The birth of Jesus

This is the Islamic account of the Birth of Jesus, also known as the Nativity story

The miracle of childbirth is in and of itself a miracle that leaves humanity in awe every single day a child is born to a new mother and father. So it is no wonder that the birth of Jesus, who was born without a father, is a miracle that has encapsulated the hearts and minds of billions of people around the world, whether they be Muslim or Christian.

Jesus is considered one of the five greatest Prophets of Islam and is mentioned precisely 25 times in the Quran. The Islamic depiction of Jesus’ birth occurs primarily in Chapter 3 ‘Al-Imran’ and Chapter 19 ‘Maryam’ of the Quran.

When we look at the Islamic doctrine depicting the birth of Jesus or ‘Isa, we realise that it is very similar to the Christian scriptures.

The story begins when Mary is approached by the Angel Gabriel within her sacred quarters in Bayt Al-Maqdis, Jerusalem. Naturally being a woman who had lived a life of solitude and worship, she was left quite frightened and startled by this encounter.

“And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of God .”

Quran 19:17-18

In a bid to comfort her, the Angel went on to reveal to her that he was in fact an Angel sent from God and that she had a high status with her Lord.

“And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed God has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds.”

Quran 3:42

“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!”

Luke 1:30

Angel Gabriel then goes on to give Maryam the glad tidings of a newborn child.

He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy.”

Quran 19:19

[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed God gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to God ].

Quran 3:45

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Luke 1:31

This news, of course, came as a complete shock to Maryam who was a pure virgin and had never been approached by a man. She immediately exclaims in shock, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?”.

She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?”

Quran 19:20

She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?”

Quran 3:47

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

Luke 1:34

Angel Gabriel then responds to Maryam’s question with a very succinct yet powerful statement; God merely says “Be” and the matter will be.

[The angel] said, “Such is God ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.

Quran 3:47

He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.’ “

Quran 19:21

Gabriel then proceeds to blow a breath into the sleeve of Maryam which causes her to become pregnant instantaneously. According to Ibn Kathir, one of the great Quranic commentators, this pregnancy was to last 9 months long as per ordinary.

And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.

Quran 66:12

As symptoms of her pregnancy soon came to fruition, suspicions by those around her soon began to develop. A famous incident also found in the commentary of Ibn Kathir describes her encounter with Yusuf Al-Najjar or Joseph the Carpenter.

He asks Maryam, “I am going to ask you a question, do not be quick in replying. Could there be a plant or tree without a seed or a son without a father?” She replied, “Yes! The first plant and tree which God created was without a seed. The answer to the second question is that God created Adam, not only without father, but without father and mother.” Yusuf the carpenter understood that this birth would be similar to Adam’s birth and a divine miracle.”

It is at this point, that Maryam realises the potential emotional and physical toll such suspicions will weigh upon her pregnancy so she decides to move to Bethlehem some four to six miles from Jerusalem.

“So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place.”

Quran 19:22

Following her retreat to Bethlehem, Maryam continues on to bear Jesus in hardship and difficulty. This is until her labor pains drive her to the trunk of a palm tree, whereby she falls to its base and cries out in agony.

It is in this moment of immense pain that a voice calls out from beneath her informing her that she should not be sad for her Lord has brought forth a stream from underneath her. The voice also calls upon her to gently shake the palm tree to which ripened dates will fall. Whether or not this voice is that of Gabriel or Jesus is a point of contention amongst the scholars. Nevertheless this is perhaps one of the first miracles to take place at the moment of Jesus’ birth.

It is also reported that when Jesus is born he did not cry or scream as babies usually do. This is recorded in Sahih Muslim whereby the Prophet ﷺ states:

“No child is given birth to, but the devil pricks it so that it weeps due to the pricking of the devil, except Maryam and her son.”

After having delivered the baby and rested a short while, Maryam is then commanded to an oath of silence in the face of anyone who asks her concerning this matter. As she makes her way home carrying her child, the townspeople are immediately taken by surprise. They quickly subject her to suspicion and questioning, shocked at the uncanny scene they see before them.

