Quranic Tone in Surat Al Noor

30 07 2010

Following are some personal thoughts and understandings that cross my mind while reading Surat Al Noor in Quran.
I tried here to gather them all, moving verse by verse, to introduce what i call “the quranic tone”.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
1
سُورَةٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهَا وَفَرَضْنَاهَا وَأَنْزَلْنَا فِيهَا آَيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

This is the first verse in the Surah; it is very different than any other beginning in the whole Quran.
It gives a mixture of extreme seriousness and the feeling that critical things are to be mentioned later.
Allah was mentioned here three times indirectly, two of them in the repeated term (we descended it) which is a very powerful term itself, the Surah itself was mentioned 4 times in this verse!
It is more than enough to change your mood, to get you now serious to hear what follows.

2
الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا مِئَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُمْ بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآَخِرِ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

No matter how serious and ready you were, you weren’t prepared for that.
It is a shocking verse…Adulterers, SLASH them ! DON’T show mercy ! let it be Public !
For a 2nd verse in a Surah, these are shocking words and meanings to introduce. To realize what i am talking about, stop reading the verse as a story of someone else, start now reading it as if it is talking about YOU, as if YOU made this sin and you are in this situation…give yourself whatever time you need to imagine being taken to be slashed in public…
When finishing doing so…you now feel as hard and heavy as i do.

3
الزَّانِي لَا يَنْكِحُ إلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنْكِحُهَا إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ وَحُرِّمَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Continuing the 2nd verse…and more sad details of the situation.

4
وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ فَاجْلِدُوهُمْ ثَمَانِينَ جَلْدَةً وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

Now another type of major sins…for this sin, 3 types of actions to be taken: slashing, deprivation from voting or testifying, and classification as “faseq”… And it’s getting heavier when you thoroughly examine it because this is a situation where everybody loose, a woman that has been wrongfully accused is certainly greatly damaged already, and the one who did it, his life is devastated as a price for his deed.

5
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Now “tawabah” was mentioned here and it’s like a glimpse of light ; so…will the “Heavy Tone” stop now? …

6:9
وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمْ شُهَدَاءُ إِلَّا أَنْفُسُهُمْ فَشَهَادَةُ أَحَدِهِمْ أَرْبَعُ شَهَادَاتٍ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ
وَالْخَامِسَةُ أَنَّ لَعْنَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ كَانَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ
وَيَدْرَأُ عَنْهَا الْعَذَابَ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَرْبَعَ شَهَادَاتٍ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ
وَالْخَامِسَةَ أَنَّ غَضَبَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا إِنْ كَانَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ

….Clearly the heavy tone doesn’t stop.
It’s even getting heavier, a new major sin, maybe the worst so far, because this is the case where your own family is torn apart from the inside…a major catastrophe, this is your life partner, the one that you gave absolute trust, now it’s all gone, but not just gone, you are now in the situation where one of you will be either “banned from mercy” either receive “God’s anger”.

10
وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ حَكِيمٌ

This is an unfinished sentence…
The family above that supposes to be the corner stone of the society is now disintegrating, so instead of building and adding it’s now decomposing leaving sinners behind!
God’s anger for this was not described because the sentence was not finished…so we won’t know how bad it is, but still, it’s scary

11:17
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ جَاؤُوا بِالْإِفْكِ عُصْبَةٌ مِّنكُمْ لَا تَحْسَبُوهُ شَرًّا لَّكُم بَلْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُم مَّا اكْتَسَبَ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ وَالَّذِي تَوَلَّى كِبْرَهُ مِنْهُمْ لَهُ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
لَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنفُسِهِمْ خَيْرًا وَقَالُوا هَذَا إِفْكٌ مُّبِينٌ
لَوْلَا جَاؤُوا عَلَيْهِ بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاء فَإِذْ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِالشُّهَدَاء فَأُوْلَئِكَ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُونَ
وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِي مَا أَفَضْتُمْ فِيهِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُم مَّا لَيْسَ لَكُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمٌ
وَلَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُم مَّا يَكُونُ لَنَا أَن نَّتَكَلَّمَ بِهَذَا سُبْحَانَكَ هَذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِيمٌ
يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَن تَعُودُوا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

So now it’s no longer general and theoretical, this is a real life example and the victim was the prophet’s wife, but don’t feel safe just because the talk is addressing who did it in first verse, if you go to verse 15, the talk is now back to general, so how sure are you that you never took part in such situation in your life? That you never even ‘repeated’ similar talk on other people?
Are we safe because this incident took place from thousand years and it’s over now? Similar stories happen every day till this very moment.

