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Monthly Qur'an Readings

Session 22

Chapter 33 - Continued…

Verses 34-40

Indeed for Muslim men and women, believing men and women, devout men and women, truthful men and women, patient men and women, humble men and women, charitable men and women, fasting men and women, chaste men and women, and men and women who keep Allah in their remembrance much – Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a grand reward! (v35)

It is not permissible for believing men and women to have differing positions regarding a decision after Allah and His Messenger has decided on an affair. Those who disobey Allah and His Messenger, that is evidence enough to deviate (from guidance)! (v36)

When you (Prophet) said to him (Ziad)1 whom Allah had blessed and whom you (Prophet) had shown favor, “Keep your wife in marriage and be mindful of Allah”, you concealed a thought in your heart that Allah was to bring to open. You were concerned about what people might say while it is Allah Who has a greater right to be paid attention to. When Zaid divorced her (Jainab)2, God gave her to you as a wife. This was to remove any constraint that believers might feel about the wives of their adopted son once such marriage tie is dissolved. Allah’s command is always carried out! There is no restriction for the Prophet in what Allah obligates him to do – a practice that Allah has allowed with those who lived before. The command of Allah is made absolute – on those who deliver the messages of Allah, are mindful and hold Allah in awe! Allah is sufficient to take accounts! (v37-39)

Mohammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of all prophets! Allah knows all things! (v40)

Verses 41-49

O Believers! Remember Allah much and glorify Him each morning and evening! God is the One Who sends blessings on you and so does the angels, so that God may bring you out of darkness into the light. God is Ever Merciful to the believers! Their greetings on the Day of the Meeting with God will be – “Peace (salam)!” God has prepared for them an honorable reward! (v41-44)

O Prophet – Indeed, We had sent you (1) to bear witness, (2) to give good news, (3) to warn, (4) to invite to Allah by His permission, and (5) to serve as a luminous lamp! Give the believers good news that Allah will give them enormous grace! Do not give in to the disbelievers and the hypocrites, ignore their insults and harmful conducts and rely on Allah. Allah is sufficient as a Protector! (v45-48)

O Believers! If you marry a believing woman and then divorce before having any intimate contacts, then there is no waiting period that you need to satisfy but make provisions for them and let them go free in a good manner! (v49)

Verses 50-54

O Prophet! We have made it permissible for you (1) your wives whom you had given marriage gift, (2) those in your possession resulting from being prisoners of war, (3) the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, your maternal uncles and aunts who had immigrated with you, and (5) any believing woman who wish to marry you and you are so inclined – this provision is for you specifically and not for the believers. We know what We have ordained regarding their wives and those whom they possess so that there is no blame come to you. Allah is Ever Forgiving, Merciful! You may disincline to whomever you may and incline to whomever you may and if you incline to whomever you had disinclined before, you are permitted and it is preferred so that they may find comfort and not grieve, while they should be please, all of them, whatever you offer them; Allah certainly knows what is in your hearts! Allah is Ever Knowing, and Clement! No woman is permitted to you after this nor can you exchange your wives with them, even if you are attracted to them, except those who are in your possession. Allah is Ever Watchful over all things! (v50 – 52)

O Believers! Do not come the house of the Prophet unless permission is given for a meal and don’t come early to wait while meal is being prepared. Come when you are invited and once meal is finished disperse, and not wait to listen in conversations. This makes the Prophet uncomfortable, but he forbears, while Allah does not shy away from the truth. When you ask for something from his household (wives), do so from behind a curtain. This is good for your heart and for their hearts. It is inappropriate for you to make the Prophet uncomfortable and to marry his wives after him ever! This is outrageous in the sight of Allah! Whether you do a thing openly or in secret, Allah is Ever Aware of all things! (v53-54)

Verses 55 - 62

But this does not apply to those who are related to the wives of the Prophet – their fathers, sons, brothers, brother’s sons, sister’s sons or their own women folk or whom they possess. Keep your duty to Allah – Allah is Ever a Witness to all things! Indeed, Allah and the angels bless the Prophet; therefore, O Believers! Invoke blessing for the Prophet and greet him with a greeting of peace! (v55-56)

Anyone who insults and annoys Allah and His Prophet, Allah has cursed them in this life and in the Hereafter, and prepared for them a humiliating consequence. Anyone who affronts believing men and women without cause, will bear the burden of slander and sinful conduct. (v57-58)

