(Sir Iftikhar ul haq)
Quranic' Passages 1-15
Allah in Himself
1: Surah, 2.225 (Ayat ul Kursi)
Allah. There is no god but He, the living, the self-subsisting, eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permits? He knows what is before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass any of His knowledge except as He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme
(a) Main Theme:
- Theme of this long verse is God himself.
- It’s a verse of Sura al-Baqara, a Madninan sura.
- It begins with the expression of the Shahada (declaration of oneness of God) and then elaborates various aspects of unity of God that make Him matchless
- God is free from all weaknesses and limitations, has perfect knowledge of all times, is not dependent on anyone for His survival and enjoys autonomy in exercising His authority.
- His authority and His rule encompass the entire universe. This makes God not only unique but also elevates him to the heights, we just can’t imagine and that is mentioned in the Quran' as: “then He established Himself on the throne” (10:3, 13:2)
- This passage tells Muslims to believe in Tawhid in terms of God’s uniqueness, majesty and glory.
- The theme is important for Muslims as it crystallizes the belief of Tawhid and trains them to condemn shirk.
- There is repetitive mention of God’s authority, unlimited knowledge and powers in order to strengthen the faith of its readers.
- For example, it says “He is exalted in power, Wise. He created the heavens without any pillars”31:9-10, luqman) and “but God is the One free of all wants “(35:15,Fatir).
- The objective is to remind Muslims that God alone is to be worshipped and no authority can be compared with him.
- Many Muslims recite this verse regularly to reiterate God’s power and high position as compared to any worldly authority.
2.Surah (6:101-103) (Al-An’aam)
101. To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: how can He have a son when He has no consort? He created all things, and He has full knowledge of all things. 102. That is Allah, your Lord! there is no god but He, the Creator of all things: then worship Him: and He has power to dispose of all affairs. 103. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.
- The Theme of this passage is God in Himself.
- It elaborates some of the fundamental aspects of unity of God (Tawhid).
- It describes God as the originator of universe and rejects any kind of misconception of God having any family.
- It also refers to His unbounded knowledge, power and grasp on His created world.
- The passage further stresses on the sublime nature of God and inability of human imagination to encompass God’s person, though He himself can see to the unfathomable depths, as endorsed elsewhere in the Quran: “for God is He Who understands the finest mysteries” (22:63).
- This passage is important for Muslims to clearly understand the doctrine of Tawhid in terms of God’s nature and powers. Muslims need to learn that though God is too sublime to be perceived,
- He is everywhere and all powerful.
- The Quran reminds Muslims this repeatedly: “and He is with you where ever you are” (57:04, Al-hadid), and
- “for We are nearer to him (man) than his jugular vein” (50:16, Qaf).
- The passage also categorically negates the false belief of God having any wife or children and thus, it strikes at the roots of shirk (associating partners with God).
- Muslims, in this way, develop a clearer concept of tawhid and feel themselves bound to adore God only.
- They remember that shirk is the only unpardonable sin in the sight of God.
3.Sura (41.37)(Surah Fussilat)
37. Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Adore not the sun and the moon, but adore Allah, who created them, if it is Him you wish to serve.
- This verse is from sura fussilat Ha-Mim, an early makkan sura,
- it describes the theme of God in Himself.
- It mentions some of the signs and phenomena of nature that reflect God’s unity and majesty.
- It refers to the cycles of day and night as evidence of divinity.
- The quran supports it elsewhere as: “Behold! In the creation of the heavens and earth; in the alternation of the night and the day….are signs for the people who are wise’’ (2:164).
- The passage commands us to worship the Creator of the sun and moon and not the creations themselves because the Creator is always superior to the creations
- Theme of this passage urges Muslims to observe various objects of nature that reflect God’s presence, majesty and glory.
- Since humans can not afford to see God physically, they are asked to identify the real creator through his creations that bear witness to is existence.
- Such observation encourages Muslims to develop a strong belief in Tawhid in all its aspects.
- The Quran, for this reason, frequently refers to the need of pondering and observing: “Verily, in the alternation of the night and the day, and in all that God has created in the heavens and the earth, are signs for those who fear Him” (30:40, Al-Rum).
- So, Muslims should express their gratitude to God for enabling them to see and think deeply.
