Here are selected verses from the taraweeh recitation for each night with lessons for our lives today.
Juz 23 - Surahs Yaseen, Saffat, and Saad
Ignoring the Signs of Allah
وَمَا تَأْتِيهِم مِّنْ آيَةٍ مِّنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَّا كَانُوا عَنْهَا مُعْرِضِينَ
There comes to them no sign from the signs of your Lord, but they turn away from it. (Yaseen, 36:46)
The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, called surah Yaseen the heart of the Qur’an because it encapsulates the essential message of the Qur’an and the signs in the universe that point to its truth in a very powerful way.
Yet the signs cannot benefit those who are bent on ignoring them. After mentioning various signs of Allah (dead earth that comes to life with rain [36:33], night and day and sun and moon [36:38-40], ships and other means of travel [36:42], it points out the state of self-imposed ignorance whereby human beings refuse to learn from the signs. This nonchalance results in foolish argumentation from them, mentioned in the next two ayahs. (Why should we feed the poor, God could have fed them if He wanted? And when is this resurrection after death going to take place?) The answer is to shake them out of this frivolity by giving a glimpse of the Hereafter where the sinners will be separated from the pious. The difference between the former’s doom and the latter’s bliss is not something that any sensible person can brush aside lightly.
The charge of ignoring the signs applies to those who pay no attention to them as well as those who study them in great depth but with a closed mindset that has already decided that this is a creation without a Creator and a design without a Designer. Their study does not lead them to God, because of its prior assumptions and predetermined conclusions. This applies to almost all study of science even in the Muslim classrooms today because they just ape the methods and philosophies of ignorant science leaders. This is a similar message to what was given in surah Yusuf (12:105) and should be a point of much concern for Muslim educators and scientists today.
Who Do You Worship
قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ
He answered: "Do you worship something that you [yourselves] have carved, (Saffat, 37:95)
You are worshipping the false gods of your own creation. Atheists, new and old, have declared that man created God. With this they laughingly assure themselves that they have satisfactorily answered the question as to who created man. But this absurdity has a basis, which the Qur’an points out here. Man, in fact, has created gods. Whether it is the physical statues of deities or the false ideas about gods, they are all human creations. They result when we surrender to our own lusts, desires, and wishes, instead of following the guidance of the one True God who created us.
Atheism took root in the non-Muslim world, where its leaders only saw the false gods of human creation and decided that that was the entire story. In contrast those who read the Qur’an with an open mind will come in conversation with the one True God.
Worship has always been a common practice in all human societies. But we have two options about it. We can worship the one True God who created us or we can worship the false gods of our own creation --- including the “no God” of atheism.
Doubt the Hereafter? Answer this.
أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَالْمُفْسِدِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الْمُتَّقِينَ كَالْفُجَّارِ
Shall We treat those who believe and do righteous deeds the same as those who commit mischief on the earth? Shall We make the God-fearing equal to the sinners? (Saad, 38:28)
This is the question that everyone who rejects or harbors doubts about the Hereafter must answer. Allah is just and justice demands the Hereafter where everyone will be rewarded or punished for their good and bad deeds. Those who reject or doubt the Hereafter, of necessity believe in an unjust world.
By Khalid Baig