In the shade of Surah Qaaf
Sheikh Saalih Aal Taalib
December 5, 2003 ~ Shawwaal 11, 1424
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All praise is due to Allah. All praise be to Allah, the One Who sent down the criterion (of right and wrong, i.e. the Quran) to His slave (Muhammad –peace be upon him) that he may be a warner to the worlds. And all praise be to Allah Who revealed the Book (the Quran) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims). And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. In veneration of Him, in unification of Him and revering Him. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, the best (person) sent by Allah as a guide and giver of glad tidings, and a caller to Allah by His Leave and a light and illumination. May Allah’s salutations be upon him and on his family and companions, and may much peace be upon them.
Thereafter: Fear Allah as He ought to be feared. And hold fast unto the Islam with the strongest handhold. “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam.” [Aal Imraan; Verse 102]. And whoever fears Allah, He saves him, and He suffices for him all his worries. “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.” [Talaaq: Verse 2-3]
Thereafter: O Muslims: Allah sent every messenger to his people with a miracle and a sign. He sent Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him- with the greatest miracle and the most decisive sign, which shall remain everlasting till the Day of Resurrection. The sign is the Noble Quraan, which is the revealed and preserved Word of Allah. The Book explains everything and guides to the most straightforward path. “Alif-Lam-Ra. (This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge, etc.), and then explained in detail from One, Who is All-Wise and Well-Acquainted (with all things).” [Hood; Verse 1]
The Qur’an is the greatest reference for the preachers and the best authority relied on by the just rulers. It is its light that guides the scholars. Allah calls it an admonishment when He says: “O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord, and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences) in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy for the believers.” [Yoonus; Verse 57]
Allah’s Messenger used to admonish and remind his companions with the Qur’an in response to the call of his Lord: “But warn by the Qur’an; him who fears My Threat.” [Qaaf; Verse 45]
And in Saheeh Muslim, Umm Hisham bint Harithah said: “We used to share the same oven with the Messenger of Allah for two years or a year and some months. And I did not memorise (Surah) ‘Qaf wal-Qur’anil-majîd’ but from the mouth of Allah’s Messenger. He used to recite it every Jumu‘ah on the pulpit when he preached to people.” Ibn Kathîr said: “The purpose is that the Messenger of Allah used to recite this Surah in big congregations like Eids and Jumuas because the Surah contains information about the beginning of the creation, the Resurrection, the return, the standing (for reckoning), the Reckoning, Paradise and Fire. It also contains information on reward, punishment, encouragement to do good deeds and warning against evil deeds. And Allah knows best.”
Fellow Muslims! Surely, knowing about admonition is a blessing and strength. It is also a reward and guidance. Allah says,
“But if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith); and indeed We should then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves. And indeed We should have guided them to a Straight Way.” [Nisaa; Verse 66-68]. Let us now incline towards the shades of this Surah in order to revive the Sunnah, to attain guidance and to admonish our hearts.
In the Name of Allah the Gracious, the Merciful.
“Qaf. By the honoured Qur’an.
Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner (Muhammad – peace be upon him) from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: “This is a strange thing!”
When we are dead and have become dust (shall we be resurrected?) That is a far return.”
We know that which the earth takes of them (their dead bodies), and with Us is a Book preserved (i.e. the Book of Decrees).
Nay, but they have denied the truth (this Qur’an) when it has come to them, so they are in a confused state (cannot differentiate between right and wrong).” [Qaaf; Verses 1-5]
In the last of this group of verses, Allah describes those who rejected the truth as being in a confused state. This is truly the state of anyone who keeps away from the guidance of the Qur’an, denies the truth and seeks guidance from other than Allah. Such a person is always erratic in his thoughts and positions and confused in his life and actions. He always follows his desire; and concepts and values are always contradicting in his view.
In the following verses, Allah commands His slaves to ponder over His Works through which He created everything in the state of perfection. Can anyone besides Allah create what is similar? Far is Allah above that. Rather, can the creatures stand by themselves? This is indeed, a great proof that Allah is Omnipotent and that He is the True God.
“Have they not looked at the heaven above them, how We have made it and adorned it, and there are no rifts in it?
And the earth!We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and have produced therein every kind of lovely growth.
It is an insight and a Reminder for every slave who turns to Allah in repentance.
And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain that are reaped.
And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters.
A provision for (Allah’s) slaves. And We give life therewith to a dead land. Thus will be the resurrection.
Denied before them (i.e. these pagans of Makkah) the people of Nu, and the dwellers of Rass, and Thamud;
And ‘Ad, and Fir’aun (Pharaoh), and the brethren of Lut;
And the Dwellers of the Wood, and the people of Tubba’.
Everyone of them denied (their) Messengers, so My Threat took effect. Were We then tired with the first creation?
Nay, they are in confused doubt about a new creation (i.e. Resurrection)?” [Qaaf; Verse 6-15]
High and Exalted is Allah. Indeed, the One Who created the creatures from non-existence and never lacked strength while He was creating them is perfectly Capable of repeating their creation.