18
وَيُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Why? So there is a purpose….but let’s keep this question hanged for now.

19, 20
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّه رَؤُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ

…Another type of people and another unfinished sentence. Words like “torture” and “very painful” make the heavy tone continue, and the burden in your chest now is getting heavier.
Is life that bad?! Are we people that bad?!
And this should be called an Islamic society?
Well yes let’s face it, even an Islamic society was never 100% made of angelic humans, sinners are there and Allah here is even describing them himself, but still this makes you feel no better.

21
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاء وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

This verse is summing up and relating things together.
It is the first verse addressing “believers “which makes it look like an odd verse in the context.
It tells you indirectly that the horrible scenes mentioned above are not separated, they are all connected, and it has to do with following the “devil’s steps”, so this devil seems to have a plan !
Which triggers a bigger concept in your head, about why are you here, about resisting devil’s plans and following God’s plan.
Things begin to take shape in your head after this verse…and now after reading 1/3 of the Surah, it starts to take a purpose and rhythm, and you are eager once again to hear the following verses having a rough understanding of what this Surah is about.

22
وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُوْلُوا الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُوْلِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

This is a verse talking about Mercy…but let’s admit that the context is dominating my thoughts now, i can barely see the merciful side of it and all I can feel right now is the threatening tone delivering this message: “full of sins you are, and you don’t even help or forgive…you people act as you don’t care for God’s mercy while you know that he is the most merciful!”

Look how a heavy tone can direct the listener thoughts…look how a verse talking about mercy can be really heavy.

23: 25
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
يَوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
يَوْمَئِذٍ يُوَفِّيهِمُ اللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ الْحَقَّ وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ الْمُبِينُ

The same sinners were described in verse 4, so is it redundancy? No it’s not.
Verse 4 explained the civil dealing with them, but this part mentions their status in Judgment Day and Allah’s dealing with them.

Pause:
We’ve read now about several type of sinners and how to treat them, we seen also an example that took place in real life, finally we saw how they will be treated in the afterlife that suppose to be the final stage…prompting that this phase of the Surah is coming to an end

26
الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُوْلَئِكَ مُبَرَّؤُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

It’s a general verse, introducing a general concept, but mentioning the bad people before the good ones, makes you feel that God’s heavy tone/anger is not over yet, the 2nd sentence also gives an impression that the good folks are the exception in this life. However, you can’t deny that talking about mercy at the end has a cooling effect, so it’s not that heavy after all.

But how does it relate to previous verses??
The heavy tone is already reaching an end and we assume that this part is closing, so i guess it’s proper to think of this verse as “Lessons Learned” verse.

So if your wife was cheating on you, you better start looking at yourself, cause the verse clearly states that “bad people get stuck with similar bad people”
If your husband was a man that enjoys spreading rumors about people. so what kind of women are you to accept marrying to this man ?

This is a very serious lesson….. And if you believe that Allah’s words are true and his rules never break, then this verse solves many complicated problems.

Problems like:
“I’ve seen how people turn out to be different persons after marriage, how can i be sure that my future partner is truly good?”
– Just make sure that YOU are not a bad person (i think u can do this)…if you were good, Allah states that you will get someone good.

“my partner is BAD, how to fix him ?”
– Easiest way…Mend yourself, if you became a better person, so shall he ! Allah’s rule above is simple 🙂

27: 30
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُوا وَتُسَلِّمُوا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُوا فِيهَا أَحَدًا فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّى يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمُ ارْجِعُوا فَارْجِعُوا هُوَ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ مَسْكُونَةٍ فِيهَا مَتَاعٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ
قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

You can feel the neutral tone now, it’s not threatening anymore.
It is now the 2nd verse addressing “believers” and it’s more like instructions that mainly will help to prevent some of the previous sins from taking place.

