Tafseer Surah Yaseen 45-47

Recap:

  • previously we read the 3rd part of this middle passage of the surah where 3 times allah says wa aayatu lahum وَ اَيَة لَهُم
  • first allah talked about the earth, sky, night day, then the ocean, how people move about and use transportation
  • now as a conclusion, to wrap up this middle passage we’ll do 3 ayah today and the end part of this passage(48,49,50) tomorrow
  • 1st major part of surah focused on risaalah , prophethood
  • middle part focuses on tauheed, oneness of god
  • 3rd and final part of surah which we will start the day after, will focus on life of hereafter

 

Ayat 45

36:45
Sahih International

But when it is said to them, “Beware of what is before you and what is behind you; perhaps you will receive mercy… “

  • these people they have signs all around them and these signs are pointed out to them and they’re being told to reflect on their own conditions from these signs
  • they’re told to reflect and see how obedient these things are to Allah and reflect and think why they’re so disobedient to Allah
  • they’re being told to reflect and everything around them is a sign pointing them to the sign and oneness and greatness of Allah
  • wa izhaa qeela la hum وَ إذَا قِيل لَهُم- interesting phrase we see throughout the quran
  • it is not said as ‘wa izhaa qaala lahum rasul’ وَ إذَا قَالَ لَهُم رَسُول or wa izhaa qaala lahum alquran وَ إذَا قَالَ لَهُم القُرأَن,  but it’s being put as passive, majhool مَجهُول
  • it doesn’t elaborate, pinpoint as to who is the doer

What’s the purpose/benefit?

  • makes the focal point of that address, ayat, discussion, the one being addressed, not the one addressing. they’re being told to take a long hard look in the mirror. It brings all the focus to them.
  • it creates variety, versatility in the meaning. they were told time and time again from many different angles in different ways by different people. The messengers were tirelessly addressing them, the other believers also telling them (like that man from the furthest part of the city), Allah telling them, the book telling them
  • ittaqoo إتَّقُو- from taqwa – it doesnt just mean fear, it means be aware, be conscious, take precautions against ___

that which is in front of you – multple ways to understand this

  1. result/consequence of your actions,
  2. akhirah
  3. your own situation, look in the mirror

that which is behind you

  1. what you have already done,
  2. dunya
  3. what happened to the people before you. Take a look for a second. Especially, this was for the quraysh, so they were told to look at the thamud, ‘aad, they would pass by these areas in their travels, they knew what happened to these past nations. Then take a look forward, see where you want to end up. You want to end up like that or you have an opportunity to make something more of this.

Another possible meaning, zoom out for a bit:

  • surah saba, faatir, saffaat, yaseen, saad – a lot of coherence between these surah
  • saba and faatir have similar themes and build on each other’s theme4s
  • they both start with alhamdulillah, then you have yaseen in middle
  • and after you have saffaat and sad, also similar to each other, themes build on each other, and talk about messengers of the past. yaseen is like a centerpiece of these collections of surah
  • saba 9
  • 34:9
    Sahih International

    Then, do they not look at what is before them and what is behind them of the heaven and earth? If We should will, We could cause the earth to swallow them or [could] let fall upon them fragments from the sky. Indeed in that is a sign for every servant turning back [to Allah ].

  • somebody who has an open mind and heart will see sign of Allah in this
  • so, one interpretation of min bayni aydeekum wa maa khalfakum مِن بَينِ ايدِيكُم وَ مَا خَلفَكُم = punishment of Allah
  • punishment of Allah can come from sky, beneath your feet, in font, behind you, left, right, now, later
  • so be conscious, live a life that protects you from punishment of Allah
  • grasp this concept of being a slave to Allah
  • be conscious, be aware of that which is inffront of you and behind you

Side point:

  • we’ve come across a few situations where it has been said, “this can mean this or this can mean that.”
  • we’re infatuated with “what’s the stronger/better opinion?”
  • but Quran is not so simple, we’re simple like that, but quran is very profound, deep, sophisticated,
  • there is a concept of quranic eloquence called tawassu’ fil mana fil quranil kareem تَوَسُّع فِي المَعنَى فِي القُرآنَ الكَرِيم – the meaning of quran is broad
  • to allow the meaning of Quran to be broad and not narrow down the meaning of the Quran
  • sometimes we’ll have multiple meaning and interpretation and there is no harm in that
  • when somebody says soemtihjng that can be understood like this or like that – if we think we’re smart enough to speak in that way, well, this is Allah speaking, many layers to what is said
  • for 1400 years people have been studying, researching it, lecturing about it, and long after we’re gone, people will continue to do this and will find new meaning in it, it’s an endless ocean, will never be done

la’allakum tur7hamoon:

