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Session Six: The Miraculous Ayah

October 19, 2008

Bismillah walhamdulillah,

May Allah ta’ala make us companions of the Qur’an. Ameen.

I’ve been realizing how true the statement “the more you learn, the less you know” is. SubhanAllah as many Qur’an classes you or myself have taken, the bottom line is that we can never finish studying the Qur’an; there is always something to learn.

On Wednesday night we learned about the Miraculous Ayah, Qur’anic gem # six:

The word “ayah” (آية) is commonly translated as “verse” in English, yet this definition is not proper because it does not capture the true meaning of Ayah. When you mention “verse” to an English speaking person, it reminds them of three things: the Bible, poetry or a song. The problem is that the Qur’an denies being similar to any of these things, so “verse” does not give the correct connotation of “ayah”.

Another definition of ayah is “sentence”, yet an ayah is not a sentence. For example, the first three ayaat (plural of ayah) from Faatihah are a sentence, but three separate ayaat. Also, ayatad dayn is one page long, yet it’s only one ayah. Multiple ayaat can make one sentence, and one ayah could be a paragraph. The best translation (according to brother Nouman) is: a miraculous sign.

One example from the Qur’an how ayah cannot be translated in from Surah Fath (48).

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِيمَانًا مَعَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

“He it is Who sent down As-Sakinah (calmness and tranquility) into the hearts of the believers, that they may grow more in Faith (emaan) along with their (present) Faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” (48:4)

This surah was revealed after the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah (article here), a treaty that was enacted between the Muslims of Madinah and the Quraysh when the Muslims traveled with the intention to perform ‘umrah. Allah azza wa jal says that He sent down Sakinah (tranquility) into the hearts of the believers. Why? So that they put their trust in Allah ta’ala even though they cannot make ‘umrah, there is good in it.

He says in the above ayah: وَلِلَّهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ and to Allah belongs the soldiers of the heavens and the earth. This statement appears twice when Allah ta’ala mentions the believers in ayah four, and in ayah seven, after He mentions the hypocrites.

In ayah six, Allah ta’ala mention the hypocrites and their punishment:

وَيُعَذِّبَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ الظَّانِّينَ بِاللَّهِ ظَنَّ السَّوْءِ ۚ عَلَيْهِمْ دَائِرَةُ السَّوْءِ ۖ وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَنَهُمْ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا

“And that He may punish the Munafiqoon (hypocrites), men and women, and also the Mushrikoon men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah, for them is a disgraceful torment, and the Anger of Allah is upon them, and He has cursed them and prepared Hell for them, and worst indeed is that destination.” (48:6)

Take a deeper look at this arrangement:

When Allah ta’ala mentions the believers, He mentions in the SAME ayah that He owns the soldiers of the heavens and the earth…because the believers belong to the armies of Allah!

Yet when Allah ta’ala describes the hypocrites, He mentions that He owns the soldiers of the heavens and the earth in the next ayah. Allah ta’ala SEPARATES them by separating the ayah. They do not belong in the armies of Allah, yet they claim to be amongst the believers.

At the end of ayah 4, Allah says He is:  عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا All Knowing, All Wise, and in ayah 7 He says He is: عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا All Mighty, All Wise. ‘Aleema appears with the believers, and ‘Azeeza appears with the hypocrites.

‘Aleeman is mentioned with the believers because the believers were in a frustrating position with this Treaty and having been stopped from performing ‘umrah, yet the only one who knew it was a victory was Allah azza wa jal. He gave the believers tranquility because He is Hakeem–All Wise. Out of His Ultimate Wisdom, He knew this situation was good for them, whether they knew it or not.

‘Azeezan is mentioned with the hypocrites because they did not go with the believers to perform ‘umrah. Reason being that they did not want to encounter the mushriks for the second time–after they surrounded Madinah during the Battle of Ahzaab (or Khandaq/ditch) for weeks a few months prior. This battle was the only time that the soldiers of the opposing side were more in number than the actual inhabitants of the city! Allah azza wa jal gave victory to the believers; Allah ta’ala sent a wind (mentioned in 33:9) to help them. The hypocrites did not travel with the believers after the  Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam received the dream to go for ‘umrah because they thought this meeting was too early, having just met the mushriks at Ahzaab–they saw it as going straight into the mouth of the wolf and that the believers would be killed. They thought:

أَنْ لَنْ يَنْقَلِبَ الرَّسُولُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِيهِمْ أَبَدًا

“that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families” (48:12) So what did they do? They began planning who would take authority of Madinah, but Allah ta’ala is ‘Azeez: Authority belongs to Him. They had confidence in their authority, as Allah says: وَزُيِّنَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ “and that was made fair-seeming in their hearts” (48:12) The only reason that Allah ta’ala hasn’t shown them His Authority is because He is Hakeem: it is all part of a plan that He Knows.

