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Nightly Ramadan Readings

Night (Juz') 26 - April 4, 2024

Chapter 46: Sand Dunes (Surah Al-Ahqaf)

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

Verses 1 - 8

Ha Meem!

The revelation of this scripture (the Qur’an) is from ALLAH – the Magnificent, the Wise! We did not create the heavens, the earth and all that is contained among them except in truth with a purpose and for a designated term! Those who disbelieve turn away from what they are being cautioned about.

Ask them (Prophet), “What is your assessment of those whom you call upon besides God? Can you show me what of the earth they have created or what share they have of the heavens? Is there a scripture before this or any remnants of information that corroborate what you assert – if you speak the truth? Who is more misguided than the ones who invoke deities other than God – deities that answer them not even to the Day of Resurrection and are even unaware of your invocations?”

When people will be gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), these deities will be their enemies and will deny their worships! Yet, when Our messages are conveyed with them with full clarity, those who deny say of this truth that are presented to them, “This is a clear sorcery.”, or they say, “He had made this up.” Say (Prophet), “If I have fabricated it, then you can’t protect me from God, while God knows what you say in response. God is adequate as a witness between you and I. God is the Forgiving, the Merciful!” (v6-8)

Verses 9 - 14

Say (Prophet), “I am no different than other messengers and I am not a fortune teller for myself or for you. I follow nothing but what has been revealed to me and I am a warner – plain and simple!” Say, “What if this (Qur’an) is from God and you deny it, while a witness from the Children of Israel attest to its similarity (to their Torah) and believe in it? But you are full of false pride! God does not guide arrogant and unjust people.”

The disbelievers say of the believers, “If it (the Qur’an) has been a source of good, these people would not have been the first to attain before us.” But they (disbelievers) are not guided by this because they say, “This message is an old lie.” Yet, before this was the Scripture of Moses – a guide and a source of mercy! This (Qur’an) is a confirmation in the Arabic language to warn those who do evil and to encourage those who do good. Indeed, those who say, “Our Sustainer is God” and commit to the right way of life, for them there is no fear nor any grieve – they will inherit the Garden where they will reside as a reward for their pursuits.

Verses 15 - 20

We (God) have obligated humankind to be good to their parents. Their mothers bear them with difficulty and with difficulty do they give birth to them. Tending them and weaning of them takes thirty months. Once they attain maturity and reaches the age of forty, they say, “Our Sustainer God, inspire us to give thanks for Your blessings on us and our parents, that we may do good that will please You and bless us with respect to our offspring. We do incline towards You and submit to you as Muslims.” It is these people from whom We accept the goodness of what they do and forgive their evils – they are being the inheritors of the Garden. A true promise, made to them as a promise!

There are those who say to their parents, “Shame on you! Do you threaten me that I will be brought out of the grave while generations before me passed away?” Their parents call on God for aid – “We feel sorry for you! Believe – indeed the promise of God is true.” But they reply, “This is nothing but stories from the old!” These are the ones against whom the “word” proves to be true – from the communities of mankind and jinn who have since passed away. They certainly lost their opportunity. For all there are levels of accomplishments, according to their conducts such that God may reward them for their deeds, and none will be wronged. (Reflect on) the day when the disbelievers will be placed before the fire and addressed, “You wasted the blessings of life that was given to you on earth and instead enjoyed irresponsibly. Today your recompense is humiliating punishment for your undue arrogance and continued transgression.”

Verses 21 - 26

Remind them of A’d and their prophet (Hud) who warned them in the plains of sand dunes1, including other prophets had come before and after him, saying, “Worship none but ALLAH. I fear for you for a day of grave consequences.” They retorted, “Are you here to tell us that we should disavow our gods? Why don't you bring to us the consequences that you threaten with, if you really speak the truth?” Hud replied, “The knowledge of such consequences is with God alone. I only convey what I am sent with and I plainly can see that you are acting as ignorant people.” Finally they saw it – a stream of clouds moving towards their valleys and they thought, “It is a cloud that will bring us rain.” No, it is the consequence that you were urging on – a hurricane that delivered terrible punishment – destroying everything with the command from God, so that at dawn you could see nothing but fallen dwellings. This is how We reward people for their persistent transgression!

We certainly empowered them in a manner that we did not empower you and We gifted them with hearings, sights and hearts but their ears, eyes and hearts could not save them since they rejected God’s guidance. The very thing that they mocked at descended and encircled them!

