JUZ JEMS- JUZ 3
[Surah Baqarah 253- Surah Al’ Imran 92]
The last juz left off as we mentioned with the latter half dealing primarily with the laws an and the outline for the Muslims including the detailed mention of divorce, of battle, of charity, of Hajj and much more. It dealt with parts of iman that were more technical, more external, that one actually performs. But you see in this last part of Surah Baqarah that the Muslim Ummah is still being addressed but the spiritual internal side is more in focus.
Allah begins by briefly speaking about messenger in Ayah 253 in which Allah describes how some messengers were raised in degree and some exceeded others. Some Allah spoke to directly such as Musa, alayhisalam, when Alah called him up to the Valley of Tuwa and spoke to him subhanAllah and Allah raised some in rank like Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi waslam who is the seal of all the prophets, may peace and blessings be on our messenger.
As we continue reading, the infamous ayahtul kursi comes up in ayah 255 in which Allah beautifully describes himself. Its in these descriptions of Allah that Allah provides for us that we really get to know our creator and can come closer to Him through knowing Him. Allah says, “Allah - there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” [2:255] This is food for our iman. Everything belongs to Allah and I love how Allah always points out things that literally no human being really controls. Allah is above sleep, above tiredness, above drowsiness. SubhanAllah look at the weakness of the human being who if we go without sleep for a long period of time, we can actually die but yet Allah controls every single thing day in day out, everything from this world, to the the universe, to the seven heavens above, yet never for a second gets tired. Allah is truly the most powerful, the controller of all things, Praises be to He.
We then learn as Allah tells us the we there is no compulsion in religion. We can never force anyone to convert, we can never force religion down anyone’s throats. All we do is kindly invite, our actions must represent Islam, our manners must represent the beauty of this deen, the way the Messenger, salla Allahu alayhi wasalam lived, and just kindly invite. At the end of the day, we cannot save anyone, we cannot change anyone, all we can do is live by example, call to the way Islam, but Allah says that “…The right course has become clear from the wrong.” [2:256] The basics of Islam our so simple, everything is laid out, Allah didn’t leave us here to figure thigns out on our own. Everything is laid out in the Qur’an and if that wasn’t enough, Allah sent the most amazing person on Earth to show us exactly how to get through life, exactly how to act and what to be like to be successful and attain Jannah. Everythign is there, the right way has become clear from the wrong way. At the end of the day, its our own struggle with our self to maintain and remain on the straight path.
After Allah mentions this, the next ayah beautifully says, “Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light…” [2:257] SubhanAllah this ayah always gets me because for those of us who went though a change in direction in life, or for those that converted, or for those that were born Muslim but later actually came to the deen in totality, this ayah holds great significance for us. What was our life like before we really submitted ourselves? What were we like? I can’t speak for anyone else but I can speak for myself- it was a constant rollercoaster, there was no peace in living a life that was not in submittance to Allah. There was no permanent happiness; there was no direction. It was a chase after this dunya, and no matter how hard you tried to chase it, the more unhappy I became. But guidance from Allah comes at the most unexpected of times and truly is one of the biggest blessings from Allah- that Allah pulled us from our darknesses and guided us to the light. And sometimes looking back when you contrast your past with your current state and the state of your heart from back then to now, its undescribeable. The blessing of guidance is the biggest blessing ever. Ya Allah you are the guider of the hearts, keep our hearts firm on your Deen. Ameen.
The rest of Surah Baqarah goes from Allah teaching us lessons through the three different conversations in which we are taught that only Allah gives life and causes death. Allah then discusses charity where we learn to make sure to spend our wealth in the way of Allah and that it becomes multiplied for us and that when we give we shouldn’t boast about it and we shouldn’t count our favors. “O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [2:264] We learn to always purify ourselves through giving and spending in the way of Allah and Allah reminds us to give good things, not things that you wouldn’t want for yourself. In terms of charity Allah also reminds us that giving charity in secret is better than in public and through charity Allah will remove our wrongdoings. How merciful Allah is. Then Allah goes on to warn us about the harm and sin of interest, then goes on to explain debts and what should be done when one has contracted a debt. The surah finishes off beautifully by reminding us that Allah does not give us beyond what we are capable of handling. So if we are being put through something, Allah knows us best and knows we have the potential of getting through it. The last ayah of Surah Baqarah ends off with this reminder and a beautiful du’a…”…Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” [2:286]
We then move on to Surah Al-Imran, and this juz encompasses the first 92 ayahs of this surah. In the first couple of ayahs, Allah introduces himself and then the Qur’an as a guidance for the people. And goes on to mention…”It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.” [3:7] SubhanAllah lets take a moment to reflect on this ayah where Allah reminds us that the people whose hears aren’t firm in this book, they seek interpretations to fit their desires. They try to find the fatwa that fits their desires the best, the most lenient fatwa from Shaykh Google that they can find, right? And we’re reminded that we must take all of it in totality, this religion is a complete and those of understanding will realize this.
We are told in this surah about what things we humans are naturally inclined towards, what things we naturally love. Allah says, “Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.” [3:14] We are naturally attracted to the opposite gender, we like cars, we like money, but in the next ayah Allah tells us that should tell of something better than all this? Jannah, a place where rivers flow, a place of eternity. You think that the cars here in this dunya are awesome? Wait till you get to Jannah, a place where any eye could have never even imagined. Inshaa’Allah we get there.
Allah reminds us again that the only true religion is Islam, we are told that if we love Allah we should follow the messenger, the story of Zakariyah is briefly mentioned and we learn reliance from this prophet, the story of Maryam’s mother is briefly mentioned who asks Allah for a child that will be dedicated to his worship alone and we learn a lesson of parenting from her, how we shouldn’t expect anything from our future generations except that they first and foremost worship Allah. We learn from the story of Maryam whose defining characteristic was modesty yet she is afflicted with the test of having a virgin birth but we see how she still relies on Allah and how Isa, alayhisalam speaks from the cradle. We are reminded of the true nature of who Jesus, alayhisalam was. Allah knew what the people would make him to be so Allah says and Allah reminds us that “Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam…” [3;59] SubhanAllah, simply Be and it was! Allah then addresses the people of the sripture who cut and paste the words, who spread falsehood, and take this and leave that. We are reminded that the messengers all came with the same belief and to be Muslims. Alhamdulillah for being Muslim :)