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Sunday, October 03, 2004

Taraweeh Salaah 11-15

Taraweeh Salaah - Night 11 - Night 15

By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia - Canada

In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Tonight we complete the remaining half of Wa'ma Ubarri -u-nafsee (JUZ 13) and three quarters of Rubama Yawadul Ladhi'naa (JUZ 14). These Surahs cover two thirds of Surah Ar-Rad, Surah Ebrahim, Surah Hijr and a quarter of Surah An-Nahl.

SURAH AR-RAD:
The mockery of Allah's Messengers is an old game of the world. But Allah's Truth will come to its own in good time. The end of the Righteous is their Home of Bliss, and they rejoice in the revelations they receive. The Messengers of Allah take their due share in the life of the world; they win through by Allah's Grace against all the plots of the world. Their witness is from Allah, through His revelation.

SURAH EBRAHIM:
The special subject matter of this Surah is a continuation of the concluding portion of the last Surah, which explained how Allah's revelation gains ground in spite of selfish men's opposition. Here illustrations are given from the story of Nabee Moosa and Nabee Ebrahim Alayhim Salaam and Nabee Ebrahim's prayer for Makkah forms the core of this Surah. Revelation leads man from darkness to light. It comes to each nation in its own language and for its own special circumstances. So was it with Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam and other Prophets Alayhim Salaam. There was a conflict of evil with good, but evil was destroyed. Why will men not receive Allah's Grace? Why will they choose to go astray? Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam prayed to be saved from infidelity for himself and for his posterity, and he prayed for Makkah, the city of the new revelation through Arabia. Good and evil will find their proper retribution, and Allah's Plan of Unity will prevail. It is evil that will be wiped out for Allah's Truth is a goodly tree, firmly established on its roots, stretching its branches high and wide, and bearing good fruit at all times.

SURAH HIJR:
The special subject matter of this Surah is the protection of Allah's Revelation and Allah's Truth. Evil arose from Pride and warping of man's will, but Allah's Mercy is the antidote, as was proven in the case of Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam and Nabee Lut Alayhis Salaam, and might have been proved by the people of the Aykah and Hijr if they had only attended to Allah's "Signs". The Qur'an, beginning with the "Seven Oft Repeated Verses" is the precious vehicle for the Praises of Allah. Allah's Truth makes all things clear, and He will guard it. But His Signs are not for those who mock. Who fails to see the Majesty, the Beauty, the Order, and the Harmony blazoned in His Creation, and His Goodness to all His creatures, in the heavens and on earth? With Him are the sources of all things, and He doth freely give His gifts in due measure. He holds the Keys of Life and Death, and He will remain when all else passes away.

SURAH AL-NAHL:
Chronologically this Surah, like the six which preceded it, belongs to the late Makkan period except perhaps verse 110 and some of the verses that follow. But the chronology has no significance. In subject matter it sums up, from a new point of view, the arguments on the great questions of Allah's dealings with man. His Self-revelation to man, and how the Messengers and the Message are writ large in every phrase of Allah's creation and the life of man. The new point of view is that Nature points to Nature's God. Everything in Creation proclaims the Glory of Allah. To man is given dominion over Nature, that man may recognize Allah's Unity and Allah's Truth. Man should never lose sight of his goal, which is the good, or dispute with the great Teachers who are sent to all peoples, to bring about Unity; all creatures serve Allah.

Allah's favours and man's ingratitude recounted, His Signs in the rain bearing clouds, the cattle that give milk, the bee that produces honey, the wonderful relations of family and social life, and the refinements and comforts of civilisation. The Messengers of Truth will bear witness against those who reject the Truth. Allah will judge us according to our faith and deeds. The Qur'an is true: it guides and gives glad tidings. Believe, and make the most of life in all things good and lawful. Follow the example of Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam: be true in Faith and righteousness and do good.

