By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia – Canada
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Tonight’s Tarawee consists of the remaining Surahs of Amma (JUZ 30) and the Surahs to be recited tonight are listed hereunder with brief explanations of their meanings.
SURAH AL DUHA: [The Glorious Morning Light].
In this Surah the vicissitudes of human life are referred to, and a message of hope and consolation is given to man’s soul from Allah’s past mercies, and he is bidden to pursue the path of goodness and proclaim the bounties of Allah. This is the general meaning. In particular, the Surah seems to have been revealed in a dark period in the outer life of the Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, when a man of less resolute will might have been discouraged. But the Nabee S.A.W. is told to hold the present of less account than the glorious Hereafter which awaited him like the glorious morning after a night of stillness and gloom. The Hereafter was, not only in the Future Life, but his later life on this earth, full of victory and satisfaction.
SURAH AL SHARH or Al INSHIRAH: [The Expansion of the Breast].
This short Surah gives a message of hope and encouragement in a time of darkness and difficulty. It was revealed to the Nabee S.A.W. soon after the last Surah [Al Duha], whose argument it supplements. The Nabee S.A.W.’s mind and heart had indeed been expanded and purified; the burden which pressed on his soul had been removed; and his name exalted in this world and the next. For the righteous man there is no trouble but is linked with ease and joy; he must strive at every stage, and look to Allah Alone as the goal of all his hopes.
SURAH AL TIN: [The Fig].
This Surah appeals to the most sacred symbols to show that Allah created man in the best of moulds, but that man is capable of the utmost degradation unless he has Faith and leads a good life. Nature and history and the Light of Revelation, through the ages, show that man, created by Allah can fall to the lowest depths, unless he lives a life of faith and righteousness. Then will he reach his goal: if not he must stand his Judgement – none can doubt – before the Wisest and Justest of Judges.
SURAH AL ALAQ OR IQRA: [The Clinging Clot or Read]
The first five verses were the first direct revelation to the Prophet (SAW), noble is the mission of the Prophet (SAW), chosen to share publicly the message of Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of all His Creation, Whose measureless bounties include the instruction of man in new and ever new knowledge. But alas for man! he fancies himself self-sufficient, turns away from the Path, and misleads others. But nothing is hidden from Allah. He will bring all untruth and sin in rebellion to Judgement, and subdue all evil. The righteous bow in adoration to Allah, and draw closer to Him.
SURAH AL QADR: [The Night of Power and Honour].
The subject matter is the mystic Night of Power [or Honour], in which Revelation comes down to a benighted world – it may be to the wonderful Cosmos of an individual – and transforms the conflict of wrongdoing into Peace and Harmony – through the agency of the angelic host, representing the spiritual powers of Mercy of Allah, and bless every nook and corner of the heart! All jars are stilled in the reign supreme of Peace, until this mortal night gives place to the glorious day of an immortal world!
SURAH AL BAYYINAH: [The Clear Evidence].
The mystic night of Revelation is indeed blessed. But those who reject Truth are impervious to Allah’s Message, however clear may be the evidence in support of it. Faith and Good Life lead straight to the Goal – The Beauteous Gardens of Bliss Eternal!
SURAH AL ZALZALAH: [The Earthquake].
The Hour of Judgement must needs be heralded by a mighty Convulsion. The earth will give up her secrets and tell her tale of all man’s doing. Men will march in companies and clearly see the inwardness of all their deeds. Not an atom of Good or Evil done, but will be shown in the final account of men convinced.
SURAH AL ADIYAT: [Those that Run].
Its subject matter is the irresistible nature of spiritual power and knowledge, contrasted with unregenerate man’s ingratitude, pettiness, helplessness, and ignorance. There are those that fight with eager charge, the hosts of evil, and storm its citadel. But unregenerate Man shows less than gratitude for Allah’s most gracious Bounties. His life bears witness to his treason and his greed. Allah’s Knowledge is all-embracing. All things hidden will be laid bare at Judgement.
SURAH AL QARI’AH: [The Great Calamity].
This Makkan Surah describes Judgement Day as the Day of Clamour, when mankind will be distracted and the landmarks of this world will be lost, but every deed will be weighed in a just balance, and find its real value and setting. Those whose good deeds will show substance and weight will achieve a Life of good pleasure and satisfaction, while those whose good will be light will find themselves Alas, in a blazing Pit of Punishment.
SURAH AL TAKATHUR: [The Piling Up].
This Surah gives a warning against acquisitiveness i.e. the passion for amassing worldly and material things, whether in the good things of this world, or in manpower or in other forms of megalomania, which leave no time or opportunity for pursuing the higher things of life.
SURAH AL ‘ASR: [Time Through the Ages].
This Surah refers to the testimony of Time through the Ages. All history shows that Evil came to an end. But Time is always in favour of those who have Faith, live clean and pure lives, and know how to wait, in patience and constancy.
SURAH AL HUMAZAH: [The Scandalmonger].
This Surah condemns all sorts of scandal, backbiting, and selfish hoarding of wealth, as destroying the hearts and affection of men. The Fire of Wrath will envelop them and wither up their hearts and minds, and consume that largeness of life which is the portion of mankind.
SURAH AL FIL: [The Elephant].
