Isra Wal Miraj The Opening Of The Universe For Mankind: Tafsir Surah al Najm (53)

084e4b734b8cd521b3d668c6006214bcIt is clear from the prophet Muhammad’s (saws) own words that He (saws) understood there is knowledge in everything which needs to be studied and discovered before it can be known, today for mankind science fulfils this role.

The Prophet – praise and peace be upon him – said, “Indeed, knowledge has a branch which resembles a hidden thing (it needs to be discovered); no one grasps it except those who know Allah.” Allah in the Quran speaks about all aspects of creation, but much of it was beyond the understanding of the desert Arabs living 1400 years ago, Allah says: “And we strike these similitudes for the people, but none understands them except those who know.” (29:42).

Regarding this the prophet (saws) said, “Indeed, there is an external meaning and an internal meaning to the Qur’an, a scope and a point.” Ali, pointing to his breast, said, “Indeed, herein lies abundant knowledge; would that there were some to (comprehend and) transmit it.”

It was because not every person was capable of understanding science that the prophet (saws) said, “We prophets were ordered to communicate with everyone according to his ability to understand.” This is because there was a danger in trying to teach people science they would not be able to prove for another 1400 years, so the prophet (saws) warned, “No one has ever recited a prophetic quotation to a people which their minds have failed to grasp without it being a temptation for them.”

The prophet taught the scientific meanings behind specific verses to the companions who could grasp them and they understood the dangers of trying to teach knowledge that could not be visibly proven. Allah said in the Quran, “It is Allah who has created the seven heavens and of (the) earth, their like (meaning the other planets); and between them the Command descends (the Laws of Physics governing space and every reaction in it)” (65:12). Ibn Abbas (r.a) said about this verse, “Were I to relate its interpretation you would stone me” or “you would have said, ‘He is an unbeliever’”.

Abu Hurrah similarly said, “I have received from the Prophet of Allah two things (types of knowledge), one of which I have made public. Were I to divulge the other, this throat would be cut.” The prophet (saws) said, “Abu-Bakr has excelled you not by excessive fasting and much prayer, but by a secret (knowledge) which rests in his chest.” His ability to understand science and everything the prophet (saws) taught him about the universe and Allah and so Allah generally valued those who could understand knowledge about this universe over those who couldn’t.

Allah said in the Quran “Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed.” (39:9)

The tafsir to Isra wal Miraj based on surah al Najm (53) was written according to the themes of each verse which outlined the topics and scientific themes Allah was mentioning, this then made the bigger picture Allah was drawing for us very clear. Isra wal Miraj was a spiritual journey through the universe to it’s limit called “sidrat al muntaha”, spiritual here means the prophet (saws) saw the spiritual world with his heart and eyes, keeping in mind Allah taught the Quran through revelation which was revealed to mans heart, how man is able to see spiritually and receive revelation in scientific terms I have written about in detail elsewhere, but understanding the how makes the connection between each verse very clear and the larger picture more obvious to those who already have knowledge, “but none understands them except those who (already) know” (29:42).

At present this tafsir is the latest tafsir we have written and builds upon our previous work which can be read at our site http://ghayb.com/tafsir-al-quran/, this will help people gain greater insight into our words, one in particular which should be kept in mind is the tafsir to surah al Shams (91), it has great relevance here, you will also find other resources relevant to this work at the end, Jazak Allah Khair.

Isra Wal Miraj Is What Allowed Mankind To Discover Science As We Know It
It is the reason why Allah revealed the verse; “In time We shall make them fully understand Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within themselves, so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth.” [Qur’an 41:53]

The prophet (saws) was the first to be shown the entire universe, on this night He (saws) was taken to the end of the subatomic universe called sidrat al muntaha, the furthest limit, located at the Arsh of Allah, He (saws) was Honoured by going further beyond this limit to a place Allah called the station of two bows length, surah al Najm (53) mentions this event. Continue reading

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Tafsir Surah al Najm (53: 42-62)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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The language and rhythm of this surah is unique, Allah begins verse 33 with a short question “Have you then seen him who turns his back?” and follows this with a number of phrases begining with “And”. Here Allah is both setting the style and pacing of the verses to come and does this for almost the remainder of the surah, if we look at how this was done in the previous verses (33-41) it becomes clear why, towards the end of this pattern;

 

  • 53:33  Have you then seen him who turns his back?
  • 53:34  And gives a little and (then) withholds.
  • 53:35  Has he the knowledge of the unseen so that he can see?
  • 53:36  Or, has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Musa?
  • 53:37  And (of) Ibrahim who fulfilled (the commandments):
  • 53:38  That no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another-
  • 53:39  And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for-
  • 53:40 And that his striving shall soon be seen-
  • 53:41  Then shall he be rewarded for it with the fullest reward-

By using this language, which is more apparent in Arabic, Allah is more clearly coupling subjects in the verses together over an extended number of verses, elsewhere in the Quran this is usually done within a verse by simply mentioning things side by side.

