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Monthly Qur'an Readings

Session 24

Chapter 39: The Throngs (Surah Al-Zumar) - Continued…

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

Verses 36 - 40

Is not ALLAH sufficient for the servants? They attempt to frighten you (Prophet) with deities they worship besides God. Indeed, whoever God leaves astray, there is no guide for them. On the other hand, whom God guides, no one can lead astray! Is not God Mighty, Able to take retribution?

If you ask them, “Who created the heavens and the earth?”, they will reply, “God”. Say, “Can you not see that those that you worship besides God – if God were to afflict me with harms, could they remove such harms? Or, if God were to shower mercy, could they withhold such mercy? Say, “God is sufficient for me. On God let the reliant rely!” Say, “People, you work in your place, and I too am a worker. You will come to know – who is made to suffer a humiliating chastisement (in this life) and who will face the lasting chastisement (of the hereafter).”

Verses 41 - 48

ALLAH had revealed the book to you (Prophet) with truth for the good of mankind. Whoever then follow the right course, it is for their own good and whoever stray, it is for their own peril. You (Prophet) are not their custodian!

God takes the souls of humankind at the time of their death, and for the living, during their sleep - God then withholds the souls of those whose death has been decreed, while for others, their souls are sent back until their terms come which have been set already. Indeed, there are evidence in these for people who wish to reflect!

Yet, they take intermediaries besides God. Say, “Why? Even though these have no power nor understanding? Any intersession is God’s alone! Kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to God and to God you will be returned. (v43-44)

Those who deny the Hereafter, their hearts, when God alone is mentioned, shrink whereas when deities besides God are mentioned they rejoice! Say, “O God – You are the Originator of the heavens and the earth, You are the Knower of what is hidden and what is exposed, and You judge among your creations as to what they differed and disagreed.” On the Day of Resurrection when faced with the evils of what consequences lie ahead, those who did wrong will offer up, if they could, all that the earth contains and more of it to avoid the evils of impending chastisement. What they never thought of will become plain to them from God – the evils of what they have done will become clear and what they used to mock will now surround them.

Verses 49 - 59

When humankind is afflicted with any harm, they call on Us! But when We give them reprieve and blessings, they say, “We have secured it only by means of knowledge.” No, it is a trial but most of them do not comprehend. Even those before them did say the same but what they earned was of no use in the end – their evils caught up with them. Among the contemporaries, who are unjust and ungrateful, their evils will similarly fall on them – there is no escape for anyone! Do you not know that ALLAH gives abundantly to some and sparingly to other, as God pleases? In all of these, there are guidance for the faithful!

Say, “O My servants – if you have been overly lax about your soul, do not despair of God’s mercy. It is God Who forgives all sins – as God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful! Turn to your God and secure peace before the chastisement catches up with you, at which point you can’t be helped. Follow the best teachings and guidance that have come from God before the chastisement comes to you suddenly, while you are unmindful. This is so, lest a soul should cry out – ‘Shame on me that I failed to fulfil my commitment to God and was one of those who rejected and mocked.’ Or it says, ‘Had God guided me, I would have certainly followed.’ Or it should say, when facing the consequence, ‘If I have another chance, I will certainly be a doer of good.’ Ah, but My Message was there for you; instead you rejected, became arrogant and was a party to the disbelievers!”

Verses 60 - 70

If you could see, those who denied God their faces grim on the Day of Resurrection. Do the arrogant deserves anything other than hell? While God delivers the reward to those who kept their commitment – no evil will touch them, not will they grieve! ALLAH is the Creator of all things and He is in charge of all affairs. The treasure of the heavens and the earth belong to God. Those who reject the messages from God will be the ultimate losers!

Say, “O egregious people, do you bid me to serve others besides God? Whereas, it has been revealed to you and those before you that if you serve others besides God, your work will come to nothing, and you would be a failure. Therefore, serve none but God and be thankful!”

They do not esteem God as God’s true glory – the whole earth will be in God’s direct control on the Day of Resurrection and the heavens will be rolled up according to God’s command1. God be exulted! God is above anything they assign as God’s partner!

The trumpet is sounded – all that is on earth and in heavens will lose their senses, except as God pleases. Then with the second blow of the trumpet, lo! – they will rise and wait! The earth will shine with the glory of God, the books2 will be laid open and the prophets and the witnesses will be presented so that judgment can be rendered with pure justice – no one will be misjudged! Every soul will be compensated according to what it had earned – God knows best what they did!

