Then which of the favors of your Lord wiould you deny
Surah Ar Rahman
The Element Of Victory
Goals Versus Actions
Ar Rahman, The Most Gracious
Sequence Of Surah Ar-Rahman
Bayaan (Speech) In Detail
Solitude Develops Personality
Remembrance Of Allah Requires Knowing Him
What Does Allah Want From Me?
Knowledge of Allah Leads To All Other Knowledge
Challenge to Humanity!
Graciousness Of... Iyyaaka Na'budu Wa Iyyaaka Nasta'een
The Most Gracious Lord
You (alone) we worship; You (alone) we ask for help
We recite this verse daily at least seventeen times in Surah Al-Fatiha during our prayers. It is a reminder of our covenant with Allah of total and absolute servitude. Imam ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya has discussed in detail how this one verse comprises the entire message! The message of Islam which eliminates every other source of devotion and assistance from our lives
The Only Time We Are Truly Surrendered To Allah Is...
When We Refuse Any Form Of Reliance On Others!
And Know That The Only One Who Is Capable Of Helping Us Is...
Another esteemed scholar has explained this verse from a very different angle. He said: Since Allah has created the earth as a testing ground, he has already ordained that believers will be tried in order to determine their spiritual status!
Quran Chapter 29 Surah Al-Ankabut [Verse 2]
Do men think that they will be left alone on saying,
"We believe", and that they will not be tested?
The esteemed scholar goes on to explain that the following verse is the confirmation of this sunnah of Allah SWT.
Quran Chapter 1 Surah Fatiha [Verse 5]
You Alone We Worship,
And You Alone We Ask For Help.
Allah has already ordained that once you proclaim Iyyaaka na`budu, (you alone we worship) you'll have a problem; a calamity or opposition to test your level of sincerity of this proclamation; you will have a trial in the form of immense happiness or fear to see where your fidelity lies. Thus,
Allah Has Already Ordained That Believers...
From The Moment They Agree To Become An Abd (Slave Of Allah)
They Will Face Opposition!
Right after telling us that, Allah continues in order to answer His slaves' inevitable question 'what do we do then?', in the following words: "Wa Iyyaaka Nasta `een" (and only from You we seek support). Allah is telling us that we will have trials but there is nothing to worry about because He is there and if we ask, He will help us through our tribulations.
The Element Of Victory
The Element Of Victory Is...
Total And Absolute Surrender To Allah!
Allah opens for his slaves once they have reached a state of desperation such that the slave has exhausted all means and has realised that there is nothing else that can be done. This does not mean that one should not try physical means to relieve a problem; it is really the status of the heart while the means are being tried. It is the Yaqeen or conviction in the heart that the only one who can open any doors is Allah and without Him we cannot achieve anything. it is at times like these that Allah opens means for believers in ways that defy all possible physical laws and common sense!
The Secret Of This Victory Is...
The Absolute Belief In The One You Are Asking From!
Victory is for the believer and it doesn't suit him to have any doubt or hesitation in his heart about the ability of his Lord. Hence when the believer reaches the status of 'oubudiyyah (slavery) he will face trials and opposition and Allah assures him that he is there to take care of him!
To Gain Allah's Assurance However...
You Cannot Have Any Doubts Or Thoughts That...
Somebody Else Will Support You!
It is the graciousness of Allah that He notifies His slaves that trials are part of the plan, these trials cannot be avoided, and he also assures them that they are not alone while being tested. Rather, He is there to provide any support that they might be needed.
Goals Versus Actions
Which Of These Have Priority...
The Goals Or The Actions?
At this point we will waver a little from our topic and discuss the differences between our goals in life and the actions we carry out. Before we move further, lets answer the above question, the goal will have the priority, because once I define my goal, I will take steps or actions that will help me reach it. Once I have a defined goal and a defined purpose, it'll drive me to set a plan to achieve that purpose as opposed to taking actions which will keep me busy but might not bring me the results I want.
The Actions Carried Out Impulsively
Have No Comparison With Those
That Are Planned...
