I was listening to Surah Ar-Ra’ad on the way home today. Absolutely beautiful sets of contrast presented in this surah, one after another.
One of the parallels we can benefit from is the similarity between water and the Qur’an itself. Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) has created water such that it is not only pure, but also purifying. The Qur’an too is pure and purifying in the effect it has on people. Just as water comes down from the sky and gives life to the earth, revelation also comes down from above and gives life to the earth (the homes where Qur’an is not recited are compared to lifelessness and graveyards). When water comes down, all sorts of plants and forms of life benefit. When Qur’an comes, different kinds of people benefit. Thinking even more deeply about this, water is consumed and utilized in so many different ways. Similarly, the Qur’an brings benefit to people in countless ways .. by its recitation, by its meanings and rulings, by ruqyah, and so on. The Qur’an reminds us of good news when we need uplifting, and reminds us to stay on track when we need to hear a warning. Allah tells us in ayah 4 of this surah, that although the same water is coming down and supplying the same nutrients …
وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِي الأُكُلِ
“..We make some of them exceed others in [quality of] fruit.”
…Some of the fruits come out good and others not so good. The Qur’an comes to the same household with the same message, but one person may take the message and the reminder, the other may not. One sibling may attend every halaqah in the community, and the other may be in a completely different world and lead a totally different life. Different responses to the same message.
With some plants, they actually become a source of life or protection for other plants. Think of the moss that grows around the lower sides of a tree or the insects that rely entirely on shade that’s provided over them .. if they were exposed directly to the sunlight, they would perish. Similarly, the Messengers of Allah (‘alayhis salaam) “took the heat” so that we would be provided shade. SubhanAllah.
This surah in particular reminds me most of my dad and his love for farming. Allah has blessed my dad with a kind of wisdom that’s fueled by his interaction with nature. If I sit with him for an hour, at least 2-3 examples or metaphors he’ll present to me will have something to do with the process Allah has created for foliage to sprout, grow, and eventually die. Allah bless his efforts and give him a long life, ameen.
P.S.: Notes are from Al Huda and previous classes.