Archive for August, 2008

Surat ul Insaan [76:31] – Either grateful or ungrateful.

This Surah Al Mubarak is known by two names Al Insaan and Ad-Dhahr, after the words occurring in the first verse. It is a Makkan Surah, and its style is very similar to the rest of the Makkan Surah, and different to the Madanee Surah.

The Surah informs man of his true position in the world and it tells him that if he understood his true position and adopted the attitude of gratefulness, his ending would be one of goodness.

إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

innaa hadaynaahu-s sabeela immaa shaakiran wa immaa kafoora
Verily, We have shown him the way: [and it rests with him to prove himself] either grateful or ungrateful.


innaa – this is a particle of emphasis. Here the subject is “we” the plural of majesty. Because this pronoun “naa” is with a noon like inna then it has combined in such a way that they share the noon rather than adding a separate one. According to grammar the two can also be combined to make it innanaa but this is more common. Starting the sentence in this way makes it a strong statement, both because of the emphasis and the majestic plural.


hadaynaahu – We guided him. Again this naa is because of majestic plural and it refers to Allah. Hu is the object and his refers to man. It is a singular but referring generally to mankind. Hadaa means to guide on the right way, to direct, to show the way, to lead. This verb is a “final weak” verb which is why the 3rd root changed from alif maqsoora in its simplest form to a yaa when it is conjugated here. Words from this root appear frequently throughout Quran, many times it is in reference to Quran itself to remind that this revelation is a guidance, that this is the right way.
eg: dhaalika al kitaaba laa rayba feehi hudan lil muttaqeen
And also it comes in reference to previous revelations like what was sent to Moosa alayhi salam and others.


as-sabeel – the way, the path, the road. It is mansub because it is the maf’ool al-thaani / second object. The verb hadainaa here has two objects: the haa which is attached to the verb and sabeel which comes after that. This is the same word which we see in the phrase “fee sabeel illaah” in the cause of Allah/for the sake of Allah. But the meaning here of “innaa hadaynaahus sabeela” has a meaning similar to the idea of “as-siraa6 ul mustaqeem” which is mention in al fatihah because this is referring to the right way or the right path.

In tafseer ibn katheer it says that this innaa hadaynaahus sabeela means “We explained it to him, made it clear to him and showed it to him”
Another book gives its meaning in Arabic to be “bayyannaa lahu 6areeq al hidaayah wadh dhalaal” meaning We made clear to him the path of guidance and misguidance.

إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ

Verily, we guided him to the way, this is to say that Allah swt did not just leave insan to himself after giving him the powers of knowledge and reason, but also He swt guided him so that he knows which is the path of gratefulness and which is the path of ungratefulness. Thus when insan makes a choice he is fully responsible for his choice for he knows both paths.

Allah swt speaks here in the majestic sense, demonstrating and highlighting His awe ability and awe knowledge of everything. Insan was thus shown by the One Al Mighty, thus there is no flaw in the way man is shown or the detail of the path is shown to him.


immaa – either. This particle is used to introduce each of the two choices.


shaakiran – grateful, thankful. This word has become mansoob, in accusative case (with the fathas.) This primarily would refer to gratitude towards Allah, which is by believing in Him, obeying Him, remembering His favours, feeling thankful towards Him and the likes of that. The opposite of which would be disbelief. Allah has an attribute with the same root, which is Ash-Shakoor. The meaning of that is stronger and more emphasised than shaakir because of the pattern or shape of the word. Shukoor is in the pattern of fa3ool which was discussed in some previous thread, whereas Shaakir is a simple active participle.


wa immaa – this introduces the other choice or option.


kafoora – ungrateful. This is very much linked with disbelief; it is from the same root kafara. That is because disbelief in Allah is an extreme of ingratitude towards Him. This word is in the same pattern fa3ool as mentioned above, so this meaning is stronger than for shaakiran, showing the severity of this trait.

A similar meaning to this ayah comes elsewhere in Quran such as:

وَهَدَيْنَـهُ النَّجْدَينِ

And We guided him to the two ways. [90:10] meaning, `We explained to him the path of good and the path of evil.’

The main theme to this is about free choice. Allah has not made just one way and forced everyone to obey Him. We are not like angels who don’t have a choice in what they do, but it is up to us which of the two paths we want. Some examples are also given in Quran about those who were guided but they rejected that:

وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّواْ الْعَمَى عَلَى الْهُدَى

And as for Thamud, We guided them but they preferred blindness to guidance. [41:17]

إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

Whether he be grateful or ungrateful.

After Allah swt shows man the path, then he leaves his destiny in his own hand. As the hadith in Muslim from Abu Malik Al Ash’ari “All of mankind wakes up in the morning the merchant of his own soul. So he either imprisons it or sets it free”.

As Ibn Katheer RA says ‘This is his decree, thus with this he is either wretched or happy’.

