Quran Night Study Guide Feb 2024
- Imam Tirmidhi (ra) records from Sayyiduna Jabir (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) recited this Surah before some people who remained silent. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “I recited this Surah to the Jinns, on the night of Jinn, and their receptive response was better than yours! Whenever I recited: (So, (0 mankind and Jinn,) which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?), they said: ‘None of your bounties do we deny, our Lord! All praise is due to You’. This narrative indicates that this Surah was revealed in Makkah, because ‘the night of the Jinn’ refers to the night when the Messenger of Allah (SAW) met the Jinns to convey to them the Message of the Qur’an and impart knowledge to them.
- Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Everything has an adornment, and the adornment of the Qur’an is Surah Ar Rahman’
Reference: Imam Bayhaqi (Rahmatullah Allaih) in Shuab Al Imaan
- One day, the companions of the Prophet were together in Makkah. They were still few, weak, and oppressed. They said, “The Quraysh have not yet heard the Qur’an being recited openly and aloud. Who is the man who will recite it for them?” “I shall recite it for them,” volunteered `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud and he recited Surah Ar-Rahman.
In Surah Ar Rahman, there are five distinct areas that exemplify Allah’s Mercy, i.e design and balance, wonders in creation, the end of the world, Hell, and Paradise. Great focus is given to the glory of Allah’s design of the living and the non-living and the wonders of the universe. The parts of the chapter that examine the end of the world and hell are brief but nonetheless convey a clear and strong message. The theme of Paradise gathers much attention and is noted as a hallmark of this Surah or Chapter.
Why does this Surah start with the divine attribute of “Ar-Rahman”? One interpretation is that instead of saying that Allah (the Creator), has taught this Qur’an, it is said: ‘The Most Gracious (ArRahman) has taught this Qur’an. It therefore gives the meaning that the revelation of the Qur’an for the guidance of mankind was nothing but Allah’s Grace and His Mercy.
Allah taught us how to pronounce the Quran through the means. Allah taught Jibreel (AS) and Jibreel taught Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and he subsequently taught it to the Sahaba’s and so on. The teaching included the way it should be recited. We must always remember that Allah wants us to recite the Quran in a way that pleases Him. Allah taught us the way of recitation of the Quran out of his Rahmah.
The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed. “Husbaan” means in perfect harmony, complete courses that are already pre-calculated, Surah Yasin talks about this miracle as well. The amazing fact is that we do not time these massive celestial objects, rather these bodies are what give us time. The sun and the moon are very disciplined, and all our calendars are based on either the sun or the moon.
And the stars (or shrubs) and trees prostrate. The stars, shrubs and trees are in complete submission to Allah. The humblest act of submission in prayer (salaah) is the sajdah, there is no honor or pride in front of Allah, and you are willing to put your head on the ground. Hadith :“The nearest a salve of Allah is to his Rabb (Lord) is in the state of Sajdah (Prostration). Therefore, increase the Dua (in sajdah that you make to Allah)”. (Sahih Muslim)
He (Allah SWT) set loose the two seas that meet each other, but between them is a barrier that they do not transgress. The barzakh (barrier) refers to a partition placed by His decree between two things so that neither one would overcome the other. The barrier mentioned in the verses separates the sweet waters from the salt waters. And His are the Ships sailing smoothly through the seas, lofty as mountains: It is He Who blessed man with the capability and skill that he may build ships for crossing the oceans.
Following the descriptions of Allah’s creation are images of the Last Day, in which everything on earth will come to an end; all that remains will be the Face (Wajh) of the Lord. Allah tells us here about the moment when everything and everyone on earth will perish and only His Honorable Face will remain, because He is the Ever Living and will never die and Free of all need. Verses 29 and 33 demonstrate jinn and man’s complete dependence on Allah and their failure without Him. Verses 35 and 37 hold vivid depictions of the turmoil and awe of the end of the world including flashes of fire and smoke and the sky torn apart and turned red. Verse 39 states that the sins of jinn and men will be made so clear on the day of judgment that they will not need to be questioned.
Although there are only a few verses describing Hell in this surah, the warning to jinn and men is clear and the punishment therein are described as severe. The warning example presented in verse 41 is of the mujrimoon (criminals; disbelievers) who will be taken to Hell by their hair and feet. This is Hell which the Sinners denied. This is said in response to the mockery and arrogance of the nonbelievers. Allah answers them in a similar mocking way: “This is Jahannum, here it is, do you still deny it?” Verse 44 states they (mujrimoon) will run back and forth between Hell and the boiling hot water. “Yatoofu” is to run back and forth. Generally, water gives you comfort and extinguishes the fire, but the water of Jahannam is such that the mujrimoon will try to escape the fire by running to the water, only to find its punishment also severe. And they will be running back and forth between the fire and the water. There will be absolutely no respite for this punishment. Allah says in the Qur’an, if they ask for help, they shall be helped with water that is like burning oil. Thus, both the fire and the water will punish them in their own ways.
Throughout the rest of this Surah, there is a drastic shift in tone as the descriptions of Hell end and images of Paradise follow.
Hadith: “Paradise is surrounded with difficulties and Hell is surrounded with desires. (Bukhari; Muslim)
Hadith: ‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Paradise has one hundred levels, and between every two levels is a distance like that between the heavens and earth. Al-Firdaws is its highest level, from which four rivers of Paradise flow, and above is the Throne. When you ask from Allah, ask for Al-Firdaws.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 2531)
Two tiers of experience in Paradise are described in detail. There are two gardens for the believers full of spreading branches. In both are two springs, free flowing with water. The fruits of the two gardens will have their own special flavors and tastes. In one garden he will find one kind of fruit clustering on its branches, and in the other garden, another kind. Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade, and the fruits of the two Gardens are hanging low (within easy reach). Allah asks a rhetorical question: What else do you think would happen with all the good that you did except that you will get good in return? This is the conclusion of the description of the higher levels of Jannah. Under these gardens, there are two other gardens, functioning as the second tier. These are gardens of green life and gushing springs and various fruits. Here, Allah mentioned fruits, which is a generic phrase meaning all kinds of fruits. Allah highlights two specific kinds of fruits: date palms and pomegranate
Poetic and literary patterns appear throughout the chapter, helping to weave together all the vivid images. For example, the use of simile appears in some verses. Verse 14 compares Allah’s creation of mankind out of dry clay with the fashioning of pottery. In verse 24, in a description of the wonders of creation, it is said that even the ships belong to Allah and float like mountain peaks in the sea. Verse 37 describes the sky splitting apart and turning red like oil. These figurative comparisons provide and help us understand a few of the abstract concepts discussed in this chapter. It is worthy of note that this beautifully poetic and powerfully rhythmic chapter of Allah’s revealed Word begins with His Name Ar-Rahman, “The Beneficent (Most Gracious)”. This alludes to the reality that everything discussed in this chapter is somehow intimately connected to the inner secret of this Unique Revealed Name of Allah. At the end Allah mentions “Glorious is the name of your Lord, the Lord of Majesty, the Lord of Honor”. After talking about all these descriptions of Jannah, Allah concludes by praising Himself. It is quite common throughout the Qur’an to begin and end a Surah with the Names and the Praise of Allah.