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Monthly Qur'an Readings

Session 25

Chapter 41: Clarity (Surah Al - Fussilat) - Continued…

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

Verses 47 - 54

The matter of the Hour (end of the world) only ALLAH encompasses. There is not a grain that comes out of its covering, or a female that conceives and brings forth except with God’s knowledge. On the Day God will ask, “Where are My partners?”, and they (deniers) will respond, “We confirm that none of us can find them.” The deities they invoked will have vanished and they will realize that there is no further escape!

Humankind is never tired of asking for good but if misfortune were to fall on them, they lose hope and become despondent! If We (God) make them receive mercy from Us after they have endured distress, they claim, “It is my doing. I do think that the Hour will never occur, but even if does and I am sent back to my Creator, I am sure to have (similar) mercy from God.” We will certainly inform those who deny God as to what they do, and We shall make them suffer a severe consequence! Whenever We give a favor to humankind, they turn away in self-defiance and distance themselves (from God), but when evil falls on them, they offer intense and lengthy supplications!

Say, “Can you not see, if this revelation is from God and you deny it, then who demonstrates greater error than the one who opposes it the farthest?” We will soon show them signs over the horizons and in themselves1, until it becomes clear to them that it is the Truth. Is it not adequate that God is a Witness to all affairs? Alas, they are in deep doubt about their meeting with God, whereas God encompasses them all!

Chapter 42: Mutual Counsel (Surah Al-Shura)

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

Verses 1 - 9

Ha, Meem, Ayn, Seen, Qaf!

Thus ALLAH – the Almighty, the Wise - reveals to you and to those who came before you! All that is in the heavens and all that is on earth belongs to God – the High, the Great! The heavens above them are about to break to pieces (for their misconduct), while angels exalt God and ask for forgiveness for those who inhabit the earth. Now God is the Forgiving, the Merciful!

Those who seek protectors other than God’s, God is aware of them, while you (Prophet) have no responsibility for them. This is how We revealed the Arabic Qur’an to you that you may guide the people of this Central City and those around it and may warn about the Day of Gathering3 about which there is no doubt – a party in the Garden while another party in the blazing Fire!

If God had willed, all of mankind could have been a single nation but God admits to mercy as God wills, whereas those who are unjust will have no protection, nor help. Have they taken protectors besides God? But God is the Only Protector - Giver of life to the dead and Ever Powerful over all things!

Verses 10 - 15

Whatever you may differ, the final judgment is with ALLAH! (Say Prophet) this is God, my Sustainer - on Whom I rely, Whom I turn to – the Originator of the heavens and the earth. God has made mates for you from amongst yourselves and so for animals that you (all) may reproduce and multiply. There is none like God. God is All Hearing, All Seeing! The treasures of the heavens and the earth belongs to God – amplifying provisions for some and constraining for others as God pleases, Knower of all things!

Regarding faith, God had laid down the same faith on Noah, what is being revealed to you and what was assigned to Abraham, Moses and Jesus – to establish true faith and not to create divisions. It is difficult to the polytheist to accept what you invite them to; yet God chooses whom God pleases and guides to God’s presence whom God wills. They (people of the book) did become partisans however, out of envy, only after knowledge came to them. It is only because of a commitment that had gone forth from God for an appointed time that the matters had not been settled among them yet. Indeed, those who inherit the Scripture are now in deep doubt about it. Therefore, continue to invite and be committed as you are guided while ignoring their vain desires and say, “I believe in what God had revealed of the Scripture and I am commanded to do justice among you all. God is our Sustainer as well as yours. We will face the consequence of our deeds and you will face the consequence of your deeds. There is no dispute between the you and us. God will gather us together and to God is our final destination!”

