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Monthly Qur'an Readings

Session 20

Chapter 27: The Ants (Surah Al-Naml) - Continued…

In the name of God, the God of Mercy, the Endower of Mercy!

Verses 61- 66

Who has made the earth a dwelling place, makes rivers flow on it, raised mountains on it and placed a barrier between two seas? Are there gods, other than ALLAH? No, most of them act out of ignorance!

Who answers those in distress, when they call upon God, removes evils and makes you succeed (your previous generation) on this earth? Are there gods, other than ALLAH? No, you reflect very little!

Who guides you in the darkness on land and on sea, and sends winds as harbinger of good news of God’s impeding mercy? Are there gods, other than ALLAH? God is elevated higher than anything they assert as a partner!

Who originates the creations and then reproduces, and who gives you provisions from the heavens and the earth? Are there gods, other than ALLAH? Say (Prophet), “Bring your proof if you speak the truth!” (v64)

Say (Prophet), “There is none in the heavens and the earth, other than ALLAH, who knows matters yet undisclosed. They do not know when they will be resurrected, and their knowledge does not extend to afterlife. They are not only in doubt but totally blind regarding the afterlife!

Verses 67 - 79

Those who deny (afterlife) say, “When we become dust – we and our former generations – will we be resurrected? This was promised to us and to our former generations - this is nothing but stories propagated since ancient times.

Say (Prophet), “Travel on earth and see for yourselves where the guilty people are.” Do not grieve for them and do not feel distressed by their plan. They say, “When will this promise be executed, if you speak the truth?” Reply, “May be what you wish to hasten is already close at hand!”

Your Sustainer God is indeed full of grace for humankind, but most of them are ungrateful! Your God knows what they hide in their hearts and what they express openly.

There is nothing concealed in the heavens and on earth but documented in the book. (v73-75)

This Qur’an - expounds for the Children of Israel matters that most of them differ among themselves – it is a sure guidance and a source of mercy, if you are faithful. Your God will judge between them with judgement from God - Who is Almighty, Full of Knowledge! Therefore, rely on ALLAH and (know that) you are on the path based on clear truth!

Verses 80 - 90

Surely, you (Prophet) cannot make the dead to hear or the deaf or those who retreat to hear the call. You cannot lead the blind out of their falsehood, nor can you make anyone pay attention except who are inclined to believe Our messages and they submit in due time.

When the promise comes to pass, We (God) will bring out from the earth a creature for them to speak to them since people did not believe in Our messages. On that occasion, We will gather from every community, a group who denied Our messages and form them into groups and address them as they come, “Did you reject Our messages while you had no knowledge? Or what was it that you did?” This affirmation and realization will come to them that they did injustice and will remain speechless. Do they not see that We had made the night for rest (with darkness) and the day (for activities) with light? In this arrangement is proof enough for people to believe!

When the trumpet will be sounded, that day all who are in the heavens and on earth will be terrified, except such as whom ALLAH will grant reprieve – all will come to God in abject humility! The mountains you see – firm and fixed – will float away as cloud, handiwork of ALLAH Who makes everything perfect (as to its purpose). God is aware of what you do! If you bring good work with you, you will have rewards better than that and will be secure from the terror of the day. If you bring evils with you, you will be thrown into the fire face down. What reward can you expect except in accordance with what you did.

Verses 91 - 93

(Say), “I am commanded to serve the God of this city, a city made secure by God. All belongs to God. I am commanded to join those who submit to God and to narrate the Qur’an. Therefore, whoever guide themselves right, do so for their own souls and whoever go astray, I am only a warner. Say, “For ALLAH is all praises! God will show you evidence that you will recognize (without doubt). Your God is never heedless to what you do!

Chapter 28: The Story (Surah Al-Qasas)

In the name of God, the God of Mercy, the Endower of Mercy

Verses 1 - 9


These are the verses of the book (the Qur’an) that makes matter clear. We (God) narrate to you the story of Moses and Pharaoh with truth for the faithful. Pharaoh surely prided himself on earth and divided his people, making one party weaker among them. He killed their sons and spared their women. He was certainly among those who made mischiefs and brought corruptions.

We desired to favor those who were made weak in the land and grant them leadership, let them inherit the land and secure power in the land, and let Pharaoh, Haman, and their chiefs experience what they feared.