31
وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

Some more detailed instructions, so it’s like continuing the previous verses…
But suddenly…just came this order: “tooboo”, to Allah, All of you, do it now!
And it’s extremely eye-catching, a sentence that you just can’t miss!
This is the verse that made me look closer first time to this Surah, so I urge you not to pass by it simply, Quran words were was preserved to us on the same manner they were firstly pronounced, so spend some time hearing it or read it loudly if you know about Tajweed, listen to the stresses and pauses, see how the sound defines new chapter.
It comes nearly in the middle of this Surah and i believe that it’s also centric in meaning.

32
وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَى مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاء يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

The word “ankeho”, so yes it’s a wedding, we start tawbah with celebrations! So this is indeed the time for practicing happiness! A bright tone has just started in this Surah.
so What do you feel ? I feel ease, I feel simplicity and i feel that we were made for a high purpose, much higher than we expected or practicing right now, a purpose that makes our materialistic values not even worthy to be discussed here or being proven wrong.

33
وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِّتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

So who doesn’t find the means may wait, till Allah himself changes his life! Can you wait for something better than Allah himself changing your circumstances? Can you feel bored?
Again, it makes you feel proud being a Muslim, being someone that money is that cheap to him!

Now let’s look at the end of the verse, talking about forcing girls for the sake of money and what a disgusting action for a parent to do :S ….however, look at God’s response for that !! Merciful and Forgiving!!! Yes, it’s all changed now after tawbah; it’s like saying: you people stop your irresponsible actions now, stop your silliness and stupid care for money and this is the kind of forgiveness you will be granted!
Look how Allah can corner you with his generosity, making you want to do the right thing willingly !

34
وَلَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ آيَاتٍ مُّبَيِّنَاتٍ وَمَثَلًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

So now you know it for sure, you know what this Surah is about, this verse is directly stating that previous models were for you to think about and learn from.

35
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

At the middle of the Surah stands this glorious verse talking about light
We’re talking now about tawbah, so what triggers it to happen ?

The thing about light, that unlike darkness…it spreads!
So if God stated that he’s the light of the universe, it means that he’s always making his move to you, if it doesn’t reach you then you must be blocking it some way or another.
I see it this way:
You make Tawbah because Allah’s light reached you, and Allah’s light reached you because you didn’t resist it. Each and everyone of us knows exactly what actions of resistance he may be practicing.

36:38
فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ
رِجَالٌ لَّا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاء الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ
لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

So how does a person touched by Allah’s light look like?
Looks like his mind is preoccupied by thoughts relating to Allah, that’s why Allah’s name is mentioned frequently by him in different times.
Looks like the main interests of people are no longer his main interests, he’s worried about major scenes he fear, and Allah in verse 38 -because he is generous- do not talk about the guy’s fear, but about his rewards.

39,40
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
أَوْ كَظُلُمَاتٍ فِي بَحْرٍ لُّجِّيٍّ يَغْشَاهُ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ سَحَابٌ ظُلُمَاتٌ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَا أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَاهَا وَمَن لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُ مِن نُّورٍ

Back again to talk about bad models (unbelievers), but this time you find yourself receiving it as a story, a story that is meant to solidify your stand, to give you confidence about the life-style that you are about to choose. And you don’t feel anymore the harshness, but it’s the opposite, you receive a cooling effect.
The fact that it’s all about God’s light, and that you are right now seeking it, makes you feel you’re at least on the right track.

41:43
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ
وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُزْجِي سَحَابًا ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَامًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَاء مِن جِبَالٍ فِيهَا مِن بَرَدٍ فَيُصِيبُ بِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَصْرِفُهُ عَن مَّن يَشَاء يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالْأَبْصَارِ

So while searching for that light to reach your complete obedience to Allah know that billions of creatures before you are already practicing the complete surrender, so it’s not impossible to reach (if you have doubts), and you won’t be the first one to discover it (if you started to like yourself)

44
يُقَلِّبُ اللَّهُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّأُوْلِي الْأَبْصَارِ

This is how I receive this verse:”it’s not hard for Allah to turn you from a dark life-style into a bright one, because after all, God does it every day.”