Let no man be intoxicated with power or material resources. They cannot defeat the purpose of Allah. So Abrahah Ashram fired by religious fanaticism led a large expedition against Makkah intending to destroy the Ka’bah with his elephant or elephants. A shower of stones, thrown by flocks of birds, destroyed him and his army almost to a man. The stones produced sores and pustules on the skin, which spread like a pestilence.
SURAH QURAYSH: [The Tribe of Quraysh].
This Makkan Surah may well be considered as a pendant to the last. If the Quraysh were fond of Makkah and proud of it, if they profited, by its central position and it guaranteed security, from their caravans of trade and commerce, let them be grateful, adore the One True Creator and accept His Message. Who gave the Quraysh their talents for the arts of peace, for trade, for commerce and for journeys south and north at proper seasons, and made their home inviolable in Makkah? Surely they, if any, should adore their Lord and listen to His Message of Unity and Truth.
SURAH AL MA’UN: [The Neighbourly Assistance].
The subject matter is the meaning of true worship, which requires Faith, the practical and helpful love of those in need, and sincerity rather than show in devotion and charity.What remains if you deny all Faith and personal responsibility? Why then help the helpless or teach others deeds of charity? Vain were worship without heart and soul. What do you think of men who make great show, but fail to meet the simple needs of daily life?
SURAH AL KAWTHAR: [The Abundance].
This Surah sums up in the single mystic word Kawthar [Abundance] the doctrine of spiritual Riches through devotion and sacrifice. The converse also follows: indulgence in hatred means the cutting off of all hopes of this life and the Hereafter. To the man of Allah, rich in divine blessings, is granted a Fountain unfailing, they will quench the spiritual thirst of millions. Turn, then, in devotion and sacrifice to Allah, nor heed the venom of Hatred, which destroys its own hopes, alas, of the present and the future!
SURAH AL KAFIRUN: [Those Who Reject Faith].
This Surah defines the right attitude to those who reject Faith. In matters of Truth we can make no sacrifices, but there is no need to persecute or abuse anyone for his faith or belief. The man of Faith holds fast to his faith, because he knows it is true. The man of the world, rejecting Faith, clings hard to worldly interests. Let him mind his worldly interests, but let him not force his interests on men sincere and true, by favour, force, or fraud.
SURAH AL NASR: [The Help].
This beautiful Surah was the last of the Surahs to be revealed as a whole, though the portion of the verse 3 of Surah Al Ma’idah: “This day have I perfected your religion for you” etc., contains probably the last words of the Holy Qur’an to be revealed. The date of this Surah was only a few months before the passing away of the Beloved Nabee S.A.W. from this world, Rabi 1, A.H. 11. The place was either the precincts of Makkah at his Farewell Hajj, Dhu al Hijjah A.H. 10, or Madinah after his return from the Farewell Hajj. Victory is the crown of service, not an occasion for exultation. All victory comes from the help of Allah. Praise and Glory belongs only to Allah: to Him we humbly Turn and pray for Grace, for He is oft-Returning in Grace and Mercy.
SURAH AL MASAD or AL LAHAB: [The Plaited Rope] or [The Flame].
“Abu Lahab: “Father of Flame” – was the nickname of an uncle of the Nabee S.A.W; from his fiery hot temper and his ruddy complexion. He was one of the most inveterate enemies of early Islam. When the Nabee S.A.W. called together the Quraysh and his own family members to come and listen to his preaching and his warning against the sins of the people, the “Father of Flame” flared up and cursed the Nabee S.A.W. saying “Perdition to Thee!” This Surah carries the general lesson that cruelty ultimately ruins itself. The man who rages against holy things is burnt up in his own rage. His hands, which are the instruments of his action, perish, and he perishes himself. No boasted wealth or position will save him. The curses, insults, threats and spite, harmed not the innocent, but hit the wrondoers themselves and branded them with eternal infamy!
SURAH IKHLAS: [The Purity of Faith].
The nature of Allah is here indicated to us in a few words, such as we can understand. Here we are specially taught to avoid the pitfalls into which men and nations have fallen at various times in trying to understand Allah. Keep Faith all pure and undefiled. There is Allah, the One and Only; Eternal, Free from all needs; on Whom depend, to Whom go back all things; He hath no son nor father nor partner. There is no one like unto him.
SURAH AL FALAQ: [The Daybreak].
In Allah’s Created World, there are all kinds of forces and counter forces, especially those put in motion by beings who have been endowed with some sort of will. The forces of Good may be compared to light, and those of evil to darkness. Allah can cleave the depths of darkness and produce light (Surah Al An’am verse 96], and therefore we should cast off fear and take refuge in Divine Guidance and Goodness. Banish fear, and trust His Providence. No danger, the, from the outer world, no secret plottings from perverted wills, no disturbance of your happiness or good, can effect the fortress of your inmost soul.
SURAH AL NAS: [Mankind].
The previous Surah pointed to the necessity of seeking Allah’s protection against external factors which might affect an individual. Here the need for protection from internal factors, mankind being viewed as a whole, is pointed out. This Surah is a pendant to the last Surah, and concludes the Most Glorious and Holy Qur’an with an appeal to us to trust in Almighty Allah Rabbul ‘Aala’meen, rather than man, as our sure shield and protection. It warns us specially against the secret whispers of evil within our own hearts.
Allah is the Heavenly Sovereign Who gives Laws and Allah is the Goal to which we will be returned and Judged. Let man but place himself in Allah’s hands, and never can Evil touch him in his essential and inner life.