Taraweeh Salaah - Night 12

By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia - Canada
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Tonight Insha'Allah - we complete the final quarter of Rubama Yawadul Ladhi'naa (JUZ 14) and the whole of Subhanal Ladhee (JUZ 15). The Surahs that will be covered this evening are: half of Surah Al Nahl, Surah Bani Isra'il and three quarters of Surah Al Kahf.

SURAH AL NAHL:
Allah's Prophets, if rejected, will be witnesses against those who reject Allah's Truth! And all false gods will disappear. A life of justice and righteousness is enjoined by Allah, and the strictest fidelity, in intent and action. For Allah will judge us by our faith and deeds, and no evil shall have power over those who believe and put their trust in Allah their Lord. Allah's Truth may come in stages, but it gives strength, guidance, and glad tidings, and should be held fast when once received. Be not like those who get puffed up with pride in worldly good, and scorn the Truth. Enjoy the good things in life, but render thanks to Allah and obey His Law. Be true in faith, and proclaim His Word with gentle, patient wisdom: for Allah is with those who live in self-restraint a pure, good, and righteous Life.

SURAH BANI ISRA'IL (OR SURAH AL ISRA):

This Surah begins with with the mystic Vision of the Ascension of the Holy Prophet Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam: he was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the Farthest Mosque of Jerusalem in a night and shown some of the Signs of Allah. The Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam was first transported to the seat of the earlier revelations in Jerusalem, and then taken through the seven heavens even to the Sublime Throne, and initiated into the spiritual mysteries of the human soul struggling in Space and Time. The reference to this great mystic story of the Mi'raj is a fitting prelude to the journey of the human soul in its spiritual growth in life. The first steps in such growth must be through moral conduct - the reciprocal rights of parents and children, kindness to our fellow men, courage and firmness in the hour of danger, and sense of personal responsibility, and a sense of Allah's Presence through prayer and praise. The Mi'raj is usually dated to the 27th night of the month of Rajab (though other dates e.g. 17th Rabi'1, are also given) in the year before the Hijrah. This fixes the date of the opening verse of the Surah, though portions of the Surah may have been a little earlier.

Our service to Allah is shown also in our human relations, goodness to parents and kinsmen and strangers in want, as well as kindness to children, purity in sex relations, justice and respect for human life, protection of orphans, probity in all dealings, and avoidance of arrogance. Allah's Glory is above all comparison, and the reception of His Revelation marks off the man of faith from those who do not believe. But the Believers should speak fair and avoid dissentions, for Allah doth encompass all men. Pride caused the fall of Iblis, but the children of Adam have been raised in excellence above other Creation. They will be judged by their deeds. Prayer is good at stated times and at night, and the Qur'an is offered as healing and mercy. Inspirations (the Holy Qur'an) is a Sign of Allah's Grace, and men should accept it without making carping excuses. Be humble in prayer and praise.

SURAH AL-KAHF [The Cave].
This particular Makkan Surah may be called a lesson in the brevity and mystery of Life. First there is the story of the Companions of the Cave who slept therein for a long period, and yet thought they had been there only a day or less. Then there is the story of the mysterious Teacher who shows Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam how life itself is a parable. And further there is the story of Dhu al Qarnayn, the two horned one, the powerful ruler of west and east, who made an iron wall to protect the weak against the strong. The parables refer to the brevity, uncertainty, and vanity of life; to the many paradoxes in it, which can only be understood by patience and the fullness of knowledge; and to the need of guarding our spiritual gains against the incursions of evil.

Summary: - The Qur'an is a direction and a warning. This life is brief and subject to vicissitudes. Our ideas of Time are defective, as shown in the story of the Companions of the Cave, who had faith, truth, patience, and other virtues. But their life was a mystery that can be fathomed but by a few. Knowledge is for Allah: be on your guard against idle and cocksure hopes. Learn from the Qur'an the Parable of the man who is puffed up with this world's goods and is brought to nought,. This life is uncertain and variable: goodness and virtue are better and more durable. For the Day of Reckoning will come, with its Mercy and with its Wrath. Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam in his thirst for knowledge forgot his limitations. Patience and faith were enjoined on him, and he understood when the paradoxes of Life were explained. Dhu al Qarnayn had a wide dominion: he punished the guilty and rewarded the good; he protected the weak from the lawless; but he had faith, and valued the guidance of Allah. Allah is One, and His service is Righteousness.

