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Monthly Qur'an Readings

Session 1

Chapter 1 - Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening) - Verses 1–7

In the name of ALLAH, the God of Mercy, and the Endower of Mercy.

All praises belong to ALLAH Who is the Cherisher (Rabb) of the Universe. He is the most Merciful, and He instills mercy in His creatures. He is the Arbiter for the Day of Judgment. (Our God,) it is You that we (strive to) serve, and it is You that we ask for help (in serving others). (Our God,) guide us to the right guidance, the guidance followed by those whom You bless, those who do not incur anger and those who do not deviate (from Your guidance).

Chapter 2 - Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) - Verses 1–5

In the name of ALLAH, the God of Mercy, and the Endower of Mercy.

Alif, Lam, Meem (Arabic initials). This book, without any doubt in it (its origin and its content), is a guide for those who are mindful of their responsibilities (Muttaquin), who (1) believe in the hidden aspects of the universe, (2) establish the worship of ALLAH, (3) spend in the service of human beings from what God has provided them (e.g., earnings, intellects, good health, etc.), (4) accept what has been revealed to them (by Prophet Mohammad) and what was revealed before them (such as from the Bible, Torah, etc.), and (5) have confirmed faith in the Afterlife. These people are following the right guidance from their Sustainer (God), and they are entitled to be successful.

Verses 6–16

Those who persistently deny the truth (disbelievers)—it is the same whether one (i.e., Prophet Mohammad) warns them or not—they are unlikely to believe. (It is as if) ALLAH has sealed off their hearts and their hearing, and placed a covering over their eyes - this is a serious punishment for them.

There are people who say, “We believe in God and the Day of Judgment,” but this is a false claim. They attempt to deceive God and those who have faith, but they deceive none but themselves, and they are unable to perceive. They have a disease (of disbelief) in their hearts, and God has increased the intensity of that disease as a form of severe punishment since they make false claims.

When they are advised not to make mischief on earth, they say, “We are peacemakers!” Now, they are the mischief-makers, but they seem not to perceive themselves as such. When they are advised to believe as other people believe, they say, “Shall we believe in the manner of the fools?” Now, they are the real fools, but they do not seem to understand it as such. When they meet people of faith, they say, “We believe like you,” but when they are alone with their evil companions (Shayateenihim), they say, “We are with you; we were just mocking (the others).” God will pay them back for their mockery by letting them continue to wander in their blind rebellion. These people buy error instead of guidance, and their bargain brings them no profit. They are not properly guided.

Verses 17–20

Their situation is like this parable: One lights up a fire and it lights up everything around them, but then ALLAH takes away that light (due to their lack of appreciation) and leaves them in the darkness unable to see; they become deaf, dumb, and blind, unable to return (to the proper state of their existence).

Or, (think of) this analogy: Clouds are blessed with abundant rain, but they also contain darkness, thunder, and lightning. They put their fingers into their ears for fear of thunder, for fear of death, and God surrounds all those who disbelieve. The lightening almost takes away their sight—when its light shines on them, they walk a little, and when it becomes dark, they stand still, afraid to move. If God intends, He would take away their hearing and sight from them. He can overpower all things.

Verses 21–25

O Mankind, serve your Sustainer (God) who created you and those before you, so that you can achieve God consciousness and become responsible (Taqwa). (It is God) who has made the earth a place for rest (and sustenance) for you and established heavens as a protective canopy (e.g., layers of air and the ozone layer). (It is God) who sends down rain from the clouds that helps bring out fruits (and vegetation) for your food and provision. Therefore, be appreciative by not creating rivals to ALLAH when you have knowledge (as described above). If you doubt as to the gradual revelation (of this Qur’an) to Our servant (Mohammad), then take this challenge: Produce a chapter like this one and take advantage of all help you can gather, except the help of God, if you are serious and truthful. Now if you do not follow through with this challenge, and you will never be able to produce one like this, then you ought to be prepared for the consequences, i.e., facing the Fire (conflicts in this world and Hell in the Afterlife) which is fueled by (ungrateful) human beings and stones (their objects of worship), a consequence for those who persistently deny God’s blessings.

