Juz 29 Of 30 - Journeying Our Eyes Through The Qur'an

The 29th juz has 10 makki surahs and 1 madani surah. Meccan surahs focus on aqeedah and one of the primary beliefs is the day of accountability. The Qur’an explores the theme of ma’ad in great depth. In Surah Ma’arij for example Allah swt describes the day as incredibly long, feeling as though it is 50,000 years. The prophet (s) however is told to look forward to this day, and find comfort in it. Since the day of judgment is a day of accountability, it is the day of true justice and a manifestation of God’s perfection. A question to ask ourselves is if we genuinely believe in the occurrence of this day? Do our beliefs manifest into actions?

Inna 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 29. '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 29th episode in this podcast series titled: "Journeying Our Eyes through the Qur'an, Exploring 30 juz in 30 days". For the next two episodes, as we wrap up this series and wrap up this beautiful and blessed month, for these episodes, we will focus on the last of the major themes of the Qur'an, which is Ma'ad, or the Return and the Resurrection, and the Afterlife.

Tomorrow, inshaAllah, we will close the series with a discussion of Heaven and Hell, while today we will explore the idea of the Day of Judgment. Many of these themes of eschatology, which means the study of the Afterlife, Resurrection, and so on and so forth, are discussed in these two juz. These two juz contain many Meccan chapters. In the twenty-ninth juz there are ten Meccans Surahs and one Medinan Surah, and the 30th juz has thirty-four Meccans Surahs and three Madinan and Surahs. As you can see, the vast majority of these are Meccan. And as we already know, Meccan chapters focus on issues of Aqeeda, primary beliefs. One of the primary beliefs and all divine faiths is the idea of accountability and life after death.

In today's episode, we will explore the idea of the Day of Judgment and all of the details that are mentioned in the Qur'an, which play a pretty pivotal role in the world view of the Qur'an. Surprisingly, this is a distinctive feature of the Qur'an because unlike other scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths, in particular the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, themes of Ma'ad and Resurrection actually play a minimal role in those texts. The Qur'an, on the other hand, explores it an incredible detail, giving us an idea of what will happen on that Day, its length and other details about it. This is a unique feature of the Qur'an.

Let's begin today's episode by taking a look at Surah Al-Ma'arij and reading from its verses, which begin with a discussion about the Day of Judgment.

Sa'ala saaa'ilun bi 'adhdhaabin waaqi'in (70:1). Lil kaafireena laisa lahoo daafi'(70:2). Min Allahi dhil-ma'aarij (70:3). Ta'ruju al-malaaa'ikatu wa ar-Ruhu ilaihi fee yawmin kana miqdaaruhoo khamseena alfa sanah (70:4). Fa asbir sabran jameelaa (70:5). Inaahum yarawnahoo ba'eedan (70:6). Wa naraahu qareebaa (70:7). Yawma takunu as-samaaa'u ka al-muhl (70:8). Wa takunu al-jibaalu ka al-'ihn (70:9). Wa la yas'alu hameemun hameemaa (70:10). Yubassaroonahum; ya waddu al-mujrimu law yaftadee min 'adhaabi yawma' idhim bibanih (70:11). Wa sahibatihi wa akhih (70:12). Wa fasilathi allatee tu'weeh (70:13). Wa man fil ardi jamee'an thumma yunjeeh (70:14). Kallaa innahaa ladhaa (70:15). Nazzaa'atan lishshawaa (70:16). Tad'oo man adbara wa tawalla (70:17). Wa jama'a fa aw'aa (70:18). Inna al-insana khuliqa haloo'aa (70:19). Idha massahu ash-sharru jazoo'aa (70:20). Wa idha massahu al-khairu manoo'aa (70:21). Illa al-musalleen (70:22). Alladheena hum 'alaa Salatihim daaa'imoon (70:23). Wa alladheena feee amwaalihim haqqun ma'loom (70:24). Lissaaa'ili wa al-mahroom (70:25). Wa alladheena yusaddiqoona bi Yawm id-Deen (70:26). Wa alladheena hum min 'adhaabi Rabbihim mushfiqoon (70:27).