45
وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِن مَّاء فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَى بَطْنِهِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَى رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَى أَرْبَعٍ يَخْلُقُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاء إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

So every creature was made from the same material, yet they all use different ways to get to their destinations…i think we humans too, have a common goal, same orders from Allah, and made from the same type of mud, yet each and everyone should figure out how to “walk his path” to light given his very own unique starting conditions…and at the end, Allah has full power and might to judge each and every one individually.

46
لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا آيَاتٍ مُّبَيِّنَاتٍ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

So take care now, not because you find this book so fascinating, everybody will share you this opinion, if you find it this way, that’s because you’ve been blessed, so thank him and continue reading next verses to know about those who weren’t!

47:50
وَيَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالرَّسُولِ وَأَطَعْنَا ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّى فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَمَا أُوْلَئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ
وَإِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ
وَإِن يَكُن لَّهُمُ الْحَقُّ يَأْتُوا إِلَيْهِ مُذْعِنِينَ
أَفِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ أَمِ ارْتَابُوا أَمْ يَخَافُونَ أَن يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَرَسُولُهُ بَلْ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

Another mention for another type of bad models (hypocrites), same as before, you feel now that the verses are addressed to you to avoid being like them, to do the right and be doing it based on understanding.

51
إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

After we knew what we shouldn’t be doing, this verse tells us what should be done…

52
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَخْشَ اللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ

…and you really have a big motive sticking to these words!

53,54
وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِنْ أَمَرْتَهُمْ لَيَخْرُجُنَّ قُل لَّا تُقْسِمُوا طَاعَةٌ مَّعْرُوفَةٌ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ فَإِن تَوَلَّوا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ مَا حُمِّلَ وَعَلَيْكُم مَّا حُمِّلْتُمْ وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ

We are done “understanding” hypocrites, so this verse tells you how should we “deal” with them

55
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

You couldn’t ask for more! It’s an extremely bright verse, defines for me the peak of the bright tone in this Surah, nothing can get any better, and you already feel better !

One thing to mention: the ending of the verse is briefly mentioning people giving this bless away, can this happen?? Yes it can, check verse 44

56
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

…so maybe doing these things will prevent you from turning back to your old dark lifestyle ?

57
لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مُعْجِزِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ وَلَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ

you knew now about bad models, and you knew about the good people, you knew where the good people are to go, so before closing this section, the place where bad people go is mentioned, it’s not heavy on you hearing it, neither cheerful….it’s simply a neutral tone, and that’s the tone that the rest of the Surah will continue using after being done with the fundamentals.

58:61
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِيَسْتَأْذِنكُمُ الَّذِينَ مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحُلُمَ مِنكُمْ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ مِن قَبْلِ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ وَحِينَ تَضَعُونَ ثِيَابَكُم مِّنَ الظَّهِيرَةِ وَمِن بَعْدِ صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاء ثَلَاثُ عَوْرَاتٍ لَّكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ جُنَاحٌ بَعْدَهُنَّ طَوَّافُونَ عَلَيْكُم بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
وَإِذَا بَلَغَ الْأَطْفَالُ مِنكُمُ الْحُلُمَ فَلْيَسْتَأْذِنُوا كَمَا اسْتَأْذَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَاء اللَّاتِي لَا يَرْجُونَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَن يَضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ وَأَن يَسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُنَّ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
لَيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمَى حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرِيضِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَن تَأْكُلُوا مِن بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبَائِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ إِخْوَانِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَخَوَاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَعْمَامِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ عَمَّاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَخْوَالِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ خَالَاتِكُمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكْتُم مَّفَاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَدِيقِكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَأْكُلُوا جَمِيعًا أَوْ أَشْتَاتًا فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُم بُيُوتًا فَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ تَحِيَّةً مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ مُبَارَكَةً طَيِّبَةً كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُون

It’s now the third verse addressing believers

First one was in the middle of the heavy tone, to let you know that even in darkest times Allah remembers you.

