tie to what I’m going to share with you. There’s one scene in the movie that I’d like you to recall. And this one scene, Nemo’s dad Marlin is all depressed. He is sitting on the back of this turtle named Crush. And he is all sad and these many little turtles come and say what happened? And he says: “I don’t wanna talk about it”. And then they get him to tell his story. And they all listen very carefully. Now the way that the movie is animated – fish is telling the turtles the story but they don’t tell him to tell the entire story. You know what they do? They cut it out and, all of a sudden, turtles are talking to some other fish. And then those fish are talking to some other fish. And those fish are talking to some birds. And those birds are talking to other birds. And they cut, cut, cut, cut until the story gets to Nemo. But they didn’t show that the whole story was told from A to B. Then B narrated the whole story to C. Then C narrated the whole story to D. They didn’t have to waste time to repetition. They just transfused from one scene to the other. You know what I’m talking about? This is a technique in modern film where you go from one scene to the next and the audience is expected to understand what happened in between the lines. It’s self-explanatory. That everybody communicated the story further down the line. This is a technique used in modern film but it’s actually used a lot in the Qur’an. The transition – iltifaat. It’s very dominant feature of the Qur’an. I only brought it from “Finding Nemo” because I hope you’ve seen it and know what’s transition is then. But I want to share an example alluding to this dialogue. One of my favourite dialogues in the Qur’an.
“Wa idh naada rabbuka Musa” – when your Lord called on Musa. “Ani`ta-l-qaauma dhalimeen” – go to the wrongful nation. The Lord called on Musa: “go to the wrongful nation”. Qauma fir’awn, specifically the nation of who? Fir’awn. “Alaa yattaquun?” – don’t they have any consciousness, no fear of Allah? Now Musa responds, ‘alayhi salyam. Qaala, he said: “rabbi inni akhaafu an yukadhdhbuun” – My Lord, there’s no doubt, I am afraid that they gonna lie against me. A few lines down we will find that he says I am afraid that they are going to kill me. But the first fear he tells Allah is what? I am afraid that they gonna lie against me. What this tells us is something profound. Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, is not cared but the life and death, he’s not concerned about his life and death. What he cares about is this mission that Allah has given him. He doesn’t want to disappoint this mission that Allah has handed him. And if they lie against him he will not be able to fulfil his mission. So the first fear he expresses to Allah is that they are going to belie me, they’re gonna lie against me. They’re gonna disregard me. Something pertaining directly to the task Allah gave him.
And then the second problem. “Wa yadyyqu sadree” – My chest becomes tight. Musa, ‘alayhi salya, was known to have a temper. When people will speak to him in obnoxious terms about Allah like fir’awn did. When somebody speaks to him clearly in the wrong the first thing. Some people are able to keep their calm in respond, other people get really really upset when they hear something outrageous. And there’s some people in debate their jobs is to say things outrageous to make you so angry that you cannot think straight. And then you trip on your words. It’s not that you don’t know what are you talking about but it’s just that you are so mad that you cant talk literally anymore. And he says he has that problem. He says: “wa yadyyqu sadree” – my chest becomes tight when I’m frustrated. What’s implied here is frustration. “Wa laa yantaliqu lisaani” – and my tongue stops articulating. He’s not just talking about his stutter, he’s talking about something else too. When he gets extremely angry he cant communicate his ideas clearly. And he is afraid if he does that what’s gonna fail? The mission. The task will suffer. So I fear this shortcoming of mine will come in the way of this task you’ve given me – “wa laa yantaliqu lisaani”. “Fa arsil ‘ala haruun”, beautiful words, give the responsibility of messengership to Haruun also. Make him a messenger too. If I fail the backup should be there. I am not important what’s important he’s saying? The mission. So he says send Harun with me. This is why. Cause I might fail. Then he adds: “wa lahum ‘alayhim dhambun” – and, by the way, they have especially against me, they have a crime against me on file. What’s the crime? He killed somebody. I am afraid that they’re gonna kill me. He asked for Harun, ‘alayhi salyam, to be hired first. Then he said I might get killed which explains why You need Harun in the first place. In case he gets killed who will be there to deliver the message? So