(In contrast), give cheerful news to those who believe and do good work—for them are (reserved) gardens (instead of Fire) in which rivers flow. There they will be given fruits (or rewards) when they say, “This is something that was given to us before.” They will be given more, and they will have the comfort of their spouses (Azwazun) who will be pure, and they (together) will reside there.

Verses 26–29

ALLAH is not ashamed of setting forth any example, be that of a gnat or anything less significant. (When such a parable is presented), those who have faith realize intuitively that it is a reflection of the truth from their Sustainer, but those who have no faith say, “What does God mean by this (apparently insignificant) example?” God

guides many (to the right path) by these examples and leaves many others in deeper disbelief by the same examples. He only leaves in error those who exceed the limits (set by God), who disregard their bond with God after their commitment, who destroy the relationship that God has instructed them to maintain, and who create chaos and corruption on Earth. They are the ones without real guidance.

How can you deny God? You were without life, then He gave you life; after that He will bring your death; then He will bring you back to life so that you will return back to Him. He is the One who created everything on earth for your benefit and subsequently directed Himself to the heavens to complete the seven Heavens. He knows the affairs of everything.

Verses 30–34

(Remember) when your Sustainer (God) said to the angels, “I am going to establish a representative on Earth,” they said, “Why would You place such beings who will bring chaos and corruption on it, and shed blood among themselves, whereas we celebrate Your praise and exalt Your divinity?” ALLAH replied, “I am aware of things that you have no knowledge of.”

Then God taught Adam the names (knowledge) of all things and inquired of them from the angels. He said, “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful (and knowledgeable).” The angels replied, “All glory is to You! We have no knowledge beyond what You have taught us. Truly, You are the One Who Knows (all) and Who is (truly) Wise.” God then turned to Adam and said, “Adam, inform them of the names,” and he did so. Then God said to the angels, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth? I know equally well what you hide and what you expose.” Then God said to the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam,” they all did except for Iblis, who refused because he was proud, and he was a disbeliever!

Verses 35–39

ALLAH said to Adam, “Adam, live in this garden by yourself and with your wife, eat from its abundant fruits as you wish, and stay away from this tree; otherwise, you may become one of those who are prone to doing wrong.” But the Devil (Shaitan) made them (both) forget the instruction from God and caused them to lose their status (in heaven). God said, “Go out of this as adversaries of one another. On earth you will have existence and assigned provisions for a fixed time.” Then Adam received word (of forgiveness and guidance) from his Sustainer, and God turned to him mercifully, for God is ever Forgiving and Merciful. God said, “Leave this place (state) (to dwell on earth). From Me you will receive guidance in time, and if you follow My guidance, there will be no reason to fear or to grieve. But whoever refuses and rejects Our guidance, they will become inhabitants of the Fire, where they will suffer (the consequences of their actions).”

Verses 40–46

O Children of Israel, remember My (God’s) favors to you and be faithful to your promises to Me so that I can fulfill My promise to you. You should stand in awe of Me alone (other than your Rabbis or leaders)! Also, believe in what I have revealed (to Mohammad), which confirms what is already with you. Do not be the first one to deny this (new revelation), and do not barter away My message for a small gain. Also, mind your responsibility to Me (Attaqun). Do not mix up truth with falsehood, and do not hide the truth since you have the knowledge. Maintain your prayers, support the needy, and submit (join) with those who submit (to God). How is it that you lecture people to be good while you neglect your own soul and you read the Book (your Torah and this Qur’an)? Have you then lost your senses?

Seek help with patience and prayer (Salat), and this is difficult to do except for those who are humble and know with certainty that they will meet with their Sustainer and return to Him eventually.

Verses 47–54

O Children of Israel, remember God’s favors that He had blessed you with, including the favor where He had made you excel among the nations. (If you take that for granted, then) you should protect yourself against the day (Day of Judgment) when no soul can assist another soul in the least, when no intervention will be allowed, when no compensation will be accepted, and when no one will be helped (i.e., every person is on his or her own!).

