Things They Don’t Teach in School

30 07 2010

They taught us religion, but they never taught us about “Religions”, they never told us why people hold different thoughts/beliefs…as if it’s well known why.
They gave us biology and we studied creature’s classifications, but they never mentioned that we’re unique!
They spoke lots about nationality and patriotism, but they never talked about humanity.
They taught us history, they said when who did what, but they never said why!
They gave us chapters about our country’s history, but they never cared to elaborately describe the human kind history.

Nobody cared to mention where we came from? What did our ancestors do? When did they fight, and why? What did they die trying to do, what are the most precious things that they were ready to die in order to transfer to us? What gave their lives a value and a meaning?

I just really wish to see a school where teachers “explain” why this thing called school was invented in the first place. It seems trivial…but it’s not!
These schools were invented to transfer -for young generations- the very proud, sacred, and precious additions of humanity to this universe. There are people who spent their entire lives to discover a fact or form a conclusion that you read in less than 10 seconds. Schools were not made in order to make us “cope with community” or “be useful machine-operators”…they were made to make these 10 sec WORTH the lives and blood and sweat of your entire specie! Nobody ever told us that by entering a school you are connecting with your whole specie! Nobody ever said that!

It Is Not About Science

The term school is currently used to describe the place where scientific/technical knowledge is transferred, but that’s not the school I mean. I mean it by a wider definition; I mean culture, traditions, rituals and civilization. When you stand up in line waiting for something, then know that you are actually practicing an organizational model (to stand in line) that some people invented and proved to be efficient in fulfilling everyone’s need in such a situation, and you LEARENED it somehow, and you are now experiencing its benefits. So, from basic daily interactions, to skyscrapers and complex traffic systems, you are given the hard work of millions before you on a golden plate


There must be a reason for this endless distress. There must be a reason our ancestors were so keen and serious in delivering us words, deeds and wisdom. There must be a reason for people writing things down, whispering in ears and craving on stones. A reason to endure so much for the sake of people who didn’t exist yet!!! Why did they give the damn to draw the buffalos and the hunting formations on the cave walls using extremely resistant inks???? It looks important…well, it is important!
But why transferring the important stuff to you?

About weakness and might

The hunting techniques mentioned above could not have been developed in one man’s lifetime, it was an accumulative work, and they understood that very well, they understood that they are so weak and unable to develop this in one generation.
So you can consider these writings an implicit confession of weakness, but on the other hand, these writings show a remarkable decision.
They decided to be strong! And they formed an elegant equation to do so!
The theory: If you are weak, then whatever you do will be in the limits of your weakness. But if your deeds somehow exceeded your limits, then you are no longer as weak as before, you are now on the same level of might of your deeds.
The practice: After they die, these people will have later generations who will look at these walls and learn. The amount of time to do so is little, but enough for the sons to be as strong as the fathers; giving the sons the rest of their lives to be even stronger. The stronger sons are stronger because of the deeds of the fathers; the fathers ARE now stronger…because of their deeds!

That’s how humanity has exceed its limits, that’s how we fought and still fighting weakness, ignorance, fear… etc. It is the brave decision that humans made. It is a decision because they simply could have accepted to stay weak and live with it. And it’s brave because they KNEW that most probably they WILL REMAIN as weak as they are till the end of their lives.

So how big this thing is?

Imagine an empty box being handed among people inside a mosque, everyone is reaching his pocket and putting something in that box, people leave, and new folks come, and the box is still circulating and getting heavier and valuable. The value is not in the things inside it, in the lives these things represent. In fact, it will keep increasing till it reaches an imaginably high value that is even more precious than the sum of lives of people sitting in that mosque at any given time. The box is then no longer a part of their world; it’s a world of its own.

So, by your born you are not only given “your life”, you are given the lives and moments of your entire specie (the box)! No other specie has been granted that!!! And it’s not only that, but you are also given the chance of changing the lives of every single person not born yet, you are given that, by simply doing whatever you decide to do with your life….the life that will be added to the box.

I really wish that someone say these words to people at schools, I really wish that they do classes where they write them down on boards and simply let people stare and think about them.