Verses 71 - 75

Those who disbelieved are driven towards Hell in groups. As they come to the door, it is flung open and its keepers3 ask, “Did not messengers – from your own community – come to you to convey the messages from ALLAH and to warn of this appointment of yours for this Day?” Their answers will be, “Yes”, but the word of consequence has already proven to be true for them. It will be announced, “Enter the gates of Hell and stay in there – evil is the residence of those who are arrogant!”

Those who were mindful of God and acted responsibly will be led to the Garden in groups. As they come to its door, it will fling open and the keepers will say, “Peace be to you! You led pure life – so enter this place to reside. The faithful will respond, “Praise be to ALLAH! – Who fulfilled the promise made to us and let us inherit the earth. Now we live in this Garden, as we please. Such is the blessings for good work!” They see the angels going around the presence4 of God, glorifying! All are judged with sublime justice, and it is announced, “Praise be to ALLAH, the Cherisher of the universe!”

Chapter 40: The Believer (Surah Al-Mu’min)

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

Verses 1 - 6

Ha Mim!

A scripture – revealed from ALLAH – the Mighty, the Knowing, The Forgiver of sins, The Acceptor of repentance, The Stern in retribution, The Infinite in blessings – there is no god but God! To God is the ultimate going back!

None argue about the messages from God except those who doubt. Don’t be fooled by their free movement to profit from the land.

Before these people, the people of Noah and their future generations denied – every community attempted to destroy its messenger by falsehood and to dislodge the truth. Then I took them under My grip and see the effect of My retribution! This is how the word of your God was realized against those who denied, and they were made to become the residents of the Fire!

Verses 7 - 12

Those who shoulder The Throne (arsh) and those who surround it – all glorify the praise of ALLAH and believe. They seek for the believers forgiveness and protection - “Our Sustainer, You embrace all in Your Mercy and Knowledge! Extend protection to those turn towards You and follow Your guidance. Save them the torment of the abyss (hell)! Make them to enter the Garden of Perpetuity – they and their parents, their spouses, and their offspring such as those who are good. You are indeed the Mighty, the Wise! Protect them from evils! Whoever you protect from evils, are indeed blessed with Your Mercy – a worthy achievement!”

The deniers will be told, “God’s displeasure, when you were called to faith and you rejected, was greater than your own self-hatred now. Now you plead,’ Twice you had caused us to be dead, and twice you have given us life – therefore, we confess our sins. Is there a way out?’, while you were invited previously to believe in God alone, you rejected but when partners were assigned to God, you accepted. Therefore, judgement (now) belongs to God alone – the High, the Great!”

Verses 13 - 20

It is ALLAH who shows you signs and evidence and sends down provisions from heaven, but no one is truly mindful excepts those who turn to God. Call on God, being genuine in your submission, even though the disbelievers may dislike. God elevates and lights up the spirit of whom God pleases of the servants (Prophet) towards the glory of God such that he may warn people of the Day of Separation5 – the day when they come forth and nothing of them stays secret from God! Who controls the kingdom today? – it is God, the One, Who overpowers all!

This day every soul is compensated according to what it had earned – no injustice can occur on this day – ensured by God Who is diligent in taking accounts. Therefore, warn them of the day – the day when the heart grieves, (soul) rising to the throat as it readies to depart – for the deniers, there will be no friend left, nor even an intervener to be heard. God knows the dishonesty of the eyes and the secrets (disobedience) of the hearts! God renders judgement, while those they call on besides God, can judge nothing. God hears and God sees!

Verses 21 - 27

Have they not travelled around to see the remnant of those who went before them? They were more powerful and had more fortifications in the land than these people; yet, ALLAH destroyed them for their sins and they had no one to protect them from God. Such consequences were because of their continued disbelief in their messengers who were sent to them repeatedly – God destroyed them; God is powerful and firm in retribution!

We sent Moses to Pharaoh, Haman and Korah with Our messages and directives but they said, “you are a lying enchanter!” As he pronounced the truth from God to them, they said, “Kill the sons of those who believe with him and keep their women alive.” Yet, the scheming of those who disbelieve is bound to fall apart!