Remember when ALLAH saved you from the Pharaoh who severely tormented you, killing your sons and sparing your women. This was a serious trial from God. Remember further when God parted the sea to save you while drowning the people of the Pharaoh as you looked on. And then God called to Moses (to instruct) for forty nights, and you took to a calf (as an object of worship) while he was away—you were unjust (and ungrateful)! Even after that God forgave so that you could be thankful. Then God gave Moses the Book (Torah) along with criteria to be guided by. (On his return) Moses said to his people, “My people, you have made a serious error in judgment in making the calf an object of worship. Therefore, turn to your Sustainer in repentance and correct yourself. This is the best for you with your Creator.” God forgave them, since He is ever Forgiving and Merciful.

Verses 55–59

When the people (Jewish tribes) said to Moses, “Moses, we will not believe you until we see God face-to-face,” this unreasonable stance brought distress (in the form of natural disasters, such as an earthquake, storm, etc., [see Exod. 19:16–17]) to overtake them while they looked on. Then ALLAH raised you from your unconsciousness so that you might be thankful. And God made the clouds to give you shade and sent manna (divinely provided food) and quail. Eat of the good things God has given you. (But those who continued to disobey), they did not harm God, but they did harm themselves.

And when God said, “Enter the city, then eat its abundant (food) as you wish, and enter the gate submissively (to God, without causing atrocities) and ask for forgiveness (for prior sins). God will forgive your wrongful acts and increase your rewards for doing good,” those who were unjust changed the word (of God), which was spoken to them and turned into another word (with a different and opposite meaning); so, God sent a plague (punishment) from heaven because they caused mischief.

Verses 60–61

And when Moses prayed for water for his people, ALLAH said, “March forth and strike (Adhrib) the rock with your stick,” and then twelve springs flowed from it. Each tribe knew their drinking place. (Therefore), eat and drink of the provisions of God, and do not act corruptly on earth, making mischief. And when people said, “Moses, we cannot endure one type of food. Please pray to your God on our behalf to bring us earthy food—its herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions,” he (Moses) said, “Would you exchange what is good with what is worse? (If you so desire), enter a city (e.g., go back to Egypt) and you will find what you ask for.”

Abasement and humiliation descended on them, and they incurred displeasure from God. Why? Because they disbelieved in the message from God and would kill prophets without justification. This is how they rebelled and persisted in crossing the boundaries.

Verses 62–64

Surely, those who believe (meaning Muslims), and those who are Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day (Day of Judgment) and does good work, they have their reward from their Sustainer (Rabb); there is no fear for them, and they will have no regret.

And when ALLAH made a covenant with you (followers of Moses) with Mount Sinai rising high above you and said, “Hold firmly to what has been given to you and (try to) understand what is in it so that you may discharge your responsibilities (Tattaqun),” even after that you had turned back. You would have become lost except for the Grace of God and His abundant Mercy.

Verses 65–71

And surely you know those who violated the Sabbath, so ALLAH said to them, “Be as apes, despised and hated.” We made them an example for those who witnessed it and for those who came after it in later generations and a reminder for those who aspire to be God-conscious and responsible (Muttaquin).

And when Moses said to his people, “God commands you to sacrifice a cow,” they replied, “Are you making fun of us?” He (Moses) replied, “I seek God’s protection from acting like an ignorant person.” They said, “Ask your Lord for our sake to make it clear to us what she (the cow) is like.” He (Moses) said, “She is of middle age, neither old nor too young. Therefore, do what you are asked (without delay, since you know now).” Instead, they said, “Call on your Lord for our sake of what color she is.” He (Moses) answered, “Her color is intensely yellow, delightful to the eye.” They (persisted to) inquire further: “Ask your Lord on our behalf for her condition, since all cows look alike to us, and if God wants, we shall be rightly guided this time.” Moses replied, “She is a cow without blemish, of good health, and was never made to plough or carry water.” They said, “Now you have given us the truth.” Then they slaughtered the cow, though reluctantly.

Verses 72–75

And (remember) when you (someone from the tribes of Jews) killed a man and then you disagreed about it (trying to put blame on others), but ALLAH wanted to expose what you wanted to hide. So God said, “Apply the (agreed upon) principle and method for solving a murder.” (This is an example of how) God brings out truth (life) from falsehood (death), and (thus) He shows His signs so that you may use your reasons (Ta’quilun).