Someone said this:
لقد هيؤك لأمر لو فطنت له … فاربأ بنفسك أن ترعى مع الهمل
I don’t know who it was, but he/she sums up all I am trying to say.

Reda Maged

Originally posted in May 24, 2010


Every Man for Himself

30 07 2010

Do we love because we really care or just because we feel good for being loved back ?
Do you work in order to serve others or just to get the pay check at the end of the month ?
Does the fireman save people -as a Hero- or simply does his job ?
Do you give charities because they make you feel superior ? or because you just want them to be doubled in the afterlife ?
But again, if you do every good you do in your life in order to please your God, hoping that you will be rewarded much more in the afterlife, doesn’t that make you the most selfish person on earth ?
…Is every man for himself ?

Dying – burying
Do we bury our dead because we dun like the smell or the figure ?? or because we’re afraid of the diseases ?
If these were the causes then the garbage collectors should do the job. But they actually don’t.
Religions and beliefs have played a major role in this issue. The followers of religions during the whole history have been instructed to deal with the dead in such precise processes. So is it just a religious practice ? If so, then why do we bury the people of other religions when they have nobody to take care of them ? Why do countries have budgets and places to bury the people who can’t afford it, even the non-religious countries, why do we treat the dearth and the dead with respect ? is it just because death is scary ? If death was scary then we should run away not go and serve the dead !

Once upon a time, a man bought a house. He found in that house a jar filled with golden coins, so he went back to the seller and handed him the gold. The seller gave it back saying he wasn’t aware that the house contained gold, that he bought it originally unaware and sold it unaware of their existence so it’s not his gold. Both men decided to ask someone what should be done. They stopped a man and told him the story. The man asked if they have sons. The buyer had a son and the seller had a daughter, so the man suggested that they marry them using the gold and to give charities. End of story.

The story happened in early Islam days, even the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) had an argument about whom from the 2 men to be considered having stronger belief. Funny, but it’s not the point. The point is: none of the men would have been criminalized if taken the gold, yet they weren’t interested in themselves or in their personal needs or their shopping lists, they were more interested in “proving” -maybe each one to himself- that they don’t prioritize the material values. No one mentioned that they were sahabiis or hadith tellers or whatsoever, and the more interesting thing is : they didn’t go to a judge nor to a religious man nor to a wise elder, they just picked “a man” ! As if they were certain that the “right thing to do” exists in any and everybody and maybe considering themselves a bit confused from being in the middle of the thing, but it’s out there ! so let’s grab anyone and ask him !

The stranger’s answer itself wasn’t less interesting, the guy suggested a marriage ! whether i agree or not about what he suggested, it shows that he had the same concepts the both of them were holding, he encouraged to use the money in establishing the most strongest type of relations between human beings, he valued the human life, it’s existence and presence, he valued the idea of the continuity of the human traditions and lifestyle, he valued those…over the materials, and the rest of the money, again to help in improving the quality of life of the already existing humans. AS IF…it’s all about humans, not “persons”, but Humans !
Simple statistics: given the city population, you can tell what it means to grab the FIRST man and to find his ideas about life matching theirs, it shows that they weren’t kidding when they decided to grab ANYBODY !!!

It shows that there is something inside us -and all of us- that rejects the material world, it shows that we strive to distinguish ourselves as Humans not as anything else, that we classify the world into human and non-human, and that one human worth more than the sum of all non-humans. A desire of highness is imprinted inside us of, that keeps pushing that idea (that we mean more), we are made from the same elements that animals and plants are made of, but this inner feeling just keeps pushing that we mean more than animals and plants, that we are worth more. Thereby, we should act differently

Anyone can embrace these feelings or fight them, just exactly like you decide to stay or to stop being nice to people because you’re convinced that this is right or because you’re too afraid to be considered as weak, or whatever….

What religions (most of religions) have done during history is supporting these feelings and this highness desire inside us humans
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا. – الإسراء:70
They gave the people the purpose and the value that they suffer to mentally shape. They encouraged them to feed these feelings and enrich them by making them realize their ability to resist their biological and psychological needs. Many religions instruct fasting periods. Animals don’t fast. That should make you remember -at least once a year- that you are different, that you should act different than just a needy creature with materialistic desires, it reminds you that you have the power to do so.