Having vowed an oath of silence, she remains quiet and rather signals towards the child. Astounded and baffled by her response, the people exclaim “How can we speak to a child in the cradle?”.

It is at this moment that Jesus leaves the townspeople lost for words, as he miraculously speaks from the cradle in defence of his mother.

He informs the people that he is a servant of God who has received the Gospel and was made a Prophet. He enlightens them of his noble rank and the blessings that God had bestowed upon him. And of course he spoke of his obligation towards worshipping God alone without any partners.

[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of God . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.

And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive

And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.

And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”

Quran 19:30-33

[Jesus said], “And indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.”

Quran 19:36

It is at this point, where we raise one of the greatest points of contention we hold with Christian doctrine and that is the miraculous birth of Jesus without a father did not in any way amount to Jesus being the literal son of God. For most definitely God is not in need of a son nor is it befitting for Him to take a son.

It is not [befitting] for God to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.

Quran 19:35

They say, ” God has taken a son.” Exalted is He! Rather, to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him,

Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.

Quran 2:116-117

And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.” You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.

Quran 19:88-92

What’s interesting to note, is that God couples the birth of Jesus in the Quran alongside the birth of Yahya (John), the son of Zachariah, who was born to elderly parents. This coupling is found in both Surah Al’ Imran and Surah Maryam. Many Quranic commentators state that the pairing of such accounts is used to highlight the powerful ability of God to create life in all situations, regardless of the circumstances.

This contrast is also hinted in the Bible, whereby Maryam asks Gabriel as to how she may have a son and Gabriel responds by saying:

“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Luke 1:36-37

More importantly, if God could give life to Adam who was void of a father and a mother, surely it would have been far more simpler to create Jesus who solely lacked a father. As God mentions in the Quran.

Indeed, the example of Jesus to God is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.

Quran 3:59

And thus the story of the birth of the noble Prophet of God concludes, while his legacy of monotheism, justice and peace remains. He stands as one of the greatest figures in human history and billions of Muslims around the world patiently await his momentous return to restore justice to this Earth. Peace be upon him the day he was born, peace be upon him the day he will die and peace be upon him the day he will be resurrected.

Incredible Quran recitation from Surah Al-Ahzaab

An epic Quran recitation from Surah Al-Ahzaab

This Quran recitation delivered by Sheikh Muhammad Al Harby will most definitely strike a chord. In this recording, the Sheikh recites verses 38-48 from Surah Al-Ahzaab.

مَا كَانَ عَلَى النَّبِىِّ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ فِيۡمَا فَرَضَ اللّٰهُ لهٗ ؕ سُنَّةَ اللّٰهِ فِى الَّذِيۡنَ خَلَوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ وَكَانَ اَمۡرُ اللّٰهِ قَدَرًا مَّقۡدُوۡرَا  ۙ‏

There could be no hindrance to the Prophet regarding what Allah ordained for him. Such has been Allah’s Way (with the Prophets) who went before. Allah’s command is a decree firmly determined

اۨلَّذِيۡنَ يُبَـلِّـغُوۡنَ رِسٰلٰتِ اللّٰهِ وَيَخۡشَوۡنَهٗ وَلَا يَخۡشَوۡنَ اَحَدًا اِلَّا اللّٰهَ ؕ وَكَفٰى بِاللّٰهِ حَسِيۡبًا‏

(This is Allah’s Way) regarding those who deliver the Messages of Allah and who fear Him, and fear no one else than Allah. Allah is Sufficient as a Reckoner

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ اَبَآ اَحَدٍ مِّنۡ رِّجَالِكُمۡ وَلٰـكِنۡ رَّسُوۡلَ اللّٰهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيّٖنَ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيۡمًا‏

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the Prophets. Allah has full knowledge of everything.

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اذۡكُرُوۡا اللّٰهَ ذِكۡرًا كَثِيۡرًا ۙ‏

Believers, remember Allah much

وَّ سَبِّحُوۡهُ بُكۡرَةً وَّاَصِيۡلًا‏

and glorify Him morning and evening.