Verses 27 - 33

We did destroy towns in and around where you live, and We repeat various messages that you may finally turn to ALLAH. How is it that those deities that they set up besides God on the excuse that these bring them closer to God did not help them? These indeed failed them – a lie that they made up on their own!

(Be cognizant that) We directed a party of jinn who heard of the Qur’an when they came to its recital; they said, “let’s be quiet and listen.” Once it was completed, they went back to their community as warner and said, “Our people, we heard this scripture revealed after Moses, attesting to previous scriptures, guiding to the truth and directing to the right path. Let’s respond to this caller of God and establish faith in God. God will forgive your sins and protect you from difficult consequences. Those who do not respond to the caller to God cannot escape on this earth nor have protections besides God. They are clearly in the wrong!”

Verses 34 - 35

Do they not realize that God – Who created the heavens and the earth without suffering any fatigue from such creations – is fully capable of giving life to the dead? Yes, God is Powerful over all things! (Visualize) the day when the deniers will be placed in front of the fire and asked, “Is this real?” They will say, “By God, yes!” God will say, “Then face the consequence of your denials.”

So be patient and persistent (Prophet), as those who are resolute among the messenger2 are also patient and steadfast, and there is no need to seek to hasten their dooms. The day when the promised (consequence) will appear before them, they will think that they only lived on earth for an hour of a day! Continue to deliver. Shall any be destroyed except the transgressing people?

Chapter 47: Mohammad (Surah Mohammad)

(38 verses in total, Revealed in Madinah – another title given is Qital or War)

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

Verses 1-9

Those who disbelieve and prevent people for Allah’s way, He will bring their works to total failure!3 While those who believe, do good and accept what has been revealed to Mohammad, that being the true message from their Sustainer, God will remove their impurities and improve their condition. This is because those who deny follow falsehood and those who believe follow the truth from their Sustainer. This is how Allah sets examples for people for themselves. (v1-3)

If you (believers) meet in battle those who disbelieve, strike them hard and when you overpower them, make them prisoners. Afterward, you can free them as a good gesture or demand ransom until the prospect of war diminishes. This is how it should be. If Allah pleases, He may exact retribution from them or He may make one group a trial for the other. But those who suffer death in their struggle for Allah’s Way, He will not allow their sacrifice and work to be in vain. God will guide them and improve their state of affairs – eventually giving them entrance to the Garden, a promise already made known! (v4-6)

O Believers! If you help Allah, He will help you and make your stance firm. For the disbelievers, there is failure and God will destroy their pursuits. This is because they dislike what Allah reveals – He will render their work to nothing! (v7-9)

Verses 10 - 17

Have they (disbelievers) not travelled the land and seen the condition of the previous generations? Allah destroyed them and their fate will be similar! This is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe whereas the disbelievers have no patron. (v10-11)

Allah will allow entry into the Garden filled with flowing streams to reward those who believe, whereas those who disbelieve only enjoy themselves, consume as cattle do, and will find the Fire as their eventual residence. (v12)

(Have they considered) how many towns, more powerful than the town that drove you (Prophet) out, was destroyed by God and there was none to help them? How can it be that the one who follows clear guidance from God be like the those whose evil conducts seem pleasing to them and stem from vain desires? (v13-14)

Here is how to understand the Garden (Jannah) promised to those who acts responsibly (Muttaquin): there are rivers in it without impurities, rivers of milk forever fresh, rivers of wine refreshing to those who drink, rivers of honey pure and clear; there are fruits, provisions and forgiveness from their Sustainer. How can you compare them to those who will live in the Fire and forced to drink boiling water that burns their bowels? These are the ones who come to listen to you and then when they go away from you, they ask those who are secure in their knowledge, “What was it that he (Prophet) just said?” Allah has sealed their hearts and understanding because they would rather follow their vain desires. (v15-16)

Those who follow the guidance, God increase them in guidance and give them increased capacity to become more responsible (taqwa)! (v17)

Verses 18 - 28

Do they wait for anything other than that the Hour will come to them suddenly? But signs of that have already arrived. Therefore, how will it increase their awareness when the Hour does arrive? (Prophet) beware that there is no god but Allah and seek forgiveness and protection for yourself and for the believing men and believing women. Allah knows about your movements and your staying in place! (v18-19)