Verses 16 - 23

Those who argue about ALLAH after having acknowledged God, their plea will not be accepted from their Sustainer, and they will face anger and severe torments. It is God Who revealed the Scripture with truth and justice, and what will make you realize that the Hour of Judgment may already be close at hand! It is those who deny it want to hasten it while those who believe in it are fearful of it, because they recognize its real consequences. Those who dispute about the Hour of Judgment have deviated far from truth. But God is Loving to the creation and continues to provide whom God pleases! God is Mighty, God is Majestic!

Whoever desires the harvest of the Afterlife, God increases such provision, while those who desire the harvest of this life, We (God) too give them such harvest but reserve for them nothing for the Afterlife! Do they assert partners who ascribe religions to them that God had not sanctioned? Were it not for the decree of final judgment, the matter would have already been settled among them. Those who do evil and are unjust, will have severe consequences. Such people are fearful of what they have done, and such consequence will surely fall on them, while those who believe and do good, they will reside in the sanctuary of the Garden – where they will have what they wish for from their God, an enormous grace and blessing! Such is the good news that God gives to the servants who believe and do good. Say (Prophet), “I ask of you nothing in return except the love of kinship!” Whoever does good, We reward them with more good in them. God is indeed Forgiving, Grateful!

Verses 24 - 35

Do they say, “He (Prophet) had forged a lie against ALLAH?” God will secure your heart, as God obliterate falsehood and secure the truth, by God’s will. God knows the secrets concealed in your chest. It is God Who accepts repentance from the creation and pardons bad deeds with full awareness of your conducts. God answers those who believe and do good and gives more out of generosity. But for the deniers, the torment will be severe!

If God were to amplify provisions beyond it’s due measure for the servants, there will be chaos on earth, but God sends down in measure as appropriate and as God wills. Regarding the servants, God is Ever Aware, Observant! It is God Who sends down rain as a sign of expanding mercy after they have lost hopes. God is the Ultimate Friend, Worthy of Praise! One of the signs of God’s presence is the existence of the heavens and the earth and all of their living creatures in them. God is fully capable of gathering them which God will do!

Whatever of misfortunes touch you, it is due to your own doing, while God forgives much! You cannot escape (God) in this earth – you have no help or protection besides God. One of God’s signs is the (navigation) of ships on the high sea – see how God makes the wind still, when God wills, and the ships lie on their bottom motionless. Here is the presence of God for every patient and grateful one! Or God can cause them to parish for their own misconduct, but God forgives much! This is a message for those who dispute God’s messages – they should know that there is no escape from God!

Verses 36 - 43

Whatever of material things you are given, these are of this world, while what ALLAH has is better and more durable – reserved for those who (1) have faith, (2) rely on God, (3) avoid great sins and indecencies, (4) don’t give into anger but forgives, (5) respond to God’s call, (6) establish worship of God, (7) manage their affairs with mutual consultation, (8) shares their income and provisions that God had provided with others, and (9) when faced with grave injustice defend themselves!

The compensation for evil is an evil comparable but those who forgive and those who make amends, God will reward them. God does not love the unjust! Those who defend themselves after being oppressed, cannot be blamed. Blamed are those who oppress fellow human beings and cause great mischief without any just cause – these will face severe consequences! But those who exercise patience, persevere and forgive – that is an exemplary character!

Verses 44 - 47

Those whom ALLAH allows to go astray, there will be no guidance after God. If you could only visualize the unfortunate transgressors when they face the impending chastisement, they will lament – “Is there a way to go back?” You will see them humbled, as they are brought before it, giving a fearful look while those who believed will affirm – “the real losers are those who lose themselves and their followers on the Day of Resurrection.” Yes indeed – the unjust will find themselves in lasting torment and they will have no support besides God. Whoever persist in error and God leaves them be, will not find a way!

Listen and align yourself with your Sustainer before God bring about a Day that cannot be averted. It is a Day where you will have no refuge (besides God) and can make no denials!