Pharaoh said, “Leave me in charge to kill Moses and let him call on his God. I fear that he will change our religion or that he will disturb the order in the land.” Moses replied, “I seek refuge in my God and your God from every arrogant being who deny the Day of Accountability.”

Verses 28 - 35

A man from the family of Pharaoh who was faithful but kept this faith secret spoke out, “Will you kill a man because he says, ‘My Sustainer is the One God and he had conveyed sound and clear arguments from your God? If he is a liar, then his lie will be on him but if he speaks the truth, then whatever he warns you about will descend on you – ALLAH does not guide one who is wasteful of his life and is a liar! My people, yours is the rule today, being the master of this land, but who will protect us when the judgement of God comes upon us?”

Pharaoh replied, “I guide you to what I understand, and I guide you aright!” The man replied, “My people, I fear the consequences of other fallen tribes – the tribes of Noah, Ad, Thamud and those after them. God indeed wishes no injustice to God’s creation! O my people, I am afraid of you on the Day of Calling out when you will want to run away, having no savior other than God. Whoever God leaves in error will find no guide. Joseph came to you with guidance, but you doubted what he brought and then when he died, you said, ‘God will never send another messenger after him.’ This is how God let the doubters and arrogant to remain on their errand ways – those who dispute about the message of God without any reliable authority and evidence. Such stance displeases God and those who are faithful! This is how God seals the hearts of the arrogant and tyrants!

Verses 36 - 45

Pharaoh said, “Haman, build me a tower that I can have access – access to the heavens and reach the God of Moses. I consider him a liar.” This is how he considered his actions to be reasonable and he did turn aside from guidance. Yet, the plot of Pharaoh brought him nothing but ruins!

The believing (from Pharaoh’s family) said, “My people, follow me and I will show you the right way. The life of this world is anything but a passing enjoyment whereas the Hereafter is where you should find proper resettlement. Whoever does evil, will meet its consequences in proper measure and whoever does good, be a male or a female, and is a believer will enter Paradise where there are provisions beyond measure. My people, how is it that I call you to salvation and you call me towards the Fire? You invite me to deny God and to seek partners that I am unaware of, while I call you to ALLAH, the Almighty, the Forgiving! Whatever you bid me to call upon has no entitlement to be called upon in this world or in the Hereafter, while our eventual return is to God. It is the rebellious who will end up in the Fire! Therefore, remember what I say to you while I put myself to the care of God. God keeps an eye on the believers!” God protected him from the evils of what was planned against him, whereas the results of their evil actions overtook Pharoah’s people.

Verses 46 - 52

The Fire – they are brought to face it each morning and evening and when the day of the Hour will arrive, (it will be said), “Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest chastisement.” They will then contend with one another in the Fire – the weaker among them will say to the powerful, “We did indeed follow you before – can you now remove the fire from us?” Those who were powerful and proud will say, “Now, we are in it all together. ALLAH had indeed judged among the creations!

Those in the fire will then approach the guards of hell, “Will you pray to your God to lighten our chastisement for a day?” The guards (Angels) will reply, “Did your messengers not come to you with guidance? They will say, “Yes!”; then the guards will say, “Now pray for yourself. The prayers of the deniers are fruitless!”

We (God) certainly aid Our messengers and the believers in this worldly life and on the day when witnesses will arise – the day when guilty will not be benefitted by the excuses, a curse will be on them, and they will find an evil place to reside.

Verses 53 - 65

We did give guidance to Moses and let the Children of Israel inherit the Book – a book of guidance and a reminder for people who wish to understand. So be patient – surely the promise of ALLAH is true; ask for God’s protection against your sins and glorify God at the beginning and the end of the day. Those who dispute about God’s guidance without any credible authoritative evidence that came to them, there is no other motive in their hearts except to seek vanity and greatness which they will never achieve. Therefore, seek refuge in God – God of All Hearing, All Seeing!

The creation of the heavens and earth is of greater import than the creation of humankind – yet, most people seem to be unaware! The blind and the seeing are not the same – so are those who believe and do good vs. the evil doers. You are hardly mindful of such distinctions! The Hour is coming – there is no doubt in it – yet most people deny!

You Sustainer God encourages you, “Pray to Me, I will answer you. Those who are too proud to serve Me will enter hell and will be humiliated!”

