A Deeper Look – Surah An-Nazi’at – Restraining the Nafs

Nouman Ali Khan


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Of course we're transitioning from a passage that talked about the Pharaoh. And Musa alayhis, salam to apparent passage that says, you know, Allah has creative power talks about Allah's creative power. The thing is, there is always a profound connection for but it becomes manifest if you reflect here, what we're looking at is Allah, you know, talking about how the Pharaoh why the Pharaoh thought he was the supreme god. He thought it was a supreme God because he didn't think anybody could build like he does. Anybody had massive Empire like he did. And so before we get into this passage, I'd like to give you a little bit of a quick synopsis history of how the Pharaoh came

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into power. There are lots of theories on it. I'll share with you what I find a very convincing. So originally, the pharaohs were multiple kingdoms, they weren't one kingdom, they were multiple pharaohs, multiple kingdoms are along the river, okay, and there were maybe 14 of these kingdoms. And they all had minimal power, because each of them had some territory, and they did trade with each other, etc. And of course, all of them had some part of the river because their irrigation and the supply for trade depends on your access to the river right now in the time of use of Adhan Salam, Yusuf alayhi salam, you remember saw a dream that there's going to be or interpreted a dream

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that there are going to be seven years where things will be fine. But another seven years where the river will dry up, there's not going to be any water and the crop is going to die. He was he was serving under one of the kings, not all of the pharaohs, one of the kings among that, like, you know, a group of kings. So that kingdom now has an advantage. What advantage do they have, they know that a drought is coming. So they actually developed a canal to preserve water over the next few years. So when the water dried up, the river dried up, they were the only empire of the several empires that actually still had a water supply. And so their crop continued to grow. And they

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continued to have some prosperity in the time where everybody else was basically bankrupt. And now in the olden days, people when they went, now they don't have any crop. None of the other kingdoms have any crop. So obviously, where they're going to come for crop, they're going to come here, but they don't have anything to sell anymore, because they've gone bankrupt. And so in the olden days, the way you sold, the way you got food or commodities was actually by giving away yourself or your children into slavery, or giving up part of your land. Actually, in old tradition, in traditions, when the family is going to be given a year's worth of rice, they have to give their child away,

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they're going to serve in the field and some other buddies, somebody else's farm likes, giving away family or people as slaves was actually a common economic practice. It is through this course of action that over time, this one Empire overpowered and overshadowed and eventually completely overtook all the other empires that existed and became the one supreme empire. Everybody, everything came under them. This is important to note because they then can especially controlled the water supply. They can be controlled. Now they had the money that nobody else had. So they built like nobody else did. And they had pasture, meaning they have the greenery that nobody else had. Now with

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that in mind, if you look at these ions, are you more intensive creation? Or is the sky first of all is referring to the human beings? Are you more powerful? Are you harder to create? And the sky was he's the one who built the sky? In other words, how dare you question resurrection, when Allah has that power, but from the other point of view, are you better at creating whatever you've created? You Quraysh are like the pharaohs but you are nothing compared to the pharaohs in construction. As a matter of fact, the construction of the pharaohs is so impressive that it's still today on the dollar bill. Right? It's timeless. It's the symbol of stable empire. You know, and I refer to this

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over and over Greek columns, Persian columns, different societies, ancient society, even the columns that are built in the industry, you know, some of the government offices in DC their inspiration is actually the columns of the Egyptians. The architectural inspiration is actually the Egyptian columns that were built in ancient times. And Allah then is almost referring to that and saying, are you better at creating things? Or is the sky a more marvelous creation than that under under its canopy, you built all of these things? He's the one who built the sky. But Aha, and the word butter as opposed to halacha is actually a good reference. He built it he constructed it. So the notion of

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construction is being highlighted anyway, in the wording of the item. Rafa has some kaha Fussa he, he elevated its roof and by the way, the columns were on any humanely

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High, like they were unusually high. You know nowadays when you go to a NOC a fancy home, it's like high ceiling, it just gives you this grand view grand grand feeling, right? Or if you look at some of the interesting architecture, like one of my favorite places, just architecturally, interiors is like Grand Central Station in New York, right? You look up and they've created this, like skyscape, and it's really high ceiling, etc. Right? If you visit Ancient Palaces and things, they made an enormously high ceilings, and oftentimes when they would have high ceilings, they would actually draw on them stars, or constellations or clouds to give the feeling as though we have built a sky of