May Allah ta’ala make us among the true believers, Ameen!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. serendipitouslife permalink
    October 20, 2008 7:22 am

    JazakAllahkhair. You are absolutely right! We probably taste just the drop of the wisdom & miracle found in the study of Quran.

    I didn’t fully comprehend this one. So i checked from my mushaf & then alhumdullilah, your example became clear.

  2. October 20, 2008 8:45 am

    SubhanaAllah, just one hour after reading this example, i subconsciously noticed another similar example when i read the Quran today.
    The example i found:
    Surah Baqarah: 200,201 & 202.

    فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـقٍ

    وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الاٌّخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

    أُولَـئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا كَسَبُواْ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

    The recompense of those who ask for khair of the dunya only, is immediately mentioned within the same ayah.

    Whereas, the reward of those who ask for khair of dunya & aakhirah (& protection from Fire) is mentioned in a separate ayah.

    Can you see the wisdom & reason for this? Its amazing!

  3. October 20, 2008 9:53 am

    wa iyyaki! Yes it’s hard to explain these examples without speaking, but alhamdulillah i’m glad you were able to understand it.

    MashaAllah that’s a good example ukhtee, I never noticed that! SubhanAllah.

    So I remember covering these ayaat in class, I think that when Allah ta’ala mentions those who ask for khayr in this dunya, He mentions it in the same ayah–to show the quick answer..they want the dunya, then they have no portion of the hereafter. subhanAllah, Allah doesn’t even say that they will receive the dunya but rather shows that they have lost out on the aakhirah because they gave priority to the dunya. He says ta’ala they have no ‘khalaaq’, and khalaaq means a portion or share which is given to someone because of his good character.

    But for those who ask for both, subhanAllah Allah ta’ala gives them exclusion by saying “ulaaika” “Those!”, because this is an ism ishaarah ba’eed, pointing to something far. Allah is honoring them and showing that ONLY those people, exclusively, will get both the dunya and aakhirah.

    Also if you notice, Allah ta’ala used “kasaboo” (they earned) and not “amiloo” (they did/worked), because kasaba means to earn something with your hands, through hard work and labor, to earn something…so these people not only ask for the dunya and aakhirah, they WORK for it. This is true tawakkul.

    These verses are in the part of Baqarah that is talking about hajj, and these two ayaat are referring to those hujjaj and what duaas they make. When we make duaa, we are focused on what we really want, so imagine someone making tawaf or at ‘arafat and they are asking for the dunya only! SubhanAllah!

    I’m sure there is more to this example but this is what I could gather from my extremely limited knowledge. I also wrote a short article a while ago about this duaa, you can read it here inshaAllah. and Allah knows best.

  4. October 20, 2008 2:39 pm

    Assalamu alaikum

    SubhanAllah!!! So much Knowledge and Wisdom. My head is spinning after this one.🙂

    Indeed you sisters have surpassed us brothers by a long way.

    But Alhamdullilah!!! it means our next generation of Muslims will be the vanguards of Islam. InshaAllahu ta’ala.

    btw i envy (ghibtah) you sisters who have committed yourselves wholly to seeking the ilm of Allah and His Rasul(saw). I pray that Allah (swt) increases you all in Ilm and makes you righteous scholars on the straight path who will be a means of guidance for others. Ameen

    Please pray that Allah grants me ilmun Nafi’a also. Ameen

    wassalam

  5. October 20, 2008 9:09 pm

    Assalamu ‘alikum

    Subhanallah! i also want to join ‘dailyreminders’ in his Du’a for you,

    and i just want to say that i really really envy you for going to learn from such a smart person as brother Nouman.

    may allah increase your wisdom, and inshallah you will keep on sharing with us the things you learn.
    Amin.

