Tafseer Maryam Day 6 Ayat 13-15

  • how do we extract lessons from these stories in the Quran, they seem so long ago, how do we make it relevant?
  • that’s why we made observations about  Zakariya’s a.s. dua and talked at length about that
  • Allah telling Yahya a.s. to hold on firmly to Taurah, what lesson can we take from that?
  • the kitaab of that time is Taurah, the kitaab of this time is the Quran
  • we have to hold on firmly to Quran, it has to be the basis of everything we do in life
  • predicament of this ummah:
  • when we hear word Taurah and Injeel, we know these are revelation from Allah, but we also know they are in the past and we know from Quran that they altered with and so we know they are not in their original form anymore
  • so too often when we read about Taurah and Injeel, we don’t have that same mindset, we don’t reflect on them in the same way, that these are revelation from Allah
  • what we feel about Quran, the Taurah was exactly that too, words of Allah, revealed upon the previous prophet, Musa a.s.
  • for followers of Musa a.s., Zakariya a.s., Yahya a.s., the Taurah was to them as the Quran is to us, same level of commitment, reverence
  • that’s often what we get disconnected from
  • Allah tells us in the Quran:
  • Maaidah 46
  • 5:46
    Sahih International

    And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.

  • that’s exactly what we know of the Quran as well, it’s guidance, light, cure
  • lesson that we extract from her eis that Taurah is guidance for them and they have to hold on to it and that they will not succeed without it
  • and for us Quran is guidance for them and we have to hold on to it and we will not succeed without it
  • hukm was described in detail yesterday
  • it basically refers to a spiritual maturity, knoweldge and wisdom and understanding
  • Allah gave him that even though he was a child
  • peple would usually receive this maturity later on in life, that’s why prophethood usually given at age 40
  • but distinct quality of Yahya a.s. was that he was given that very early on
  • Ibn Abbas :- the Quran will play same role for people in our ummah
  • the people in our ummah , the earlier they are exposed to the Quran, the earlier they will mature spiritually speaking
  • we can become very extreme in our rhetoric sometimes, we have a problem today, especially in non Arabic speaking Muslim community
  • we have certain commitment to teaching our children Quran from an early age but there is little to no emphasis on the understanding, practicality, spirutal guidance that it has
  • so too often when we get into preaching mode, we start preaching and we lose a bit of what is moderation and balance
  • and we say there is no benefit to reading Quran without undestanding
  • but hold on…
  • reading it is the gateway to understanding it
  • because there is the other extreme where one reads translation upon translation and someone will listen to tafseer lecture after tafseer lecture and put in front of them juz ‘amma and they can’t make heads or tails of it
  • Sheikh is not criticizing those people but this condition exists, there are people like that in our communities, more often than not
  • so we have to achieve balance
  • that is the situation of Yahya a.s.
  • sahabah and tabi’oon  interpreted hukm
  • like what Ali ra.s. said, the saahibul Quran isnt just someone who reads it and memorizes 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
  • we need to continue education of how to read and recite Quran properly
  • in tafseer of this ayah it is fardh ain (just like praying 5 times a day) to recite Quran properly
  • we need to give our children the tools to recite the Quran properly, but then we need to move on to the next step, the other aspect of learning the Quran simultaneously
  • Need to make time for child to learn to recite and also need to set time for that child to understand the Quran
  • Ibn Abbas said the sooner we do to our children, the sooner they will come into spiritual maturity


Ayat 13

Sahih International

And affection from Us and purity, and he was fearing of Allah

  • closest term in English to describe this would ‘affectionate’
  • comes from root which means affection, to be soft
  • it has interesting derivatives in Arabic
  • haneen naaqah – when camel would moan and cry because it wants affection from its owne
  • story from life of Prophet saw, where a camel came to him (saw) and started moanng and Prophet saw started to pet it, the camel became quiet and then Prophet saw turned and asked who owns this camel? A man spoke up. And the Prophet saw said, “Don’t you fear Allah? You pushed this camel hard, you make it work excessively and then you don’t give it time to rest and feed it properly? It’s moaning to me.”
  • another story about Prophet saw:
  • haneen of jizh’a (trunk of stump of a tree):
  • there was a tree stump in masjid of Prophet saw, when he would preach, giving talk, answering questions, he (saw) would lean against it. After sometime, on instruction of Prophet saw, the first mimbar was erected, the Prophet saw gets up from the tree stump and sits on mimbar, the sahabah heard moaning sounds coming from the tree stump. This is from mu’jizaat of Prophet saw. Prophet saw then put his hand on tree stump, showed it affection, then Prophet saw explaiend that when he got to the tree stump, it was crying becuase it was going to miss the Prophet saw and going to miss being used for such a noble cause.
  • the love that a mother has for her child is described as hanaan – mother strongly leans towards the child
  • best expression to describe hanna -> “we have a soft spot for someone’