It then shouldn’t be a surprise how Allah continues the next verses…

  • 53:42  And that to your Lord is the goal,
  • 53:43  And He it is, Who makes you laugh and cry.
  • 53:44  And that He it is Who causes death and gives life (creates in the next life)
  • 53:45  And that He created the two spouses, the male and female,
  • 53:46  From a drop (of sperm) if it gets lodged (in the womb),
  • 53:47  And that upon Him is your last creation (resurrection).
  • 53:48  And that it is He alone who frees from want and causes to possess;
  • 53:49  And that He is the Lord of Sirius (the star);
  • 53:50  And that He did destroy the Ad of old
  • 53:51  And Samood, so He spared not
  • 53:52  And the folk of Noah before, Truly they were more unjust and more rebellious;
  • 53:53  And the overthrown cities did He overthrow, (Sodom and Gomorrah)
  • 53:54  So there covered them (in rubble) that which covered.
  • 53:55  So which of your Lord’s benefits will you then dispute about?

To your Lord is the return of all created beings after they die and their destination will be to Him in the Hereafter; and it is He Who makes you laugh, whomever He will He makes joyous, and makes you weep, whomever He will He makes him sorrowful, and it is He Who brings death, in this world, and gives life, for resurrection, and He [Himself] creates the two spouses, the two kinds, the male and the female, from a drop [of semen] once it is emitted, [once] it is poured forth into the womb, and that with Him rests the second genesis, the other creation, for the Resurrection, after the first creation. Continue reading

Tafsir Surah al Najm (53:33-41)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Allah continues…“Have you then seen him who turns his back? And gives a little and (then) withholds.” (53:33-34)

Allah then brings an example to the pagans from among themselves, Mujahid and Ibn Zayd said: “This was revealed about al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah. The latter had followed the religion of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. But one of the idolaters reviled him for it, saying: ‘Why did you leave the religion of the elders whom you claimed were in error and are abiding in hellfire?’ He said: ‘I feared Allah’s chastisement’. The man gave him assurances that he will bear in his stead the chastisement of Allah, glorious and majestic is He, in exchange for some of his wealth and on condition that he reverts to his idolatry. Al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah gave the man some of what they had agreed but then felt miserly and refused to give him the rest. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. (Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi)

This is an example of a man from among them who was blind to the Laws governing the unseen, making deals about his afterlife from pure guess work, just as Allah pointed out to them earlier that they were making guesses about their idols, so this is meant to illustrate to them their own actions.

Allah continues…“Has he the knowledge of the unseen so that he can see? Or, has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Musa? And (of) Ibrahim who fulfilled (the commandments)”.(53:35-36)

Allah then questions if He has any knowledge of the unseen, the question is really a challenge to the pagans because the prophet (saws) who they were accusing did have knowledge of the Laws governing the unseen and their lives. Allah then reminds them that they were informed about what the scripture of Musa (as) and Abraham (as) said.

“(And Abraham who paid his debt) i.e. he conveyed the message of his Lord and acted upon that which Allah had commanded him; it is also said that this means: he did as he was told in his dream vision”(Tanwir al Miqbas min Tafsir ibn Abbas, 53:37)

Allah then points out the Laws most relevant to their actions… “That no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another. And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for. And that his striving shall soon be seen. Then shall he be rewarded for it with the fullest reward”(53:38-41) Continue reading

Tafsir Surah al Najm (53:19-32)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Allah continues, “Have you then considered al Lat and Uzza, And Manat, the third, the last? What! for you (pagans) the males and for Him (Allah) the females! (A reference to the Angles) This indeed is an unjust division! They are naught but names (for your idols) which you have named, you and your fathers; Allah has not sent for them any authority. They follow naught but conjecture and the low desires which (their) souls incline to; and certainly the guidance has come to them from their Lord. Or shall man have what he wishes? Nay! for Allah is the hereafter and the former (life).” (53:19-25)

“It was said that the verse means: do you deem that your worship of (the idols) al-Lat, al-‘Uzza and Manat in the life of the world will benefit you in the Hereafter. No, it will surely not benefit you. As for al-Lat it was an idol which was worshipped in Thaqif (by that tribe); al-‘Uzza was a tree in Batn al-Nakhlah which (the tribe of) Ghatafan worshipped; while Manat was an idol in Mecca which was worshipped beside Allah by (the tribes) Hudhayl and Khuza’ah.” (Tanwir al Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, 53:20)

Allah switches the subject from highest state a person can achieve “Certainly he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord” to the lowest state of humanity that the pagans of Makkah were involved in, worshiping their idols, “Have you then considered Lat and Uzza, And Manat, the third, the last?”.