- Muslims will thus avoid Shirk that the earlier communities fell victim to, and worship one Supreme God.
4.Sura Al-Shura (42.4-5)
4. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: and He is most high, most great. 5. The heavens are almost rent asunder from above them, and the angels celebrate the praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for beings on earth: Behold! Verily Allah is He, the oft-forgiving, the most merciful.
- The two verses are from sura al-Shura, revealed in Makka shortly after sura fussilat and its theme is God’s unity expressed by His grandeur and authority.
- He enjoys unshared authority over entire universe.
- The Quran says: “His are all things in the heaven and on the earth” (2:255).
- It also mentions the effect of God’s might on the heavens that hardly sustain this immense burden.
- The passage also refers to the countless angels who are busy in the prayers and glorification of the Lord and also invoke His mercy and pardon for humans who tend to disobey their lord. The Quran declares this weakness of humans as: “It is man that wrongs his own soul” (10:44).
- Theme of this message guides Muslims about two articles of faith: belief in Tawhid and angels.
- The passage tells Muslims about God’s power, authority and glory in order to make them His obedient servants.
- By referring to the angels praising God and seeking forgiveness for humans, it tells them about God’s mercy. Humans, because of free will, can commit sins but God is ready to forgive them.
- Belief in God’s mercy and forgiveness prepares Muslims to repent over their misdeeds.
- The Quran re-assures Muslims by saying: “Despair not of the mercy of God; for God forgives all sins, for he is oft-forgiving, Most merciful’’ (39:53 al-zulmar). Surah 97(al-Qadr) also tells about: “the angels and the spirit” descending in the night of Power to distribute God’s mercy.
5.Sura Al- Ikhlas(112)
1. Say: He is Allah, the one and only; 2. Allah, the eternal, absolute; 3. He does not beget, nor is He
begotten; 4. And there is none like Him.
- Theme of this early Makkan is God in himself in terms of His unique person.
- It outlines the most fundamental and cardinal aspects of Tawhid (oneness of God).
- It out rightly declares God’s unity and emphatically negates the false belief of God having ancestors and descendants.
- It further highlights God’s unity by saying that God’s nature or person can never be compared to anyone throughout the universe.
- It also mentions God’s freedom from time and space by saying that he has always been and will always be there.
- This way, the passage crystallizes the belief of Tawhid.
- Theme of this passage purifies Muslim’s belief in Tawhid and that is why the passage is named al-Ikhlas (the purity of faith).
- Muslims learn from this passage that God is unique in all aspects.
- This uniqueness and supremacy of God highlights human inability and limitation before his Lord.
- Thus, it eliminates all forms and degrees of shirk or associating partners with God.
- Muslims recite this sura in daily prayers in order to reiterate rejection of shirk.
- It is so important that the holy prophet declared it equivalent to one third of the Quran.
- Its theme is so important that the Quran repeatedly mentions this: “and your God is one God” (2:163, al-Baqarah) and “God! there is no God but He” (2:255).
- Belief in Tawhid, in turn affects the conduct of Muslims as they develop a strong sense of God’s presence and knowledge.
Allah’s relationship with the created world
6. Sura Al-Fateha (1) Opening Chapter of Quran
1. In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful. 2. Praise be to Allah, the cherisher and sustainer of the worlds; 3. Most gracious, most merciful; 4. Master of the day of judgment. 5. You we worship, and your aid we seek. 6. Show us the straight way, 7. The way of those to whom You have given your grace, not those who earn your anger, nor those who go astray.
- This is the opening chapter of the Quran and its theme is God’s relation with his created world.
- It is believed to be the first complete sura revealed in Makka. It declares that God alone is the sustainer of all the known and the unknown worlds, ultimate source of mercy, justice and guidance for mankind.
- Only He can guide man to the way of life acceptable to him though he doesn’t compel anyone to follow that way. Instead, in the words of the Quran, it is man’s duty to beg before Him for guidance: “and your Lord says: call on Me, I shall answer your supplication” (40:60).
- He also tells man the consequences of following this code of conduct or going astray.
- Therefore, man needs to praise and worship him and resort to him alone.
- This passages sums up the message of the Quran.
- Muslims are told to worship God by following the right path contained in the Quran and Sunnah and invoke God’s mercy, because according to the Quran: “he has inscribed for Himself the rule of mercy” (6:12, 54, al-an’am).