So, We inspired Moses’ mother, “Nurse him (in secret) and when you fear for his life, cast him into the river. Do not be afraid and do not grieve since We will bring him back to you and make him a messenger (of God).” Then the house of Pharaoh picked him up and he will prove to be an enemy and a source of grief for them, since Pharaoh, Haman and their chiefs were clearly sinful.

Wife of Pharaoh said, “(this child) is pleasing to my eye and to you as well. Let us not kill him. Perhaps he will be useful to us, and we can even take him as a son.” They did not perceive (God’s plan).

Verses 10 - 17

The heart of Moses’ mother would have been troubled, and she would have almost disclosed about her son had We not comforted her, so that she can have faith (in God). She said to his sister, “Follow him (along the river).” She watched him from a distance so that they (Pharaoh’s people) did not perceive.

We prohibited him (Moses) from suckling from wet nurses and his sister said, “Shall I inform you of a household who will bring him up for you and they will care for him well.” This is how We brought him back to his mother so that she can be comforted, not grieve for him, and be assured that God’s promise is true. Most people are unaware (of God’s presence and plan).

When he (Moses) attained maturity and became a grown man, We (God) gifted him with knowledge and wisdom. This is how We reward those who are virtuous. Once he went to the city while its people were negligent, and he found two people fighting—one being from his faction and the other from his enemies. The one from his faction called out for his help against the other who was of his foes, and Moses struck him with his fist, and he died. He (Moses) said (to himself), “This is an act of Devil’s inspiration—he (Devil) is an enemy for sure and always leading to the wrong path.” He implored, “My Sustainer God, I have done harm to myself, therefore forgive and protect me.” So God protected him and God is ever Forgiving, Merciful! Moses said, “My Sustainer God, since you have granted me a favor, I will never support a guilty person.”

Verses 18 - 25

Following morning, Moses was in the city, fearful and watchful, and the same person who had asked for his help the day before, cried out again asking for help. Moses said to him, “You are clearly wrong.” So, he desired to strike him who was an enemy to both, when he said to Moses, “Do you intend to kill me, as you killed a person yesterday? You desire to be a tyrant in the land and not to be one who acts righteously.”

(At that moment), a man came running from the outskirt of the city and said, “O Moses, the Chiefs are conspiring to kill you; leave (as soon as possible). I am one of those who wish you well.” He left immediately, fearful and watchful, and said, “My Sustainer God, save me from corrupt people.”

When Moses directed himself towards Midian and wished, “May be My Sustainer God will guide me to the right way.” Once he arrived at the wells of Midian, he found a group of men watering (their sheep) and two women holding back (their sheep). He asked the women, “What is our story?” They replied, “We do not give water to ours until the shepherds are done and our father is an old man.” He watered theirs for them and then went back to the shade (of a tree) and reflected, “My Sustainer God, I am truly in need of any good that you can descend on me!”

(Soon) one of two women came back to him, approaching bashfully, and said, “My father invites you and wish to reward you for securing water for us.” So he came and related his story to him, who said, “Don’t worry, you are now secure from unjust people.”

Verses 26 - 32

One of the daughters said, “Father, hire him. Surely the best one to employ is the one who is strong and worthy of trust.” He (the father) said to Moses, “I wish to marry one of my daughters on the condition that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten years, that will be out of your own free will. I desire no hardship for you. You will find, if God wills, that I am a righteous man.” Moses said, “It is between you and me—whichever term I fulfil, there will be no ill will toward me, and ALLAH is a Guardian over what we commit.”

Once Moses completed his contract, he was traveling with his family and saw a fire on the side of the mountain. He said to his family, “Wait, I see a fire. Perhaps I can bring some news for you from there or a brand of fire to keep us warm.” When he came near it, a voice called out to him from the right side of the valley, from a tree on the blessed ground, "O Moses, I am ALLAH, the Sustainer of the Universe! Throw your stick.” But when he saw it moving like a snake, he ran away in fear and would not look back. “O Moses, come back and don’t be afraid. You are of those who are secure! Insert your hand in your cloak and it will turn white without any harm. Draw back your arm to yourself without fear. These are two proofs from your God to Pharaoh and his chiefs – they are indeed a group who make mischiefs and practice evils.”