Then your (some of the followers of Moses) hearts hardened so that you became like a rock; rather, harder than a rock. Yet, there are rocks which burst with streams, rocks that split so water flows from them, and then there are rocks that fall down in submission to God. And God is not indifferent to what you do. Do you (Mohammad) then hope that they will believe in you whereas a party of them used to hear the word of God and then alter it after they understood what it meant? They did this knowingly!

Verses 76–82

These people (Jews of Medina), when they meet people of faith (new Muslims), say, “We also believe,” and when they come together among themselves, they say (to one another), “Do you tell them what God had disclosed to you (in the Torah) so that they may win an argument with you before your Sustainer? Don’t you think logically?” (Here is the response): “Do they not understand that ALLAH knows what they hide and what they reveal?” Some of them are illiterate and do not know the Book (of revelation) but from hearsay, which is nothing but speculation.

Woe to those who write the book in their own hands and then say, “This is from God,” to earn a wager from it. Cursed are what they write with their hands and what they earn (from it). They also say, “Fire will not touch us except for a few days.” Ask (them): “Have you received a promise from God that He will not fail to carry out? Or do you attribute to God a commitment that does not exist?” Those who do evil things and whose sins surround them from all sides, they will inhabit the Hellfire. (In contrast), those who believe and do good work will be the residents of the Garden (heaven), and there they will stay (in comfort with God’s grace).

Verses 83–86

When ALLAH accepted a solemn pledge from the children of Israel that you shall serve none but God, be good to your parents, to relatives, to orphans and the needy, (always) speak good words to people, maintain your prayers, and always give charity, you did not follow through, except for a few, and you were reluctant to keep (the commitment). Also (remember) when We took the pledge from you that you shall not shed blood nor turn your people out of your cities—you promised and witnessed this.

Yet, it is you who would kill your people and turn a party from among yourselves out of their homes, backing each other up against them unlawfully and going beyond limits. And if they were to come to you as captives, you would ransom them, whereas it was unlawful (in the first place) for you to push them out. (The question is), do you then believe in part of the Book and disregard the other? What could be the reward then for such among you who do these things except that you would be disgraced in this world and severely punished on the Day of Resurrection? (You should realize) that God is not indifferent to what you do. Such people bargain this life for the Hereafter; consequently, their misfortunes will not be reduced, nor will they have any help.

Verses 87–91

ALLAH gave Moses the revelation. God sent messengers after him, one after another. God also sent Jesus, son of Mary, with clear signs of truth and strengthened him with the divine inspiration (Ruhul Quddus). How is it that you (Jews and, by implication, Christians) became arrogant whenever God sent messengers whose messages did not agree with your desires? Some of them you denied, and others you would kill! They said, “Our hearts are full (not in need of further knowledge).” No, God curses them for their denial—there is very little that they believe.

They (Jews and Christians) used to pray for victory against the disbelievers, but whenever a Book was brought to them from God confirming that which they used to have and they recognized the Book, they disbelieved in it (knowingly); therefore, God’s curse is on the disbelievers (even if they have the Book). Evil is the way they direct their souls, and out of envy they deny what God has revealed, envious that God had sent (His message) to someone He had chosen out of His servants (other than one of them). Therefore, they incurred affliction after affliction, and there waits humiliating punishment for those who persist in their disbelief. When they are told, “Believe in what God has revealed,” they say, “We only believe in what was revealed to us.” They deny anything other than their own, even though it is the Truth that verifies what they have. Ask them then, “Why did you kill God’s prophets before this if you claim to be believers?”

Verses 92–96

Moses came to you (followers of Moses, People of Israel) with all the evidence of truth, but in his absence you took the calf , and you acted wickedly. (Remember) when ALLAH obtained a solemn pledge from you with Mount Sinai rising above you: “Take hold of what We (God and His Prophet) gave you with all your strength and be committed.” Instead, you said, “We listen, but we will not follow.” In their hearts there still was (the love of) the calf because of their disbelief. Say, “If you were believers, how can your faith command you to do (sun the Afterlife and other people will have no such privilege, then ask for death if you are truthful.” But they will never invoke (death) because they are afraid of what they have done before, and God has full knowledge of those who do evil.

