Guest Post by: Shazia Chowdhury
Qur’an Summary Juz 1 & 2 Surah Fatiha & Baqarah
The Book of Allah
The Qur’an starts off with Surah Al Fatiha. Allah gives us a supplication – it is a Dua for guidance for mankind and with that, Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم tells us “adua hul ibadah” – it is a supplication for worship. In this manual of Qur’an, Allah teaches us the proper manner to worship Him. Surah Al Fatiha reveals the nature of the relationship Allah wants us to have with Him. We are able to approach Him directly with this Dua. The Qur’an does not start off with a story, or about someone, it starts with you speaking directly to Allah and asking Him for guidance. It starts with ‘Ummul Kitab’ – Mother of the Book. The Foundation of the Book. Surah Al Fatiha is to seek Allah’s guidance and Him providing us with it. In Surah Al Fatiha, we say:
“Guide us to the straight path” Qur’an (1:6)
Next, we ask Allah for guidance, in Surah Al Baqarah, it says:
“This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God” Qur’an (2:2)
Allah tells us how to be guided. He gives us the reason:
- Why we should believe
- Proof of the Book
- Stories of the first mistakes
- Stories of previous nations and previous Prophets
Allah tells us what guidance is; why we should seek it and how to be sincere in that pursuit of guidance. He gives us the stories of people who fell off from the path of guidance (so that we don’t fall into the same trap). He identifies the factors that cause them to fall from guidance and affirms that this message is one that requires dedication on the part of the believer and if an individual is sincere, He will constantly see them through obstacles.
When we ask Allah for guidance, in Surah Al Fatiha, He then mentions, “this is a guidance book” and mentions about traits of three types of people.
There are three ways Revelation will be received:
- Those who believe in Allah and want to accept His guidance.
- Those who purposely turn away from the guidance of Allah (and because they turn away from Him, He seals their hearts, eyes and ears) and mentions the hypocrites who are not sincerely seeking guidance but uses guidance for their worldly benefits.
- Those who reject the message with arrogance.
Desire and Pride
￼￼Allah gives us beautiful stories, such as the first man Adam, and what caused Adam to fall. He tells us about Iblees who was a guided Jinn and left guidance. In the case of Adam, he was temporarily disconnected from the guidance of Allah because of his simple desire.
“Shahwa” is a means of a person missing out on guidance. It’s when a person lets their desires get the best of them and turn away from guidance. It is when Allah asked him not to eat from the tree, but he still did. Later, Adam turned back to Allah for guidance. In the case of Iblees, it was his destructive characteristic, a flaw of pride, which caused Iblees to permanently turn away from guidance. “Kibr” means pride. For instance, when a person suffers from the disease of pride, they find it much harder to come back to Allah because of suffering from desires.
Two reasons for turning away from guidance:
- Desire (temporary)
- Pride (permanent because of Iblees)
The Children of Israel turned away from Allah because they insisted on their desires, that later became a form of pride, which was always wavering. Sometimes they turned to Allah and sometimes they turned away.
Pharaon was the equivalent of Shaitan in a human being; a man who insisted upon his pride before guidance, humanitarianism and before any type of empathy. He worshipped himself and wanted everyone to worship him. the Children of Israel insisted on their desires, but some of them turned to Allah.
Allah mentions Suleiman he had access to his desires and had all of the elements that usually make a person full of pride. He had a Kingdom greater than Pharaon and had access to the desires that the Children of Israel would dream of having, yet Suleiman was able to take those elements, channel them in a way that would bring him closer to Allah rather than turning away from the guidance. Suleiman did not disbelieve, rather it was the Shaitan that disbelieved.
Follow The Sunnah
There were some people who followed our father, Ibrahim and followed the Abrahamic paths and ways. Allah inspired Ibrahim and the believers who are expected to follow the path of Ibrahim and later to follow our beloved Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Allah praises the character of Ibrahim in many ways. Ibrahim was one who was truthful to Allah, he always sought guidance and despite the difficulties he was facing, he responded in a way that was pleasing to Allah His examples of submission are clear to see, not questioning or doubting Allah not finding loopholes like the Children of Israel did, not feeling a sense of pride with the great position Allah gave him. Ibrahim represents everything that a person would want to achieve in coming closer to Allah
Every time Allah asked Ibrahim to submit, he submitted. He never showed stubbornness or preference to his desires over what Allah commanded him to do. He always preferred the way of Allah.
Allah mentions the character of Ibrahim and what he wanted to see from his children, to worship Allah and stick to the guidance. The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is what believers must understand and follow in order to understand the Qur’an properly. Allah sends us:
- Implementation of the Guidance in Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم
- Purification (from falling off from guidance)
Allah mentions “tazkiya” before “ilm” – which is purification before knowledge. It is when a person is a slave to his desire, ego or pride, they inevitably use those for their worldly benefits. Ibrahim wants to see his people and nation follow the right path.
Qibla – The Direction of Salah
Allah later mentions the change in the Qibla, the direction of the prayer from Jerusalem to the Kaa’ba. Ibrahim and Ismael