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our own. We've built a sky of our own right, so that's this, this this fascination of human beings of building their own sky. And so that's being built upon here in the language used by Allah, but also as some Kochava, some in Arabic, and karma to win or lose something that stands tall, and something that's very high. What does this we have a NOVA is the karma where tidel, what isn't, and evening it out in Arabic, the word test, we actually mean something that stands tall, something that's stable, in other words, it's the higher up, you build a ceiling, the more unstable it gets, the more support columns and beams it needs. You know, if you have something that's very large, and

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it's standing free, you need more columns to hold it up. It can't just because it will cave in on the middle, right, because it's so much freestanding. So he says, he made it balanced event, and it doesn't shift, the sky doesn't shift, the elevation of the sky doesn't shift. You know, some people look at this idea. And I should mention that some do look at his eye and say, Look, Allah says he built the sky, but the sky meaning space is empty vacuum. It's not built, it's just nothingness. So what's he talking about? This is where we have to understand the Quran is not a science textbook. The Quran is remarkable language. It's remarkable language. You know, language is the language of

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people is different from the language of science, there are two different worlds. If you're really interested in the language of science, which means you enjoy reading a biology textbook, then you're not a normal person.

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I mean, you're gonna do well in school, but you're not a normal person. Thank God, we don't speak in scientific language when we speak with each other. Right? When you say to somebody, when somebody's making fun of somebody and say, Man, he got burned,

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scientifically, no.

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You understand, but everybody gets it, you got burned. Somebody says, You, you man, you tore him to pieces, somebody called the police.

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You know, or, you know, my some Grandpa says my grandkids stole my heart, Grandpa, I'm coming over, right?

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They didn't steal your heart, or man that that guy has a heart of stone. These phrases that are unscientific. Clearly, we use all the time. We use these things all the time. The language of science is highly literal. Everything is literally precisely what it is. But the language of humanity is not it actually draws on images. Like for example, when a husband says to the wife, I have done everything for you.

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because everything is a lot of things, you know, or I've given you everything.

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So the idea is that when people speak like for example, man, how beautiful is it? Look the sun sinking into the ocean. When you're when you're on the West Coast of the United States, you see sunset, you know, in Southern California, you see the sunset and you see how beautiful does the sun look sinking into the ocean? While technically it's not thinking into me our ocean, it's actually just yellow, dummy.

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And sinking into the ocean.

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Quran will say that the you know, called Nain went to a place where the sun was drowning in murky water. And people were like, oh, that's scientifically inaccurate because you can drown the thunder. What are you talking about? When a human being sees that that's a poetic beautiful image of the Sun drowning in water? That's all it's talking about?

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It's not what is it? What is the Quran supposed to do tell you how many millions of miles away the sun is and that this is an optical illusion. What would you read that?

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You punch people in the face and talk like that when you hang out with them. We don't talk like science, we talk in normal language. This is normal language look at the Grand creation of God the sky compared to yours. You try to build a roof that you know by the way, ceilings especially they crack easily. They crack is this is why Allah says do you see a crack in the sky?

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That's that's not to say well that's empty space. Obviously you're not going to have a crack No, no Allah is comparing look at your inability

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To create a view that Allah has created, what a flawless view God has created over you. And so our obsession with science has actually made us impose a scientific way of thinking even about the Quran, which is unfair to the book. It's unfair to the book and it's unrealistic, it's inaccurate. And then we start imposing onto the Quran things that shouldn't be imposed. Anyway, what else Natasha de la ha, ha ha by the way, just just among the notion of the sky. Familiar MUFA city Manta wala Hoonah bit that meme among them of assume those who talk about this idea about the sky being smooth or even doubt say how perfectly it's made within Islam and how reformed it is, will be

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generally how Mensa and how smooth it looks. Lisa FIATA forward it has no unevenness to it will be it's gone in sha Gama. sunnah and how greatly it's beautifully it's crafted how beautiful it's looked it is to look at anytime you look at the sky, it's a symbol of beauty and magnificent. This again, I'm telling you in the context in which this passage occurs, it's not just talking about the sky, it's actually comparing one of the greatest empires that ever existed, and showing how even that fails in comparison to God's creation. How dare you take up a god other than that, other than Allah? Well, Tasha, Leila Ha, ha ha. And he brought darkness over its nights. And he brought out

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it's early mornings. This is again the reference tonight and day shouldn't be lost on us. The Pharaohs worshipped the sun.

