Tuesday, 17 May 2011

surah 70 Al-Ma'arij (The Ways of Ascent)

70. Surah Al-Ma'arij (The Ways of Ascent)
The Holy Qur'an Recitation by Saad Al-Ghamdi with English translation

70. Surah Al-Ma'arij (The Ways of Ascent)

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

1. A questioner asked concerning a torment about to befall

2. Upon the disbelievers, which none can avert,

3. From Allah, the Lord of the ways of ascent.

4. The angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] ascend to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years,

5. So be patient (O Muhammad ), with a good patience.

6. Verily! They see it (the torment) afar off,

7. But We see it (quite) near.

8. The Day that the sky will be like the boiling filth of oil, (or molten copper or silver or lead, etc.).

9. And the mountains will be like flakes of wool,

10. And no friend will ask of a friend,

11. Though they shall be made to see one another [(i.e. on the Day of Resurrection), there will be none but see his father, children and relatives, but he will neither speak to them nor will ask them for any help)], - the Mujrim, (criminal, sinner, disbeliever, etc.) would desire to ransom himself from the punishment of that Day by his children.

12. And his wife and his brother,

13. And his kindred who sheltered him,

14. And all that are in the earth, so that it might save him .

15. By no means! Verily, it will be the Fire of Hell!

16. Taking away (burning completely) the head skin!

17. Calling: "[O Kafir (O disbeliever in Allah, His angels, His Book, His Messengers, Day of Resurrection and in Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments), O Mushrik(O polytheist, disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah)] (all) such as turn their backs and turn away their faces (from Faith) [picking and swallowing them up from that great gathering of mankind (on the Day of Resurrection) just as a bird picks up a food-grain from the earth with its beak and swallows it up] [Tafsir Al-Qurtubi,Vol. 18, Page 289]

18. And collect (wealth) and hide it (from spending it in the Cause of Allah).

19. Verily, man (disbeliever) was created very impatient;

20. Irritable (discontented) when evil touches him;

21. And niggardly when good touches him;-

22. Except those devoted to Salat (prayers)

23. Those who remain constant in their Salat (prayers);

24. And those in whose wealth there is a known right,

25. For the beggar who asks, and for the unlucky who has lost his property and wealth, (and his means of living has been straitened);

26. And those who believe in the Day of Recompense,

27. And those who fear the torment of their Lord,

28. Verily! The torment of their Lord is that before which none can feel secure,

29. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts) .

30. Except with their wives and the (women slaves and captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be blamed,

31. But whosoever seeks beyond that, then it is those who are trespassers.

32. And those who keep their trusts and covenants;

33. And those who stand firm in their testimonies;

34. And those who guard their Salat (prayers) well ,

35. Such shall dwell in the Gardens (i.e. Paradise) honoured.

36. So what is the matter with those who disbelieve that they hasten to listen from you (O Muhammad ), in order to belie you and to mock at you, and at Allah's Book (this Qur'an).

37. (Sitting) in groups on the right and on the left (of you, O Muhammad )?

38. Does every man of them hope to enter the Paradise of delight?

39. No, that is not like that! Verily, We have created them out of that which they know!

40. So I swear by the Lord of all [the three hundred and sixty (360)] points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west that surely We are Able

41. To replace them by (others) better than them; and We are not to be outrun.

42. So leave them to plunge in vain talk and play about, until they meet their Day which they are promised.

43. The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as racing to a goal,

44. With their eyes lowered in fear and humility, ignominy covering them (all over)! That is the Day which they were promised!





