Tafseer Videos

Assalamualaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh everyone,

I hope it’s not too late to mention this – if you want a brief tafseer, then there are a few videos available on Youtube:

1) Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury

He does a ‘live’ short tafseer of Juz Tabarak every weekend till the end of Ramadhan. You can watch the recordings on Youtube or better, if you are in Malaysia, you can attend his tafseer classes at International Islamic University of Malaysia from 5.15pm – 6.15pm held at the Main Mosque. He is planning to have tafseer classes of the whole Quran which I think it’ll be after Ramadhan. Stay tune for that!

2) Bro Nouman Ali Khan @ Quran Weekly

The videos are very short – about 3 to 4 mins and he covers just one ayaah in each Juz.

——————————————————————————————

The brief tafseer will not do justice to the Qur’an but since time is running short and that Ramadhan is leaving us soon, let’s maximise the remaining number of days insha’Allah!

Advertisements

Equity vs Equality in Islam

Assalamualaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[NOTE: I haven’t been as active as I would like to be due to other commitments. Insha’Allah everyone is well 🙂 I would usually update many blog posts simultaneously when I’m free but publish them at later dates, so I do apologize if it seems like I’m active in the blogsphere but did not reply to your comments :)]

Has anyone heard of this – equity vs equality – in Islam? I’m sure most of us would have heard the misconception that Islam is a ‘gender-biased’ religion which favours the males over the female counterparts. But, we hardly hear about why Islam is for equity and not always equality. That’s not to say that Islam isn’t a fair religion – it is in fact very fair with regards to its treatment to both genders but our perceptions has been shaped by the media so much so that ‘equality always means fairness’.

You may ask, what is the difference between equity and equality? To answer the question, I would give an example of two person: a 30 year old man and a 3 year old child. Equality would mean giving both of them equal amount of food but in our minds, we would think that it would be too much for the child to consume that amount of food. Equity on the other hand, means giving both of them according to their needs depending on their ages.

During class yesterday, my professor- masha’Allah a very wise man – shared with us an interesting case which depicts this equity vs equality in Islam. I was trying to find the case but it seems that either it’s not available in English (the case was in Arabic) or that it had happened more than half a century ago thus perhaps you can only find them in books but not online. Allahu Alam. Insha’Allah, I’ll narrate it the best that I can.

————————————————————————————————–

The incident took place at an American hospital in the 1950s. Two babies were born at the same time – a boy and a girl – and both of them were taken together by the nurse to be weighed. When she returned the babies to the mothers, both claimed that their child was a boy. This immediately became a problem because in those days, DNA testing was not yet available so doctors needed to find another way to solve this dilemma. They tried to compare the blood types of the babies with the mothers but they had similar blood types. Since science had failed them, they turned to the Church for help. The priest said that it was beyond his ability to solve something like this and he was not able to help them too. An Egyptian doctor who heard about the case told the American doctors that he might know of someone who is able to solve this conundrum but he is in Egypt. This person the doctor was referring to is a well known Sheikh of his time.

Both American doctors travelled to Egypt to meet this Sheikh and using a translator, they described to him the situation and asked him for advice. The Sheikh replied saying that yes, the solution is in the Qur’an and he then quoted from the Suraah which mentions about the law of inheritance .

“Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.” [4:11]

The American doctors were confused with the Sheikh’s reply and told him that they were not asking about the Islamic law of inheritance. The Sheikh then told them that this too can be applied to the babies. His advice was to measure the concentration of breast milk of both mothers. If the mother had given birth to a boy, the concentration in her milk would be twice of the mother who had given birth to a girl.

Both doctors became Muslims afterwards because to them, it was puzzling that how Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam would be able to have such knowledge when he was only a dessert Arab and unlettered. The knowledge would have to come from God.

(I need to re-check the name of the Sheikh thus explains why I didn’t mention his name. According to my professor, whenever he passes through Egpyt, he would stop at the masjid to listen to his lectures. The whole masjid would be filled up with people before noon subhan’Allah. The Sheikh has already passed away – may Allah have mercy on him)

————————————————————————————————————————-

Subhan’Allah! Allahu Akbar! I couldn’t help but teared up in class yesterday. There is so much wisdom in the Qur’an that have yet to unravel but still, there are ignorant people who would just pick an ayaat and then make an assumption about Islam without studying it in depth. And even more unfortunate is when you have Muslims questioning on the ‘fairness’ of Islam.

My Professor mentioned that a few years ago, a French Islamic scholar by the name of Garodi (not sure if I spelt his name correctly), came to my university to give a lecture. He quoted this ayaat about the law of inheritance and said that he would turn the laws around (instead of females receiving one share, he proposed that they receive two) in cases whereby she has many children under her care. The scholar said that it is only fair she receives more because of the burden of raising children compared to a man. During the Q&A, someone asked him whether by doing so, he was changing the laws of Allah.

My Prof did not mention what his reply was, but said that the laws of Allah is based on justice and equity although in the ‘dunya terms’, we deem it as unfair. We need to place our trust in Allah that whatever laws that was commanded was for our own good – and that He knows what is best for us. We tend to come across a lot of issues that have sprung up over the last decade, i.e. the difference in covering for men and women, Muslim man allowed to have 4 wives etc. but we should not be embarrassed when it comes to explaining to others about these issues. The Qur’an came as a guide book to mankind thus, it is without a doubt that its instructions are for us to live and function well in this Dunya. Without proper guidance, our lives become meaningless  and without direction.

