Tafseer Maryam Day 5 Ayat 12

  • previously Allah fulfilled what Zakariya was asking for in a beautiful fashion
  • Yahya a.s. was going to be very unique, high position, no one like him in caliber before

clarifications about yesterday’s passage:

  • story of birth of Yahya a.s. to barren mother and old father is a prologue to birth of Isa a.s.
  • two places where story of birth of Isa a.s. mentioned in detailed is in Ali Imran and Maryam, both preceded by birth of Yahya .s. to Zakariya a.s.
  • there is a connection here,
  • if that was a miracle then this is also a miracle
  • it’s a refutation of the people who might not believe in the validity of the miracle or taken it too far
  • when Zakariya a.s. asked for a sign that is a miracle as well
  • lesson in this
  • Zakariya a.s. asking for son when there is no explanation for him to have a son
  • it’s
  • impossible for him to have a son
  • but look at the sign for the arrival of Yahya a.s.
  • all the means are there, Zakariyya a.s. is healthy, but not able to speak
  • sometimes you have the means but that doesn’t necessarily lead to result  if Allah has not written it for you
  • Allah can bring about the result without the means
  • the motive of Zakariya  a.s. shines through, the purity of his intention shines through
  • you have to be truly sincere in your motives when you make dua
  • he said he wants an inheritor, someone who will take this knowledge, deen, akhlaq, beautiful lifestyle and pass it on to other people
  • in ayat of Aali imran, Allah commands him “you make abundant zhikr of your Rabb and you do tasbeeh”
  • but when Zakariya a.s. comes out to his people, he’s making zhikr and tasbih himself but he also tells other to do it
  • intention is to pass deen on but he’s doing what he’s capable of doing right there and then
  • we get caught in this trap:-
  • e.g. if I have a million dollars I’ll build a beautiful masjid
  • but the way it works in our dealing with Allah is that you don’t have the million dollars right now
  • so maybe you’re saying Oh Allah give me a million dollars, I’ll build a masjid
  • but sincerity of your intention is judged by not what you will do but what are you doing
  • what I do have is $10 and when I walk by the donation box in lobby, and I walk right by it without even thinking twice about giving then at that time I’m not really living up to my intention
  • I have to prove the sincerity of my intention by doing what I’m capable of at the moment
  • e.g. If I can get 10 months of, I’d study at the Bayyinah Dream program
  • but right now, I have a weekend off and there is a class coming to my city in the weekend, and so I can attend it
  • some people had a month off and they come to the Quran intensive program
  • e.g. If I have 6 months off I can spend it memorizing the Quran
  • but you have 6 minutes, memorize 1 ayah
  • until the moment comes, you do what you can
  • that shows the sincerity
  • when people doing what they can at that moment and then when they ask Allah to facilitate fulfilling the greater intention, Allah makes it possible for them to live up to their intention
  • but first you have to live up to your intention in the now
  • Zakariya a.s. is doing what he’s capable of
  • ‘my son is not here yet, but my people are here, so at least I can impart some of my knowledge to them right now’
  • as a teacher he’s asking for the perfect student but what he’s doing, he’s working with the current students that he has with him and then Allah gave him the perfect student
  • we have grand intention and may Allah accept from all of us
  • but at same time, we are all capable of fulfilling that intention partially, even to a small fraction
  • in Ayat 11 – sabbih7oo bukratan wa ‘ashiyyan (common forms (nakirah)
  • in Aali Imran it says bil’ashiyyi walibkaari (proper bec of the A-L)
  • so in one place Allah says morning and evening(in common form) and in another evening and morning(proper form)
  • why the difference?
  • the proper form is more grander than the common form in sense that they both have their own effects
  • common has effect of diversity
  • proper has effect of making a huge statement, more stronger in its tone
  • reason why stronger tone used in Aali Imran, it’s highlighting the hope that Zakariya a.s. had in the good news that was coming
  • in surah Maryam, when good news of Yahya a.s. was coming, it says he will come, he’s like this and like that and then it moves on
  • in Aali Imran it goes on talking about how amazing he was going to be – describes him in more detail
  • in one place there is a hopeful mood(Aali Imran) and in another there is a somber quiet mood (Maryam) but it’s the same incident
  • that’s the beauty of it, and this is often far overlooked in the Quran
  • Quran shows us the human side of the people we are talking about
  • these are still human beings
  • on one side on that quiet somber tone, we are reading about and old man who is staring death in the face, he’s talking about inheritors etc
  • but on other you do have angels coming and good news coming
  • so it’s showing us two sides of the same coin

Ayat 12

Sahih International

[ Allah ] said, “O John, take the Scripture with determination.” And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy

