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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah: Lesson 7

Sat 3 Mar 2018

✏️ Lesson 7: The balanced position of the people of Qur’an, The Superiority of the Qur’an and Knowledge

  • The balanced position of the people of the Qur’an
    • We have already learnt that the best type of Dhikr is the Qur’an itself
    • The people who memorise it have a great virtue
  • Verse: “Thus We have made you [true Muslims – real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) be a witness over you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) verse 143]
    • Allah made this Ummah to be balanced and just.
  • Verse: “Verily, this Quran guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad SAW, etc.). who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise).” [Surah Al-Isra (The Journey By Night) verse 9]
  • Allah did not reveal this Qur’an to cause misery to the people, rather it is to give them joy, happiness and guidance.
    • Verse: “Ta-Ha. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] We have not sent down the Quran unto you (O Muhammad SAW) to cause you distress, But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah). A revelation from Him (Allah) Who has created the earth and high heavens. The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil. And if you (O Muhammad SAW) speak (the invocation) aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden. Allah! La ilahla illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.” [Surah Ta-ha verses 1 to 8]
    • This was revealed because the Mushrikuun (polytheists of Makkah) used to say that the Qur’an was revealed upon Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in order to distress him.
  • Therefore, every carrier of the Qur’an, and all Muslims, must stay within the boundaries of the Qur’an and respect the Halal and Haraam mentioned in it.
  • Allah has described the virtues of the carriers of the Qur’an

  • The General superiority of the Qur’an over standard remembrance (i.e. outside of it).
    • Following the obligatory acts, the best thing a person can do is to be constantly upon the remembrance of Allah
    • Dhikr (remembrance) encompasses all aspects of worship and comes in many forms
    • What did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say were the most beloved speech to Allah?
    • When reciting the Qur’an, this requires purification, whereas with other dhikr this is not the case, this again shows the superiority of the Qur’an
  • However, sometimes an action which is ordinarily inferior to the reward from reciting the Qur’an, may be done in a certain context which makes that act superior, that is possible.
    • Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said that an action may have additional factors which make it superior. These types of actions can be of two types:
      • First type; Actions which are obligated, as a whole, upon the Muslim, such as after Fajr and Asr are normally prohibited times for prayer, therefore in those times remembrance becomes superior to prayer since prayer is not allowed during those times. Another example is for a person to be in a place where prayer is not permissible such as an abattoir, then the superior action of prayer is not available, hence during that context the act of performing remembrance is superior to prayer. Another example is that during bowing and prostrations in prayer, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said it is not permissible to read the Qur’an during those times, hence remembrance other than the Qur’an is superior.
        • NOTE: if you read the Qur’an in bowing and prostration, is your prayer valid? There are two opinions. Perhaps one of the reasons is that during those times of bowing and prostration, you, the servant, is demonstrating your subservience and lowliness before Allah, therefore some scholars say this may be a reason why the Qur’an is not read due to its nobility and highness as it is the Speech of Allah and the servant is in a position showing his humility.
      • Second type: A circumstance where a person is not able to do the superior action properly, but can do the inferior one properly. For example, someone who has never learnt how to read the Qur’an, and so the superior action for them is to remember Allah with remembrance other than the Qur’an.
  • The virtues of Seeking knowledge
    • When seeking knowledge, this will always involve the Qur’an and the Sunnah
    • From the best types of remembrance, one can do is to seek knowledge
      • Understand and ponder over the Qur’an
      • Learn the biography of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Sunnah
      • Learn the halal and Haraam
      • NOTE: Seeking knowledge is not what the sufis do (e.g. chanting repeatedly, not learning hadith or the Sunnah etc).
    • Learning knowledge informs the person what duties are upon him/her personally (e.g. prayer, fasting etc) and what acts are upon the Muslims in a general sense (i.e. if some Muslims performs it, then his covers the rest, e.g. funeral prayer).
      • Explanation of Fardhu ‘Ain (obligation upon each Muslim) vs Fardh Kifaayah (obligation upon the Muslims as a collective)
      • Learning about these matters is remembrance of Allah and makes a person a better Muslim
      • When someone is doing Dhikr which is not the Qur’an, nor involves learning Knowledge, then this normal day to day remembrance is a good act but it does not increase a person in their knowledge
    • The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told us about the superiority of the Scholar compared to the worshipper:
      • Abud-Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi, Riyad as-Salihin]
      • NOTE: This example given by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is poignant in that the Scholar is described as full moon, and the regular worshipper as stars. Ibn Rajab highlighted a difference which is subtle; that on a full moon night, the moon’s light illuminates the earth and one can be guided to his/her path in the middle of otheriwse darkness. However, no matter how bright stars are they only glimmer. Therefore, the light of the moon goes beyond itself and benefits others by lighting up the sky, whereas the Stars are bright but their light is confined top themselves. Therefore, the scholar benefits others with knowledge, while the worshipper benefits only himself with prayer and fasting.
    • Another one of the superiority of Seeking Knowledge over standard remembrance is that normal day to day remembrance (i.e. not Qur’an) is restricted to a limited number of words/context, but Knowledge covers the entirety of the Religion.
  • Q&A:
    • How does one know who the scholars are?
    • If one reads the three last Surahs after Fajr, is he/she protected for the rest of the day?
    • What if you don’t have the English translation/meaning