Second one was at the beginning of the bright tone, telling that the coming section is for you believers.

Third one is here beginning of the neutral tone after it’s all done, it’s very similar to the second one (a collection of instructions), however the collection here is much bigger.
It’s like telling you that after the excitement of your new tawbah is over, your duties are not over, you even have much more to care about now, so here’s some basic protocols that may help you to avoid crossing your limits.

62
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِذَا كَانُوا مَعَهُ عَلَى أَمْرٍ جَامِعٍ لَمْ يَذْهَبُوا حَتَّى يَسْتَأْذِنُوهُ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَأْذِنُونَكَ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَإِذَا اسْتَأْذَنُوكَ لِبَعْضِ شَأْنِهِمْ فَأْذَن لِّمَن شِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمُ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

So you want to know whether you are a believer or not? Ask the following questions:
Do you check your actions versus Allah’s orders and his prophet’s teaching before doing them? Do you seek excuses to avoid executing Allah’s orders? Or do you give the extra effort to know about your duties in order to do them?
Now you know a hypocrite thinks, and how a believer thinks.

63
لَا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاء الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاء بَعْضِكُم بَعْضًا قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمْ لِوَاذًا فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Again and as usual, after being done with understanding hypocrites, here’s how to deal with them.

64
أَلَا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ مَا أَنتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَيَوْمَ يُرْجَعُونَ إِلَيْهِ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

A magnificent summing verse!
For the first time you read it you may feel it’s like the universe’s history summed in couple of words: God owns everything, God knows everything, God will get “them” back, God will tell “them” what “they” did.
But right in the middle of the verse you find this odd “YOU”…”God knows what YOU are !” and yes it’s very odd because the rest of the verse is practically ignoring that you were addressed and simply continuing the story !

For me, it’s kind of telling that this is the history (that didn’t happen yet), and You are now right in the middle of it! So choose carefully what to do before your time ends and be referred to as “them” to someone else!

Final words:

Can you identify the rich without referring to the poor?
Can you define the health if you can’t describe the sickness?
And finally…can you define Light without knowing how does it seem to be in darkness?

Maybe this is the answer for the question left at verse 18, maybe this is why Allah chose to give you these horrible details before introducing you to light. Maybe that’s why a Surah called The Light is beginning with an extremely heavy tone and extremely dark models, to make you identify the light when you see it later, to make the 180 degree shift in your heart with stronger effect and give you a bigger chance receiving any glimpse of it.

About this Surah:

This Surah… it doesn’t talk about the call for Islam, neither about God’s existence, neither about the nature of Jin and Angels and humans, neither about Struggle or Jihad, neither about the stories of old nations and religions, neither about this religion’s principles and the components of our creed.

This Surah is clearly addressing people that are Already Muslims.
It talks about an Islamic Society.

It discusses it in a multi-level manner
Person level:
—————
How’s learning from other’s mistakes is your own personal responsibility. How living with a purpose and aim is not a luxury but it’s a must, else you will slip to all kind of places.
How’s exposing yourself to Allah’s light is totally up to you. How tawbah can change you and how Allah is pushing for that. How living in God’s light can be like and how sticking to his orders should be. How to spend a regular time assessing your situation and defining your goals…
Family level:
————–
How to choose your partner. How to evaluate a person proposing to marriage. Building a family and how shouldn’t it be that affected by limited resources. What DOES matter in family. How a parent should treat his daughter and defining his role as a guardian, not a trader. How can waiting without marriage should be like. How to fix an already existing marriage…
Society level:
—————
How that family problems are not just “personal issues” but in fact they affect the integrity of the whole society. How punishing sinners is a social responsibility in the first place to guarantee that deviated members will not become the rule. How to be a society proud of its values and morals and how to diminish the effect of the lower materialistic values. Also, how to fight the elements that deliberately try to abuse people’s morals.

All these issues and more, and you were walking seamlessly across them while reading, receiving a different convenient tone for each sections in an elegant manner.
I see it undoubtedly as a magnificent reference for anyone interested in improving himself and his surround, may we all be.

Originally posted in September 4, 2009

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