Juz 19 Of 30 - Journeying Our Eyes Through The Qur'an

The 19th Juz consists of Surat al-Furqan (last 56 verses, The Criterion), Surat al-Shu’ara (227 verses, The poets) and Surat an-Naml (first 55 verses, The Ants) – all Meccan. The first two suras discuss the Quraish’s rejection of the Qur'an, and their displeasure with the prophet. The root meaning of ‘Furqan’ is to split or fracture, and the Qur'an is referred to as such because it differentiates/splits between good and evil. It provides the light in the darkness of our confusion, helping us to recognize the truth. Surat al Shu’ara further describes the incredible role the prophet has played in bringing to us this guidance, and how the people have still abandoned it. The Qur'an is complete in its divinity, its greatness the very proof of truth, and as revealed in the next Surat an-Naml, the Qur'an is from God, the all-wise, and is the most tangible thing we have from Him. Approaching the nights of Qadr, we should ask ourselves if we truly embrace the Qur'an as our criterion and pray for the ability to build our relationship with it so we don’t get counted amongst those who abandoned it.

Innaa Hadha Al Qur'ana Yahdee li-latee hiya aqwamu wo yo-bashir 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 19. '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. Asalam wa-alakum and welcome to the 19th episode in this podcast series titled "Journeying Our Eyes Through the Qur'an", exploring 30 juz 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 19th juz of the Qur'an, as we enter the last ten nights, we are also simultaneously entering the last part of our exploration of the Qur'an.

And as we turn towards the end of this endeavor, inshaAllah, we pray that we are able to appreciate these parts of the Qur'an even more in these holy nights, nights which have been explained in an incredible way within the Qur'an itself. Today, we will explore juz 19, which consists of the latter fifty-six verses of Surat al-Furqan: the twenty-fifth chapter of the Qur'an, which can be translated as "The Criterion" and is a chapter that is named after the Qur'an itself.

After Surat al-Furqan comes Chapter Twenty-six, which is Surat al-Shu'ara, The Poets, and the first fifty-five verses of Surat an-Naml or The Ants. All of these Surahs are Meccan. Both Surat al-Furqan and Surat al-Shu'ara, both discuss the Quraysh's rejection of the Qur'an and their displeasure at the humanness of Rasul Allah, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. It is these verses about the Qur'an and its revelation that we will be exploring for the next few days.

Surat al-Furqan begins with the following verse: "tabaarakal lazee nazzalal Furqaana 'alaa 'abdihee li yakoona lil'aalameena nadheera"(25:1) 'Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all the nations' . Over here, we see that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala uses the word Furqan, which is translated as the Criterion, as a name for the Qur'an and this is where the chapter gets its name. The word Furqan comes from the root word Fa-ra-qa, which means "to split" or "to fracture". And it's one of the names of the Qur'an, but we might be wondering why.

Why would the word meaning split be a name for the Qur'an? The reason for this is that the Qur'an is what splits and differentiates between good and evil. It is a criterion and it helps us determine the correct way to act and the incorrect ways that we should not act. It is a light for our ethical compass. In the following hadith narrated from Rasul Allah Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, narrated both in Al-Kafi and Tafsir al-Ayyashi, Rasul Allah Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam is narrated to have said the following: 'When trials overcome you like the darkness of the night sky, then hold tightly to the Qur'an, for it is a cure whose intercession is accepted and an advocate whose testimony is honest. Whosoever places it at the forefront, it will lead him to paradise. And when someone forsakes it or puts it behind them, it will drive them to the fire. It is a signpost that leads and points to the best way, a book where in details, clear exposition, and means of attaining [true felicity] are contained. It is the criterion and should not be taken lightly. It has both an exterior and a hidden interior. Its outer is decisive, while its inner is knowledge. Its outer is wonderfully elegant, while its inner is deep. It has underlying depths within which are further depths. Neither can its wonders be enumerated nor its marvels fathomed. It contains the lamp of guidance and the lighthouse of wisdom. It is a guide to the commendable course of action for those who recognize it.

As per this beautiful Hadith, the Qur'an is supposed to be a light for us in the darkness. When times are confusing, it is what helps us split between what God loves and what he does not love. It sheds light on principles which we should be able to hang onto as communities, as times become more confusing. As the Hadith says, it should essentially be a Furqan for us. It is what helps us recognize the truth, and then, as we recognize the truth, we're able to separate from evil. And if we take the Qur'an as our leader, it leads us to paradise.

But as we approach these nights of Qadr, a question to ask ourselves is: What is our criterion in life? Is the Qur'an really a leader in our lives? Do we take it as a light? Does it influence us? Does it serve this purpose in our lives? It is mentioned here as a Furqan. Does it serve this purpose in our communities, or are we fulfilling a scary prophecy that is mentioned with regards to the days of Qiyama? And that's mentioned also in Surat al-Furqan in versus 28 to 30.

