Study Guide January 2023
- After the Quraysh failed to convince Najashi to hand over the muslims in Abyssinia and had failed to convince Abu Taleb to hand over his nephew to them, they devised another plan. They decided that since the popularity of Prophet Mohammed صلى الله عليه وسلم was growing, they needed to find a way to silence him and eradicate Islam.
- They concluded that they will boycott Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم ,his clan banu Hashim, and all the muslims. They wrote down a document and hung it on the doors of the Kabah.
- This document stated that no one could buy from Banu Hashim and the muslims, or sell to them, or marry their women. And whoever did so would receive a terrible punishment. This punishment will continue until Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم revokes his religion or the Banu Hashim clan gives up support for him.
- Abu Talib owned a valley on the outskirts of Mecca called Shi’ib Abu Taleb.
- The Banu Hashim clan and the muslims moved to this valley and left all their belongings in their homes. They were barely surviving as the Quraish were not selling any food to them. The muslims had to eat leaves to survive as food was so scarce. Khadija (ra) used her wealth to help the muslims and herself who were in Shi’ib abu Taleb.
- This torture and boycott lasted for three years.
- Some kindhearted leaders of Quraysh felt that the boycott was unjust because people were dying and these were their relatives. One of the leaders was a man named Zuhayr ibn Abi Umayyah, whose mother was the aunt of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم .He faced the people and demanded, “People of Makkah! Do we eat and clothe ourselves while the Banu Hashim are perishing, unable to buy or sell? By Allah, I will not sit down until this unjust document is torn up!”
- Abu Talib had come from Shi’ib Abu talib and had an announcement to make to the Quraysh. He stood up, and facing the Quraysh, told them that Allah had revealed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم (that termites had eaten the document inside the Ka’bah. The only thing that remained of the document, Abu Talib said, were the words “In Your Name, O Allah.” Abu Talib then challenged the Quraysh, saying that if the Prophet’s claim turned out to be false, he would no longer stand between them and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم .(However, if the Prophet had spoken the truth, the Quraysh should end the boycott. The Quraysh accepted Abu Talib’s challenge.
- When Mut’im bin Adiy one of the leaders of Quraysh, rose to retrieve the document, the Quraysh saw that it had been destroyed. Its only remaining words were “Bismika Allahumma” (In Your Name, O Allah). Allah (جل جلاله (had given the Quraysh yet another sign but once again they refused to admit their error and accept Islam. Their only choice was to end the boycott. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم (and his Companions came out of the mountain pass and were allowed to live in Makkah once again.
It says: “By the Fig and the Olive,” “And (Mount) Tur of Sinin,” “And this city of security (Mecca)”
The term /tin/ means ‘fig’, and the term /zaytun/ means ‘olive’; the same fruit that is the source of a useful oil.
The term /taqwim/ means to form something into an appropriate shape in a moderate regulation: the broadness of the meaning refers to the fact that Allah has created man proportionately in all respects; both from the bodily point of view and from the spiritual and rational point of view, because He has settled all faculties in him and prepared him appropriately to cover a great path towards development.
“Then We render him the lowest of the low.” If human uses his/her faculties aright and follows Allah’s law, he/she will reach the high and noble destiny intended for him/her. But, if he/she rebels against Allah, and using his/her talents and faculties, follows evil, he/she will fall even lower than the beast.
“Save those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them is a reward unending.”
But the righteous people will be abundantly rewarded by Allah (SWT).
“What then makes you reject thereafter the Last Judgment?” This world cannot be the final goal of the creation.
“Is not Allah the Most Just of judges?”
So, if we take the word /din/ with the whole meaning of ‘religion’, this verse means: “Are Allah’s laws and decrees not wisest of all?”
- In the first few verses of Surah Alaq, Allah (swt) informs us of a two things. The first of these is that he speaks about knowledge. The surah starts with a command telling us to read! This shows the importance of seeking knowledge. It was because of knowledge that Adam (as) was different from the angels. Having knowledge is how we will have honor and dignity in this life and the next. Knowledge can be spoken or written. That is why Allah (swt) mentions both when he tells us to read, and write by the pen. Allah (swt) reminds us that it was because of his favor and mercy upon us that he taught us what we did not know before (how to read and write).
- Allah (swt) then speaks about about the human origin. He says that humans were made from Alaq. Alaq is a clot of blood, more literally meaning a piece of wet sticky fluid which hangs off something. Allah (swt) mentions the origins of mankind to prove a few things. He is proving that he will resurrect us because, if he can make us from a simple thing such as a clot of blood, he can bring our bodies back to life after they have decayed. Allah (swt) is also reminding us to remain humble and remember what we were created from.
- In the following verses, Allah (swt) speaks on how arrogant mankind becomes after having knowledge. How can we become arrogant and think we don’t need Allah (swt) when he was the one who taught us everything? Allah (swt) then mentions that it is to Allah that we will all return to in the end. Whether we were grateful for our blessings or ungrateful, there will come a day where we face Allah.
- In the last part of the surah Allah (swt) gives an example of someone who was ungrateful to his blessings. Allah (swt) is speaking about Abu Jahl and how he would prevent the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم (from praying. Abu Jahl would abuse the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم (and try to physically prevent him from praying to allah (swt). Allah makes mention that he sees everything and if that Abu Jahl does not stop harassing and bothering Prophet muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم ,Allah (swt) will punish him with hellfire. Abu Jahl had many friends to help him make fun of and harras the prophet. Allah (swt) mentions that he also has helpers who are the guardians of hellfire.
- Allah (swt) then ends the Surah by advising Prophet Muhammed (صلى الله عليه وسلم ( and the believers to not listen to people like Abu Jahl and to always return and draw close to Allah by making sujood. In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم (teaches us that the closest position that a servant can be to Allah is when he/she makes sujood (prostration)