هُوَ الَّذِىۡ يُصَلِّىۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَمَلٰٓـئِكَتُهٗ لِيُخۡرِجَكُمۡ مِّنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ اِلَى النُّوۡرِ ؕ وَكَانَ بِالۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ رَحِيۡمًا‏

It is He Who lavishes His blessings on you and His angels invoke blessings on you that He may lead you out of darkness into light. He is Most Compassionate to the believers.

تَحِيَّتُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ يَلۡقَوۡنَهٗ سَلٰمٌ ۖۚ وَاَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ اَجۡرًا كَرِيۡمًا‏

On the Day they meet Him they will be greeted with: “Peace.” He has prepared for them a generous reward.

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰكَ شَاهِدًا وَّمُبَشِّرًا وَّنَذِيۡرًا ۙ‏

O Prophet, We have sent you forth as a witness, a bearer of good tidings, and a warner

وَّدَاعِيًا اِلَى اللّٰهِ بِاِذۡنِهٖ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيۡرًا‏

as one who calls people to Allah by His leave, and as a bright, shining lamp.

وَبَشِّرِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ بِاَنَّ لَهُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ فَضۡلًا كَبِيۡرًا‏

Announce to the believers the good tidings that Allah has kept bounteous blessings in store for them.

وَلَا تُطِعِ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ وَالۡمُنٰفِقِيۡنَ وَدَعۡ اَذٰٮهُمۡ وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى اللّٰهِ ؕ وَكَفٰى بِاللّٰهِ وَكِيۡلًا‏

Do not yield to the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard the hurt that comes from them, and put your trust in Allah. Allah suffices as the Guardian to entrust one’s affairs to.

Locusts in the Quran

Miracles in the Quran – Locusts in The Quran

The Quran is filled with numerous miracles and features that all attest to its authenticity as the book of God. Amongst these features is the Quran’s remarkable use of language when describing certain occurrences and events.

For instance, many have noted the Quran’s remarkable usage of the word “علقة” (clinging, leech-like substance) to describe embryonic development. The word has left scholars around the world dumbfounded when considering its accuracy in describing the human embryo 1400 years ago.

Another example is the Quranic choice of words to describe the resurrection of mankind.

There eyes humbled, they will emerge from the graves as if they were scattered locusts.

Quran 54:7

In this verse, Allah likens the resurrection of man coming out of their graves to the emergence of locusts. At first glance, it may seem quite ordinary, yet this is not until one actually observes the activity of locusts.

At the beginning of their lives, locusts emerge from the ground after hatching. After their emergence, they then gather in large groups that densely occupy an area in their millions. Such a dense swarm of insects is a rare sight that often amazes filmmakers for its uniqueness. A desert locust swarm can expand to almost 1200 square kilometers in size and pack between 40 and 80 million locusts into a square kilometre. To put this into perspective, this is approximately the size of Sydney and its surrounding areas.

In fact, such is their immense quantity that they are responsible for many agricultural disasters that occur all over the world and throughout history. They are also considered pests that feed off of farmers crops.

Allah, in fact, makes mention of locusts being used as a tool to destroy the land of the tyrant Pharoah.

So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood as distinct signs, but they were arrogant and were a criminal people.

Quran 7:133

Having an extremely large population emerging from under the ground and engrossing an extremely immense section of the Earth’s surface is a sight that distinctively compares to our resurrection. No doubt, the example of locusts is a remarkable metaphor that uniquely describes the Day of Judgement in a manner like no other.

May Allah allow us to ponder over the Quran and benefit from its extraordinary reminders.

Source:

https://www.britannica.com/animal/locust-insect

Miracle of the Quran – #ReviveRamadan

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The Quran is a Miracle

They ask for a miracle…but we can’t show them the sea splitting.

فَأَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰٓ أَنِ ٱضۡرِب بِّعَصَاكَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَ‌ۖ فَٱنفَلَقَ فَكَانَ كُلُّ فِرۡقٍ۬ كَٱلطَّوۡدِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ

“Then We revealed to Mûsa (Moses) (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) became like the huge mountain.”

