Surah Al-Maaidah. O believers! Fulfil your contract obligations...

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1 Surah Al-Maaidah When we say that we believe in Allah, it is a sort of pact between Allah and us in which we agree to obey Him in all areas of life. But what a pity it is that we don t relate faith with commitment. Mostly people are under this misconception that faith is only in the heart and it has nothing to do with practical life. Whereas you can see in the first Ayat of Al-Maaida that Allah is reminding the believers of their commitment: {1}... O believers! Fulfil your contract obligations... When we are not concerned with pleasing Allah then automatically we become people pleasers and think ourselves very successful if we are popular. But Allah is warning us that our dealings with people should be based on the standard given to us by Allah. We should help others only in goodness, not in wrong things: {2} Cooperate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. Have fear of Allah. Allah is stern in punishment. After having all these gems in our book how can we say that Islam is so difficult or confusing? It is just that we don t taste a thing and then go around saying that it is tasteless...! Similarly our attitude towards Salat is like facing a burden. Then we make excuses that praying is difficult because we have to do wudhu. See Ayat- 6, in

2 which after giving us all the details of how to purify ourselves, Allah says: {6} Allah does not wish to burden you; He only wishes to purify you and to perfect His favour upon you, so that you may be thankful. Next I want to share with you the joy of finding these beautiful words... They seemed to shine out on the page...it seems like Allah has revealed this ayat to me just now to sum up the story of my life. I used to have everything but there was always this anxiety of being incomplete and lost. But when Allah blessed me with the Quran, I felt like I had been living in a dark house and now it was filled with light and love of Allah. There are so many people out there, walking around in semi darkness and I wish they would all light up their lives with Quran...because without knowing Allah there is no peace: {15} {16} There has come to you from Allah a new Light and a clear Book, with which Allah will guide to the ways of peace all those who seek His good pleasure and bring them out of the depth of darkness into the light of His grace and guide them to the Right Way. Everything has a price and the more valuable a thing is the more you have to pay for it. So how can the most precious thing in the world be served to you on a tray, just like that? Quran is already with us but to make it a part of our life we have to struggle, in order to be successful:

3 {35} O believers! Fear Allah and seek the means to be closer to Him and make Jihad (struggle) in His Way so that you may be successful. It is a fact that there is much confusion regarding the different religions because even Muslims don t know what Allah has revealed in the Quran. All the Prophets had brought the same religion but people forgot the real teachings and created different sects according to their own interests. It is so clear if we believe in the words of Quran but those who don t want to believe will always create confusions. So Allah says in the following ayat that the real thing for us to do is to spend our energies in whatever good we can do instead of trying to resolve these issues: {48} To you, O Muhammad, We have revealed this Book with the truth. It confirms whatever has remained intact in the scriptures which came before it and also to safeguard it. Therefore, judge between people according to Allah s revelations and do not yield to their vain desires, diverging from the truth which has come to you. We have ordained a law and a Way of life for each of you. If Allah wanted He could have made all of you a single nation. But He willed otherwise in order to test you in what He has given you; therefore try to excel one another in good deeds. Ultimately you all shall return to Allah; then He will show you the truth of those matters in which you dispute. We must remember the biggest reality that this life has to end and the end comes without warning. No one knows how much time he still

4 has. So live each moment in Allah s obedience and in striving to win His pleasure. Once again I am so grateful to Allah that He enabled me to do the taleem-ul-quran course. Because it gave me the best gift of my life understanding Arabic and thus getting the true flavour of Allah s words. I wish that the language of the Quran should be a compulsory subject in our schools so that whenever in our life we see or listen to the Ayaat of the Quran, they should touch our hearts and make us aware of Allah. Another thing that I understood today is that Quran is meant for the softening and nurturing of our heart and soul and when we are deprived of it, the hearts become hardened, so that we see a general lack of empathy in society. Other peoples miseries fail to have any impact on us. Beauty of nature all around fails to touch our hearts. We are becoming high-tech robots living an artificial life in which feelings have been replaced with gadgets just as beauty has been replaced with style!! All of this was brought to mind by the following ayat: {83} And when they hear what has been revealed to the messenger you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth that they recognize; they say: Our Lord! We believe, so write us down with the witnesses (of truth). Allah is referring to the soft hearted Christians in this ayat. But has Quran ever affected us like this even though we call ourselves Muslim? There is also a great misconception that to be more pious, one should give up worldly comforts. Its good not be extravagant but to

5 deprive oneself of Halal and Tayyib blessings to the extent of declaring these to be Haram is strictly forbidden in this Ayat. {87} O you who believe! Do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. {88} And eat of the lawful and good (things) that Allah has given you, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, in whom you believe. Allah has given us this whole world and its various foods and things of beauty and comfort. When we use these, it enables us to do shukr. But we have to be careful also, Allah doesn t like us to be arrogant or going beyond limits. Also these worldly things should not attain such an importance in our life that we forget our real purpose of existence. They are just a means towards the end and not the end in itself. It is inevitable that without Allah s guidance people will fall into the trap of the shaitan. And shaitan s biggest illusion is that he makes people see Haram things as Halal or harmless. Such is the case with alcohol consumption. You hear people say things like, where is it written that it s Haram? It is said in the following ayaat: {90}

6 O you who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Satan s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful. {91} The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist? How can something that is rijs (meaning filthy) and Amal-eshaitan be Halal? Allah is clearly saying fajtaniboohu stay away from it!! And we say where is it written? One has to be totally blind and out of mind not to see these clear instructions. Okay, then there is another favourite line which we use to cover up all our misdeeds with and it portrays our total lack of seriousness about the day of recompense. Allah bara ghafoor-ur-raheem hai No doubt it s true and that s why we continue to exist on this earth and eat and drink and live our comfortable lives. Allah is kind; He does not punish us for our sins right away. And He is Rahim; He keeps giving us chances to come back on track. But it doesn t mean that we continue on our way of life and forget about accountability. Allah wants us to come out of our complacency: {98} Know that Allah is severe in requiting (evil) and that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Another illusion that we have is that aakhir sab log yehi kar rahay hain. If someone warns us against the outcome of our wrong-doings we immediately start comparing ourselves with others, thinking that

7 these things are now so common and look at so and so, they are even worse than us. Haram means of acquiring wealth or lack of modesty are so wide-spread that people have stopped worrying about it. Thinking that if everybody is doing it so it s okay. Look at ayat (100) {100} Say: The bad and the good are not equal, though the abundance of the bad may please you; so be careful of (your duty to) Allah, O men of understanding, that you may be successful. Allah is addressing the wise people, to fear Him because they are the ones who use their intelligence in coming up with such excuses. The chapter ends with these crystal clear words which once and for all put into light the truth that all messengers of Allah were basically human beings who were given the divine message from Allah to convey to people. They had no knowledge other than what Allah revealed to them and thus to give them the attributes of Allah is shirk, from which we should all abstain strictly. Here Allah describes the scene of the hereafter when Allah will ask Jesus Christ if he had preached to people that they should worship him and his mother.

8 {116} And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Maryam! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things. Look at the clarity of the message. Here is the ayat which clearly proves that all messengers preached the message of Allah s worship: {117} I did not say to them aught save what Thou didst enjoin me with: That serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord, and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wert the watcher over them, and Thou art witness of all things. At the end what matters is that how true you are in your commitment with Allah and how truly you follow his commands. In this world we might pose in front of people and deceive even our own self; but in the hereafter the only thing of any value will be the truth: {119} Allah will say: This is the day on which the truthful will profit from their truth; they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow to live therein forever. Allah

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