Think of a beach where there is sand and rocks for miles to see. Big waves come and move the sand and rocks, they are rearranged according to their weight - small, average and big rocks clustered according to their sizes. So the waves rearranged the rocks; an action took place without any particular plan. Whereas if you take the same sand and decide to build a castle, you would have to plan it. You'll collect rocks and sand based on the size and design of your castle. All I am trying to emphasize is one thing the difference between Random Actions and Planned Actions...
The Waves Do Not Build A Castle!
Even Though The Rocks Are Collected!
Because The Wave Does Not Have A Plan Or A Goal!
It Is Just A Force Pushing The Rocks!
Though Systematically According To Weight...
Yet Unable To Produce Any Outcome!
The point is that if i do not define my goal and my purpose in life and plan step by step on how to achieve that goal, my efforts will be rendered fruitless.
Ar Rahman - The Most Gracious
Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) Said...
To Allah Belongs 99 Names
'100 Minus 1'
Anyone Who Memorizes Them Will Enter Paradise!
One of these beautiful names is ar-rahman [the most gracious] Allah honoured the name ar-rahman by mentioning it in the opening verse of the qur'an:
Quran Chapter 1 Surah Fatiha [Verse 1]
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
This name is so important that Allah has made it incumbent upon his slaves to remember it at the least seventeen times a day every time a muslim performs salah (prayers), he/she has to recite surah Al-Fatiha which also contains the name ar-rahman:
Quran Chapter 1 Surah Fatiha [Verse 3]
The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
In addition, it is at least seventeen times that a Muslim recites this verse in fard (obligatory) prayers alone; the rest are extra. It is also the only name that is the title of a surah (chapter) of the Qur'an as well; no other name of Allah is used to name a surah.
So What Message Is Allah, The Author Of This Magnificent Book!
Trying To Convey...?
Our benevolent scholars have provided explanations as to why Allah would choose Ar-Rahman over any other attribute. When you are in a desperate situation and you call on Allah for assistance, 'Ya Allah' or 'Ya Ilah' it does not ring as close to the heart as 'Ya Rahman'.
By Choosing This Particular Attribute Of Ar Rahman...
What Is The Most Gracious Saying?
The First Message Really Is To Know Who Ar-Rahman Is...
And How Important He Is In My Life???
When a person calls on Allah in a state of desperation and beseeches Him by calling Him 'Oh, My Most Gracious Lord!' what effect does it have on the slave? It brings infinite hope and a sense of relief to the heart of the believer.
Regardless Of How Weak One Is!
Incapable Or A Great Sinner A Person Is...
He Is Reminded That He Is Dealing With The Most Gracious Lord!
The Most Gracious Lord who is willing to overlook any shortcomings as long as the slave has no one but Him (swt) in his heart. The esteemed scholar goes on to explain that Ar-Rahmaan in here becomes a purpose and a goal in itself! Allah wants me to know that my goal and purpose in life is to reach Ar-Rahman!
I Need To Establish A Relationship With The Most Gracious Lord...
In Order To Be Empowered In This Life!
He (SWT) challenges us in the Qur'an in following words:
Quran Chapter 19 Surah Maryam[Verse 65]
He is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth and all that is in between them, so worship Him and be patient in His worship;
Do you know any equal to Him?
Here the Most Gracious Lord Allah is asking us if we know anyone equal to or better than Him; Who is the Most Gracious and Most Exalted? Is there anyone or anything better that we can have as a goal in life rather than Ar-Rahman? If no, then what are we waiting for? and if yes, then who is it?
Can A Job, Wealth, Educational Credentials,
Spouse, Children, Business, Status,Or Anything Else...
Be Better Than Allah As Our Goal In Life???
This is what is happening today with us as humans. We have replaced the Creator and His conscientiousness in our lives with petty, materialistic ambitions and this is why the world has become what it is - a miserable selfish dwelling.
Allah In His Ultimate Wisdom Knows That...
We'll Fall Into This Trap Of Forgetfulness And Dexterity
So He Sent Us A Reminder And The Criteria Of Happiness
In His Holy Book AL-QURAN!