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And Allah brings the son to a close close shop every night and then brings out the morning the next day, meaning their gods submits to Allah. Well after Shalala is Tasha lane if Lama who have Tasha means to cause darkness full out on Russia while Russia la Utada Bihar a desert that is what SHA, means that desert that is completely covered in darkness and you can find your way interestingly enough of Pasha, Latasha, it also compares to Ramesh meaning in the eye becoming weak. Mush out away then Medina.

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Maldon Oh Keba. When somebody walks slowly, because they can barely see. In other words, Allah calls the night to slow everything down and visibility to become less he did that. Well, Accra Jaga Ha, ha. And the next morning, he brought out it's brilliant light, he made everything completely imperfectly visible. I'll show you some of the benefits of this a little bit later on when we talk about the literary qualities of the surah.

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So as Raj in BISAZZA, though, is shams. So bringing out the sun. Doha in Arabic, or Doha, is when things are most prominent meaning like that when the sun is at its brightest, like 10 11:12am. At that time, when the sun is beaming at its brightest that's Lucha. So let's comparing those two contrasts of the night and the day. This is to highlight you know, how no matter how build how grand your columns were built, you know, you can't escape and how beautifully illuminated they look in the day, they're going to be closed down and dark in the night. What are the other Donica the HA HA and the earth thereafter, he made it he made it smooth. Now the word Dukkha is a unique word very

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rarely, maybe not even elsewhere used in the Quran except here. And what does it mean? The HA actually means I'll skip the Arabic etymology just tell you what it means. It's actually used for when an ostrich

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scrapes the ground, and makes the soil smooth. So it can put its egg there, because it doesn't bury its egg entirely just makes the ground kind of smooth. And so you can put it there like in a concave shape. And that's why that place is called a mud ha. And from it, the height is also used for an egg, because it's the place of the but it's not literally the egg actually, that's a bathe, but the high is the place where the egg is placed. So again, people who are very obsessed with showing a correlation between Islam and science, they looked at this idea and said, aha, Allah made the earth egg like and therefore the earth is oval and it's not a perfect sphere. And the proof of that is in

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the Quran. Well, Irga Danika Ha ha, except the one problem with that is the verb the HA means to remove unevenness. And to make room for an egg, it doesn't mean he made it into an egg. That's not how the verb was ever used. So there's this huge jump made because the root somewhere in there involves an ostrich egg that we turned this into the earth is egg like the Earth is oval. That's awesome. It doesn't have to be mentioned in the Quran though. Let's not impose on the Quran when Allah did not say himself and when you do that, and then other people prove otherwise it just makes the Quran look weak, even though the only thing weak was our understanding. You know, so

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We should be careful about making claims like that. And so the hater che at Howard Howe who darkened basato to make something smooth and even what Allah is saying is on the earth, He removed unevenness you saw previously,

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alumni of the me harder didn't really make the earth a comfortable bedding. Right? Allah is describing that the earth could have been a jagged surface where you can't walk. And the the Arabs are actually familiar with this, there are terrains that are so difficult to walk, or it's difficult to even animals don't go there. And the entire earth surface could have been that way. But Allah made it smooth and remove the impediments on the earth, so we can travel on this earth. And that's why they use the word for even construction. Like you know, if they if they're going to build a road, and there are lots of pebbles on the road and stuff, they'll have bulldozers come and sweep

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and smoothed the thing out before they built the road on top, that's actually the process of the hub. That's what the word refers to one of the better vaniqa the haha, meaning the land is ready for civilization, basically. And this is again, going back to the idea that the great civilizations were only great civilizations because they built roads. If you don't have roads, you're not going to have civilizations, because commerce will take place only through the roads. If everything is wild territory, then commerce will not happen and therefore growth will not take place. Right. One of the greatest assets of the United States is our incredible highway system. Right? It's a remarkable

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roadway system that connects all of the states together and allows for the kind of commerce that happens across the states. Right? And so the countries in which the roadways one aren't safe two aren't well built. Right. And it affects economy. It affects everything, you know, so when he says what are the Banda Delica? Ha he basically almost like he's saying he made the world pay for a world possible to travel by making it smooth. Why is that important? Because when those great civilizations and empires and even the Arabs because the routes went through Makkah when they claim that they are at an advantageous position Allah is saying the very fact that you have these roads

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wouldn't have been possible if Allah did not smooth the earth for you to begin with. Well, Allah about that radical the haha as far as I mean, ha ha, ha ha. And he brought out from it, it's water.

