Umm al-Mu'mineen 'A'isha (radiallahu anha) says, "Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam used to fast until we used to say, 'He has no intention of remaining without fast.' In addition, he used to remain without fast until we used to say, 'He has no desire of observing fast.' And he used to recite Surah Bani Israeel (Surah Isra) and Surah Zumar every night." (Nasai)
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported Allah's Messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam as saying, "If anyone recites Ha-mim Al-Dukhan any night, seventy thousand angels will ask forgiveness for him in the evening." (Tirmizi)
Hadhrat Abu Rafi radiyallahu anhu said, "Whoever will recite Surah Dukhan on the eve of Friday, by morning he is forgiven and he will be wed to a huri (damsel of paradise) with wide lovely eyes." (Darimi)
The same Hadith is reported by Hadhrat Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, "Whoever shall recite Surah Dukhan on the eve of Friday, he is forgiven in the morning."
Hadhrat Abu Umamah radiyallahu anhu has said: I have heard the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam saying, "Whoever prays Surah Dukhan on the eve of Friday or on Friday Allah Ta'ala makes for him a home in paradise."
Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, 'Whoever reads surat Ya-Sin in the night, he will be forgiven. And whoever reads Ha-Meem, the one in which smoke is mentioned, he will be forgiven.'
The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, 'Chapters beginning with Ha-Meem are beautiful, fresh, fragrant, splendid mesdows. Whosoever desires to walk around in the meadows of Paradise should recite these surahs.' [Al-Tadhkar Fi Afdal Al-Adhkar by Imam al-Qurtubi]
Ibn Mas'ud (radiAllahu anhu) said, 'The 'ha-meems' are the embelishments of the Quran.' [Hakim, Dhahabi, Ibn Al Mundhir & Baihaqi]
The 'haa-meems' refer to the seven Surahs which have ha-meem at the start are: Surahs Ghafir or Al-Mu'min (40), Fussilat (or Ha-Meem) (41), Shura (42), Zukhruf (43), Dukhan (44), Jathiyah (45), Ahqaf (46)
Virtues of Surah Fath Umar (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, 'A Surah of the Qur'an was revealed to me tonight, indeed it is the dearest Surah to my heart, than anything under the sun.' Then the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) recited Surah al Fath verses 1-5.
[Sahih al-Bukhari 6:61 #532]
Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (radiallahu anh) reported that the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'Everything has an adornment, and the adornment of the Qur'an is Surah ar Rahman' [Bayhaqi in Shuab al Eiman]
The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) went to the companions (radiallahu anhum) and recited Surah ar Rahman but they were all quiet. He told them that he went to the jinn and recited it to them and they were responsive. And when he would recite the verses 'And which of the favours of the Lord will you deny' the jinn would respond 'There is nothing among your bounties that we can deny, all praise belong to Allah' [Tirmidhi, Ibn al Mundhir, Al Adhama & Hakim 2/474]
Virtues Of Surah Hadeed Hadrat Irbad ibn Sariya said that the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam used to recite Musabbihaat before going to sleep, and has said that, "In them is a verse which is better than a thousand verses." (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi and Nasai)
Note: Musabbihaat - these are said to be those Surahs which begin with the perfect, imperfect, or imperative of the verb of Sabbaha (to glorify).