Allah tells us in Surah Rahman that the best goal is to strive towards establishing the relationship with Him and He has also provided us the steps and the sequence of achieving that.
Sequence Of Surah Ar-Rahman
The Sequence of Surah Ar-Rahman has two major principles:
1. It has the sequence of a’laa, the sequence of receiving ultimate gift from Allah for ourselves.
2. It also has the sequence of Allah’s planning for us. It clarifies that Allah already did the planning for us and it is up to us to follow this plan. If we follow the plan we will succeed, and if we do not follow the plan we will be groping in darkness without achieving real success.
The First Ayah Of The Surah Is Consisted Of Only One Word:
Quran Chapter 55 [Verse 1]
(Allah) The Most Gracious!
In this way, the first plan of Allah is to want me to be with "Ar-Rahman". What does He want my goal to be? "Ar-Rahman"
What Does Allah Want Me To Choose As My Purpose In Life?
To Achieve The Relationship With "Ar-Rahman"
How do I do that? Allah takes me to the second step, the second verse:
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar-Rahman [Verse 2]
It is He Who has taught the Qur'an
Allah is letting me know that after recognizing my goal, I have to get the guide book or the map on how to reach my goal; and this map is Al-Qur’an. Upon following this book, one will be able to walk on the path to success. It goes on to say:
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar-Rahman [Verse 3]
He has created man
The sequence in this surah is the sequence of priority:
The first priority is Ar-Rahman,
Second is Al-Qur’an
The third is Allah telling us that he has created us with an already defined purpose and an honour as a chosen creation to carry the blessed message of islam.
Now if you ask, “Oh Allah how do I achieve that?” He tells us “I have given something to you that I have not given any other creation” and that is:
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar-Rahman [Verse 4]
He has taught him speech and intelligence
Bayaan is a profound term whose definition is more comprehensive than speech and intelligence as it is usually translated. In Arabic, it encompasses the meaning of communication, mode and ability of listening and speaking.
"Bayaan" In Detail [Speech]
The Ability To Translate Your Feelings Into Words
"What Kind Of Bayaan Is Allah Mentioning?"
Bayaan refers to the ability to translate your feelings into words so the listener can understand. However the listener has to be ready to receive the message and act accordingly. The kind of Bayan Allah mentions is greatly different from what we believe. Allah wants my ear to hear His message and my tongue to talk about it.
If My Ears Belong To The Message And...
My Tongue Is Talking About The Message...
I Am Engaged In Bayaan!
This was the quality given to the Messengers and Prophets. Any other form of communication falls below this great ability that Allah has honoured humans with.
Allah Wants Us To Govern The Bayaan By His Technical Manual
If My Speech And My Hearing Belongs To Allah
I Can Have Bayaan!
The Messengers And Prophets never received Bayaan until their ears and their tongues developed this desired quality. This quality is acquired when the ears listen only to Allah and the tongues talk only about Him. Now the sending and receiving is acceptable.
What Is Happening To Us Today?
Our ears adhere to all kinds of things like backbiting, gossiping and wanton speech. What happens now? My reception is not clear. This automatically means that my sending is not clear and my speech will consist of emotions that have nothing to do with the message of Allah.
Will Talks Filled With...
Anxiety, Whisperings Of Shayateen, Worry, Envy And Jealousy
Fall Under The Category Of Bayaan? No Way!
One of the elements of bayaan is Sidq (truthfulness) and the truthfulness in this context is to be able to communicate according to the standards set by Allah. Allah is the creator and we are His creation. He doesn’t carry out hasty actions like Humans! Rather He has everything planned in a perfect order!
The Creator Created Us With A Planned Sequence
A sequence Of How To Achieve
The Success & The Purpose Of Our Lives
If I Am In A State Of 'ubudiyyah (Slavery) & I Develop
An Honest Ear And An Honest Tongue
I will Be Able To Listen And Talk About The Message
That Is When I Belong To Ar-rahman!