Verses 48 - 53

If they do not listen (O Prophet), We have not sent you as their guardian. You job is only to deliver (the message). It is in human character that when We show them grace from Us, they rejoice but when they face the evil consequences of what their own hands had done, they become ungrateful!

ALLAH’s is the kingdom of the heavens, and the earth and God creates as God wills – granting male or a female or both or none, as God pleases. God Knows and God is Powerful! It is not appropriate for a mortal that God should speak directly but through revelations, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger to reveal by God’s permission. God is Elevated, God is Wise! This is why We had revealed (to you) a spirit by Our Command – before this you did not know what a scripture was or the nature of faith – but We did make this light, guiding with it whoever We please of Our servants. Indeed you (Prophet) guide to the right path – the path towards God, Who owns all that are in heavens and all that are on earth. In the end, all affairs go back to God for resolution!

Chapter 43: Gold (Surah Zukhruf)

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

Verses 1 - 11

Ha Meem!

The Book that reveals! We have made it an Arabic Qur’an so that you can easily comprehend.

It is part of the Source Book that is with Us – truly exalted, authoritative! Shall We remove this Reminder from you just because you are an arrogant group? Yet, We had sent many prophets to the previous generations and none came but was made fun of. So We destroyed those who were more powerful and prosperous than these people and those examples are before you.

If you were to ask them, “Who created the heavens and the earth?”, they would say, “It is surely ALLAH the Almighty, the Knowing Who created them.” It is God Who made the earth ready for you and created tracks on it that you may find your ways. It is God Who sends down rain from the clouds accordingly to a measure and brings life in the dead soil. This is how is (your) resurrection will be!

Verses 12 - 25

It is ALLAH Who created all things in pairs and placed ships and cattle to ride on. Once you are seated firmly on them, remember the grace of God and say, “God be exalted! It is God Who made these subservient to us and we certainly could not do it by ourselves alone. We are sure to return to our Sustainer God.” Yet, they assign as offspring to God, a part of God’s creation. Humankind, to be sure, is ungrateful. What! – God has taken daughters4 from what God creates while preferring for you to have sons? Yet when one of them is given the news of what they prefer for God (daughters), their face become grim, and they become enraged.

What! – something that is decked with trinkets and unable to make a simple speech in its own defense (is God’s partner)?

They mark angels – who are the servants of the Beneficent God – as females. Were they a witness when angels were created? Their assertions is being recorded and they will be questioned. They say, “If the Beneficent God had willed, we would not have worshipped these idols.” But they have no knowledge and only use guesswork regarding this. Or perhaps they were given a scripture in the past that they claim to follow? No, their answer is, “We follow the tradition of our forefathers. We are directed by their guidance.” This is why whenever We had sent a warner to a town before, their corrupt and wealthy leaders would say, “We follow the traditions of our forefathers. We follow their footsteps.” (But the warner) said, “What if I bring to you a better guidance than the traditions of your forefathers?” and they replied, “We simply refuse to accept what you are sent with!” Then We exacted due consequences from them! See now how they fared who had denied?

Verses 26 - 35

(Recall) when Abraham said to his father and his community, “I have no part in what you worship except ALLAH, Who created me and Who will guide me.” He established such doctrine (of monotheism) for his posterity so that they may return (time and again). Indeed, I (God) let these people and their fathers enjoy life until the truth comes to them, and a Messenger makes things clear. But when truth arrives to them, they say, “This is enchantment, and we deny it.” They even say, “Why was not this Qur’an revealed to a man of higher stature (wealth and power) from these two cities6? What – do they allocate the blessings of God? We portion out to them their livelihood in this world, We raise some above others in ranks and We make some to serve others, while the blessings of God are better than all their wealth and possessions!

Were it not that people might become a community (without faith), We would have given the disbelievers, who deny the Beneficent God, houses of sliver roofs and grand doors, sweeping stairs for going up, and couches of gold ornaments – all these being the provisions of this world’s life, whereas the Hereafter is with God reserved for those who acts responsibly.