The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to recite Surahs of Glorification before returing and he said that there is a verse in them which is better than a thousand verses. (Tirmidhi 5/181)
NB: These Surahs are: Al-Hadid, Al-Hashr, As-Saf, Al-Jum'ah and At-Tagabun
The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'Whoever when he wakes in the morning says 'I seek refuge with Allah against the accursed satan' and then recited three verses from the last part of Surah al Hashr, will be assigned seventy thousand angels to pray for him until the evening, and should he die that day, he would have died a martyr.' [Ibn Ahmad, Darimi, Tirmidhi 5/182]
The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, 'There is a surah in the Qur'an which is only thirty verses. It defended whoever recited it until it puts him into paradise' i.e. Surah al Mulk.' [Fath al Qadir 5/257, Sahihul Jamiea 1/680, Tabrani in Al-Awsat & Ibn Mardawaith]
The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, 'Surah al Mulk is the protector from the torment of the grave.' [Sahihul Jamiea 1/680, Hakim 2/498 & Nasai]
Jabir (radiAllahu anhu) said it was the custom of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) not to go to sleep until he had read Surah Mulk (67) and Surah Sajdah (32). [Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Darami]
Anas (radiAllahu anhu) reported Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wasalam) as saying, "There is a Surah which will plead for its reciter till it causes him to enter paradise (Surah Mulk)." [at-Tabrani]
Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)said,'It is my desire/love that Suratul Mulk should be in the heart of every Muslim' [Hakim]
Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) said that one of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)'s companions set up his tent over a grave without realising that it was a grave and it contained a man who was reciting the Surah Mulk up to the end. He went and told the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) who said, 'It is The Defender; it is The Protector which safeguards from Allah Ta'ala's punishment.' [at-Tirmidhi]
Khalid bin Madam (tabi'ee) said about surat Al Mulk and 'As Sajda that these two surahs will fight for their reciter in the grave and will say, 'O Allah! If we belong to your book, accept our intercession in his favour. In case we do not, get us obliterated.' These surahs will spread their wings like birds and will save the person from the torment of the grave.' [Mishkat]
It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (radiallahu anh) said: Whoever reads Surah Mulk every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wasalam) we used to call it al-mani'ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well. [an-Nasa'i]
Virtues Of Surah Zalzalah Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (radiallahu anhum) reported that the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'Whoever recited Surah Zalzalah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur'an. Whoever recited surah al Kafiroon (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur'an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur'an.' [at-Tirmidhi 2818/A]
An old man, saying that his heart had difficulty in remembering, and his tongue was sluggish, asked the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam); "Teach me the reading of a comprehensive surah." So the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) taught him to recite Surah Zalzalah. The man said, "I swear by Him who has sent you with the truth that I shall never recite more than that."
When the man turned away Allah's Messenger (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said twice, "The man has become successful."
Note: This Surah has been called a comprehensive Surah because it contains the verse: "So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it." [99:7-8]
"Whenever We abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or one equal to it." [2:106]
At first, Muslims used to pray with their faces turned towards the Baytul-Maqdis at Jerusalem; later on, Allah commanded them to turn towards the Ka'bah. Similarly, certain other injunctions were abrogated altogether, or replaced by others. This provided the Jews and some of the associators too with an occasion to taunt the Muslims, and to say that such changes were made by the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) himself and not by Allah. Their purpose was to sow the seed of doubt in the mind of the Muslims with regard to the Holy Qur'an being a book revealed by Allah. They used to argue that if everything that Allah revealed was good, as the Muslims affirmed, why should one injunction be replaced by another? For, it would only mean that one of the two injunctions must be good, and the other evil, but no divine revelation can possibly be evil. Putting these two premises together, the Jews tried to draw the conclusion that the Holy Qur'an could not be a revealed book.
The present verse refutes this line of argument, and, in effect, points out that abrogation does hot mean replacing good with evil, or vice versa, which should imply the possibility of the presence of evil in divine revelation, but that everything that Allah reveals to His prophets is good, and that what has been abrogated is good as much as what abrogated it.
The verse declares that if Allah chooses to abrogate an injunction contained in a certain verse, while retaining the verse itself as a part of the Holy Qur'an, or chooses to remove a verse from the memories of men altogether, there is nothing objectionable in it, for Allah alone knows the wisdom that lies in His choice, and He makes these changes for the good of men. In fact, He always sends another verse or injunction better than, or at least equal to, what He has abrogated. Allah being omnipotent and omniscient, He possesses the authority to change His commandments as He likes, and He also knows what is good for men at a particular time, and makes these changes according to this knowledge. Men have no friend or helper except Allah. As friend, Allah keeps their good in view while laying down injunctions. As helper, He protects those who obey His commandments against the hostility of their foes - but if the obedient are to receive blessings in the other world greater than the harm they have to suffer in this world, the apparent domination of their foes does not really matter.
What is Naskh? (Abrogation)
Verse 106 speaks of Allah abrogating certain verses, or making men forget certain others. The first phrase of the verse, thus covers all the possible forms in which a verse of the Qur'an can be abrogated. The Arabic word in the text is Naskh,- which has two lexical meanings -- (1) to write, and (2) to abolish, to repeal. According to the consensus of all the commentators, the word has been employed in this verse in the second sense -- that is, the repeal or abrogation of an injunction. So, in the terminology of the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith, Naskh () signifies the promulgation of an injunction in place of another -- whether the later injunction merely consists in the repeal of the earlier or, substitutes a new regulation in its place. The other form of Naskh mentioned in this verse is that sometimes Allah made the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him and the blessed Companions forget a certain verse altogether. The commentators have cited several instances of this kind of Naskh, and the purpose in such cases has usually been to repeal a certain regulation.