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And he brought it from it. It's green pasture. Do you see a connection to the pharaohs Empire background story that I told you, he brought out the water and the pasture, the greenery, that which was basically the heart and soul of the economy of that great empire. The reason they rose to power arthralgia, minha, Amara was dibala Arsa. And he placed the mountains and he put them down, he placed the mountains down. And by the way, what is a great architectural marvel of the ancient Egyptians that resembles a mountain, the pyramids, and he says, What are your pyramids compared to my mountains? Well, gee Bilasa, and he didn't make one he has plenty. Once you buy the OFSAA, and he

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put those there Mata Allah calm, and he put all of that in place as a thing for all of you to enjoy for all of you to take advantage of, but not just you, your animals to where the anatomy come. And I'd like you to understand here when Allah says, you and your animals, it's significant. Why? Why is it mentioning you and your animals, everything Allah mentioned so far from the sky. If we go back, the sky, then the night and day, then the earth being smooth than water, and pasture. And now finally the mountains. All all of this is things for you know, we and our animals to enjoy some animals, their pasture, what they eat, what they graze on, what they feed on, is only found in the

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mountains. It's only found in the mountains, some minerals, some resources, some construction materials that we need are only found in the mountains. If the night and day weren't the succession that they are, agriculture would stop. If the water didn't come out of the earth the way it does, we wouldn't have the rivers and the waterways that are necessary for crop to exist. So this entire system was put in place for Allah azza wa jal to facilitate life on this earth. But now the significance of you and your animals, of course, in especially in ancient society, and even today, without animals, human beings can't survive. We are actually dependent on animals, not just for

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food, but for skin and for skin, but for the the, the agricultural value that they have around the world. Without them without animals. We're not we don't survive in this world. It doesn't happen. But the other thing is when he puts us together, we are masters over our animals. Listen to this carefully. We are masters over our sheep and our goats and our cows and our horses. They do our work. They exhaust themselves for us, and when they are no good anymore, what do we do with them? We slaughter them and take their meat and their skin or whatever and we just get rid of them. Right? That's what we

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we do and our animals are literally domesticated Musa has humbled Moodle and they are they've been humiliated and domesticated. They live in the housing we give them, they eat what we feed them, they have no independence. They are literally enslaved to our service. That's what these animals are and slave to our service and loyal to their masters. They listen to the farmer yell and scream, and they stop and they move. They get whipped, they get pulled, they get the rains polled. This is what the animals are. And then Allah puts them and us in the same sentence Mata lagoon, when the Anamika as if to say what your animals are to you, you are to me.

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You are to me no different than your cattle. I feed you like I feed them.

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This is actually a humility check from Allah. I just previously Allah mentioned one of the most arrogant human beings that ever lived that looked at other people like animals remember for herself another Now Allah is putting us all in check. You're all not sure to me. You're all provided for like animals are provided for this is actually a running theme in Merkin Quran. Look at your animals and then think about who Allah is to you. You are rubbed over your animal Allah is rub over you. This this is the the mentalities how Allah and the way the animal never disobeyed you and what do you do with your animal when he disobeys you and what should Allah do when you disobey Him?

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You know, so Mata wali Anamika a utility and a means to enjoy for you and for your animals Madonna can be used for food it can also use for something to enjoy and matar by his definition can also be something that is temporary, which is temporary enjoyment. So something that you have for a while but it's not going to last forever. And why isn't it going to last forever? Let's transition from there to fight either John. F bomb but on COBRA, this is now we're nearing the end of the of the solo. This is the fifth section of the surah in my account, when finally a palm metal Cobra hits. What is the thumb button Cobra thumb in Arabic the verb thumb and buckaroo. I toggle what bah bah