O Prophet, tell you wives, your daughters, and women of the believers to hang low their outer garments3 – this way they are more likely to be recognized and not troubled by others. Allah Ever Forgiving, Merciful! (v59)

If the hypocrites - those who carry sickness in their hearts and those who spread falsehood and disunity in Madinah - do not desist, God will rouse you (Prophet) against them and they will not be your neighbors except for a little longer! They are cursed and wherever they are found, they will be seized and killed! This was Allah’s practice in dealing with the generations gone before and you will not see any change in Allah’s practice now! (v60-62)

Verses 63 - 73

People question you about the Hour. Say, “The knowledge of that is Allah’s alone! What would perhaps make you realize that the Hour may be close at hand!” Indeed, Allah is displeased with the disbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire in which they will live forever! They will have no protectors or helpers! On the day when their faces will be turned towards the fire, they will say, “If we had only obeyed Allah and the Messenger! O our Sustainer, we had obeyed our leaders and influencers and they led us astray from the path. O our Sustainer, may You double the punishment on them and reject them completely!” (v63-68)

O Believers, do not be like those who insulted Moses whereas Allah found him clear of what they accused him of and he is honorable with Allah. O Believers, be mindful of Allah and speak the truth – He will make your affairs in good order and forgive your sins. Whoever follows Allah and His Messenger, they have indeed achieved a great success! (v69-71)

Truly God offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains but they all refused to accept it and were wary of it whereas mankind accepted it. They are ever overconfident, unjust, and impatient! (v72)

Allah will chastise the hypocritical men and women, and the polytheistic men and women but will forgive the believing men and women. Allah is Ever Forgiving, Merciful! (v73)

Chapter 34: Sheba (Surah Saba)

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

Verses 1 - 9

Praise be to ALLAH – all that is in the heavens and in the earth belong to God. God’s praise continues in the life to come. God is Wise, Well-informed! God knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it, what comes down from the heavens and what ascends to it. God is Merciful, Forgiving!

The disbelievers say, “The Hour (of Resurrection) will never come upon us.” Reply, “Yes, by my God, it will certainly come to you. God is the Knower of unseen – not even an atom’s worth is hidden from God, or anything smaller or greater – they are all documented in a book, so that God can compensate those who believe and do good. For such people, there is forgiveness and an honorable sustenance! But those who oppose Our Messages to undermine – they will have chastisement undermining them.

Those who have been gifted with knowledge, see plainly that what have been revealed from your Sustainer God is the truth and is a guide that leads to the path of the Mighty, the Praised! While those who disbelieve, say, “Let’s show you a man who claims that when you are totally decayed and reduced to nothing, you will be resurrected in a new creation!” These who deny the Hereafter are clearly in the wrong and will face the consequences – why, has the Prophet fabricated a message from God or has he gone mad? Do these people not see what is ahead of them and what is behind them of the heavens and the earth? If God wills, We can debase them on this earth or land on them a piece from the heavens. In all of these are evidence for every creature who wishes to turn to God!

Verses 10 - 14

We certainly graced David with abundance from Us. “O mountains, hymn God’s praises with him, and you birds too.” We made the iron to be pliant for him and said, “Make jackets of body armor, and make them well. Do good – surely I am Seer of what you do.” We made the wind subservient to Solomon – it enabled a month’s journey in the morning and a month’s journey in the evening. We made a mountain of molten brass to flow for him and there were among the jinns4 some who were made to work for him under God’s command. If any of them tried to avoid Our command, We would make them face the flames of fire. They made for him what he wished – places of worship, images, large basins for reservoir, cooking pots – large and fixed. “Perform your duty thankfully, O people of David. Very few of My servants are truly thankful.”

Then We decreed his death, none could show that he was dead, except a creature of the earth who ate away his stick and he then fell, making the jinns fully aware that if they had been privy to the unknown, they would not have toiled (since his death) under him which they considered humiliating.

Verses 15 - 21

There too were signs for the people of Sheba in their habitat – two gardens on the far east and far west. “Eat from the provision of your Sustainer God and give thanks – a good land and a Forgiving God!” But they were heedless and We sent over them torrential flood5 and transformed those two gardens into two different gardens growing only bitter fruits, tamarisk and a few lote-trees6. This is how We reciprocate those who are ungrateful, and We reproach none but those who deny.