A questioner questioned the imminent torment (70:1). For the disbelievers, none can repel it (70:2). From God, Lord of the ways of Ascent (70:3). And to Him, the angels and spirit ascend on a Day, the duration of which is fifty thousand years(70:4). So be patient with a sweet, beautiful patience (70:5). They see it distant (70:6). But we see it near (70:7). On the Day when the sky will be like molten brass (70:8). And the mountains will be like tufted wool (70:9). No friend will care about his friend (70:10). They will be shown each other the criminal wishes he would be redeemed from the punishment of that Day by his children (70:11). And his spouse and his brother (70:12). And his family that sheltered him (70:14). And everyone on Earth in order to save him (70:15). By no means! It is a raging fire (70:16). It strips away the scalps (70:17). It invites him who once turned his back and fled (70:18). And accumulated and hoarded (70:19). Man was created restless (70:20). Touched by adversity, he is fretful (70:21). Touched by good, he is ungenerous (70:22). Except the prayerful (70:22). Those who are constant at their prayers (70:23). And those in whose wealth is a rightful share (70:24). For the beggar and the deprived (70:25). And those who affirm the Day of Judgment (70:26). And those who fear the punishment of their Lord (70:27).

There are a few points worthy of note in this section from Surah Al-Ma'arij about the Day of Judgment and its events, five of which we will inshaAllah go through today. The first point, as mentioned in verse four, is that this day, the Day of Judgment is incredibly long, spanning 50.000 years. This day will feel extremely long and difficult, especially for those who are disbelievers, who will have an incredibly unpleasant time. On the other hand, in some ahadith, it is mentioned that this Day, despite its length, will be easy for the believers. In one narration it is mentioned that it will be as easy as one Wajib prayer in this world.

A second feature and well noteworthy point is that this will be a day in which there will be a lot of apocalyptical destruction and where the world that we know it, and the universe as we know it, will change into something else. As the verses we just read mention, the sky will be like molten brass and the mountains will be like tufted wool. These are describing instances of the destruction that will take place before the Day of Resurrection. And many of the chapters of this juz mention the various types of apocalyptical destruction that will take place.

In fact, in Surah Ibrahim, in verse 48, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala says the following: Yawma tubaddalu al-ardu ghaira al-ardi wa as-samawatu, wa baradhoo lil-Laahi, al-Waahidi, al-Qahhar (14:48). On the day when the earth is changed into another earth and the heavens and they will emerge before God, the One, the Irresistible (14:48). Here, it is basically saying that the world as we know it will change into something else on that Day.

A third point and feature of the Day of Resurrection is that sinners and those who are guilty, will only care for their own salvation and their own state. Recognizing the awful situation that they are in, they will want to given a ransom whatever, and whoever was most precious to them, even willing to give up their families. As the verses mention, no friend will care about their friend even though they see each other and they will be seeing each other, on that Day of Judgment, they will want to give up their spouse, their brothers, their own children for the sake of their own salvation (70:10-11). That is the situation of the desperation of those who are criminals on the Day of Judgment.

A fourth point that is mentioned in the set of verses and verses five to seven is the following, where it says: Fa asbir sabran jameelaa (70:5), have the beautiful patience and persevere with the beautiful patience, Inaahum yarawnahoo ba'eedan (70:6), indeed, you see it to be far off, Wa naraahu qareebaa (70:7), but we see it to be near. These sentences are particularly interesting because it is telling Rasul Allah, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, to have a beautiful patience until the Day of Resurrection.

Essentially the verses are saying to take comfort in the fact that the Day of Judgment is coming. And this is odd because we don't usually see the Day of Judgment as a source of comfort. And when the verse says that you see it to be far off, it doesn't mean that it is far off as in far into the future in terms of time, but rather that some people see it as far fetched and unlikely to happen. But we can take comfort. Or Rasul Allah can take comfort from the fact that it is coming, that it is likely to happen, and that it is going to happen.