Verses 36 - 45

Whoever neglect the remembrance of the God of Mercy, We assign for them the devil (or evil persons) as associates who prevent them from the right path while they think they are on the right path. When they come back to us, they will say (to their evil associates), “I wish there were a distance of the East and the West between you and me – you are such an evil company!” But you did wrong and such renouncement would profit none – you will share in the chastisements. Can you (Prophet) really make the deaf hear, or guide the blind or one who dives into clear error? Whether We take you (Prophet) away or make you witness the promised outcome – We will still exact the consequences from them, and We are Ever Powerful over them!

Therefore, stay committed to the revelations that have been sent to you (Prophet) and rest assured that you are on the right path. This is a Reminder for you and for your community and you will be questioned. (If in doubt) ask those of Our messengers who were sent before, “Did We ever appoint false deities to be worshipped in the place of God, the Merciful?”

Verses 46 - 56

We indeed sent Moses with Our Messages to Pharaoh and his ministers. Moses said, “I am the messenger from the God of the universe!” He produced the evidence We gifted him with but Pharoah and the ministers made fun of them (Moses and Aaron). We showed them signs of greater significance in succession and finally let them face consequence in the hope that they might amend. They called out, “O Magicians (Moses and Aaron), pray to your Lord who made a covenant with you – we will follow the guidance.” But when We removed the chastisement, they reneged their promise!

Pharaoh boasted among his people, “O my people, is not the kingdom of Egypt with the Nile flowing through it mine? Can you not see? Am I not better than this fellow who is despicable and can hardly express himself? Why doesn’t he have ornaments of gold on him, or angels in formation with him?” This is how he incited his people, and they rallied behind him. These were a community that transgressed. This is how they provoked Us - We exacted Our retribution by drowning them all, making them a thing of the past and setting them as an example for later generations!

Verses 57 - 67

Your people clamor when the son of Mary is mentioned as an example and they say, “is he or our gods better?” They only bring it up to you to initiate a dispute – they are indeed contentious in nature! He (Jesus) was none but a servant whom We blessed and established as an example for the Children of Israel. If We (God) had pleased, We could have placed angels among you to oversee the world!

Indeed this (Qur’an) contains the knowledge of the Hour – therefore, have no doubts and follow Me! This is the Straight Path! Do not let the devil get in the way – he is an avowed enemy! When Jesus came with reasoned arguments and said, “I have come with wisdom and to clear up some of your differing doctrines. Therefore, be mindful of God and follow me. Indeed, God is my Sustainer and your Sustainer. This is the Straight Path!

But groups among them entertained different opinions – too bad for those who did wrong as they will face the consequence on a difficult day. Do they wait for the Hour? It will creep on them suddenly, without ever realizing its approach - when friends will become enemies of one another, except those who acted responsibly and were mindful!

Verses 68 - 80

O My servants, there is no fear for you this day, nor any need to grieve – you had believed in Our Message and were devoted to Us! Enter the Garden – you all and your spouses – being content! There is golden bowls and drinking cups to go around, satisfying you yearnings and your sights and you will reside in that state. This is the Garden that you have inherited as a reward for your conducts. In it are abundant provisions to relish!

The guilty ones will find themselves in the torment of Hell – it will not be reduced for them, and they will be in despair. We did them no wrong but they wronged themselves. They will cry, “Our Master, let your God make an end to us.” The angel will say, “(No,) you stay here.”

We bring the truth to you but most of you do not care about the truth. Do you think you can determine your affairs? But it is We (God) Who settle (your) affairs! Do they think that We do not hear their secrets talks and their private plotting? Yes, We do – our messengers are with them – always, writing down!