Quran 26:63

We can’t show them the staff of Moses.

قَالَ إِن كُنتَ جِئۡتَ بِـَٔايَةٍ۬ فَأۡتِ بِہَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ (١٠٦) فَأَلۡقَىٰ عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِىَ ثُعۡبَانٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ (١٠٧)

[Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said: “If you have come with a sign, show it forth, – if you are one of those who tell the truth.”Then [Mûsa (Moses)] threw his stick (staff) and behold! it was a serpent, manifest! Quran 7:106-107

We can’t show them the she-camel of Saleh.

وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ هَـٰذِهِۦ نَاقَةُ ٱللَّهِ لَڪُمۡ ءَايَةً۬ فَذَرُوهَا تَأۡڪُلۡ فِىٓ أَرۡضِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوٓءٍ۬ فَيَأۡخُذَكُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ قَرِيبٌ۬

“And O my people! This she-camel of Allâh is a sign to you, leave her to feed (graze) in Allâh’s land, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment should seize you.”

Quran 11:64

But today in 2018 we can witness the miracle of the Prophet () via the Quran.

In fact, even up until the day of judgment.  It’s an everlasting miracle for the eyes to see and the ears to listen to until the day of judgment.  And it also surpasses the other miracles of the early prophets in the sense that we can use the Quran to worship Allah ‘with’ it.  

That’s right, we can worship Allah via the Quran in a variety of ways, not just one.  

Listening to the Quran is worship.  

Reading the Quran is worship.

Judging by it is Worship.

Learning it is worship. Teaching it is worship.

Acting upon it is worship.  

Understanding it is worship, and acting upon its meanings is worship.

SubhaanAllah!  An amazing miracle, indeed.  

Let’s connect with the Quran, and Revive Ramadhan.

How the Quran Views Women

How does the Qur’an view women?

“Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is a research institute which aims to instill conviction and inspire contribution based on mainstream Islamic texts.”

In today’s age, the status and rights of women in society have never been more in the spotlight. Millenia long traditions like Islam are today accused of being unjust in their treatment of women, and Muslims are faced with the challenge of staying true to their faith whilst responding to these criticisms.

A critical factor in this challenge is properly understanding the way that Islam actually views women. To do this, we can go to back to the fundamental source of Islamic law, which is the Qur’an.

Here is a list of the different teachings the Qur’an holds regarding men and women.

  1. Women are equally human

“O humankind! We have created you from a single male and female, and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.

Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”

[Qur’an 49: 13]

  1. Women are equally eligible for salvation

“Allah has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally,

and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence; but approval from Allah is greater. That is the great attainment.”

[Qur’an 9: 72]

  1. Women are equally eligible for reward

“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while a believer—We will surely cause him to live a good life,

and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.”

[Qur’an 16: 97]

  1. Women’s lives are equally inviolable

“And when the infant girl [who was] buried alive is asked, for what sin she was killed.”

[Qur’an 81: 8-9]

  1. Women are equally able to promote good

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah

and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”

[Qur’an 9: 71]

  1. Women are a sign of God’s Mercy

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.

Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.”

[Qur’an 30: 21]

Read more in ‘We Used to Have No Regard for Women’: Gender Equity and the Advent of Islam by Maryam Al-Dabbagh, Omar Suleiman, Roohi Tahir, Mohammad Elshinawy

Prophets mentioned in the Quran

Prophets in the Holy Quran

Prophets are human beings, who were chosen by Allah to preach the same, universal message: Believing in one God. Prophets guided their nations to reform their morals and purify their souls. This growth was achieved through commands and rules that ensured humans acted morally, honoring them in this life and the next, and to protect them from evil doings. Muslims must have faith in all prophets chosen, as they deliver God’s message without hiding, corrupting or altering it. To reject a prophet, is to reject the One who chose the prophet, and to disobey a prophet is to disobey the One who gave the commands. Allah sent a prophet to every nation, and most prophets were of that same nation. They preached to worship Allah alone, and shunned any false gods.

