Study Guide November 2022

Seerah Section:

  •   Previously we were discussing different hardships that the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the companions (r.a) had to endure, these acts of torture mainly began after the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was commanded by Allah (swt) to propagate the message of Islam publically. Not only were these difficulties physically painful for the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the companions (r.a.), but they also disturbed them from worshiping Allah (swt) comfortably.
  •  During this time of Prophethood, the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the companions (r.a) took two measures to make their lives easier.
  •  The first event that took place was that since the Muslims were few in number and weak in strength they had to practice their religion in secrecy. A companion by the name of Arqum (r.a.), he was either the 7th or the 10th person to accept Islam according to different narrations, owned a home at the foot of the mountain/hill of Safah. The mountain of Safah is the same mountain/hill where the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم announced an open invitation to Islam. This is also the same mountain where a person who performs Hajj and Umrah starts their Sa’ee.
  •  This home became the very first Islamic center for Muslims. The Muslims would gather there to perform their salah, to learn from the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ,and to bring new people who were interested in reverting to Islam.
  • When the pains grew severe beyond tolerance for the Muslims to reside in Makkah, one day the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم announced, “Spread out onto the earth, Allah (swt) will assemble all of you.” The companions asked “Where should we go?” The blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم indicated with his hand towards the land of Habasha (at that time it was known as Abyssinia).
  • There were two migrations to Abyssinia; both seemingly took place relatively close from each other. The first migration took place in the 5th year of Prophethood in the month of Rajab. In this caravan there were a total of eleven men and five women.
  • This group stayed from Rajab to Shawwal until they heard a rumor that the people of Makkah have accepted Islam. They returned to Makkah only to find out that the rumor was false. Some of them managed to enter the city secretly while others came under the amnesty/security of other people.
  • Now the polytheists began to hurt the Muslims even more, so much so that the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم permitted a second migration to Abyssinia. The second migration consisted of eighty-six men and fifteen women.
  • Abyssinia was run by an honest and trustworthy Christian king whose real name was Ashama but he was better known by his title of Najashi. His kingdom was free of oppression and he ruled justly.
  • The Muslims that migrated resided there in peace and comfort. This bothered the Quraysh a lot, now that the people who had forsaken the religion of their forefathers were to reside in peace and comfort.
  • The Quraysh leaders got together and devised a plan to cause harm to the Muslims that migrated to Abyssinia. They sent two representatives, Amr bin ‘Aas and Abdullah bin ‘Abi Rabi’ah.
  • Their plan was to first bribe the king’s courtiers with gifts in order to gain an opportunity to speak to the king. Once they reached the court of Najashi, they complained to him that a group of people from their tribe had left the religion of their forefathers and gained refuge in his land. They said that these people have taken a new religion, one which is neither Christianity nor the religion that they used to practice but rather a new religion altogether.
  • They went on to say that they have been commissioned by their leaders to bring these fugitives back to Makkah
  • Najaashi was a just ruler; he would not agree to send the Sahabah back without a fair trial. He summoned the Sahabah (r.a.) to his court.
  • The sahabah (r.a.) had already agreed that they would say and do exactly what the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم taught them to. Upon entering the court of Najashi, the first thing they did was simply say salaam but they did not prostrate and bow before the king. This offended some of the courtiers and they explained to the king that their Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم taught them that they should only bow before Allah and to bow in front of anyone else or anything else was to place that person or thing at the same level as Allah.
  • The king then asked the sahabah (r.a.) What was the new religion they adopted? From among the Sahabah, the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم cousin and the brother of Ali (r.a.,) J’afar (r.a.) ibn Abi Taalib stood up and gave an emotional moving speech full of wisdom to King Najashi.
  • He informed Najashi that they were astray; they would commit such hideous acts of sin. The weak and poor among them were not taken care of. Then he explained how Allah then wanted to guide them so He brought amongst them the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who was of noble character and who preached to them the highest levels of morals. He taught them mercy and kindness. He forbade them from acts of evil and taught them acts of purity. Ja’far (r.a.) continued to explain that only because they turned away from the impure ways of their forefathers, these people had tortured them and hurt them in every way. Now, just to gain some comfort, they sought out a land where they could practice their faith and that is how they arrived in Najashi’s kingdom.
  • Najashi was moved by this speech and requested Ja’far (r.a.) to recite something that he remembered from the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم teachings.
  • Sayyiduna Ja’far (r.a.) started to recite the opening verses of Surah Maryum to which the king Najashi started to cry out of sheer awe and beauty of the surah. After the recital, the King complimented it and said that “ These words and the words of Isa’ are from the same divine source” He then addressed the delegation of Quraysh and said he will never surrender these people to them.
  • Unfortunately ‘Amr bin A’as and Abdullah bin Abi Rab’a did not give up. They devised another plot to trap and hurt the sahaba. They arrived again to king Najaashi and mentioned to him that the sahbah (r.a.) don’t believe in I’sa (a.s.) the same way Najashi did.
  • The king Najashi summoned the sahabah again and inquired about their belief. Ja’far (r.a) respectfully replied that we believe in whatever the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم taught them. He taught them that I’sa (a.s.) is a messenger of Allah (swt) and that he was Allah’s servant and was born miraculously to Maryum (a.s) without a father.
  • King Najashi picked up a spec from the floor and proclaimed that whatever the Muslims have proclaimed is not a spec different from what I’sa (a.s.) said.
  • The two Quraysh representatives left Abyssinia in disgrace, losing all hope to hurt the Muslims who were now safe and sound in Najashi’s kingdom.
  • Once the news reached Abyssinia that the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has migrated to Madinah, which was about eight years after the first migration to Abyssinia, most of the Muslims residing in Abyssinia also migrated to Madinah. The remaining Muslims migrated to Madinah with Ja’far (r.a.) in the seventh year of hijrah after enjoying fifteen years of comfort in Abyssinia.
  • When the Muslims decided to migrate to Madinah Munawarrah, King Najaashi prepared them with conveyances, provisions, travel costs, gifts, and sent a messenger with instructions to inform the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم of how kind Najashi was to the Muslims. He also told them to convey to the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he bears testimony that there is no God but Allah and that the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was His final messenger. He also asked that the blessed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم pray for his forgiveness, which he صلى الله عليه وسلم did and to which the Sahabah said Ameen.

