In one of the talks by Sh. Saleh Al Maghamsi, he says that some of the greatest qualities Allah has praised his pious servants of possessing are three. When the ayaat of Allah are recited, they feel: (1) Fear and humbleness in their hearts (2) creeping of the skin (3) dropping of tears. Surah Al Haqqah has a way of causing one to experience all three.
With my students, I’m making a habit for us to listen to selected ayaat (most Makki Surahs) with concentration and reflection on the meanings. They leave each week with gems and action items from what we heard together in class. I’ve chosen Makki surahs since more of the ayaat are muhkamaat and easier for students to understand. They’re also perfect for young adults in strengthening their core beliefs and aqeedah. Seeing as how Rasulullah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) spent 13 years in Makkah, I’ve been meaning to ask someone of knowledge if these years have any bearing on how much time is needed for people to develop firm yaqeen and Iman? .. Food for thought.
It makes a lot of sense psychologically, if young people are introduced to Islam and more specifically, to Qur’an study, in the same chronological format the Qur’an was revealed because by the time they have a clear understanding of what they believe and why (which is the focus of Makki ayaat), inshaAllah they will have fewer issues when it comes to submitting to Allah’s commands and suppressing the nafs and ego when it’s most hardest to do so. When we study current data on behavior change, it’s almost like it’s taken directly from Allah’s methodology. We learn that behavior change is a gradual process that begins with a person coming to the conclusion that they need to change and this need is so urgent that if they don’t change their ways, something serious will happen. Once that urgency is developed, assessing the person’s desire, ability, and reasons for change help with creating an action plan and step-by-step process of letting go of the bad and creating room for new, more positive behaviors.
Surah Al Haqqah is one of those surahs that forces us to recognize the urgency in changing our ways. It gives a prelude as to which behaviors will lead to which destination, and Allah shows his love for us in this Surah by giving us a kind of preview of the Last Day, that only He ‘azzawajal can give. The imagery in this Surah is beyond words. What’s also interesting to note is the mention of a specific measurement when it comes to the chain that will be used to bind the criminals. One of my teachers shared that by Allah (swa) stating this measurement, we learn that everything in Jannah and Jahannum is calculated. What is calculated in Jahannum? The levels, the number of people, the temperature, etc. It’s extremely scary thought but it’s important to understand why Allah presents the kind of imagery and examples that He does, subhanahu wata’alah. Ayaat such as these also make us more cognizant and increase our zeal for da’wah inshaAllah.
- The Inevitable Hour!
- What is the Inevitable Hour?
- What will explain to you what the Inevitable Hour is?
- The people of Thamud and ‘Ad denied that the crashing blowwould come:
- Thamud was destroyed by a deafening blast;
- Ad was destroyed by a furious wind
- That God let loose against them for seven consecutive nights, eight consecutive days, so that you could have seen its people lying dead like hollow palm-trunks.
- Can you see any trace of them now?
- Pharaoh, too, and those before him, and the ruined cities: these people committed grave sins and disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with an ever-tightening grip.
- But when the Flood rose high,
- We saved you in the floating ship,
- Making that event a reminder for you: attentive ears may take heed.
- When the Trumpet is sounded a single time,
- When the earth and its mountains are raised high and then crushed with a single blow,
- On that Day the Great Event will come to pass.
- The sky will be torn apart on that Day, it will be so frail.
- The angels will be on all sides of it and, on that Day, eight of them will bear the throne of your Lord above them.
- On that Day you will be brought to judgement and none of your secrets will remain hidden.
- Anyone who is given his Record in his right hand will say, ‘Here is my Record, read it.
- I knew I would meet my Reckoning,’
- And so he will have a pleasant life
- In a lofty Garden,
- With clustered fruit within his reach.
- It will be said, ‘Eat and drink to your heart’s content as a reward for what you have done in days gone by.’
- But anyone who is given his Record in his left hand will say, ‘If only I had never been given any Record
- And knew nothing of my Reckoning.
- How I wish death had been the end of me.
- My wealth has been no use to me,
- And my power has vanished.’
- ‘Take him, put a collar on him,
- Lead him to burn in the blazing Fire,
- And [bind him] in a chain seventy metres long:
- He would not believe in Almighty God,
- He never encouraged feeding the hungry,
- So today he has no real friend here,
- And the only food he has is the filth
- That only sinners eat.’
- So I swear by what you can see
- And by what you cannot see:
- This [Quran] is the speech of an honoured messenger,
- Not the words of a poet- how little you believe!-
- Nor the words of a soothsayer- how little you reflect!
- This [Quran] is a message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds:
- If [the Prophet] had attributed some fabrication to Us,
- We would certainly have seized his right hand
- And cut off his lifeblood,
- And none of you could have defended him.
- This [Quran] is a reminder for those who are aware of God.
- We know that some of you consider it to be lies-
- This will be a source of bitter regret for the disbelievers-
- but it is in fact the certain Truth.
- So [Prophet] glorify the name of your Lord, the Almighty.
اللهم إني أعوذ بك من العجز والكسل والجبن والهرم، والبخل، وأعوذ بك من عذاب القبر، وأعوذ بك من فتنة المحيا والمم
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika minal-ajzi wal- kasali, wal-jubni wal-harami, wal-bukhli, wa a’udhu bika min ‘adhabil- qabri, wa a’udhu bika min fitnatil-mahya wal-mamat
O Allah, I seek refuge in You from helplessness (to do good), indolence, cowardice, senility, and miserliness; and I seek Your protection against the torment of the grave and the trials of life and death.