Allah swt does not only give insan knowledge so that he may make the right choice, Allah swt equips insan with many faculties to aid him in being grateful and making the right choice.

Allah swt has given insan faculties of knowledge, reason and moral sense.

Allah swt has given man the faculty of Conscience (Lawwamah), which checks and probes him on evils he wants to commit.

Allah swt has put in the environment and universe countless signs that remind man of the bounties of Allah swt and guide him to being grateful, like hints in a test.

Allah swt reminds him of history and experience in his own life, again reminding him of the right path and to be grateful.

Finally Allah swt sent books, Prophets to remind insan of the path and how to be grateful.

This all together adds up to why Allah swt says ‘inaa hadayna hussabeela”. Allah swt showed insan the way not by one form of guidance but by many, and thus the majestic plural emphasis that, that it is totally encompassing, that insan has no excuse for his misguidance and ungratefulness, if that be the path he chooses.

This also links with the Ayah wa law yu ajilullahu linas…Allah swt rushes to us goodness, He swt provides us so much support in guidance, yet insan still is distracted. If all this good in the form of support, faculties and reminders did not exist one can only imagine what our condition would have been. Therefore even for those who are guided and grateful about it, it is only by His swt mercy that it is such and not any achievement on our behalf.

wa minallahi ta ala at-Tawfeeq wal hidayah And Allah knows best.

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“Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of Allah. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which, with Allah, is the best of months. Its days, the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its hours, the best of hours. It is the month, which invites you to be the guests of Allah and invites you to be one of those near to Him. Each breath you take glorifies Him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and your supplications are answered. So, ask Allah, your Lord; to give you a sound body and an enlightened heart so you may be able to fast and recite His Book, for only he is unhappy who is devoid of Allah’s forgiveness during this great month.

“Remember the hunger and thirst of the Day of Qiyamah (Judgment) with your hunger and thirst; give alms to the needy and poor, honor your old, show kindness to the young ones, maintain relations with your blood relations; guard your tongues, close your eyes to that which is not permissible for your sight, close your ears to that which is forbidden to hear, show compassion to the orphans of people so compassion may be shown to your orphans. Repent to Allah for your sins and raise your hands in du’a during these times, for they are the best of times and Allah looks towards his creatures with kindness, Replying to them during the hours and granting their needs if He is asked…

“O People! Indeed your souls are dependent on your deeds, free it with istighfar (repentance) lighten its loads by long prostrations (sujood); and know that Allah swears by his might: That there is no punishment for the one who prays and prostrates and he shall have no fear of the Fire on the day when man stands before the Lord of the Worlds.

“O People! One who gives iftaar to a fasting person during this month will be like one who has freed someone and his past sins will be forgiven.”

Some of the people who were there then asked the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم): “Not all of us are able to invite those who are fasting?” The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) replied: “Allah gives this reward even if the iftaar (meal) is a drink of water.”

He (صلي الله عليه وسلم) continues, “one who has good morals (akhlaaq) during this month will be able to pass the Siraat (hair-thin bridge over the Hellfire which every individual must cross on the Day of Judgment) … on the day that feet will slip … One who covers the faults of others will benefit in that Allah will curb His anger on the Day of Judgment.

“As for one who honors an orphan; Allah will honor him on the Day of Judgment. And for the one who spreads his kindness, Allah will spread His mercy over him on the day of Judgment.

“As for the one who cuts the ties of relation; Allah will cut His mercy from him.

“Whoever performs a recommended prayer in this month Allah will keep the fire of Hell away from him. Whoever performs an obligatory prayer, Allah will reward him with seventy prayers [worth] in this month.

“And whoever prays a lot during this month will have his load lightened on the day of measure. He who recites one verse of the Holy Qur’an will be given the rewards of reciting the whole Qur’an during other months.

“O People! Indeed during this month the doors of Heaven are open, therefore ask Allah not to close them for you; the doors of Hell are closed, so ask Allah to keep them closed for you. During this month Shaytaan is imprisoned, so ask your Lord not to let him have power over you.”


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Example Ramadan schedule


Half hour before start of Fajr

Recite Quran / Durood/ Various Dhikr

30-45 minutes

Fajr in Masjid

For men: Receives the reward for staying up half the night in Ibada/Worship

For women: More reward is given to the female who prays at home

Fajr Salaat Time for Local Masjid

Recite Quran/Surah Yasin

Silent Muraqaba: Reflect on one’s spiritual state in order to increase nearness to Allah

End of Fajr Salaat until 15 minutes after Sunrise

Salaat Ishraq

Receives the reward of a perfect Hajj and Umrah

15 minutes after Sunrise


After Salaat Ishraq until time to get ready for school or work

School/ Work

During the day, main concentration is to avoid sin wherever possible and be in a constant state of sincere Dhikr.