  • Introduction
    • There are relationships or people in our lives whom we are willing to risk our lives for. We value these people more than our lives. Keep this in mind while reading about what will transpire on the Day of Judgement (DOJ) in the following aayat.
    • Ma'arij is the plural of Mi'raaj -> something that elevates or ascends
    • Surah al Ma'arij - The Ascending Stairways
    • Main theme: how can we avoid the punishment of Allah (swt)
  • Verse 1
    • surah begins with a statement about a question a supplicant asked
    • its talking about a punishment that is happening ; very unique way to start a surah
      • واقع : a reality that is happening
      • عذاب : punishment
  • Verse 3
    • when something comes from Allah (swt), only Allah (swt) can stop it
    • ذي المعارج : the one to whom belongs the معارج
    • scholars differ as to what معارج means:
      • (1) interpreted as the Lord of the Blessings
      • (2) its a reference to those involved in the actual process, meaning the Angels (carriers of the Message that ascend and descend)
      • (3) reference to the actual blessings of Allah (swt)
  • Verse 4
    • والروح
      • Scholars differ as to what the meaning of this word is
        • (1) reference to Angel Jibreel
        • (2) reference to the souls of the human beings
    • في يوم كان مقداره خمسين ألف سنة
      • "a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years."
      • reference to the DOJ
      • A heavenly day with Allah (swt) is 50,000 years long
  • Verse 6
    • They see the DOJ as far off
      • (1) either they don't believe
      • (2) or they think it is far away so they can do whatever they want
    • describes the attitude of a kaafir (disbeliever) or munaafiq (hypocrite)
    • a Believer may be questioned on the DOJ, but briefly, once Allah (swt) starts to question you excessively, you are in trouble.
  • Verse 8
    • People who withhold zakaat will be punished on the DOJ even before entering Hell
    • the sky on that Day will look like melting, boiling copper because of the tremendous amount of heat
  • Verse 9
    • mountains will be become like wool because they will be crushed
  • Verse 10
    • حميما : very close, close like a best friend
    • not even your closest friend will ask anything of you
  • Verse 11-13
    • it is not because you won't see each other, it is because you won't want to see each other
    • people of piety will not deny or run away from each other; those whose relationship was for the sake of Allah (swt) and whose departure from each other was also for the sake of Allah(swt). They will be shaded on the Day of Judgement, on this Day they will be claiming each other.
    • On that day, people will even love to put their own children as ransom. Imagine what kind of pain will allow you to do something like that with those whom you love and you think you would give your life for.
    • This state of affairs is just on the DOJ, people aren't even in Hellfire yet
  • Verse 15
    • لظى : intense fire
      • when the flames get out of control
      • describes Hellfire
  • Verse 16
    • نزاعة : to pull off
    • لشوى : the skin and flesh of the face and body
    • the heat of Hellfire will pull off the skin and flesh on you
    • the intensity of the fire in Hell will cause your skin to be ripped off and your flesh to be pulled off so that only your skeleton is left
  • Verse 17
    • Hellfire is not only physical, it actually speaks
    • the fire will come for the person while it calls his/her name
  • Verse 18
    • someone who collected and hoarded wealth
      • جمع : collected
      • فأوعى : hoarded
    • these people hoard the wealth and claim it as theirs like no one else is worthy of it. If one doesn't share their wealth with others, they are committing kufr, they are not truly thanking Allah (swt)
    • Allah (swt) gives even more wealth to those who allow the flow of wealth
    • Islam doesn't stop you from acquiring/collecting wealth.
      • If you don't have money how are you going to give zakaah? How are you going to taste the sweetness of zakaah?
      • One should work to acquire wealth, but hoarding and not sharing it is not allowed
    • If you don't have enough money to give as much zakaah as the wealthy, the Prophet (sAw) recommended to do Dhikr
  • Verses 19-21
    • هلوعا : someone hyper and anxious
    • هزوعا : someone who panics, is apprehensive
    • when something bad happens he gets hyper and panicky and when someone good happens, he gets selfish and withholds it
    • the worst thing that a person can have: greedy impatience and unrestrained cowardice
      • if one possesses both of these characteristics, he/she has no khair (goodness) left in them
  • Verse 22
    • But for those who believe, who pray (مصلين), the qualities mentioned before don't apply to them
      • you're not considered a مصلين unless you are consistent with salaah
      • scholars say that those who do not pray are not Believers
      • salaah is the one distinctive quality that distinguishes a kaafir from a Muslim
  • Verses 23-34
    • Qualities of a مصلين
      • (1) those who are constant (دائمون) in prayer
        • the scholars were talking about consistency with timing of prayers and with perfecting their prayer
        • the consistent are committed to each prayer and to each rak'a
      • (2) those who give of their wealth while recognizing that this is a haqq
        • 2 recipients of that haqq:
          • (a) those who seek and ask for help
          • (b) the destitute who don't say anything
      • (3) those who believe in the DOJ
      • (4) those who are humble even after possessing all these qualities because they know that no one is secure from the punishment of Allah (swt)
      • (5) those who gaurd their private parts
        • (a) don't have illicit/unlawful relationships
        • (b) except from their wives or right-hand possessions (slaves)
      • (6) those who keep their trusts and covenants
        • the Prophet (sAw) did not betray even those who betrayed him
      • (7) those who stand firm in their testimonies
        • they only testify when it is necessary and when they testify, they speak the truth
    • Verse 35
      • such people will be honored in Jannah
    • Surah Ma'arij is completed in the next session

  • Lessons from Sheikh Faqih
    • If you are in a state of dispute with anyone, settle it, or your deeds from the month of Ramadan or even the whole year will not be accepted
    • Relationships that are based on their love and fear for Allah (swt) will be the kind in which the two people always turn to Allah (swt) in times of crisis, together
      • whichever is for Allah (swt) will last, it will survive tribulations
      • no relationship is worth you taking a chance with your relationship with Allah (swt)
    • If you don't have enough money to give as much zakaah as the wealthy, the Prophet (sAw) recommended to do Dhikr
    • Tasbeeh
      • Slow down your tasbeeh
      • Alternate tasbeeh.
        • Rather than saying "SubhanAllah" 33 times, and then "AlhamdullilLah" and "Allahu Akbar" 33 times each
        • Say "SubhanAllah, AlhamdullilLah, Allahu Akbar, SubhanAllah, AlhamdullilLah, Allahu Akbar..." 33 times, you're still saying each word 33 times but in a different sequence. This helps you to slow down and think about what you are saying.

  • Notes from Sisters Q & A (shared with permission from Sheikh Faqih)
    • Ayaat 29-30
      "And those who guard their private parts"
      "Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they are not to be blamed-"
    • "And those who guard their private parts"
      • one of the qualities of a مصلين (one who is consistent in prayer)
      • don't have illicit/unlawful relationships
    • "Except from their wives or those their right hands possess"
      • "right hand possessions" is in reference to the slaves
      • Have to understand this part of the aayah in its historical context
      • When Islam came, it regulated slavery. You can't just abolish a whole system and way of life all at once, Islam abolishes slowly through regulation
      • This aayah meant that a Believing woman from that time would not have to cover in front of her slave
      • It also meant that the men were allowed to have relationships with the slave-girls (concubines)
        • Does not apply now because there is no slavery, but if there was slavery today, the ruling would still apply.
        • Concubines had a special status, they were not treated as slaves (did not have to do cooking and cleaning) but they were not treated as wives either
        • Islam came and regulated what was going on at that time:
          • there cannot be a relationship between a man and the slave-girl against her will
          • there cannot be a relationship between a man and a married slave-girl
        • In a way, being a concubine would elevate you from the status of a slave and if the concubine got pregnant, she would then have to be treated as a wife
      • Advice form Sh. Faqih when one is trying to understand the aayah above
        • When you're married, you'll understand it better
        • It is vital to understand the aayah in its historical context, the way the society was back then, their definition of relationships, and the era in which this was revealed. It is very difficult to understand something out of its historical context.

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