After this, Allah explains the second creation that will take place on the Day of Resurrection. He preceded that by reminding His slaves of His creation of man, that nothing is hidden from Him and that He knows what moves about in the hearts, not to talk of what is uttered or done however concealed they are. He explains that all that is watched and recorded. The Muslim should therefore get prepared for that day. For anyone who did an atom weight of good deed will find its reward and anyone who did an atom weight of evil deed will find its reward. You should therefore call yourselves to account before you are called to it.
“And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).
(Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions).
Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).
And the stupor of death will come in truth: “This is what you have been avoiding!” [Qaaf; Verse 16-19]
Yes! There is no escape from death. It is the fate of every living thing. No Muslim or disbeliever will escape from this fate. In spite of the severity of death, what comes after it, such as situations of the grave, the Resurrection and Reckoning are far more severe and more horrible.
“And the Trumpet will be blown – that will be the Day whereof warning. And every person will come forth along with an (angel) to drive (him) and an (angel) to bear witness.” [Qaaf; Verse 20-21]
The sinner will then be told: “Indeed you were heedless of this. Now We have removed from you your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!” [Qaaf; Verse 22]
In this difficult situation, the record of deeds will be distributed and the people will be shown their positions in Paradise or Hell. It is then that the dwellers of Hell will start arguing with one another as Allah explains in different places in His Book. He says:
“And his companion (angel) will say: “Here is (this Record) ready with me!”
(Allah will say to the angels): “Both of you throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever.”
Hinderer of good, transgressor, doubter, “Who set up another god with Allah.
Then both of you cast him in the severe torment.”
His companion (Satan) will say: “Our Lord! I did not push him to transgress, but he was himself in error far astray.”
Allah will say: “Dispute not in front of Me, I had already in advance sent you the threat.
The Sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed, and I am not unjust (to the least) to the slaves.”
On the Day when We will say to Hell: “Are you filled?” It will say: “Are there any more (to come)?” [Qaaf; Verse 23-30]
As for Paradise, it will be brought closer to the believers as an honour to them. Listen to the description of its will-be dwellers.
“And Paradise will be brought near to the pious not far off.
(It will be said): “This is what you were promised – (it is) for those oft-returning (to Allah) in sincere repentance, and those who preserve their covenant with Allah.
“Who feared the Most Beneficent (Allah) in the Ghaib (Unseen) and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him and absolutely free from each and every kind of polytheism).
“Enter you therein in peace and security – this is a Day of eternal life!” There they will have all that they desire – and We have more.” [Qaaf; Verse 31-35]
In a wonderful explicative apposition, the end of this Surah re-emphasises all the issues that are discussed in it. Allah says,
“And how many a generation We have destroyed before them who were stronger in power than they.
And (when Our Torment came) they ran for a refuge in the land!
Could they find any place of refuge (for them to save themselves from destruction)?
Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.
And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us.
So bear with patience all that they say, and glorify the Praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.
And during a part of the night (also) glorify His praises and (so likewise) after the prayers.” [Qaaf; Verse 36-40]
Allah also tells us that performance of prayers and remembrance of Allah are means of perseverance and strength. He says:
“And listen on the Day when the caller will call from a near place.
The Day when they will hear As-Saihah (shout) in truth: that will be the Day of coming out.
Verily, We it is Who give life and cause death; and to Us is the final return.
On the Day when the earth shall be cleft, from off them, (they will come out) hastening forth.
That will be a gathering, quite easy for Us. We know of best what they say.
And you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) are not the one to force them (to Belief). But warn by the Qur’an; him who fears My Threat.” [Qaaf; Verse 41-45]
Fellow Muslims! Show gratitude to Allah for giving you rain. Ask Him to make it a rain of blessing and to make it cover all the Muslim lands. For the real drought is not in lack of rain but lack of blessings in the fallen rain. Adhere to the means of achieving blessing. Allah says: “And if the people of the towns had believed and had piety, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes).” [A’raaf; Verse 96]
So O Allah for You is all praise for Your abundant bounties and great boons. O Allah for You is praise until You are pleased, and for You is praise until when You are pleased, and for You is praise after You are pleased. O Allah make that which You sent down on us strength to obey You and deliverance to it. O Allah make the plants grow with it, and make the milk flow in abundance with it, and make water abundant for us. O Allah make it a rain of mercy, and increase us in Your blessings, mercy, virtue and sustenance, and make your bounties general for all the houses of Islam, O Alive, O Self-Sustaining, O Possessor of Majesty and Bounty.
O Allah send salutations on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad just as You have sent salutations on Ibraheem and the family of Ibraheem. Verily You are the Praiseworthy, the Mighty. And send Your blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhmmad just as You sent Your blessings on Ibraheem and the family of Ibraheem in the worlds. Verily You are the Praiseworthy, the Mighty.
O Allah grant honour to Islam and the Muslims…