The kinds of abrogation Making laws and repealing them to promulgate new ones in their stead is a regular and well-known practice in human governments and institutions. But in the case of man-made laws abrogation takes place sometimes because the law-makers do not understand the situation properly while making a certain law, and have to change it when they realize their mistakes, and sometimes because when a law is promulgated, it is in accord with the prevailing situation, but when quite unforeseen changes alter the situation, the law too has to be changed. But these two forms of abrogation are out of the question in the case of divine injunctions.
There is, however, a third form too. The lawmaker makes a law, knowing fully well that the circumstances are going to change in such a way that the law will no longer be suitable for the new situation; so, when the situation changes as he already knew, he changes the law too, and promulgates a new one which he had thought of at the very start. For example, a physician prescribes a medicine for a patient in view of his present conditions, but he knows that when the patient has been using it for two days, his condition will change and require a new medicine -- with this realization, he prescribes a medicine suitable for that day, but two days later, when circumstances have changed, he prescribes a new one. The physician can easily give the patient written instructions for the whole course of the treatment, with all the changes in the medicines duly indicated. But this would be putting too much burden on the already feeble patient, and there would also be the danger of some harm through a possible error or misunderstanding.
This is the only form of abrogation which can occur, and has been occurring in divine injunctions and in divine books. Every new Shari'ah and every new revealed Book has been abrogating many injunctions of the earlier Shari'ah and of the earlier Book. Similarly, within the same Shari'ah, too, it has always happened that a certain law was in force for a time, but Divine Wisdom chose to abrogate it and to promulgate another in its place. A hadith reported by Muslim says: : "There has never been a prophethood which did not abrogate some injunctions." This is a principle which it should not be difficult to understand. It was only some malicious and ignorant Jews who confused the divine abrogation of injunctions with the two forms of the repeal of man-made laws, and began, in their impudence, to taunt the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him, - in reply to which, as we have said, these two verses were revealed, (ibn Jarir, ibn Kathir etc.)
As for the Muslims, it was probably in their desire to avoid giving occasion to the enemies of Islam for such taunts that some from among the Mu'tazilah tried to explain away the whole question of Naskh. Logically speaking, there is a possibility -- so ran their argument -- of abrogation in the case of divine injunctions, and the possibility cannot be denied on any rational ground, but abrogation has not actually occurred in the Holy Qur'an, and there is no verse in the Holy Book which abrogates another (Nasikh) and no verse which has been abrogated (Mansukh). This view is attributed to Abu Muslim al-Isfahani, but the 'Ulama' in general have always rejected this opinion, and refuted the argument. Thus, we read in "Ruh al-Ma'ani":
"The people belonging to all the Shari'ahs are unanimous in accepting the validity of abrogation and its actual occurrence both. Only the Jews - with the exception of their 'Isawiyyah sect have denied the possibility of abrogation, and Abu Muslim al-Isfahani has denied its occurrence, for he says that it is rationally possible, but has not actually taken place."
Imam al-Qurtubi says:
"It is essential to understand the question of abrogation, and great benefits flow from such an understanding, which no scholar can dispense with, and no one can deny abrogation except the ignorant and the dull-headed."
In this connection, al-Qurtubi has related a very illuminating incident. The fourth Khalifah Sayyidna 'Ali Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him saw a man preaching in the mosque. He asked the people what the man was doing. On being told that he was preaching, the blessed Khalifah said: "He is not doing anything of the sort, but only announcing to the people that he is such and such a man and the son of such and such, and asking them to recognize and remember him." Calling the man to his side, he asked: "Do you know the injunctions which have been abrogated and those which have abrogated the earlier ones?" When he confessed that he did not, the Khalifah turned him out of the mosque, and ordered him never to preach there.