he’s explaining his rationale for putting Harun in place. Subhan Allah! He is not afraid of being killed – he’s afraid of the mission not being accomplished. Subhan Allah – ‘alayhi salyam. “Qaala kalla fadhhaba” – Allah said to him: “No, no, no, both of you go”. The beginning of the dialogue is between Allah and Musa. And Allah says who goes? Both of you. What is already understood? He granted the du’a. Both of you go – “fadhhabaa bi ayaatina” – go with our miraculous signs. And then He says: “innaa ma’akum mustami’uun”. We are going to be listening to you. We are going to be in the listening audience among you. Allah says about himself. Now the thing is Allah could’ve said we’re gonna be watching you. He could have said we’re gonna be watching you. You can watch someone from a distance but to listen to someone where do you have to be? Allah is showing his ma’iiya – his closeness. He wants Musa to feel that Allah is close to him, that He is supporting him. Allah says we are going to be listening. Also Allah has given us another lesson here. Allah says we are going to be listening carefully to what? The dialogue that takes place between you and who? Fir’awn. So if Allah says He will be listening carefully what should we be doing? Listen carefully, this dialogue has a lot to offer. That’s why we should be listening carefully. “Faa`tiya fir’awn”, watch the transition, both of you then go to fir’awn. Faquula – then both of you say: “inna rasuulu rabbi-l-‘alameen”. We are both like one messenger from the Lords of the worlds, we are inseperable. They didn’t say we are messengers. They said we are messenger – singular. You cant separate us – “inna rasuulu rabbi-l-‘alameen”. “An arsilna ma’anaa bani israiil” – The first thing they’re supposed to say – we are the messenger from the Lord of the worlds. The second thing they’re supposed to say – deliver (send) with us banii israiil, leave them from your captivity. You guys know that bani israiil were slaves, right? They were under captivity of fir’awn. So two demands: first demand we are the messenger of the Lord of the worlds, the second demand send with us bani israiil. Now I want to show you the transition. “Qaala” – fir’awn said.. Wait a second in the previous ayah who was talking? Allah was talking to Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, and to Harun indirectly, ‘alayhi salyam. In the very next ayah who’s responding? Fir’awn. We have been shown a transition. Allah told them to say this. It’s understood that they went and they said this. It doesn’t have to be repeated – it’s redundant. It’s understood. But by the way I want to picture this. Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, already said he is known as a criminal there. They have a file against him. He alleged to have murdered somebody. He is a wanted criminal. He is a refugative. He ran away from that city. He has to go where now? Not sneak into his house, not on the outskirts of that city. Where does he have to go? To the palace, where there’s a majority of the guards. The chances of getting killed is highest if you to the police station. He has to go towards them. He walks into the castle of fir’awn, stands in front of fir’awn – Allah protects Him thus far. Obviously he is a fugitive, the police looks at him funny, everybody’s laughing at them. He is standing next to Harun who is from the israilites who is considered second class citizens. And fir’awn is the king. He is on the throne. He is in authority. Obviously who is in the higher position as it seems. If you look at that scene. Who’s got the upperhand? Fir’awn had the upperhand. And now you walk into him and say we are the messengers of the Lord of the worlds? Who claimed that he is the lord? And you go to him and say, by the way, you’re not the lord. We’re actually representing the Lord. You walk to his palace and slap him on the face with that statement: “Innaa rasulu rabbi-l-‘alameen”. And then he is Lord, and especially he’s the Lord over the slave nation. What’s the second thing you have to say: by the way, your Lordship over the slave nation is done, send them with us. Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, is in no position to make these claims but he does. Fir’awn, clever politician, imagine him sitting arrogantly on his throne, his ministers all around him smirking as Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, is talking. What’s he talking about? He says (fir’awn says) – “Qaala: alam nurabbika feema waleeda?” – didn’t we raise you as a boy among us? Didn’t I let you to live us as a boy? Wasn’t this a favour? What’s he’s saying to him? You should be coming begging me at my feet, thanking me that I haven’t killed you yet. Here you are coming, talking to me like this. Have you forgotten that I raised you in our home as a child. You disloyal!” See, he’s insulting character of Musa, ‘alayhi salyam. Did he respond to any of the things Musa said, by the way? No! He’s clever. He’s trying to test the psychological firmness of Musa, ‘alayhi salyam . He’s trying to throw him off his feet. Didn’t we raise you as a boy among us? Wa labiththa fina min ‘umurika thane?” And you spent many years voluntarily with us. It’s not like we held you. You stayed voluntarily. You stayed with us for many years. Who are you to talk like this? (in between the lines) “Wa fa’alta fa’latak allatee fa’alt” – and you did the thing that you did.. See the way he said it? You did the act of yours that you had done. What is that act? He didn’t say killed someone. He’s trying to make him nervous. You want me to tell everyone what you did? You know that thing? You see he’s intimidating Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, – “Wa fa’alta fa’latak allatee fa’alt, wa anta mina-l-kafireen” – and you’re from those who deny? You’re from those who deny my favour? You’re from those who deny that you murdered. Kafir is to deny. So now fir’awn is trying to put himself in this more intimidating position and put Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, down. Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, responds – “Qaala: fa’altuha” – I did that then. By the way, fir’awn had said: I raised you as a boy, you stayed with us for many years and you killed someone – 3 things. Of these 3 things what’s the most important allegation against Musa, ‘alayhi salyam ? The 3rd! So he responds to that one first because he’s an intelligent man. He needs to get rid off the biggest hurdle first. I did that, I committed that act then, “wa ana mina-d-dalleen” – and I was from those who were misled, I was confused. I was conned into it. I did it, I admit it. He admits it – gets out off the way first. He is not a kafir of it anymore. He’s not in denyial of that anymore. Then he says: “farrartu minkum” – beautiful – I ran away from you, “lamma khiftukum” – when I used to be scared of you. What’s he telling him? It’s not working – I am not scared of you. I had ran away when I was scared of you and I’ve come back as a sign, it’s already an indication of what? I am not scared of you – “lamma khiftukum, fawahaba li rabbi khukman” – and my real Lord he granted me wisdom and firmness. “wa ja’alnee mina-l-mursaleen” – and me from those who have been sent, meaning, I haven’t come back to visit I have been sent on a mission. The first thing he said was he is a messenger, now he is coming to the same subject cause he is not letting himself be distracted by the side arguments – he comes back to the main point. I have been sent. He’s back to the same thing he is started with. Fir’awn was trying to change the subject. The politician that he is he doesn’t want to answer the question he wants to change the subject, start a new controversy – sound familiar, right? Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, doesn’t get dissuaded. He stays on point. I am from those who have been sent. He’s made me from those who have been sent. “Wa tilka ni’matun tamunu’a ‘alayya”. And by the way, the favour you speak of, what favour? You raised me. You did favour that upon me, I agree: “an ’abadta banii israil” – he poses a question. So you did this favour to me and as a result you have a right to enslave bani israil, is that what you’re trying to say? He tries to question the rationale of fir’awn. Remember the second demand Musa? What was it? So deliver bani israil. And he says, by the way, you were saying that you raised me as a boy. Thanks by the way. You did do that favour. What does it have to do with enslaving bani israil? What are you talking about? You see Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, didn’t move from the point. And he showed the lack of rationale in fir’awn’s line of thinking which is already an insult to the intellect of fir’awn in front of the entire audience. Who is the audience? The high calibre ministers of fir’awn. They are the ones in the palace, right? The loyalists, and in front of all of them, “oooh”. That’s what happens to fir’awn. Now look, “qaala fir’awn”. Fir’awn is now stomped. He doesn’t have any choice but to address the subject at hand. So what does he do? “Wa maa rabbu-l-‘alameen” – what Lord of the worlds are you talking about? He didn’t even say: “Wa man rabbu-l-‘alameen” – who’s the Lord of the worlds? He didn’t say who he said what. When you say what you’re saying it doesn’t even exist. When you say “who” then you’re trying to figure out who that is. But when you say “what” you’re saying it’s just a figure of your imagination. What are you talking about? What Lord of the worlds? And he thought by insulting Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, like that, what’s he gonna say now? Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, takes that opportunity and stabs him right where it hurts. “Qaala” – Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, said – “rabbu-s-samawati wa-l-ard” – the Lord of the heavens and the Earth. By the way, the pharaohs are used to worship the sun, which is where? In the sky. He is the Lord and he claims that the sun is the lord. That’s what they claimed. So Musa tells them, by the way, He’s not just your lord. He’s Lord of the heavens and you’re the king on the earth, He’s the Lord of the earth too. “Rabbu-s-samawati wa-l-ard wa baynahuma” – and everything in between. Subhan Allah! “Rabbu-s-samawati wa-l-ard wa baynahuma in kuntum mu’minEEN” – he didn’t say “in kuntum muqinAN” – he didn’t say if you’re seeking conviction. You know what he did. He said – you’re useless, I don’t even talk to you, I’ve already beaten you. I am gonna talk to the rest of your crew here. So he says – the Lord of the heavens and the earth and everything in between if all of you are seeking to be convinced. He turned away from fir’awn. He turned to them – kuntum is plural. Again, another slap on fir’awn’s face cause now Musa is like I don’t have to talk to you – you’re not worth it. Now look, Fir’awn now listens and all these people around him being stunned by Musa, ‘alayhi salyam. Fir’awn’s getting nervous. So what does he say. He says to those who were around him – “qaala liman hawlahu, ala tastami’uun” – are you not listening carefully enough to what he’s saying? Do you realize what he’s saying? Meaning, listening to him is an insult to me. You are being disloyal to the kingship. Do you realize that? So he’s trying to alert his people to stay under his rank by scaring them first. The first tactic was fear – “alaa tastami’uun”. Musa, ‘alayhi salyam, says, well he’s getting nervous, might will take advantage of this opportunity some more. “Qaala rabbukum wa rabbu abaaikum al-awwaleen” – not just your Lord, all of you, but the Lord of your ancient forefathers who you believe were gods too, He’s their Lord too. He’s not talking to fir’awn right now. He’s talking to? The audience. First he was the Lord of the heavens and the earth and everything in between. Now he brings it home. Even your Lord, not just the skies and the earth – your Lord too. And the Lord of your forefathers. Now they’re really like they can’t stop but listen to Musa, ‘alayhi salyam – they’re stunned by him. So what does the fir’awn do? Now he’s getting desparate. By the way, when I started this dialogue fir’awn was up here, and Musa was down here. Have you noticed the shift? Fir’awn is getting nervous – the people are listening to Musa, ‘alayhi salyam. There’s a shift in balance of power in a dialogue. This dialogue is changing momentum. And now look, fir’awn gets frustrated. He says, “qaala innaa rasulakum alladhe ursalu ilaykum la majnun” – he said this messenger of yours. By the way, he didn’t say the messenger, he said the messenger of yours. Meaning it illustrates that people were actually listening carefully so much so that fir’awn had to say “your messenger”. He didn’t say just “this man”, he said “rasulakum” – your messenger. Cause you are listening to him like your messenger. By the way, this messenger that has been sent to you.. Was he sent to them or fir’awn first? He was sent to fir’awn but fir’awn doesn’t want to accept that. So he directs it, he was sent to you, guys. “la majnun” – he’s insane, he’s crazy.
Now watch this carefully. The first attack on the personality of Musa was – loyalty: we raised you as a boy. The second attack was the crime: his track record. The third attack is his sanity: he’s insane – “la majnun”. Now watch, “qaala rabbu-l-mashriqi, wa-l-maghribi wa maa baynahuma in kuntum ta’qiluun”. Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, doesn’t stop. He doesn’t have to respond – no, no, I’m not crazy. He says I am gonna stay on point and let him stumble, let him trip over himself. Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, says: “the Lord of the East and the West and wherever’s in between east and the west if all of you are really thinking about it, if you are seeking to apply your intellects then what I am telling you is very convincing.” Now he is upset. Because the people have shifted their attention from fir’awn to who? To Musa and this is his cabinet. This is his administration. So he is so upset, he says to Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, : “qaala la init takhazta ilaahan ghairee” – if you dare take anyone worthy of worship except me, “la aj’alannaka mina-l-masjuleen” – there’s no doubt about it I will make you from those who have been imprisoned. Meaning, people have already been imprisoned for showing disloyalty and I will consider this an act of treason and I will put you in prison.