We also made other cities, between them and other towns We had blessed, close enough to be visible, so that journeys can be made easily – “Travel through them night and day, secure.”7 But they preferred instead, “Our God, make the stages further apart in these journeys.” So, We made them into stories and ruined them with a scattering of lesser significance8. In these, there are evidence for every patient and grateful souls.

The Devil indeed found his assertions about them to be true – they followed him, except a few who were believers. Over the believers he had no authority but for Us to differentiate who among them believe in the Hereafter and who among them are in doubt about it. (Know that) your Sustainer God is the Preserver of all things!

Verses 22 - 30

Say, “Call your gods that you assert besides ALLAH – they cannot control even an atom’s worth in the heavens or in the earth, nor they have any ownership in them either, nor God has any helpers from among them. No intervention works with God, except when permission is given.” Once the fear of the day (Day of Judgement) has subsided, they will be asked, “What did your God say?” They will reply, “The truth – God is Most High, the Greatest!”

Ask them (Prophet), “Who gives you sustenance from the heavens and the earth?” Reply, “God alone! Indeed, either you or we are on the right path or in clear delusion.” Add further, “You will not be asked of our guilt, not shall we be asked of what you did. Our Sustainer God will gather us all and then judge between us with truth. God is the Best Knowing Judge! Ask them, “Show me the partners that you assign to God; by no means you can! But true God is the Most Dignified Judge!”

We have not sent you (Prophet) except as a bearer of good news and as a warner to humankind, but most people seem to be unaware. They ask, “When will this promise (of judgment) be executed, if you speak the truth?” Reply, “You do have the appointment of the day, which you cannot postpone or speed up even by an hour!”

Verses 31 - 38

The disbelievers say, “We do not believe this Qur’an, nor anything else that was revealed before it.” But if you could see them, as guilty, standing before ALLAH and throwing back and forth their guilts to one another. Those who deemed themselves weak address those who they considered strong, “Had it not for you, we would have been believers.” Those who were arrogant and strong will reply to those they considered weak, “Did we make you disbelieve when the guidance came to you? No, you yourself did so!” The weak will then address the strong and the arrogant, “No, it was your scheming by night and day and ordering us to disbelieve in God and to set up partners with God, that we did so.” They will fall silent with remorse when they will face the chastisement, but We will bind the necks of those who disbelieve. Shall We not compensate except according to what they did?

We had never sent a messenger to a town where people led easy life except that they said, “We deny what you have been sent with! We have more wealth and more followers! We will not be chastised.” Say to them, “It is my Sustainer God who amplifies provisions and curtails provisions for whomever God pleases. But most people are ignorant about it. It is not your wealth nor your followers that bring you closer to God but it is your faith and your goodness that bring double rewards as compensation and provide security in lofty places (closer to God). It is those who oppose and undermine Our messages will be made to face the consequence.”

Verses 39 - 45

Remind them, “Surely it is my Sustainer Who amplifies provision for the creations, as God pleases and curtails provisions as God pleases. Whatever you spend (to do good), God amplifies its reward and God is the Best Provider!”

On the Day when ALLAH will gather them all, God will ask the angels, “Did they worship you?” The angels will reply, “Glory to You! You are our protector against them. They worshipped the jinns9 and many of them believed in the jinns!” Therefore, on that Day, you can neither benefit nor harm one another. We will address those who were unjust10, “Face the chastisement of the fire that you called a lie.”

When Our messages are explained to them, they say, “This is nothing but a man who wish to move you away from the traditions of your forefathers! This is nothing but a lie!” Truly those who disbelieve, say of the truth when it is related to them, “This is just delusional!” Yet, before this We have not given them a book to read nor did We sent a messenger before you to warn. And these people have not been given even a tenth of what was given to their previous generations, who also rejected and called the messengers liars! How fitting was then My disapproval of them?

Verses 46 - 54

Say, “I only encourage you of one thing – that is to rise before ALLAH, singly or in pair and ponder!” Your companion (Prophet) is not delusional. He is here only to warn before a severe consequence confronts you. Say to them, “Whatever reward I speak of is for yourselves, while my reward is with God only, Who sees everything. God indeed brings out the truth – the Knower of all that is hidden. The truth has arrived while falsehood neither originates nor reproduces.”

Say, “If I am misguided, then it is my loss but if I am guided, that is because of what my Cherisher God had revealed to me. Surely God hears and is very near!”

