Tafseer Surah Yaseen 11-12

Recap

  • last 2 ayah is the conclusion of the first passage of this surah
  • Allah begins by swearing by the Quran
  • He bases the credibility of the statement upon the profound wisdom and authority of the Quran
  • Muhammad saw is from those messengers sent by Allah
  • guiding to straight path that leads to Allah
  • Allah talks about purpose of Quran as primary vehicle of dawah of prophet saw
  • first recipient of the dawah were quraysh in region where prophet was born and raised
  • Allah consoles the prophet saw after telling him these people need special attention from him
  • these people were drowning in heedlessness they’ve been in for generations
  • take step back and look at bigger pictures , Allah has told p saw to take it easy, don’t kill yourself in grief and sorrow of these people not accepting the message
  • Allah’s decision has been confirmed in the case that majority of these people will not believe
  • Allah gave a very vivid example of their situation
  • internally and externally everything preventing them from accepting, Allah presents in a vivid and scary analogy
  • two huge walls they’re between they can’t move
  • not only that their necks also locked up and shackled in iron collar, all the way up to their chin
  • and then covered up from the top
  • trapped within their own predicament
  • next 2 ayah, who is going to accept the message then?
  • dawah is a responsibility from Allah and that has to be discharged
  • it’s not only to benefit the people who’s being invited to but also benefit to the da’ee (caller)
  • he’s been given this obligation by Allah, so it’s to his benefit regardless whether someone accepts or not
  • very relevant for us as well
  • we have t continue to engage in dawah as well
  • we don’t accept failure
  • we don’t know what the outcome is
  • it’s reality that sometimes people don’t accept
  • but we need to understand that I still benefit from this dawah
  • but at the end of the day it’s human nature, and this Quran is a dialogue
  • prophet saw was amazing beyond anything we see from human being yet he is still human being
  • human being need some form of validation, result, somehow it has to happen
  • “What I’m doing has to mean something.”

Ayat 11

36:11
Sahih International
You can only warn one who follows the message and fears the Most Merciful unseen. So give him good tidings of forgiveness and noble reward.
  • innama اِنّمَا – serves purpose of hasr (restriction) “You are only in actuality warning the one who has followed the reminder.”
  • az-zhikr اَلذِّكر – points to the Quran
  • Quran time and time again is described as zhikr اَلذِّكر
  • fact that it’s in its proper form az-zhikr اَلذِّكر is more proof that it’s pointing to the Quran
  • ittaba’a اِتَّبَعَ – literally means to follow
  • in Surah Zumar – Allah tells us “They are the ones who listen very attentively to that what is said and then they follow it in the most excellent form.”
  • they listen, understand, internalize, live it
  • reminder presented to someone and he does the above  – that is what real following of the Quran is
  • one who has lived the Quran, those are the ones you are actually reminding, warning, working for, for whose sake you are putting the struggle in
  • this person has secondary quality
  • وَ خَشِيَ الرَحمَانwa khashiya arrahmaan
  • he’s overwhelmed by Ar rahmaan
  • this in itself is an interesting combination
  • Ar rahmaan – merciful

Why not say khashiyallah خَشِيَ الَّلَه? why ar rahmaan?

1. by saying Rahmaan it automatically reminds listener that when he hears ar rahmaan and he thinks of all the bounty and grace in his life, he feels an obligation

  • e.g. mother tells you to take your little brother to the park , you say , “No” when she’s trying to reason with you, she says, “You can’t even take your little brother to the park?” You won’t do that for your mother?” instead of “You won’t do that for Abdullah?”
  • the reason title is mentioned is to extricate that sense of obligation
2. there is no contradiction between the two (Allah & Ar Rahmaan)

  • if He’s the one the most merciful He’s given us so much, we need to feel obligated, we need to fear disappointing him, not letting Him down
  • alghayb ال غَيب – absence, who is not present
  • they fear Allah, the Ar Rahmaan, who has been so merciful and given them everything,  even in absence
  • even when they’re away from everybody, in their own privacy they still fear Allah
  • that shows that this person has really truly internalized the message of the Quran
  • even in darkness of most secret and private moments of his life, he never is heedless or unaware of fact that Allah who is ar-Rahman who is giving everything he has is listening and he feels His presence and he needs to be mindful of everything he does in his life