A noteworthy point here is to think how this Day, how the Day of Judgment might be something that the Prophet would look forward to. It was a source of solace for him, a source of comfort. The Day of Judgment or the Day of Justice is a beautiful thing for believers like Rasul Allah, Sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.

And when we look at what the Day of Judgment is, we see that it's a Day of accountability. What this means is that every criminal, every oppressor will be held accountable for their crimes and justice will be served. Every good person will be repaid for every difficulty that they went through. It is a day of true justice and a manifestation of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's perfection. And as such, it's beautiful.

When we look at the Day of Judgment, in light of this, it's no longer a terrifying Day, but a Day of beauty, as long as we are not one of the oppressors. And when we look at it like this, we can begin to understand why it is something that Rasul Allah would look forward to and what Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala would say a phrase like: Fa asbir sabran jameelaa, or persevere with a beautiful patience in light of the idea of the Day of Judgment.

A fifth point over here to note, is that this Day of the Day of Judgment is a Day of different experiences. It is one where some faces will be bright and others will be overcast with gloom. The Day of Judgment is not experienced in the same way for everyone. In Surah Al-Qalam certain Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says the following: Khashi'atan absaruhum tarhaquhum dhillatun wa qad kanoo yud'awna ila as-sujoodi wa hum salimoon (68:43). Their eyes subdued, shame will cover them. They were invited to bow down when they were sound (68:43). It mentions that they will lower their gaze, that shame will cover them, because when they were invited to submit to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and they were able to, they did not.

In another vivid description of the Day and it stresses, it is mentioned that it will be a Day where even the hair of the youthful will turn white, as it says in Surah Al-Muzammil: Fa kaifa tattaqoona in kafartum yawman yaj'alu al-wildaana shaiba (73:17). So if you disbelieve, how will you avoid the day which will make children white headed (73:17).

With these five points mentioned about the Day of Judgment, its accountability and its experiences, we may wonder why Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions the Day of Judgment and concepts of Ma'ad so often throughout the Qur'an. It is one of the Usul Ad-Deen, and it is one of the foundational beliefs of Islam. But beyond that, unfortunately, sometimes, even though we say we are believers, sometimes we also see it as far fetched both in time and possibility. And so these reminders are important.

There's no doubt that we will be held accountable for everything that we do. And we see again this concept mentioned again and again, like, for example, in Surah Az-Zalzala, where it says the following: Yawma idhin yasduru an-nasu ashtatan liyurau a'malahum (99:6). Fa man ya'mal mithqala dharratin khairan yarah (99:7). Wa man ya'mal mithqala dharratin sharran yarah (99:8). That Day, the people will depart, separated into categories to be shown the result of their deeds (99:6). So whoever does and atom's weight of good will see it (99:7). And whoever does and atom's weight of evil will see it (99:8).

It's important to think, to consider and ask ourselves, do we genuinely believe in the occurrence of this Day? Do we act like we believe in the Day of Judgment? If we had a consistent awareness, the remembrance that death, accountability and the Day of Judgment are all going to arrive, would we act however it is that we are acting or do we forget about it? Has the belief in these basic tenets of Islam manifested itself in the ways that we act? And if it hasn't, or if it does sometimes, but not always, then what is it that we can change? How can we remember our accountability more often.

As believers who are constantly aware of this Day and who believe in it and reflect on it, the belief in this Day should push us to action with a full awareness of our actions. Beliefs are true beliefs when they are manifested into actions, as it mentions in the section that we just read from Surah Al-Ma'arij, at the beginning of this episode, that the ones who escape this type of awful punishment on the Day of Judgment, they are the ones who are prayerful.

They were constant in their prayers. They acted according to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's commands and as it mentions in verse twenty-six, it says that they were the ones Wa alladheena yusaddiqoona bi Yawm id-Deen (70:26), that they were the ones who truly believed and affirmed the Day of Judgment through their actions. They acted on this fear of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in a very true way.

InshaAllah, as we close this episode, we pray that on the Day of Judgment we are among those who find it to be an easy Day, with our faces and our hearts bright, with the actions that we have pursued in this world. And we pray that we have a light accompanying us as we walk through and journey through that Day, making our way to our final destination.

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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