Verses 33 - 42

Moses said, “My Cherisher God, I have killed one of them and I am afraid they will kill me. Aaron, my brother who is more eloquent than I am, let him come with me as a helper and to confirm what I say. I am afraid that they will reject me.” God said, “We will affirm your position with your brother, and We will give you both authority from Us such that they can’t harm you. With Our signs, you both and those who follow you will triumph in the end!”

When Moses came to them with clear evidence from Us, they said, “This is nothing but pure deception. We never heard of such things from our forefathers!” Moses replied, “My Cherisher God knows best who comes with guidance from God and who will reach their destinations. The unjust will never achieve success!” Pharoah said to his chiefs, “Fire up, O Haman and make bricks to build a tall structure for me that I can gain knowledge of Moses’s God. I think he is a liar!”

He and his compatriots where arrogant with false pride and reckoned that they will not be brought back to God. We seized him and his compatriots and threw them into the sea. See how the end of those who were unjust unfolded! We gave them leadership to call people to fire and on the Day of Resurrection they will have not help. We made our curse to pursue them in this worldly life and on the Day of Resurrection they will be despised!

Verses 43 - 50

Indeed We gave Moses the Book (Torah) - after We replaced the former generations - a source of insights for mankind, a guidance and mercy so that they can take lessons. And you (Prophet) were not on the western side (of the mountain) when We revealed the Commandments, nor were you among those who were present (at the time). We raised many generations whom We granted long lives. You did not live with the people of Midian when We recited Our messages to them, We being the Sender (of messengers), nor were you at the side of the mountain when We called (Moses) but (now We sent) you as a mercy to a people and to warn them as they received no messenger before – perhaps they will become mindful! Or, if a calamity were to touch them, based on what they have done to themselves, they should say, “O our Sustainer God, why did You not send a messenger to us that we may have followed Your messages and became believers!”

But now that the truth has been revealed to them from Us, they say, “How come he has not been given the signs like what was given to Moses?” But did they not disbelieve in what was given to Moses before? They further say, “Two lies backing up each other. We reject both!” Tell them, “Then bring another book from God that is better in guiding than these two and I will follow – if you really believe in what you say!” But if they do not give you an answer, then know that they are making vain claims. Who are more erroneous than those who makes false claims without any guidance from God? God does not guide people who refuse the truth!

Verses 51 – 57

We have made the Word (the Qur’an) repeated for their sake, so that they may be mindful. Those who were given the book before, they believed in it. When the Qur’an is recited to them, they say, “We believe in it – it is the truth from our Cherisher God. We had already submitted to ALLAH!” They will be rewarded twice over – for being patient and steadfast, repelling evil with goodness and dedicating resources what We gave them (to benefit others). When they hear frivolous talks, they turn aside and say, “For us are our deeds and for you are your deeds. We wish you peace! We do not associate with foolishness!”

You cannot guide any, even if you love them whereas God guides those that God pleases, because God knows best who is striving to walk aright. They say, “If we follow his guidance, we will suffer dislocation from our land.” Have We not settled them in a land- safe and sacred – where provisions of all kinds are brought in, sustenance from God but most fail to comprehend! How many habitations have We destroyed that prided in their provisions. You see their dwelling places, where they lived but for a short time. They are always brought back to God to Whom they belong!

Verses 58 - 67

Your Cherisher God never destroys a town until a messenger is brought in to explain Our guidance and unless they persist in injustice afterwards! What you have are only a provision for this world and its vanities whereas what is with God is better and lasts longer! How is it that you do not comprehend?

The one to whom We made a promise for good cannot be the same as the one whom We had provided with the provisions of this life but will be raised on the Day of Resurrection to face the consequences. On that Day, God will call them and ask, “Where are those whom you deemed to be My associates? These (associates) against whom truth has already been rendered will say, “These are the ones that we caused to stray – we made them to deviate as we ourselves also deviated. We declare our innocence before You – they never truly worshipped us!”

They will be told, “Call on your associate gods” and they will but they will hear no answers. Instead, they will see the impending consequences – how they wish that they had followed the right path! On that Day God will call them and say, “What response did you give to the messengers?” On that Day, they will recognize the futility of making arguments or excuses such that they will not even consult one another! But those who repent, then believe and do good, maybe they will attain success!

Verses 68 - 75

Your Cherisher God creates and chooses as God pleases – it is not for them to make those choices. Glory be to ALLAH– exalted is God above any partners they ascribe! God knows what they conceive and what they conceal in their hearts and what they proclaim in public. It is ALLAH – there is no god but God! – to be praised and exulted in this life and in the life to come. Judgement belongs to God and to God will all be brought back!