  6. October 20, 2008 10:52 pm

    wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

    Alhamdulillah, may I just remind you all that the above notes are not from my own knowledge, rather they are from our teacher br Nouman hafidhahullah!🙂

    Jazakum Allahu khayran for the kind words and duaas, May Allah ta’ala increase us all in beneficial knowledge and make us among the true successful believers, Ameen.

    Increase your reward by sharing these gems with others inshaAllah, for each person you share it with, you will get the reward inshaAllah! Hadeeth is: “Whoever guides anyone to goodness, his reward shall be the same as those who follow his guidance without lessening a bit of their reward.”

  7. October 21, 2008 7:13 am

    Ameen to the above duas.

    Sis Amatullah, JazakAllahkhair for the detailed explanation. All of the syntax technicalities fit together to be in perfect harmony with the meanings & exegesis. SubhanaAllah!
    JazakAllahkhair for pointing to the dua link. I’ll check it out inshaAllah.

  8. October 31, 2008 11:27 am

    wa iyyaki ukhtee🙂 May Allah ta’ala purify us to be carriers of His book. Ameen.

  9. FearAllah permalink
    November 2, 2008 6:23 pm

    Wait I don’t quite understand what the above is an example of? You mentioned that ‘ayah’ cannot be translated as ‘verse’ or ‘sentence’ but rather a ‘miraculous sign’. I understand how the quoted verse is miraculous but how is it not a sentence?
    Please explain! JazakiAllahu khayr🙂

  10. November 2, 2008 6:32 pm

    The way our teacher explained it is that an ayah is NOT equivalent to the grammatical version of a sentence. For example, ayatal kursi is one AYAH but if we look at the English translation, it’s a few sentences. On the other hand, there are ayaat that are only two words such as: “faku raqabah” (literally: freeing a neck, but refers to freeing a slave) that would be considered a fragment (incomplete sentence) in English. Calling an ‘ayah’ a sentence would be constricting the real definition of an ayah, because ONE ayah can be a FEW sentences, and a FEW ayaat can be ONE sentence, and ONE ayah can be a whole paragraph!

    The point of this example was to show that there is no equivalent translation to ‘ayah’ (verse or sentence do not share the same qualities, nor they do hold the same weight).

    Also the above example may be a bit confusing if you’re not looking in the mushaf, so open up the mushaf and check it out inshaAllah. Allah ta’ala says that for Him are the soldiers of the heavens and the earth in the same ayah when He mentions that He sent down sakinah to the believers and increased their emaan. But when the statement repeats for the second time, it is a new ayah after mentioning the punishment of the hypocrites and polytheists, showing that they are not from the soldiers of Allah although they try and deceive the people they are believers.

    Please let me know if I have clarified it for you🙂 wa Allahu ta’ala a’lam.

  11. FearAllah permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:20 pm

    Yes, that helped jazakiAllahu khayr

  12. November 4, 2008 10:58 am

    wa iyyaki🙂

  13. November 7, 2008 2:40 am

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Subhan’Allah, this is a beautiful gem!

  14. abu emaan permalink
    January 8, 2009 7:43 am

    Sister Amatullah ,if you dont mind me asking; Which institute are you studying in?

  15. January 8, 2009 11:00 am

    Abu Emaan: Alhamdulillah we just completed the tafseer of the Qur’an at Al-Huda Institute. I’m also studying with br Nouman from Bayyinah.

    Other than that, AlMaghrib Institute : )

    Alhamdulillah, I try and learn from wherever I can.

  16. abu emaan permalink
    January 10, 2009 11:54 pm

    MashAllah may Allah continue you in your good efforts and place ikhlaas with in your heart, and seal your place among the inhabitants of paradise.

  17. February 21, 2013 4:26 am

    Reblogged this on Seeking Knowledge to know Allah.

  18. Muslim permalink
    May 6, 2013 8:08 pm

    @serendipitouslife, in Surah 2:200-202, the reward of those who ask for khair of dunya, aakhirah and protection from the fire is mentioned in a separate ayah, whereas in Surah 48:4-7, when Allah mentioned, the believers, he mentioned in the same ayah that he owns the soldiers of the heavens and the earth.

    Hence, I don’t see how your analogy of Surah 2:200-202 matches with what the article is talking about (which was Surah 48:4-7).

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