“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed.

(Quran, 16:36).

Prophets were sent to warn and educate their nation. Although they were normal humans, they were distinguished as they were chosen as a messenger, to convey the message of God or a book they received from Allah. They also were chosen as an example for their nation, in regards to how they practiced and implemented the divine commands and messages of God. Here we will be mentioning the prophets, in order of how many times they were directly mentioned in the Quran.

Musa (Moses) mentioned 136 times

Prophet Musa received the book Tawraat (Torah), and was sent to the tyrant Pharaoh, who considered himself a god and expected his people to worship him along with other statues. Prophet Musa was mentioned the most in the quran, as his story and the morals within them transcends time and has great value in Islamic history

Ibrahim (Abraham) – 69 times

Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) is also known as Khalil Allah, the friend of Allah. He was mainly known for being the first person to build the sacred Kaaba. He was also given the Suhof (Scrolls) to help guide his nation to monotheism.

Nuh (Noah) – 43 times

Prophet Nuh preached for 950 years and was the first prophet to be persecuted by his nation. He built an Ark, that later protected him from a severe flood that was afflicted onto the disbelievers.

Lut (Lot) 27 times

Yusof (Joseph) 27 times

Isa (Jesus) – 25 times

Prophet Isa is the son of Maryam (Mary) a.s. The miracle of this prophet, was that he was born without a father. Contrary to some beliefs, jesus is not the son of a God, and was sent strictly as a messenger, to guide his people to a life of nobility and good deeds. Although he was blessed with many miracles, his sole purpose was to guide the people to believe in Allah only.

  1. Adam 25 times
  2. Harun (Aaron) 20 times
  3. Sulayman (Solomon) 17 times
  4. Ishaq (isaac) 17 times
  5. Dawud (David) 16 times

Prophet Dawud was given the Zaboor (Psalms) and was gifted with great knowledge and power within land. He was also an exemplary worshipper of Allah.

  1. Yaqub (Jacob) 16 times
  2. Ismael (Ishmael) 12 times
  3. Shuayb 11 times
  4. Salih 9 times
  5. Zakaria 7 times
  6. Hud 7 times
  7. Yahya 5 times
  8. Muhammad 4 times

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was the final prophet, sent to all of mankind, and known as the seal of the prophets. He was chosen to preach the message to believe in Allah and forsake any other gods. He was sent as a mercy to the people, guiding and setting the greatest example possible of how every muslim should be. He was also given the final book, the Holy Quran, whereby the Islamic rulings and guidelines are written. Although he wasn’t directly mentioned a lot of times in the Quran, his importance is indisputable and has continued to influence and guide nations for over 1400 years.

  1. Yunus (Jonah) 4 times
  2. Ayyub (Job) 4 times
  3. Idris (Enoch) – twice
  4. Alyasa (Elisha) – twice
  5. Elyas (Elijah) – twice
  6. Thul Kifl (Ezekiel) – twice

It is important to remember that Prophets were sent to preach the message of God. They are not equal in status to God, and must not be over exalted or given prominence over the belief in God. This has been exemplified in the following verse:

“Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.”  

(Quran, 3:144)

Most of the messengers of Allah were sent to a specific nation except Prophet Muhammad, who was sent to guide all of mankind. It is a duty of Muslims to send salaams (Peace and Blessings of Allah) when mentioning the names of any of the Prophets.

“Indeed, Allah sends blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to send] blessings upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.”

Quran (33:56)

May the peace and blessings on Allah SWT be upon them all.

 

The Four Stories of Surah Al-Kahf

The Four Stories of Surah Al-Kahf

The Prophet said,

“One who memorized the first ten verses of Surah al Kahf will be secure against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).” (Muslim)

Surah Al-Kahf is the found in Chapter 18 of the Quran. It includes four historical stories, which we can derive amazing lessons from.

The Story of the people of the cave – A Trial of Faith

This story is about a number of young men who were driven out of their homes because they believed in Allah. They ended up in a cave where Allah made them sleep for many years (309 lunar years which is 300 solar years).