  • ya is harf nidaa – to call out to someone
  • Allah is directly addressing Yahya a.s.
  • Yahya is the congratulations that was sent about
  • did we miss something?
  • it’s naturally implied that of course wife of Zakariya did give birth to a son and he’s born, healthy, raised
  • this is a reminder that the Quran is not a novel
  • “then he turned, then he looked up, then he shut the door…”
  • it’s not talking out the entire situation
  • it’s a discourse, guidance from Allah and talks about that which is pertinent, relevant and important
  • the lesson we can extract from that is the simple fact that whenever the Quran talks about something, it’s something we should be paying attention to
  • it never talks about something unnecessary
  • 2 examples from story of Musa a.s. where a detail that was naturally a part f flow of events was omitted because it doesn’t have any pertinence to the message
  • but sometimes something is mentioned and you think, that can be a very fine little detail but there is great relevance to it
  • e.g.
  • in surah Taha and Qasas and other places, Allah tells us about Musa .a.s and his entire journey, he works, gets married and then leaving with his family at night and while he’s traveling, he says,
  • “I see a fire. I’ll come back to you from there with either a fire lit from there or get directions maybe there’re some people who live nearby.”
  • Qasas 28:29
  • 28:29
    Sahih International

    And when Moses had completed the term and was traveling with his family, he perceived from the direction of the mount a fire. He said to his family, “Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire. Perhaps I will bring you from there [some] information or burning wood from the fire that you may warm yourselves.”

    Taha 20:10
    Sahih International

    When he saw a fire and said to his family, “Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance.”

  • he goes to that fire and we know in Surah Taha what ends up happening there -: he receives message and prophethood bestowed upon him
  • Allah giving Musa a.s. a direct lesson in iman, tauheed
  • Musa’s teacher in Iman is Allah Himself
  • see how iman develops
  • innanii ana Allah Taha 20:14
  • 20:14
    Sahih International

    Indeed, I am Allah . There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.

  • attached pronoun (ee in Innanii)
  • the next pronoun is ana (I), independent pronoun which is stronger
  • next word is Allah – see the progression
  • his iman grew right there and then
  • complete instruction given, ibadah, servitude, whole lesson given right there
  • not only that but the manifestation of Allah’s greatness on this earth is given to him
  • what’s in your right hand? then the whole story continues from there
  • next thing :- Allah tells him to go to firawn
  • Taghaa -> “he’s lost his head”
  • then Musa a.s. makes dua – rabbish rahli…
  • and then he says “I need some help. Haroon.”
  • Qasas 28:34
  • 28:34
    Sahih International

    And my brother Aaron is more fluent than me in tongue, so send him with me as support, verifying me. Indeed, I fear that they will deny me.”

  • then Musa a.s. and Haroon a.s. walked into court of Firawn delivering the mesasge
  • what’s missing? the family!
  • Quran doesn’t tell you about it, but of course he went back to his family and got them, but talking about it is not important, it wouldn’t contribute to the story
  • 2nd example – in surah Qasas
  • Musa a.s. was a child of Bani Israel but he’s raised in house of Firawn
  • he goes in marketplace, there is man from people of Firawn, a coptic who was having an argument with a man from Bani Israel, Musa’s people
  • Musa a.s. has dilemma with this dual identity
  • the Bani Israel man knows Musa a.s. has soft spot for Bani Israel so he calls out to Musa a.s. to help
  • Musa a.s. intercedes
  • Coptic man tells Musa a.s. to mind his own business and gets in his face, so Musa a.s. has no choice but to defend himself
  • Musa a.s. tells him to back up and the man dies, Musa doesn’t realize his own strength
  • 28:15
  • 28:15
    Sahih International

    And he entered the city at a time of inattention by its people and found therein two men fighting: one from his faction and one from among his enemy. And the one from his faction called for help to him against the one from his enemy, so Moses struck him and [unintentionally] killed him. [Moses] said, “This is from the work of Satan. Indeed, he is a manifest, misleading enemy.”

  • this is a detail in Musa’s life but it’s mentioned, how come?
  • it contributes to the story bec that is reason why Musa a.s. had to leave Misr because he’s wanted for that murder
  • mufasiroon says there is a lesson in this:
  • relevance of this incident to the message :
  • Musa a.s. committed an accidental thing but judged among the people there at that time to be a crime
  • later on in life, he’s made a messenger of Allah and sent back to those same people to bring them a message from Allah
  • in dialogue between Allah and Musa a.s. :- walahum alayaa zambun (Oh Allah you’re going to send me back to Firawn and his people? I’m a criminal there. I’m wanted!”
  • Qasas 28:33
  • 28:33
    Sahih International

    He said, “My Lord, indeed, I killed from among them someone, and I fear they will kill me.