You will find them to cling to the life of this world more eagerly than of all other people, even more so than those who ascribe partnership to God. Some of them love to be granted a life of a thousand years, but even if he is granted such a long life, it will in no way remove him further from accountability. And God is an observer of what they do.

Verses 97–100

Say: “Who considers Gabriel to be an enemy because he conveyed it (the Qur’an) in your heart (Prophet Mohammad) by ALLAH’s command, a revelation which verifies (whatever truth remains in) other revelations before it and is guidance and a bearer of good news for the faithful? Whoever considers God, His angels, His Messengers, and the Angels Gabriel and Michael to be his enemies, then God is an enemy to those who persistently deny the truth.”

We (God) have revealed clear messages to you (Prophet Mohammad), and nobody disbelieves except those who transgress. How is it that whenever they (Arab disbelievers and Jews in Medina) make a pledge, a party of them disregards such commitment? (That is because) most of them lack faith.

Verses 101–103

And (now that) a Messenger has come from ALLAH validating what they (Jews, Christians and others) have, a party from the people of the Book threw their Book of God behind their backs as if they knew nothing (of the coming of the Prophet Mohammad and the Qur’an).

They follow what Shaitan (Devil) fabricated against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon never disbelieved, while Shaitan was the one who disbelieved and taught people enchantments (witchcraft and sorcery). It was not taught by the two Angels, Harut and Marut, in Babel, who always cautioned that this teaching was a trial for them and urged them not to disbelieve (by taking on magic, superstitions, or supernatural happenings). But they (some people) learned from them (Harut and Marut) only that with which they could make discord between a man and his wife. But they cannot harm anyone without God’s permission. They (intend to) secure knowledge that only harms others and does not profit them. They know well that whoever buys these (e.g., witchcraft, sorcery, etc.) will be deprived of any good in the Hereafter. Evil is the exchange they make for their souls, if they understood (the consequences!). (On the other hand), if they had believed and carried out their responsibilities (Attaqu), then their reward from God would have been better. Again, only if they understood (the reality)!

Verses 104–107

You who have faith, do not say (to the Prophet), “Rai’na (listen to us),” but instead say, “Unzur-naa (have patience with us),” and pay careful attention. Painful punishment is for disbelievers. Disbelievers, be they people of the Book or polytheists, do not like to see any good come to you from your Sustainer, whereas God chooses whom He likes to shower with mercy; He is the Lord of Infinite Grace!

Whatever message ALLAH overrides or causes to be forgotten (e.g., Mosaic Law for example), God brings one better than that or like it (e.g., Qur’anic Law). Don’t you realize that God has power over all things? Don’t you also realize that the heavens and the earth belong to God and that besides God you have no friend nor helper?

Verses 108–112

Do you wish to question your messengers as Moses was questioned before? Whoever prefers disbelief to faith loses his sense of direction. Many of the people of the Book wish, out of envy, that they could turn you (new Muslims) to disbelief after you believed, even though the truth has become clear to them (as well). (Believers are advised to) be thoughtful and forgiving until God resolves this affair and (realize) that God is ever Powerful over all things.

Maintain your prayers and give Zakat. Whatever good you deposit for yourself, you will find it with God. God observes what you do.

They say, “Nobody will go to Heaven except the Jews or Christians.” These are their self-serving desires. Ask them, “Bring your proof if you are truthful.” (On the contrary), whoever submits to God wholeheartedly and is good (to others), they will have their reward from their Sustainer (God); for them there is no fear or grief.

Verses 113–117

The Jews say, “The Christians have no basis for their faith,” and the Christians say, “The Jews have no basis for their faith,” while they both read the (same divine) Book. Even those who have no knowledge say similar things. (Let them all know that) God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection on what they (so vehemently) differ.

And who (do you think) is more unjust than he who obstructs (people) from the houses of God (to worship) and from remembering His name in these places and who actively wants to destroy places of worship, whereas it is not even proper for them to enter these places except in humility. They deserve disgrace in this world and severe punishment in the Hereafter. The East and the West belong to God, so whichever way you turn you will face God. Know that God is Generous and Knowing.

They say, “God has taken on a son.” He is above such a thing! Indeed He owns whatever is in Heaven and on the earth, and they all obey Him, the wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He intends a certain outcome, He says to it, “Be,” and it becomes.