When do you threaten someone? When you can’t beat them in argument then you try to overpower them with your muscle. So the fact that he threatened Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, with prison was in and end of itself a proof that he has lost the debate. That was already a proof that he has lost. Because if he hadn’t lost he would’ve had more arguments. This is not an argument. This is just a threat. No answer. He’s got no answer. He’s been stomped already. Now Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, responds – “qaala awalaw wujitkum abishayyin mubin”. Ok, I will be imprisoned you even if I don’t bring you in. You want clear proof of what I’m talking about. Let’s stay on the ideas instead of turning to your threats. You wanna deal with this matter. Let’s get it over with. Maybe I don’t have anything to show you. Even if I bring you something clear, a clarifying evidence. Now everybody’s like “what’s he gonna do? Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, challenged him. He’s gonna back down from the challenge?” Then obviously who won? Musa. And everybody will be talking afterwards: “oh my God, fir’awn really got it today”. I cant let that happen fir’awn says, I gotta take him on. I don’t have a choice. He’s been backed into a corner. So he says: “fine” – “qaala fa’tibiha” – go ahead bring it if you are from the truthful. He’s nervous now. And now Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, brings what? His “’asa” – his stuff, he turns it into a snake. He takes his hand out and it’s white. And as he’s watching that, he thinks to himself: “what can I do, what can I do to make people not to look that. The words were amazing enough and now they see this. What’s the best way to stop this from going on. What did he say? “qaala li man hawlahu” – he spoke to whoever was around him. Now it says he spoke to the chiefs around him because what must he have noticed? The chiefs were impressed. And if the chiefs are impressed then they can be queue, you know that right? When the generals are turning then there can be a change. So you gotta keep your generals close. So he says – “inna la saahirun ‘aleem” – this is a knowledgeable magician. How can he be crazy and a knowledgeable magician at the same time? Either you’re PhD in physics or you are in the psyche ward. You cant be both. In the same dialogue he started first by saying what? He’s crazy. That didn’t work. Lets come up with something new. And what’s the new one? He’s a very good magician. Subhan Allah! He actually disproved his own self. The people around him they are smart they know already that he’s changed the story a few times which means he’s desperate to find something to defeat what he sees which cannot be defeated. It cant be defeated so he’s desperate to come up with the new stuff. “Yuriidu ukhrijkum min ardikum li sihri” – he intensed you out of your land by means of his magic. He’s a threat to national security. If you listen to him you will all be deported. What did he just use? First, he tried to intimidate Musa , ‘alayhi salyam. First, he tried to insult him then to intimidate him, then to accuse him, then to character assassinate him by calling him insane. Then, when none of that worked – I cant scare him anymore, well, who should I scare now? The people. If I cant scare him let me scare them into believing that if you follow him what’s gonna happen? They all be kicked out of their land. Did he say anything about leaving the land? He wants to leave the land with who? With bani israil. He said no such thing. But you know as a political leader, the smart thing is to rally people on your cause whether it’s true or not. The best glue that will bring people together is fear against an enemy. That’s the best glue. So fir’awn realizes that that’s the only thing that left. So the only attack this time is actually not an attack on Musa directly , ‘alayhi salyam, but it’s actually a means to unifying his people, to bring them rally the troops again. “Yuriidu an yukhrijakum min ardykum bi sikhrihi” – he wants you to get you out of the land out of his magic. And by the way, who commands in Egypt? Who had the command? Fir’awn.