Wa Yawma ya'adduz zalimu 'alaa yadaihi yaqoolu yaa laitanit takhaztu ma'ra Rassoli sabeelaa Yaa wailataa laitanee Iam attakhiz fulaanan khaleelaa, Laqad adallanee 'aniz zikri ba'da iz jaaa'anee; wa kaanash shaitaanu lil insaani khazoolaa ; wa qaalar rasoolu yaa rabbi inna qawmit takhazoo haazal qur-aana mahjooraa. (25:28-30) "A day when the wrongdoer will bite his hands saying, 'I wish I had followed the apostles way. Woe to me! I wish I had not taken so and so as a friend. Certainly, he led me astray away from the reminder after it had come to me', and Satan is a deserter of man. And the apostle will say, 'Oh my Lord, indeed, my people consigned and abandoned this Qur'an to oblivion'"

The verses mentioned here are rather telling of a state that many of us will be on the Day of Judgment, wishing that we had kept ourselves in better company, company and friends that were close in proximity to the Qur'an versus further away and will wish that we didn't ignore its reminders and cast it aside. The people quoted in this verse as mentioning their regrets are Muslims themselves, who, even though they had the truth, they rejected and abandoned the Qur'an's teachings.

The verse mentions that Rasul Allah will say, 'Ya rabbi inna qawmi et-takhethou hadha qur'aana mahjooraa.' That oh, my Lord, indeed my community, my people have taken this Qur'an as an abandoned thing.' The word used over here is the word 'mahjooraa', which is an ism il-maf'ul or the nounal form of an object, which comes from the verb 'hajara', which means to migrate or forsake, meaning that the Qur'an has been forsaken or migrated away from and parted with.

Later in this juz in the beginning of surat al-Shu' ara, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says the following. "'Taa- seeen - meeem ; Tilka Aayaatul Kitaabil Mubeen ; La'allaka baakhi'un nafsaka allaa yakoonoo mu'mineen; Innashaa nunazzil 'alaihim minas samaaa'i aayatan fazallat a 'naaquhum lahaa khaadi'een'; Wa maa yaateehim min zikrim minar rahmaani muhdasin illaa kaanoo 'anhu mu'rideen; Faqad kathaboo fasa yaateehim ambaaa'u maa kaanoo bihee yastahzi'oon; awa lam yaraw ilal ardi kam ambatnaa feehaa min kulli zawjin kareem; Inn fee zaalika la aayah ; wa maa kaana aksaruhum mu'mineen; Wa inna rabbaka la huwal 'Azeezur raheem"(26:1-9)

"' Taa - Seeen- Meeem, These are the signs of the Manifest book . You are liable to imperil your life out of distress, that they will not have faith. If we wish, we will send down to them a sign from the sky before which their heads will remain bowed in humility. There does not come to them any new reminder from the All Beneficent, but that they disregard it. They have already denied the truth. But soon there will come to them the news of what they have been deriding. Have they not regarded the Earth? How many of every splendid kind of vegetation we have cost to grow in it? There is indeed a sign in that, but most of them do not have faith. Indeed your Lord is the All-Mighty the All-Merciful.'" (26:1-9)

In these verses of surat al-Shu'ara, we see that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is describing the efforts with which Rasu Allah Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam took in order to ensure that he fulfilled his role as a prophet and did everything in his capacity to guide us. He worked so hard and became so invested in this that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions that it is as though he is putting his own life in distress, tormenting and almost killing himself with worry, showing the extent to which he made his efforts and the extent to which he cared as the verses say 'La-allaka Baakhi'un nafsaka' (26:3). It should fill us with love and appreciation to think about the efforts that Rasul Allah Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam made to ensure that we received the revelation of the Qur'an and the teachings of the truth.

And when thinking about the previous verses and the prophecy of what he will say on the Day of Judgment, a very clear picture is painted for us. We see the incredible efforts of Rasul Allah and the rejection of his community, us, of the revelation and word of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala that he worked so hard to preserve and to get to us. And unfortunately, until today, this Qur'an has not been appreciated by the quom or the community or the people who are supposed to hold it most dear to their hearts.

The Qur'an is incredible in its divinity. It was and is a proof for truth. Its greatness is attested to both within and without the Qur'an as described in surat al- Naml, also in this Juz in verse six, 'This Qur'an is from the proximity in the presence of the One who is the Most Wise and the Most Knowledgeable, as it says: 'Wa innaka latulaqqal Qur-aana mil ladun hakeemin 'aleem.'(27:6) This Qur'an is from none other than Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.' It is the most tangible thing that we have of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in this world.

And as we enter the last ten nights and days of this month in which this blessed book was revealed, let us reflect on our relationship with it and think about how we can continue to build our relationship with this Divine Book and not to be of those who are prophesied on the Day of Judgment who have abandoned the Qur'an.

Wa Al-Hamdulillah Rabb Al-Alameen wa sala allah alaa nabiyyina Muhammadin wa alihi al-tayibeen al-tahireen, wa assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa baraktu. Rabbana La tuzigh Qulubana (3:8)

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