Juz 11 Of 30 - Journeying Our Eyes Through The Qur'an

Juz 11 covers the last 36 verses of Surat at-Tawbah, the entirety of Surah Yunus, and the first five verses of Surah Hud. Towards the latter part of Surat at-Tawbah, Allah (swt) talks about the ansar and muhajirun, the Muslims who struggled with Rasulullah (s) since the beginning of his mission. There is a remarkable lesson to learn from these Muslims which is to join the cause of Truth for the sake of Truth itself, not only when it is a fad. Sayyidah Khadijah (sa) is a beautiful example of the sabiqun i.e. those who were foremost. She was the first female to accept the message of Rasulullah (s) and sacrificed everything she had in the way of Truth. Unfortunately, not all Muslims were like the sabiqun and Allah (swt) also addresses the hypocrites who attempted to create division among the Muslims by building a mosque to gather and strategize against Rasulullah (s). When wanting to do something good, it’s important to remember that both the intention AND form matter. This is a concept emphasized continuously throughout the Qur’an and again in the examples mentioned.

Innaa Hadha Al-Qur'ana Yahdee li-latee hiya aqwamu wa yubashshir Al mu'mineen al-lathi ya'malun al-salihat anna lahum Ajran Kabira (17:9) [Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward (17:9)].

Juz 11. 'A'udhu billahi min al-shaytan al-rajim. Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, I begin in the name of Allah, compassionate to all, merciful to each. As-salamu alaykum, and welcome to the eleventh episode in this podcast series titled: "Journeying Our Eyes Through the Qur'an, exploring 30 years in 30 days". Today, inshaAllah, we will continue our journey through the pages of the Qur'an as we take a brief look into the 11th juz of the Qur'an, which consists of the last 36 verses of Surat at-Tawbah and the entirety of the 10th Surah, Surah Yunus, as well as five verses from Surah Hud.

In the previous episode while discussing Surat at-Tawbah we addressed some of the challenges that the early Muslims faced in some of the later battles, like the Battle of Hunayn and Tabuk, both of which took place towards the latter portion of Rasul Allah, Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam's life. The issue of hypocrites was becoming especially pronounced during this time period, and the discussion of hypocrisy is a major theme in Medinan and Surahs like Surat at-Tawbah. Among the verses in this discussion, which we will continue today, is verse 100 of Surat at-Tawbah, where we read the following.

Wa as-saabiquna alawwaluna min al-Muhaajireena wa al-Ansaari wa alladheena at-taba'uhum bi ihsaanin, radiya Allaahu 'anhum wa radoo 'anh, wa a'adda lahum jannaatin tajree tahtaha al-anhaaru khaalideena feehaaa abada. Dhaalika al-fawzu al-'adheem (9:100).  The early vanguard, the foremost of the immigrants and the helpers and those who followed them in virtue- Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with him. And He has prepared for them gardens with streams running in them to remain in them forever. That is the great success.

Here, amidst the discussion on hypocrites, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala points out the beauty of the Ansar, the helpers and residents of Medina, the Muhajirun, who are the immigrants of Mecca, and those who followed them or the Tabi'un. These were the groups who made up the majority of the earliest Muslims and Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's praise for them is not surprising, considering that many of the hypocrites were ones who had only joined Islam when it was opportunistic for them and they felt some type of material benefit.

Unlike them, there were Muslims who had struggled with Rasul Allah, Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, since the beginning of his message and his mission when it was not a fad and when it was not opportunistic. But it was difficult, hard and often to their detriment, even at the cost of their lives at certain times. But their interest had been with the truth of the message and their own salvation for the hereafter. There is a remarkable lesson to learn here from the Sabiqun, those who are foremost those who took initiative, and that is to join the cause of truth for the sake of truth itself as they did, not when it's easy, not when it's convenient and not when it's a fad.

Yesterday or today, depending on your Marja, time zone location, communities across the world have commemorated the death anniversary of Sayyida Khadijah, Salam Ullahi alayha, one of the four of the foremost, best women of paradise. She was definitively among the Sabiqun. She was one of the first. She was the first female to accept the message of Rasul Allah, Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, when he received his first revelation. Moreover, she supported and sacrificed everything that she had in the way of the truth, and this is what made,  Sayyida Khadijah, Salam Ullahi alayha, exceptional, it was her dedication, which was absolute, her whole dedication to Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala and InshaAllah that's what we can remember about her.

Unfortunately, not all of the Muslims were like  Sayyida Khadijah, Salam Ullahi alayha, and as the Muslims gained strength in the Arabian Peninsula, so did the number of Muslims who were so hypocritical that they even feigned to building a mosque for the sake of God in Medina. Their intention, however, was not God, and rather it was to sow division and have a headquarter for themselves where they wouldn't need to be bothered with the pious individuals who closely surrounded Rasul Allah, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, at the main mosque of Medina in Masjid an Nabi.