When we talk about teamwork in games or in real-life, we state all these known and proven advices about how belonging to the team and valuing the team’s entity makes it a winner team or company… The previous story shows that these people dealt with humanity as a “team”; and from that understanding endless stream of thoughts can flow ! This can explain the fact this religion spread and soon became “winner” in time and place. It explains how years after, judges found themselves useless because they can’t find people coming to court…for years !
If you KNOW that your team will be there for you, provide you with everything a team can offer to a member , why would you go steal or rob someone ? It’s that simple ! But we used to treat it as rocket science !!!
…and that’s not the main issue.

We march in funerals, we respect the dead, we carry them over the shoulders and necks because we value the team ! even if we’re not aware why we do it or have forgotten the big picture, if one team member was lost, the other members feel sorry about it because they care about the team and each member in it….it’s that simple !

So does belonging to a team makes you a machine ? Does it steal your independence and destroy your sovereignty or make you a fool ?
When you join a workplace as a worker, no one considers you responsible for the company’s success or failure, but they still await your contribution to the place ! For yourself, the way of proving it is by working really hard and showing that you are useful for the place, again, the “place” not “yourself”…That’s how people make careers, and by building your career no one considers you as fool nor dumb, on the contrary, they admire you more !

If you enter a workplace saying: i am getting all what i can get from here, screw everybody ! that makes you a lousy worker; and doesn’t help in making it a good working place. The place owner -if he cares about the place- will eventually fire you and get someone else.
وَإِنْ تَتَوَلَّوْا يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لا يَكُونُوا أَمْثَالَكُمْ – محمد:38

The thing is, everything religion tells you, is one way or another for the sake of the Team, The Human Team, religion does not tell you go defend your land against invaders and die for it because that’s the best for your life, well it’s basically killing it, but it’s preserving the life of the team.

IF you forgot every single instruction told in your religion, but remembered this general rule, it should be enough as a compass. On the other hand if you remembered as much as you can but missed the whole point of it, i doubt you will be even implementing them properly. and that’s a very personal view.

A final argument can say that people are destined to be judged alone, and that judgment day itself will prove how self centric we are
يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ. وَأُمِّهِ وَأَبِيهِ. وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنِيهِ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ – عبس 34: 37

But again, nothing more elegant to answer, than a more detailed description for the scene:
الأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ – الزخرف:67
…and to finally being treated as teams in the finale :
وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَراً – الزمر:73

So…. is it every man for himself ?…….i don’t think so !

Reda Maged

Originally posted in January 30, 2010

The Risk Takers

30 07 2010

33% of the planet population are Christians with growth rate 1.32%
22% are Muslims with highest growth rate on the list (1.84%), those are the biggest 2 faiths on earth, followed by 16% nonreligious.
Studying the list itself is extremely interesting because nearly every religion on this planet sees that it’s followers are safe and the rest are simply…very wrong !
The 2 religions mentioned combined make more than half of the population of thee globe, the first one sees the second one as just shutting it’s heart for Jesus Christ that nobody will pass to heaven without accepting him as a personal savior, while the second one sees the first one as insulting God by claiming that he took a son.
And it’s not just these 2, it’s like 90% of faiths thinks the same. But i m not here to talk about what is the right faith, i am here to talk pure simple statistics.

Since you can’t practice 2 religions in the same time this should be easy.
Assuming that the biggest faith (Christianity) is the right faith, then in this case your chances to be born in the “winning team” is 33%….but here’s the trick ! Christianity itself is divided into different sects, you have the Catholics, the the Orthodox, the Anglicans, the Protestants,….and many many others, i don’t know them all myself, and i wish it was only that; no…each big mentioned name is divided again into smaller sects so if you take Catholics you find them divided (Latin, Eastern, Oriental, ….etc)…the bad news is : they have so different views in the very fundamentals of Christianity till yes many of them thinks that the rest of Christians are “very wrong”, in fact some thinks they other are wrong to the extent that they will fry in hell. Which basically makes our 33% not valid anymore. Christians this way will be divided into groups where the biggest group (Protestants) will be smaller than Muslims.
So now if we assume that Islam is the right religion, your odds to be born now in the winning team are reduced to 22%, which will be reduced again because despite of the fact that the majority of Muslims are united on the fundamentals, some very small portions are also considered as very deviated in the eyes of the majority, so yeah our final rough figure will be something like 18%
But heyyy, the 18% is based on the assumption that Islam IS the RIGHT religion, which if we were wrong, then any other smaller religion CAN be the right one, and we have so many religions on earth, some with even couple of thousands of followers. So actually the 18% is the BEST chance you can have as a baby born on earth, you actual figure anyway should vary between 18% and 0.0000001% (assuming that there GOT TO BE someone telling the truth out there) !!!
However, i will be very optimistic and assume that the number is 18 🙂 !