When they woke up they felt they had slept for a day or half a day. One of them went to the town to get some food disguising himself thinking that the people would recognise and harm him. Only to find himself amongst a different people. The people of the town were amazed at his appearance of this man and the old coins he was using.

The story shows us how Allah protects the righteous who believe in Him no matter how hard their situation is.

The Biblical version of the story is called ‘The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”, however, the Qur’an doesn’t mention the number of those who were in the cave.

(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: “My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case).” Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers. (Quran, 18:22)

The Story of the man who owns two gardens – A Trial of Wealth

This is a story about a man who owned two beautiful gardens, but he became arrogant and told his friend “I am greater than you in wealth and have more servants and attendants and children!!” (Quran 18:34)

The man forgot to be thankful for the bounties Allah has bestowed upon him, hence Allah destroyed his gardens.

This story is a lesson to those who take worldly matters for granted and forget that all that they have is from Allah and He is capable of taking it all away if he wills.

The Story of Musa and Al-Khidr – A Trail of Knowledge

Prophet Muhammad said: “Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked who the most learned man amongst the people was. He said: “I.” Allah reprimanded him as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him: “Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a slave of Mine who is more learned than you.” Moses said: “O my Lord! How can I meet him?”

So Allah instructed Musa as to where to find the man who was known as “Al-Khidr”-The Green One.

Musa goes on a journey with Al-Khidr where he learns that Allah bestows his knowledge on whoever he wishes. Nobody should ever feel he/she is the most knowledgeable, as all knowledge belongs to Allah. Hence, Al-Khidr says, “…And I did it not of my own accord…” (Quran 18:82)

The Story of the Dhul Qarnayn (A Righteous King) – A Trial of Power

Dhul Qarnain was a righteous and just king, who traveled the lands from West to East.  The Qur’an mentions three of his journeys.

On his last journey, he reaches a place between two mountains where he met a tribe of people. They asked him to build a wall between them and the people of Gog and Magog “Ya’juj and Ma’juj” who were causing mischief in the land. Dhul Qarnain agreed to do so.

Dhul Qarnayn was not proud of his achievements, in fact, the Quran mentions that  after he built that great wall,

“He said: ‘This is mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it level (with the ground), and the promise of my Lord is ever true’.” (Quran 18: 98)

The Prophet taught us that

“Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on Friday, Allah will bestow upon him light between those two Fridays.”

(Narrated by al-Bayhaqi; classed as Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘. )

 

May Allah help us make Al-Kahf a regular part of our Friday routine.

Jumu’ah Mubarakah (Have a blessed Friday).

The Story of man in the Quran by Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy

The Story of man in the Quran by Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy 

This is amazing footage capturing “The story of man”, as depicted in the Quran, recited by Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy.

Sheikh El-Minshawy was an Egyptian Quran reciter who became a household name after rising to fame through his unique and compelling voice.

The verse captured in the video is found in Surah Al-Baqarah:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

Quran 2:30

In the interpretation of this verse, the Quranic exegesis Ibn Kathir states that the Angels knew that this type of creature usually commits the atrocities they mentioned. Or, the angels understood this fact from the word Khalifah, which also means the person who judges disputes that occur between people, forbidding them from injustice and sin, as Al-Qurtubi said.

Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy Quran
Sheikh Mohammed El-Minshawy

The statement the angels uttered was not a form of disputing with Allah’s, nor out of envy for the Children of Adam, as some mistakenly thought. This is only a question for the sake of learning about the wisdom of that, as if they said, Our Lord! What is the wisdom of creating such creatures since they will cause trouble in the earth and spill blood “If the wisdom behind this action is that You be worshipped, we praise and glorify You (meaning we pray to You) we never indulge in mischief, so why to create other creatures”

Allah said to the angels in answer to their inquiry, “I know that which you do not know”, meaning, “I know that the benefit of creating this type of creature outweighs the harm that you mentioned, that which you have no knowledge of. I will create among them Prophets and send Messengers. I will also create among them truthfully, martyrs, righteous believers, worshippers, the modest, the pious, the scholars who implement their knowledge, humble people and those who love Allah and follow His Messengers.”