Say (Prophet), “Think for a second - if ALLAH were to make the night persist without any cessation till the Day of Resurrection, is there another god beside ALLAH who can bring you daylight? Do you not hear? Or, if God were to make the day persist without any cessation till the Day of Resurrection, is there another god beside ALLAH who can bring you the night to take rest therein? Do you not see?” It is out of God’s mercy and blessings that there are days and nights such that you can rest, you can seek bounty from God and you can be thankful! On the Day God will call them and ask,

“Where are My partners that you falsely claimed?” From every community We will bring out a witness and will ask, “Bring your proof.” It is only then they will know that ALLAH is the Truth and whatever they had fabricated will fail them.

Verses 76 - 82

Qorah was one of the men from Moses’s tribe but was oppressive to his people. God gave him wealth to the extent that to carry his wealth would weigh heavily on a group of strong men! His people told him, “Do not be arrogant. ALLAH does not love arrogant people! Seek the surety of the afterlife by means of what ALLAH has given you and be mindful of what is expected of you in this life. Do good to others as ALLAH has done to you. Do not make mischief in the land – indeed, ALLAH does not love those who makes mischiefs.” But he replied, “What I have is due to knowledge that I have.” Does he not know ALLAH had destroyed before him generations that were even greater in strength and in assembly. (Does he think that) guilty will not be questioned about their sins?

He went around among his people with all his pomp and finery. Those who were inclined to this world said, “Oh that we were given the likes of what Qorah has. He is the owner of mighty good fortune for sure!” But those who were give the real knowledge said, “We feel sorry for you. Indeed, ALLAH’s reward is better for those who believe and do good, and none can receive such rewards except through commitment and patience.”

We made the earth swallow him and his house. There was none to help him against ALLAH, nor he could defend himself. Those who were inclined to him the day before, said, “Ah! ALLAH indeed amplifies or constraints the provisions for whomever God wills in God’s creation. Had God not been gracious to us, we would have surely been swallowed as well. Yes indeed, those who deny the truth will never prosper!

Verses 83 - 88

God assigns, the good residency of the Hereafter, only to those who do not aspire for undue dominance on this earth, nor they cause any corruptions. The good end-result belongs to those who acts responsibly! Whoever does good, they will be rewarded with something better, and whoever does evil, such evil will be requited to the extent of its evilness.

God Who has made the Qur’an binding on you, will surely bring you back to the Place of Returni. Say (Prophet), “My Cherisher God knows best who has found the true guidance and who has gone blatantly astray!” You did not expect the Book will be inspired into you, but it is a mercy from your Cherisher God. Therefore, do not align with the deniers. Do not let them turn you away from the messages of ALLAH after these has been revealed to you. Invite people to God and do not be an idol worshipper (polytheist)! Do not call ALLAH with any other deities. There is no other deity but God. Everything will perish but God. God is the Decision Maker and To God you all will be brought back!

Chapter 29: The Spider (Surah Al-Ankabut)

In the name of God, the God of Mercy, the Endower of Mercy!

Verses 1 - 9

Alif, Lam, Mim!

Does humankind think that they will be left alone on saying “We believe” and they will not be tried? Indeed, We (God) had tried people before, so that God will know with certainty those who are truthful and those who are liars.

Or, do those who commit evils and spread corruptions, think they will escape God? Even their sense of judgment is corrupted!

Those who aspire to meet ALLAH, the appointment with ALLAH is surely approaching! God is all Hearing, all Knowing!

Whoever strives hard1, strives for oneself, whereas ALLAH is above any need from His creation! Whoever believe and do good, God will remove their afflictions and reward them for the best of what they do. (v6-7)

We (God) have commanded humankind to show kindness to their parents. But do not follow them if they were to associate other deities to Me (ALLAH) that you have no knowledge of. To Me is your return, and I will then inform you of what you did! Those who believe and do good, We (God) will certainly count them as righteous!

Verses 10 - 18

There are those among people who say, “We believe in ALLAH”, but when persecution and opposition fall on them for the sake of God, they consider such difficulties as chastisement from God, whereas if help were to come their way, they say, “We are with you (Prophet).” Is not ALLAH fully aware of what is in the hearts of humankind? ALLAH certainly knows who is a believer, and who is a hypocrite.