  • this is the hyperbolic exagerated pattern of the word
  • this can go two ways:
  1. he himself was very affectionate to people around him, not limited to his family and friends but to all as a whole (active)
  2. he was shown affection (passive) by his parents, and more importantly from Allah Himself
  • we see the levels of favors upon Yahya a.s. and his parents and we can see the affection Allah has towards Yahya a.s. and Zakariya a.s.
  • birth of Yahya a.s. is a miracle in itself
  • if Allah didn’t love that family so much, Yahya a.s. wouldn’t exist
  • in previous ayaht, ayat 12, Allah gave him spiritual maturity that is usually reserved for prophets at a much later age, Allah gave it to him when he was a child, at age 7-8, under 10
  • it can be both meanings, either he was affectionate or he was shown affection

min ladunna

  • whether he was affectionate himself or shown affection, it came from Allah
  • ladun – in Arabic it means ‘especially from’ like a special favor from someone
  • in English -> when someone ‘hooks you up’
  • Yahya a.s. was shown a great deal of affection again as a very special favor from Allah
  • when Zakariya a.s. made dua to Allah (going back to Ayah 5) for a son, what word did he use? min ladunka
  • “I don’t want just any child, I want a special gift of a child.”
  • so Allah uses that same term
  • “I accepted his dua and gave him a gift of a special child.”


  • linguistically it means to internally purify something, for something to be internally pure
  • Taharah – general term can mean both internal and extenal
  • nazhaafah – external purification
  • tazkiyyah come from zame root
  • zakaat maal – charity, it spiritually purifies you, you still have bulk of your wealth, you only give 2.5% of your savings annually, but the obligation of giving zakaat in a disciplined fashion, one of the blessings is that it makes you emotionally disconnected from your wealth
  • getting too emotionally attached to your wealth is where problems come from
  • when you become regular and disciplined about giving zakaat, you will naturally gain ability to give sadaqah above and beyond because you start to become emotionally distant from this wealth
  • ‘easy come easy go’
  • “It’s just money.”
  • we usually say that rich people say this, but no, it’s people who don’t care about money who say this
  • people who don’t care about money are not necessarily rich people, but it’s people who realize there is a higher spiritual calling
  • ‘My money is a means to an end, it can be a means to luxury and comfort and even sin and it can be a means to attaining pleasure of Allah.’
  • so zakaat here refers to that internal purity
  • but some mufassiroon say it means he was very charitable
  • there is nothing denying that (when you have a word that can have multiple meanings and used in Quran, don’t limit the meaning of the word, because Allah in His wisdom chooses to use that word, He can say a lot with very little
  • Yahya was very internally pure, his heart was clean and pure and as a 3rd meaning, he was also very charitable
  • it’s one thing to be affectionate, it’s another thing to do something with it
  • “aww, that’s so sad…ok let’s go for lunch.”
  • we see this happening too often unfortunately
  • Yahya a.s. would not just be affectionate but he would live it


  • hyperbolic active derivative from root word which comes from taqwa
  • doer form -ism mubaalaghah form from taqwa
  • taqwa – be cognizant, aware, protect yourself, conscious of what you do at all times
  • taqiyyan – not just someone who is the above, but someone who is very very cautious and cognizant, it has mubaalghah, hyperbole in it
  • before Allah describes taqiyy, He says Kaana
  • kaana doesn’t simply means ‘He was’

Kaana – also incorporates meaning of istimraar (continuity)