Taraweeh Salaah - Night 13

By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia - Canada

In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Tonight's Tarawee consists of the whole of Ka la Alam Akul...(JUZ 16) and a quarter of Iqtaraba (JUZ 17). The Surahs that will be recited this evening covers the remaining quarter of Surah Al Kahf [The Cave], Surah Maryam in its entirety, Surah Ta Ha completely and half of Surah Al Ambiya.

SURAH AL KAHF [The Cave].
Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam was up against mysteries which he wanted to explore. He searched out a man endued with knowledge derived from the divine springs from which flow the paradoxes of life. He is shown three such paradoxes and how human impatience is inconsistent with their true understanding. The highest knowledge comes not except by divine gift, and a constant, patient striving, with faith, to apprehend something of the purpose of the All- Wise Allah. This story of Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam is meant to illustrate four points
(1) He was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Even so that wisdom did not comprehend everything, even as the whole stock of the knowledge of the present day, the sciences and the arts, and the literature, (if it could be supposed to be gathered in one individual), does not include all knowledge. Divine knowledge, as far as man is concerned, is unlimited. Even after Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam received his divine mission, his knowledge was not so perfect that it could not receive further additions. (2) Constant effort is necessary to keep our knowledge square with the march of time, and such effort Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam is shown to be making. (3) The mysterious man he meets to whom tradition assigns the name Khidr (literally, Green), is the type of that knowledge which is ever in contact with life as it is actually lived. (4) These are paradoxes in life: apparent losses may be real gain; apparent cruelty may be real mercy; recurring good for evil may really be justice and not generosity. Allah's Wisdom transcends all human calculation.

Three episodes in the life of a great king, Dhu al Qarnayn illustrated how power and opportunities should be used in the service of Allah; he punished the guilty; he left primitive people their freedom of life; and he protected industrious people from grasping neighbours. But he relied upon Allah, and he made them remember the Day of Judgement; when all will see the Truth and receive the punishments and rewards earned in their present life.

SURAH MARYAM:
We now pass on the story of individual Messengers of Allah in their personal relations with their environment - Hazrat Yahya A.S. with his father Hazrat Zakariya A.S., Nabee Esa A.S. (Jesus) with his mother Bibi Maryam R.A.; Nabee Ebrahim A.S. with his unbelieving father, Nabee Moosa A.S. with his brother Nabee Haroon A.S. (Aaron), Nabee Isma'il A.S. with his family and Nabee Idris A.S. in the high station to which he was called. Seeing how these great ones fitted into the scheme of life, man is condemned for his want of faith, or for degrading his faith to superstition, and warned of the Hereafter.

Summary - Zakarriya Alayhis Salaam was anxious to have an heir to carry on Allah's work in a world of unrighteousness, and Yahya Alayhis Salaam was given to him. Hazrat Maryam R.A. the mother of Nabee Esa (Jesus) Alayhis Salaam was maligned by her people, but Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam comforted her and was good to her. Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam was persecuted for his Faith by his people, including his unbelieving father, but he withdrew from them, and was blessed; Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam was helped by his brother Nabee Haroon (Aaron) Alayhis Salaam; Nabee Isma'il brought up his family in piety; and Nabee Idris Alayhis Salaam was truthful and pious in a high station; they showed the way; yet men will not learn the good of life.Man should not disbelieve in the Hereafter, nor sully his faith by false notions about Almighty Allah.