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bah, bah. Tom, my in Arabic is when the ocean has a tsunami. That's from a great calamity a massive disturbance that destroys Allah says for either Jah, Tom Mattoon Cobra, meaning when the calamity that is going to wreck everything arrives the greatest calamity that's ever that's ever happened and the greatest disturbance that's ever happened arrives. By the way when water comes out like that what happens to animals? What do they do? You actually see animals run way before the water even comes they can sense the shivering of the earth. The write the words right before we're an amicon cattle that take it easy from neuroma soft movement. But now a thumb is coming all of a sudden a

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disturbance is coming for Elijah Tom not on COBRA and that is the day yo maya Corona in Santa Maria and by the way, either I should have mentioned this either. In Arabic means all of a sudden. It doesn't just mean when it means when all of a sudden this great calamity arrives. This is the mobile data of your multi ama the suddenness of your ml Qiyamah yo maya Tada Colonel insulinoma Saya, the day on which every human being will thoroughly remember and Insan is so amazing human means human being but in science can also be argued to come from this yawn. Meaning forgetfulness. So the the actual word for human being in Arabic is close to forgetful creature. It's close to the meaning of

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forgetful creature. The day on which the forgetful creature will thoroughly remember will have full memory. Masa, masa is Ma masuleh or mama sclarea. Let's not get into that discussion, but I'll just say it's more closer to mama Surya, which means in simple English, the day on which a human being will thoroughly recall all of his efforts. Every effort that was made, what were you running for? What were you running towards? What was keeping you occupied? You know, every human being has priorities. All of you, every single one of us, including myself, have priorities on when we're gonna wake up when we're gonna go sleep and what's going to happen in between whether your priority

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is to finish finish season three and start Season Four on Netflix.

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Whether your priority is to beat that video game and finish all of these the side missions, or whether your priority is you know, work related business related deal related car related, whether your priority is girl related guy related, social media related hangout related, you know, am I gonna get the tickets for that concert or what? Whatever it may be you there are priorities, things you run towards things that are preoccupy.

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Find you. Things that are keeping you busy. Some of those are serious tasks. Some of those are just you running after entertainment or pleasure, whatever they are. Every one of them will be completely recalled. You're gonna remember what it was that was keeping you occupied. You know, there's a, you know, there's a scene that takes place in the world every single day. A mother begs her son bid on the Moscow time, okay, Apollo.

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Son is solid time. Just pray Sunday, Hannah worked on volume. You know, it's time for prayer. Just pray. I don't have time right now. Just just couple minutes running towards something else, you know? And then that day, you will remember Oh, my God, what was I running towards? What efforts was I making? Where was I wasting all my efforts, and let them have been last Saturday, you home Phil Hyatt and dunya Those whose efforts were lost, completely put in vain, lost in stuff that that's left behind in worldly life. You know, well hold me up when I know him. You've seen us. While at the same time, they're delusional, that they've done something awesome. They haven't. That day, human

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beings will remember everything, every effort that they made. Like Allah says, yo maya, but I feel humble Allah Who Jamie and for you will not be humble. I mean, who I saw who Allah want us who are the day on which Allah will resurrect all of them altogether. He will inform them very detailed, all the things that they used to do that Allah recorded in its entirety and perfectly while they had forgotten the stuff that they did. Literally, Allah will say you did this, you're like, really? I did that? I said, No. You guys even do that. No, forget your mom to mom. Your mom will tell your dad into your friends. Hey, you know what you said to me the other day? You said this is like no, I

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would never I'm not that kind of person. I recorded it for you here.

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Wow, I can't believe I did that. There's going to be a lot I can't believe I said that. I can't believe I did that moments on your multi AMA. We do things that we forget are they're no big deal to us. That we just move on. But that day everything will be thoroughly recalled recalled. May Allah azza wa jal make us of those that are forgiven. After remembering the efforts that we made

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by Lisa Lillian son in the Messiah, human beings will have nothing to their advantage on judgment except what they ran towards literally what they ran towards. Hey guys, you just watched a small clip of me explaining the Quran in depth as part of the deeper look series. Studying the Quran in depth can seem like a really intimidating thing that's only meant for scholars Our job is to make deeper study of the Quran accessible and easy for all of you. So take us up on that challenge. Join us for this study the deeper look of the Quran for this surah and many other sources on Vienna tv.com under the deeper look section