Verses 81 - 89

Say (Prophet), “The God of Mercy has no son. I am foremost8 among those who serve ALLAH. Exalted is the God of the heavens and the earth, God of Power – free from all partners that they attribute!” So let them engage in their vain talks and idle sports until the day is upon them which has been promised. It is God Who is the Sustainer of the heavens and the Sustainer of the earth. God is the Wise and the Knowing! Blessed is the God Who owns the heavens and the earth and all that is in between – with God is the knowledge of the Hour and to God you all will be brought back! The partners whom they invoke have no power of intercession (with God), except those who acknowledge the truth as they recognize (the truth)!

If you were to ask them, “Who created you?”, they would reply, “It is ALLAH.” Yet they turn back. (We heard) your cry (of desperation), “O our God, this is a nation that does not believe.” Stay undisturbed and say, “Peace!”, they will come to know soon enough!

Chapter 44: Smoke (Surah Al-Dhukhan)

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

Verses 1 - 13

Ha Meem!

The Book that explains and manifests!

Revealed on a blessed night by Us

As always to warn and caution

In it all matters are differentiated

With Wisdom!

And as an instruction from Us

As always by sending messengers

As a sign of God’s mercy

Truly God hears and knows!

God of the heavens and the earth

And what are in-between

If you only stop doubting

There is no god but God

Giver of life and death

God of your parents from the past

Yet you sport in doubt

Are you waiting for a day?

When the heaven darkens (with smoke)

Enveloping all of humankind

A day of painful reckoning

(your cry) “Our God, remove this reckoning –

We do believe!”

Really? Were you mindful?

Verses 14 - 27

A messenger has indeed arrived

To make things clear

But you refuse and taunt – “A madman – possessed and instructed.”

We will ease a little – but you are sure to return

To the day of greater confinement

The day to extract retribution!

Pharoah and his people – We put on trial

A noble messenger came to them

“Give safe passage to the servants of ALLAH

I am but a faithful messenger to you

Avoid arrogance before God

I come with clear authority (from God)

I seek protection in my God and your God

If you are tempted to harm9 me

If you do not believe – leave me alone!”

(Moses) called out – “My God!

These people are evil!”

(God said) – “Leave by night with My servants

They will pursue you

Move past the sea being separated

Your pursuers will be drowned

Leaving behind their gardens and water fountains

Cornfields and lush places

Blissful things they enjoyed!”

Thus it was!

Verses 28 - 39

Other people took over them

The heaven and the earth did not weep for them

They could not escape!

We did deliver -the Children of Israel

From an enormity of sufferings

From Pharaoh – his arrogance and constant transgression!

Elevated them above others, knowingly

Gave them guidance, supported by blessings fully manifest!

These people (Makkhan) say,

“Our death is but one death

We will not be raised to life again

If you (Prophet) speak the truth – then bring our fathers back (from graves)!”

Do these people consider themselves better?

Than people of Tubba’10

Or those before them

But We destroyed them all – for their guilts! (v34-37)

We did not create the heavens and the earth

And all that is in-between

Without a purpose!

With truth did We create

But most people do not comprehend!

Verses 40 - 59

The Day of Decision

A contract with them all

When friends can’t avail friends, nor be helped

Except on whom ALLAH has mercy

God is the Mighty, the Merciful!

The tree of Zuqqum

Provision for the sinful

Burning their bellies – as if molten metal or boiling water

Seize them!

Throw them into the depth of Hell

Pour boiling water over their heads

Taste! Your claim for power and honor!

And your doubts!

Those who acted responsibly

Are secure in gardens and springs

Wearing fine silk and in good company

This is how it is – joined by beautiful and handsome mates!

Secure provisions as they desire

Never to taste death, except the first time

Protected from the torment of the Abyss

A grace from God

A grand achievement!

We have made the Qur’an easy to understand

In your own tongue – perhaps they will take heed

Wait then (Prophet) – they are waiting too!

Chapter 45: Kneeling (Surah Al-Jathiah)

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

Verses 1 - 11

Ha Meem!