Tafseer Section

Surah Balad

  • Here Allah has sworn by the city Makkah, the Mother of the Towns and you Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم live in this city.
  • Indeed we have created man (to live) in hard struggle: The human being has been created in kabad. Some of the scholars commented that kabad means intense labor, a toil that is overwhelming you from every direction. Allah (swt) is saying that the human being has been created in endless and exhausting struggle.
  • The tafseer of the verses 7-9 hold an immense lesson. Allah begins by asking a rhetorical question “Does Mankind think that Allah cannot see him?”(meaning what actions Mankind does), then He brings signs of marvelous creations inside of the human being to prove that the perfection in the anatomy of the human is too precise in the human body and that alone is enough to prove Allah’s existence.
  • Allah first brought the eyes. Did you ever realize how soft and sensitive your eyeballs are? Have you ever gotten a hair or something small stuck in your eye? How much pain did it cause you? Did you ever notice that Allah designed such a sensitive and vital organ with a screen protector and a hard casing? How fast do your eyelids close when you fear something may go into your eyes? Did you ever notice that your eyelashes and eyebrows act like dust particle trappers to prevent dirt from getting into your eye? Did you ever realize that the hard bone which is the human skull that surrounds the eye socket is slightly bulging outward like a case for a phone to prevent immediate impact to the eye in case of a face first impact?
  • Then Allah mentioned the tongue, did you ever realize how fast the tongue works? That you think of something and you can say it right away there is no delay in between your thought and your tongue. Your tongue can articulate so many different sounds in specific consistent patterns that other people decode and understand and reply to you, all of which is happening in an instant.
  • Then Allah mentioned lips that also help you in pronouncing what you want to say but most importantly they act as a seal and lid for your mouth when you wish to remain silent.
  • Allah brought these organs and body parts specifically, because He wanted us to observe His creation and then proclaim His oneness with our tongues and then remain quiet in regards to uttering any words of disbelief!
  • Allah (swt) saying that He has shown us two paths, the majority opinion is that this refers to the paths of good and evil. The image given in this verse is that of a man at the foot of a mountain with two paths ahead of him, one leading right and one leading left and Allah (swt) has clearly shown where each path leads. These two paths both lead up and both involve climbing which means that both require labor in ascension.
  • People on the right hand side are those who free a slave or feed the needy on a day of starvation or help an orphan relative or help a needy person in distress. Qualities of such people are those who have faith in God, who enjoin one another to patience, and enjoin one another to compassion.
  • People on the left hand side are those who deny blessings of God and fire awaits them.