  • la’alla لَعَلَّ usually translated as ‘so that’ but it doesn’t really mean that, what it actually means is ‘maybe’ ‘hopefully’ ‘possibly’
  • if you live a life of consciousness, there’s a good possibility, then hopefully, maybe, possibly, you will  be able to receive mercy
  •  it’s put in present or future tense – ‘maybe one day you will receive mercy of Allah’
  • placed as incentive, giving you an incentive, “Look there is the mercy of Allah and that is what we’re all striving for, that’s the only thing that will do any good and protect us.”
  • hadith : No one will enter jannah because of their deeds, everybody will enter jannah because of the mercy of Allah. “Oh even you oh Rasulullah?” “Yes even I will only enter jannah by mercy and grace benevolence of my lord and my master.”
  • Allah saying, start livng a life of consciousness, start being aware of the choices you’re making, and start living a life based on this caution and then you may be, possibly, hopefully in the future you will qualify for the mercy of Allah
  • israa 8 – it is very very close that your lord will have mercy upon you , if you return back then we will also return back
  • 17:8
    Sahih International

    [Then Allah said], “It is expected, [if you repent], that your Lord will have mercy upon you. But if you return [to sin], We will return [to punishment]. And We have made Hell, for the disbelievers, a prison-bed.”

  • like 2 estranged parties, when one person comes back to the table, the other also comes back to the table. Allah says you come back, I gave you everything, I feed, maintain you, but you still disobey, so Allah says, if you come back, make taubah, fix your ways, just turn around, then you’ll see My mercy.
  • despite the life of disobedience we live in right now, we’re already getting a lot. If we turn back to Him He will turn back to us with even more mercy
  • just from a small change in our life, imagine what’s in store for us

Ayat 46

36:46
Sahih International
And no sign comes to them from the signs of their Lord except that they are from it turning away.
  • no sign (ayat)- miraculous and amazing powerful sign, it never comes to them except that they completely turn away from it
  • apathy, arrogance, stubbornness
  • the way Allah says “whenever a sign comes from Allah” – it tells you that Allah continues to send signs, there are moment of reflections in people’s lives, incidents and occasions in people’s lives, but these types of people, they completely turn away from them
  • i’raadh إعرَاض- willingly, intentionally turn away from something
  • ayah 30 – conclusion of 1st passage
  • yaa 7hasratun ‘alal ‘ibaad يَا حَسرَةُُ عَلى العِبَاد- how sad/hopeless the condition of these slaves,
  • maa ta’teehim min rasuulin illa kaanoo bihee yastahzi”oon مَا تَأتِيهِم مِن رَسُول إلاَّ كَانُو بِهِ يَستَهزِئُون- whenever messengers came, they ridiculed them
  • the first passage talked about messengers, so it ended by talking about their standard operating procedure when it comes to messengers
  • their standard operating procedure when it comes to messengers is ridiculing them in public
  • now this middle pasage talking about Allah, tauheed so Allah talks about the signs
  • so here as conclusion Allah says that when the signs come to them, their standard operating procedure is not to notice and that’s a deliberate choice on their part
  • we start to see the character of these people
  • signs all around them
  • how they respond? i’raadh إعرَاض- arrogance, turning away

 