The revelation of this Book is from ALLAH – the Mighty, the Wise! Indeed, the presence of the heavens and the earth are evident enough for the believers, and so are your creation and the existence of living beings spread out – serve as evidence for those who are convinced. For the people with perception, there are signs in these – the alteration of the day and the night, the provisions that God

bestows from the heavens, giving of life to the earth after their demise, and the changing directions of the wind. These are the messages from God that We recite to you with truth. What other narratives, besides what have already been given of God and God’s evidence, will they believe in?

Shame to all sinful liars – who hear the message of God conveyed to them, but persist in their false pride, as if they did not hear at all. Inform them then of severe consequences. When they hear Our messages, they take them for making fun. For them is humiliating consequences – Hell awaits them. What they have achieved will be of no use, not even their deities who they call on besides God. Grievous consequences await them! This is part of the guidance – if you disbelieve in the messages from God, then you are faced with its dreadful consequences.

Verses 12 - 17

It is ALLAH Who has made the sea useful to you – that the ships may travel through by God’s command so that you may seek God’s bounty and be thankful. God has made all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth of use to you – all from God. In these there are evidence for those who reflect!

Tell the believers that they should forgive those who fail to appreciate God’s days (of blessings) so that God may recompensate each community for what it does. Whoever do good, it is for themselves and whoever do evil, it is against themselves. In the end you will be brought back to your Sustainer God!

We blessed the Children of Israel with scripture, wisdom, prophethood, and good provisions. We also favored them over other nations. We conveyed to them clear instructions to manage their affairs. Yet, they did not differ among themselves until the knowledge came to them – they did so out of envy among themselves. God will judge their differences on the Day of Resurrection!

Verses 18 - 23

Now We (God) have established you on a course of actions and affairs – stay on it and do not follow the desires of the ignorant. They cannot help you against ALLAH – those who do evils are friends of one another while God befriends those who acts responsibly. This (revelation) provides insight for humankind and serves as a guidance and blessings for those who have conviction!

Do those who commit evils think that We will treat them the same as those who believe and do good - their living and their death being equal? How bad is their judgment! God created the heavens and the earth with truth and purpose such that every soul can be rewarded according to its deeds, and none can be treated unjustly.

Do you see those who take their desires as their gods? God leaves alone those who do wrong deliberately – their hearings and their hearts are sealed, and a covering placed over their eyes. How can you guide them without God? Will you not be mindful?

Verses 24 - 37

They say, “There is nothing beyond the life of this world – we live and we die – nothing diminishes us except time.” Regarding this matter, they have no knowledge – they only follow their conjectures! When ALLAH’s messages are conveyed to them, they have no other argument than to say, “Bring back our forefathers, if you speak the truth.” Tell them, “It is God Who gives you life, causes you to die, and will gather you on the Day of Resurrection. There is no doubt in it but most people are ignorant!

God’s dominion extends over the heavens and the earth. The day when the Hour will appear, that will be the day when those who perpetrated falsehood will be doomed. You will see every community kneeling down – being called to see their records. This day you will be rewarded according to your deeds. This is Our record that will speak in truth against you – We did record all that you did!

As for those who did believe and did good, God will admit them to mercy – a visible achievement! As for those who disbelieved – was not My message conveyed to you? But you acted with pride, and you were a wicked community. When it was conveyed to you, “The promise of God is true and the Hour – there is no doubt in it.”, you replied, “We do not know what this Hour is. We think it is just a conjecture and we are doubtful!” The evils of your deeds will thus become visible to you and things that you made fun of will surround you. It will be announced, “This day We (God) forsake you, as you did neglect this day of yours. You will reside in fire, and you will not be helped. It is because you mocked at the message from God, and you were deceived by your earthly life.” On this day they will not be taken out of fire, and they will not be allowed to make amends.

So God be praised – God of the heavens, God of the earth and God of the universe! The true greatness in the heavens and the earth belongs to God – God is the Mighty, the Wise!

***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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