It is God Who had made the night for resting and the day for going about6. God is full of grace for humankind, but most people are not thankful! This is your God Who made all things – there is no god but God – where does your delusion and perversion come from? Only those who deny God’s messages are in turn delusional and perverted! It is God Who had made the earth for dwelling and the sky a protective shield, and shaped you perfecting your form, and given you provisions of good things – this your God, your Sustainer – so blessed be God, the Cherisher of the universe! Your God is Living – there is no god but God! Therefore, turn to God with sincere submission – all praises be to God, the Cherisher of the universe!

Verses 66 - 76

Say (Prophet), “Since clear arguments have come to me from my Sustainer, I am forbidden to serve any god you assign as partners to the true God. I am commanded to submit to the Cherisher of the universe!”

God created you first from this earth and then reproduces you from sperm and egg, then attaches you securely and finally brings you out as a child that you can attain maturity and then grow old; some of you die before others to fulfil a term appointed for each so that you may understand and acknowledge. It is ALLAH Who gives life and causes death; when God executes an affair, God only has to says to it, “Be” and it becomes! (v67-68)

Do you see those who dispute about the messages from God – how delusional are they? They reject the book and all (arguments and reasoning) that We send with the prophets – yet they will soon come to realize, when with chains around their necks they will be dragged into boiling waters and towards the fire to burn. There they will be questioned, “Where are those that you used worship besides God?” and they will respond, “They have failed us, or perhaps we never worshipped any such things before.” This is how God confounds the disbelievers, because they behaved arrogantly and unjustly on the earth and without any accountability. “Enter the gates of Hell to live therein; evil is the place of residence for the arrogant!”

Verses 77 - 85

Therefore, be patient! ALLAH’s promise is true! Whether We allow you (Prophet) to see the consequences that We threaten them with or We cause you to die beforehand, they will be brought back to Us! We did send messengers before you – some of whom We had related to you, while others we did not relate to you. It is also not possible for a prophet to bring signs except with God’s permission. Judgement will be rendered with truth when God’s command is executed and those who considered the message a lie will indeed suffer losses!

God made the cattle for you that you may ride and eat their meat. There are other benefits for you in them and aspirations that you satisfy through them. You are transported by them and on ships – God shows you evidence – which of God’s evidence will you continue to deny? Why not travel in the land and see the consequences suffered by the earlier generations? They were larger in numbers, greater in prowess and more secure in fortifications but all their possessions were of no use. Their prophets came to them with sound reasoning, but they took pride in their knowledge; eventually the messages they made fun of overtook them. (v79-83)

When they saw the impending consequences from Us, they said, “We believe in God alone! We deny ever associating anything with God!” But their new-found faith could not benefit them, when they were faced with the consequences – such is God’s law, which always takes hold in the course of human affairs. They deniers are but lost!

Chapter 41: Clarity (Surah Al - Fussilat)

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

Verses 1 - 9

Ha Mim!

A revelation – from the God of Mercy, the Endower of Mercy!

A book – verses with clarity, in plain Arabic; so you know!

Warnings! Good News! – but they turn aside and hear not!

They say, “Our hearts are protected from what you (Prophet) tell us, we don’t hear you and there is a separation between us and you. Therefore, go on doing what you are doing but we will do what we need to do.”

(Prophet) Tell them, “I am a mortal just like you, but it has been revealed to me that your God is but One! That you should stay on the straight path towards your God and seek refuge in God. How unfortunate are those who are polytheists, who do not care for the poor and who deny the Hereafter? Whereas those who believe and do good, theirs is a reward for sure, a reward never to be exhausted!” (v5-8)

Say (Further), “ Do you disbelieve in ALLAH Who created the earth in two days?7 Do you set rivals with God when God is the Master of the universe?”

Verses 10 - 15

ALLAH established mountains on its surface, blessed all therein and measured its provisions for all seekers in four days! God directed attention to the sky, it was gaseous and said to it and the earth, “Come both, come willingly or unwillingly.” They both said, “We come willingly.” In two days God arranged the seven heavens and establish in each heaven its orders. The lower heaven was given its light and made to safeguard. Such is the decree of God – the Mighty, the Knowing!