This topic envelops most aspects of our lives and if we are really focussed in these steps, we are done! If you look at us today, any failure in our lives is due to lack of proper communication i.e. inability to receive and transmit, lack of purpose or goal; All these basics that we as Muslims are supposed to have but we lack!
Have You Ever Wondered Why???
Why We Muslims Lack All The Basics Which We Are Suppose To Have?
Because we rebel against the plan of Allah. Imagine how simple and relaxing life would be if we follow the plan that Allah has for us? The first step towards accepting this plan of Allah that He has chartered for His creation is cleaning the faculties our eyes, ears, tongue and heart.
Why do we rebel or are unable to surrender to the will of Allah?
It is because we are spiritually impure; we have diseases like hastiness, fear, worry and arrogance which prevent us from submitting to Allah’s decree.
It Is The Plan Of Allah That Prevails!
We humans think that we can conquer fate or Allah’s plan with our knowledge. But Allah has proven us to be wrong over and over again, yet we don’t listen. The Japanese created the most sophisticated system of tsunami and earthquake warning over thirty years ago despite which they have repeatedly suffered major damages. The same was the case with nations like ‘Ad and Thamud that are mentioned in the Qur’an.
What Can We Learn From These Nations
Who Have Passed Before Us?
That We Cannot Win Over The Plan Of Allah...
There are two approaches a person can take in life:
1. Either he plans very technically, down to minute details, all according to his thinking, which makes him a kafir (disbeliever in Allah). This is the ultimate arrogance!
2. Or he is so scared that he refuses to do anything or make any kind of plan because he believes he cannot achieve. This is the ultimate defeat!
SO HOW CAN WE WIN?
We Can Only Win With Allah’s Plan
If We Take Allah’s Plan Step By Step We Will Have No Problem
And The First Step Is Knowing Him... AR-RAHMAN!
The Primary Knowledge That Is Transferred To Us Is Of "NAMES"
When Allah created Adam, the first thing He taught him was names. Allah taught Adam (A.S.) names of all things; not verbs or characteristics, the names!
Example Of A Baby:
Our reverent scholar gives us the example of a baby... when a baby is born, he has no knowledge. We teach him things according to his needs and his needs are simple objects like ‘cup’, ‘book’, ‘food’ etc.
These are all names. Later on, the baby adopts actions or verbs according to the observed behaviour. He drinks or walks the way he sees others do in his environment, rather than someone teaching him the way he was taught names. Thus, the primary knowledge that is transferred to us is of ‘names’ while the actions or ‘verbs’ are secondary knowledge and are only given ‘meaning’ in a social context...
Let’s go back to the first verse of Surah Ar-Rahman... Allah did not start it with any action but rather his name, his quality and attribute. It’s almost like Allah wants to give us a message that he wants us to learn the same way a baby learns. Putting it in context, If you learn who Allah is, understand Allah and you are in the right kind of environment with people who can be your role models, what kind of personality will you develop?
In An Environment Of Good People...
How Will Your Actions And Reactions Be?
They Will Be According To The Names Of Allah...
Your Knowledge Of Them And Your Belief In Them!
Similarly, if you grow up in an environment where the biggest topic is food, then you will learn the names of all the favourite foods, the recipes and learn how to cook them the right way! This is where your interest will lie, you will hang out with people who have the same interest. And this is the knowledge that you will share with others. Expand this idea to any interest let it be medicine, gold, business, clothes and the pattern will be the same.
Solitude Develops Personality
First Stage Of The Relationship With Allah Is To Learn About His Oneness!
First step of spiritual awakening is questioning yourself and the status quo that you are expected to conform to. It Is Almost Impossible When A Person Is Surrounded In A Whirlpool Of Relationships, Obligations, And Social Demands
If we look at the lives of the messengers and prophets, the first stage of their relationship with Allah was to learn about His Oneness. They were all accustomed to solitude where they started questioning life and contemplating about the creation and the Creator.
After they internalized the Oneness of Allah, then Allah taught them about who He is. He inspired them or sent revelations on them.