Seven Quran Verses that Protect Women in Marriage

Seven Quran Verses that Protect Women in Marriage

“Muslim women are oppressed by their husbands”.

I’m sure you’ve heard that before.

In fact, so many have taken it upon themselves to campaign for the reforming of Islam to ensure such oppression no longer continues. And in all honesty, such statements couldn’t be further from the truth.

While yes, some Muslim women, like all other women, may face injustice in their homes. It has little to do with men following Islam and more to do with them neglecting Islam. And if we truly want to rid injustice in marriage or protect women, we need not reform Islam, but rather, we must return to Islam.

Here are seven clear Quran verses on this topic.

Husbands must give women their dowry.

Unlike the traditional understanding of a marriage dowry, whereby a woman must give her husband a bridal gift of value upon marriage. Islam reverses the concept whereby it is the husband who must pay his wife whatever sum of money she requests. Not only is a man obliged by law to give his bride-to-be this dowry, but the Quran also states he must do so graciously, without expressing any dissent. These commands from Allah protect Women in Islam.

“And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously.”

Quran 4:4

A woman must not be restricted from her wealth.

Upon receiving her dowry, the husband is also prohibited from touching this wealth entirely. In fact, the Quran mentions that even if she received an immense sum of money; the prohibition still applies; unless she of course willingly offers a portion of it herself.

It was common practice in the past that the bride’s father would take her dowry without her consent. This injunction was sent to change this ignorant practice and also remind husbands that their wives are a great trust from God that they shouldn’t take for granted. These marriage verses also protect women in Islam.

“But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it in injustice and manifest sin?”

“And how could you take it while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a solemn covenant?”

Quran 4:20-21

Husbands must always treat women with kindness.

The Quran implores men to treat women with kindness and respect, even in times of dissent or disagreement. This means spouses must practice beauty in their speech, their actions and in their overall presence amongst one another. Even if one may not like something about his or her spouse, God mentions that perhaps this thing may, in fact, bring about much good. These verses protect women and man from their spouses.

“And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.”

Quran 4:19

The end of forced marriages.

Prior to Islam, following the death of a woman’s husband, the husband’s family would inherit her as a widow. Islam came to annul this ignorant practice and give a woman the right to be her own agent.

In fact, Islam came to give women the right to choose their own husbands and the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself directly taught that a woman shall not be married until her permission has been sought.

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.”

Quran 4:19

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“The virgin should not be given in marriage until her permission has been sought.”

Sahih Al-Bukhari

Husbands must spend on their wives.

In an Islamic household, a man is obliged to financially provide for his wife. He is responsible to provide her food, clothing, shelter, medicine and all necessities to the best of his ability. This includes providing his wife with the same standard of living he expects for himself. Such rules apply to the marriage and even after divorce if a woman has a child or is pregnant.

A woman is not obliged to spend on her husband, however, if she chooses to do so, it would be recorded for her as an act of voluntary charity.

“Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth. And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in an acceptable way; but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman.”

“Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.”

Quran 65:6-7

Avoid bitterness in divorce.

In many instances in the Quran, God would advise Muslims towards patience and avoid divorce. He, in fact, states that if the two spouses truly wanted to resolve their issues, Allah would reconcile the two of them together. Allah will protect women and men in these cases.

Nevertheless, if divorce does happen, Allah advises both spouses to do so in a manner that is both righteous and honourable, void of all hardship and conflict.

“And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things].”

Quran 4:35

“And when you divorce women and they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or release them according to acceptable terms, and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress [against them]. And whoever does that has certainly wronged himself.“

Quran 2:231

These marriage verses encourage men to further look after their wives to the utmost of their ability and avoid rushing to divorce for every minor issue; an unfortunate epidemic we are witnessing today.

The right to inherit.

Prior to Islam, women would be quite restricted when it came to what wealth they could inherit following the death of their husbands; that is if they were entitled to anything at all. Islam came to set in place certain regulations that would ensure a woman would secure a select sum of money following the death of her husband.