فَبَشِرهُ بِمَغفِرَة وَ اَجر كَرِيمFabashirhu bimaghfiratin wa ajrin kareem

  • now it comes in command form: give people the good news of forgiveness مَغفِرَة and a most generous noble reward اجر كَرِيم
  • maghfirahمَغفِرَة is larger form of the word -> so it means complete forgiveness

2 qualities mentioned for these people:

  • they live the Quran
  • they were constantly mindful and overwhelemd by presence of their lord even those secret and quiet moments

2 promises/rewards also mentioned

  • maghfirah mentioned in exchange for living the Quran
  • when we live Quran it’s a means of washing away sin;s mistakes we do
  • when the person reaches that high level of taqwa, mindful, even overwhelmed in all times, situations even in most secure private moments of his life, there is the most noble and generous reward اجر كَرِيم (life of hereafter, Jannah)
Ayat 12
36:12
Sahih International
Indeed, it is We who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register.
  • اِنَّا نَحنُ repetition” most definitely We and only We” (exclusivity implied here)
  • نُحيِ المَُتَى nuhyil mauta – we will revive the dead
  • referring to revival of dead
  • has 2 different layers to it
  • reaffirming that belief of life in hereafter and it’s saying that on Day Of Judgment, these people will be brought back to life
  • bec this is the #1 objection of mushrikeen of Makkah
  • so Allah answers their objection here
  • surah Al-An’aam 122
  • 6:122
    Sahih International

    And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbeliever that which they were doing.

  • Allah giving example of making comparisons,. one who is dead, then we gave him life and we made for him a light, he used to walk around with it, literally with it; like when you have a flashlight walking around with it, he walks around with that noor among the people
  • this refers to someone who is unaware of Allah then Allah gives him iman
  • so his heart became alive
  • one who remembers Allah and one who does not, their example is like the living and the dead
  • Allah brings people to life – they didn’t have iman and then He gave them iman
  • previously they talked about people who don’t believe and not going to believe
  • now Allah taking about ppl who believe in the Quran and will internalize that belief
  • previously : equal whether you remind them or not, they’re not going to believe
  • so why do we still remind people ? because we don’t know who it is
  • Allah is saying “in case of those specific people..” but otherwise we don’t know that
  • we have to continue putting our best foot forward
  • we don’t know who is going to turn around
  • abu sufyan became muslim 20 years later
  • ikrimah a.s. (son of abu jahl) fought against p saw on battlefield and later even died as shaheed in fight for Islam
  • numerous example of people like this : Khaleed ibn Waleed etc
  • you never know who is eventually going to turn around
  • Allah saying He will give life to those whose hearts are spiritually dead

wanaktubu maa qaddamu وَنَكتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُُو : second objection of quraysh

  • how can somebody take everybody into  account for everything they had done
  • can be translated in number of ways:

1. their remaining effect

  • 3 possible interpretations of this
  • when it says ma qaddamu – refers to good intention people may have
  • hadith – when person have intention of doing good deed, Allah tells angels to write a reward, angels says,  “Ya Allah, this person hasn’t done anything yet, and Allah says, “However he has made the intention so write down as a reward for him,” when that person follows with good action, again Allah tells angel to write down another reward. When someone makes the intention to commit sin, angel ask  “Should I write this down?” Allah says, “No, don’t write down until he does it,” and if he does, Allah tells the angel to write down as 1 sin but if person doesn’t do it, Allah tells the angels to write down as a good deed because he had a bad intention and he was able to fight and resist it and that is a good deed in and of itself.
  • in Surah Shuuraa – man kaana yureedu مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ  one who use to intend his goal
  • he just intended, iraadah, he didn’t do any work
  • just a good intention is a profound good deed on part of believer
  • p saw says “the intention of a believer is better than the action”
  • the intention can be great
  • if everybody in this room made firm solid intention to memorize the Quran, and they start memorizing one ayah every day, and they die before they got anywhere near completing it, based on that sincere intention Allah will raise him a haafidh of Quran
  • the after effects are actual good deeds a person carries out
  • he made good intention and was able to carry out some of them