Family time/ Rest

After arriving home until 1 hour before Iftar

Recite Quran / Nafl Salaat/ Make up Salaat that was missed throughout year.

Any Nafl Salaat preformed is equal to a Fard salaat.

1 hour before Iftar


Eat slow and in moderation


Family Time/ Recite Surah Wa’aqiah

Until Isha

Isha/ Taraweeh


Recite Quran/ Surah Mulk/ Reflect on how to make tomorrow more beneficial.

20-30 minutes before bed


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Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Allah’s Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur’an. Allah’s Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds) [Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 5]

The Messenger of Allah(SAW) said, ‘Fasting and reciting Qur’an intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: O Allah, I prevented him from eating and satiating his lawful lust, so let me intercede on his behalf; and the Qur’an will say: I prevented him from sleeping during the night, so let me intercede for him.’ (Ahmad & Tabaraani)

Abu Umaamah(RA) reports that (SAW) said: “Recite the Quran for indeed it will come on the Day of Judgment as an intercessor for its Ashaab (those who read, memorise and implement it)

The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast [Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 31, Number 178]

Open your fast with dates, if it is not possible with dates then with water, dates is blessed and water purifies [Tirmidhi (Kitab ul Zakat) and Abu Dawood (Kitab ul Saum)]

The difference between our fasting and that of the people of the Book is eating shortly before dawn and the meal is blessed [Muslim: Book 006, No 2412-2413]

There should be a time span of at least fifty verses between our Suhur and observing of salat [Muslim: Book 006, Number 2415]

To feed a person fasting to open his fast is righteous, the reward for it is the same as the person fasting while no reward is deducted from the person fasting [Tirmidhi (Kitab ul Saum)]

The Sahabah asked: “Oh messenger of Allah none of us finds means wherewith to give food to a fasting man!”

He (SAW) replied: “Allah will bestow this reward on one who gives food to a fasting man even if it is a sip of milk or a date or a sip of water. And whosoever gives satisfaction to a man, Allah will give him a drink from my fountain that will not make him thirsty till he will enter Paradise. And it is a month of which the beginning is mercy, the middle is forgiveness and the end is freedom from the fire. And whosoever makes light the (burden of) his covenanted slaves therein, Allah will forgive him, and He will make him free from the fire.” [Mishkat ul Masabih]


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The parts of Ramadan

“This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s mercy, the middle of which brings his forgiveness, and the last part of which brings freedom from the fire of Jahanum”

– Baihaqi

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Ramadan reciting charts

To finish the recitation of the full qur’an in 3 days by reading 10 ajzaa per day:

Day 1:

After Fajr – 1 & 2
After Dhuhr – 3 & 4
After ‘Asr – 5 & 6
After Maghrib – 7 & 8
After Qiyaam ul Layl- 9 & 10

Total = 10
same manner for day 2/3

To finish the recitation of the full qur’an in 5 days by reading 6 ajzaa per day:

Day 1:

After Fajr – 1
After Dhuhr – 2
After ‘Asr – 3 & 4
After Maghrib – 5
After Qiyaam ul Layl – 6

Total = 6
same manner for day 2/3/4/5

To finish the recitation of the full qur’an in 10 days by reading 3 ajzaa per day:

Day 1:

After Fajr – Half of first juz
After Dhuhr – 2nd half first juz
After ‘Asr – Whole of 2nd Juz
After Maghrib – Half of 3rd juz
After Qiyaam ul Layl – 2nd half of 3rd juz

Total = 3
same manner for day 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

To finish the recitation of the full qur’an in 15 days by reading 2 juz per day:

Day 1:

After Fajr – Half of first juz
After Dhuhr – 2nd half first juz
After ‘Asr – Half of 2nd Juz
After Maghrib – 2nd half of 2nd Juz

Total = 2
same manner for day 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15

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‘Adiyy ibn Haatim said:

“The people destined for the Fire will be ordered towards Paradise until they come close to it and smell its fragrance, see its palaces and what Allaah has prepared in it for its people. Then an announcement will be made that they be turned away from it. There will be no portion for them in it. They will return in loss and ruin just like the ones before them. Then they will say: ‘O our Lord! If you had entered us into the Fire before You showed us what You have shown us from Your reward and what You have prepared for your friends and allies, it would have been easier upon us.’ Then the Exalted will say: ‘This is what I intended with you. When you used to be alone you would combat me (or show boldness to Me) with grave sins and when you used to meet people you would meet them with humility. You would show to the people other than that which you used to give Me from your hearts. You feared people but you did not fear Me. You honored the people but you did not honor Me, you abandoned actions for the people but you did not abandon them for Me. This day, will I make you taste a tormenting punishment as well as prevent you from receiving that reward.”

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Silence and speech

One of the people of wisdom used to say:

“When a man is speaking in a gathering and his speech amazes him, let be silent. When he keeps silent and his silence amazes him let him speak.”

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