SURAH TA HA:
The chronology of the Surah has some significance: it has some relation to the spiritual lesson which it teaches. It was used with great effect in that remarkable scene which resulted in Hazrat Umar's conversion, and which took place about the seventh year before the Hijrah. Hazrat Umar R.A. had previously been one of the greatest enemies and persecutors of Islam and like his blood thirsty kinsmen the Quraysh, he meditated killing our Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Upon being told that he had very close relations of his who had embraced Islam, he proceeded to the home of his sister Fatima and her husband Sa'id. They had both embraced Islam but in those days of persecution they kept their faith secret. As he approached his sister's house, he heard them reciting this Surah from a written copy they had. Umar attacked his sister and her husband, but the bore the attack with exemplary patience, and declared their faith to him. Hazrat Umar R.A. was struck with their sincerity and fortitude and asked to see the leaf from which they had been reading. It was given to him: his soul was touched so much so that that he not only embraced Islam but became one of the strongest supporters and champion.

Summary: The revelation of Allah (The Holy Qur'an) is not an occasion of distress, but is a gift of mercy from Allah Most Gracious. How Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam was first chosen, and led to his mission to Fir'aun with his brother Hazrat Haroon Alayhis Salaam. How the mother of Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam was directed to cast the infant Moosa into the river, to be brought up in Fir'aun's palace under Allah's own supervision, in order to preach to Fir'aun and declare Allah's Glory. How Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam was directed to lead his people and quell their rebellious spirit, and how that spirit was stirred up by Samiri. On the Day of Judgement personal responsibility will be enforced, and Allah's Truth acknowledged: man should guard against Nabee Adam's enemy, Iblis, and should renounce vanities, purify himself with prayer and praise, and await the call to Allah.

SURAH AL ANBIYA:
This Surah begins with the external obstacles placed by evil against purification of the soul with prayer and praise and gives the assurance of Allah's power to defend men, illustrating this with reference to Nabee Ebrahim A.S.'s fight against idolatry, Hazrat Lut's fight against injustice and failure to proclaim Allah's glory by making full use of man's God-given faculties and powers, that of Nabee Ayub A.S. against impatience and want of self-confidence, that of Hazrats Isma'il, Idris, and dhul Kifl against want of steady perseverance, that of Dha al Nun against hasty anger, that of Zakarriya against spiritual isolation, and that of Bibi Maryam R.A. against the lusts of this world. In each allusion there is a special point about the soul's purification. The common point is that the Prophets A.S. were not, as the vulgar suppose, just irresistible men. They had to win their ground inch by inch against all kinds of resistance from evil.

Taraweeh Salaah - Night 14

By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia - Canada

In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Tonight's Tarawee consists of the remaining three quarters of Iqtaraba (JUZ 17) and the first half of Qad-Aflahal Muh'minoona (JUZ 18). The Surahs to be covered are: the remaining half of Surah Al Anbiya, Surah Hajj, Surah Al-Muh'minun and a quarter of Surah Al-Nur [The Light].

SURAH AL-ANBIYA:

The great exemplars of virtue conquered evil, each according to his circumstances. Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam stood staunch in the fire of persecution, unhurt; Hazrat Lut Alayhis Salaam was bold in reproving abominations; Hazrat Nuh Alayhis Salaam survived the Great Flood by his faith, in a world of Unbelief. Hazrat Dawood Alayhis Salaam sought justice, and sang Allah's praises; Hazrat Sulayman Alayhis Salaam by wisdom subdued the refractory; Hazrat Ayoub Alayhis Salaam was patient in suffering; Hazrat Ismail Alayhis Salaam, Hazrat Idris Alayhis Salaam, Hazrat Dhu al Kifl [Isaiah] Alayhis Salaam, were true in constancy amid temptation; Hazrat Yunus Alayhis Salaam turned to Allah after a short misunderstanding; Hazrat Zakariya Alayhis Salaam and his family were examples of devoutness; and Bibi Maryam Alayhis Salaam of chastity. All men and women of Allah are from one united Brotherhood.

SURAH AL HAJJ:
We now come to a new series of four Surahs, dealing with the environment and methods contributing to our spiritual progress, as the last five Surahs dealt with the Messengers who came in various ways to proclaim the Truth and conquer evil. The subject matter of this particular Surah is concerned mainly with the spiritual implications of the Sacred House, the Hajj, the Sacrifice, the striving and Fighting in defence of Truth when attacked, and other acts that make for Unselfishness and uproot Falsehood. On the chronology of this Surah, opinion is divided. Some parts were probably revealed in the latter Makkan period, and some in Madinah. But the chronological question has no significance here.