After establishing the prophets ability to receive revelation He now questions the pagans themselves and the lives they are living which was stopping them from comprehending.

If a person physically trains everyday his increased health gives him clarity in his self, if he is lethargic then his unhealthy state shapes his mind, character and heart in a bad way, in a similar way our moral or immoral actions shape who we are from the physiological level to the psychological and spiritual level, so Allah wants to point out this contrast between perfection and corruption to the pagans by switching the subject to them.

“The meaning then is, ‘Inform Me: do these idols have the power over anything, such that you worship them besides Allah Who has the power over all that has been mentioned?’ And because of their assertion also that the angels were Allah’s daughters, despite their aversion to daughters, the following was revealed: What! for you (pagans) the males and for Him (Allah) the females!” (Tafsir al Jalalayn, 53:20).

Allah begins the questioning of the pagans by mentioning the unjust reality they are painting against Him, He says to them ‘you worship Idols that have no power and relegate Allah to something that is unacceptable in your society’, since they hated the birth of females, How could you have a clear perspective of the truth when you bury it behind stories that push it away.

So Allah then accuses them of being unbalanced “This indeed is an unjust division!” because being unjust is a result of being unbalanced and that is the subtext of the surah, comparing the prophets (saws) inner nature to the pagans who are deluded by their made up religion.

Allah continues…“They are naught but names (for your idols) which you have named, you and your fathers; Allah has not sent for them any authority. They follow naught but conjecture and the low desires which (their) souls incline to; and certainly the guidance has come to them from their Lord.”(52:23)

Allah ties everything He is accusing them of back to mans nature by saying to them you only worship them because you follow your low desires “they worship them because they follow their own desires.” (Tafsir ibn Abbas) they accuse the prophet (saws) of not being capable of receiving revelation and seeing the unseen clearly all the while they worship stones and wood as their gods, so then how can you claim you see clearly when you can’t see beyond these pieces of stone and wood you say are your gods. Continue reading

Tafsir Surah al Najm (53:1-18)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

084e4b734b8cd521b3d668c6006214bc“by the stars when they set” [1]

There are three opinions regarding this verse, the first is that Allah swore by the stars when they set like the sun on the horizon, the second is that Allah swore by the constellation Pleiades (a seven star cluster) when it sets like the sun, and the third is that Allah swors by the Qur’an when Gabriel takes it down to Muhammad in instalments (nujuman), because the word star in arabic can also mean instalments or something given in parts so the verse would then read ““by the instalments of the Quran”.

Once we consider why Allah is taking this oath, mentioned in the next verses, it becomes clear Allah is referring to both the stars when they set and the Quran coming down in instalments. Even if the Pleiades is meant because Allah uses the general name of stars instead, the constellation in its role to guide at night would represent all stars because Allah mentions the star sirius by name later in this surah rather then generally. In the verse Allah refers to the verses of the Quran being given to the prophet (saws) with the descriptive imagery of the stars as they are setting like the sun, He is tying the two pictures together, had Allah wanted He could have stated the Quran being sent down in more literal and clear terms but chose this specific phrasing instead.

“Ibn ‘Abbas said regarding the interpretation of Allah’s saying (By the Star when it setteth): ‘(By the Najm when it setteth) He says: Allah swears by the Qur’an when Gabriel takes it down to Muhammad in instalments (nujuman): one, two, three or four verses at a time. There was a 20 years interval between the first and last verses. When this verse was revealed, ‘Utbah Ibn Abi Lahab heard that the Prophet (pbuh) swore by the revelation of the Qur’an in instalment and so he said: “Tell Muhammad that I disbelieve in the instalments of the Qur’an”. When the Prophet (pbuh) was informed of this, he prayed: “O Allah! Set on him one of Your wild beasts”. Later, Allah set on him a lion near Harran that snatched him from among his friends and took him to a place nearby. It tore him apart from head to foot but did not eat him because of his impurity, just as the Prophet (pbuh) had prayed against him.” (Tanwir al Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, 53:1)

It may seem clear from the hadith the verse is referring to only the Quran yet of 47 translations of the Quran only two refer to the Quran in instalments, the rest mention the stars, which is the opinion of the mufasireen, the commentators of the Quran.

Allah continues, “Your comrade erreth not, nor is deceived; Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired, Which one of mighty powers hath taught him” (53:2-5)

Allah takes an oath by the setting of the stars that the prophet (saws) did not make a mistake and wasn’t deceived by what he was receiving, so the topic here is inspiration and right judgment, Allah then stresses this subject with the next verse by saying the prophet doesn’t even speak from his own desire and emphasis it again by literally saying it is inspiration that is inspired in him by the Angel Gabriel.

Continue reading