Studying the 18% :
-If doctors told you the success rate of this surgery is 18%, normally you ask them “is there any better options ?”
-You do not buy a car if you knew that chances it will be malfunctioning are 82%
-You do not make your child go to a school with 18% success rate last year

YET !!!! you are completely assured about the religion you were born in, some people don’t even bother asking “what else is in the market of faith ?”

And you do this KNOWING that a bad surgery can cost you your life (approx ~60 years) and a bad car choice will cost you a car lifetime (approx ~15 years) and a bad school can make your kids fail how many years ? 2 years? 5 years ??!!!
BIG DEAL ! cause a bad faith can cost you what ? eternal hell ? yeah…but that’s not something we pay attention to.

The answer would be something like: “i know about those Others, i know how silly is what they think of, and i m sure of what i got” ….So, how did you learn about them ? was it from your Priest or Imam or Minister ? was it from your own people’s books and media ? what does that suppose to do ? makes u get a Real Image ??? well think again , because you didn’t !
You didn’t go to their Mosque/Church/Chapel/Templ

e and ask them what do they sell today ? You didn’t do that for a simple reason, because you are afraid of looking at yourself while doing it and feeling that you have doubts, because after all, if you didn’t like what they sell, you will end up knowing that you betrayed your faith in the first place by even thinking of doing that, which is BAD.

So you decide to be a risk taker, you know very well about the 18%, even before i speak about it, but you decide to take your chances and stick to your parent’s faith and hope/believe it is the true thing.

Speaking about parents, i used to stop by the many verses in Quraan that are practically “mocking” the stubborn people -along human history- that refused to be open minded and stayed in their safe zone (parent’s beliefs), which made me always wonder : but i m Muslim after my parents ! so does this book order me to Question it ???? anyway, will come to that later.

Back to the risk takers, so yeah they decided to be risk takers, but some other people were eager to know, to know all and the distinguish the right from the wrong, they knew about the 18% and it was too scary for them, and they also knew about some other facts before they do their search, they knew that this path has led other men before to completely loose faith in God, had led some others to become agnostics, and led many others to change faith to many other destinations, so yeah, it’s impossible that everyone of them has reached the right thing, so it’s a risky way ! but for them, it was better than the 18%, and they took the risk, to be…..another type or risk takers

So we’re all at the end some way or another “Risk Takers”, and the question is : knowing that, can you publish or advertise for your Faith/Religion without at least checking out, what’s over there ? Can you be proud for knowing nothing and repeating what your parents repeated after their parents ?
I can understand the honor and proud of the early Muslims, the ones that experienced the highness of worshiping the universe’s creator after worshiping stones and mud ! I CAN get that, because it sounds awesome, it’s a progress !!
I can understand how a roman soldier that did nothing but killings souls in vain with no purpose nor aim can find peace in Christianity that taught him to respect life forms, because that’s A PROGRESS !
But what i can’t understand is someone sitting home, did not do a single progress in his life, learning the books and writings of his folks, dedicating his life to try to “prove” that everyone else is So Wrong ! How can he be sure that he’s right in the first place ? he didn’t see something else to construct a benchmark , to even know how awesome what does he have in hands ! how can you tell that it’s light while you claim you never been to darkness ? It’s tricky.

So yeah, these verses in Quraan have led me to start thinking that my parents CAN be wrong , it’s 18% after all, and that if they were right, then in this case, i have to Earn It somehow, because if someone gave you a brand new car as a gift, the least you can do is to learn how to drive it !!! and also for some other reason will be mentioned at the end.