It is not feasible to cite here all the sayings of the blessed Companions and their immediate Successors (Tabi'in) which affirm the actual occurrence of abrogation in the case of injunctions laid down by the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith. Some of these have been quoted, along with the evidence for the authenticity of the reports, in the commentaries of Ibn Jarir and Ibn Kathir etc. and in "Al-Durr al-Manthur". As for the reports less strongly authenticated, they are just innumerable. That is why there has always been a total consensus of the 'Ulama on the question of Naskh, except for Abu Muslim al-Isfahani and a few others from among the Mu'tazilah who have denied the actual occurrence of abrogation -- but Imam Razi has, in his commentary, exposed in detail the hollowness of their opinion.
The terminology of the Naskh
It is also essential to keep in mind a certain distinction in the use of the word Naskh as a technical term of the Shan'ah. The technical sense of the word implies changing an injunction, and replacing one injunction by another. Now, this change may consist in repealing an injunction altogether and replacing it by another (for example, fixing the Ka'bah as the Qiblah -- the direction towards which Muslims turn in their prayers -- instead of the Baytul-Maqdis); the change may equally consist in retaining an injunction but adding certain condition and provisions to it. The 'Ulama' of the early period of Islam have used the word Naskh in this general and comprehensive sense which includes the total repeal of an injunction as well as a partial change in an injunction with the addition of certain conditions, provisions or exceptions. That is why the 'Ulama' of the earlier period have indicated some five hundred verses of the Holy Qur'an which, according to them, have been abrogated.
But, according to the 'Ulama' of a later period, only that change is to be called a Naskh which cannot in any way be brought into consonance with an earlier injunction. Obviously, this approach greatly reduces the number of abrogated verses. For example, there are, according to al-Suyuti, only twenty such verses. Later on, Shah Waliyyullah, seeking to bring the abrogated injunctions in consonance with the earlier injunctions, reduced the number of abrogated verses to only five -- these being the cases where later injunctions could not be made to correspond with the earlier ones without far-fetched interpretations. This effort is highly commendable, because the basic postulate behind an injunction is its permanence, while abrogation goes against this postulate, and hence it is not proper to posit abrogation in a verse laying down an injunction which can, in some justifiable manner, be shown to be still valid.
But this effort to reduce the number of abrogated verses does not, and cannot in the least imply* that the presence of abrogation is in any way -- may Allah forgive us for reproducing a blasphemy -- a shortcoming or defect in the Holy Qur'an or Islam, that the 'Ulama' have for the last fourteen hundred years been trying to remove it, that the ultimate inspiration came to Shah Waliyyullah whose extraordinary achievement lies in having reduced the number of abrogated verses to five, and that now one may wait for a few geniuses who would bring the number down to zero.
[*As the 'modernists' have been all too impatient to believe.]
To adopt such an approach towards the question of "Naskh" is no service to Islam or to the Holy Qur'an,* nor can it obliterate the profound investigations into truth of the matter made by the blessed Companions, their Successors, and the 'Ulama', of the generations that followed them during the last fourteen hundred years, nor can it stop the recriminations of the enemies of Islam. In fact, all it would do is to furnish a weapon to the present-day traducers of Islam and those who wish to rebel against Islam, who would now be saying that what the 'Ulama' of the Islamic Ummah have been maintaining on the subject for the last fourteen hundred years has finally proved to be wrong. May Allah forbid such a thing! If this door is opened, it would let in all kinds of disorders, and all the injunctions of the Shari'ah would come under suspicion. Then, is there any guarantee that the results of this "modernistic" research would not turn out to be wrong tomorrow! [*We have come across certain recent writings in which an attempt has been made to revive the argument of Abu Muslim al-Isfahani.]
To which pretends the whole tribe of self-styled scholars, researchers, "experts in Islamic studies" and "revivificateurs of Islam."