- They should be pious because God is not only Merciful,
- He is also Just as He will dispense absolute justice on the Day of Judgment.
- They should remember that they will surely get reward in the hereafter as is promised in the Quran: “and only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense” (3:185, al-Imran).
- Obedience to God enables Muslims to earn His blessing and avoid his anger.
7.Sura Al-Baqarah (2.21-22)
21. O people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, so that you may have the chance to learn righteousness; 22. Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and by it brought forth fruits for your sustenance; then do not set up rivals to Allah, when you know.
- Theme of this passage is God and his created world.
- The two verses of sura al-Baqarah a Madni sura outline God’s power to create and make arrangements for the sustenance and growth of mankind through all ages.
- The passage commands humans to identify their real Lord by serving and worshipping Him.
- It further commands them to reject any form or degree of associating partners with God as he alone is the supreme creator, cherisher and care-taker of all as enunciated repeatedly in the Quran: “… there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me” (21;25) and also, “and your God is one God” (2:163).
- The passage conveys the message of inculcating taqwa (piety/fear of God) and a sense of gratitude to God for his countless bounties.
- Muslims should closely observe God’s favour and blessing as is frequently mentioned in sura 55: “then which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?,"
- the best way of remembering God’s favour is to obey and worship him by rejecting Shirk.
- Taqwa is the focal point of a Muslim’s life and the Quran very clearly instructs in this regard: “O, you who believe! Fear God as he should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam” (3:102, al-Imran).
- So, Muslims should sincerely worship God and refrain from sins.
8.Surah Al-Alaq (96:1-5)
1. Read! in the name of your Lord, who created, 2. Created man out of a clot of congealed blood: 3.
Proclaim! And your Lord is most bountiful, 4. He who taught by the pen, 5. Taught man what he did not know.
- Theme of the passage is God and his created world.
- It mentions God’s power to create and ensure the survival and growth of mankind.
- He created man from a low origin and then matured him physically, intellectually and spiritually by enabling him to read and write.
- Human ability to acquire knowledge means to learn, both worldly and divine sciences so that man is able to find means of physical survival as well as take care of his intellectual and spiritual development.
- God has revealed divine books for spiritual guidance of mankind.
- Thus, man is totally dependent on his creator Lord in all spheres of life and activity.
- According to the theme of the passage, Muslims are required to acknowledge God’s goodness and greatness as he created man from a low origin and then enabled him to acquire worldly and religious knowledge.
- Human ability to learn has made him superior to all other creatures and the Quran endorses this fact: “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds” (96:4al-Tin).
- Muslims are taught to identify their lord through the perspective of religious knowledge and adore him alone because of his bounty of divine guidance mentioned in the Quran: “It is He who has taught the Quran” (55:2, al-Rahman).
9.Surah Al-Zilzal (99)
1. When the earth is shaken to her utmost convulsion, 2. And the earth throws up her burdens, 3. And man cries out: ‘What is the matter with her?’, 4. On that day will she declare her tidings: 5. For that your Lord will have given her inspiration. 6. On that day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown their deeds. 7. Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good see it! 8. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.
- Theme of the passage is God‘s relation with the created world.
- It elaborates the events and the final outcome of the day of reckoning or end of time.
- That day will be marked by the most intense convulsions that will reverse all the normal physical phenomena.
- Mankind will be shocked to see earth emitting all its hidden contents, as mentioned elsewhere in the Quran: “and when the earth is flattened and casts forth what is within it and becomes empty” (84:3-4).
- Finally all mankind will appear in the divine court of justice for the rewards of their worldly deeds.
- This passage asks Muslims to have strong faith in God’s power to end time and make all stand accountable before Him for the ultimate justice. With such a belief ,
- Muslims will learn about the worthlessness of this world and realize the value of true worlds by saying: “Nay you prefer the life of this world, but the hereafter is better and more enduring” (87:16, al-A’la).
- Genuine and sincere faith in the hereafter shapes the conduct of Muslims. this belief reminds them of God’s mercy justice and powers the Quran repeatedly talks of this theme by using several expressions that include: “when the sun is folded up” (sura: 81) “when the sky is clef a sunder” (sura 82) and “when the earth is flattened out” (sura 84).