  • Allah says “You still gotta go.”
  • When Musa a.s. went to court of Firawn and asks to let Bani Israel go, the first Firawn says, “Hey, aren’t you that guy who did what you did when you did it and you’re a really bad person?” (very sarcastically)
  • so Musa’s worst fear is realized
  • it contributes to the message in a deeper fashion and manners
  • lesson: that is going to happen a lot, a common occurrence : that someone in one point in their previous life they would have done something not so admirable, and the people know, so he’ll have that bad reputation among his people but some point down the line there will be  a major turning point
  • for Musa a.s. : he went from a normal individual to being a messenger of Allah
  • in our society, community, some people will have done something bad in their life and they will have a turning point in their life, and they will want to come back and do something good, and at that point in time that is when this incident of Musa a.s. will become relevant
  • what are we going to do? Are we going to be like Firawn
  • e.g. when that young man goes to make the azhaan, are we going to : “Hey you, go back you’re a very bad person, I don’t want you calling azhaan, go back!”
  • if we judge people like that, then we are no better than Firawn, we’re then acting like Firawn, we’ve just exhibited a quality like Firawn
  • Firawn didn’t care what Musa had to say, why he was coming, didn’t care who he had become, had matured into, he was still stuck on “you’re the guy who did that!”
  • compare that to the example of Muhammad saw
  • did he ever hold anyone’s past against them? NEVER
  • Wahshi is the man who assassinated Hamzah ibn Abdul Mutalib (Prophet saw’s uncle)
  • the mutilation of Hamzah was one of the few times where Sahabah saw Prophet saw in such profound pain,m he was do deeply hurt
  • when they were walking back into Madinah, Prophet saw could hear different family members crying when they received news of death of their family members, Prophet saw started to cry because he said
  • “Today there is everybody crying because of a family member who died but no one is crying for my uncle bec his own family did this to him.”
  • that’s how much pain he felt
  • but Wahshi, the one, who carried out the assassination not only did Prophet saw not hold a grudge on him but he  was the one who sent letter after letter telling Wahshi to become Muslim
  • that was how merciful and willing he was to overlook people’s past
  • Hind, the one who hired Wahshi and after he comes back to tell her to tell her the job is done
  • she, a woman,  goes to the battlefield, walks up to dead body of Hamzah, pulls out a dagger, cuts his ears, nose and tongue out, strings them up and keeps them as a souvenir.
  • then she rips his body open, pulls out his internal organs and mutilated his body, rips his clothes and completely exposed him
  • what a horrible act she had done
  • but on day of fath Makkah, the Prophet saw didn’t do anything to her
  • when she comes to the Prophet saw to accept Islam “Ahlan wasahlan, marhaban bikum” He allows her then to become Hind R.a.
  • more story
  • Khalid Ibn Walid, Ikrimah, they were all embraced with open arms, accepted as they were
  • this is that behavior versus behavior of Firawn


  • sometimes part of story left out because it’s not relevant but the flip side,
  • everything mentioned in Quran is relevant, important and has dozens and dozens if not more lessons that can be extracted from it

story from personal experience of Sheikh :

  • Sheikh was leading prayer, salat asr
  • a young gentleman walked in to pray, he was literally covered in tattoos from finger to neck
  • iqamah was being called, they prayed
  • after salah, sheikh turned around and spoke to him, and found out that the brother was new to the area, just got a job
  • sheikh started talking and the brother started telling him his story
  • he’s of Thai background, his uncle was really caught up in crime ring, drugs, where he grew up in California
  • growing up, his mother tried to shield and protect him from the whole family history but eventually around 14, he dropped out of school, he started seling drusg, driveby, robbing etc
  • by the time he was 23, he had been to prison twice
  • at 23,  he was arrested for 3rd time
  • in California, at the 3rd strike, that’s it, you go to prison for life
  • he was sitting in jail at night, the next morning he was going to be arraigned, and he thought, it struck him that his life was over
  • it sunk in then, it hit him
  • he couldn’t help it, he fell into sujud, last time he was in sajdah was 10 years ago when he went to masjid with his mom
  • at that moment his life changed, he made dua to Allah all night long, asking for another chance
  • he felt like he needed to make an intention tat if Allah saved him, what he would do with his life
  • he remembered that his mother had one wish for him to become a hafidh when he was younger, because his uncle, etc had turned evil, and that she wanted him to revive the legacy of his haafidh grandfather
  • he remembered he had hurt his mother
  • so he made that intention that night: If I get out of here, I’m going to go and become a haafidh of Quran
  • when he was presented to the judge the next day, his mom was sitting in the back crying her eyes out, judge looks at file looked at him, he closes the file and asks him to stand up and asks, “If I were to let you go right now, what would you do?”
  • He said, “It’s funny you ask me that because last night I had a change of heart, I repented, I’m going to study my religion, Quran and commit myself to becoming a good person.”
  • so the judge said, “Alright, charges, case dismissed, get out of here, be on your way.”
  • he walked out of courtroom, mom crying not believing this happened and he asked his mom how much money she got right now
  • she had $40-$50, his uncle was there, he asked for more from his uncle and got a few hundred dollars and told them to drive him to a bus stop and rode a bus to the closest major Islamic center to ask about Quran memorization program
  • he had nothing on him, just clothes
  • they told him there is a school for memorization here, 200 miles , this is the address, and he jumped on another bus, a greyhound and went to that city
  • he walked in and said his name and that he wants to memorize Quran
  • they welcomed him in
  • he was 23 at the time, he memorized the entire Quran in 8 months, he didn’t even know how to read Arabic,
  • Sheikh has had him lead prayer, beautiful recitation
  • years later he is a husband and father
  • his children, the adab and character they have, he himself personally  is making them memorize Quran too. Amazing
  • people’s past and what they can become