The amount a woman receives would, of course, vary according to various circumstances.

For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much – an obligatory share.”

Quran 4:7

 

So we can see from the Quran verses about marriage that Islam protects Women from negative aspects of marriage. May Allah enlighten us all with the true teachings of Islam and restore peace and happiness to all homes and families.  May Allah protect Women in all cases.

 

Is the Quran really a book of peace?

Is the Quran really a book of peace?

So many times we hear ‘Is the Quran really a book of peace?’ in debates, arguments, topics and various discussions. We would like to help you answer this question through this post. So without further ado;

Is the Quran really a book of peace?

That is the question we set out to answer and quite frankly it’s a question on the minds of many around the world. Sceptics, Non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

To anyone who reads the Quran, particularly in Arabic, they will quite often come across the word “سلام” (Salaam) or the many different derivatives of it. This is the specific Arabic word for “peace”, and it occurs over 40 times within the Quran.

But let’s look at this a little deeper than the question of ‘Is the Quran really a book of peace’.

To the surprise of many, the very word for peace or “Al-Salaam” is a name from the many names of Allah, God Almighty, explicitly mentioned in the Quran.[1] Muslims understand this name as referring to God as the ultimate source and provider of peace.

Is the Quran really a book of peace?
Is the Quran really a book of peace?

In other verses, God will also implore Muslims to greet one another with “peace” as their own unique greeting.[2] In fact, He asks us on multiple occasions to use this very same word for peace when confronted by those who are ignorant and unfriendly.[3]

God will also frequently use the word peace to illustrate His Garden of Paradise, which is the ultimate abode of tranquillity and rest in the afterlife.[4] To be specific, the exact phrase “Peace” will repeatedly be said to the inhabitants of Paradise from God Himself[5], the Angels[6] and amongst one another.[7]

God will also use the word “Peace” when invoking praise upon the various Prophets, Messengers and pious people of the past. Whether it be the Prophet Muhammad[8], Jesus[9], Abraham[10], Noah[11], Moses[12], Yahya (John)[13] or the believers in general.[14]

In fact, when God describes His mission for humanity and His ultimate call, He explicitly says that He calls towards “the abode of peace”.[15] In another verse, He states that He guides towards “the path of peace”.[16]

And lastly, God will even use the word peace when describing the various rulings pertaining to war, whereby He explicitly implores the Muslims towards peace, if the opposing side inclines towards it.[17]

Quite clearly, peace is an overwhelming theme that is well repeated throughout the Quran in many different instances. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ too would also illustrate the sheer importance of peace throughout many occasions. For example in his well-known supplication, “Oh Allah, you are peace and from you is peace”[18] and of course, his well-renowned plea towards the Muslims to “spread peace” amongst one another.[19]

All these examples provide a clear indication that the ultimate goal of the Muslim in this life and the next is to achieve the status of peace. Although it is unfortunately obvious that this life will always have its limitations in achieving absolute peace, particularly due to the abundance of corruption in this world and the constant conflict between the forces of good and evil; however as Muslims, we nevertheless shall always remain in pursuit of peace which can only be achieved through obtaining the pleasure of God and entering into His mercy – The ultimate abode of peace.  So when people ask ‘Is the Quran really a book of peace?’ just tell them to read the Quran and see for themselves.

Salaam.

Peace be upon you all.

 

[1] Quran 59:23.

[2] Quran 6:54

[3] Quran 25:63; Quran 28:55; Quran 43:89.

[4] Quran 6:127

[5] Quran 36:58

[6] Quran 56:26; Quran 16:32

[7] Quran 10:10; Quran 14:23; Quran 33:44

[8] Quran 33:56

[9] Quran 19:33

[10] Quran 37:109

[11] Quran 37:79

[12] Quran 37:120

[13] Quran 19:15

[14] Quran 20:47

[15] Quran 10:25

[16] Quran 5:16

[17] Quran 8:61; Quran 4:90.

[18] Sahih Muslim 592

[19] Sunan Ibn Majah 1334