I know that guy, a normal guy from a normal Egyptian Muslim family, he fell in love with a christian girl, both families greatly fought them, but they challenged everybody and got married, guy’s family merely kept in touch with him, girl’s family on the other hand has completely renounced her. For a short while,they lived quietly with no family links, till she got a serious illness, he stayed by his wife for months, then she died; and when she died her family refused to take the body or even go see her, she never changed faith, she was a devoted christian, and yet when he went to her church to give her the ceremonials that he knew she wanted to have, they refused, in fact, all churches refused…
The man that has just lost his wife -and before he even have a chance to grieve- had to gather his strength…..he had to carry her body and put it in his car….he had to drive hundreds of kilometers in depth of the desert in the middle of the night…in order to reach a monastery that will accept to bury her !
Something is deeply wrong in this story, extremely wrong and extremely disturbing.

Our lives are not worthy because of the things we do for ourselves, our lives gain value from what we do for other people, what does “serving your religion” means if it did not help a human ???
“Religion” is not a man that needs your help, but people DO need your help, and You need that help too, we just proved that more than 82% are screwed ! and you can simply be one of them ! and you won’t be able to cross that line unless someone else helped ! This is not a game where you find yourself in a team and do your best so that your team wins and the others are proven wrong, this is a game where your interest lies in trying to get everyone win, because you can simply be on the wrong team, and your chances of winning in this case depends on someone from the winning team willing to give you a hand !!!
So yes, this is the other reason for “Earning It” that i was talking about, i want to be on the winning team, i want to Help others, in order to Get Helped !
After that…. if the judgment was on the result, then i m hoping that helping and being helped will bring a better result.
And if the the judgment on was on the effort, then i m sure then that giving all what can is better than “i took my 18%”
Maybe that’s why human life form is respected, maybe that’s why you are being tested in a planet full of people like you, not alone in a room, because you Need people in order to pass this exam, and they need you too ! because simply, the odds are not good if we’re alone.

Reda Maged

Originally posted in December 13, 2009

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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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? …

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”.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 !

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.”

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.

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!

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.

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…

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَخْشَ اللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ

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

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

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

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The so-called Freewill

30 07 2010

We have computers, and we know about simulations… more than anybody did before in human kind history.
I can run a galactic simulation on my Pentium 3 (a dull piece of silicon with several million transistor inside) and know exactly where a certain star will be after 100 000 years, precision is +/- 0.001 second.

It is inevitable to believe that the designer of the universe and all its creatures (including you) knows exactly what will be your next move, and the ones after…till u die.

And that’s why time is a local dimension for our universe. But for God, it’s all done.
Which makes it very convenient to mention the religious fact that our destination (Heaven or Hell) was predetermined from the day we were born.

—It’s all done—

Something about humans:
humans are ‘moderate’ creatures when it comes to physical abilities.
There are animals that can run faster than you, creatures that can dive and fly while u can’t, communicate faster than u do, hear better, talk louder, lift heavier, tolerate colder and hotter temperatures….etc
We -the humans- are not super in ANY single physical attribute. What makes us so special is not even our minds and the knowledge we have, most probably the apes have more knowledge about momentum than you do, and fishes will have more knowledge about fluids dynamics than our experts in the field.

What makes you special : that you -and only you- have the ability to Believe…

You are the only one also that makes inventions, but in fact, inventing is dependent on belief…to invent an airplane, first you believe that somehow you will be able to fly, and then you go through the invention process that involves acquiring knowledge…and that’s why many inventions fail, because you believed in the first place in something wrong.

Every other creature we encountered so far is “either knowing or not knowing about things” … but we are the only ones having the ability to believe in things that May or May Not exist and give our VERY BEST efforts trying to prove them using all our moderate physical abilities.

SO….If you think that this life is some sort of exam, expect then that the exam will Focus on Belief…otherwise, a fish can apply for it.

Back to the freewill thing :
Clearly the fact of “—It’s all done—” leaves some believers in god a bit frustrated, because when being said like that, it gives the feeling that your answer paper in this exam is already written by someone else, and there is nothing you can do about it……until you hear in Quraan:

“ادعونى استجب لكم”
which is mainly a commitment from Allah to make your wishes come true, even if you asked him to change your destiny !
So it states that the “results board” is dynamically changing…these changes are triggered by your specifically mentioned Prayers….but as you may expect, changes in your life will affect other people’s life, so practically, the tiny changes that you will pray for and come true, have longer effects…on the future of this whole universe !