Those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Follow our path and we will take care of your misdeeds.” But they can never carry the burden of wrong of others. They are liars. They will certainly carry the burden of their own wrongs and the burden of others, as they will be questioned on the day of resurrection as to their fabrications and misconducts.

We (God) sent Noah to his people, and he stayed with them for a thousand years, less fifty. The great flood overtook them, as they were unjust to themselves. We delivered Noah and his inmates on the Ark and made them a reminder for people of the world.

(We also sent) Abraham when he said to his people, “Serve ALLAH and act responsibly regarding God. That is better for you if you only knew. You worship deities other than ALLAH and that is a pure fabrication. Those you worship besides ALLAH have no power to provide for you. Therefore, seek provisions from ALLAH, worship Him and be grateful to Him. To God is your eventual return! But if you deny, people before you had done so as well, whereas the duty of the messenger is to deliver clear warnings!”

Verses 19 - 23

Do they not see how ALLAH originates the creation and then reproduces it? It is indeed easy for ALLAH!

Say, “Travel on earth and see for yourself how ALLAH makes the first creation and then readies it for the next creation. ALLAH is ever powerful over all things! God brings to account whom God pleases, and God shows mercy to whom God pleases. To God do you all return, with no escape on this earth or in heavens. Besides ALLAH, you have no other helper or protector.”

Those who disbelieve in ALLAH’s message and deny the appointment with Him, they despair of My mercy and will face severe consequences.

Verses 24 - 35

The response of his community was nothing other than this, “Slay him or burn him.” But ALLAH protected him from the fire. In this outcome is evidence for those who wish to believe.

Abraham said, “You take these deities besides ALLAH hoping for friendship in this life. But on the Day of Resurrection some of you will deny others, some of you will curse others and will end up in the fire, with no help from anyone!” But Lot believed in him and said, “I flee to my Cherisher God Who is Mighty, and Wise!”

We (God) granted Abraham Isaac and Jacob, made them prophets, and gave scriptures to his offspring. We rewarded him in this life and in the life to come he will be counted among the righteous.

(We sent) Lot who said to his people, “You commit indecency that no other nations before you have done. You lust after men, compel strangers on roadways, and commit evils in your gatherings.” His people had no other answers than to say, “Bring on ALLAH’s punishment, if you speak the truth.” Lot prayed, “My Sustainer, help me against these corrupt people.”

Our angels came to Abraham with good news and then said, “We are going to destroy this town (of Lot); its people are steeped in unjust practices.” Abraham said, “But Lot is among them.” They said, “We know well who are in there. We will provide safe passage to Lot and his followers with the exception of his wife, she will remain behind.”

The angels then came to Lot who became concerned about them as he lacked power to protect them. They said, “Do not be afraid or grieve. We are here to deliver you and your followers but not your wife who chose to be with others. We are going to bring down torment from heavens on the people of this town, since they have become corrupt.”

We left a clear marker of this for people who wish to ponder!

Verses 36 - 44

(We sent to) Midian, their own brother Shu’aib who said, “My people, worship ALLAH, be mindful of the life to come and do not act corruptly on earth, with unjust practices.” But they rejected him, and a severe earthquake overtook them. When morning came, they were in their own homes lifeless!

Ad and Thamud – their places of habitation are known to you. The Devil made their evil practices seem enticing to them and he kept them back from the (right) path, while they could have seen (what they were doing)! Qorah, Pharaoh and Haman – Moses came to them with sound arguments, but they behaved with arrogance on earth. They could never escape Us (God)! Each one – We brought them to account for their sins. There is the one who We subjected to a violent storm, another who was overtaken by sudden blast (volcanic eruption), another We let the earth swallow up (earthquake), and another We drowned (in sea). It was not God who wronged them, but they wronged themselves!

The simile of those who take others besides ALLAH as their deity and patron is like the spider – yes, it makes a net for itself but it’s house is the frailest of all dwellings – only if they could realize! ALLAH indeed knows whom they call upon besides Him – God is Mighty, and Wise! Such similes – We set for humankind, but only the learned will comprehend.

God created the heavens and the earth with truth! For the believers, there is evidence in them.

***Excerpt from on-going translation of the Qur’an – Removing the Middleman Series, by Rashed Hasan. Copyright by Author*** 

July 2024

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