Only if you could see when terror will strike them, they will have no escape and will be seized from wherever they are. Then they will say, “We do believe”, but how could they, being so remote from truth? Indeed, they disbelieved before and fabricated lies with regards to the reality, being distant from the truth. Now there is a barrier between them and that which they wish to believe, as was the case of other partisans like these – for sure, they all are in a deep doubt and suspicion!

Chapter 35: The Originator (Surah Al-Fatir)

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

Verses 1 - 7

Praise to be ALLAH, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the maker of angels as messengers traveling on wings – two, three, and four. He increases in creation when He wills. God is powerful over all things!

When God bestows His mercy on humankind, there is none who can withhold it and when He withholds such mercy, there is none who can grant such mercy thereafter. God is Grand, Wise! O humankind, remind yourself how God favored you. Is there a creator besides God who gives you provision from this heaven and earth? There is no god but He. How is it that you delude yourself?

If they reject you (Prophet) – then know that prophets before you were also rejected. But God controls all affairs. O humankind, promise of God is ever true! Do not let the life on this earth deceive you and don’t let the Deceiver, the Devil deceive you either about God - the devil is an enemy of yours. So treat him as an enemy. He only invites his followers to become companion of those who are in the blazing fire! (v4-6)

Those who deny God, for them is a severe consequence; but those who believe and do good, for them is forgiveness and a great reward!

Verses 8 - 11

What about those whose wickedness is made fair to them so that they consider their acts as good? This is how ALLAH leaves some in error as He wills, while guiding others, as He pleases. Therefore, do not let your (Prophet) soul grieve for such people. God knows exactly what they do!

It is God Who sends the wind to raise clouds and then drive clouds to a land dry and in that process give life to the earth after its death – such is also the resurrection (for people)!

Those who desire power should know that power resides wholly with God. Good deeds and good words ascend to God and He honors them. But those who plan evils – for them is severe consequences! Their plan is bound to fail.

God originated you from dust, then reproduces you from life cells and assigns you into two sexes! No female ever bears nor gives birth but with God’s knowledge! No one lives longer nor tenure of life cut shorter, except according to a Record – a task easy for God!

Verses 12 - 18

Two bodies of water are not alike – one sweat and fresh, pleasant to drink, while the other salty, bitter, yet from both you bring out fresh fish and flesh to eat and ornaments to wear. You watch ships cleaving through them so that you may seek God’s bounty and be thankful.

ALLAH causes the night to ease into the day and the day to ease into the night. God made the sun and the moon subservient – each following its prescribed path and destination. Such is God, your Cherisher and His is the True Sovereign!

Those deities that you call besides Him, own not even the tiny edge of a date stone. If you call them, they do not hear you, and even if they did, they could not answer you, and on the day of resurrection, they will deny your associating them (with God). See, none can inform you as the All-Aware God can!

O humankind! It is you who is needy and have wants for God, while God is Self-Sufficient, the One Praised! If He wills, he can remove you and bring a new creation – it is not difficult for God! No burdened soul can carry the burden of another, even if he were to prevail upon another to carry his burden, even the closest relatives. You (Prophet) can only caution those who are mindful of God in their private moments, are devoted to God, and maintain purity. Know that whoever purify themselves, they do so for their own good and to God is your eventual coming back.

Verses 19 - 30

The blind and the seeing are not the same!

Nor is darkness and light!

Nor shade and heat!

Nor the living and the dead!

It is ALLAH Who makes you hear, as He wills!

You cannot make, those in graves, to hear!

You (Prophet) are only a warner!

God sent you (Prophet) with truth, good news and warnings! There is no community, but a warner has come forth. If they reject you now, those before you were also rejected, though they came with sound reasoning, psalm and scriptures that enlighten! Afterwards, I (God) seized the deniers – and how was My disapproval only if you can understand?

Do you not see how God sends down water from the clouds and produces flowers and fruits of various colors, texture, taste, fragrances? The mountains have wide streaks – white, red and other colors as well as intensely black! Humankind, wild beasts, and cattle – all have diversity likewise! It is only those servants of God, having knowledge and awareness, stand in true awe of God. Towards them God is Forgiving, Appreciative!