From This Point After Achieving The One Of Allah
The Actions And Reactions Of The Prophets And Messengers...
Were According To The Knowledge Or Inspiration
That They Were Receiving From The One They Believed In.
The same is applicable to us; once the relationship with Allah is developed, all of a believers’ affairs fall into place. But the question is: what happens when we have mixed companionships, mixed environment, and mixed allegiances in life?
Instead Of Being Focused And Productive...
We Have Mixed Feelings, Actions, Goals And
Useless Actions Without Much Effect!
It is the same as wanting to take a northbound and southbound train at once. It is impossible! The only way you can get anywhere is when you make up your mind about your destination!
The Same Goes For Our Goal And Purpose In Life;
Once We Have Determined That We Will Achieve;
Otherwise We Will Be Stuck At A Train Station Forever
In order to develop a strong goal, a person needs to have a concrete belief and intention. And the best way to produce that is through solitude and the constant remembrance of Allah.
Remembrance Of Allah Requires Knowing Him!
A Person Cannot Remember Or Admire Someone
Without Knowing Him, The Same Goes For Allah!
We know Allah by His names, His attributes, and the wonder of His creation which proves these attributes right.
The Most Important Of These Attributes
Is The Oneness Of Allah....
It Is The First Knowledge That Is Attained
On The Spiritual Path...
Once a person gets the knowledge of the oneness of Allah, the rest becomes easy because the goal, inspiration, thinking, and actions will be based on that knowledge and the person will have determined who he is carrying out the actions for.
What Does Allah Want From Me?
Allah Wants Action, Even If This Action Is Just A Step,
He Wants Me To Make An Effort And Move Towards My Goal...
This requires a struggle against things that are preventing me from achieving my goal; feelings, worry, temptation, weakness, arrogance, ego—any of these could be a hindrance on the path.
We Will Not Be Judged On What We Have Accomplished In Life;
Rather We Will Be Judged According To The Efforts We Make
The Stronger A Person’s Emaan, The More Efforts He Will Make
And More Wilfully He Will ‘Move’ Towards His Goal...
Allah Will Never Give A Person Victory
Until He Moves And Carries Out Actions!
Just like how you cannot sit in bed and think about a cake and expect it to appear in front of you, you cannot expect jannah or any victory from Allah to just appear in front of you without any effort.
You cannot say, Oh Allah give me victory against my enemy while sitting on your bed. No. Allah wants you to make the effort while believing in Him, and He will grant you victory. As a Muslim, I have to believe in the message of Allah located in the Qur’an. Allah says:
Quran Chapter 20 Surah Taha [Verse 124]
"But whosoever turns away from my reminder
(i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.)
verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind
on the day of resurrection."
Allah wants me to respect His message and follow it. If I follow this message, it will lead me to the path of success and eternal bliss. However, if I follow my desires, temptations, culture, and customs over the commands of Allah, then I earn misery for myself.
Knowledge Of Allah Leads To...
All Other Knowledge!
In Surah Ar-Rahman
It Is As If Allah Is Calling Us To Him Saying...
O Son Of Adam Come To Me
Get The Knowledge About Me And I’ll Teach You
Everything You Want Or Need To Know!
The more we are ignorant about Allah, the more we are ignorant about everything else. How can I succeed when I act and react to the wrong piece of information or incorrect knowledge? Since Allah SWT is the Creator and He knows what is best for us; if we claim that that the knowledge of Allah doesn’t fit our life, we become sinners, kafir (rejecters of Allah) and full of Shayateen. Now we will never be perfect; but as we stated Earlier
It Is Our Intention And Struggle That We Will Be Judged For...
We Will Not Be Judged Based On The Results Since...
The Results Are In The Hands Of Allah!
Allah wants us to exercise on the knowledge that we accumulate and all the knowledge of Allah simmers down to whether we will put Allah first in our lives or others... be they teachers, parents, friends, culture and custom. Allah continues in the next verse:
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar - Rahman [Verse 5]
The sun and the moon are made punctual.