Some of the believers say, “Why has not a Surah been revealed?”, but when a definitive Surah is revealed and fighting is urged, you (Prophet) see in their eyes the look of an impending death, because their hearts are not secure in faith. Shame on them! Obedience and proper word would have been better and when the matter (of war) is settled, it would be better if they remain true to Allah. But if they turn away, they are sure to make mischief in the land and destroy relationships. These are the ones who incur Allah’s displeasure, and He makes them deaf and blind. Do they not reflect on the Qur’an? Or is it that their hearts have been locked? (v20-24)

For those who turn back after guidance has become available to them, the Shaitan embellishes their negligence and inspires them with false hopes. This is their condition as they say to those who despise what Allah had revealed, “We will align with you in some matters.”, while Allah knows their secrets. How will it be when angels come for their death, smiting their faces and their backs? This is because they follow what displeases Allah and remain averse to what pleases Him; therefore, God makes their work come to nothing! (v25-28)

Verses 29 - 38

Do those who harbor corruption in their hearts think that Allah will not expose their malice? If We deem necessary, We could show you (Prophet) so that you will know them by their marks and you certainly recognize them by the tone of their speech. Allah knows their conducts! God will try you until it becomes known who strive hard, stay persistent and demonstrate proof (of their inner condition)! Those who deny faith, obstruct people from Allah’s way and oppose the Messenger after guidance is made clear, they can do no harm to Allah. Allah will make their effort devoid of success! (v29-32)

O Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger! Do not let your work go to waste. Know that those who deny faith, prohibits people from Allah’s way and die as disbelievers, Allah will deny them forgiveness! Do not lose heart and cry for peach when you have the upper hand - Allah is with you and He will not make your endeavor go to waste! (v33-35)

The life of this world is nothing but games and play but if you believe and act responsibly, then God will reward you. God certainly does not seek your wealth – if He did and were to insist on it, you will show you niggardliness and God will expose your malice. You are being inspired to spend it God’s way but there are people among you who remain uninspired! Your niggardliness is anything but against your own soul while Allah is Self-Sufficient but you are needy. If you do not respond, God will bring another community in your place, and they will not behave like you. (v36-38)

Chapter 48: The Victory (Surah Al-Fatah)

(29 verses - revealed in Madinah, middle period immediately after Hudaibiyah treating 6/628 as the Prophet was returning from Makkah)

In the Name of Allah, the God of Mercy, the Endower of Mercy!

Verses 1 - 10

We (God) have paved the path for you that leads to a clear victory4; that We may forgive some of your prior shortcomings and those yet to come; that God may shower His blessings to you and guide you to the Right Path; that Allah may assist you with a Mighty Help! (v1-3)

It was God Who sent down tranquility (sakinah) into the hearts of believers that they might increase in faith and Allah’s hosts are in both the heavens and the earth. Allah is Ever Aware, Wise! That God may make believing men and believing women to enter the Garden (Jannah) with flowing streams to reside in and to separate them from their evils – this is a grand achievement! That God may chastise hypocritical men and women, polytheistic men and women – those who entertain evils thoughts about Allah. The turn of evil is on them and Allah rejects them and prepares for them the Hellfire (Jahannam), an evil of a resort! (Again) Allah’s hosts are in both the heavens and the earth and Allah is Ever Aware, Wise! (v4-7)

We have indeed sent you (Prophet) as a witness, a giver of good news and as a warner – that you (Muslims) may achieve faith in Allah and His Messenger, may aid him and respect him and may glorify God – morning and evening! Indeed those who swore allegiance to you (Prophet), in effect swear allegiance to Allah. The Hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore, those who break (this covenant) do so only to cause injury to their souls but those who honor the covenant with Allah, He will offer a grand reward! (V8-10)

Verses 11 - 21

The desert Arabs who did not join, they say, “We were busy with our family and our property – do ask for forgiveness for us!” They say things with their tongues that is not what is in their hearts. Tell them, “Is there anyone to intervene, if Allah intends for you any harm or good? Allah surely knows what you do!” You thought that the Messenger and the believers will never come back alive - that thought pleased your hearts and that was an evil thought! You are a community that is corrupt and devoid of any good! Whoever deny Allah and His Messenger – for such deniers God has prepared a blazing fire! (v11-13)

The dominion of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah – He may forgive as He pleases or chastise as He please, but Allah is Ever Forgiving, Merciful! (v14)

(Again) those who did not join will say, “When you go forth to gain (war booty), allow us to join.” They are trying to change what Allah think of them. Tell them, “You are not allowed to follow us – that is what Allah meant!” But they will counter, “Are you jealous of us?” – they do not understand at all! Tell them, “Soon you will be asked to join a fight against a powerful people until they submit. If you join us then, Allah will grant you a good reward, but if you turn back as you did before, then God will chastise you severely!” But there is no blame for the blind, the lame, or those who are sick. Those who obey Allah and His Messenger, Allah will make them enter Gardens with flowing rivers, but whoever refuse, God will chastise them severely! (v15-17)