Purity, Prayer, Humility, and Faith are implied in the Hajj; in solemn Sacrifice we express our gratitude and reverence to Allah, and our desire to share food with other poorer brethren; Striving and Fighting in defence of Truth when attacked are necessary as tests of self-sacrifice. The promptings of Evil may hinder the work of Allah's Prophet, but that work must triumph, and the Mercy and Truth of Allah must be established; therefore serve Allah humbly, and He will protect and help you. The power of Evil is in insidious suggestions. They are only a trial to those who hearts are inclined to evil, but Truth does shine the nobler for the Believers, by the Grace and guidance of Allah. Do not dispute about rites and ceremonies : Follow the Straight Path. Seek for worship the Only Creator and Sustainer, and strive in His service, that you may be witness among men to Allah's Truth, as the Nabee S.A.W. is a witness to you.

SURAH AL MU'MINUN:

This Surah deals with the virtues which are the seed-bed of Faith, especially in an environment in which Truth is denied and its votaries insulated and persecuted. But Truth is One and must prevail. Those who do wrong will be filled with vain regrets when it is too late for repentance.

Summary:
- Faith, coupled with humility in prayer, charity, abstinence from vanity and from indulgence in appetites, and strict probity, must lead to final success, even though people mock and accuse the righteous of false motives, as did the contemporaries of Nabee Nuh, of Nabee Moosa and Nabee Esa Alayhim Salaam. The prophets of Allah and the righteous form one Brotherhood, but those who make schims and refuse to believe have ample evidence pointing to Truth and the goodness and greatness of Allah. Evil must be repelled by goodness and faith in Allah; for the future life is sure, and those who disbelieve will wish for another chance when it is too late. Let us eschew evil, but not pay back evil in its own coin, however great the temptation: no chance will there be to retrieve our conduct, once death cuts us off. Then we shall only have to wait for Judgement: none can pass that barrier: Our deeds will be weighed, And happy will be those whose good weighs more in the scale than ill. Only faith and Goodness will prevail in the end. So Glory be to the Lord of the Throne exalted, of Mercy and Honour.

SURAH AL NUR:
The environmental and social influence which most frequently wreck our spiritual ideals have to do with sex and especially with its misuse, whether in the form of unregulated behaviour, or false charges or scandals, or breach of the refined conventions of personal or domestic privacy. Our complete conquest of all pitfalls in such matters enables us to rise to the higher regions of Light and of Allah-created Nature. This subject continues in the next Surah. As the reprobation of false slanders about women is connected with an incident that happened to Hazrat A'ishah R.A. in A.H. 5-6 that fixes the chronological place of this Madinah Surah.

Summary: - Sex offenders should be severely punished, but strictest evidence should be required, and false slanderers are also worthy of punishment. Light talk about women is reprobated. Privacy should be respected, and the utmost decorum should be observed in dress and manners. Parable of Light and Darkness: order and obedience in Nature point to the spiritual duty of man. Domestic manners and manners in public or collective life in all contribute to the highest virtues, and are part of our spiritual duties leading up to Allah.

Chastity is a virtue, for men and and women, whether joined in marriage, or single, or widowed. The punishment for offences in such matters should be public. No less. Grave is the launching of false charges or rumours against the fair reputation of women, or the spreading of such slanders, or the facile belief in them. Evil is spreading its net. Good men and women should ever be on their guard, and pray for Allah's Grace and Mercy.