  • that he constantly was in this condition of being very aware, cognizant, careful
  • observations:
  • Allah describes him as being very affectionate, and then very pure and now very conscious
  • now let’s connect back to the story
  • parents of Yahya a.s. -> they’re very old
  • the Quran is no doubt the words of Allah, an amazing thing but sometimes we can be too formal with it, we don’t extract the practical aspect of it, not enough
  • what is predicament of old parents?
  • e.g. parents usually have kids when they’re 20-30(prime age for having children) and then they have that last one in their 40s
  • problem for the parents at that stage = taking care of that child
  • parenting is hard work, it’s a non stop job, requires dilligence
  • Sheikh saying to the attendees: “There is a reason why you’re here on vacation time, away from home, for an entire month studying Quran. That’s not normal these days. That speaks of how your parents raised you and what they instilled in you.”
  • when parents have child at a later age, one issue for them -: I can’t keep up with this, I’m too old
  • explaining things to the child, tarbiyyah, doing every little thing with the child gets harder and harder
  • it’s hard for people when they get a child in their 40s
  • imagine Zakariyya a.s., some narrations say he was 80, 90, some say 100 years old
  • imagine trying to raise a child at that age
  • Allah is giving Yahya a.s. all these remarkable qualities in his childhood because Allah is taking care of his tarbiyyah
  • Zakariyya a.s. asked for child, not to ‘make baby sounds’, have a photoshoot, walk around with a cute baby
  • his intention was so pure, good, to please Allah, that Allah gave him a child but Allah knew best the condition of Zakariyya a.s. and so Allah took care of the tarbiyyah of Yahya a.s
  • imagine a boy being compassionate
  • boys are mean usually to animals, people, things
  • ‘break’ is usually a reaction of boys, they’re rough
  • affectionate is a sign of maturity
  • he’s so pure, he didn’t have to go through lesson in life ‘been there done that’
  • having such a high level of taqwa
  • this surah is a reminder of the mercy and blessing if your lord and how it showered down upon Zakariyya a.s.
  • the mercy was not that Allah gave him a son when he was old but Allah also gave him tarbiyyah
  • ‘no assembly required, ready to go’
  • scholars say ” hanaanan refers to soul of Yahya a.s.(a kind soul), zakaatan refers to the heart (spirituality – not attempted by sins), taqiyya refers to action”
  • so a complete condition of Yahya a.s.

Ayat 14

Sahih International

And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant.

  • barran comes from birr
  • exagerated form of someone who has birr


  • has an interesting root in Quranic language
  • in Quran, usage of word birr is higher than taqwa
  • it’s like combo of taqwa, iman, shukr, sabr
  • the epitome, collection of it is that the apex of all of this, it manifest in word birr
  • Allah uses birr to express that perfection of deen and religion in surah al Baqarah
  • that ayah covers all aspects and facets of life in iman and ‘amal
  • that’s why you can’t reach birr until you spend that which you love the most
  • birr is the highest level
  • linguistic nuance of this term
  • this word which is the highest level of piety comes from same root which is the word for dry land
  • barrun – refers to dry land
  • nuance -> naturally speaking, do people feel more comfortable, secure when they’re out on dry land or out on a boat even when it’s stable? dry land
  • it’s a blessing for us to travel on ocean but it’s not a permanent residence
  • when person has established that connection with Allah, he finds that comfort, security that a person feels when he’s on dry land
  • being distant from Allah is like being on a boat on the rocky seas, not a good feeling
  • being in disobedience of Allah is not a lot of fun
  • Allah, when He refers to being good to the parents, both in Quran and Sunnah, the word birrul waalidayn is used
  • same term used for respecting, honoring our parents
  • that is something we find consistently throughout the Quran
  • whenever Allah mentions being good to parents, it’s usually after mentioning His right upon us
  • rights of parents mentioned right after right of Allah to show importance and necessity of it
  • Allah uses the same word to describe being dutiful, good to the parents and this word is used to describe the highest level of piety
  • regardless of what level of iman that believer is at, he won’t say he doesn’t care about Allah tells him to do
  • you won’t reach that part pf piety until you have realized your duties and responsibilities to your parents
  • what will teach your child to respect your right is when you teach your child to respect Allah
  • as a parent no one can sit there and claim he’s the perfect parent
  • you are going to mess up as a parent
  • when they happen, the thing that will still make your child respect you is that you instilled within your child the respect to Allah and Allah’s command
  • you slipped up as a human and you did something horrible to your child, even then that child will pick up book of Allah and say wabilwaalidayni ihsaana
  • here, barran =hyperbole -> he was extremely dutiful, kind, respectful with his parents

lam yakun – he never ever was [consistency]