Verses 31- 39

ALLAH has made heirs to the scripture those whom He had chosen from among His servants. Some of them took it the wrong way, some of them took the middle course and some of them were at the forefront of goodness, by God’s will and that is the grand grace! They will enter the Garden of Perpetuity, with bracelets of gold and pearls, and dresses made in silk. They will acknowledge, “Praise be to ALLAH who has removed our griefs and toils from us. Our God is truly Forgiving, Appreciative! It is out of His grace that He gave us lasting residence in such a place where toil and fatigue do not touch us.”

As for the disbelievers is the fire of Hell – they will neither be reprieved by death in it, nor will the torment be lightened. This is how We (God) bring retribution to every deniers, ungrateful! Therein they will cry out loud, “Our God, do take us out. We will do good deeds, not the ones we used to do before.” “ Did God not give you life long enough to be mindful, you if were to be mindful? (Messengers with) warnings came to you as well. Now taste this (consequence) – there is no helper for those who are wicked!”

Only God know the secrets of the heavens and the earth. He even knows what is in your inner consciousness! He is Who made you His agency on the earth. So whoever denies (God), only denies himself. Such denials of theirs do not augment their stature with God but His displeasure and such denials result in nothing but losses!

Verses 40 - 45

Say, “Have you considered those whom you call on as God’s associates? Show me - what they have created on this earth? Do they have any share in the heavens? Do they have a scripture that God has given them such that they follow its guidance?” No way! The deniers promise one another nothing but delusion and deception!

It is ALLAH who holds the heavens and the earth in positions lest they destroy themselves and if they do, none can save them but God. See how Forbearing and Forgiving God is!

They (deniers) swore by God with their strongest oath – if a warner comes to us, we will be better guided than other communities. But when a warner did come, it only increased their aversion further – acting with arrogance on earth and planning evils. Yet, evil plans come to haunt none but their provocateurs! Can they expect anything other than what happened to their forebearers? You will not find any change in the manner God deals (with such wicked people) – no change whatsoever!

Have they not travelled and seen the conditions of those who came before them, they were even more powerful than these? God is such that there is nothing in the heavens or the earth that can thwart Him – He is truly Knowing, Almighty! If God were to punish humankind for what they have done, He would have left none on it, but He gives them respite until the appointed time comes. When that time comes, God holds all his creation in His vision!

Chapter 36: Ya Sin (Surah Ya Sin)

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

Verses 1 - 12

Ya Sin. By the Qur’an that is full of wisdom, you (Prophet)14 are truly among the Messengers, established on the Straight Path15. A revelation from God, the Mighty and the Merciful that you may educate a people whose previous generations did not receive guidance and hence they are uninformed and unmindful. It is understood that many of them will not accept faith – it is as if We [God]16 have placed a chain around their neck and it reaches up to their chin so their posture is that of pride; and placed a barrier ahead of them and a barrier behind them so that they are surrounded and unable to see and comprehend. (Under such condition) no amount of guidance will bring them to faith.

You can only guide those who follow the Reminder and those who are mindful of the Beneficent God in their private moments. Give to them the good news of forgiveness and a generous reward. Indeed, We [God] give life to the dead and We write down their accomplishments and their whereabouts [footprints]. We record everything in a document that is transparent.

Verses 13 - 19

Explain to them with a parable of the people in a town where the Messengers came. We [God] sent two Messengers and they denied them both. Then we strengthened them with a third (Messenger) and together they said: “Truly, we are sent to this town.” They (people of the town) said: “You all are but mortals like us and the Beneficent God has not revealed anything – you are lying.” They (Messengers) replied: “Our Cherisher God knows that we are sent to you. Our responsibility is to deliver clearly (the message).” They (people of the town) said: “We foresee evils from you. If you do not desist, we will stone you and serious chastisement will come to you from us.” They (Messengers) replied: “Your evils are with you despite you being reminded (by us)? You are a people given to excess (in committing evils).”

Verses 20 - 27

From the outskirt of the city, a man came running to the people. He said: “O my people, follow the Messengers. Follow their guidance for which they ask no compensation and they are being guided (by God). How can I not serve Him Who created me and to Whom you all will be brought back? Shall I adopt, besides ALLAH, deities who can do nothing to deliver me from the harms if the Beneficent God causes me to suffer? In that case, I will indeed be clearly misguided. I believe in your Cherisher God; so, hear me.” He was informed (after he was killed): “Enter the garden.” He said: “I wish my people knew – how my Cherisher God forgave me and placed me among those who are honorable.”

***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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