- The objective of this repetition is to remind Muslims of the Hereafter.
10.Sura Al-Nas (114)
1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind, 2. The King of mankind, 3. The God of Mankind, 4. From the mischief of the whisperer who withdraws, 5. Who whispers into the hearts of mankind, 6. Among jinns and among mankind.
- This is the last surah of the Quran and its theme is God’s relation with his created world.
- It mentions God’s three-fold relation with man and, therefore asks man to seek God’s shelter against all evils that are crafted by Satan and his host of assistants who may be humans or Jinns.
- They inject devil in man’s heart and the Quran warns us about this: “for Satan is an avowed enemy to man” (12:5).
- Man should however, also remember the Quranic instruction: “and on God let the believers put their trust” (99:51)
- This passage together with sura 113, teaches Muslims to seek God’s refuge against all evils as Satan is always there to misguide them.
- Muslims should, however strengthen their relation with God toward of all evil forces.
- The best way to do this is remember God as enunciated n the Quran:” and establish regular prayer in order to remember me” (20:14, Taha).
- Recitation of the Quran also shuns evil by bringing the reader closer to God: “when you recite the Quran, seek God’s protection against the evil ones” (16:98, al-Nahl).
- Muslims should also be ready to identify evil forces led by Satan and his assistants who accomplish their ugly task in various ways the holy prophet used to recite sura 113 and 114 to guard against evil, after his Makkan enemies had cast magic spell on him.
11.Sura Al-Baqarah (2:30-37)
- Theme of the passage is God’s messengers.
- It describes the story of creations of Adam and his especially elevated status granted by God’s decree.
- This superiority of Adam was duly acknowledged by all angels except Iblis who showed arrogance (since he was a Jinn, not an angel).
- Adam and Eve were granted paradise but Iblis maneuvered their exile from there, out of jealousy and malice.
- On repentance on their mistake Adam and Eve were pardoned by God who awarded them a new phase of worldly living.
- The Quran mentions this phase at another place as: “it is We, Who have placed you with authority on earth” (7:10).
- Theme of this passage contains important lessons for Muslims.
- They are told the reason for making human being superior over all other creatures.
- God appointed man (byway of Adam) as his vicegerent on earth because of the knowledge and free will.
- The free will is a test for humans as they can be enticed by Satan to commit sins.
- The Quran warns about this by saying: “for Satan is an avowed enemy to man” (12:5, Yusuf).
- The passage further tells about God’s mercy and forgiveness as he accepted repentance by Adam.
- The Quran reminds Muslims repeatedly of this attribute of God: “if anyone does evil, or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seek God’s forgiveness. He will find God Oft-forgiving and most Merciful” (4:110, Al-Nisa)
12.Sura Al-an’aam (6:75-79)
75. So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, so that he might have certainty. 76. When the night covered him over, he saw a star: He said: ‘This is my Lord.’ But when it set, he said: ‘I do not love things that set.’ 77. When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: ‘This is my Lord.’ But when the moon set, he said: ‘Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among those who go astray.’ 78. When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: ‘This is my Lord; this is the greatest.’ But when the sun set, he said: ‘O my people! I am indeed free from your giving partners to Allah.’ 79. ‘For me, I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.’
- Theme of this passage is God’s messengers and this passage outlines the story of Prophet Abraham in search of One Supreme God.
- Abraham was gradually guided to identify the real Creator and Lord by way of his creations such as the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.
- He eventually realized that God is eternal and therefore He rejected the polytheism (shirk) that was the hallmark of the society around him.
- He finally, declared the shahada (proclamation of belief in one God) as a sign of acquiring internal peace.
- Theme of this passage teaches Muslims to refuse Shirk i.e. associating partners with God and to believe in Tawhid.
- They should learn that celestial bodies merely reflect God’s glory and are only God’s creatures.
- They should never be worshiped because the Quran categorically declares: “He has made subject to you the night and the day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by his command” (16:12, al-Nahl).
- Muslims should also believe God granted prophet-hood to his messengers by various modes and that all these messengers preached the universal message of Tawhid
- Prophet Ibrahim’s proclamation of Tawhid was not different from the shahada taught by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
- Therefore Muslims should respect all the messengers equally.