Allah was indeed satisfied with the believers when they took allegiance to you under the tree – God knew the condition of their hearts, gave them tranquility, and granted them an imminent triumph! There are more gains to come – Allah is Mighty, Wise! Allah is promising you more success that you will achieve. God had accelerated this triumph for you and held back the harm from your enemies – as a sign for the believers and that God may guide you to the Straight Path! There are other successes that you have not achieved yet, but these are all within Allah’s purview – Allah is Ever Powerful over all things! (v18-21)

Verses 22 - 29

If the disbelievers were to fight you, they will be defeated – they will find no help or protection. This has been Allah’s practice and you will not find a change in such practices! (v22-23)

It is God Who held back the hands of the enemy from you and your hands from them in the valley of Makkah and gave you victory over them. Allah is Ever a Seer over what you do! Yes, they (Makkan) proved their disbelief, prevented you from the Sacred Mosque and the offerings to reach their stated destination but you were unaware that there were believing men and women among them (Makkan) and if you had harmed those believers without knowledge, something terrible may have afflicted you for your conduct – It is Allah Who wishes to admit you to His Mercy as He sees fit! If they were separated, then God would have inflicted chastisement on those who disbelieved – a chastisement that is severe! (v24-25)

The disbelievers had harbored intense hatred in their hearts – hatred of ignorance, while Allah blessed His Messenger and the believers with tranquility and enabled them to keep their commitment (to non-violence) – they were worthy of it and entitled to it! Allah knows everything! (v26)

Allah had fulfilled the vision of His Messenger – you will certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, in security, with your heads shaven or hair cut short and without fear.

God knows while you do not and God assigned another victory before this. It is God Who had sent His Messenger with guidance and with the True Faith so that God may make it prevail over all other religions. Allah alone is sufficient to bear witness (to this)! (v27-28)

Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah; those with him are firm in their stance against the disbelievers while being compassionate among themselves. You see them bowing down, prostrating, seeking Allah’s grace and pleasure! They bear marks on their countenance because of their submission – a description also found in the Torah as well as in the Gospel. They are like seed-produce that germinates, sprouts out, strengthens and become strong, standing firm on its stem, delighting the sowers and Allah enrages the disbelievers on their account. Allah has promised such of them as believe and do good forgiveness and a great reward! (v29)

Chapter 49: Private Quarters (Surah Al-Hujurat)

(18 verses total; revealed in Madinah in 9th Hijrah (9/630)

In the Name of Allah, the God of Mercy, the Endower of Mercy!

Verses 1 - 10

O Believers! Do not push yourselves forward in the presence of Allah and His Messenger7. Be mindful of Allah – Allah Hears and Allah Knows! Do not raise your voices over the voice of the Prophet, in a manner that you speak to one another unless you wish that your deeds come to nothing while you did not perceive!8 Indeed, those who show humility in the presence of Allah’s Messenger are those whose hearts are truly mindful of Allah. They will have forgiveness and a grand reward! (v1-3)

Those who call out to you (Prophet) in front of your private quarter are devoid of common sense. It is better if they wait in patience until you come out to them – Allah is Forgiving, Merciful! (v4-5)

O Believers! If a corrupt person brings you news, examine it carefully. Otherwise, you might harm people out of ignorance and later regret. Allha’s Messenger is with you – if he were to follow you in many matters, you would fall into difficulties, but Allah has endeared faith to you and your hearts were attracted to faith whereas God made hateful to you disbelief, corruption and arrogance! Such are the ones truly guided – a grace from Allah and a blessing! Allah Knows and is Wise! (v6-8)

If two parties of believers start to fight, make peace between them and it one party continues to do wrong, fight them until they return to Allah’s command. If they return, then restore peace between with justice and act with equity. Allah loves those who are just and equitable9. The believers are like brethren – so make peace between your brethren and be mindful of Allah so that you can have mercy! (v9-10)

Verses 11 - 18

O Believers! Do not let one community laugh at another community, perhaps they are better than them. Let not women laugh at women, perchance they may better than them. Do not defame yourselves or insult one another with offensive nicknames – evil are such practices after faith. Those who do not desist are clearly in the wrong! Avoid most of suspicions or conjectures – many suspicions are sinful. Do not backbite one another – do any of you like to eat the flesh of a dead brother? You certainly disdain it. Be mindful of Allah – Allah is Ever relenting, Merciful! (v11-12)