If they still turn away, say to them, “I am warning you of a calamity, the like of which afflicted the people of A’d and Thamud.” (Recall) when prophets came at various points in time (to people of Thamud) and said, “Serve none but God.”, but they said, “If our Cherisher God had willed He would have sent angels instead – so we deny the very purpose for which you claim to have been sent.” The community of A’d were arrogant too, being unjust in their conduct and said, “Who is more powerful than us?” If they could only see that God Who created them is more powerful than they were. They rejected Our messages!

Verses 16 - 24

We then sent violent wind and storm on days unfortunate enough so to make them taste humiliation in this life, while the humiliation in the Hereafter will be further degrading and no help will be available then. We showed the people of Thamud the right way, but they preferred blindness to guidance – so a blinding blast overtook them, fitting what they have earned, but We saved those who believed and acted responsibly!

(Imagine) the Day when the deniers and enemies of God will be gathered by the fire, and they will be in placed in groups. Until their arrival by the fire, their own ears, eyes, and skins will proclaim as witness against their own conducts, and they will say to their skins, “Why do you testify against us?” Their skins will say, “God Who made power of expression available to all creations, made us speak. God created you first and now you are being returned to God. You did not think of covering yourselves lest your ears, your eyes and your skins could testify against you – you thought instead that God did not know much about what you did! It is your thoughts and doubts that you entertained against God is the source of your ruins and you have come to be a loser. If you can maintain patience, fire is your destiny and if you ask for goodwill, you are not the ones to be granted such goodwill.

Verses 25 - 32

We assigned to them their accomplice who tempted them with making their past conducts and future look good to them and thus their guilt was proven – the nations of jinn and humankind who passed away before this current generation – they indeed are losers!

Those who lack faith say, “Do not listen to this Qur’an being recited – rather, make noise so that you can prevail.” We will make those who disbelieve taste the consequences and they will account for the worst of their behavior. Such is the reward for the enemies of God – the fire! They will reside in it – a fitting requital for denying Our messages. The disbelievers will plead, “Our God, show us those – from among jinn and mankind – who led us astray, so that we may trample them under our feet and make them the lowest of the low.”

But those who say, “Our god is ALLAH.”, and stay on the right path, angels will descend on them assuring, “Fear not, and do not grieve! Receive the advent of the Garden that you were promised – we are your friends in this life and in the Afterlife. You will have what your souls desire and what you ask for – a welcome gift from the Forgiving, the Merciful God!”

Verses 33 - 39

Who is better in speech than the one who calls (people) to ALLAH, does good and says, “I am one of those who submits to God”? The evil and the good are not same – repel evils with goodness, and behold, an enemy of yours becomes as if an old and loyal friend! But none can achieve goodness except those who exercise patience and are blessed with ample righteousness!

If a temptation from the devil (and evil people) were to stir you, seek (immediate) refuge from God, the Knowing, the Hearing! (v36)

Among God’s signs are these – the day, the night, the sun, and the moon; do not worship the sun or the moon but worship God Who created you if you truly intend to worship. But if these people are proud, then know that those who are with God glorify God day and night, and do so tirelessly!

Among God’ signs is this – you see the earth lifeless but as soon as We send down water in its soil, it stirs and swells (with life); God Who gives it life is also the One Who gives life to the dead! Indeed, God is powerful over all things!

Verses 40 - 46

Anyone who distorts Our messages should know that they are not hidden or protected from Us. Who is better – one cast into the fire or the one who arrives in safety on the Day of Resurrection? Do as you please while ALLAH sees what you do. You disbelieve in this Reminder when it is recited to you while it is a scripture unassailable9 – falsehood cannot come to it from any directions – a revelation from the Wise, the Praised God! Nothing is revealed to you (Prophet) that was not revealed to prophets before you. Indeed, your Sustainer God is the God of grand forgiveness and severe retribution!

If We had revealed the Qur’an in a foreign tongue, they would have complained, “Only if its verses were made clear – a foreign tongue and an Arab (messenger)?” Say to them, “It is a guidance and a healing for those who believe, but those who deny, it adds deafness in their ears and blurriness in their sights, as if they are called from a distant place.

We indeed gave Moses the Book (the Torah) but they differed and failed regarding it. If a word had not gone forth from your Sustainer God, judgment would have been rendered already – they are in deep doubt about it (the guidance). Whoever does good, does so for its own good and whoever does evil, it is against itself! Your Cherisher God is never unjust to the servants!

***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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