It is  always a boost to my eemaan whenever I hear stories like this. I think there are so many things we can reflect on the Greatness of Allah and we can simply do so by observing our surroundings. It is only those who think are able to appreciate this. As mentioned several times in Suraah Ar-Rahman, “So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?”

Types of Friends mentioned in Qur’an

Assalamualaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

I hope it’s not too late to wish all of you “Taqaballahu minna wa minkum. Eid Mubarak!” 🙂 One a week late but khayr.. insha’Allah everyone’s enjoying your Eid? Don’t forget to keep up with your ibadaah despite all the visitings ya? 🙂

I watched a video on ‘Types of Friends mentioned in Qur’an’ by Bro. Nouman Ali Khan recently and wanted to write a brief summary of the lecture. Instead, I found this picture which encapsulates all the points mentioned! Masha’Allah, really useful! I didn’t know Allah SWT speaks of types of friends in Qur’an. Anyway, if you have time, watch the lecture too!

The next time you wish to donate…

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

The next time you want to donate but then you’re plagued with doubts about ‘having enough money for later‘ , remind yourself of these ayaahs:

2:268

Shaitan (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahsha (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins etc.); whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower. [2:268]

2:274

Those who spend their wealth (in Allah’s Cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [2:274]

Subhan’Allah I’ve been hearing stories of people who gave to charity but the amount given is somehow compensated in ways they least expect. In fact, they received more than the amount given to charity. The promise of Allah is true and we simply have to place our full trust in Him that He is Ar-Razzaq – no one gives us rezq but Allah SWT alone.

Qur’an Reflections

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

This post is not intended to explain Qur’an from my own (limited) understanding. Rather, these are merely my reflections of certain verses which I came across that left an impact on me when I was reciting the Qur’an.

25:70

“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [25:70]

There is a beautiful recitation of this Suraah by Qari Mansoor Az-Zahrany which has been attached at the end of the post. I find that the highlighted part of the ayaah is amazing subhan’Allah. A lecture that I was listening to gave a brief tafseer on that ayaah. The Sheikh said that the Scholars’ understanding is that either:

  1. Allah will turn his sins into good deeds, OR
  2. The sinner becomes a better person and he/she performs many good deeds.

Masha’Allah, how merciful is He!! We commit sins daily knowingly or unknowingly but all He wants from us is that we turn back to Him and our sins are changed into good deeds! The conditions attached are (as stated in the ayaah itself):

  1. Repent
  2. Believe in Islamic Monotheism
  3. Do righteous deeds
During the Al-Maghrib seminar Sh Riad asked the students whether there was anyone who feels that Allah will not forgive them for the sins they have committed before. A few hands shot up and and some shared why they felt that way. But subhan’Allah, Allah is Al-Ghafoor Ar-Raheem – He is more merciful that our own mother!
Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra) relates that some prisoners were brought before Allah’s Messenger (saw) and amongst them was a woman who was frantically searching for someone in the crowd. When she found a baby amongst the prisoners, she took it in her arms, cradled it next to her chest and suckled it. So Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “Do you think that this woman would ever throw her child into the fire?” We said: ‘By Allah, Never!’ So he said: “Allah is more merciful to His believing servants than that mother could ever be to her child.
[Bukhari (10/426) & Muslim (18/80)]
I was also thinking of something which might be related to this. When I was growing up, one way to keep us kids disciplined is by using the ‘scare’ tactic. “If you don’t do this, Allah will be angry with you. If you do that, you will be punished in the Hereafter!” I’m sure this method of disciplining children is something most of us have seen or grew up with. Ironically enough, if you look through the Asma ul Husna, there are no names which describes Allah as being ‘Angry’ or ‘Unmerciful’. We have forgotten that Allah is All-Loving (Al-Wadud) along with the other 98 beautiful names in the Asma al husna but we choose to only focus on the negative.
I use the theory of how this method to scare children never actually works because when we remove the ‘object of fear’, fear will not be present too. For example, you place a candy on the table and you tell a child not to take it. He/She will not take it under your watchful eyes but imagine if you leave the child on his/her own. I wouldn’t be surprised if the candy disappears the second you leave! The same applies if we instil fear of Allah in children, it works as parents are around to watch over them. But when they are older and more independent, the fear might not exist as there isn’t anyone to remind them to ‘fear Allah’.
However, there should be a balance between hope and fear. As stated by Ibn Qayyim Rahimullah,
Ibn Qayyim says in his Madarij al-Salikin:“The Heart, in its journey to Allah (swt) is like that of a bird:
Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the
head and two wings are sound the bird flies gracefully; if the
head is severed, the bird dies; if the bird loses one of its wings, it
then becomes a target for every hunter or predator.”

How are all these linked to the ayaah? I diverted a little bit from the actual ayaah on repentance and sins being converted to good deeds ; but expounded a little on the beautiful names of Allah as a reminder that having this mentality that ‘Allah only punishes us‘ is indeed something we should try to expel from our thoughts because it portrays the image that He is not merciful and unforgiving thus not Just to His creations.