Taraweeh Salaah - Night 15

By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia - Canada

In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Tonight's Tarawee consists of the remaining half of Surah Qad-Aflahal Muh'minoona..... (JUZ 18) and three quarters of Waqa lal Ladhi'na.... (JUZ 19). The Surahs that will be covered this evening are the remaining three quarters of Surah Al Nur, Surah Furqan and Surah Al Shu'ara:

SURAH AL NUR:
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. High above our petty evanescent lives, He illumines our souls with means that reach our inmost being. Universal is His Light, so pure and so intense that grosser beings need a veil to take His rays: His elect are forever absorbed in prayer and praise and deeds of love, unlike the children of Darkness struggling in depths profound of vanities false.All Nature sings to the Glory of Allah, and men of fraud and hypocrisy are but rebels in the Kingdom of Allah. For a self-respecting life on earth, respect for other's privacy is most essential, in the home and abroad: but superstitions are not met in intercourse amongst kin or true friends. In public council never fail to observe the most punctilious form and order: your self-respect demands that you should give your leader sincere respect and all obedience. You may not know but Allah does know the inwardness of things both great and small.

SURAH FURQAN:
This Surah further develops the contrast between Light and Darkness, as symbolical of knowledge and ignorance, righteousness and sin, spiritual progress and degradation. It closes with a definition of the deeds by which the righteous are known in the environment of this world. It is an early Makkan Surah, but its date has no significance.

Summary: Allah's highest gift to mankind is that He has furnished a Criterion for judgement between Right and Wrong - in His Revelation, which teaches us the true significance of our eternal Future. Those who do not use that Criterion will be full of woe when the Judgement comes, for Allah gave full warning at all times. In the contrast of shade and sun, night and day, death and life, and the whole ordering of Allah's Creation, men may learn of Allah Most Gracious; and the virtues of the righteous respond to Allah's care for them. Woe to the misbelievers who arrogantly demand to see Allah, yet reject His Signs! His Judgement will come, and when they will see, too late, how evil casts nothing but treacherous snares for man. Slowly comes Allah's revelation, in ways most conducive to man's enlightenment. Men in their folly reject the most obvious Signs of Allah. Let them mock! Soon will they know! Alas! men ruled by self-impulse are worse than brute beasts to guide or control.

SURAH AL SHU'ARA:
This Surah begins a new series of four Surahs, which illustrate the contrast between the spirit of Prophecy and spiritual Light and the reactions to it in the communities among whom it appeared, by going back to old Prophets and the stories of the Past. In this particular Surah we have the story of Nabee Moosa A.S. and his fight with Fir'aun and of Fir'aun's discomfiture. The other Prophets mentioned are Nabee Ebrahim A.S; Nabee Hud A.S; Nabee Salih A.S; Nabee Lut A.S; and Nabee Shu'ayb A.S. The lesson is drawn that the Qur'an is a continuation and fulfillment of previous Revelations, and is pure Truth, and the Whole Truth, unlike poetry of vain poets. Chronologically the Surah belongs to the middle Makkan period, when the contrast of the Light of Prophecy with the milieu of Pagan Makkah was testing the Makkans in their most arrogant mood.

Summary: - The conflict of Unbelief with Truth is vain: so was the conflict of Fir'aun with Nabee Moosa A.S.: Fir'aun's magicians bowed to the Truth, and Fir'aun and his hosts were drowned. Nor did Nabee Ebrahim A.S.'s people gain anything by their resisting of the Truth he preached, and Nabee Nuh A.S,'s people perished by their Unbelief. Nabee Hau A.S. warned his people against reliance on their material strength and Nabee Salih A.S. against sacrilege, but in both cases the evil ones were brought low. Nabee Lut A.S. had to deal with unspeakable crimes, and Hazrat Shu'ayb A.S. against dishonest dealings and mischief: their teaching was rejected, but the rejecters were wiped out. So when the spirit of Prophecy came to Makkah, it was resisted by the votaries of evil: but Truth is not like vain poetry, and must triumph at last. Allah's Plan works unceasingly: His Light shines none the less brightly, because some reject it or mock at it. Nabee Moosa A.S. was freed from all fear when Allah gave him His Signs and sent him to Fir'aun: he boldly proclaimed the Message, and won the wise ones of Egypt: the rejecters, with Fir'aun, perished, and their heritage passed to worthier hands.


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