And so in this Surah from verses 107 to 110, we read the following story of mosques built on faith and the mosque built on hypocrisy with the intent of defiance and sabotage.

Wa alladhena ta-takhadhoo masjidan diraaranw wa kufran wa tafreeqan baina al-mu'mineena wa irsaada liman haaraba Allaha wa Rasulahu min qabl wa la yahlifunna in aradnaaa illa al-husnaa wa Allaahu yash-hadu innahum la kaadhiboon (9:107). Laa taqum feehi abadaa lamasjidun ussisa 'alat taqwaa min awwali yawmin ahaqqu 'an taqooma feeh; feehi rijaalun yuhibbuna 'any yata tah haroo; wa Allaahu yuhibbu ul-muttahhireen (9:108). Afa man assasa bunyaanahu 'alaa taqwaa min Allahi wa ridwaanin khairun am man assasa bunyaanahu 'alaa shafaa jurufin haarin fanhaara bihi fi naari Jahannam wa Allaahu la yahdil qawm adh-dhaalimeen (9:109). Laa yazaalu bunyaanuhumu alladhee banaw reebatan fi qulubihim illa an taqatta'a qulubuhum wa Allaahu 'Aleemun Hakeem (9:110).

As for those who took a mosque for sabotage and for defiance and to cause division among the faithful and for the purpose of ambush used by those who have fought Allah and his apostles before, they will surely swear we desired nothing but good. And Allah bears witness that they are indeed liars (9:107). Do not stand in it ever. A mosque founded on Godwariness from the very first day is worthier that you stand in it for prayer. There in are men who love to keep pure and other loves those who keep pure (9:108). Is he who found his building on Godwariness and the pursuit of a lust pleasure better off, or he who found his building on the brink of a collapsing bank which collapses with him into the fire of hell. Allah does not guide the wrongdoing lot (9:109). The building they have built will never cease to be a source of disquiet in their hearts until their hearts are cut into pieces and Allah is all knowing all wise (9:110).

Here in this section of verses, the emphasis is not on simply building mosques or centers to gather and pray. But rather, to build them with Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in mind front and center. This goes back to the theme that we explored back in Episode six, where the distinctions of Taqwa were mentioned that it is not only about the form or the action itself, but it's also about the quality of it, the intention, the sincere struggle for the sake of  Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.

We can see this come to life and illustrated once again quite clearly in this story. And it is such an important point that the mosque is dubbed in the Qur'an as Masjidan Diraran or a mosque of sabotage and hurt. And this mosque was destroyed on Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala order as he revealed the plot of the hypocrites who sought to build this mosque for other reasons. According to the Ahadith, they had claimed that their reason for building this mosque was that the sick would be able to attend easier. And they even asked Rasul Allah, Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, to come and open and bless the mosque with a set of prayers to start it off. However, the reality was that they wanted to have their own place of gathering, plotting for their own gains, and they wanted to use the approval of Rasul Allah for their benefit.

Theoretically speaking, building a mosque is, of course, a good thing, but depending on the reasons as to why we want to do good things, our action may become so corrupted. And this is why we return yet again to both the form and the intention when we are trying to ascertain the goodness of something. In this case, in this story, the form was a mosque, which is good, but the intention was corrupt. The situation of the Muslims was not easy for Rasul Allah to bear, and in his merciful nature, these events were immensely painful for him, especially when he saw that they were rejecting the truth.

On one hand, he was surrounded by hypocrites, and on the other, he was surrounded by Mushrikin. And both of them are rejecting the truth. And both of them were harming the Muslims. At the end of the surah there are two beautiful verses about Rasul Allah, Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, which we will now read.

Laqad jaaa'akum Rasulum min anfusikum 'azeezun 'alaihi maa 'anittum hareesun 'alaikum bi il-mu'mineena ra'oofu ar-raheem (9:128). Fa in tawallau faqul hasbiya Allaahu, la ilaha illa Huwa 'alaihi tawakkkaltu wa Huwa Rabbu al-'Arshi al-'Adheem (9:129). There has certainly come to you, an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress, he has a deep concern for you and is most kind and merciful to the faithful (9:128). But if they turn their backs on you say Allah is sufficient for me. There is no God except him. In him I have put my trust and he's the Lord of the great throne (9:129).

InshaAllah, we pray that we are able to stay true to the message of Rasul Allah, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, and that with any institution we build or found, we do so with the intentions of Sayyida Khadijah Salam Ullahi alayha and the sincere followers of Rasul Allah Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. We pray that we have intentions concerned with truth and God as opposed to opportunity and wealth like those who attempted to build a mosque of sabotage.

Wa Al-Hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi Al-Alameen, wa salla Allahu alaa nabiyyina Muhammadin, wa alihi, al-tayibeen, al-tahireen. Wa as-salamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa baraktu.

Rabbana La tuzigh Qulubana (3:8) [Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate (3:8)]

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