2. 2nd understanding

  • refers to good deeds that people do
  • the after effects of beliefs
  • hadith ” whosoever starts a good practice, he will get the reward of it and reward of anyone who will act on it”
  • so if you start a good practice, first in family to go for hajj for example, after that your brother wants to go etc
  • you get reward of your hajj but everybody else’s too
  • hadith: “When human being dies his actions are cut off except for 3 things :sadaqatu jariah (perpetual charity ), beneficial knowledge, ad righteous son.”
  • sadaqah jariah : building masjid etc, or do something that continues to benefit ppl long afer you’re gone
  • beneficial knowledge: you pass on some education, and long after your gone people continue to benefit from it, benefit derived from that knowledge, people continue to pass it on
  • that’s why teaching and learning about Islam specifically the Quran has a high status
  • leaving behind good contribution to society – righteous child who continues to make dua for his parents
  • this is what is meant by after effect
  • Allah is not only writing down what they have done but also the after effects of their deeds
  • when Ammar ibn yasir was the first to build masjid with his own hand and everyone build masjid all over the world he gets a share of this reward

3. 3rd understanding

  • deeds whether good or bad
  • every person:  all of his deeds written down,

wa aathaarahum وَ اَثَارَهُم – after effects again

  • hadith – there were a people who lived on outskirts of Madinah, from masjid of prophet saw. They were banu salima, they accepted Islam when message first arrived in Madinah, they were of the first who welcomed prophet saw in Madinah, they were strong supporters of the prophet saw. Their homes were quite a walking distance from the masjid and being the good people they are, they wanted to be at the masjid as much as possible. There was some land next to masjid , jannatul baqi’ that land was open and available, they were making intention to live in that plot, when prophet saw heard, he went to visit them, and said “Ya bani salimah, stay where you live now, that even the footsteps you take when you walk to the masjid they will be written down as reward for you.”
  • hadith: “When a person walks to the masjid, for every step he gets reward and one sin is wiped away from his record.”
  • guarding boundaries of land of Islam: one of those things is taking many steps to the masjid
  • the farther you live from masjid, but you still go, that is such a noble act of preserving Islam in the community that it’s like preserving boundaries of Islamic state
  • hadith: give good news to the ppl who walk
  • hadith : they not just walk but very often to the masjid in the dark of nights (taraweeh, fajr, isha) they will have the most complete noor on Day of Judgment
  • what’s the connection?
  • prophet saw trying to teach us a principle
  • when you do a good deed, the intention is not the only thing written for you, but the time, energy, effort, everything that goes into making that deed a reality, are written down
  • e.g. ‘my rate starts from when I leave my place of work’ – even that 30 minute drive, you have to pay for that
  • Allah is so generous that when you came to masjid and take a gallon of gas, you’re a little tired and cut of sometime spent with family, you don’t just get reward for coming to masjid, but for all of that also
  • when you go back to house at 12 am and you’re sleepy and it’s going to affect you tomorrow, and when you sit at your desk the next day trying to stay awake you get reward for that also
  • that’s the after effect of good deed you do
  • you get reward for everything that is around that contributes and comes about as result of that good deed

wa kulla shay in a7SSaynaahu fee imaaam mubeen وَ كُلَّ شَي إِ اَحصَينَاهُ فِي إمَام المُبِين

  • now Allah provides consolation or gives a sense of confidence
  • each and every single thing – create further emphasis from the sentence structure
  • i7saa اِحصَا – to take everything fully into accountm not leave anything out
  • we’ve already taken everything into account and it has been preserved

fee imam mubeen فِي إمَام المُبِين

  • when we have receipt, we pay for something, we won’t leave without taking receipt
  • we need confirmation,
  • when delivery made they want signature
  • clear imam –
  • imam
  • ibn abbas and other mufasiruoon say imam refers to book of deeds
  • why book of deeds called imam?
  • bec it’s going to be presented in front of you
  • like prophet saw say “Why is the imam made? To be followed?” these ppl will follow their books
  • book in right hand – signifies person will go to jannah
  • and vice versa
  • creating a sense of accountability
  • what you do in this life is going to determine what is going to happen in hereafter
  • Allah trying to let us know that ppl are wasting their time in this life
  • you’re living in delusion but there is great significance to this life as well
  • our result in hereafter depends on what we’ve done with this life
  • teaches you to live life with responsibility and accountability
  • you will follow what you have sent forward for yourself
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