Look at this ayah: “fa maadha ta’murun” – what do you, guys, say? Whose opinion did he ask? The peoples. Because he saw that the people are not listening to him. So he wanted to make the people feel included in the process so he could keep them loyal. He was losing the loyalty. Because normally what would fir’awn say? Who has commanded? Whose opinion is this? Mine way or no way! But now he is forced to say: “fa maadha ta’muruun” – what do you guys think? He’s been humbled, he’s been overpowered just by the words that were given to Musa , ‘alayhi salyam, just by that.
Dialogue is one of the most powerful means of communicating messages in the Qur’an. It’s not just this one said this, this one said that. Every piece of the dialogue I’ve tried to illustrate to you has powerful implications that are very difficult to communicate in paragraphs. I have to stop at every line and give 6-7-8 lines, 2-3 minutes. But the way it’s captured so eloquently woven together – it’s incredible, it really is. So the point that I want to drive home in shaa Allah and I’m done bi idhniLlah, jazakAllahumu khayran for your attention is as follows:
The Qur’an is remarkable, stunning, mesmerizing literature. You have never read anything in your life that will come close to having an impact not just from the religious point of view but even from the psychological point of view. You will not be affected by anything you would ever listen or read like you will be by the Qur’an. The tragedy of our times is that we have reduced the Qur’an to translation and reduced the Qur’an to certain isolated quotations by virtue of which we actually don’t get to see the power in which it is communicating its message. And this is a big problem, by the way, the scholars of the arabs don’t have this problem – they see it, they see the beauty. This is the problem for the majority of the people of this ummah who are suffering from iman deficit to begin with and if they saw this miracle, and they this mesmerizing power of the Qur’an, at least heard about it on the regular basis we would necessarily see a change in attitudes, a change in regards, in awe, the inspiration we take from this Qur’an. It would be a different relationship. The dynamics of that relationship would change. At the very end of my talk I wanted to make an announcement. I was motivated to do this program for a few reasons. First of all, I am very honoured by the invitation. I am really honoured to be here – Alhamdulillah! I’ve been working about two and half years now on putting together a weekend seminar, just a single weekend seminar on, you know these few examples I shared with you: Shu’ayb, word precision, and dialogue and oaths in the Qur’an, right? These are 3 of about 22 categories of Qur’anic literary analysis that I’ve been working on compiling from various scholarly resources. And I’ve designed them to present them in shaa Allah Ta’ala through Bayyinah in a way that is easy to understand for folks who have never studied Arabic before. I don’t this to be the prerequisite for Arabic studies. Of course, if you study Arabic you would appreciate it. But even if you haven’t my intention is to give you sort of a popular exposure, a mass exposure to this dimension of the beauty of the Qur’an in shaa Allahu Ta’ala and my sole motivation for that is I want to inspire an entire generation of people spanning ages and genders and races and ethnicities that we all get in the realm of Islamic studies of Arabic studies and more particular of Qur’an studies more and more seriously and we have more meaningful experience when we pray. Because our prayer, the longest part of it is what? It’s Qur’an. And if we can appreciate the power of Qur’an in our prayers wAllahi we’d be a different people. We’d be a different kind of people. So I pray that inshaa Allahu Ta’ala you are able to join this venture whenever it comes to your town bi idhniLlah, I think, it should be in New York very soon. But it’s gonna be travelling all over the country and I am hopeful that you will attend, yourselves and your families inshaa Allahu Ta’ala. You can check our website, you know what’s our website right? Bayyinah.com
Remember the promise of Allah. It’s the challenge: “wa laqad yassarnaa-l-Qur’ana li-dh-dhikr” – we made Qur’an easy for “dhikr”. Dhikr means to remember Allah, it also means to memorize. Allah challenged that Allah made easy Qur’an to memorize. “Hal muddakir” – is there any one to come forward and accept the challenge, put the effort in. So put the effort in. Respond to Allah’s challenge. Open that challenge to all of us.
May Allah make the memorization of the Qur’an easy upon all of us.
May Allay, ‘azza wa jal, give all of us real appreciation of the beauty and the marvel and the priceless gem that every ayah of the Qur’an is.
May Allah, ‘azza wa jal, put Allah of the Qur’an and the love of the sunnah of the Messenger, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa-s-salyam, in all of our hearts.