  • jabbara comes from root word that means jabar
  • jabar – to apply pressure to something, to push something down
  • from that we have al jabeera (splint) bec it applies pressure to broken bone to correct it
  • jabbaar – someone who applies pressure
  • this is one of attributes of Allah
  • it means Allah applies pressure to us when needed in order to straighten us out
  • when you’re ironing your clothes and you have one big crease, you have to press a little harder to get that crease out
  • as humans we will have certain wrinkles that won’t come out the easy way
  • would you rather have that wrinkle taken out here in dunya or akhirah? here
  • that’s why Allah is Al Jabbaar
  • it’s for our own good, so when we show up in Akhirah we show up looking good
  • when used for human beings it means someone who forces his will upon other people
  • it has negative connotation for humans, when human is Jabbaar, he’s forcing his will upon others without their consent
  • e.g. mutakkabir when used for Allah is positive, Allah is proud, it’s Allah’s right to be proud, but when used for human beings, mutakabbir is negative
  • Yahya a.s. wasn’t pushy, bossy


  • exaggerated form of word that means someone who is disobedient
  • disobedience is result of ingratitude
  • fact that Yahya a.s. was never disobedient means he was a very grateful person
  • see how this fits in with entire sequence of ayaat
  • it describes this amazing human being that is Yahya a.s.
  • he was given spiritual maturity as a child, affectionate and shown affection, pure, he was a generous, kind soul, then it describes that his actions were of utmost caution and care, and then last piece of the puzzle – family relations , he was very good in terms of his family relations
  • that’s a common predicament in our community
  • we have not fully understood the scope of what it means to be spiritual
  • we have separated spirituality from the practical aspect of our deen, the family relation is part of it
  • we can be reading Quran, doing a lot of zhikr but maintain horrible family relationship
  • more horrible is to be seen by others as someone very spiritual, righteous and pious
  • that is the biggest contradiction in the world
  • because the Prophet saw said, “The best of amongst you is the one who is best to his family and I’m the best of all of you when it comes to my family.”
  • good family relations is part and parcel of spirituality in general
  • most important of those relations is the parents
  • one unbelievable contradiction where we fault the most is in our relationship with their parents
  • the Prophet saw told us that of sign of Day of judgment is that people are great with their friends, but not so much with their dads
  • in modern day entertainment they package it in unassuming  innocuous forms, in cartoons for example
  • when Bart Simpson talks about his dad he says ‘Homer’; calls him by first name
  • they don’t present Bart as a horrible dude with tattoos, drugs, beer etc , he was a cute boy on skateboard
  • but he calls his father Homer
  • we have to be very very careful
  • Yahya a.s. was not bossy and disobedient to his parents – an amazing thing because his parents are old
  • older parents are easier to take advantage of, neglect, abuse
  • but Yahya a.s. here very affectionate and kind, good, not bossy
  • when you start maturing and become the responsible one, then it becomes very easy to boss your parents around, they become a burden, problem,headache
  • Yahya a.s. realizes what his parents meant and was good to them
  • nasihah that scholars would give : burru abaa akum taburrukum abnaa akum = be good to your parents and your children will be good to you, the anger and wrath of Allah is embedded in the wrath and anger of your parents, the pleasure of Allah, you will never attain it until your parents are pleased with you, realize this, that there is nothing that puts more barakah into the life and sustenance of a person as much as being good to the parents and joining family relations
  • when your parents are displeased with you, Allah is displeased with you
  • biggest test is when they’re old

Ayat 15

Sahih International

And peace be upon him the day he was born and the day he dies and the day he is raised alive.

salam used in 2 meanings :
  • peace and safety – peace and safety if upon Yahya a.s.
  • figurative meaning -> giving greetings to someone -: sign of showing honor to someone
  • tha’s why Quran tells us when inhabitants of Jannah will enter, angels line up will say to them salamun alaikum
  • here i t also means Allah is honoring Yahya a.s.

yauma wulida

  • day he was born
  • on the day he was born, a great miracle on this earth that a child born to old parents with no explanation for it

yauma yamootu – day when he will die

  • we know from riwaayat that are mentioned in books of tafaaseer, that Yahya a.s. died as a martyr
  • kind of like that prophecy, good news being given that there will be honor, peace and safety on him on the day he dies

yauma yub’athu hayyan – day that he will be revived again, Day of Judgment that he will find same honor, dignity, benevolence


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