This means that the sun and the moon follow perfect timings as ordained by Allah. Imagine if the sun becomes rebellious and refuses to come out, even once, at its appointed time! What will become of this world?
All The Creations Of Allah Obey Him 100%
Because If They Don't, It'll Be A Catastrophe!
And This Is What Allah Wants Us Humans To Understand!
Look at the sequence of knowledge Allah wants to share with us. The next verse says:
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar - Rahman[Verse 6]
And The Stars/Herbs And The Trees - Both (alike) Prostrate In Adoration
In here, the word Najm has two meanings, a star or a plant that is spread over the earth. And both of them make sajdah [Prostration] to Allah; Sajdah in here encompasses obedience, surrender and submission to Allah. Allah is explaining to us that everything I created is in my obedience.
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar - Rahman[Verse 7]
And The Firmament, The Sky Has He Raised High
And He Has Set Up The Balance (Of Justice)
What is the scale or the balance in here? It is Justice; Justice to ourselves, those we interact with, our environment etc; Here too Allah tells us that if we follow Him, the scale will remain balanced and any disobedience to Allah or lack of vision can cause this scale to tip and make us a zalim (unjust)!
Zulm (Injustice) Also Has A Sequence;
Before We Do Zulm To Others, We Do Zulm To Ourselves!
And The Ultimate Zulm To One’s Self Is To Disobey Allah...
And Swerve From The Path He Has Set For Us!
Let me give you an example – take a small child at the playground who is being bullied by other children. He is smaller than others so even if he tries to defend himself and fight back, he will lose. But if he runs to his parent, he will be protected because the parent is bigger than the bullies in the playground and they will be afraid of him, even if the parent doesn’t do anything. Which one is the better option for the child? Be arrogant and try to fight... and in the process get serious injuries, or be wise and seek the support of his Parents? The same is our situation in this world...
We Cannot Take On Our Own...
All The Enemies; Seen Or Unseen!
We Need Help...
Help Of The Stronger And Wiser Being Allah
If We Decide To Deal All Our Affairs On Our Own
Without Seeking Support Of Allah...
Not Only Will We Be Exhausted And Lose
We Will Also Ignite The Anger Of Allah
This is just like any parent who will be upset that the child didn’t come to him at the time of need and got himself in unnecessary trouble. SubhanaAllah, do we really believe in Allah, do we trust Allah, and do we trust in the might of Allah? Allah challenges us in the Qur’an saying:
Quran Chapter 27 Surah An - Naml [Verse 62]
Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him, removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth?
Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember!
When I go to Allah in a state of desperation and beg Him to help me, Allah promises that He will not let me down. But the secret is total and utter dependence on Allah alone.
I Cannot Go To Allah Asking Him For Assistance
While I Am Thinking About...
All Those People Who I Think Might Be Able To Help Me Too.
If I come to you and say, I respect you and I need your help, how will you respond? – You will willingly provide the assistance I need. But if I come to you and in the middle of telling you I respect you and need your help I start talking about others who might also be able to help me and you know that they really can’t, how will you feel?
Imagine How We Ask Allah With A Doubt In Him...
And No Respect For His Might And Power?
A person might be performing Salaah, and be in a state of sajdah, but in reality he could be a kafir and a mushrik because of his state of heart and mind; because though he is making dua to Allah yet 80% of his feelings and thoughts are about other things.
Challenge to Humanity!
What We Are Talking About Is Easy To Talk
But It’s Not Easy To Do!
Do you think I can witness the might and power of Allah without taking any action between me and Allah SWT? If I do so, then I have denied and disrespected all the gifts of Allah that He has bestowed upon me.
To name a few magnificent gifts that Allah has mentioned in Surah Ar-Rahman
Qur’an As A Source Of Guidance For Me
Creation As A Human Instead Of A Worthless Animal Or Object
And My Ability To Communicate
The challenge is to be appreciative of these gifts and use them in the way of Allah so we won’t be among those whom Allah repeatedly asks in this surah:
Quran Chapter 55 Surah Ar-Rahman [Verse 13]
So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?
article~Daee Ahmed Moait