khuzh – command form of akhazh

akhzh– grab something

  • so khuzh – grab
  • can also be used in meaning to hold on to something
  • can also be translated as ‘grab on’
  • grab on to the book

the book:-

  • scholars of tafseers they are unanimous on fact that this is referring to taurah
  • biquwwatin

quwwah – strength

  • grab on to the book (Taurah) with strength, firmnes, conviction
  • scholars what is meant by quwwaah – don’t just learn it but memorize it, act on it
  • like hadith of Ali – the saahibul Quran isnt just someone who reads it and memroize it but he makes the halal of the Quran halal, he abstains from what Quran makes haram, he believes in that which Quran tells him to believe in whether he understand it or not, he acts on the commands within the Quran and he recites it as it’s meant to be recited
  • this is the command given to Yahya a.s.
  • this is in contrast to when Allah tells us about other people in Bani Israel
  • surah Jumu’ah – Taurah was entrusted upon them but they didn’t carry it, neglectful of it, just like a donkey carrying books
  • 62:5
  • 62:5
    Sahih International

    The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books]. Wretched is the example of the people who deny the signs of Allah . And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

hukm – comes from same root as word hikmah, part of meaning is incorporated

  • refers to wisdom but also refers to the ability to be able to differentiate between right and wrong
  • Ibn Abbas :- hukm = understanding of Taurah and how to live his life in a manner that was pleasing to Allah
  • so Yahya a.s. didn’t just read Taurah but he understood it
  • story narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak from Ma’amar -:
  • some of the children , his peers invited him to come and play with them. Yahya a.s. responds by saying “We haven’t been created to run around and play.”


  • describes his condition
  • he was a child at this time but he still had this quality
  • this is unique bec typically maturity, knoweldge, wisdom usually come at later age
  • sunnah of Allah is that prophethood given at age 40 because that is when maturity would complete and knoweldge and wisdom would manifest itself and blossom in a person
  • about Yusuf a.s. : walamma balagha ashuddahu aataynahu hukman wa ‘ilmaa – when he reached that older age of maturity…
  • and also about Musa a.s.
  • Qasas 28:14
  • 28:14
    Sahih International

    And when he attained his full strength and was [mentally] mature, We bestowed upon him judgement and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good.

  • Yahya a.s. is already unique because of circumstances of his birth but on top of that he got those same gifts of knoweldge and wisdom even though he was a child

sabiyyan – literally means a child, not even a teenager, someone under age 10

  • Qataadah :- Yahya a.s. was such a man that he never disobeyed Allah not even in the least bit or in larger sense, never made evil intention of committing sin with opposite gender
  • he was such a man of such abstinence and quality
  • that he would eat leaves off trees, he would not indulge in any least bit of desires
  • he used to cry so much before Allah out of humility that literally on his cheeks there were scars from all the tears


  • Allah told him to hold on to the book first and then Allah gave him the hukm, wisdom, knoweldge and understanding
  • as if his knowledge and wisdom came from the book
  • that’s why Ibn Abbas says “even in our ummah the person who will read, be taught the quran and its understanding even before they reach age of maturity, they are the people who will Allah will grant that same knowledge and understanding to.”
  • Quran is the book of knowledge and wisdom
  • we need to learn to impart this to our children
  • the sooner we introduce them to the book of Allah, the sooner they will exhibit this ability

Link to video series on MM


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