Such writers begin with the assumption that the Arabic word Ma in verse 106 is not a relative or adverbial pronoun signifying "whenever", or "whichever" but a conjunction implying "if that introduces a conditional clause; so, they translate the first phrase of the the verse not as "whichever verse We abrogate", but as "if We abrogate a verse", and say that the statement pertains to a supposition or to an imaginary situation as do the phrases beginning with the Arabic word 'Law' (if) - for example: : "If there were in the sky and the earth another god beside Allah" (21:22) or : "If the All-Merciful had a son" (43:81). On this basis, they argue that abrogation is possible, but has never actually occurred. Such writers, we are afraid, do not show an intimate knowledge of Arabic grammar, for there is a great deal of difference between a condition suggested by the word Ma and the imaginary situation introduced by the conjunction Law. Moreover, it is on the basis of this verse itself that the blessed Companions have affirmed the occurrence of abrogation, and have even cited many instances. So have their Successors and all authentic Commentators. In view of such unanimity, the new-fangled interpretation cannot be acceptable. Even Shah Waliyyullah, in reducing the number of abrogated verses, has never thought of denying the fact of abrogation. In short, all the authentic and authoritative 'Ulama', from the days of the blessed Companions down to our own day, have always affirmed not only the possibility, but also the actual occurrence of abrogation. This has been the position of all the 'Ulama of Deoband too, without any exception.
The injunctions with regard to abrogation are too many and too intricate to be discussed here -- they properly belong to the books on the Principles of Jurisprudence.
This Surah (Chapter) of the Holy Qur'an possesses a number of merits peculiar to it. Firstly, the Holy Qur'an begins with it; the prescribed prayer begins with it; and even in the order of revelation this is the first Surah which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in its complete form. Some verses of the Surahs Iqra' (al-'Alaq), al-Muzzammil and al-Muddaththir had no doubt been revealed earlier, but the first Surah to be revealed in a complete form is no other than this. Certain Companions of the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) have reported that this was the first Surah to be revealed. Most probably they had meant that no Surah had been revealed in a complete form before this. Perhaps that is why the Surah has been named as 'Fatihatul-Kitab' (The Opening of the Book).
The other important peculiarity of the Surah is that it is, so to say, the quintessence of the Holy Qur'an, and the rest of the Qur'an is its elaboration. The Surah may thus be delineated for two reasons. Firstly, all that the Holy Qur'an has to say is, in one way or another, related to either of the two themes, faith ('Iman) and virtuous deeds (al-'amal al-salih), and the basic principles of the two have been indicated in this Surah (See Ruh al-Ma'ani and Ruh al-Bayan). That is why authentic Traditions (Ahadith) give to this Surah such titles as "Umm al-Qur'an", "Umm al-Kitab", "Al-Qur'an al-Azim" etc.
Secondly, this Surah gives a special instruction to the man who begins the recitation or the study of the Qur'an - that he should approach this book with a mind cleansed of all his previous thoughts and opinions, seeking nothing but the Truth and the right path, praying to Allah for being guided in the right path. The Surah begins with the praise of Him before whom the request is to be submitted, and ends with the request for guidance. The whole of the Qur'an is the answer to this request. The answer begins with the words: "Alif Lam Mim. This is the Book", which is an indication that the guidance man had prayed for has been provided in this Book.
The Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "I swear by Allah who is the master of my life, neither the Torah, nor the Evangile nor the Psalms of Dawud have anything to compare with the Opening Chapter of the Qur'an, and no other Chapter of the Qur'an itself can compare with it."(Reported by the Companion Abu Hurairah radiallahu anh).
The Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has also said that this Surah is a cure for all kinds of illnesses. According to another Tradition (Hadith), the Surah has also been named the "Cure" (Al-Shifa), (See Qurtubi), and al-Bukhari reports from the Companion Anas (radiallahu anh) that the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) called this Surah the greatest among all the Surahs of the Holy Qur'an. (See Qurtubi)
The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'Whoever recited one thousand verses in one night would meet Allah with a smile on his face'. Someone said, 'O Messenger of Allah, who can recite a thousand verses?' The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) then recited Surah at Takathur and then said, 'By He in Whose hand my soul is, it is equal to a thousand verses.' [Al Khatib in Al Muttafaq wal Muftaraq & Dailami in Fath al Qadir 5/487]
The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'Recite surah al Kafirun and then go to sleep after coming to its end, for it is a clearance from shirk' [Abu Dawud 4396 & Hakim 1/565]
Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (radiallahu anhum) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said 'It is equivalent to a quarter of the Qur'an' [at-Tirmidhi, 2818/A].
Abdullah ibn Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhuma) reported that Allah's Messenger (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Qul Huw Allahu Ahad" (Surah Ikhlas) is equal to a third of the Qur'an and "Qul ya ayyuhal Kafirun" (Surah Kafiroon) is equal to a fourth of the Qur'an." [at-Tabarani, classed as Sahih]
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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