13.Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:110)
Then will Allah say: ‘Jesus son of Mary! Recount my favour to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you spoke to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold! You make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by my leave, and you breathe into it and it becomes a bird by my leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers, by my leave. And behold! You bring forth the dead by my leave. And behold! I restrained the Children of Israel from you when you showed them the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’
- Theme of this passage is God’s association with His messengers.
- It describes God’s address to Jesus in the Divine Court in the presence of children of Israel.
- It outlines the prophetic signs of Jesus that include his ability to speak from the cradle, give life to the dead and cure the leper and the blind.
- Above all he was taught the divine wisdom through the Torah and the Gospel but despite all this he was rejected by his people who even tried to crucify him.
- Muslims are taught many important things though the theme of this passage.
- They are required to believe that, like other messengers Jesus was also a man chosen by God.
- He was granted miraculous powers so that men of wisdom should identify him.
- The Quran referred to this fact as: “thus does God make clear to you His signs in order that you consider” (2:219, al-Baqarah).
- Muslims also learn that God’s messengers were always rejected despite such clear signs by the ‘spiritually dead’ and ‘sick in heart’ people who are mentioned by the Quran as: “those who reject our signs are deaf and dump and midst of darkness profound” (6:39, al-An’am).
- Muslims also learn that the rejecters of truth will stand accountable before God in the Hereafter.
14.Sura Al-Duha (93)
1. By the glorious morning light, 2. And by the night when it is still, 3. Your Lord has not forsaken you, nor is he displeased. 4. And truly the Hereafter will be better for you than the present. 5. And soon your Lord will give you so that you will be pleased. 6. Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? 7. And He found you wandering, and He gave you guidance. 8. And He found you in need, and made you independent. 9. Therefore, do not treat the orphan with harshness, 10. Nor drive the beggar away; 11. But tell about the bounty of your Lord!
- Theme of the passage is God’s special relation with the Holy Prophet.
- The passage was revealed after a long break that worried the prophet, and his makkan enemies began to mock him.
- God consoled him re-assuring that he would not abandon him.
- God reminded the prophet some of His past favours on him.
- The prophet was a born orphan but God made arrangements for his growth and upbringing.
- God then granted him prophet-hood,
- His greatest reward. Purpose of these reminders is to re-assure him of similar support in future. However,
- God instructed him to be kind to those in need as this would reflect his gratitude to God.
- The theme of this passage teaches Muslims the importance of faith in God’s help.
- The Holy Prophet (SAW) was re-assured by God in the midst of mockery in Makkah.
- Muslims today should also retain their faith in difficult times by remembering the Quranic promise: “So, verily with every difficulty there is a relief” (94:5, al-Inshirah).
- Muslims should believe that all messengers of God were rejected and ridiculed but they remained firm in their mission.
- They should also believe that the relationship with God can be strengthened by their kindness to the weak and unsupported people because such an attitude is an expression of love for God.
- The Quran says: “it is righteous to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kins, for orphans” (2:177, al-Baqarah).
15.Sura Al-Kauthar (108)
1. To you have We granted abundance. 2. So pray to your Lord and sacrifice. 3. For he who hates you, he will be cut off
- Theme of the passage is God’s relation with his messengers.
- It mentions God’s special care for the Holy Prophet (SAW) in time of difficulties.
- The Prophet was mocked by the Makkans on the death of his sons from Khadija (RA).
- God consoled him by promising him abundance of success and destruction of the ones who insulted him.
- He told the prophet to remember God through regular prayer and to develop the spirit of sacrifice so that he could continuously strengthen his bond with God and to get constant divine support.
- This passage, like surah 93, teaches Muslims to have faith in God’s support that surely teaches the noble people.
- The holy prophet was assured of “abundance” in the face of persecutions in Makka. This “abundance” came in the form of his countless followers and his descendants through his daughter Fatima.
- His insulters, on the other hand, perished for ever. So, a noble mission always survives though it is rejected by the misguided people.
- The Quran testifies to it: “rejected were the Messengers before you; with patience and constancy they bore their rejection“ (6:34, al-An’am).
- The passage teaches Muslims to develop spirit of sacrifice and establish prayer as these are the best means of getting closer to their lord, as is endorsed by the Quran: “and establish regular prayer in order to remember Me” (20:14, Taha).