Ok it’s kind of scary ; minutes ago, you were frustrated and seeking to just gain control on your life…Now you know that you are given a tool that can change your entire universe future (or the history that we didn’t see yet) !!! but deep inside you, you know Very Well that you can’t handle such power, so now seems like the perfect time to start PANIC !
And just when you are on the edge of freaking out….Allah addresses you in Quraan saying :
“ولو يعجل الله للناس الشر استعجالهم بالخير لقضي اليهم أجلهم فنذر الذين لا يرجون لقاءنا في طغيانهم يعمهون”
Stating that Allah will FILTER your prayers for you, you don’t have to worry , you just pray him and avoid being like those mentioned in the end of the verse, and he will take care of the rest for you !
Which makes you just wanna sit down and cry…. because this is SO good…Better than anything you had imagined or wished.
You never expected that you can cause That Much, and that Allah is there for you in your exam ‘Banning’ you from writing wrong answers…. And you would have never believed that such thing is true, unless it was mentioned by Allah !

And after that… if you hear
“و لقد كرمنا بني آدم و حملناهم في البر و البحر و رزقناهم من الطيبات و فضلناهم علي كثير ممن خلقنا تفضيلا”
You hear it AS IF it is your first time to hear such words…AS IF the word “honoring” never meant anything to you…But now it DOES !

And it can’t get ANY better, frankly !
But we’re not done yet…

” انا عند ظن عبدي بي فليظن بي ماشاء”
Hadith Qodsy, gives us more insight about what’s happening.

Let’s take every case and see what comes out
– If you don’t believe in god at all… that’s the worst kind of ‘Zann’ ever i think…expected that you won’t bother Praying to something you do not acknowledge, refusing using the tool will leave with no chances actually…and you will end up with what the Hadith predicted.

– If you believe in god, but think that “—it’s all done—“, then why will you bother and pray a god that left you hopeless in front of an unavoidable destiny ? most probably you will feel it’s useless to do this…so again, the bad belief in Allah gave a bad end, matching with what the Hadith has just stated.

– If you believe in Allah and think good of him, you will use your trust and PRAY him to be saved, cause you Believe that he keeps his promises, the promises about fulfilling your prayers, and the other promise about being good to you as long as you think good of him. and Clearly, that’s pretty much how you go through it.

So now we Know the following : to pass your test you should Pray, and what will make you pray in fact is, … your Good Belief in your god.

I wanna stress on the word “ماشاء” in the end of Hadith, because this is the tricky part in all of it…You wanted the ‘Will’ ? here’s your will…it’s IN your belief.
so let’s recall what we said earlier about humans;
We said that humans are the only ones having the ability to “believe” ….they have this kind of loose machine that keep generating wrong or right believes

FIND THIS MACHINE, Know how to use it, Get acquainted with it, Drive it safely and Try Not to make accidents by using it in a wrong manner.

well……………..last line seems to me now more like an exam paper with set of questions to solve !!!
good luck

Reda Maged

Originally posted in May 2, 2009


30 07 2010

When you turn on your TV to watch dozens of people killed minutes ago, people away from you few minutes also using a plane, you watch them, for few seconds, and then use your remote control (a magical device designed to make your wishes come true by applying minimum force) to switch to another channel playing an american movie where people are getting murdered either by a vampire or by a mass murderer, and surprisingly, you leave your magical device and stay to watch the american heroes kicking the evil and see liters of fake blood all over the scene, but you dun wanna throw-up seeing all this blood, and you explain that this blood is simply…’Fake’. But when it comes to the liters of real blood spilled on the first channel, your explanation would be something like : we already got used on this kind of news…seen it daily since we’re kids

and you stop and wonder : when did your senses become so…insensitive ?