Verses 118–123

Those who are ignorant ask, “Why does God not talk to us or send us a sign?” Their talk is like those of others before them. They think alike. God has made the message transparent to those who take it seriously. God has sent you (Prophet Mohammad) with the truth as the Messenger of good news and as a warner, and you (Mohammad) will not be questioned regarding the (actions) of those who will find themselves in Hell.

Neither Jews nor Christians will be happy with you unless you (Muslims) follow their religions. Say to them, “The guidance of God is the (true) guidance.” So if you follow their errant views after true knowledge has come to you, then you will have no friendship or help from God.

Those to whom God has given the Book and those who follow it as it should be followed, they truly believe in it. Those who disbelieve will be the ones without any real guidance at the end.”

O children of Israel, remember My (God’s) blessings to you and how I favored you over other nations. You should guard yourself against the day when no soul can assist another in the least, no compensation will be accepted, no intervention will profit you, and no help will be extended.

Verses 124–129

When his Sustainer (Rabb) tried Abraham with certain commands, and he fulfilled them, He (God) promised, “I will make you a leader of mankind.” And he replied, “How about from my offspring?” (God replied), “My promise does not include those that are unjust.”

ALLAH made the house (Ka’bah) a place of visitation for people, a sanctuary, and (commanded people) to take this place of Abraham as a place of worship. God also commanded Abraham and Ishmael, “Purify My house for those who intend to visit, bowing down in humility in front of God.” Abraham made supplication: “My Sustainer, make this city secure and provide fruits as provisions for its citizens who believe in God and the Hereafter.” He (God) replied, “(Even for its) citizens who disbelieve, I shall grant enjoyment for a short time and drive them to the punishment of Fire, an evil destination.”

As Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundation (of the Ka’bah), they supplicated to God: “Our Sustainer, accept (our effort) since You are the Hearing and Knowing One. Make us both surrender to You, bring a nation out of our offspring to be humble, and turn to us (mercifully) since You are Forgiving and Merciful. Our Sustainer, raise a messenger who will explain Your messages to the people, teach them the Book and wisdom, and help purify them, since You are the Mighty and Wise.”

Verses 130–134

Who abandons the way of life of Abraham except one who lacks understanding? ALLAH made Abraham pure (and chosen) in this world, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the righteous. When his Sustainer told him, “Submit to Me,” he said, “I submit myself to the Sustainer of the Universe!”

Abraham advised his children in the same way as did Jacob: “My sons (children), God has definitely chosen this way of life for you; therefore, do not die except in a state of submission.” If you had witnessed when Jacob was nearing death, he said to his sons (children), “Whom will you serve after my death?” They replied, “We shall serve your Lord and the Lord of your fathers—Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac—the One and Only God, and we do submit to Him.”

These people have passed away! Their reward will come from what they did, and your reward will come from what you do, and you will not be asked as to what they did.

Verses 135–140

(When) they say, “Be a Jew or a Christian, and you will be on the right guidance,” say, “Why not (be on) the path of Abraham, who was always inclined to righteousness and did not ascribe divinity to anyone?” Say, “We believe in (1) ALLAH, (2) what has been revealed to us, (3) what has been revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes (their descendants), (4) what was given to Moses and Jesus, (5) and what was given to (all) prophets by their Sustainer, (6) we make no comparison among the prophets, and (7) we surrender to Him (God) with sincere submission (as true Muslims).”

Hence if they believe as you (Mohammad) believe, only then are they on the right guidance; and if they refuse, then they are in opposition (to what you believe), and God will protect you against them. He is ever Hearing and Knowing. (Say, let’s take on): “God’s color (essence), and who is better than God to give us His essence, and we are His worshippers.”

Tell them, “Do you dispute with us about God while He is our Sustainer and He is your Sustainer as well? We are responsible for our actions, and you are responsible for your actions. We are sincere to Him (but are you?). Or, do you mean to say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Do you know better than God? Who is more irresponsible than he who hides a testimony that came from God? God is not indifferent to what you do.”

***Excerpt from Volume 1: Deciphering Faith without Ritual from Series – Removing the Middleman, by Rashed Hasan. Copyright by Author***

July 2024

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