Ayat 47

36:47
Sahih International
And when it is said to them, “Spend from that which Allah has provided for you,” those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Should we feed one whom, if Allah had willed, He would have fed? You are not but in clear error.”
  • now Allah is going to refute, and talk about how arrogant, sarcastic, stubborn they really have become
  • where they’re literally mocking, jeering, ridiculing the message that comes to them
  • profound point – you see such bad character, conduct from these people
  • even when they were ridiculing the messengers “you brought this bad luck to us, we’ll torture you very painfully.”
  • they ended up killing an innocent man
  • this teaches us a very profound point
  • iman, faith brings about morality, this is a very profound connection
  • Quran teaches us in interesting ways
  • there is this agenda, idea that is being pushed today that faith has nothing to do with morality that morality is an independent entity that’s different than faith
  • that’s why when people have a facade of religion(terrorists, etc) but no true religion, faith, spirituality, they do horrendous things, they harm and endanger people, that’s why this is so highlighted, sensationalized through media, it’s because this idea is being pushed
  • saying “look these are religious people, look how bad they are.”
  • but this is complete opposite, if we look throughout Quran, Allah makes the connection between iman and morality always, how god consciousness leads to the ultimate morality
  • you won’t have a moral compass unless you’re connected to Allah
  • unless you have the quran and life of messenger before you, where do you base your morality
  • it’s constantly changing
  • surah mutafifeen – talks about people who are corrupt in their business dealings
  • when they measure something in benefit of customer they cheat
  • don’t these people realize that they will be brought back to life and resurrected, day on which all of humanity will be made to stand
  • connecting their bad business with that iman
  • surah ma’oon – the one who refuses idea of religion, what ‘s the outcome of that person?
  • forget about feeding poor people, he doesn’t even encourage others to feed poor people, orphans, in fact he tells people, “this is a waste of time.”
  • those people who when someone else is doing something good rather than support and say mashaallah really good job, they say, “I don’t know about this man, this is shady business, I heard this and I heard that.”
  • this is the condition that comes about from a lack of faith
  • iman it brings about the ultimate good conduct, character,  morality
  • long story of ibn kathir in his book when talking about this point
  • true order in society can only come about from iman
  • you can set up all the laws you want, best police force in the world, there will always be corruption
  • only 1 true cure = iman in the hearts of mankind
  • story of this one man from bani israel who was in need of somebody so he went to this person who had money to spare and asked for a loan, and the man asked, “Who can vouch for you?” The man said, “Allah is enough as a witness, why need someone else?” “Ok, here is your money.” there was a river between their homes, so the man said, “I’ll cross the river on to your side on this day at this time and return your money.” Time passed, the man went out to pay this man back, when he gets to river it was raining and some flooding was going on, so the people who were normally handling ferries are not there, he sat there with money in his hand and he was frustrated. “I told this man I would have him his money back. I gave him my word. What do I do now?” He stands there waiting, he grabs a log, takes a knife, carves a little hole in it, writes a note, and says, “If this reaches you, this is your money I promised to pay you back.” He plugs the hole and makes du’a to Allah and throws the log into the river out of frustration. He goes back home. On the other side of the river, this other man is waiting also. Time passes and he looks at the condition of the river and decides to go back home but he decides to pick up some wood and sees the log, grabs it and takes it home with him. He chops it up and sees the money and notes. Okay, fantastic, alhamdulillah. But that other guy sitting at home, can’t sleep at night. He thinks, “I didn’t really pay him back, I need to pay him back the way he loaned me the money, hand to hand, face to face.” So he waits a day or two until water subsides and he gets more money and went to the guy’s house and says, “I want to pay you back, the other day, the river was flooding and so here I am paying you back.” This other man, thinking that he already got his money back and here is the man, wanting to pay him more money.  There were no witnesses, no contract. The first man couldn’t sit still worrying he hadn’t paid the money back and same way, the lender, told the man that “No, no, I already got my money, you put it in the log right? Allah delivered that log to me.” Ibn kathir says this is iman, no small claims court, no contract, no police. This is what Allah is teaching us here, that iman = ultimate morality.
  • spend from that which Allah has provided you – this isn’t your own money, He has given it to you, He’s now asking that from what He has given you, spend a little bit of it,  just a litle bit of it, give it back, like zakat, 2.5 % of our savngs, such a small percentage, just a gesture to show our devotion and dedication
  • look at how these people respond , they say to the people who are telling them to spend
  • “You’re telling me to give in charity to those poor people. If you think about it, if Allah wanted that person to have something to eat, He would have given them. Think about it.”
  • this is where over-rationalizing as a form of mocking the command of deen
  • people make this type of argument a lot nowadays now
  • this a profound point from dawah perspective
  • we get confused when people present this now
  • we need to talk about these philosophical objections people are bringing up, true we have to dispel people’s confusions, but sometimes some people are just saying things for sake of saying them
  • they’re not truly confused, they have no interest in uncovering the truth, there comes a time when people just have to open their hearts and mind and realize the truth
  • surah furqaan – what kind of a messenger is this? He eats food and he walks around in the market places…why didn’t allah send down an angel, but if Allah sends down an angel, he’d still make objections
  • 25:7
    Sahih International

    And they say, “What is this messenger that eats food and walks in the markets? Why was there not sent down to him an angel so he would be with him a warner?

  • there’s always some problem
  • complaining for sake of complaining

in antum illa fi dhalaalin mubeen إن انتُم إلاَّ فِي ضلَال مُبِين-

  • clear, open misguidance, you’re totally lost
  • Allah uses word fee فِي- you’re completely drowning in yuor delusions
  • either this is same kuffar saying this to the believers, “You want me to spend my money on them?? You don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t make sense.”
  • Or, this is an answer to them from Allah when they say something as foolish, disrespectful as that
  • Allah says “You people are drowning in your delusion, youre completely lost.”
  • lesson for us in dawah: people will make confounding, confusing, philosophical type arguments
  • at that point in time, we ourselves should not have a moment of lapse or doubt in our iman
  • this is benefit of reading Quran, answers in Quran right here
  • we’re not the first person
  • today we say “Oh today we have philosophical objections to Islam like there never have been before.”
  • That’s not true, these same ridiculous arguments have existed since messengers were sent to earth
  • Allah telling Muhammad saw that previous messengers have dealt with this as well
  • this has always happened, not a new phenomena
  • what you believe is the truth, never let them let you down
  • you can only be that strong when you read the quran
  • when somebody says something this foolish to you, you now know, oh this is in surah yaseen
  • counter = what this surah is doing
  • talk to them about the oneness of Allah
  • when they make these objections, the next passage addresses it
  • tell them “listen, are you confident in leaving this world in this condition you’re at? You’re willing to put all your chips on the table, you’re willing to risk everything in saying there is no god, no afterlife. This is not about me, this is about you. Before you carry on this line of discussion, why don’t you chew on this a little bit.”
  • if that person persists on this, remember that there’s been a firawn before, abu jahl, hamaan
  • Allah informed us of them for a reason- there are people who are just not interested in the truth
  • allah tells us in surah fussilat – Say, this quran, guidance, iman, islam for those who are willing to beliebe, for those there is guidance and a solution to their problems. But the peole who are not interested in believing, in their ears there is a block, they say “We’re listening’ their ears they hear, and this quran is like completely invisible to them
  • they can see but when they see the truth it’s as if it is invisible and they thus don’t see the truth
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