You finish your movie, kick this idea out of your head, start to think about your real life, your duties, you responsibilities, your work or your studies, The Real Deal, the stuff that you have control on, that you can change, your Playground…this time you look at the big picture, why do you carry on your work ? you remember your needs and dreams, you list them starting from the shiny car, the perfect place to live, passing by the big office, the private business, ending maybe by marriage or kids dreams…and suddenly you realize that all of your simple dreams can be formulated as a function of money …you feel bad about it.

and so you stop and wonder : when did your needs become so silly ?

You keep thinking, find out that you’re not that bad! You also have higher goals and dreams.You wanna help people, you wanna make something, you wanna leave a change…okay, but in fact, you don’t spend as much time on those as you spend on your materialistic dreams.

so you stop and wonder : when did my higher dreams got de-prioritized ?

Then you start noticing that you are having a considerably increasing time spent in these wonders and that the common thing between them all, that they all seem to be important, yet they never imply an action to be taken.

and then you stop and wonder : is it healthy for me to keep having these wonders ?

And when you get this far in wonders, a person with no wonders can clearly tell you how much you are messed up buddy.

anyway, we continue….

You start a new day, get ready to go out, perform -neatly or carelessly- the procedure of getting dressed and then you look to yourself at the mirror but stop looking at the ‘outter image’ asking yourself : is this the person i wanna be ? and your answer comes varying between “not even close” and “i can’t say so”.

and then you wonder : am i ever gonna be that person ?

When you leave this mirror, go out for whatever you were getting ready for, spend the next days in a very usual manner, AS IF your answer was “i m exactly this person !!”, AS IF you are totally satisfied to the extent that you are not willing to stop doing anything you currently do, or initiate something you are not doing….
But you noticed this weird situation.

so you wonder : How long i will continue to lie to myself, telling that everything will be fine, that i will overcome all my bad aspects…while, in fact, i m not doing anything about it ?!

I consider the fact that you (the valued reader) may start to get bored and wonder by now if i ever gonna reach a conclusion out of all this weird stuff.
But let’s face it, most probably i won’t end with an ending you like, because after all, it’s me writing…not you 😛
So…..customer satisfaction is NOT guaranteed…and you have been warned !

we continue…..

By this time you have already watched many Amr Khaled’s episodes, enjoyed your happy moments after taking many decisions, failed in keeping most of them, started to formulate your own theory about how it is hard to change in yourself…and somehow, acceptance begin to slip and take hope’s place in different zones and fields in your life.

the wonder here was :
Am i doomed to never reach a destination ? to keep facing incapacity ? to keep giving up hopes and expectation as i get older ? to keep having a high “disappointments-to-achievements ratio” in my life ?

and to be honest, the last set of wonders may be the most…black.
If i had any answers or practical solutions for any previous mentioned wonders, then for those i clearly don’t.

For All the wonders up there, you acted in different ways, some you ignored, some you forgot, some you kept thinking about, and some made you ‘make a plan’.
Whatever your way of handling them was, seems you always were “the man in charge”…it was always your call, your decision, your worries. And it makes sense, it’s your own life after all, and if it wasn’t you who gonna fix it and worry about your destination, then who else will ???

Well…not exactly

Enough wonders for now and lets talk a bit about Prayers:

We do not pray because we “deserve” to get something …
You pray because you Need, and because Allah is so generous that he Gives all the needy.
And for every time you skip standing in a “Need” position, you will be skipping a “Have” part in the story.
Leaving your story book with blank pages in all the “Need” and “Have” chapters, will make it a very hard story to understand… even for you !

“It’s not your own life, it’s the life you have been given.”

Every time you raise a wonder, is a sign that something is going wrong, and that you are aware of it. Choosing between saying “it’s my life…my problem…my call” or writing a new “Need” chapter is something totally up to you.

There is a French quote saying : “Il arrive que les grandes décisions ne se prennent pas, mais se forment d’elles-mêmes.”
means : It happens that big decisions are not taken, but rather are formed by themselves.
I Agree, and that’s why i think that wondering is not a waste of time, it’s more like the preparation phase we need to go through before we become whom we were meant to be…from the very early beginning.

Keep wondering…but know the following: if you really need something to be fixed, you will ask for it ! You will ask and you will beg and you will pray !

And if you decided to pray, you do it properly…do it with no doubts that your prayers will come true.

Reda Maged

Originally posted in April 27, 2009