O Mankind! God has created you from a male and a female and turn you into races and tribes so that you may appreciate one another. Truly the most honorable in the sight of Allah is the one who acts most responsibly amongst you! Allah Knows, Aware!10

The Bedouins say, “We believe!” Tell them, “You do not believe, but rather say, ‘We surrender,’ as faith is yet to enter your hearts.11 If you obey Allah and His Messenger, God will not diminish any of your deeds. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful!” (v14)

The (true) believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then entertain no more doubts and exerts their utmost with their person and their wealth to restore and maintain Allah Guidance. These are the true practitioners!12

Say, “Are you teaching Allah your faith, whereas Allah knows what is in the heavens and in the earth?” Allah is Knowledgeable about all things! They presume to have done you a favor that they have become Muslims. Tell them, “Do not lay a burden on me by your Islam, rather it is Allah Who puts you under an obligation by guiding you to faith if you truly want to know. It is Allah Who Knows the hidden purpose of the heavens and the earth and Who Sees what you do!

Chapter 50: Qaf (Surah Al-Qaf)

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

Verses 1 - 11

QAF! The Noble Qur’an!

Do they wonder at the presence of a warner from among themselves? The disbelievers say, “This is strange! When we are dead and turn to dust – that is far removed (from coming back).” Whereas, We (God) surely know what and how the earth diminishes of their presence. With God is a record that preserves! They reject the truth as it comes to them – they are in a state of constant confusion!

Do they not look at the sky above – how We have constructed it, embellished it and without any deformity? And the earth, how We had spread it, put firm mountains in it and caused all kinds of growth – beautiful, nourishing, and pleasant! These are evidence and a reminder for every soul that turns to God!

We send down from clouds rains full of blessings. Then We cause the growth of gardens, grains to harvest, tall palm trees with spiked flowers stacked one above the other – as sustenance for people to serve God. This is how We give life to a dead land – this is how resurrection to occur!

Verses 12 - 23

Before these people, there were the people of Noah, the inhabitants of Rass, Thamud, A’d, Pharaoh, brethren of Lot, the dwellers of thicket and people of Tubba – they all rejected their messengers. So My threat was carried out.

Are We fatigued or weary of the first creation? See, now they doubt about its renewal (resurrection)! We created humankind and We know the whispering of his inner mind – We are closer to him than his jugular vein, as the two receivers receive, situated to the right and to the left – not a word he utters but there is an ever-ready guard at hand.

The agony of death comes and exposes the truth with it, something you wish to avoid. The trumpet is blown and there comes the Day of Threat – every person comes forth accompanied by a driver and a witness!13 You were unmindful of this reality, but now We have removed the filter and your vision is sharp on this day. His companion will say – here is the final judgement!14

Verses 24 - 35

Cast into Hell – every denier and rebel against (God), forbidder of good, transgressor of (moral) bounds, doubter (of resurrection), assigner of partnership with God – cast all to the torment! His companion will say, “My Lord, I did not cause him to rebel, but he himself was straying far.” God will say, “Dispute not in My presence; I did send My threat ahead of time. My Word cannot be changed, and I am not the least bit unjust to any creature.”

We will ask Hell, “Are you full?” It will rely, “Are there more?”

The Garden will be brought close to those who acted responsibly – it will no longer be far off, a promise to those who always turn to God while protecting themselves (from evils), who are mindful of the Beneficent God in their private moments and comes (to God) with a heart full of devotion. “Come in peace! This is the day of real and lasting existence!” Here they have all they wish and with Us (God) there is even more!

Verses 36 - 45

How many generations have We (God) removed before them, who were even more powerful than these, as they traversed the land – yet, is there a place of refuge (from God)? We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six periods without any touch of being tired.

So, bear patiently what they say and glorify the praise of your Cherisher God before the rising of the sun and before its setting. Glorify God at night and after every devotional prayer.

Wait for the day when a caller will call out from a near place – that is they day when they will hear the call without failing, that is the day when they will come out (of graves). Indeed, We give life and cause death and to Us is the final coming – the day when the earth cleaves to let them out – all rushing forth, a gathering that is easy for Us!

We know best what they say and you (Prophet) are not to force them. Remind with this Qur’an, one who is mindful of this threat!

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

April 2024

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